Monthly Archives: April 2009

Tough Love

  Now, for you rose-loving people, what I’m about to say may be disturbing .   I have had it with growing roses. 

 Does this mean I am removing all roses from my garden?  Absolutely not!  But I am sick and tired of black spot on ALL my roses, no matter what I do.   Now, to be honest,  some  of this disease is my fault.  I planted them in the wrong spot (no airflow),  or didn’t clean around them well in the Fall (allows  the fungus to overwinter) or didn’t spray them with my organic treatment at the right time ( I get busy and/or forget).  However, there have been times when I did everything  right and I  still have the dreaded black spot.

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 So, what I have decided is  SOME ROSES ARE JUST NOT RIGHT FOR DALLAS, TEXAS.   Sorry, didn’t mean to shout…. and some are just not right for me.  There, I’ve said it. 

 So.   I am getting rid of the hybrid tea roses which have  never been pretty and I’m sticking with the more hardy old fashioned roses; climbers, bourbons, rugosas, and miniatures. 

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This climbing rose (the two pictures above) is called Zephirine Drouhin (I’m a sucker for anything French) but you would be too if you could smell this rose. It is heavenly.  A true rose smell, if you know what I mean.   This Bourbon climber is a repeat bloomer and has been around since 1868.  Isn’t that amazing?

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This rose is called Baronne Provost.  (I have seen this spelled Prevost also, but mine was spelled with an o.  who knows?)  Anyway, it is an old garden rose bred by a frenchman named Desprez in 1842.   It  has a strong rose scent and hips.  I just love the way it starts out like a little pink cabbage.  To me, it is the perfect cottage garden rose.

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This one is a miniature someone gave me and it has several different colored blooms on the same plant (probably grafted that way). 

Taking out the roses which were not doing well, will also give me some much needed space for vegetables.img_0298

But for all my whining and wailing, I do have a rose that I just dearly love.  It’s the Peggy Martin rose.  Some of you may be familiar with this rose.  After hurricane Katrina ravished New Orleans, this was the only thing left  in Peggy Martin’s garden.  So, cuttings from her rose were sold to raise money for New Orleans.  So, I bought one.  Boy, am I glad I did.

 

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This is one tough rose and I sure do love her.

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Things

Heather at www.HeatherBakes.com tagged me earlier in the week and this is the first chance I have had to reply.  So, here goes. (written on Sun. posted on Mon.)

8 Things I Look Forward to:

  • l. harvesting homegrown tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, lettuce, etc.
  • 2. eating said produce
  • 3. kids graduating from college ( I will get a raise when that happens) 🙂
  • 4. not having a mortgage payment (woohoo)
  • 5. more free time to spend with family and friends
  • 6. traveling
  • 7. not commuting to work everyday
  • 8. an ice cold diet coke

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  • 1. picked last of the English peas
  • 2. pulled weeds
  • 3. planted plants
  • 4. made several trips to Lowes and Calloways
  • 5. talked to my daughter on the phone
  • 6. got mom’s opinion on plants
  • 7. cut irises for a bouquet
  • 8. watched the Mavs beat the Spurs!!!!!!!

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  • 1. eat and not gain weight
  • 2. speak a foreign language fluently
  • 3. have an apt. in France or Italy
  • 4. write a book
  • 5. paint (and I don’t mean the house, honey)
  • 6. control the weather
  • 7. not be afraid to work with power tools
  • 8. have Candace Olsen redo my entire house (how divine!)

8 Shows I Watch:

  • 1. Heroes
  • 2. American Idol
  • 3. House Hunters
  • 4. House Hunters International
  • 5. Divine Design
  • 6. Barefoot Contessa
  • 7. Curb Appeal
  • 8. Texas Rangers baseball

If you haven’t checked out Heather’s blog, well you seriously should.   You will love it!  Also, check out her lists and the other bloggers she tagged.

Also, I wanted to mention fromgardentotable can also now be accessed at www.fromgarden2table.com.  But, you can get there from the original site as well. 

It is raining cats and dogs in big D,  huge puddles at fromgardentotable.

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I’ve got peas!

My pea pods filled out nicely!

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Remember how they started?

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The weather is turning much warmer, yesterday 80 degrees, today was in the mid-80’s.  By tomorrow, it should be in the upper 80’s (weather people are actually saying it will hit 90).  My peas will quit producing soon.  Maybe today, who knows.  So……..I harvested them.

Even though I may not have a bumper crop, I think it is kind of cool that I actually got English peas to grow in Texas. So, heeere they are!  (um, minus two pods I opened and ate in the garden)

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They tasted sooo good!  These I just steamed a bit on the stovetop until tender.  They were amazingly sweet.  But, one of my favorite ways to have fresh English peas  is with new potatoes in a cream sauce.

New Potatoes and Peas in Cream Sauce

Boil the potatoes (about a lb.)(they really need to be tiny red new potatoes) in salted water until tender, drain and set aside.   Cook the freshly shelled peas (about a lb.) until tender; either in boiling salted water or by steaming. Drain and set aside. 

 Make a bechamel sauce or sometimes called a cream sauce.   Melt 1/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Blend in 1/4 cup flour.  Cook about  a minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually add in 1 cup milk, cook over medium  heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.  Stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. white pepper.

Combine the potatoes and peas, top with the bechamel sauce and gently stir to combine.  It is amazing!

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Just call me Lucky

I am so fortunate to be a part of an extended gardening family.  My Mom and Dad gardened together for years and everything I learned about gardening I learned first from them.   My Dad passed away in  March, so it is our gardens (for me and my mom) that are our solace.

But, I am also lucky  in that I have lillies that were in my great-grandmother’s garden which made their way to my mother’s garden and then to mine.  I remember she had a cottage-style garden in front of her house with flowers on both sides of the walkway as you approached the house.  Cottage gardens are to this day my favorite.

My Aunt Pat is also a gardener.  She lives on acreage  “out in the country” and has probably  a quarter acre of  irises and lillies planted around her house.  Last year she divided her irises and lillies and shared some with me.  Some of them bloomed last year, BUT almost all of  the irises  are blooming this year.  So, I just had to share them with you.

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Hope you liked them!

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Wonder Woman

This past Saturday,  I worked like a madwoman to enlarge a vegetable/herb bed next to the house  before the thunderstorms were to come (which they did on Sat. night).

I’ve probably said this ad nauseum, but my garden is very, very small.  So, I am always looking for SPACE.   I have looked at a certain area of the garden, for I don’t know how long (we have lived here 10 years) and just realized I could expand it about two  more feet.  Doh!

This is what I did:  First, I dug up all the grass/weeds  with a pitchfork.  Then I broke up all of the soil (I was really wishing for a tiller).  If  it was pure clay, I threw it OUT. (I determined this by –  (now pay attention because this is very scientific)  if  I could not break it into smaller pieces with my hand, it was tossed.

 Then I put the edging in.  Oh.my.gosh.  this was such a chore.  I used a rubber mallet and my Wonder Woman strength to shape and pound it into place.  It took  for-ev-er.img_02311

Then, I added a layer of shale and mixed it in.img_0238

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Then I added a layer of top soil and mixed it in. img_0244

 Then a layer of gypsum.  ( I am determined to break up this clay.)img_0243

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Finally,  a layer of bed planting miximg_0249

 (which contains compost, more shale, etc.).  I used the shale and gypsum at the recommendation of   my local nursery.  I had sent in a soil sample  which they analyzed.  ( I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the report I received.  I was looking for something more specific and scientific.)  The shale once placed in the soil will remain forever and helps to keep clay soils from being so compacted.  The gypsum is similar in that it also aerates clay soils but it is finer in texture.  Garden gypsum can be applied on top of  beds and lawns without having to be worked  into the soil. (A real bonus – let me assure you)

I planted  tomatoes and peppers in the new space . img_02461

 Other gardening chores were  taking out a front row of parsley (it would soon go to flower and I want to plant something else there) and overcrowded plants of salad burnet.   I then cut the remaining plant (salad burnet) way back.   I made the discovery that ONE plant of salad burnet is plenty.   My compost pile smelled like cucumbers from the discarded  plants, which was rather nice.

Wonder woman was extremely tired, but very pleased with the results.

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Good Grief

I am feeling very much like Charlie Brown today.  While the sun is shining here in big D, it’s a freakin 40 degrees with a wind chill of 20!!!!! AND tonight we are to have an unprecedented freeze.  There will be no planting of tomato or pepper plants today.  sigh.

So here are my pit-eee-ful plants awaiting their permanent home.img_0224img_0220img_0218

The three largest tomato plants  are transplants I bought last week at a local garden center.The rest of these are from seed.  More under the grow light, just getting leggier and leggier.  Charlie Brown sigh.

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Gardening is not for sissies.

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Oh Baby, look at me now.

As you may recall,  (or see post dated 2/20/09) I had planted some itty bitty ground cherry seeds.  5 of the 6 plants germinated.  So, I wanted to show you a picture of how they look today. img_0213

I am going to plant them in the garden this weekend.  I hope, I hope, I hope they do well because I understand the jam that can be made from these little babies is awesome.

I also wanted to show you a picture of my English pea plants. img_0191

Did you see the little blooms?  Can’t wait for the pods to form.

Ok, full disclosure.  My tomato plants AND most of the pepper plants are too leggy.  Problem #1;  I had too many plants for my light source (due to problem #2).  Problem #2;  I was unable to put my plants outside, to “strengthen” in their pots prior to planting, as our weather  turned extremely windy and too cold. (We even had a threat of frost.)  Now, the tomato plants I’m not too concerned about because  you can plant the “leggy” part of the plant into the soil and it will root and actually make your plant stronger. (and no one will be the wiser, hehe)  But, some of the pepper plants may not make it so I may be buying transplants.  Rats.

But, here is one pepper plant that is looking good.img_0207

Another update:  I fertilized my garlic which I planted last fall.  This will be ready for harvest this summer.  Yum.img_01731

And, as I was getting ready to cut back my salad burnet,  I found that it is getting ready to bloom!  So I am going to let it bloom to see what the flower looks like.img_0171

I was lamenting the other day about whether Spring was EVER going to get here.  Well, I think it has arrived.img_0179img_0182img_0184img_01961img_0178img_0177

How’s your Spring going?

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