I Should–

Michael and I spent a few precious hours in the garden late in the day today and I just felt like I “had” to take some photos and get this post done because I was writing in my head. Does this happen to you other bloggers? Sometimes I can’t move on to the next thing until I get that post drafted, or those photos taken. It’s an addiction, this blogging thing.  Part of what was on my mind was the fact that our garden has so many “shoulds” in it that I have to get busy with, or address or do something about, or not do because I should know better.

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These blueberry bushes are a good example. Michael and I bought them a few weeks ago because we had been in New Hampshire and encountered some beautiful bushes in a city park that were loaded with berries. This led to a new discussion about how much we’d like to plant some of our own, then we saw them for sale and had to have them. One really shouldn’t plant blueberry bushes in July. Spring and fall are the times for planting blueberry bushes so here we are keeping them well hydrated and waiting until fall to plant them. I should have known better. IMG_2179On the positive side I did cut back most, if not all, of my chrysanthemum (the hardy bush kind) today. They’ll fill in and be beautiful in the fall. If yours are getting ready to bloom you should cut them back now and watch how nice they look in your fall borders after they fill in and make new blossoms. You’ll be glad you did!

IMG_2178Here’s another, I “should” deal with this asparagus fern that’s taking over this little corner. That’s a rose-bush tucked in under it. Jeeshh

IMG_2174I should also figure out what to do with these beets. Beets have been less than well this year both here and at work. I think it was because of all the rain we had but I worry that it’s because I don’t really love them so I don’t spend the time to figure out what they need.

IMG_2169Here’s a small victory… I planted some fall beans where the sweet peas had been. A “should” that was dealt with, lets hope they grow right up that trellis!

IMG_2168Everyone “should” enjoy lemon balm scattered throughout the garden. It’s one of the simple pleasures out there.

IMG_2166 IMG_2163I trimmed  the bottom branches off of all of the romas today. Their a bit sparse but coming along…a should checked off that list!

IMG_2160This is an asian cucumber that I started recently for the fall… looking forward to seeing how it does… I should find a trellis for it soon.
IMG_2155 Another should addressed… I learned about how to tie up the leaves over the cauliflower head to give it shade. This is also called “blanching” it… interesting, we’ll see how it goes. IMG_2154 We have bush beans, with beans on the bushes, but their kind of scrawny and there’s yellow damage on the leaves. These plants are about two feet away from the chicken run and I suspect the ammonia may be drifting over and damaging the plants. I should figure out what to do to prevent this.

IMG_2152 The Brussel sprouts are sprouting… we should let these ripen past the first frost because the cold air sweetens them up.

IMG_2150 Hmmm… shallots, I should figure out exactly when to harvest these. What do you shallot growers think?IMG_2149

IMG_2147 I should jump for joy over my garden surprise this year. The tomatillo plant is loaded with blossoms… their adorable!

IMG_2140 I should put more eggshells around the bottom of these tomato plants and make some pesto from the basil as soon as possible. There’s going to be a nice crop of basil this year.

IMG_2136 I most definitely should deal with this butterfly garden. The last time I walked toward it one of my slithery friends disappeared right into it in front of me. I’ve been a little nervous about stepping in there ever since. I know I’ll be happy when it’s done. So will the butterflies!

Clearly this was a busy day and there’s more to come tomorrow. I should go to bed!  So should you if your staying up reading this on Saturday night!

Enjoy everything! xoxo

Michele

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