Beans, Beans, Beans

A week or so ago as I was cleaning up I encountered my usual fall “crop” of dried bean pods.  Every year some are just left out there and I always consider them to be one of my gifts of procrastination. They can be hulled and brought in. It’s kind of a fun activity and the kids enjoy it too!

Here we have Kentucky pole beans just as their ready to eat!And here we have the dried out, worn out looking remnants of the season.  I think that most of us find these! It can’t just be me!  I take them out and let them dry for another week or so in the air.Same story with my scarlet runner beans. I grow them as an ornamental, but I’ve read that  they are eaten in Central America, so they can be considered edible. They are lovely growing on a fence, trellis or even a telephone pole and hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to them. These are truly finished for the season!
Coming out of the shell…And full of color! The kids love to play with these. The last few years I’ve had much more than I’d ever need for the following year. They make pretty decorations in a cup or bowl during the winter.

After their dry (about a week or so) I place them in a labeled envelope and store them in a cool dry place until next spring. One important note is that you need to stick with heirloom varieties. Hybrid beans won’t produce when planted.  Don’t try this with beans harvested from a big box store plant. You’ll likely be wasting time.

Whew, okay, maybe I’m back!  Not a bad post for someone who’s struggling with blogger’s block!

Enjoy Everything!

Michele

What’s Up With This Hydrangea?

A few days ago my friend Blaire sent me the photo below with this question:

I am attaching a picture of my largest hydrangea bush. I love it, but for 2 or 3 years it has had pink AND blue flowers- fine with me- except i don’t know why.  I have seen others like this, so the soil is acidic and base?  One year it was pink and turned blue; acid rain?  Originally it was a pink plant.  I have a white bush next to it that stays white; a newer different species pink that has stayed pink and a container “blush” pink that has stayed that way.  Any ideas why the one bush does that?

So I’ve been looking for an answer to Blaire’s question and I really can’t find one. There’s plenty of information on the basic concept that acidic soil produces blue flowers while alkaline soil produces pink. There’s also lots of information about how to change flower color and what species of plants favor each color. I’m curious now too about what would cause a consistant multi-colored bloom.

What do you think? Help us solve the mystery!

What’s up with Blaire’s hydrangea?

Sweet Peas, Veggies and Herbs!

First of all, thank you, thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions yesterday about what to do with the Green Monster! I’m newly energized and I’m  working hard on pulling that area together. I was feeling quite overwhelmed before I asked for your help.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share a photo of our progress soon. It’s such a shady, private spot. I love to sit there for a minute first thing in the morning or when we take a break during the day. It’s going to be a little oasis in our oasis.

Here’s an update on how things are going out in the garden this week:

The sweet peas are almost ready!

Here’s a beautiful post about sweet peas that  AmySue at A Healthy Life for Me wrote last week

http://ahealthylifeforme.com/2012/06/05/peas-peas-everywhere/

Her recipes and photos are wonderful!

The basil and tomatoes are coming along (notice that the bunny food/poop grass is still trying to surface). I decided to try  salt marsh hay as mulch this year to retain moisture and keep weeds and wilt away. We’ll see how it goes. I’d better get cages around those tomato plants soon.

I planted  few red cabbage plants in this  extra space and we’re enjoying the lettuce. Better get it while we can because lettuce is happiest in cool weather, once it gets hot it will bolt and be gone! The zucchini has settled in nicely and I planted a treat just beyond the lettuce… zinnias to cut and enjoy in August

Lemon balm, thyme and lavender…

And here’s our first purple coneflower blossom of the season! There will be many more to come..

It’s very rainy here  but it’s supposed to clear up over the next few days. Perfect weather for growing everything!

Thanks for stopping!

Enjoy Everything today!

Michele