Garden 2015, What Went Right

Last week I showed you the bad and ugly, here’s what worked in this year’s garden:

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Jalapenos, habaneros and poblanos

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Oh man, I can’t wait to roast and stuff those!

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Cherry tomatoes and tomatillos.

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Cucumbers, beets and nasturtiums.

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I’m so excited to pickle these!

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Beans (the first harvest has already been pickled!)

I even had some success with non-edibles this year!

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This container of geraniums and morning glories are by my back door

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and they’ve almost reached the roof!

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Finally, the sunflowers growing along my side fence are huge!

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I already have big plans for next year-some things will stay the same (sunflowers, peppers) and some things will move (tomatoes, pumpkins) to some new raised planters.

I’m waiting for some free time so I can build the new planters and I still need to post about all the other projects I’ve been doing around my house…hopefully I’ll be able to find the time soon!

-A

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Garden 2015, What Went Wrong

I tried to have a garden last year but it just didn’t work out so you can imagine my excitement when things started growing this year!

I started a bunch of seeds inside and then moved them to the garden in May.  It rained everyday in May so everything grew like crazy.  Just a month ago I had high hopes for my garden but fast forward to this month:

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By the beginning of August I had lost one pumpkin plant to squash bugs.

This week:

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They’re both gone.

So I ripped them out

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I was really sad to lose them.  I had big plans for those pretty blue pumpkins in my fall decorating plans.  Next year, I hope.

Of course, my squash and zucchini plants weren’t safe either:

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Gross.  I did a lot of research on squash bugs and decided that there was no way for me to get rid of all of them this year so I ripped up the squash and zucchini too.

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Next year I need to stay on top of these-this year I really should have cut off all the leaves that had eggs on them and I need to go out each morning to kill any adults that I missed.

I did bag all the plants in thick, black trash bags, sealed them tight and took them right out to the trash in hopes that no bugs (or at least not as many) will winter over in my soil and come back out next spring.

Any other advice?  It’s so sad to invest so much time growing stuff only to have little bugs take out everything!

Tomorrow I’ll show you what I (by some miracle) did right this year!

-A

What I’ve Been Up To

I covered for our usual graveyard guy at work for the last two weeks.  Working while everyone is sleeping is really hard.  While I still only worked 8 hour shifts it felt like I had no time to get things done around my house-let alone take pictures and blog.  So, sorry about that.

To catch you up, this is what I’ve been doing:

1.  Mourning the loss of one of my pumpkin plants

4Squash beetles.  I hate them and I’m currently researching how to get rid of them (fun fact: one article says to put something big and yellow somewhere in your yard away from the squash and pumpkin plants-they’ll go there and stay away from your plants!)  I’m afraid my plants are goners for this year but I’m determined to make sure this doesn’t happen again next year!

2.  Turning a dresser into a bench

1My friend just moved into her dream home which has huge walk in closets in every room so she gave me this dresser.  And I’m turning it into a bench for my laundry room.  My lack of a table saw has me stalled here….I think I need a table saw.

3.  Small craft projects

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The above friend has two teen aged daughters and she wanted pinboards for them to hang stuff on in their rooms.  She (and I) loved these from Pottery Barn but holy price tag!  I was confident that I could make something similar so I’ve been working on those.

4.  Small decorating projects

6When I redid my mantel I had my big old window that needed a new home.  I wanted to hang it over my bed but it’s really heavy.  And I like my head so I had to make sure it stayed where I put it so I screwed right through the frame and my hand.

3Okay, through isn’t exactly accurate.  But it hurt(s) and bled a lot.  (PS-anyone read palms and want to tell me my future??)

5.  Car shopping.

My beloved Jeep has finally broken for good so now I’m on the market for something new.  Luckily my parents have loaned me a car so I don’t have to rush but my goal is to be in something new by September.  Right now I’m thinking a Rav4 or a Jeep Patriot.  Any opinions?

6.  Loving my new trashcan

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Yep, it’s pink (but you would already know that if you followed me on Instagram: @awize)  I traded my standard grey one with my friend’s son.  He didn’t love the pink.

7.  And cleaning.  And sleeping.  And keeping up my lawn and the plants in my garden that evil little bugs haven’t eaten.  And getting ready for a trip to Durango for a reunion next week!

-A

Garden Visitors

The weather the last couple of weeks has been amazing!  Rain almost everyday and high temperatures in the 80s.  This means that I’ve been spending a lot of time working in my garden (mostly weeding but also harvesting peppers, squash and zucchini!)  and noticing all the creatures that now live in my yard!

First, the rain has brought slugs

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They kind of gross me out if I think about them too much but they’re fascinating to watch!

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I also have this cute little praying mantis

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who almost looks like he posed for this picture, doesn’t he?

This morning I went outside to pick up Henry’s toys (he now has TWO bins!) so I could mow.  I bent down to pick up a bone when I noticed this:

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It didn’t move as Henry cavorted around it or when I got in close to take this picture so I assumed it was dead.  It was too pretty to be run over by the lawn mower so I picked it up to move it.  And it moved.  I’m not sure if it’s dying or just chilled but it let me move it to a plant on my patio (where it has stayed for a couple of hours.)

b4I don’t know if you can tell how big it is from the pictures, but it’s huge.  It’s body is as long as my palm and it’s wings are wider.  I love it and want it to stay forever.

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On a side note though, how creepy is that face??

*okay, if you’re afraid of spiders, stop reading now.  seriously.*

One evening I was out weeding in my pepper planter when something scampered by.  I thought, “was that a spider?” and then, “no way, that was too big to be a spider.”

Guess what?

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It was a spider.

I didn’t see it again for a couple of days until one morning last week when I walked out the back door to this:

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I know, it’s hard to tell how big he is but those are elm seeds to the left if that helps with the scale for anyone.

Commenters on Facebook and Instagram tell me that this is a wolf spider and that it will kill pests in my yard so I’ve left him alone.  For now.  We have an agreement that as long as he stays outside, he won’t die.  So far he has respected that boundary!

I’m gearing up for my yard sale this Friday and Saturday and I’m hoping that when it’s over (and I have reclaimed my living room) I’ll have more time and space for projects (and posting!)

-A

C’mon Spring!

*We had an emergency in my family this week so nothing has been happening around my house and therefore, I have no time or content to blog.  I will be back soon (hopefully next week!) so don’t go too far!

I got home from the hospital early on Saturday night so I decided to start some seeds.

plant1Nothing to see yet, they’re just a few days old!

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There is a large assortment of seeds in there, herbs, peppers, squash, etc.  If they all grow I will not have enough room!

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I also started rooting some gladiolus bulbs.  Maybe if I get them going inside they’ll make it to the actual blooming stage outside this year!

-A

PS- I’m thinking about a “Hospital Chic” post, anyone interested? : )

 

 

Project Updates

Today I realized that I show you all a lot of stuff but don’t always show you if my projects stand the test of time or not.

For example, the last time I updated you in the roses was way back in June when they were all still alive.  Not the case now:

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What’s funny is the one that’s doing the best is the one that has gotten the least amount of attention from me-no hose reaches to that bush so it has gotten the least amount of water.  So, it looks like this spring I’m replacing two rose bushes.  I think while I’m at it I’ll probably add a couple more to fill in the gaps.

Speaking of my neglectful gardening, check this out:

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I planted this garden this spring and I thought it had all died so I just left it alone

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Turns out, it wasn’t all dead!  I have beets onions and TWO carrots growing!

Remember this project?  Seven days into this project they looked like this.

Now, they look like this:

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Not so good here but this one

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is doing great!  I think in the next couple of weeks I’ll put it into a pot and let it grow all winter!

So, the moral of this lesson is I smother my plants with love.  It’s amazing my pets are still alive!

-A