This Year’s Deck

DSC00769Here’s our deck last year. It was a construction zone and kayak storage area. I felt very, very anxious every time I set foot out there.

IMG_1953It’s really cozy this year. We finished the office construction and found other storage for the boats. Then we put up a canopy, added furniture and I filled it with flowers. I feel that some type of “roof” is really important on a deck. It can be an umbrella or a canopy like this, or a really nice pergola, but it reigns the energy in and makes it feel good, kind of the way an area rug makes a difference in a room. It provides shade too.

IMG_1927There’s lots of color!

IMG_1943There’s also cucumber plants because I kept them out of the garden beds in the hope of outwitting the cucumber beetles.

IMG_1941Remember when we painted this bench last summer?

painting chairs and benches
IMG_1935I planted a pot of succulents this year and I love them. Margaret Roach said that their everywhere and I have to agree. I’m seeing them in lots of posts and ads right now. Their very forgiving and easy.

IMG_1936I love this pink metal stool.  We painted it on the same day that we painted the peach bench and the metal chairs that are near the cucumber pot.

IMG_1924I also put out a little pot of kitchen herbs. They were growing beautifully until Maddie (the cat) jumped out of the window and onto this planter on the deck railing. She and the planter went flying into the succulents. The herbs are coming back and their very nice to have on hand when I’m cooking. Fortunately Maddie survived her flight with no problems.
IMG_1932Aside from being a wonderful place to relax, the best thing about our deck is the view of the garden. We like to plan our day here over morning coffee, then we’re on the move until lunch or dinner. It’s a great place for a rest or for family time.

Did you decorate your deck or porch this year? It’s as simple as adding as many plants as you’ll enjoy taking care of, creating a roof of some sort and finding a chair or two so that you can relax a little bit.

Enjoy everything!

Michele

What’s Happening in the Garden — August 24

I’m a bit behind on my “What’s Happening” update.  Packing and going to camp in New Hampshire took lots and lots of time. We didn’t exactly rough it (other than sleeping in tents) on this camping trip. One of the huge, huge benefits of camping at Calumet is that you can eat in their dining hall or on their beach for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With so many kids, we usually cook many of our meals at our campsite, but since this year’s trip was just for three nights we enjoyed the luxury of eating inside. That said, I still had a zillion loads of wash to do and lots of things to put away and catch up on. So, here we are, the soccer and golf seasons have started for my high school kids and fall is right around the corner. I’m trying to make the most of my garden time!

We have zinnias scattered around, I love the bright orange zinnias!

Here’s some mesclun that I planted on Saturday, I hope it keeps growing at this rate so we can enjoy it soon!

We have several pepper plants producing fruit. Peppers can be a little tricky for me, so this makes me happy.

I think there will be salsa in the next few days!

We have lots of Roma tomatoes. I froze a few gallons (whole) and made pizza sauce. We eat fresh tomatoes non-stop so we can never have too many.

The pumpkin vine is creeping quickly past the chicken coop.., Michael put that light there to help us remember not to step on it. Good idea!Here’s one of the pumpkins! There’s another one that’s this size (about fifteen inches long) and at  least a couple of smaller ones. Pumpkin carving will be extra fun this year!

Here’s my disaster, the cucumber beetles have pretty much wiped out the cucumbers. I did try hard to use a large size photo to show you. First the computer couldn’t seem to export this photo to my blog, then it wouldn’t size correctly. I don’t care, in the  interest of transparency, I’m sharing this smaller photo so you can see what happened. I need to pull the plants and add something in, maybe kale or brussel sprouts if I can find some plants. I need about ten more hours in my day! and next year remind me to take a break from the cucs!

In the chicken coop, this girl has suddenly taken to pecking at my foot. I don’t know what’s up with that but it hurts! Our egg production is better than it was a few weeks ago.  Here’s the strange thing: around the time that I posted that we had an egg deficit, one of our chickens started to look  unwell. This happens sometimes with older chickens, they stop eating and start to look tired and glassy eyed. They just seem to be ready to pass on. Well, we had a buff orphington who was going through this and I was trying to shore her up with some extra vitamins, food, and water in a corner of the coop. Strangely as soon as she died (very peacefully) the chickens started laying again. Three eggs that day, and we’ve had an average of six a day since. Any thoughts on this chicken keepers? Share your thoughts in the comments below please!

Is this a weed? Michael and I have been going back and forth about it for a few weeks. I have to admit that I think he’s right, it is a weed. But I like it.

The kentucky pole beans are growing. Next time I need to remember that they need poles. I think they’d be happier.

And finally, the potatoes. Their supposed to wilt and die just before their ready to harvest. I added soil as they grew but I’m worried that I didn’t keep up with them. I think we’ll check to see if it worked in the next week or so. I will be thrilled if we get a potato out of this pot!

I’m looking forward to drying some of this rosemary and thyme. I tried to dry bananas last week but they didn’t turn out as well as the basil did. We may try some apple slices.

There’s my update! How’s your garden growing? Share, share, share!!

Love,  Michele