• Last spring my garden is alive after along winter sleep. Plenty of work to be done. Planted many vegetable seedlings grown in the greenhouse. Lettuce, carrot (sowed direct into the ground), collard, kale, Swiss chard, corn, pumpkin, potato, beet, summer squash, tomato and leek. The garden is doing great. Just yesterday I harvested several zuccinni. Right away I made zuccinni chocolate cake. It is always a joy to be able to harvest from your own garden and cook with the vegetable that you grow yourself. Gardening is an excellent exercise for body and mind. Regardless how big or small your garden is.
    Thank you for coming by.

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Autumn Harvest and October Gardening Calendar

Autumn Harvest

Late August through October is my hectic time in  the garden.  Harvesting every other day before frost arrive.  From the garden, juicy tomatoes, carrot, pumpkins, digging the potatoes, kale, mustard, chard, etc.  The orchard, apples, pears, plums, strawberries, raspberries and last month blueberries.

So far this year has been excellent, over abundance of everything.  That is good for my hard work.  (smile broadly)

October is the month to start preparing the garden for winter and next year planting.

  • Spade or till available organic matter such as tree leaves, into the empty spaces in the vegetable garden.
  • Mass plantings of one type or color of spring bulbs masses a more effective display than mixing them.  I’ve place an order for next hear bulbs.  Waiting with excitement.
  • Scrape loose bark from trunks, forks and main limbs of apple trees to eliminate sites where insects could winter.
  • Save seeds from vegetable and flower garden.  I have gathered cosmos and marigold.
  • Plant evergreens now and winter rains will do the watering.
  • Dig and divide rhubab (should be done about every four years).
  • Rake and destroy disease infested leaves. apple, cherry and rose., etc.
  • Harvest squash and pumpkins.  Store in dry area 55F. to 60F.
  • Dig and store potatoes in a cool, dry and dark location so they don’t turn green,
  • Clean and oil gardening tools, coat with handles with raw linseed oil to prevent cracking.
  • Mulching around azaleas, rhododendrons and roses will keep weeds from invading and will protect the roots that are close to the surface from severe cold.
  • Correct any drainage problems in the yard before the winter rains begin.
  • Devide crowded perennials.
  • Harvest sunflower heads and hang them in a warm dry area to dry the seeds.
  • Shake off dead rose petals, allowing hips to form.  Plants will then wind down and go dormant.
  • Early October begin manipulating light to force Christmas cactus to bloom in late December,
  • Store garden supplies, fertilizers in safe, dry place out of reach of children.
  • Ripen green tomatoes indoor.
  • Clean and paint greenhouses and cold frames for plant storage and winter growth.

 Happy Ggardening……

 

For the compost and vegetable garden

 

 

Flowers to convey your feelings

 

Roses is not the only flowers with special meanings.  Other variety flowers have the same meanings just like it.  In the Victorian era they would use flowers to convey their feelings. 

  • Lavender             Devotion
  • Calla Lily              Elegance
  • Rosemary            Remembrance
  • Yellow Tulip        Memory     
  • Clematis                Unchanged for eternity
  • Pink Hydrangea Remembrance
  • Red rose                Love, passion, respect, courage
  • White rose            Innocence, purity, secrecy, reverence
  • Purple Iris            Promise
  • Yellow Rose         Joy, friendship, freedom, Highest mark of distinction
  • Sweet Pea              Meet me
  • White Iris               My compliments
  • Blue Salvia             Thinking of you
  • White Carnation  Admiration
  • Cream Rose            Thoughtfulness, charm, graciousness
  • Green Hydrangea Devotion
  • Pink rose                   Happiness, gratitude, appreciation, admiration
  • Ranunculus              Dazzled by your charm
  • Wisteria                      Welcome, steadfast, adventure, playfulness

Happy gardening…….

May Gardening Calendar

I have been so busy lately my blogging is slightly slow.   Here is a list of what to do in the garden for this month.

  • Fertilize rhododendron and azaleas;  remove spent blossoms.
  • Plant chrysanthemums for fall color
  • Plant dahlias in mid-May
  • Control insects in vegetables.  Control can involve hand removal, placing barrier screen over newly planted rows or spraying with appropriate materials.
  • Tiny holes in foliage and shiny, black beetles on tomato, beets, radishes, and potato indicate flea beetle attack  Treat with Neem, rotenone or use nematodes for larval stage.
  • Fertilize roses and control rose diseases such as mildew.

Prevent root maggots when planting cabbage family, onions, and carrots, by covering with row covers, screens, or by applying appropriate pesticides.

Happy Gardening !

Remembering My Garden Companion

Spencer was his name,  a Labrador Retriever trained to retrieve motionless ducks in the water.  But we never used him to retrieved ducks, instead Spencer became my constant companion everywhere, including the garden.

He loved to roam around the large garden, especially under a huge old maple tree.  Once awhile a squirrel would challenge Spencer for a hide and seek, which of course made him excited.  Barking furiously at the squirrel, running around the tree chasing the elusive creature until he tired of it.  Feeling exhausted and thirsty, he trotted straight to the pond for a drink.   Then Spencer find a peaceful spot to rest until the next adventure .    He also enjoyed chasing butterflies and small birds too, of course he never was able to catched any of them.  They were to quick for Spencer.

When the fruit season arrived, Spencer was over the moon.  Lots of food to eat.  He would sniff each fruit for ripeness.  One apple or pear was not enough, he ate many of them until he could not eat any more.

Spencer was a gentle, sweet, loving dog,  he enjoyed car rides and meeting people.  He was a people dog.  Gradually old age stole all his exuberance.  No more chasing  anything his energy was not there anymore.  On January 2000, my beloved garden companion heart gave out.  I felt heartbroken lost a friend who gave me joy everyday of my life.  My husband and I decided under the old maple tree would be a suitable final resting place for Spencer.  He would loved that as this area was his favorite playground.

Until we meet again……….

Here is a lovely poem to remember my garden companion.

RAINBOW BRIDGE  (author unknown)

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.  There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so the can run and play together.  There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.  The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing;  they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.  His bright eyes are intent;  His eager body quivers.  Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.  The happy kisses rain upon your face;  your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent rom your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together………

Source:

http://www.petloss.com

Dexter, our beloved Labrador age 11 passed away on September 27, 2010.   He spent one year in the Labrador foster home because no one want to adopt him.  We came along to adopt Dexter who was 8 month old, full of energy, playful, with a enormous appetite. 

We gave Dexter lots of love and a wonderful life, in spite of his health condition toward later in life.   The orchard was his favorite place to roam.   When the fruit trees heavy with apples, pears, plums and cherries,  Dexter would trot from tree to another looking for ripe fruit by sniffing.  Then, he pulled the fruit with such force the branch shook violently.  Naturally several would fall to the ground and he would gobbled them up too.  Harvest season was his favorite time of the year.  Not only eating was his passion, chasing squirrels, birds, occasional deer who came close to his territory.    He was an adventurous dog, enjoy roaming around the property.   We burried Dexter  near our other Labrador,  Spencer who passed away 11 years ago.

We gave you a wonderful stable home,   in return you gave us joy.  Have a good journey Dexter,  we will meet again……….

Rosemary and Thyme

 

 
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis), my favorite herb.  I added to chicken, pork, fish, soups, stocks, and sauces.  Also, it gives the home a wonderful aromatic scent.  Simply clip off small leaves and place them in a potpourri container and brew for a fresh outdoors scent or cut stems and use in floral arrangement.  In the bathroom, I used it for a soothing and aromatic bath, tie on herb bouquet (rosemary, and lavender) to the faucet with a string, water will pour over the sprigs as it fills the tub.  Lavender will calm the mind, rosemary a light astringent stimulate and  rejuvenate.  The sprig will last for about two weeks.
The rosemary in my herb garden is the Tuscan Blue variety.  Rigid upright branches to 6 feet tall grow directly from base of plant.  Leaves are rich green above, grayish underneath.  Flowers blue violet 1/4 to 1/2 inch bloom in winter and spring.  I notice that the flower attract birds and bees.  Plant in a sunny location, endures poor soil, but good drainage is a must.  I fertilize every spring with compost tea and prune lightly in the fall.

Ancient time England rosemary were wound around church pillars and branches were placed on altars.  I wonder if they still do in this modern day?  Another folklore I read, a sprig placed under the pillow would repel evil spirits and bad dreams.  Dried rosemary was laid in the bed linen to insure faithfulness.  Whether this is true or not it remain to be seen.

 
Thyme (Thymus) another wonderful herb. Excellent for meat, stuffings, soups, and shellfish.  foliage usually heavily scented.  Attract bees.  Grow in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil.  I prune in fall  to encourage growth.  You can also propagate from cuttings taken early in the summer. 
 
This herb plant started from seed,  slow to germinate,  I thought it will never make it.  Now it has grown large and sturdy.  A common variety Thymus Vulgaris,  shrubby perennial  6-12 inch high narrow to oval, fragrant.  Tiny lilac flower in dense whorls, June and July.  Good container plant.
Bouquet Garni:  2 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 rib celery, 1 sprig marjoram, 1 dried bay leaf, and 1 sprig rosemary.  Cut the celery into two equal pieces about 2 1/2 inch length, and place the herbs between them.  When tied securely, this makes a firm little bundle of aromatics.  Good for stocks and soups. 
Herbes de Provence: 
3 tablespoons dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
3 tablespoons dried savory
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
                                                                     1 teaspoon dried basil
Combine all ingredients.  Mix well and spoon into small jar.
Makes 3/4 cup

Happy gardening…..

 
 

April Gardening In Oregon

Fertilize the lawn and let spring rains carry the fertilizer into the soil.

Bait for slugs, clean up hiding places for slugs, sowbugs and millipedes.

Do not cut foliage of spring flowering bulbs for bouquet.

Prune and shape spring blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.

Prepare garden soil for spring planting.  Mix generous amount of organic materials and other amendments.

Apply commercial fertilizers, manure or compost to cane and trailing berries.

Control rose diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew.  Prune ornamentals for air circulation.

Cut and remove weeds from near the garden to remove sources of plant virus diseases.

Spray for apple scab, cherry brown rot.

Prepare raised beds in areas where cold soils and poor drainage are a continuing problem.

Plant these vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, leeks, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach turnips.

Wild Birds Frolicking In The Snow

 

 

These wild birds (Juncos and Towhees) were lucky enough to find food in a snow storm.  Oregon covered in snow for several days .  A winter wonderland seldom seen in the Pacific Northwest, except, of course in higher altitude.  Rain is common here.  I captured this photo from the kitchen window with a telephoto lens.  It was a joy to watched these birds enjoying their winter feast.