Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

I know, I've just been dying for an update on the botanical goings-on at Flartopia estates. It's been an exceptionally good year for growing things here...considering that this is the first spring since we moved in that we haven't been in a drought! We've just put the last plants into the garden--that would be the invisible tiny basil seedlings in the front there. If they all grow big and strong, we'll be able to supply the entire neighborhood with pesto.

From left to right: garlic (barely visible stringy things), brussels sprouts (all brussel, no sprout so far), peas in the back, a few peppers and fennel along with basil in front, then beans and potatoes. There's a line of tomato plants in the back, behind everything else.

This is Miss Chef's knocked-together pea trellis, made with love out of remainder wood found in the shed. We were out looking at the peas this morning, and I was amazed at the number of flat little pods hanging around. I actually clapped my hands in glee!

And look at the little bonus surprise they've already given us:
Pinky pea petals! These plants are from seeds we saved from last year's crop; I'm guessing they were a hybrid, so who knows what we've got now?

Miss Chef's herb garden has filled out nicely. I missed capturing the beautiful blue sage flowers, as Miss Chef cut them for a bouquet for me. (Awwww...) But now the sweet woodruff (left, rear) is starting to open bunches of teeny tiny bells. Miss Chef has started to bring herbs in to the restaurant about once a week, just to supplement what they've got.

And let's not forget them flowers!

My mother made that stepping-stone as a birthday gift for me last year. Besides adding color and structure, it's a great way to have a landing place in the bed when we're plugging in the little fountain (another left-behind from the previous owners).

These poppies were also planted by the previous owners. Each year we get more blooms from it; I couldn't resist capturing the way the afternoon sun lit them up.

These ice plants are one of Miss Chef's best successes. We had planted them in several beds in front of the house, where they were doing fine. Miss Chef wanted to put some other ground covers in there, so moved these to the rather bare side of the house by the driveway. Within a month, they had taken off, and now completely cover that bed, opening up beautiful little flowers all spring--with no help from us.

And my success was several gallardia plants in another front bed, which were supposed to be annuals. This is the third spring they've bloomed, and they're really amazing me!

You can water all you want, but there's no substitute for regular soaking rains.

While I was weeding my way through that bed, there was all kinds of baby mockingbird chirping in the holly bush. Then I heard some weird noise on the front stoop, and learned there are two baby birds hanging around!

Looks like somebody forget to put their tailfeathers on!

And now the rains have returned, so it's back into the kitchen to do some dishes and process yet another gallon of strawberries. This one's going to be half frozen, half dried in Miss Chef's new dehydrator. It's a nice little project for a lazy, stormy Saturday afternoon.



  1. My mom and daughter are out planting tomato plants and columbine and obedient plants in my yard as I type!! We'll see what happens... hopefully your growing vibes reach all the way to Indiana.

  2. Yay!! Liz, I never got a chance to comment when you said your hubby was building the raised bed for the garden...but I was all excited, and a little bit jealous. Can't wait to hear how things are g(r)o(w)ing!

  3. Hearty cheers for Flar and her amazing array of healthy horticulture.

    I'm a wee bit jealous because Casa Hice has an ancient curse on it for growing anything green. But I applaud your success and ask you to speak to the horticulture gods on my behalf please. My herbs depend on it.

  4. The colors are beautiful! I'm envious of your fresh vegetation - will make some great salads and vegetable dishes. But - you really eat brussels sprouts?!!! I always thought they were yucky things meant to be tossed at siblings....

    Nancy in Atlanta

  5. All looks great, our growing season is a month behind ya.

    I like Mockingbird's, they are such characters.

  6. The colors are beautiful. I actually bought two (!) tomato plants to see if I can make something good happen. However, we actually have a frost advisory tonight, so I'm going to wait to plant them. I was so excited, too. Went out to my dad's and came back with some cow poop for fertilizer.


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