Category Archives: yardwork
Last spring I posted a photo of a single deep purple iris in bloom. It was just as lovely this year (as was another clump of the same variety that I planted alongside of the house). As I noted last year, to the right of the purple iris was a grouping of giant yellow irises not yet in bloom.
This year, as the yellow flowers begin to fade, another batch of irises — which I picked up at The Pec Thing last year — are just now beginning to open on the opposite side of the fading yellow beauties.
All of these were collected randomly from different flea market vendors. I had no idea when I planted them – hoping simply to soften the neighbor’s cement retaining wall – that they would provide more than a month’s worth of tall, gorgeous flowers.
As much as I love irises, they’re a close second to my favorite flowers: peonies. Now if I could just get some magenta double peonies to thrive.
What are your favorite flowers, and do you grow them in your garden?
While weeding my little produce patches earlier this summer I spotted what looked liked tomato leaves popping up near where last summer’s cherry tomato plant grew. I decided to leave it alone and see what happened.
Soon it grew taller and sprouted more leaves. A couple weeks ago it began to blossom. The other day I spotted the first of several tiny green cherry tomatoes beginning to form.
It’s already Labor Day, so who knows if any of these volunteers will ripen before the first hard frost, but that really doesn’t matter since I can always add them to my annual batch of homemade green tomato salsa!
Happy Labor Day, everyone! (And yes, I’ll be laboring a bit today….no such thing as a paid holiday when you’re a freelancer.)
Okay, so it’s not exactly a peck of peppers, but my one little jalapeno plant has been producing like crazy. I’ve already picked five peppers, and look how many are ready, or almost ready to pick.
(Immediately after taking the photo, I picked four more peppers.)
The first cucumber is ready for picking, and a smaller one is growing a bit higher on the vine.
The cucumber plant is loaded with blossoms, but so far just two cukes. They grow quickly, so I’m hoping for more.
I’ve already mentioned how well the tomato plants are doing – I’ve already lost track of how many tomatoes I’ve picked, and those plants are still loaded. The only plant I’m concerned about is the red pepper plant.
It’s beautiful, but I haven’t seen a single blossom. Any idea why it’s not blooming? Last year’s red pepper plant did so well that it wasn’t until a month or two ago that I finally finished up the leftover red peppers I chopped and froze last fall.
How are your gardens growing? Which crops are doing best for you this year?
Not every house has window boxes, so if you’re lucky enough to have window boxes you really ought to use them. Don’t you think there’s something sad about empty window boxes during the growing season?
Until the other day mine were sad and empty, but that’s because I’m slowly slogging away at painting the exterior trim (whenever weather and time allow) and wanted to paint the window boxes, too.
For some reason, the brackets supporting the boxes were painted brown to match the siding, so while I had the paint out I painted the brackets white, too. I think it makes the window boxes stand out a bit more. (This is when I wish I’d thought to take before & after shots.)
It was also time to replace most of the potting mix in the boxes (I only remove about 2/3 of the soil since the old dry dirt and bits of broken clay pots help with drainage), so I bought two 16-qt bags of potting mix at $4.99 each along with flowers for the boxes and three flower pots:
- 3 white Geraniums – 88¢ each
- 1 flat (half flat?) of 12 plum-ish Petunias – $7.99
- 2 6-packs of white Impatiens – $1.58 each
- 2 6-packs of mixed Portulaca – $1.58 each
Last year the portulaca did really well in the gorgeous strawberry jars my brother’s family gave me, but I’m down to one now, so I moved that to side of the porch that gets the afternoon sun. I put the rest of the portulaca and geraniums in terracotta pots and set those on each side of the stoop where the strawberry jars were last summer. Here’s the strawberry jar, but the other pots look scraggly so no photo of those until they fill in:
Best part of all? With a $15 store rebate on the paint and $9.17 worth of unused, unopened merchandise I returned, the grand total – tax and all – was just $3.74. Don’t you love a bargain like that?
If you’re lucky enough to have window boxes, too, what did you plant in yours this year? If not, what are some of your favorite summer flowers?
Yes, “Iris you were here” is a bad pun, but cut me a little slack. This is the first bloom from the irises I got at The Pec Thing last fall:
Just behind this beauty is a clump of “mystery” irises that should bloom in a few days. I bought those at the same flea market a few years ago when a vendor had a bin of assorted, unidentified iris rhizomes priced ridiculously low – something like three for $1. Bargain hunter I am, I chose three. All of which turned out to be yellow – the one color I dislike (somehow, even yellow isn’t bad when it’s an iris).
Last summer at a garage sale I picked up a division of lavender irises that have grown, but don’t show any signs of blooms just yet.
Oh – and the tulips in the back of the photo? My brother gave me those in potted plant form one Easter – probably 10 years ago – and they were prettier than ever this year.
Not bad for someone with a brown thumb!