Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:32

Hooray for May!

Written by Patty

Tulips

You guys:  May is totally winning right now!  It might be my favorite month (June is a close second).  After a treacherous winter it is exilerating to see everything ALIVE and GREEN!  The air is perfumed with lilacs. Their scent is so intense it meanders into my house, filling the rooms with their sweetness!  The trees are full, some with vivid blooms others stretching out with shiny green foliage.  

And now we can PLANT!  Time to throw down some bills at the local nursery to fill pots with colorful annuals and boisterous tropicals to set out on decks and patios.  Fill in bare areas in garden beds with perennials, splurge on a new shrub or tree, just get out there and enjoy the season!

potted annuals

Oh, and of course, the vegetable garden.  Long gone are the nights we fear frost might bite us in the....(well, not that long ago but I'm on a roll here) so get those veggies in the ground!  So far I've sown seeds of four varities of letucce, cucumbers and pole beans.  The cucumbers and beans are a first for me.  I also planted some beautiful heirloom tomato plants and an Anaheim pepper (thanks, homie!).  I have room for a few more things so I'll be on the hunt this week!  

Oh, May, how I love thee.  I waited and waited and you're finally here and it couldn't be any better!  

How are you enjoying this glorious month?  Please share!  

~P

Monday, 19 May 2014 15:38

Grow

Written by Patty

Monday, 24 February 2014 16:22

Gardening Awakening

Written by Patty

Yaaawwnnn.  Strrreeetchhh.  Although the temps are still frigid it is time for me to rise from my winter gardening slumber. It's mid March and spring will eventually show up even though it feels like a far off dream right about now (the forecast is abismal).  So, I'm going to do a few jumping jacks, some shadow boxing and embark on the gardening season (cue Rocky music)!  

Okay, I need a list of things I need to do: 

1.  Purchase seeds - My favorite place to order seeds is from Renee's Garden

2.  Cold frame - My husband is going to build us a cold frame.  I've wanted one for years.  This will be so handy when it comes to growing seedlings and cool-weather crops like lettuce and greens.  So stoked!

3.  Prune Trees and Shrubs - Late winter (February and March) is best for pruning most woodies before they new growth begins to shoot out.  It also helps to see the form of the tree or shrub without the foliage to get a good idea of what branches need to be pruned.  

4.  Plan out vegetable garden - Clearly this should be done before number one but you get the idea.  

5.  Start seedlings - I usually do this on my underused dining room table.  Start most seedlings 10-12 weeks before the last average frost date but be sure to refer to the instructions on the seed packet.   I usually start in mid March just because I can't hold out much longer than that.  

Spring is around the corner and I am going to be ready!  

~P

 

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 19:06

Wordless Wednesday

Written by Patty

Fall Color

 

Fall Color - close-up

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 10:45

Go Go Greens!

Written by Patty

 Lettuce

Awwww, ya!  I just harvested my second crop of these beautiful lettuce greens.  I'm sorry to admit I cannot remember this variety (bad gardener, bad!), but I will dig up that information eventually.  Right now I'm just concerned with making a crisp and delicious salad, the perfet lunch for a muggy July day.

Don't think you can grow lettuce?  You are wrong, my friend.  It is really easy:  just sow and grow.  I put two rows at the end of my veggie garden where it gets the most shade.  I sowed the seeds, watered and that's about it.  You can usually get two crops in one growing season (at least in Iowa) before it gets too hot. 

Now that I know how simple growing lettuce is I'm going to grow a couple different varieties this fall.  You should too!  By the way, my favorite place to purchase seeds is Renee's Garden.  Check out her site.

Happy gardening!

~Patty

 

 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:27

Wordless Wednesday

Written by Patty

Monday, 13 May 2013 19:11

Mother's Day Happiness!

Written by Patty

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I spent it doing what I love most:  GARDENING!  It was a breath of fresh air to get out and get my hands dirty!  It was a touch chilly still this weekend, but I simply. could. not. wait. any. longer.  My darling husband, who knows me well, took me to a fantastic local greenhouse where I strolled the isles carefully selecting my plants.  I focused on the veggies and herbs this trip because I finally have my very own veggie bed - woot woot!

I was lucky and the area where we decided to grow veggies was already laid out, but it was covered in yucky mulch.  (I'm not the only one that despises mulch, right?)  

Here is a dreadful before picture:  

 

Not a huge area, but a good starting point for our first year.  That messy glob in the middle was a peony that I pulled out, divided and transplanted in another bed.  

My generous father-in-law dropped of a load of compost.  I get REALLY excited about compost. I love the stuff...seriously, I do.  Click here If you want to read more about how much I LOVE compost and a really easy method of composting.  

Compost

I know a lot of people believe in tilling and it might be necessary in bigger gardens, but given my simplistic style of gardening we just took the ole' garden fork to the existing soil to break it up.  Then we laid the compost on top, a nice thick layer and worked that into the top layer.  

Now the fun part:  planting!  Again - to keep things uncomplicated I decided on a few varieties of tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, and three varieties of peppers.  I also incorporated various herbs in the other existing beds around the back patio.  And voila!  

And of course I had help watering.  

Cal Helping on Mother's Day 2013

So excited to have my very own vegetable garden bed.  It was my perfect way to spend Mother's Day!

Hope all you mamas had a great day too!  

And tell me what divine things you're planting this year!  I'd love to hear from you.  

Patty

 

Friday, 03 May 2013 01:24

Say it Ain't Snow!

Written by Patty

This is what I was doing three days ago:

 April 30th

A little fun in the sun (80 degrees!) at the Iowa Cubs game.  

 

And, today it looks like this:

 

Boooo!!!!   

 

When spring returns, so will I.  

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 04 April 2013 14:46

Spring is Here, It's Really Here!

Written by Patty

Look what I found!  Well, truth be told, my father-in-law spotted them:  adorable little Crocus.  What a sight for sore eyes!  These are the first signs of life in our yard this year and a tell-tale symbol that spring is FINALLY here!  Woot Woot!

crocus

 

 

Monday, 01 April 2013 18:12

Hello, April!

Written by Patty

early hybrid tulip

I'm baaaack!

Okay, it's been almost a YEAR since I've posted!  Pathetic, I know.  And I really don't have time to get into the details of my blogging slackerness, but we've been through a lot of changes the past year, the main one is that we moved.  Not a major move, just across town but the entire process took almost a year and it was exhausting.  The other huge factor in my VFTG neglect was my job that pays me real money.  There have been some changes and my position is WAY busier than it was a year ago.  And like I said, that job actually pays me real-life cizash, so I figured it should take priority.  

BUT, I love this blog and since I haven't been taking advantage of it I can feel myself slipping from my passion of gardening and horticulture so I am putting it back on the priorities list!  

Plus the new house brings like a bazillion gardening opportunities and decisions.  It will be the perfect platform for me to utilize this blog.  

And now it is April!  This Iowa winter was particularly harsh, so I'm so stoked that April is here and hopefully it will bring warmer weather.  There have been no signs of life in my yard yet, but I know I don't have much longer to wait.  

Happy spring everyone!  

Patty

 

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