Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garden Look-See

Forgive me if you are a person that is not too keen on bugs.
I was completely enamoured with them in the garden this morning. :)
Ladybug larve
 The diversity in the yard is absolutely amazing this year.  There were lots of bugs last year, but the co-existance this year is more evident.
Three's Company

This was breakfast a couple mornings ago....homemade granola and fresh strawberries from the yard.

Aside from growing bugs and berries, the rest of the garden is catching up.  Cocozelle and nasturtiums are loving the mild temps.

The toms seem to need a little boost, so i am collecting plastic jugs and filling them with water.  I place these around the toms to warm up during the day, and at night they keep the toms a little warmer.

Corn's catching up too....thankfully, the crows have stayed away!!

Scallions are coming up...they were too shaded by the chamomile. :)
 Our neighbour across the street is a sweet Asian lady...we can't speak much because we don't speak each other's language, but we have had a few friendly encounters.  She surprised me in the garden the other day with these two heads of lettuce that her family grew in their yard.

Back to the bugs.
Don't you just love these little guys?

He looks like he's keeping watch over my toms.
They're fine, but i wish he'd erradicate the aphids from my cauliflower!!
I am trying to figure out if these are soldier boys or possibly something like a longhorned beetle.
They don't seem to have the same type of abdomen that they soldier boys do.

"Hey Doll, how ya doin'?"

Who can resist that cute little face, i'd like to know?!?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Contents of My Dream Home

More dreaming of our homestead-to-be...especially as a piece of property we've been eyeing is getting within our financial reach week by week.

Wouldn't it be lovely to live in a landscape such as this?

And this house....Lawd have mercy!!
Don't you just love an old house built of rock?  I have a particular fondness for them because of one that was in the family ages ago.  I wonder if you can build these anymore--without having the bankroll of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates?

You'd never know it, but this house is on one of the busiest roads here in on the East Hill of Kent, WA.  Years ago it was very peaceful, however now it is surrounded by sub-divisions.  Too bad.

While cruising the MLS this week, i found this fabulous looking house in SW Washington.  This is my ideal farmhouse, i think.  It's layout reminds me of an old those peaks in the roofline and those porches.  A proper porch to greet guests...ah!

This house is fabulous for other reasons too!!  It's one of the only places i've seen that doesn't have a huge building erected next to it or in front of it that screams "Forget the house, look at the 3-door garage with RV parking!!"  Because people with a farm have time, er money, time for RVing. :)

The only thing i'd want designed differently in this house is a bay window-ish, 3 sided alcove area on the side facing us there by the driveway.  Because Moose and i really love this living room:

Living room of a Victorian in Walla Walla

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday's Garden Look-See

we be jammin

Raspberry season is here!  Hooray!  Moose has canned one gallon of jam today--the first jammin' of 2011.  Take that, Smuckers. :)

one gallon down....1,000,000 to go

 Our shasta daisies are a blessing this year.  They are huge!!  About 3 feet tall.  Since they are on the west edge of our garden, they've shaded the lettuces from the hot afternoon sun which has kept them from bolting!!  And they have attracted all kinds of lady bugs and other beetle-y creatures.

i think this dude's a soldier beetle

blueberries are blushing
hoping we will have some zucchini for our visitours next week

watermelons are growing v-e-e-e-r-y slowly
peas are ripe for the pickin'

Corn's up--planted it last week

Our onions are growing gangbusters!

Crop-share/birthday toms are ripening
I noticed something unusual in the garden this morning...
something that i don't remember planting.

It's a carrot left over from last year.
It's flowering now...
i think carrot flowers are my new favourite flower.

very reminiscent of hydrangeas, which are starting to bloom here.

Irish dancers are growing in our garden as well. :)
This is Cookie Monster's school dress she's earned by dancing so successfully.
The big weekend is coming up--8 dances and a grade exam for the 2nd grade.

Razzies :: The New Zucchini

On our way home from a 3 day vacation at the beach, within just a few feet of our home, Leprechaun the stuffed iguana, flung himself out the window and ran down the street.  When we arrived in our driveway, we found out what was so important to risk the bodily harm that is entailed in one's flinging oneself out of a moving vehicle. :) 

 According to our estimates, a whole mess of razzies were to be due the day before we returned home.  Moose feared that Leprechaun would suck all the sweet juicy jewels from the vines if he didn't react quickly.

So he ran inside and snagged a quart bowl from the cabinet and started plucking.  "One for the bowl, two for me...." 

And in 15 minutes, he had collected enough for his first batch of raspberry preserves of the 2011 season.  Good thing he's off work this week! :)

For those of you dealing with ridiculous amounts of heat this week...this one's for you

courtesy of Western WA Beaches

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Endeavour...

So, while i am still trying to talk myself out of picking apart Cookie Monster's chicken quilt to add more fabrics to it (blasted perfectionistic tendancies!!), i started another project....

Inspired by the calico pattern from the Farmer's Wife quilting book.

so far, this is my favourite block

and this is my second favourite

We'll see what it becomes.  After getting the sewing room all cleaning out without a curse word, a handful of anti-psychotics, or loads of alcohol, i am indulging my inner craft geek in some serious sewing therapy.  Yea, me! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's Look-See in the Garden

After an explosive night around the ol' homestead here...

i found a different kind of bouquet to from around the yard.

No wonder the Valley looked so polluted the day after the Fourth.

 Something that i don't even want to think about is all that firework "seasoning" that is now covering the fruits of our labour out in the garden.  Ewwww!

It was a quiet morning though, which lead to me meeting a few new friends out in the yard.

This cat recently moved into the neighbourhood.
He scares me because he looks just like our cat...
who isn't allowed outside. :)

Sweet ol' Puss

The towees were out...their red eyes mesmerising.

 Sir Robin visited me as well...he was a very sweet chap--he walked right up to me and asked if i cared to share a spot of worm with him for a cup of earl grey.

A hummingbird found me admiring the Jupiter's Beard.
He apparently wanted to fight for it. :)

The garden is decorated in it's red, white, and blues.

currants are ripe for the taking

First tomatoes...which have a funny story behind them.

Last month for my birthday, our wonderful neighbour brought by a gift for me--this tomato plant in a cute little trellised pot.  She shared what a deal she got on it at the local nursery, that she knows that i talk to my plants and coax them into delivering on their fruity promises, and that she thought it would be a perfect birthday gift.  Wasn't that sweet and thoughtie?  Then she pops the trunk on her car, shows me all the other plants she purchased to spruce up her front walk.  And in the course of conversation, this sweet 80 year old woman wishes me a happy birthday again and thanks me for raising this tomato for her--referring to it as our share-cropping endeavour. :) 

It's getting close to raspberry picking time!  Hurrah!

These hollyhocks will be white soon...

Fancy Knickers carnations are bloomin'

Here is an Indian Plum, one of the native species we encourage on our property

We leave the fruits for the birds, however in a couple years when we are studying Native Americans more, i am looking forward to diving into information on their uses of them.  Ink?  Food? 

After the razzies, it'll be these guys' turn

Overall, the gardens looking real nice.  We dug the grass out of the area we enlarged last year.  I planted a cold climate variety of corn this past weekend--we'll see how we do?!?  Up here near the Sound, we get just enough of a breeze to be about a few degrees cooler than the Valley.  I've decided that short season crops might be the key to getting any of those hot weather items like pumpkins, melons, or corn.

Moose has been working really hard on the curb appeal of the place...lots of weed whacking and hedge trimming. 

On the to-do's this week is razzie picking and planting more bush beans.
And enjoying a bit of our hard work.

How does your garden grow??