Friday, May 29, 2009


My poor, poor catnip.

Apparently, cats aren't the only critters who love catnip. I walked out to the garden a few days ago and noticed that my catnip, which has flourished unscathed for the past three years, was nearly gone! My immediate thought was to heap the blame on the neighborhood felines who frequently climb our privacy fence to hunt in our yard, but later that day I was standing at the backdoor and noticed a little ball of fur by the devastated catnip patch. Long ears, twitching nose, cute little cottontail... It was a rabbit! I've rarely seen them in our garden, but we always find bunny prints in the backyard snow during our winter nature walks. They've never bothered the catnip before though. It must have been a particularly lovely crop this year.

Buns love catnip. Who knew.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rain Romp

Yesterday was far too rainy for gardening, so:

LOVE warm springtime rains...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hot Peppers

Last year, my pepper crop was a dismal failure. I think I got only one measly pepper from the few plants that actually germinated, so this year I decided to add a little something to my scheme and see how the plants reacted. Unfortunately, our gardening budget for this year has been maxed out. I had to think of something for less than cheap... something free.

My version of the cloche: repurposed baby food jars. Don't mind the wonky spacing. In real life, they are actually evenly spaced, but the camera was at a weird angle.

I was hoping that my improvised cloches would provide enough heat retention that I 'd get a higher germination rate and faster growth of pepper plants than I did last year with no added protection. So far, the germination has been quicker but not higher. I'm leaving the jars over top of the seedlings until they outgrow them. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not Alone

I really didn't have any plans for Memorial Day yesterday beyond cleaning the house. (Can you believe I'm STILL decluttering this place!?) The Husband was working overtime, so the kids and I were on our own. Right away, though, I knew this day was going to be better than I'd planned...

About 8am, I walked onto our front porch and heard chickens clucking. I honestly thought I was going crazy, so I called the kids away from their play and asked them if they heard it too. Annie, my ever-attentive nature girl, heard what I heard. I suspected my neighbors on the other side of the street (I've long admired their garden) but didn't have the nerve to knock on their door at 8 in the morning. Callie spent the rest of the day clucking every song she sang. LOL!

Later on, I noticed the woman of the house I suspected of hiding the feathered friends planting some flowers out front, so I gathered the littles and headed her way. Apparently channeling Ned Flanders, I said something like "Excuse me, Neighbor" as my ice breaker. Yeah, I've been cooped up in this house alone for FAR too long. She was polite regardless as I awkwardly asked her if she was keeping chickens. I didn't want her to think I was going to be some nasty neighbor telling her that I was annoyed by their clucking or something.

Anyway, she confirmed that they had seven chickens and a duck in their backyard, Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds. I forgot to ask what type the duck was. I was astounded! I've been living here for nearly 4 years now and had never noticed this before! Neighbor invited us to go around the back and look at the chickens, so we did. Annie was especially thrilled with them, as I knew she'd be. We only stayed a minute or so, then headed back home because we were setting every dog in the neighborhood to barking.

I suddenly don't feel so alone.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What's Blooming in My Garden-- May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Be safe and keep our brave ones in your hearts.

If you thought I had it all figured out in my garden, you'd be wrong. I'm not actually sure what this flower is. It showed up right next to my lavender, and it's too pretty to pull.

The first flowers of sage (Salvia officinalis) in my garden. These blossoms are on a three-year-old plant that I started from seed. Yes, I'm a proud mama! :)

These lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) actually bloomed last week, but I forgot to photograph them because I'd cut them all and brought them indoors. They are one of the few flowers in my garden that I almost always cut because the scent reminds me of my grandmother.

Still blooming from last week: raspberries, onions, chives.