Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where are the fireflies?

It's mid-June... why aren't they out yet?

I confess, I am always worried for them. You know how frogs are disappearing everywhere? I worry that fireflies will be next.

Maybe it's been too dry... if so, we had rain a couple days in a row, so maybe they'll be out soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Can't leaves comments, sheesh...

Rivenfae, I cannot leave ANY comments now, blogger won't even sign me in as anonymous, sheesh.

To answer your question, no, I don't think Grandfather Maple was trying to tell us anything. There were very high winds in the night and huge branches are down all over the city. I never knew before that people who live with 90 year old trees have a constant supply of free firewood!

Um.... oops?

It's not a tree, oh no indeed... just a branch. Grandfather Maple lost his central leader... and we have lost our clothesline and part of our fence.

That had to be an amazing wind to throw the branch sideways out of the tree and toss it across the yard. I am SO GLAD it didn't hit the roof! It didn't hurt the tomato it landed over, either, but alas, my fence, my clothesline!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My new garden experiment!

Hi, y'all! This blog post is for my friend Dylan, who very kindly sent me a free sample of his Microbe Booster! Dylan is an organic gardener and landscaper in North Carolina.

My new garden is next to my old compost pile. Now I'm not the kind of gardener who does the six-weeks-to-black-gold kind of speedy thing. I'm the kind of gardener who says "what the HECK am I gonna do with all these bazillions of STICKS?!" after the tree trimmer is done and the logs are cut up, and has the fabulous idea to throw them into the as-yet-empty new compost bin. And as the sticks pile up, and pile up, and PILE up, I say to myself with a certain amount of regret and dismay, "Wellllllllllll THAT'S gonna take a while..." and then I throw in what I can, a bag of leaves here, a bag of grass there, kitchen scraps and coffee grounds and last year's jack o lanterns, and let the snow sit on it all winter.

Eventually, the sticks receded below the top of the bin, compressed down until at this point the bin is actually about half full of compost ingredients which we have continued to add to.

You notice I did not say, "compost." I don't honestly know if there IS any compost, lol.... we can't stir the bin for the sticks which someone *furtive look* keeps throwing into it. I can still see the paper plates from last year as well as last week! Although the jack o'lanterns aren't visible now, so that's progress.

So. Now that you are warned about what kind of composter I am, you will understand that this new garden is on the site of the "new" compost pile, which was all the leaf remains and grass remains that got raked out of the yard before my neighbor mowed it the first time this spring. That compost pile sat there long enough to kill the grass--serendipitous, I assure you, lol--and then got moved to the new bins at the fence line.

The grass did not come back. The gardener eyed the space, and waited....

The grass did not come back. The gardener eyed the space, and waited.........

The grass did not come back. The gardener eyed the space, and waited...............

The grass did not come back. The gardener got out the garden claw! And then, yanno, she hired the neighbor to break HIS back tilling up the space and bordering it with concrete blocks. *cheeky grin*So you see the new garden as it begins. Yes, the Big Black Garden Galumpher was considering his Galumphetry. Yes, the gardener was... firm... about the garden being off limits.

No, it didn't work, and I had to smooth the soil out again. *rueful smile* But I digress. What you see here is the garden space clawed up, raked smooth, half a hundred bermuda grass roots and stolons pulled out and tossed willy-nilly on the lawn to dry up and DIE, and the microbe booster sprinkled evenly on the soil. I tried for a rate that was approximately the equivalent of one tablespoon per four inch pot, which used about half the bag. Then I raked it in and started planting: a cluster of Grandpa Ott morning glory seeds in the southeast corner of the bed, to climb on the compost fence; a few sunflower seeds in the southwest corner to shade the bed. Two "Classic" eggplants at approximately the middle of the bed, one each on the east and west sides. Two banana pepper seedlings in the center on the north side, flanked by Giles van Hees speedwell that Gryph rescued from the hardware store sans pot (and I repotted) on May 19. Yellow onion sets along the southeast and southwest sides, and "Frijole" pinto bean seeds all across the middle of the bed behind the peppers and speedwell. Garden purslane seed in the center of the bed.

Here it is, planted and watered. What an effort it took on this doggoned hot dry day!

You can see the plants better in this shot, the two eggplants and the speedwell, plus a bonus shot of the bulging compost pile fence. The peppers may or may not grow. At this point they are an entire MONTH old and yet have never done more than get their seedling leaves, so if anything happenes, I will DEFINITELY think it's due to the Microbe Booster! I had four more pots of them and when I realized that many pepper plants wouldn't fit in this garden, I decided to get all experimental about them. Two are now dusted with Microbe Booster, and all four have been watered again. I have no idea where I fit in four more pots of pepper plants--especially since I have two hot pepper plants to put in also!--but hey, at this point I will be surprised if they live at all, so I think they're a good candidate for the test.

Because I am so desperate for garden space, I've decided to use the compost pile as a raised bed, so I watered it. The run off filtered down through the pile and into the New Garden Experiment; the water was dark! I find that quite an encouraging sign. Maybe somewhere down in there, somewhere in the middle of that pile, compost is slowly happening after all! Tis a good and hopeful sign for whatever I plant in it.

The Big Black Garden Galumpher has come to lick my elbow and wag his tail, and gaze at me endearingly out of his big brown soulful eyes. It's suppertime for dogs. Good night to you all, and may you find new dreams to bring to fruition as I hope to bring my mine to frui---er--vegetablition?

Friday, June 3, 2011


This is Oklahoma, the first blooms. They took a LOT out of the shrub and it will need time to recover.