Category Archives: Gardening

Outdoor gardening; Daylily

I snapped this photo a few moments ago, it definitely stands out since it’s surrounded by a lot of green plants.

Flowers  Day Lily_1

Daylily

Natural Beekeeping/Gardening: Culling pests

Since I enjoy insects so much, especially honeybees, It’s only natural that I’m also thinking about the comfort of my daughter and myself, as I work on my honeybees brand-new home. We love to watch them!

In my last post about my Adventures in Beekeeping, Q of Curls & Q asked…

curls and q says:
June 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Do mosquitoes bother bees?
curls and q recently posted..Fiber Sandwich

Mosquitoes don’t seem to bother the honeybees. In fact, I see one or two resting on the outside of the beehive (glowers)  but I can’t say the same thing about us! Additionally ticks are rampant in the area where the Warre hive is which means it’s not really smart to hang out there for long… not if you don’t want to have one of those suckers on your body.

Plants - Insect repellent plants_1

 

Once we came back from Richardson’s Farm we had a tiny wagon load of plants. The plants I’m using are effective, I’ve used them in our garden for years as “natural pest repellents”. We have about an acre of organic garden on our property. The pests are controlled by using pest repelling plants (mint, lavender, citronella, garlic, etc.) and other natural remedies.

It took about two hours to break up the ground enough so that the flowers and herbs could be planted. The reason is simple, that part of our land has a lot of clay and rocks. It was a serious workout just to make the earth soft. Admittedly, this type of soil doesn’t make it the easiest setting for a flower garden but it’s doable. You just need patience.

Red Cedar Chips

More Landscaping and Before and after photos

Tomorrow, part of the area where we’d be hanging will receive a lot of attention from me to make it less tick & mosquito friendly. For starters, I’ll be tilling the ground and then I’ll lay down a carpet of red cedar chips (which is a mosquito and tick repellent). Honeybees don’t seem to mind red cedar. There are many beekeepers that have hives made of red cedar wood. Red cedar is very durable, and supposedly hives made with the wood don’t have to be waterproofed with paint.

The area that’s getting a “landscape makeover” is far enough away from the honeybees that they won’t be agitated by us checking them out. Although I’d love to put a grill back there, I think I won’t since I’m concerned that the potential smoke that could drift in their area might make them think that their hive is on fire.

This summer, I’m seriously thinking about building my own man-made koi pond. When I finally decide to do this, it’ll be located about 500 yards away from our  “bee sanctuary.” I’ve always wanted one, and if I’m going to install it somewhere, I think that location will be a great spot, further back is level ground and it doesn’t have as much clay/rocks. My only concern are the feral cats in our small community.

 

I’ll be sure to post before and after shots of the area.

Prepping for canning; jams, jellies, and more

Here’s a picture of our grapevine. The grapes are sweet, tangy, and delicious!

 

If it were only me, I’d have started canning at my normal wake up time of 3:30 (my internal alarm usually wakes me around this time) but , since my daughter really wants to help can I’m waiting…

Since I knew I’d have to wait on her to awaken, I decided to wait until this morning to pick grapes from our grapevine.

Our Chestnut tree….

 

Around 6:00 am you could find me headed toward our grapevine…

On the way, I was pleased to see our chestnut tree loaded with delicious chestnuts that were hidden beneath their prickly shells. Chestnuts shells are needle sharp, and quite painful if you get them stuck in your feet. The spines are so sharp, they’ll even piece thin soled shoes. I make sure the ground under the chestnut tree stays clean, to avoid any accidents. Did you know chestnuts are the only “nuts” that contain vitamin C?

 

My morning companion

 

While picking grapes, I did uncover a very disgruntled toad, he wasn’t pleased that his hide out (under a lawnmower) was removed. I imagine it was cooler under there, and was a perfect spot to stay hidden and feast on an array of insects who also called that location home.

This bucket is larger than it appears. I have enough to can several jars of grape jelly, and there’s still more grapes on the vine.

 

I was pleased with the amount of grapes harvested from our grape vine and I cannot wait to use some of them when I can later this morning.

 

It looks like I’ll need to pick some field peas, here’s a few hanging outside the fence. We have about one acre of garden, enclosed in a fence.

My daughter and I are looking forward to canning jams and jellies today; As I mentioned in yesterdays post we’ll be using figs, grapes, and peaches… all of them grow in our garden.

 

 

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Psalms 19:1

Flower; Datura

Sometimes bumblebees get caught in our Daturas….

While walking Mr. Bentley, our Shih Tzu, I took these pictures from our yard. Besides the recent post about the birthday party my daughter attended, It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything non fiber related, right? I’m thinking, it’s time I post photos of something else…

Curls recently posted lovely pictures of her flowers, and that was the kick in the butt I needed to post pictures of our flowers.

So bright and vivid!

I love nature, and being outdoors, and I must say it’s apparent if you were to visit our home.

 

Flowers; small flower garden

All the pretty flowers…

Parts of our yard is heavily scented with flowers.

Peach tree

Nothing compares to fresh produce, the flavor is unbelievable!

We have a few fruit trees in our yard; pear, peach, mulberry, cherry, and apple. We also have one chestnut tree.

Flowers

I love these flowers, simple but beautiful!

While taking the pictures, I couldn’t help but think how truly amazing our world is…

Flowers

We received rain last evening, I thought the rain drops looked lovely.

God created an awesome world!


Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World

Overabundance of produce; early morning gardening

Warning this is a picture heavy post…

Rose

The past few weeks we’ve received heavy downpours of rain, and our garden has shown it’s appreciation through the overabundance of produce we’ve received.

Barrelful of watermelon

Watermelons picked from our one acre garden.

Early morning is my favorite time to do gardening work, and so you usually can find me in the garden shortly after 5:00 am. This morning, I was pleased with the amount of watermelons we had in our garden. I needed a wheelbarrow to get all  the watermelons. We also have cantaloupe, and honeydew melons.

 

Toys and watermelons

My daughter placing her toys amongst the watermelons

This morning my daughter awoke early enough to join me outside, and while I wasn’t expecting her to be awake at 5:30, I enjoyed her company!

Amineko & Barbie with watermelons

Amineko and Barbie, basking in the early sun rays…

She and arranged one of the collectible Barbie dolls that I’d given her onto the watermelons. Mario, one of the crocheted amineko’s I’d made, joined Julie the Barbie (my daughter named them both) as they basked in the early morning sun rays…

 

dried beans

Beans from our garden, they were dried in the sun, shelled and are stored in jars.

 

Here’s a photo of some of the beans my daughter and I shelled, last evening. There were a lot, so it took about two hours to complete the task. The time flew by quickly as we worked, we chatted about the day, and talked about upcoming activities we’d be doing, such as the chart recently mentioned on Curls&Q, my daughter is a list maker. Of course, my fingertips are still numb from shelling all those beans.

Gardening can be hard work, but I enjoy it immensely. If you put effort into your crops, it can be rewarding.

Last evening, I did knit a few rows of my Elizabeth cowl, but it wasn’t completed. I could if I’d pushed myself, but I was exhausted from yesterdays activities.

 

Knitted Elizabeth cowl

My knitted Elizabeth cowl, it still needs to be blocked.

This morning, once my gardening was complete, I was able to finish the Elizabeth cowl! It’s not exactly like the pattern, since I added extra stitches/rows, and I opted for a heavier yarn (worsted weight) I still like how it’s turned out. I might keep this cowl for myself, since I do prefer them over scarves.

 

Knit Picks Options interchangeable needles has arrived; replacement

Black-eyed Susan

I’ve always loved Black-eyed Susan’s… we have a lot of them around our house. I took this snapshot about an hour ago. Isn’t it lovely?

Last week I commented about the awesome customer service I’d received from Knit Picks.

I’d recently purchased the Options interchangeable circular knitting needles in nickel plate, upon inspection I noticed that one of the size 4 needle tips was slightly bent where the knitting needle connects to the cable. Uh oh! It wasn’t that obvious, but I called Knit Picks anyway, since I didn’t want to run the risk of stripping where it connects to the cable join.

Knit Picks Options Interchangeable circular knitting needles

The customer service rep was pleasant and told me a replacement needle would be sent to my home.  My replacement needle arrived about an hour ago. An instead of just one needle, I received two. I thought that was nice.

Thanks Knit Picks for the impressive customer service. I will be ordering from you again.

In other news…

Knitting Elizabeth Cowl

Knitting: Elizabeth Cowl from the Wendy Knits Lace Book

I’m almost finished my first project from the book, Wendy Knits Lace. I’m knitting the Elizabeth cowl. I decided to make the cowl in a worsted weight yarn, a bit thicker weight than what was mentioned in the book.

Knitting: Elizabeth-Cowl

Almost at the halfway mark with my Elizabeth cowl, and yes I used my Knit Picks Options interchangeable knitting needles.

I took the above pictures two days ago, and have added several inches since that time. I most likely will complete it later today.

Hanging with nature; early morning gardening….

Gardening and early mornings seem to go together… you know? it’s usually much cooler, which means I can complete a lot of work; weeding, bug removal, harvesting, without getting hot.

Gardening 06 24 12 2

Around 5:00 am this morning, you could find me in our garden applying a homemade remedy to the plants.  It’s organic, and the insects, and some animals, don’t like it at all! Which works out perfectly for us! How fun would it be to be fighting with insects or groundhogs for fruits and vegetables? Beans were picked, weeds and insects were removed, and I did a bit of digging too. It’s a great workout.

Gardening 06 24 12 3

The above photo shows a portion of a garden row. What you’re looking at is pole beans (left), and broccoli (right).

On the other side of broccoli is one of our cabbage rows. I’ll have to take pictures since they’re huge. I was in the garden for about two hours, and now I’m back inside. The garden is about an acre.

I have a free day, since my client’s work is complete. I tossed the clothing into the washing machine, before I headed out to the garden this morning, and the only thing left to do is fold our clothes. Later on I’ll work on the knitted beanie hat, perhaps I’ll finish it today.

My daughter is still sleeping.