How Does Your Garden Grow? Kick Off 2012

Oh how I love the weather we’ve been having! I’ve been driving with the windows down. I’ve been sitting on my porch in the evenings.

Anyway, on to the plants!

My first attempt at Strawberries.
Strawberries

Also my first attempt at Onions.
Onion Sets

My Swiss Chard survived the winter and has new growth.
Return of the Swiss Chard

My Arugula has already begun to flower! I really need to trim it back. It also survived the winter and returned with LOTS of new growth.
Arugula that wouldn't die

The Oregano has spread even more. I’d be glad to give starts of it to any of my local folks.
Attack of the Oregano

The Apple Bush is in bloom.
Apple Bush In Bloom

I love these little red and yellow flowers. I always dread the first mow of the year because they’ll be gone. They grow out near the back fence…
More Little Red Flowers

And on the front hill, which has spread to several patches.
Little Red & Yellow Flowers

The Peonies are popping up through the remains of last year.
Peonies Popping Up

The Daffodils are in bloom too…
Hurray for Daffodils

Even this lonely little yellow one.
Lonely Little Yellow Daffodil

I even have a few plants inside. My Chives and Parsley have been going strong since last spring.
Parsley & Chives

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Garden Update

The peonies are nearly ready to bloom:
DSCF7142

I have a couple of roses on the bush:
DSCF7140

The oregano has tried to take over everything, even the poor little hosta:
DSCF7146

Lots of seedlings waiting to grow up and go into my raised bed garden (once I build it):
DSCF7139

I bought & planted a daisy today:
DSCF7138

And, as usual, anytime I start digging around in the flower boxes I find very odd things. The first thing I found was this little yellow and black cone shaped thing which looked a bit like the skin for some type of reptile or amphibian only it was hollow and paper like. I studied for a bit before moving on. I tossed it into the grass and couldn’t find it again but wish I hadn’t done such a thing when I found this just a little further down in the dig:

DSCF7135

It’s the head of something, though I’m not sure what. The tiny skull is so delicate and fragile. Here’s a different angle where you can see the inner workings of the skull:

DSCF7137

I’m pretty sure that it is a small snake really freaking large grasshopper. I’m not sure how this came to be buried in my flower box but it isn’t the first thing I’ve found buried there. I guess I can continue with my dead bodies make good fertilizer joke.

If anyone knows what this is let me know, I’m just making assumptions based on what it looks like to me.

Spring is finally here….. sort of.

Things are sprouting and booming but I picked flowers in what was left of the melting snow fall from last night.

Oregano sprouts
Oregano Sprouts

The apple bush is blooming
apple bush in bloom

The sad daffodils in the cold. They obviously want to come inside.
Sad daffodils

I held one up for closer inspection.
Snowy day daffodil

The peonies are also sprouting.
Peony Sprouts

The daffodils look much happier inside.
Fresh Picked Daffodils

Fly By Post…

First of all, I LOVE my new job. L.O.V.E. I’m starting to adjust to the new schedule too, which means I may be able to get back to blogging regularly soon. Also, I love that I get to see my family much more now. I’ve been alternating having lunch with my mom and lunch with my dad & grandma on my days off. I’m also starting to exercise in the mornings before I leave for work. Now that the heat has broke for awhile, I’ve been able to get out and walk again.

Ok, now on to the post…

Between adjusting to the new schedule and the sun trying to slow roast us for over 3 months, my plants aren’t doing so well. My oregano cannot be stopped though. The “apple bush” was loaded this year and the rose bush keeps randomly blooming one or two blooms. But, I seem to have been infested with lady bugs. I had a small pumpkin on the porch that was nearly devoured by them in a matter of days. They ate the honey dew plant just as it was about to bloom and they ate all the pumpkin vine and I’m assuming the rest of the pumpkins are going to receive the same fate.

Apple Bush

Rose bloom 2nd blooming.

Right now I have 3 really large pumpkins (larger than basket balls) but their stalks have been the entry point for bugs. This saddens me because, although I don’t eat the pumpkins, I do use them as my yearly jack-o-lanterns and I don’t expect these three to make it until the end of October. You can see in the photo of pumpkin #2 the hole near the stalk where bugs are coming and going.

Pumpkin #1

Pumpkin #2

Pumpkin #3

I did have a random bush of poke berries sprout up near the pumpkins. I’m assuming that this was a gift from above (aka bird droppings LOL) since there aren’t any poke bushes near my house. When these ripen, I’m going to use them for some natural dying.

Poke Berries

I’m still working through my Wild Thing fleece and last week I picked up another fleece that is a Dorset mix breed. I washed up a small sample of it and it is a lovely butter color and is pretty soft. I can’t wait to start washing it up too.
This is some of Wild Thing drying on the porch today. It’s not completely clean but what is left will come out when I card it.

Wool Drying

I haven’t been doing much personal knitting lately but I have been working on a whole bunch of stuff for the shop. I designed this crochet stole/scarf as a pattern that is available with purchase of the yarn. I made it from one skein of sock yarn.

Crochet Stole

I’ve also been doing a whole lot of spinning. I spun CJ Kopec’s Indian Corn as part of the August SAL. When I split it in half, I thought I had gotten it pretty equal but I ended up with a whole bunch left on one bobbin after I plyed it. I spun up some black alpaca to ply with what was left. The two yarns I ended up with, I’m calling Withes Brew (which is photoed with the small pumpkin pre-lady bug infestation) and Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble.

Witch's Brew

Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Right now, I’m spinning Poodle Skirt by Scarlet Fleece, crocheting a doily for my grandma, knitting two sweaters, a pair of socks, a shawl, a large tote bag, and I have some other things I’ve had to put on stitch holders like the Nightingale socks and the second La Vie de Bois sock. Also, I started buying yarn for my Christmas knitting/crocheting. I swore I wasn’t going to do it but, I came up with some really great projects and I’m starting early. I just hope the gifts are appreciated this year… sometimes I wonder if they are or not.

Monday’s How Does Your Garden Grow

The honeydew is slowly growing.

Honey Dew

The oregano still looks beautiful.

Oregano

The pumpkins have begun to grow around the front of the house. My guess is that it is it’s defense against the neighbor who keeps mowing over it.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin Bloom

This little gal is so pretty!

Pretty Blooms

And the apple “bush” has a whole bunch of apples on it. Probably not edible though.

Apples on the Apple "bush"

Monday’s How Does Your Garden Grow?

Last week I wasn’t for sure if the sprout was a honeydew or not but I’m certain this week that it is. There is still part of the seed coating hanging on the the leaves.

It is a honeydew!

The oregano should be in bloom sometime in the next week.

Oregano almost in bloom

Oh, and I caught these two love birds fireflies doing their thang.

Firefly Pron

The pumpkin army has begun the lawn take over.

The pumpkin army begins its take over

They’ll also be in bloom some time in the next week.

Pumpkin Blooms

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Notice I left out the “Monday” part of that title… because yes, it is again Tuesday and I’m posting. I have a good excuse though. We did a lot of house work this weekend and basically rearranged the entire house. We have a much bigger den and reclaimed a closet. Here’s the start of my yarn decorating in my corner of the den.

Yarn curtain

I ran out of clips or there would be much more yarn hanging there. I’m also leaving some room to add more hand spun yarn when I finish them.

Ok, on to the plants….

The pumpkins have more than doubled in size this week. I love when they start getting the little curly bits.

Pumpkins week 2

Pumpkin curly bits

The oregano has taken over the front half of this flower box.

Oregano

The roses are beginning to fade but the bush still looks wonderful.

Rose Bush

We had several big storms the past few days and this is what it did to my peonies.

Poor Peonies