Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter Casualty

Recently we found a dead deer on our property. Not quite sure how it was killed although there are several coyotes in the area. The birds have been enjoying a feast. There have been hundreds of crows and even some vultures partaking. This was the best blurry shot of one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canning Salsa

We have been busy canning lots of pickles, raspberry jelly, and pizza sauce. Today I tried canning salsa for the first time. I have not found a recipe that I liked yet, but came across some from the Ball recipe website that I want to try. The bruschetta and Sweet Yellow Tomato Chutney look delicious. Also found this website that have nice recipes. I am also super excited about my new jars. They are wide mouth pints, perfect for dipping chips into.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The woodpeckers are already enjoying the millet seeds. We leave this ornamental millet up over the winter for the chickadees and the goldfinches.

Pickled Garlic

3-4 heads of garlic
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pickling spice
1 tsp granulated sugar

1. Peel garlic. Remove hot jars from canner and pack garlic into jars.

2. Bring vinegars, salt, and sugar to a boil. Pour over garlic leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Process 10 minutes for half pint jars.

Makes 2 half-pint jars.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Love these marigolds from the UMore Garden display. They look like orange pompoms dotting the annual beds. I need to find seed for these and grow them next year. Wonder if they come in other colors.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Veggie Garden Update

The vegetable garden is growing great this year. Pictures below courtesy of GD/GM who were visiting last weekend.

Beans! Note for next year, do not make poles so tall as you can't reach the beans on the top.


Zucchini! Ladybug is getting her fill :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We have seen more monarchs this year than any other year. We have added lots of coneflowers, zinnia, hydrangea, and rudabeckia for them to enjoy. Inch Worm enjoys watching them flutter through the air.

Morning Glory Arbor


These look like a weedy mess but Dakota Pearl variety we dug up the other day were delicious!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bee Balm

We added several types of bee balm to the garden last year -- red, white, and a short red variety purchased at plant sales. A purple variety also showed up in the North garden. It seems to be a "weed" around here as I have seen it on the edge of the woods in several spots along the road. I have seen hummingbirds around them, so they are keepers in my garden. Almost all though have developed a little powdery mildew in the fall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sproats are going strong. I have a lot of weeding to do.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Zinnia 'Green Envy'

These are a fun color zinnia. They do turn brown as they dry which is not attractive, but I am trying to save seed and not deadhead. The butterflies are also enjoying them.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Seed collecting

I can not believe it is time to start collecting seeds already. The poppy seed heads have dried and turned brown, ready to be picked. The seeds I planted from this plant last year reverted back to a smaller simpler poppy than the hybrid, but I really like the simple look of them and will do it again next year. A couple of the columbine a red variety and the william guiness produced their black shiny seeds. What seeds are you collecting for next year?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Mystery Blue Iris

Visited the UMore Garden today. The master gardeners were busy digging up and dividing irises and I got their extras! He gave me a bag of a pale blue variety. I did some searching on their Iris Garden and there is a variety called Crystal Blue that is light blue, or maybe Honkey Tonk Blues. I love a good mystery plant. Something to look forward to seeing bloom next year.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thorny Guy has broken my camera! He has a knack for breaking everything he tried to use. Recently he broke another one of my hand shovels (not a pink one). Usually he is good about not touching my tools, in fact he knows any tool that is pink means he can not use it.
He goes through about three shovels a year! Usually the handle splits in two. Any products out there that wants to take the Thorny Guy challenge, we will review them and see if they can stand up to the wrath of Thorny Guy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

First Coneflower

Isn't it early for coneflowers? Well this white swan does not think so. All my other pictures of coneflowers in Minnesota are from mid-July!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cheerful Combination

These coreopsis and blanket flower just make me put on a smile. They are so bright and cheerful. Inch Worm also seems to enjoy all of the flowers. He wants to touch each one before we can move onto the next garden. It is extremely cute until you hit a display like this or one covered in bees.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Filling it in...

The woodland garden is filling in nicely. I recently bought some plants from Linders at half off and added them to the border. I can not believe how well the wintersown columbine are filling in. Next year, this should be an awesome drift of columbine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I love the way a fresh layer of mulch smells in the garden. It looks great too. Thorny Guy and I got a trailer full of mulch last weekend. I have been slowly making progress applying to the gardens. Somehow I do not think there is enough to go around. Can one ever have too much mulch? Not at our place!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Water Lilies

Every gardener has a spot they ignore right? Well mine is our pond. After an attempt at removing the rocks around the edge and finding out it was a tough and big job, I find the project/problem easier to ignore.
The other day though, Thorny Guy tells me I must check out the water lilies which are blooming. They are fabulous! You just have to ignore everything else around them.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Painted Daisies

The painted daisies are blooming in the Wagon Garden. These are three year old plants, blooming for the first time. They only get morning sun. The whole garden has a country feel to it.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Creeping Phlox

This is a variety called 'Candy Stripe'. It is planted in Sneaky's garden. I originally bought two but the one towards the house is struggling to hang on after winter. This one however it huge. I need to try my hand at taking cuttings to make more. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Solomon Seal

The solomon seal has settled into its new home over the last two years. It is just starting to create more offshoots in the Hilltop Garden

Saturday, May 29, 2010

June TODO List

Here are my things to do in the garden for the month.
  • Plant pumpkins, cucumbers, pole beans for trellis
  • Plant Cilantro, basil, oregano
  • Stake peas and beans
  • Move daffodils and tulips as the foliage fades
  • Take more cuttings for propagation
  • Pinch back mums
  • Mulch
  • Remove spent blooms
  • Gather primula and lenten rose seeds
  • Weed
  • Water

Friday, May 28, 2010

Irises in full swing

The irises are blooming like crazy right now which was not good for the couple days we had 90 degree weather. They just melted away. With the front of cooler weather going through they seem much happier. Some of the ones we acquired from plant sales are blooming for the first time. We especially love a little gem called Dark Vader (not pictured) that smells like vanilla.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Propagation Success!

After several attempts at propagation by stem cuttings, I finally got something other than sedum to root! Maybe it was the timing of when I took the cuttings or the humidity in the mini greenhouse, but whatever it was I am happy.
So what worked? Well the hydrangea both a wild white variety and blue rooted well. The pulmanaria was about 50% and the phlox about 70%. Everything with roots got a new home in a pot under the deck near the rain barrels so I can easily water them. Anyone know if they should still be kept in part shade until they are bigger?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Someone's been eating my columbine!

Here it is all nice and filled out, ready to bloom.

Then these little buggers came along. I think they are sawfly larva.

In the morning this is what my columbine looked like after the had at it.

I fed them to the chickens after hand picking them off the leaves. Revenge! But there are probably still some munching away at it that I missed. I also tried a soap based spray, but seemed to have no effect. Blast!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lily of the valley

I just love how the shadow of the bells came out on this photo. For a lot of pictures I just put my camera down to plant level and snap. It is always fun to see what turns out well back at the computer. After two years these are really starting to fill in.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Problem

Whatever this shrub is, it needs to be pruned back. I have also seen some of these dotting the woods, so it is probably invasive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It has been forever since a chicken post. The eight girls that survived the fall culling are doing great. They are still laying between four and six eggs a day. Not bad for some old clucks.

Species Tulipa Saxatilis

These mid season tulips really extend the tulip season. Nice to see blooms while everything else has just finished or is just beginning. These are really cheerful little flowers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Woodland Path done

The woodland path is done. I have also added all of my wintersown columbine, ferns, jacob ladder, and some bugle weed. Now it just needs to grow and fill in before the weeds do.

Nest to tackle is the space between the woodland path and the pond. Thorny Guy cleared some bucktorn and some black cherry trees. Now I have to remove the other weeds and figure out what to do here. We like that it is more open so that you can see the chicken garden and orchard from the house.
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