Our butterfly bushes are in bloom and they are beautiful! Butterfly bushes are easy to grow and take care of. They are vigorous growers and evergreen if the winter is not too severe. They come in a variety of colors, attract hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects to your garden. They are hardy plants and seem to take neglect pretty well and can handle being transplanted if you need to uproot them and move them. I rescued mine from someone who was pulling them out of her front yard. I actually came home from her yard with 2 and they handled the transplant well. I ended up digging one of them up and it's doing well now at my sisters house. I have a Black Knight and also have a Pink Delight. The Pink Delight I purchased bare root from Home Depot at around the same time I transplanted the Black Knight. They both are standing at nearly 10 feet tall or taller now.
Tomato blight on 2 tomato plants here and *thankfully* it's the San Marzano. I say thankfully because we planted 7 San Marzano and happily I can say that these two were not from my seeds but were purchased at a local nursery. Mine look green and healthy :) Thanks to Farmer Fred's latest post I convinced my husband they have to go. We plan to replace them with 2 more San Marzano if we can still get them and hopefully this will be the end to the blight on our plants this year. I am really looking forward to our first San Marzano tomatoes. They sound pretty amazing.
Making some progress on our square foot garden. As you can see, seedlings are appearing. The radishes broke ground fast (first time planting them) and will need to be thinned soon. We are also growing for the first time white lisbon onions (aka green onions at the supermarket) I have heard both the radishes and the lisbon onions are pretty easy to grow. We have had quite a wonderful combination of both rainy days and very warm sunny days lately and of course everything is coming up pretty quickly because of it. Happy to have the rain. As you can tell from the top picture, the drip system has yet to be installed. We shall see how much we can knock of our to do list this weekend. The list is always long and the weekend is always full and fast. I vote for three day weekends :)
I was very excited about the foxgloves I planted today. They have a gorgeous look to them and look spectacular in a cottage garden. I was certainly disappointed to read that they can be lethal if ingested (all parts of the plant) and that they are at the top of the list of poisonous plants for both humans and animals. Of course with two small children and a cat, I plan on returning them. It got me to thinking... most products that are poisonous have warning labels on them. I have yet to see any warning labels on plants stating that they are poisonous. I watch my cat nibble on everything in my yard. I watch my kids pull petals off plants and leaves and make pretend soups and such from things in the yard. Although they are beautiful - they are not welcomed here. Be aware, read up and know what you are about to plant.
Just one of the many things I read about Foxgloves scary to say the least.
I just adore our neighbors Jackie & Dudley. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful people in our lives and even luckier that we live on the same street as them. I know that if I need anything that they are just steps away. I consider them the "safe house" on our street for our kids if ever there were to be an emergency and they have done everything for us from taking in our mail and checking on our kitty while we are away (They have even watered our garden before we had drip system) They have helped me in scary situations as well and came to my rescue when our son had a bad injury & Jackie not only took me but stayed and sat with me in the emergency room once when I thought I had been bitten by a black widow and there is so much more - I could go on and on. Jackie's tomato plants astonish me year after year. I'm not sure what she's doing over there but I have been following her lead the last few years. We planted within days of each other this year and already her tomato plants are about three times larger than mine! She has been planting her tomatoes in the same spot for years - what about all this crop rotation stuff I've read about?? Her method always seems to be the same. She plants directly in the ground (not raised beds) and she mixes chicken manure & miracle grow mix to the soil prior to planting. She waters deeply by hose maybe every other day depending on heat and occasionally feeds them with liquid miracle grow. Perhaps it's the deep watering, the miracle grow, the location. Perhaps it's just Jackie and her gift with things. Now to me, this makes perfect sense.
Just recently we became aware of square foot gardening and we decided that it would be fun to give it a shot in one of the new raised beds. I had to move fast today planting what I could in almost half of the bed as I was afraid my 5 year old would be behind me untying the twine/grid and of course he was :) I managed to plant eggplant, easter egg radishes, french breakfast radishes, white lisbon bunching onions, tomatillo, yolo wonder bell pepper, Ixtapa pepper, ancho pablano peppers and basil. Seems like a lot to me but with a garden bed 12ft in length and 63" wide I still have 16 more squares to plant! I certainly plan to double up on a few squares with a few of the veggies. After all the basil alone can find a home in any meal we create this summer! I will be posting pictures and keep you updated on the progress - wish me luck.
Having two kids with birthdays three days apart in April puts us in full swing with parties and more. Of course nothing else slows down in the meantime. I certainly admire people who can take on more and make it look effortless, show no stress and can manage to stop and have a decent conversation at the party that they are hosting with no trouble at all. I am not this person. There's nothing like back to back Happy birthdays and not so happy happenings all about the same time. Talk about chaos and mixed emotions! My mother became very ill and was hospitalized with pneumonia and moderate case of sepsis and was hospitalized for about a week. It was a time of uncertainly and seeing my Mother sick to that degree just about threw me off balance. Needless to say I could not think straight and I was overloaded with fear & worry and I planning parties all at the same time. Thankfully she is better now and home but has a slow recovery ahead. It comforts me to see the Mother I knew before she was sick and because of that the fear has backed off and life has pushed forward. I am thankful to be less busy now that the birthdays have passed and definitely thankful to be back in the garden again but most of all I am thankful for my Mother and her ability to be well. Happy May Day everyone!