turdacres


fall garden = dahlia time!
October 11, 2013, 7:41 pm
Filed under: dahlias, favorite plants, gardening, goats | Tags: , , , , ,
Dahlias spilling over onto the walk

Dahlias spilling over onto the walk

I do love me some dahlias! This year they seemed to take forever to get going. Maybe I planted them a bit late? Maybe I didn’t give them too much love. Certainly I didn’t spend too much time staking them!

Oh well, they’re still nice.

dahlias and verbena bonariensis

dahlias and verbena bonariensis

Even with a half finished pathway. These orange ones  on the left are Maarn.

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This one is new this year. Pretty huh? Might be Awe Shucks? But I’m too lazy to bend down and look at the tag.

This one is snowflake

This one is snowflake

IMG_0684This is some little sweetie romaine lettuce, with strawberries.

fall kale planting

fall kale planting

Here’s some red russian kale. Yum! Along with a container of soapy water that I use to capture stink bugs. Not so yum.

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And here is one sweet goat, having a rest under the big oak tree. She’s so cute! She likes this spot because it’s the highest in the paddock. Silly goats with their height thing. She’s also a digger and she’s made a little sand pit over there , dug up all the grass.

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ta da! peonies are out!

Yes, so in the end spring decided to arrive. Abalone Pearl is the first of the peonies to open. So pretty!

Abalone Pearl Peony

Abalone Pearl Peony

It’s been a busy time for us, but we did get the tomatoes in. This year, most will be in the front yard bed where the crazy pumpkins were last year.

Tomato bed, front yard

Tomato bed, front yard

New this year is a resting spot in the garden. I bought this chaise at the end of the season last year, and it’s a nice place to recover! Right next to the rosa rugosa, and the nice strawberry flowers.

Chaise in the "u"--espalier apples surround it.

Chaise in the “u”–espalier apples surround it.

Everyone is working really hard –the goats eating new shoots as fast as they can, and we’re also weeding like crazy trying to get ahead of the game.

Roppongi finding good stuff--outside the garden fence!

Roppongi finding good stuff–outside the garden fence!

Roppongi likes to stick close to the fence while we’re weeding–she really appreciates all the good stuff we throw over at her. 2 foot tall dandelions yum!

It’s a beautiful time of year here and we’re so happy to be back outside!



green moldovan tomato and tomato harvest news
August 4, 2010, 12:51 pm
Filed under: favorite plants, gardening, tomatoes | Tags: , , ,

Well things are now officially booming on the tomato front. We’re struggling with assorted ugly looking tomato vines, but so far the tomatoes are coming out well. Someone is eating them off the vines which is a problem, but we have enough to share.

Here’s the largest one so far. 1.5 pounds! It’s a green moldovan.

one huge tomato!


It’s ripe when it turns a lightish green/ yellow color. The insides are green and they have a fruity limey kind of taste. Yum. It’s a winner this year. And it’s been the most productive so far I think.

Here’s how they look in a sandwich.

Ahhh finally a tomato sandwich!

I’m trying to keep track of our harvest this year. It’s really been the last few days that we’ve been picking a lot (since August 1–we only had a few before then). So far we’re up to…drum roll please…47.54 pounds!

That breaks down to:

Paul Robeson –14.38
Green Moldovan–12.25
Marzano–5.62
Japanese Black Trifele–5.3
Big Beef–3.62
Cour di Bue–3
Striped Roman–2
Pink Grapefruit–1.37

It’s interesting to see how they’re coming in. They are tending to ripen faster at the top of the hill where the plants get the most sun. The Marzanos are really the most blighty and bedraggled looking. Of course I don’t include the Sungold cherry which is still booming. There’s a lot that are being eaten partially–and I can’t find any hornworms out there. There are also sad signs of a fattie (groundhog) or some other night creature in there. He toppled a tall sunflower and ate all the leaves off, devoured a dahlia and also trampled through the potato patch to get to his preferred treats. Sigh. It’s always something new.



monarchs in the garden
July 25, 2010, 7:53 am
Filed under: bees, favorite plants, gardening | Tags: , , ,

hold still little buddy

I am always excited to see monarch butterflies. They remind me of being a kid–didn’t everyone learn about monarchs back in the day? I don’t see them so much anymore.

The other morning I was out admiring the wavy plot of purple flowers out back–lots of anise hyssop in bloom–and a monarch came in for a snack. They’re so flittery. It swooped and dodged, and was generally very difficult to capture with the camera. The other butterflies out there were much more amenable to getting their pictures taken, but the monarch not so much.

hey i'm pretty too--take my picture!

And while I was trying to get a good shot of the monarch, another monarch arrived–and the two of them chased each other around swooping way up and coming back around the garden. They were just having fun, I swear!

I’ve been planting up a butterfly feast–lots of anise hyssop, purple coneflowers, verbena bonariensis. This year I’ve added some swamp milkweed and butterfly weed. The hyssop is so tall –it’s year three–and it’s over my head! The bumblebees love it. There’s a bee balm patch that is also in bloom now–I didn’t plant it but it’s hanging in there, and I hope it takes off a bit more.

bee balm along the driveway

I’m busy planting all these pollinator friendly plants around, and it seems to be working. There are so many butterflies and bees. The honey bees don’t seem to flock to these plants though. I’m planting some things specially for them too.

I came across this cool project–people can register their monarch friendly gardens as part of a monarch waystation project. It’s neat to think of all of these little plots across the map–little points of refuge for the road weary travellers.



tomatoes–the 2010 season
July 16, 2010, 10:33 pm
Filed under: favorite plants, gardening, it lives! | Tags:

It is a pretty strange thing to wake up at night worrying about tomatoes. I listen for any night-time rain with trepidation and a big sense of foreboding. Isn’t that weird? I break into a sweat and wring my hands nervously. I inspect and re-inspect the rows, looking looking. Is that it? I google images of it to compare. I worry.

But I mean I’m not a farmer. I’m just trying to can some freaking tomatoes! But as I’ve read on other garden blogs–this year is different. We’re just all so FREAKED out about last year. About that will shall not be spoken. The big B word. Well the big L-B word. The heartbreaking story that was 2009. Maybe I should be like others and not speak of it, not whisper about it, just sit tight until we have some red ones and can breathe again. I am a bit superstitious here, but I’m feeling a tad hopeful. Things look very good out there people!! Lots of fruit. So far so good right. Ugh. I feel scared to be writing about it. I’ll cross my fingers and toes, and any other superstitious thing I can think of.

I am afraid to call out the names of those I cultivate, just in case I am dooming them. Poor things. But this is nuts right? Ok, deep breath.

San Marzano, Green Moldovan, Cour di Bue, Big Beef, Paul Robeson, Japanese Black Trifele, Striped Roman, Pink Grapefruit, Pantano, Sungold.

Good luck out there guys. You’re looking great. Just hang on, and get ripe people!



happy spring
April 6, 2010, 7:15 am
Filed under: favorite plants, gardening | Tags:

So, dear readers, I hope you had a happy easter vacation. We had a really nice time. Best pal came down from TO for some good old fashioned shoe shopping. We made lots of food, and created an outdoor easter egg hunt for the kiddos. I kept telling them–this is unheard of, we never had those when we were growing up–it’s never been 80 on easter! What a beautiful weekend we had. Chickens running around, goaties out. People wandering about doing some garden things. Like planting our wedding trees! Thanks Auntie! And our daffodils started to bloom! Thanks Amy Jim and Colene! Check it out.

view from driveway

view from house

Finally, I’ve been noticing all the things sprouting, and I was happy to see that the resurrection lilies have started! Hurray! Thanks Judith and Greg!

i'm excited to how these turn out



cup plant (silphium perfoliatum)
January 16, 2010, 12:24 pm
Filed under: favorite plants, gardening

Somehow I got interested in cup plant. I looked around for a while to find it. It’s native to our area, I think. Grows up to 8-10 feet tall. The leaves join into the stem in a funny way so that water is held–hence the name. It has yellow sunny little flowers and attracts a lot of pollinators. Here it is in my first community garden plot way back when. Look how wild the plot got! Kind of pretty though.

"wild" flowers in community garden plot

butterfly!