I Love Lavender…

Last year I followed Bunty’s suggestion for growing cuttings of lavender and rosemary. The rosemary was a fail, but I got two out of 10 lavender cuttings to grow and I’m just amazed at this plant…

lavender 1Last week I took cuttings again and placed them in a pot as Bunty suggests…

lavender 2I’ve got a couple of different kinds in here.  Maybe, just maybe I will be able to start a lavender farm after all. 😉

Here is Bunty’s blog and her video, if any one is interested in trying this.  I have to tell you that I have never been able to grow lavender before, so this is a real miracle for me. If it worked for me, I know you can do it.

Lavender 3

Wildflowers

I know I’ve said over and over again here on this blog what a beautiful summer we are having here in Oklahoma, but today I was just in awe of the most incredible wildflowers growing everywhere. Never have I seen these growing here, and I don’t even know what they are called. I took my trusty bike and rode out to gather wildflowers for a bouquet…

bike

Let me tell you the story about this bike. It used to be my mother’s, but about 10 years ago when she was 84, she decided she was too old to ride the bike, plus where she lives the roads are all gravel. So we inherited the bike, and it sat behind the shop for years.  I have a nice mountain bike of my own, but just this spring we were thinking of getting rid of this little gem, and I decided to keep it. I ride it down to check on the chickens…I ride across our large pasture to pick tomatoes from our tomato patch. And, best of all I have to ride it uphill to get back to  my house and it’s quite a workout. In the basket I can carry eggs…or produce from the garden…or flowers. I have fallen in love with this little bike!

Speaking of tomatoes…we are getting lots of them…

tomatoes

I have been watching the Sedum Autumn Joy start it’s blossoming out. I love the way it starts out green, then white and then darkens to a rusted mauve color…

butterfly

I took this picture with my new camera… love the way the butterfly came out so clear…

So here is the finished bouquet of all wildflowers…

bouquet

white

purple

yellow

yellow flower

Does anyone know the names for these?

I took a photo of my lavender too…I love lavender!

lavender

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. 🙂

June Flowers

A bit late here…can’t believe it’s the last day of June, but I wanted to squeeze in some  pics of the flowers blooming this past week…

LavenderLavender

Daylily

daylilies copyDaylilies

salviaSalvia

rose

roses copyRoses

IMG_7593

And a bouquet including garlic scapes in the beautiful pitcher Sage gave me…

IMG_7811

A Little of the First Harvests

Here it is almost June…it is just starting to warm up and get muggy. The weather has really influenced the garden. We are just now harvesting the very first peas…

IMG_7345

Lettuce, parsley, cilantro, spinach, asparagus, peas and radishes…very disappointed in the radishes this year. They usually never fail me, but they are going to seed and not producing, I think it must be the weather….my dwarf Bok Choy did the same thing.

Ever seen red lettuce go to seed?

IMG_7309Or parsley?

IMG_7310

I’m hoping these two will reseed themselves in the same bed. They look so fabulous together…the deep red and the bright green.

Basil seeds sprouting…

IMG_7346

Oh, and lavender…

IMG_7304

I’m really excited about this lavender bush…I’ve had it for 3 years…It survived 2 years of  drought and now it is full of spikes that will blossom.

Moved the potatoes outside the greenhouse…

IMG_7307

Still comparing them to the ones in the row outside…

IMG_7317

The final analysis will be the potatoes, of course.

Eggplant that was transplanted in the greenhouse is finally taking off…

IMG_7312

Love a hint of color amidst all that is green…

IMG_7311

Ameraucanas = Blue Eggs

I have all kinds of things to share today. I’ll start with ordering chicks…I did it, I mean I ordered them from a hatchery!    A first for me. : )

I ordered Ameraucanas from Chicken Scratch Poultry in Illinois.

000_0005.2294908_std

Photo from Chicken Scratch Poultry

I have been studying about Aracaunas, Ameraucanas and Easter Egg hens for a while now, but the description of these birds from Chicken Scratch Poultry is what won me over…

Ameraucana “Blue egg layer”

 William Morrow line

Ameraucanas lay the most beautiful blue eggs I have ever seen.  This is NOT an easter egger.  Ameraucanas have a pea comb and black or slate colored legs and fluffy muffs or beards.  Chicks hatch with the cutest fluffy cheeks. These birds do quite well in cold weather.

Since my goal was to have dark copper eggs and blue eggs…this certainly got my attention…”the most beautiful blue eggs I have ever seen.”

100_0530.71130639_stdAnother photo from Chicken Scratch Poultry

In thinking about Ameraucanas I decided to make them the subject of my newest chicken painting…a Lavender Ameraucana…

Lav ameraucana

8″ x 10″ oil on canvas

And again this opened up a new world for me, because  I noticed while I was painting that Ameraucanas have very different combs called pea combs… This chart by Ross Simpson has a  very impressive display  of many different kinds of combs…

ChickenCombsRossSimpsonIllustration by Ross Simpson Found at CHICKENWIKI

Here is another chart…much simpler and easier to see…from Langston University Cooperative Extension website.

Comb_types_1

Then I found fern… 🙂

fern

You will fall in love with this story of fern the Ameraucana hen by Lauren Scheuer at Scratch and Peck.  And …Lauren has written a book coming out in March called Once Upon a Flock.  Can’t wait to read it!

9781451698701_p0_v3_s600

So, now I’m waiting for the phone call from the Chicken Scratch Poultry telling me my chicks are on the way…and I’m also waiting for a phone call from my son saying my new baby grand-daughter is on the way…any time now. 🙂

Cuttings of Rosemary and Lavender

My project this morning was to take cuttings of Rosemary and Lavender and grow them in this fantastic terra cotta pot.

I learned this nifty way of multiplying plants from the Bunty video on my first blog post about Lavender…

This is why this pot is so fantastically unique…

Because it is literally falling apart! But I love it!

I planted half of the pot with Rosemary cuttings…

And half with Lavender cuttings…

Speaking of literally falling apart…look at what my son was going to haul off to the trash, but instead I am reclaiming it for my new garden workbench…

I know this is hard to imagine, especially with this…

But my idea is to pull this metal off and sand down the gorgeous old wood and cut a hole for the terra cotta sink and I’m on my way to my dream…fixing my Problem. : )

Take a look at what someone did with this old table…I’m really not crazy…


Modern 50