My Family's Blogs

I'm posting about my Mom's and Sister's blogs today. They both have great blogs and would like to see some more traffic, so check them out!

Mom blogs about her hobbies and crafts here. She sews, cross stitches, and smocks, among other things.

My Sister blogs about her photography hobby and posts pictures. She recently went to a nearby park and took some gorgeous pictures. Check it out here.



Green Thumb Sunday:

Green Thumb Sunday

Join Green Thumb Sunday

This is a picture of Sweet William; we started some in a pot 2 years ago. As you can see it has left the pot and self seeded itself in a new location. In fact, it has spread all across the front gardens. Next year it'll probably be in the lawn. In the meantime I'm enjoying the bright, perky blossoms that keep blooming as everything else dies.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


Garden Makeover Update

Everything appears to have survived so far. It's kind of hard to tell with the Bee Balm and Anise Hyssop since they had already died back. They don't look any deader, so I guess that's a good thing. The Cosmos and Calendula plants I saved revived nicely. I broadcast some cosmos seeds over part of the garden before I replaced the mulch. Hopefully they will germinate next summer.

Today I took some Mandevilla cutttings. I'm trying to root one in water and the other with rooting hormone in a potting soil mix. As for the rest of the plant, since Mom doesn't really want it dug up and brought inside, I'm going to cover it with straw, a rose cone, and possibly some burlap.

We are expecting a frost over the weekend, so I brought some containers into the garage. I discovered that one of the plants in the herb container had grown through the drainage hole and into the ground underneath. I think it's the fennel since it's the largest plant in the pot. I also rummaged around in the shed and unearthed a cold frame. I put it over one of my remaining basil plants and some lettuce. I'm hoping to be able to grow lettuce all winter, or at least get an early start in the spring.

Here are some pictures from Wednesday:
This is from after I finished replacing the mulch.
This is from June, so you can see the changes I made. (The pictures are not taken from the same angle. The picture above is the front of the garden and the one below was taken from the left side of the picture above.)

My Horehound:
And last but not least, my 'supervisor':


Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

I have just joined the Green Thumb Sunday meme. Hopefully it will encourage me to do something with the hundreds of pictures on my hard drive. Click the picture on the right to find out more.


Mini Garden Makeover

Yesterday my Dad and I added some compost, manure, peat moss and topsoil to my flower bed. I started by pulling up all the annuals that were dead and then worked at moving the mulch to the side and dug up perennials as I came to them. It was a good opportunity to do some rearranging, so I took advantage of it. The Horehound finally got planted in a paint can- I first mentioned this in August -Dad and I discovered that it's very difficult to punch a hole in a plastic paint can. Anyway that's taken care of now and one less thing to worry about. I also figured out why my Valerian has not grown much this year - it got pushed out of the soil and was trying to grow in the mulch. It is now firmly in the ground, but it remains to be seen whether or not it will survive the winter.

On Monday I gave my Mrs. Benson tomatoes a major trim. I'm trying to encourage them to produce and ripen tomatoes instead of flowering and growing leaves. I noticed the peppers are also flowering. I've gotten quite a few seeds from my beans. Next spring I'll test for viability and decide whether or not I should buy seeds or use what I collected. The garlic has been planted, as have some bulbs called Puschkinia libanotica. I haven't researched them yet, but it has a pretty white flower and blooms in March or April.

Speaking of bulbs, I did errands with my Mom today, and we bought some Hyacinth bulbs and Anemone bulbs. After we got home, I spent the rest of my evening sorting flower seeds. Mostly Calendula and Salvia. Wouldn't it be nice if all seeds were as simple to collect as bean seeds are? My Mom loves it and I've been saving the seeds for her for a few years now. It's so tedious to pull all the flowers open to see if there's a seed inside. I'm really starting to dislike Salvia. A lot. So, if anyone has a better way to collect Salvia seeds, please let me know.



Quick Post & Website Link

Just a quick post to let everyone know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! I've been busy this past week painting my room and completely ignoring my gardens. (I know that's really naughty of me, but I promise I'll make time to find out what's still growing sometime today.) Since I don't have a lot of time or anything really interesting to blog about, check out Dave Epstein's website:
Growing Wisdom.com Advice, Inspiration and information for Gardeners
(The videos take a while to load, but they are well worth the wait!)

Enjoy Fall; Winter is just around the corner!


Indian Summer

According to Wikipedia Indian summer is 'a name given to a period of sunny, warm weather in autumn, not long before winter. Usually occurring after the first frost, Indian summer can be in late October or early November in the northern hemisphere, and late April or early May in the Southern hemisphere. It can persist for a few days or extend to a week or more.'
We haven't had a frost yet, be the weather this Fall has been unseasonably warm -not that I'm complaining - I'll take as much warm weather as I can get. Anyway since I have no idea when the weather will change I decided to give my tomatoes a trim yesterday. The Mrs. Benson variety have had early blight for quite some time now, so I trimmed all most of the affected branches. (If I'd done all of them there wouldn't be much left on the plants) Most of the affected branches were at the bottom, so they're rather top heavy now, especially since they've had a lot of growth at the top. I don't know if the flowers will set fruit or not, but I figured it'd be worth it to find out. According to my favorite online weather forecast the temperature will drop dramatically in the next week or so. Maybe I'll look for another forecast...
I'm still getting tomatoes and peppers. I've been freezing the tomatoes, hopefully I'll remember they're in the freezer and use them. The recipe I have in mind is a basil tomato sauce from Mom's canning book; I'm going try and adapt it for fewer tomatoes and some different ingredients.

My attempt to root the Clematis failed - the cutting was to far gone. However, the plant managed to revive itself. I think it has enough growth to survive any upcoming cold snap. Now I just need to figure out the best way to overwinter the Mandevilla...



Canning Pictures

Saturday Mom and I canned 9 pints of tomato sauce and 19 pints of tomatoes. Here are some pictures:
What I started with:

The final result:

19 pints of tomatoes + 9 pints of tomato sauce:

What's left of a Zucchini Fudge Cake I made earlier in the week:

Enjoy the pictures!