May 18, 2019

Are you tired of hearing about my garden yet? Because I still wanna talk about it all the time.... yep, I'm that girl.

The weather here has been crazy the last two days. Everyone FEELS it in their sinuses. I, of course, just took some Sudafed and went on with my day. I also managed to finish clearing the last garden bed in the front. We have this weird corner on our property, where our fence, and the neighbor's fence, meet in maybe a 30° angle. And this triangle of doom gets overgrown with black eyed susan, bee balm, and SO. MUCH. MINT. Ugh, I loathe mint. I mean, I like it just fine as a flavoring for ice cream and chewing gum, but the plant is rather invasive.

And THEN, in the middle of the bermuda triangle, is a flowering plum. Which is okay, as far as trees go. It certainly wouldn't be my first pick, but hey... it came with the house. I did prune it quite heavily back in February. The poor tree had been pruned badly, and I did as much correcting as I could for this year. I always go with the 30% rule when pruning trees: Never prune more than 30% of the tree, of else it goes into shock and has trouble healing. The tree looks WAY better now, but it will probably take another five years to really look good.

I also pruned the magnolia tree back then, and that thing is doing swell. Also, last year, when I was getting rid of all the little magnolia tree babies that were popping up, I took the cutting with the biggest root, and transplanted it in the flower bed near my front walk. I just crossed my fingers that I had done everything right. I kept a very close eye on the baby tree, and when winter came, I prayed that it would survive.... That baby tree has DOUBLED it's height over the last 6 weeks. It looks so good, and I just keep patting myself on the back for a job well done.

Anyways, The front planting beds have all been tended, and now I get to sit back and enjoy the results. I've actually been thinking about it, and I really don't do much weeding. I get the plant beds cleared and fed, and then I pretty much forget about them until October/November when it's time to prep the perennials for winter. I mean, if I'm outside and there is a weed, I'll pull it.. But I'm done. Really all that is left to do is mow and edge the lawn, and keep the porch clean! Really, the success of a garden boils down to  doing your homework, and figuring out what works in your climate, and then some smart planning and implementation. 

Anyhow, that's all the update I have for now. Next time, we can talk about a new drug I am experimenting with called Kratom. It's not illegal in Utah yet (not for lack of trying), and I've gotta say, so far so good. REALLY good. 

May 14, 2019

Summer Garden is DONE!

The summer garden is planted! 

Today I planted all the vines. We're talking watermelons, cantaloupes, summer squashes, winter squash, cucumbers, pole beans... Sadly, when I was hardening off the vines, a few didn't make it into the house overnight, so my eggplants and a few melon varieties didn't survive. Oh well, there's always next year! Also, I was pulling a few weeds here and there, and GUYS! I HAVE POTATOES! I guess I didn't get all of them out of the ground last year, because there are little potato leaves poking up out of the dirt. Meanwhile, I had already seeded potatoes for container gardening, mostly because it's easier to harvest that way, so we're going to have LOTS of yummy roots. 

I did realize that I haven't planted any lettuce. But lettuce is easy and grows just about anywhere, in any condition. And I am officially a crazy plant lady. 

Know what else? School gets out in two weeks. I am real ready to be done for the year. It's just been a hard year for all of us, and we are going to take some time to regroup, and we are going to have lots of mini adventures all summer long. They have to be mini adventures because big kids have big kid things to do. We are going to be so crazy busy, and THAT'S OKAY. It will be a good busy, because I have lots of OUTDOOR IDEAS, because sunshine is delicious for our souls. 

In other news, the fridge is finally fixed! It's cold again! Not having a refrigerator FOR OVER A MONTH was not the funnest for us. We have a second fridge, but it is SMALL, and it basically held the condiments. And even though my canning season is supposed to just be starting, I had to adjust because the freezer stuff thawed out and there is NO WAY IN HELL that I was going to be tossing all that defrosted meat. So I made a LOT of chili, and a LOT of taco soup, and a LOT of bone broth, and ALL THAT JAZZ. But tomorrow, I do want to get some rhubarb something going. I'm going to make a cranberry/rhubarb chutney thing that is amazing with pork and chicken. And obviously I have to make some sort of pastry thing. We shall see. I always have grand plans, but they don't always come to fruition. Ah well, that is life, and life is good. And I need to remember to take a picture of everything before it starts getting big! 

April 30, 2019

Have a Great May

The weather here is being NUTS. Today was chilly and breezy and rainy and COLD  for outside work, and what a lot of outside work there is.

We got a ChipDrop yesterday afternoon, so we mulched all the garden beds around our house. We worked hard and fast, and today I am paying for that endeavor. My back is KILLING me, and none of the usual tricks are working. We'll just chalk it up to the fact that I haven't done garden work since November, and my muscles forgot their primary functions. Also, because I took some pain pills, I fell asleep and totally missed my infusion! But it kind of works out, because I am on some antibiotics and such due to a killer kidney infection. I even got a shot of Rocephin, so that was fun.

 Meanwhile, it's almost May... which means it's almost summer, and I am NOT ready. I really need to sit down and calendar everything out, because holy heck-ness, these kids got a lot of stuff to do.  I don't remember being so busy as a kid. We all did have swimming sports every morning though. But we would ride our bikes to the pool, then we would swim and swim and swim, and then we would head over to the cafeteria to get our free breakfast. After swim everything, we would just go home and not do much. We did the summer reading program at the library, and we would do chores, and we would entertain ourselves.

Speaking of chores, I seriously need to hire a maid. I just can't keep up with stuff anymore. I try, but it's pretty dicey with the results. AND I get mad at my family because they don't clean things all the way, and it drives me nuts! And then they act they are doing me a FAVOR by cleaning up after themselves.... No. No. No. I'm just going to start throwing stuff away, and nobody can stop me, because I do what I want.

Also, gardening news. My rhubarb is growing like crazy! I'm going to make some of  cherry rhubarb chutney that pairs beautifully with chicken and pork. And I still like to crunch on raw rhubarb, because it's so sour and I love sour everything. I also have a random brussels sprout sprouting; looks like one of last years seeds overwintered all on it's own.  Ooh, and my strawberries are filling in so nicely. I can't wait for all the berries I have coming. OH! AND! I planted 2 blueberry bushes last year, and they did not do so well. In fact, I thought they had given up altogether and died. But there is NEW GROWTH on BOTH bushes! And a hydrangea that I thought was dead? ISN'T! I am so excited for the yard. And the bulbs that were planted in the fall have bloomed so gorgeously. I need to get MORE bulbs for the front yard in the fall.

My baby magnolia tree is getting taller, and the apple trees I grafted are healing just fine. I have a few tomatoes and tomatillos that can go in the ground soon, and I have been growing ground cover for some of the heavily trafficked areas in the yard. It just gets a bit too muddy by the gate and the shed. So moss it is! I am also fighting with some dandelions that think my grass is a good place to grow. It's not, so I am yanking those bad boys out before they turn into puff balls and invite their friends to the party. I'm even thinking about getting a few chickens, because I hear that they love to eat dandelions. Except I don't know how well chickens and dogs get along. It'll be okay, right? Anyways. Those are our updates. Have a great May! (see what I did there?)