Monday, June 20, 2016

Quiet Riot. First Day of Summer.

Quiet Riot is today's name for my garden/yard.

I'm going to start with this pic for a couple of reasons. I found that terracotta dove of peace medallion whilst thrift shopping this week and I bought it to remind me of the victims of the latest mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando where 49 were killed. It will be my reminder to be kinder. The placement is purposeful as well. It's at my front door (for viewing) and it's in a wooden box that once carried a weapon. 

 The New Native bed is essentially all planted for this season and has begun to bloom. It is still missing the Pale Purple Coneflower after being sent Purple Coneflower, but bareroots will be sent this fall and I filled in with annuals to make up for space/color while the perennials grow.
 One of the first in flower is this variety of coneflower, probably Cheyenne Spirit, which
comes in varying shades of orange and yellow. I like that I didn't
know what color I was getting and this one is a real surprise!
 Also starting to bloom is the first of 3 species of Liatris.
This is Liatris spicata.
 Just outside of the new bed is this riot of pots of annuals
in varying stages of bloom and death. 

 Orchard & Chicken yard
This coop is now a year old and holding well. The attachment to the right was built on this spring for Mattilda, the mother clucker. The black snake is a drain running from the down spout to the rain garden, which is enclosed in chicken wire (chicken proof) on the bottom right of the pic. The rain garden contains native species which I hope will bloom this year, being their second. The plum tree is loaded and the apple is dropping. The red and yellow raspberries have begun to fruit and it looks like the new Figs will even produce in their first year in the orchard. In the 3 pots below the window of the coop are a new variety of blueberry that are suppose to fruit twice, although there have been no blooms yet. It's still year one and it is in some shade.

New Pruning Technique: I just did my first summer prune based on the "Grow A Little Fruit Tree" method. You prune in late winter and again near the summer solstice. Below are 2 pics of the peach tree after solstice pruning.
 Notice the open nature of the center of the tree and
the foliage has been heavily whacked back to an outward 
facing bud. I still feel nervous when making big cuts, but
the professionals say - when in doubt, prune away.


 West gate. House Wren family with squeaky babies
in this house. 
 Still have a few things in the nursery (below).
 Black Raspberries are finishing. This was the 3rd year for this
new bed and it did very well.
 Scapes have formed on the garlic. I collected 
a couple, smashed and put in my 
first jar of the season of crock pickles.
This is a new pickle technique for me and so far
I'm really digging it. 

 More Quiet Riot

Sour gherkins at the back porch.
Rain barrel on the left. 

Back porch riot.
 Figs forming on the back porch
potted fig.

Food Stuff
Soaking Lamb's Quarter for Saag Tofu tonight.

Broccoli salad (from Scharf's), blue potato salad (from
Soulard market) and Pepper Broth. 
 Chickpea fritters, a cabbage slaw and roasted
red bell pepper salad shoved in a pita. 
Still using last year's maters. 
Going in tonight's Saag. 

Harvests Burgundy beans and cucumbers coming in. I have 1 pickable zucchini. 

Happy First Day of Summer. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Just a Thursday Morning

The last Thursday morning of freedom before the summer school session begins. Taking it all in.

The first Poppy somniferum to bloom.
 It was covered with hoverflies and small bees (or flies as bee mimics) 
this morning.
 Just gorgeous.

The new prairie bed
What should have been my final planting (this morning) with the arrival of my order from Prairie Moon Nursery was stalled by receiving Purple Coneflower instead of Pale Purple Coneflower. I planted all but those and the Liatris, which are a little small.
 Another angle
 View towards house.
Bea on edging.
 The cactus is growing quickly.
Received this pad from a student who said
it was a perennial at her home. Unknown Opuntia.