Tuesday, May 27, 2014


We keep trying to extend our growing capabilities every year so that we can  save money and so we get fresher, better tasting fruits and vegetables.
As it happened this year, we needed to make more garden beds for more veggies!
Day 1:
 Just getting started, barely. This hill is tough on a new knee!

Janice was looking at the area behind the garden shed and decided we should build two stepped planters on that steep hill,

 Undoubtedly Janice did most of the work, although I did help a little.

All in all things went pretty smoothly this first day of the build.

Day 2:

The second day Janice finally got the sides in place. They really are coming along nicely.

Now all we have to do is fill them up and plant them.

They look pretty good. I think they will not only help hold the hillside in place so it won't wash out, it will make a great garden space.

The beds are 8' x 2' and about 2 feet deep. I really like the way they are looking.

Day 3:

The third day Don hauled compost over to the side of the garden shed and Janice shoveled it into the beds. Hard work but well worth it.

As you can see the beds are filled and planted.

Janice planted several different types of squash in these beds to start with since the compost was still not broke down well and squash are heavy feeders. Hopefully they will do well here.
Not to bad I think.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


I had to take a couple of pictures of my Azaleas. They are in full bloom now and are looking really good. I just love them. Can't wait for them to fill out a bit more.

The garden above is filled with Hostas, Ferns, some bulbs (can't remember what they are) and the Azaleas. When it is growing it really fills out the bed. Love it. The two big ferns are native to where we live. In fact the one just above the big Hosta is still in its original place...

This garden is the one with the Metafile and Azalea together. There is some Heather growing on the ground like a ground cover that is starting to bloom again for the second time but the grass is blocking them. I really like the colors that this all brings together. Guess I better get the lawn mower out and do some trimming. Ugh, maybe the horses instead....yeah that's it...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Suprise

 We had such a beautiful Mother's Day. The weather couldn't have been nicer. I spent most of the day doing nothing. I was out on the porch looking out over the yard and enjoying the sunshine when I had glanced over towards the bee hives. I always like to watch the bees working. I had noticed that they were unusually heavy around the hives and thought, Uh oh, so I walked over to where they were and as I was watching them I was going to take some pictures.

As I was thinking to myself that they were going to swarm my phone rang. I was talking with my brother and mother. While I was talking with them, lo and behold they swarmed, right in front of me.

Luckily they landed in the tree right where I was standing. After I got done talking with my mom I proceeded to  inform Don that they had just swarmed. Now mind you, Don has just had knee surgery and can't do anything and the bees were in a tree some 30 feet up. My neighbor had just come over to get his bike that we had been storing for him, so I asked him if he could help me catch the swarm. He was excited to, he always had seen it but never was involved. So I got the extra bee hive that we had from the bee colony that we lost last winter and had it cleaned up and ready to go for what ever. He helped me set the hive up right under the tree the bees were in. Got the bee suits on and he proceeded to climb the orchard ladder that we had. I held the bottom while he cut the branches and handed them to me. I put them in the top box, which I had the frames removed, when all the branches were cut, I believe there where four and placed in the box I put the lid on and let them alone for the night. I checked them yesterday morning and they were still clinging to the branches but also working there way into the hive. So I put on my bee suit and went out to work the bees. I took the branches and shook them to get the bees off and as I was doing that I saw the most beautiful Queen. I knew that they would stay in the hive at that time because the queen was there. I put the queen excluder on and then put the frames back in the top box. I added a feeder to the top of that, because they had no food in the box I just put them in. Needed to make sure they had food otherwise they would leave again. I then got the rest of the bees checked. They are all working beautifully making that lovely honey. I checked the new hive last night and they seemed happy. The Lord has replaced the hive we lost last winter. What a great God we have.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Coming Alive

I went out to the yard today and was looking around. What a beautiful site to see all the green stuff. The 
gardens are growing.

The celery is beautiful and about ready to cut back and dry for celery powder. In the back of the celery you can see that my peas are beginning to bloom. That means peas before to long. I love to eat fresh peas, they are so sweet.

They have just taken off since we finally got some sunshine. The rain in between has really helped. I don't have to water as much. 

The potatoes are doing well. Some of the ones that you see now are the ones that I dug up from the bed that I planted my Brussels sprouts in. These are the new beds that we put in this year. They have 1/4" mesh wire on the bottom to help deter the moles and voles and unwanted critters. 

My peonies are getting ready to pop open. Can't wait they are such a pretty flower. I do need to get some twine around the base of them soon because the blooms are so heavy once they open up they tend to bend and break the stock. The twine helps to support them.

This is my spinach, lettuce and beets bed. The spinach I started earlier this year in the greenhouse. It seems to be doing well.

I don't know if you can see it but baby beets....YEAH....

The Vibernum Metafile is in full bloom now. I really like the looks of it. The plant next to it is a fragrant Azalea that we planted a couple of years ago. The deer really love it, that is why it is so scrawny.

All the Ferns and Hostas in this bed are really starting to fill in nicely. I need to get the fountain cleaned up and running to make this a really nice look and feel to the yard.

I just planted the corn in this bed the day before yesterday. I started them in the greenhouse this year. It is not recommended on the packet but where we live, the season isn't really long enough for corn so Don wanted me to start them in the greenhouse and transplant them. They are looking really good so far. Hope they do well this year.

The broccoli I started in the greenhouse and transplanted it about a week ago. It looks to be doing well. I also started some cabbage in the greenhouse and added some to this bed with the broccoli. They are in the same family so should do well together.

I have asparagus coming up under the Kiwi and what little bit I have is really growing. I would like to add more asparagus. I really like it and so does Don. 

The Kiwi are getting there blooms. They are just loaded with blooms, I hope they really produce this year.

The apple trees are the last of the fruit trees to bloom and they are really doing that. The bees are very happy. With all the fruit trees we have, they seem to bloom at different times starting in early March which is good for the bees when we have sunny days. They can get out and and have some pollen and nectar to eat.

Here are the Brussels sprouts that I mentioned earlier, they are doing well also. I planted some cabbage in with them too.

Right along the front of the bed of Brussels sprouts I planted some Kohlrabi. I hadn't had these before last year. I decided I really like them.

The strawberries are growing and blooming now. I plan on some fresh fruit here soon. The white piping you see around them is holding a net around them because we had trouble with the deer eating all the fruit and plants. We have the yard partly fenced and I will be taking down the netting soon. Hopefully the birds will leave them alone. The filberts behind the strawberries were planted last year and are growing nicely. We won't be getting any nuts for a while from these little beauties.

So the yard is coming alive and is full of hope. I can hardly believe how good everything is doing. When we came to this mountain there was nothing but weeds, brush and, well nothing. It has been a lot of work but well worth it. The Lord has truly blessed us not only with such a beautiful and bountiful yard but all the critters as well.