August Reflections

As I sit here and type reflecting on this August soon to be over, the fragrance of fresh picked basil fills the air around me… makes me think of pesto and fresh tomato mozzarella pizza with lots of basil leaves scattered on top…absolutely my favorite kind of pizza. : )

Rosemary and oregano in the bouquet on the table…love herbs…

bouquet

Who would have guessed that?  With a title like Rosemary, Lavender and Thyme…

Rosemary

Love zinnias too… They are prolific right now…

zinnia

Sedum, hosta flowers, liriope, lamb’s ears…

sedum

Oat grass in a favorite blue glazed ceramic pot…

oat

Love the colors…

I’m listening to a daughter chopping cucumbers and making bread and butter pickles…We have such an abundance of cukes this year…it’s crazy…

Painted a bouquet of gorgeous flowers from a photo blog…couldn’t help myself…so fun…so many incredible colors…

3 bouquet

The temps are more normal for August in Oklahoma…HOT, but for the first time since I’ve lived here, I’m actually going to miss summer…unbelievable!

I still wear my boots, long sleeves and trusty gloves to go pick tomatoes in the field to avoid chiggers and ticks, but this year incredibly I’ve only found one tick on me and that was last night and I’ve only had a mere 6 chigger bites… again unbelievable!

gloves

Our charming neighbors stop by for a visit…a mama deer and her three fawns…

deer

They have been leaving my garden alone…I think the glittering of the shiny CDs really works to keep them at bay…

Seeds of kale and bok choy started in pots and lettuce, spinach, parsley started out in the garden…going to plant radishes, broccoli and cabbage a little later today. It’s soon to be fall…

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Vibrant Garden Colors

I’m going to have some fun with colors today. Have you ever stopped to think about all the colors in plants? Thinking of God creating all these vibrant tones and varying delightful pallets fascinates me.

Two bloggers have really inspired me with their colors…one  has a page she calls Color Scouting…I’ve decided  to try it out with the bouquet I made this morning in my favorite pitcher/vase….

august bouquet

I have also been inspired by two incredible florists who weekly publish a photo of gorgeous bouquets that they create called The Seasonal Bouquet Project.

This morning  I picked golden rod on my walk by the lake and added wisteria vines, rosemary, salvia, zinnias, sunflowers and a little bit of liriope.

august bouquet2

And here is the palette…

palette copyHow fun!

A couple more close-ups…

august bouquet3

august bouquet4

Don’t you love the colors?

Lots of colorful veggies too…  Today I picked two kinds of eggplant, beans, Anaheim peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.

harvest

Look at that vibrant red…

carrots

And orange…pumpkins are orange too…

pumpkins

Our first watermelon.,, it’s not very big, but it doesn’t seem to be growing any larger and it did give a hollow sound when I knocked on it.  It weighed 8 pounds…

watermelon

Do you know how many different shades of green there are? Did you notice that the Moon and Stars watermelon has yellow spots on the leaves too?

Hope you are enjoying all the beautiful colors of the summer garden…This incredible summer…at least it is for us out on the prairie…where the wind comes sweeping down the plain and the hawks make lazy circles in the skies…they really do… 🙂

Garden Update and Savings on a Fall Seed Collection

I’ve been trying to do a garden update, but by the time I’m ready to post the pictures I’ve taken, everything has grown and my pics are outdated…

My pumpkins are twice as big as this now…and already turning orange…

Pumpkin

Moon and Stars watermelons…I’ve always wanted to grow these and I’m really excited to see how they turn out…

Moon and Stars

We’re starting to get quite a few cucumbers now, but this one was huge…

cucumber

Eggplant…

Eggplant

Last week I picked two of these and made a wonderful Eggplant Parmesan with homegrown eggplant and basil…

Eggplant Parmesan

That was the first layer…now the second…

Eggplant Parmesan2

And finally a crumb topping made out of Ezekiel bread…

Eggplant Parmesan3

Let me know if you want the recipe. 🙂

This morning one of my daughters, the interior design painter daughter, showed me the cover of the new Sherwin Williams publication called STIR…

Stir

There is an article inside about  Farmer John who has an heirloom seed company out in California and she gave me his website info…

sustainableseedco.com

Once at the website I was surprised to see his reasonably priced seeds of amazing heirloom varieties and this Fall Garden Collection

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I love supporting farmers like this, don’t you?

It’s Been a Year…

It’s been a year since I started this blog. What reminded me of this fact was seeing the cicada killers buzzing frantically around my garden trying to scare me, like I blogged about  last August…

gulliver

I think this drawing  looks a lot like me… It especially shows how I feel most of the time when I go outside to do anything…It’s a war zone most of the time…

Here’s me, braid and everything…just like the top pic, except I don’t have any shoes like that 😉  I either wear flip-flops or barn boots depending…

me

And here is the cicada killer that was resting on my basil after trying to scare me this morning…

cicada killer

This one wasn’t the only one. There were about 10 of them. So can you see the resemblance?

So they are back, but so far they have not turned my garden into a mine field, in other words they haven’t started burrowing yet. Here’s a great little video so you can see what they are like…

This year my greatest enemies so far are these sweet looking deer…

deer

Three spotted fawns and one mama have made their home in my gardens. Amazing how cute these creatures are…but how destructive they can be. I think they have delayed both my bean crop and my cucumbers by eating on the new leaves as they were beginning to grow. My solution was to hang CDs and human hair around the garden, and it seems to be working. 🙂

photo3

Comparing last year to this year weather wise…we were having a drought of epic proportions last year and the temperatures were over 100 degrees for 6 weeks. This year we are having the most beautiful summer ever…plenty of rain and cooler temperatures.

Last year I was starting a fall garden. I started this blog as a type of journal to keep track of what worked and what didn’t.

I planted Lavender, only 4 plants survived, but they are still growing strong and I started a couple plants from cuttings…

Lavender

I can’t believe I propagated this lavender from tiny little cuttings…

The Parsley was amazing in the greenhouse, but this year I have none, as it has all gone to seed. I still hope it will reseed itself in that same bed in the greenhouse where it thrived so well.

I need to replace about 6 Asparagus plants that didn’t make it, and actually it would probably be good to make another bed to have enough asparagus to feed our large family. Right now the asparagus bed desperately needs weeding. 😦

asparagus

Basil always does well. This year the basil went in a little late, but I have planted lots of plants so we will be able to make and freeze pesto.

basil

This is the first year ever that I have not had a lot of chigger bites and it could be due to the unusually late freeze we had here in May, the one that killed all my tomato plants, but also made this summer the best ever. We haven’t had a lot of Squash Bugs either, and come to think about it I haven’t seen any Bees…That’s not good…

Last year I began to work out the  Problem in the Greenhouse. Even though I made some progress there is still a lot to be done.

greenhouse

That’s it for today. Hope you all are having a great summer. 72 followers in the past year… who would have thought, and it has been so nice to make friends with you all… I’ve learned so much from you about gardening and raising chickens and I’ve laughed and I’ve cried and I’ve prayed…Hugs to all of you. 🙂

Spotted Cucumber Beetles

Just when I think things are calming down in the garden, just when we have had some wonderful rain showers that have finally moistened the drought encrusted  ground…in come the Cucumber Beetles…

They seem to love the yellow pumpkin flowers…

Which makes sense that Mother Earth News recommends yellow sticky traps…so here we go again. I need to buy a good supply of these. They also said poultry works well. If we had our chickens I’d let them have a heydey in the garden today! Instead I sprayed them all with Dawn dish soap and I don’t think that is going to faze them.

Almost ready to harvest our first pumpkins and post a picture of them next to the mums by the front door…but until then here is a picture of the beautiful fall wreath we made…borrowed from Tera’s blog Color 365

Guess Whose Coming to Dinner?

This morning as my daughters were leaving for work, they called me to come outside and take a look. Down in the pasture by the volleyball court stood a menagerie of deer and wild turkey… I grabbed my camera…

And of course they began to run the closer I got…

I counted 8 deer and 15 wild turkey. I can’t imagine what these critters could do to my garden. Deer can jump almost any fence and the turkey can fly over it.

I harvested the last carrots, and sprinkled some more DE on the kale and lettuce…

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Deer and wild turkey for dinner anyone??? I wonder when bow season begins?

Cucumbers

I’m really rejoicing tonight.  My hero husband has successfully killed all the cicada killers, except one… and he knows his time is limited!

And… I saw a bumble bee on the zinnias.

After a horrendous week of battling these creatures that made it impossible to step inside the garden, we can take a big sigh of relief and get busy repairing the damage they have done.

I finally was brave enough to harvest some cucumbers and cut some basil…

 

The little squash plants are looking good. The pumpkin leaves look fabulous, but I’m not seeing any fruit. I pulled out the remaining very sad and wilted tomato plants. Peppers are still doing well. As soon as the temperature gets below 100, I’ll plant the lettuce, spinach, and kale. I hope that is soon. : )