Tomatoes 2013

 GardenBounty2013

The early spring garden produced a lot of good lettuce, spinach and broccoli, but currently the tomatoes are taking center stage.  There are a lot of them, plenty to share, and so far, fingers crossed, no major wilting or bugs have got to them.

I haven’t always eaten much raw tomatoes, although now that I grow them I eat them a lot more often. I will still usually only eat them fresh if they are homegrown because I can’t tolerate the pale flavorless mush that often comes served when eating out and I rarely buy them at the store. So I surprised myself when I sat and made a hearty lunch of the wonderfully large yellow “lemon boy” tomato seen in the picture below. I think this is my dream tomato, almost no seeds, low acidity but a  lot of yummy flavor, thick pulp and very juicy. I happily ate the whole thing fresh with a few crackers and some cheese. I am eagerly awaiting the next ripe one!

Are you growing veggies this year?  Which plants are your best producers?  What’s your favorite tomato variety? Leave me a comment and let me know!

2013_CherryTomatoes 2013_LemonBoyTomato     

Garden Help

Meet my new garden helper…

GardenHelper_Rob

I constantly need help in the garden. The yard is just too large for me to get everything done and there are some things I can’t do anymore. I’ve had a variety of helpers in the past, everyone from the neighborhood kids, to professional landscaping crews, mowers and tree trimmers.  I’ve been trying to find someone reliable to work on occasion whenever I need the extra help, which is basically always, and I’m hoping Rob will stick around for a while.  He’s a good worker and so far he seems tolerant of my bossy inclinations and salty language.

The only drawback seems to be his denial of his own brute strength… in just two work days he has already ripped the metal apart on a shovel and a brand new pair of loppers!  I can live with it though because good help is much harder to replace than tools. Welcome to the garden Rob!

BrokenTools

Spring 2013


JapaneseQuince_2013_border5x5

Spring is officially here! …but you wouldn’t know it by the weather today…cold and windy. Last week it was beautiful.  I got out a lot in the garden and worked doing winter cleanup.  The Japanese Quince bush is in bloom (above) and my little Pear Tree made quite an entrance with it’s big white blooms (below).  I will be surprised if they get pollinated though because the second pear tree I planted died a couple of years ago and there has to be another one for cross pollination.  I’m not sure if anyone else in the neighborhood has a pear tree, but if they do I hope my bees find it and do their job!

Pear Tree_1stBloom_borderSmall

The Redbud Tree finally decided to bloom after five years of being in the ground. I threatened last year that if it didn’t bloom I was going to cut it down and replace it. I’m happy to say I won’t have to follow through with my sinister plans. It’s not a show piece yet but hopefully it will get there.  The Grape Hyacinths have grown and spread out into the lawn. There were large clumps of them growing in the grass and I finally got around to digging them up and replanting them in the flowerbeds.  With so many to replant I didn’t get them all set back out, but they still managed to bloom just laying in the container I was keeping them in until I could find a spot in the garden. Tiny but tough!

RedbudBlooms_small GrapeHyacinthBucket_small

When I visited the plant nursery to get fertilizer I couldn’t help but splurge this year on a few pink  Begonias for the planters by the steps. The’re a reliable annual that lasts most of the year so I’ll have some color near my shady porch when the heat gets unbearable for everything else.

2010_1stAsparagusStalk_small

In the veggie garden I have really been enjoying the Asparagus this year …yumm!  We never have enough, it is so good.  I dedicated another raised bed for asparagus only and planted crowns early in February so we will have more in the future.  The veg garden is also producing lots of wonderful Lettuce and Spinach and the Broccoli is heading up and should be ready soon and the Onions are going strong.  The Potatoes just started coming up last week.

It hasn’t all gone well though…something has really made a fine lace of my mustard green leaves, probably thrips, and I’ve had to replace four tomato seedlings that just disappeared and shriveled up to nothing overnight. I still have no clue what caused it.

Time To Bloom

Flowers Timelapse by Katka Pruskova.

Bzzzzz

I have some new neighbors

     
I’m not sure what to do about them yet.  I don’t want to kill them and I can’t afford to have them removed.  I would love to keep them if I could get the queen out of the tree and transfer the hive to a bee box. I would need to get some equipment = boxes and frames for them to build the honeycomb onto, a smoker, and a bee suit and hat with protective netting to start. 

I’ve always wanted to keep bees as a hobby and have been following the Backwards Beekeepers in California for a couple of years; they have a lot of useful info on their site.  Texas A&M has a good site too for general bee information. I’m not sure I’m ready for this kind of commitment, but they sure are cute and I can’t quit thinking of all the yummy honey hiding in my tree!

Starting Over

I miss this diary. It was one of the things that made me happy and I enjoyed sharing a small piece of my world with those that shared my interests in plants and gardening. It’s been almost three years since I made an update and many of the old posts have been deleted; expressions of a time with people (and plants) that I loved dearly but which no longer share my life.

I’m going to try to give this space more attention, mostly for my own benefit, but if you want to stick around for the ride then I would be more than flattered to have you revisit this space. I’m not promising anything with any regularity…but I’m still here…moving forward…inch by inch and row by row…and not looking back.