Monday, April 30, 2012

Herb Garden


Above you can see part of my yard that is still undergoing construction for different gardens. We are slowly removing the lawn and putting in different kinds of gardens. Above you can see just below the block wall in the center of the picture we are getting ready to put in a new garden area. Eventually I would like to build a block wall around my herb garden as well.

In this picture you can see my whole herb garden which is now about twice the size it use to be. The rhubarb in the center takes up so much room I had to move everything else out. In order to do that I needed to dig out more lawn. AHHHHH.

I have three different kinds of thyme, some rosemary, sage, french tarragon, garlic chives, onion chives, parsley, lavender, carnations, artichokes, garlic (which I planted last fall) some primroses, bay tree, Harry Laders Walking Stick (ornamental, it has curly branches and is sorta like a willow that isn't suppose to get very tall) and various bulbs that haven't bloomed yet because the rhubarb was shading them so much they weren't getting the sunshine when the sun did shine.

I really do like my rhubarb. The leaves get so big and the plant is really beautiful. Did you know that you can make bird baths out of the leaves. I will show you how in my hobby or craft section later on.

I also have a windmill in my herb garden. I really like to watch it go. On the windy days it can really get to moving. Just in front of the windmill and to the left are some worms that my dad made for me. He can be artistic when he wants to. I now have my own worm farm. He also made the plane that is on the pole in the first picture. You can barely see it at the top of the picture. It is also a wind direction object except the wind blew so hard this year it blew the propellers right off of it.

My artichoke is really doing well. This is only the second year that it has been in. It actually produced an artichoke last year. I was surprised. I really don't know that much about artichokes, in fact, I don't even like them, but the plant is beautiful. It really adds some character to my garden. To the right I have some purple sage. I like to add color to my garden when I can and it tastes just as good.

The rosemary is next to my sage. I use it quite a bit in my cooking. I have about three french tarragon plants in my herb garden you can't see them because they are just starting to come up now. Some of the herbs in my garden are new and I am just learning how to cook with them. I am going to try to use french tarragon on my eggs. I am trying to cut out the salt from my diet so herbs here they come.

I have an obelisk in my garden. Not sure what I am going to do with that yet. I was thinking about putting some kind of climbing flower on it, but I need to be careful I don't want what ever I put on it to over take my garden. I also want to start adding some stepping stones in here. Maybe a sun dial some where. Who knows, the possibilities are endless. This garden may get bigger yet.
Next is a Tea Garden. I already have some plants that I want to get in the ground. I was thinking about the area just below my greenhouse.
If you start an herb garden, make sure you start with the herbs you already know and then add new ones later. That way you can learn how to cook with them as they grow. If you don't like them you can either remove and replace them or leave them for looks. What ever you do, have fun with it. You may find yourself enlarging your garden as well.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Wonderful sunshine. I am looking forward to today. We finally have some sunshine. I have been doing some gardening, but with all the rain we have been having it is so wet outside that it is hard to get things done. I did get some stuff done in the greenhouse. I got tomatoes planted, peppers, cucumbers and have sugar peas that are blooming. Can't wait for the first peas, love to eat them fresh. It is like a sweet snack when you are gardening.
I got my corn planted outside just before the last rain, which was a good thing, cause the rain watered it in for me. I then covered the corn with some remay to protect it from the cool nights and the birds that like to steal the seed. Today I hope to get the plastic around the frame where one of the garden beds is. Here on the mountain we don't get a lot of hot weather so I use plastic around a PVC frame in my garden beds to extend the growing season. This is how I can grow vegetables that need a longer season like corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc. Works like a portable greenhouse. I can take it down easily when the weather does start warming up.
Don and I are getting ready to create another temporary garden for this growing season. We do a lot of temporary stuff until we are sure that is where we want it to be. We don't have a lot of room to grow so we create places by putting in raised garden beds all over the place. Besides I hate mowing the lawn and would rather have gardens.
Did you know that lawns are the biggest polluter on our planet. That is because most people think they need to fertilize year round and it doesn't help. It only goes down into the aquifer under ground and pollutes the water. Did you also know that you can fertilize your yard with coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and that is what lawns like. So instead of throwing those coffee grounds down the drain, spread them around your yard and flower gardens. You will be surprised how good things will start to look.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Has Broken

  I got up this morning to wonderful sunshine and warm weather. The temperature at 5 AM  this morning was 50 degrees and for here, that is very warm. It must have gotten up to 70 in the afternoon. I soaked it all up. You can tell by the red on my arm. I was smart though and remembered to wear my gardening hat which has a large brim to protect me from the sun.
  Don and I were busy getting the compost that has been sitting all winter spread around the yard. We got most of the fruit trees, some of the berries, the bamboo and the greenhouse beds filled with the compost. Now I have to finish turning the compost into the beds in the greenhouse. We did get some of it turned in yesterday and got the tomatoes planted.
  My tomatoes that I started this year are still very small, they barely have there true leaves, so Don and I decided to purchase some of the vegetables from the store so we could get things started. We don't have a very long growing season here on the mountain so every little bit of time that we can save in growing we will. My greenhouse doesn't seem to do very well for starting plants. I still haven't figured out the best time for doing that. I still need to do some experimenting.
  I got the vents undone in the green house so they can open and close on their own. If you remember from an earlier post, I had tied them closed because of the strong winds we had been having. The vents just popped open when I untied them yesterday. I do have some some sugar peas growing in the greenhouse and we should be able to harvest some of them in a couple of weeks. I also have some chard growing also. I harvested some yesterday, now I need to figure out how to cook it.
  I know it is still early in the year, our frost end date is usually around May 15th, but like I said earlier, we need to get stuff going here as soon as possible. Today I plan on getting some green beans planted in a garden that is protected by the greenhouse and gets lots of sunshine. I also plan on getting some sweet corn planted and then covered with re-may, which is a fabric used to cover crops to protect them from frost and birds that like to steal the seed.
  The horses, goats and chickens were very content yesterday also. Sure is nice to see everyone so happy. The birds have started to return. We have lots of banded tail Pigeons that come around every year. The Blue jays (Stellar jays) are here by the droves, I like there color but they can be a pest. I have seen some Humming birds, Swallows, Juncos and some I am not sure what they are yet. I have to look them up in our bird book. The bees were buzzing and the flowers that are blooming were fragrant. God has created such beauty in everyday life.
  I worked my buns off yesterday and was pretty sore last night from using muscles that I hadn't been using all winter. I am ready to do it again today, God willing, and the sun comes out. It is foggy this morning and a bit cool. We are suppose to be getting more rain, hope it holds off for a while.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Table Cloth

This is one of the embroidery projects that
I inherited from Don's mother's estate. It is a very nice table cloth that was mostly finished.

It has several different flowers on it. I did one of the yellow flowers, part of the center squares and some of the black and green leaves.

I did all of the red flowers, which were the largest ones on the table cloth.

I washed it on the gentle cycle and dried it on the gentle cycle and put it on my dining room table. It fits perfectly with one leaf in the table.
Now on to the next project, which is a embroidered picture of a vase with some flowers in it. I will take some pictures of it and post them on the hobby page as I work on it.
I have several embroidered projects to do. Some are partly finished and some are brand new. I guess I will be busy for the next winter.
If you have never tried embroidery, now is the time to. It can be very rewarding and relaxing. I think of it as coloring with thread or yarn, what ever the project calls for.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pruning Time

Now is the time to really start the pruning. It should have been done by last month but it has been so wet from all the rain that we haven't been able to go out and get the pruning done. The trees haven't started to bloom yet, although they are trying, so we still have time to get the pruning done.
You can prune almost anytime, but now is the best time because you can see the branches easier before the tree starts to bloom and you can shape the tree better this way.
The fruit tree should be shaped like a vase. Make sure you leave some branches in the middle of the tree because if you have a lot of hot sunshine it can burn the center of the tree and really damage it.
You should never take more that 1/3 of the tree in a season. So if you have several large branches to remove to get the shape you desire, this should be done in a number of seasons, not all at once.
Remember the 5 D's, Dead, Diseased, Dying, Damaged and Darn it branches. You know, the ones you hit your head on every time you pass under it when you are mowing the lawn.
There is more information on pruning fruit trees in our gardening site. I will be adding more information on pruning roses and blueberries later.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday

Lenten Rose

Today is Easter Sunday. What does this day mean to you? When someone says Happy Easter to you, what comes to your mind? Easter Bunnies and chocolate candy or the day that our savior, Jesus Christ, rose from the grave. Over the years I have come to realize that a lot of our holidays are celebrated for the wrong reasons. I personally am trying to find the truth behind the holidays.
Easter is one of the most important days of the year. A day we should celebrate every day of the year, for without our Lord rising up from the grave, we would have been lost forever. He overcame death to die for our sins, and now sits at the right hand of GOD and rules over everything.
In Mark 10:32-34 Jesus for tells of his coming death and resurrection. In Mark, chapter 16, it speaks of the resurrection of Jesus and the events of that day. I hope that everyone will read this chapter today, and truly celebrate the real reason for Easter. There are other books in the bible that also tell of this day. Try to find them if you can. When you eat the pretty colored eggs, think about this, that part of the celibration comes from the Romans worshiping their sun god. They would have the temple maidens impregnated to give birth at the same time. The babies were then dyed pretty colors, and then sacrificed to their sun god.
I am not saying you shouldn't eat the boiled eggs and chocolate candy, but do it because you enjoy it, not because it is Easter. Search your heart and find out what Easter truly means to you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Special Finds

Well we bought a new television the other day cause the old one was starting to act up but still worked good. It probably would have lasted us another couple of years but Bi-Mart just opened here in Brookings, Oregon and they had a really good deal on televisions. So we bought one.
We took the old television to the second hand store in Ophir and while we were there, of course we did some shopping. We found a few items that we just couldn't live without. You know how that goes, besides it goes for a good cause. The animals.

In amongst our new found treasures we found what looked like a copper tea kettle. Don found it and I was undecided as to whether to buy it or not. I decided I liked it too so we got it. When we got home, I promptly filled it with water and put it on our wood stove for a source of humidity from the wood stove. It looked great, until I found water all over the top of the wood stove. So much for that idea. Now what to do with it. So I washed it up real nice and sat it on the dinning table and looked at it for a couple of days.

On my dinning table I had a ceramic flower pot filled with aquarium rocks and a large candle and some cheap flowers I had purchased at the dollar store. It was starting to look a little ragged so I decided to make a center piece out of the copper tea kettle.

I put the stones in the bottom of the pot, got rid of the candle and put the nicest flowers in the tea pot. Set it on the table and just looked at it for a bit. I kinda liked it, but Don really liked it so he took some pictures and I decided to post some pictures of it.

Hope you enjoy them as well. All it takes is a little imagination. Have some fun with your next prized treasure.