Friday, April 28, 2017

This iris takes the gold

About a year and a half ago, I transplanted some white and some gold iris rhizomes that I had gotten from Mom.  The first spring after that, the white irises bloomed, but the gold ones were using all their energy establishing themselves, I guess.  This spring the white ones were frozen in the bud by the March cold snap, so I was especially gratified when the gold ones, which bloom much later, showed fat buds.
I remember during my growing-up years, some of our "bathroom reading material" included either seed catalogues or electric co-op magazines which featured pages with many different varieties of bearded irises or gladiolus.  It was fun to look at the different colors and patterns and the creative names that were given to each.  I don't actually know the name of this bearded iris, but it is certainly a beauty in my mixed border.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


We had rain earlier this week, starting Sunday and going into Tuesday morning.  It was quite heavy Monday night, and that resulted in some local flooding.  Now the areas downstream are dealing with all the runoff, and there are some rivers flooding to our southeast. 
A few years ago, my sister gave me a jumbo rain gauge.  I bring it in during the winter, and I had just put it back outside last week.  There is a bright orange float which shows the water level.  Here you can see the float sitting at the empty bottom.
When I looked out Monday morning, a little vegetation obscured my view of the orange float, but I could see the gauge above about the 1" mark, so I knew we had less than about 1" at that point. 
Tuesday morning after it stopped raining, I glanced out.  I knew the float had to be high enough to be visible above the vegetation, but I didn't see it.  I went out and took a closer look.  No float in sight.
What?  You might have guessed--the entire gauge was full of water and the float was resting under the collar of the green funnel at the top.  
I can't say how much rain we got, but it's safe to say it was over 5 1/2".
We are in a low-lying area, so our crawl space was flooded, but the good news is that our soil drains very quickly.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Flower seeds

Not too long ago, my son bought a used book.  The book was one on which a recent movie was based.  In the book were a couple of bookmarks advertising the movie.  The bookmarks had paper butterflies that were embedded with wildflower seeds.
I'm not likely to read the book nor see the movie, but I did plant the seeds yesterday.

I covered them lightly.  I marked them with stones because I might sow some more wildflowers in this area, too, and I will want to know which flowers are which.  This is an area near the septic drain field where I have spent quite a bit of time removing briars and honeysuckle.
I also planted some marigold seeds yesterday that I had gotten from Mom's marigolds.  We are supposed to get quite a bit of rain, so I thought if I planted them between 2 sheets of bath tissue, that might keep them from being washed away.  I guess we'll see later on.  (One of the biggest problems might be distinguishing the marigold seedlings from the ragweed seedlings that volunteer everywhere.)

I like planting flower seeds.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Garden update

I've been doing a considerable amount of digging lately.  Here are some updates.

the peas...
the potatoes...


peppers, elephant garlic, and 4 squash hills...

three tomatoes...
(Thanks to Caleb for stopping by the hardware store and buying the tomato and pepper plants.  It's pretty cool to have a son who will call on the phone and read off the available varieties.)
...and some asparagus

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sprouts of potatoes and peas emerging

I have some potato and pea sprouts emerging.  I'm always thrilled to see the new growth.  The 'Adirondack Blue' potato sprouts emerged as a blackish purple color.  I noticed today they have greened up considerably, but this is what they looked like a couple of days ago.

The 'Kennebec' potatoes are coming through also.
My pea seeds had been sitting on a counter for two years, so I wondered how the germination would be, but it looks like I've got a pretty good stand coming on.
It's always a pleasure to see new leaves.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Rocky Cross Band covers "Folsum Prison Blues"

The band Caleb plays with did "Folsum Prison Blues" which features Caleb on the guitar.
I remember listening to this song on Daddy's eight-track tape.  I'm sure it brought back memories for the senior members of the audience at the Red Barn.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A gravel or a frog?

Sometimes when I see an out-of-place gravel in the yard, I wonder if the kids next door threw it over (or if a gravel caught the edge of a car tire and was tossed into the yard).  Today, I saw what at first looked like a gray gravel atop the stub of a dead limb I had sawed off.  How in the world could they have thrown a gravel over the fence and had it land just so?  Aha, it was not a gravel at all; it was a gray tree frog.

Doesn't this look a bit like a gray granite gravel?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Asparagus with lunch

Yesterday, I noticed a stalk of asparagus coming up in my weedy asparagus bed.  I also saw a wild stalk that had self seeded near the camellia bush.  It was tall and rank.  I made a mental note to cut the stalk in the bed first thing this morning.  For lunch, with a serving of leftover lasagna, I had the asparagus stalk which I chopped up and cooked in the microwave with a little butter and sea salt.
In other garden news, I had some leftover seed potatoes, and decided to plant them where the compost pile had been a year or so ago.  The area was about 3' x 5' which was perfect for the 18 seed pieces I had left.  You can see the organic matter from the compost has given this bed a little darker color than the first bed I planted.  I hope the potatoes thrive here.
3' x 5' bed where compost pile had been 

where butterbeans were last year