August 12, 2018
With all the rain we have had this past week, the bad news is the crabgrass took over. The good news is today, with all the rain we have had this past week, weeding was very productive! The ground was soft, the tools worked just right, and buckets of crabgrass was added to my forest floor! We mulched the outline of the newly expanded areas I was able to plant a few more perrenials in between rain drops.
What I added: to the front garden I planted two Minuet Mountain Laurels and to the “crabapple cascade” area in the back I added two sweetfern (Comptonia Peregrina) three cardinal plants, and a “turtlehead” plant. My trusty companion Toulouse is always around when I garden, he is always sniffing his way through the underbrush to check out what has been visiting in the night.
Pumpkins are taking over their alloted patch. Seems like miles of vine and lots of flowers…I think there are a few pumpkins coming in, but they are well hidden, as are the summer squash. The Cherry tomatoes are coming in fast and furiously. Every time I go out to the garden I can easily harvest 50-75 cherry tomatoes. I have given away many, and I have already dehydrated my first batch! The tomatoes in the raised beds are doing just OK. Most of the leaves have already died back, and the tomatoes are starting to ripen. This particular batch I raised from seed, the others that were Nursery purchased have been splitting due to too much water, so we have been bringing them in sooner before they start splitting, to ripen off the vine.
We also picked our first 4 peaches. They were a bit deformed, and kinda buggy, but there was enough good area left to actually eat! it is puzzling to me why the season was so delayed. Peach season is usually June, maybe in our zone peaches ripen in August. A few more on the tree ripening. I would consider that a successful harvest for the first year in the ground! Apples….meh those are another story all together, but next year we can spray organic stuff on them so we may have a better chance at getting fruit that matures.
We would like to get out in the Kayacks, but the weather is too unpredictable. Unlike hiking where a little bit of rain is not an issue, I do not want to find myself on a lake, in the rain. Water from the top, water underneath doesn’t make me a happy paddler.
Filed under bees, beekeeping, pollinators, fungi, gardening, gardens, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, insects in the garden, organic gardening, raised beds
July 27th, 2018
Great shot of a female Tiger Swallowtail that landed on my Butterfly plant
Having some Naturalist fun with my Birthday present. Now the big decision will be where to keep the camera when I am gardening.
Oh Hey! I’m looking at you, you’re looking at me!
Just an update from my previous post. My Swallowtail caterpillar has grown at an amazing rate, it looks pretty different from the last post (middle picture). I am hoping I will be able to see it mature. right now it is still pretty unnoticeable, but when it gets to full size It may get picked off by birds
Our bird family
Black swallowtail larva
June 25th, 2018: Life in the garden
Sadly this year, the buzz of bees in my garden has just not been there. I did have the opportunity to shoot mama (or daddy?) wren (?) bringing home a lacewing dinner. If you look closely you can see clear down that little baby’s throat!
I also found an infestation of small caterpillars on my dill and parsley. Doing a bit of image research I found out this will mature to a black swallowtail butterfly (pictured above). It amazes me that I have not seen any butterflies of this type this year, yet these little caterpillars are all over the place! I can’t even see any eggs, but like magic, they show up almost overnight.
I am hoping that as the season progresses the grand-central like activity at my rose garden will build, right now though, it very sad. I have only seen a few bumble bees around the clover and the bee balm
May 27, 2018
In all my years living in NY ( Queens and Westchester) believe it or not, I have NEVER been to the Bronx Botanical Garden. I have gone with the kids to the Bronx Zoo right down the block, but for some reason, I never went to the Gardens. We went to see Georgia O’Keefe in Hawaii exhibit, which I enjoyed and brought back memories of my years in Art School–Compare and contrast, color, form abstracting and interpretation of nature to image all came back as if I were in high school again.
But what I was impressed with the most was the place itself. How did I overlook this gem for all these years? I think the reason is that I look at it now through different eyes. Mature eyes. Eyes of someone who is learning something new. It was amazing to see the conservatory rooms… Africa, the Rain Forest, Hawaii… the trees, the plants the exotic flowers and colors, OMG the colors and the intricate, delicate flowers that look artificial but they aren’t. It was way too much to absorb in one day.
It was the kind of thing that I would have done if an out of town relative or friend came to visit. It was an “Ah-Ha” moment for me. I should be more like a tourist and see my world all over again with fresh eyes. Great show, fun day.
If you have stopped in on my page GardenSpot you can see the progress of my indoor greenhouse. The problem I am having is everything is growing MICRO. I don’t want microgreens, micro-beans, micro-lettuce. I have a great fungi thing going on with the organic raised bed soil I used, I add worm castings, and I have the grow lights lowered to the appropriate height above the plants…And STILL the pak-choi is itty-bitty and bolting to flower. So Sad.