Thursday, September 29, 2011
I am busy this week collecting art materials and taking pictures for projects. I also have been exploring fall /early winter crops that will work after our fall frost and tolerate a bit of snow. I found this wine colored cabbage, an heirloom from France known as Tete Noire.It is known for a medium compact sized head, and it does handle the cold pretty well.
I have a lot of flats for fall planting, and this French Heirloom is doing better than most of the cole crops when it comes to having their leaves marked up from bugs. This is a problem with succession planting in late summer/ early fall. I have decided to let these vegetable starts develop a bit more in their paper pots. They are about 4 weeks old at this point. You want to plant them around 4-6 weeks for your fall/early winter eating. Tete Noire takes 90 days to develop. I need to explore some cabbage recipes for our Thanksgiving dinner!
This was a wonderful cabbage I grew 2010 from my starts!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I chased this monarch butterfly to get these shots. It was a particularly windy day, and he was just gliding through my fall garden! He did not stay put too long, so I did not get as many photos as I would have liked. I did notice this cucumber beetle sharing the flower with this monarch. In the right corner, that is the little beetle that I hand picked all summer. At this point in time, I'm done worrying about these little guys. I'm ready for my fall crops. I have a bunch of fall starts that should be done in the next few weeks.
Look at those colors! Love the orange with his wings.
This monarch would not rest on a flower for exceptionally long he flew back and forth.
He enjoyed the asters, cosmos and mexican sunflowers.
At one point, I had 3 monarchs circling all around me, but I was unable to take a picture with their wings open. They just moved too fast. I was climbing on top of Grandma Palm's oven, so I was able to get a shot! That mexican sunflower and orange amaranth are at least 7ft tall!
It was taunting me! There it goes again.....must of enjoyed watching me run around.
Monday, September 19, 2011
This summer it was all about Orange!
Orange is now added to my favorite colors
Yellow and Orange always a great mix
Orange + Purple great companions.
I'm busy this week taking pictures to create lino cuts
a wisp of orange to welcome you to my fall garden
Giant Orange Amaranth
Mexican Sun Flower
Friday, September 9, 2011
You can see fall bush dragon beans through arbor and fall snow peas climbing the trellis.
Also, Fall Broccoli Rapini are tucked between those two crops.
The reason I prefer a potager garden style for a small city lot is that it incorporates vegetables and flowers together. The European Potager was designed for everyday use of flowers, herbs, food and as a place for people to gather. The American Kitchen garden were a smaller version of a farm plot, which were a large rectangular area that was mostly out of view. It also was planted once in spring and harvested in the fall. They also canned and preserved most of the harvest for winter. A European Potager may do a bit of this, but mostly it is a 3 or 4 season garden that provides daily for the home. It utilizes succession planting, once one crop is done you are ready to plant another!
fall seedlings ready for succession planting....
The reason intensive succession planting works is it provides nutritious meals daily from spring until late fall and sometimes in winter if they are protected.
In the spring this area was filled with, spinach, cabbage, kale, broccoli and purple cauliflower. Summer it may be where I grow flowers, herbs and squash. Then again in late fall
fall salad greens, beets or carrots.
I have a lot of odd statues in my yard, but my favorite item in the backyard is Grandma Palm's old Stove!
I wish she were here to see her old stove in Palm Rae Potager. She would be thrilled!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
A few years ago my mother asked me if I remember the "spider flowers" she use to have in her yard and would I like some seedlings for my garden. I did not remember them until she showed me a seedling. I researched them a bit and found they were used to draw beneficial insects to the vegetable garden.
Purple + White Cleome are the ones I grew this year
You can see the seed pods dangling from the above spider plant. They do resemble a spider!
I gather the seed every year, so I can put my cleome where I want them in the garden. Since I rotate crops, it is easier to start mine from seed to rotate them throughout the yard.I find Cleome are fantastic for attracting beneficial insects and make the vegetable garden beautiful!
This year I found my tomato plants did well intermingled with cleome
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
We have this lovely old oak tree that is 70 yrs plus. On our little lot, we have tried to keep this old tree. It shades one part of our small city lot. I have summer greens growing in this area since it is mostly shaded throughout the day. It is nice and cool, but it does get a late afternoon sun which is perfect for Cole crops in the late fall and early spring!
New garden 2011
We were able to utilize it as a serving area and hook up our crock pots! We are now able to entertain a larger group of people!
Dappled Shade most of the day which this great old tree provides.
Friday, September 2, 2011
I've designed my yard to take full advantage of the sun! This past week I've been creating this growing area which gets more intense light than other areas.
I practice succession planting I have different growing areas all throughout the yard!
Practicing succession intensive planting is being prepared to plant a new vegetable crop after a former crop is no longer productive. I had kale in this section with cucumbers for a long time. I decided to take the kale out a month ago and start my dragon bush beans again in this area. I composted and planted a new crop of my FAVORITE bush bean. I have always grown pole beans and not been a fan of bush beans. This year I tasted dragon bush beans and found them tasty and not at all stringy. I also am experimenting and started a batch of peas behind on the trellis. They seem to be doing quite well, and I've been tying them up each week. We shall see if I'm blessed with fall peas. I decided to start them under lights, and put them out after they had germinated. They are doing pretty well and growing nicely.
Tucked behind the dragon bush beans I have my peas, they are doing extremely well! They are shaded in the hot afternoon sun. We have had forecast in the 90's here with a heat index, in the 100's! I believe it helps to start them under lights to give them a chance. We shall see if it works this year.
I worked in this garden area this spring, plugged in new strawberries, and now they are all filled in for next spring! I just have to keep my local racoon from stealing my strawberries.