Thursday, May 28, 2015

Remembering the mountains

I was thinking about the mountains in South America today - we were describing our trip last winter to our visiting relatives (my dad and his wife).

They were spared the digital version of our "slideshow" from the trip, which actually would have been quite nice; I would have enjoyed it!


Friday, May 22, 2015

A robust hemlock and flame azalea in full flower

Adding plants...

This Eastern hemlock and Rhododenron calendulaceum (in flower) have flourished in the side garden between our house and the neighbors.

We're flanked by a rental house on one side and a probably century-old brick apartment building on the other; we've been cleaning up and gardening on both sides (with the owners' blessings), with lots of native plants and others, since we first bought this house over 7 years ago.

It's amazing now to reflect on what a transformation that it's been so far.

That's the magic of gardening!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A lovely white rose

When the Garden Blogger's Fling was in Asheville a few years ago, I was lucky enough to win a gift certificate from a rose grower as a raffle gift.  She was a Florida rose grower who grew all sorts of heirloom roses, etc.

I'm not a rose person who's willing to coddle them, so I picked the hardiest white climbing rose that she had in her catalog.

It's done just fine.  It drops all of its leaves early due to some sort of leaf spot, but flowers quite nicely.  This spring is the best ever!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tomatoes, peppers, basil, and eggplant

I finally managed to snag warm-season transplants last week, and they're now in the ground (with the usual dance around spinach, lettuce, garlic, and the peas that are finally growing rapidly -- probably just to be zapped by hot dry weather).

Soon to follow are the direct-seeded warm season veggies, although not that many. 

I sorted through my seeds today, matching up space to seed and will need to be careful.  I'm mindful of climbing squash in the front garden looking AWFUL in mid-season, because of powderly mildew!

I think I'll sow pole beans of various sorts tomorrow, set up additional trellises, and do a woodchuck barrier in the lower bed, so it might actually be productive, too.

My gardening companion disturbed the woodchuck burrow this afternoon, but I know that s/he will have multiple tunnels.  S/he ate our neighbor's tomato plants a couple of days ago.  I wouldn't have thought that tomato foliage would be high on a woodchuck food preference list, but perhaps they're hungry...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chives and vegetables

The chives that I brought last year (from dividing long-established plants) are huge, witness to the power of organic fertilizer, I suppose. 

They were never this big in my Piedmont beds, which were amended, but obviously not as well as I thought!

chives in flower
I've already planted the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant (as well as herbs) that I snagged at the Mountain Herb Festival this last weekend at the WNC Farmer's Market. 

I tried to be moderate and select an appropriate variety for the space that I have, and what we really like to eat- cherry (Sweet Million and Black Cherry), slicing tomatoes (a variety) as well as paste tomatoes (an improved San Marzano) for roasting and freezing.  The peppers included an ancho and a Romano pepper which sounded like my favorite pizza peppers (which I would have grown from seed if I'd time).  I may still do some peppers from seed (there's usually plenty of warm season growing time, even here in the mountains).
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