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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pots, Tools and More...

Whenever the opportunity strikes, you will find me shopping in the gardening section of whatever store I happen to be in (assuming it has a gardening section).

I have even more freedom and choices when I am able to shop online from home and have items shipped to me.  I think the sound of the doorbell rung by the deliveryman is one of the best sounds, don't you?

One group of gardening items that I love to shop for pots for my plants.

 
An empty container is an invitation for me to envision what types of plants I will plant inside.


Of course, pots come in all sizes, colors and shapes.

 
A single accent plant like this agave will look great by itself in a container.


 Of course, I also like pots with different layers - a tall centerpiece plant surrounded by smaller plants and finished off with a trailing ground cover plant that allows you to see the pot through the leaves.

Large pots make great statement pieces in the landscape and look great when placed in the corner(s) of your patio or when placed beside the entry to your home.



A collection of smaller pots in different shapes add beauty and depth to an herb shelf.



Don't forget hanging plants.  

Hanging pots full of colorful annuals look fabulous when hung from your porch or along a walkway.


Newer types of garden pots are now available that are 'self-watering' and other kinds that can be placed on a railing.
I must confess that I have quite a few p in different sizes and colors and they are a fundamental part of my garden.

I can switch out the plants easily and come up with different combinations and looks whenever I feel like it.

I always have room for more pots - especially when I find one that I love.


Other items that I look for when shopping for my garden are good-quality gardening tools.



It is really frustrating to not have the necessary tool(s) that your garden needs or tools that are of poor-quality and don't work well.

I always invest in quality garden hand-tools and often have two of the same type of tool available for my garden so that more then one person can work at the same job at the same time.



Gardening is such a pleasurable past time and you reap the benefits of a beautiful garden in return.



So, while you are shopping for gardening supplies, be sure to purchase some lawn furniture as well, so that you can enjoy the beauty of your garden outdoors.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vegetable Garden Update

The other day, I stepped out into my vegetable garden to get a close up look at how my veggies are ripening.


It may be hard to tell what is what because at first sight, it looks like a sea of green.

In the back I have cauliflower and carrots growing among the nasturtiums.  Toward the front, I have green onions, green leaf lettuce, spinach, parsley and oregano.


The front part of the garden is full of San Marzano tomatoes, pink-flowering Oxalis (not a veggie), garlic and nasturtiums, which are spilling out of the garden.
 

Lastly, the side garden has shallots, sugar snap peas and a single cauliflower.

I love this time of year when there is so much going on in the garden, don't you?

Check out more gardening tips at

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Vegetable Garden Progress

I've got a large pile of dirt outside my kitchen window.

But, we are making progress on our new vegetable garden.  Today, we amended the existing soil with equal amounts of compost and aged steer manure.  Then added bone and blood meal, which are natural sources of phosphorus and nitrogen.

Here are pictures of what we did today.  (Not super exciting, but we are getting there).

(If you're looking for some great deals on new tools for creating your own vegetable garden, check out the discounts at Harbor Freight.


Four of my favorite things....my husband, daughter, dogs Missy & Tobey and compost!
Sprinkling bone meal (Beware of dogs digging afterward - they love the smell of bone and blood meal).












Everyone joins into to mix the compost, manure, bone and blood meal with the existing soil.
Isn't it interesting how fresh dirt attracts both dogs and little boys?

Our next step is to put up the sides and fence.  Then we will rake the soil smooth and get the irrigation ready.

I can't wait to plant seeds!

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I must admit that I didn't do much of the work today in the vegetable garden.  I was busy preparing dinner for Sunday night, which is my daughter Ruthie's 14th birthday party.  I made my special 'Baked Spaghetti' with onions, garlic, tomato sauce, sausage, green peppers, herbs and of course - spaghetti. 

I had to make 3 batches to feed everyone.  Our extended family is coming over along with Ruthie's friend.

I kept the kitchen window open so that I could watch their progress while I was cooking.  I don't keep a screen on my kitchen window since I have a hummingbird feeder in front of the window and I like to take pictures without the screen in the way.
I did get a visit today from a female Anna's hummingbird.  She was 3 feet away from me while I stood at the kitchen sink.  I am so thankful that she didn't fly in the house.



I'm so excited for this 3-day weekend.

How about you?
What are you doing this weekend?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A New Orange Tree for the Garden

Well, I wish I could say that the new addition is my completed vegetable garden....but although we have made some progress, it is till not finished.

But, we did add something new to our back garden.


This is our new, small orange tree.

(Please check this link for great discounts and coupons at Lowe's for tools or plants). 

To be honest, I'm not sure why it took us so long to plant a citrus tree.  In our first home in Phoenix, we had three beautiful citrus trees that we enjoyed.

What really caused to finally plant one in our back garden is the fact that our three youngest kids love to pick the oranges from the tree at their grandparent's house.

However, since my father-in-law's death, my mother-in-law will eventually be moving and there will be no oranges for them to pick.

When we told the kids that we were planting one of our own, they were so excited!



They were so anxious to help.

We dug our hole nice and wide so that the roots could grow outward easily.  The depth of the hole was the same depth as the rootball.

We chose a young tree because they transplant much easier, not to mention having to get it out of the container.  Plants experience 'transplant shock' when planted in a new area.

The variety that we selected is 'Arizona Sweet'.  It does very well in our area and are suitable for juicing and peeling.

We didn't apply any fertilizer because it would stimulate top growth before there is a large enough root system to support it.  Wait a year before fertilizing.  Then you will fertilize three times a year in February, May and September.  An easier way to remember it is to fertilize around Valentine's Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.

I told the kids that we would probably have to wait 2 - 3 years before we see any fruit.

**I can just picture my own grandkids picking oranges someday from our tree.