Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm still gardening and still harvesting...

Despite snow in September, October has proven to be a beautiful Indian Summer.   I am still gardening.  I pulled out the last of the annual flowers and put the strawberry bed back into strawberries.  I was quite slow ordering and ended up with 50 June bearing plants.  Normally, I do 25 June bearing and 25 ever bearing.   Of course, I don't garden alone.  Ella is my gardening partner, or maybe I'm her pine cone throwing partner.  Either way we got the job done.  

She acts like she cares about my gardening, but really she is staring at a pine cone she dropped in the midst of my work (in case I didn't know what she wanted).  She can't understand why I'm not as excited about that pine cone as she is.

I'm also gathering leaves to wrap my roses against the pending winter.  Some went into the compost pile.  I have no idea where the pine cone pursuer is at this point.

I managed to harvest my herbs.  They have been drying for awhile.  They were finally ready to be put in jars and put in the pantry for this winter.  I gathered pine cones for that little planting partner of mine.  When the snow falls it is hard to find her favorite toy.  Needless to say by the nose in the photo, she was very happy about a plethora of pine cones.

The jars hold:  Top left to right; peppermint, blackeyed Susan seeds, parsley.
Bottom left to right; sage, chamomile, thyme.    I will use the peppermint for tea.  The seeds will be gifted and sown around the place.  Parsley is one of my favorite cooking herbs.  I will mix the sage with honey and lemon for sore throats.   The chamomile goes into a hair de-tangler and facial toner.  The thyme will be used with chicken and also in my hair de-tangler 

How is the weather elsewhere?  Do you have a planting partner?  What is your pet's favorite toy?  What are your plans for the harvested herbs?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

When you are lucky enough to live in the mountains...

When you are lucky enough to live in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It is all relative...

I was lucky enough to grow up on the South Dakota prairie next to the Mighty Missouri.  That taught me to appreciate so many things.  The golden ocean that is created by the prairie grasses.   The majesty of the cottonwood tree and the hardiness of the solid oak.  The thunder of the pheasant and it's crackling crow.  Unfortunately there are some downsides to the prairie.  There is the incessant wind, hot muggy summers, and many mosquitoes.   Growing up I didn't respect the beauty and couldn't wait to move to the mountains.   

Now I live in the mountains and, lo and behold with the good there is still the bad.  I love the cool mosquito-less summers.  The clattering golden leaves of the aspen vibrant against the dark green of the pine.  The gobble of the turkey and the bugle of the elk that punctuates the morning sunrise and the evening sunsets.    The hills also have a downside.  Months of deep snow, drawn out freeze thaw springs, and little no-see-um bugs that make my head swell like a pumpkin.  

I always say I love to get older.  I try very hard to learn the lessons life provides.  Probably the most important lesson I have learned is that everything is relative.  For every good there is a bad.  It is best to enjoy the beauty of both worlds.  I enjoyed that this weekend as my husband and I went for an evening walk in the hills and a morning walk out on the prairie.  I hope these photos prove my point.

 I see the moon and the moon sees me.
 Green and gold.

A beautiful evening.

 A beautiful morning.

 Playing hide and seek with the moon and the cottonwood tree.
 Bear Butte in the distance.

The golden grasses.

So which is your favorite?  I have decided to just enjoy the best of both worlds.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Garden of eatin...

The Garden's on Sand Creek also hosted an extensive fruit and vegetable garden.  If you look behind the sign there are espalier apple trees.  These make up one side of a huge pavilion that hosts a giant grill and kitchen area.  The whole thing is surrounded by an herb garden, fruit trees, and vegetable plants.  I'm thinking what a great idea.  The seed is planted:) 
These are the extensive fruit and vegetable beds.  They had about every kind of edible plant imaginable.  All of the harvest is donated to the local food bank.  I have to admit one of the volunteers let me sneak an indigo tomato, since I was thinking about planting them next year.  I wasn't as impressed as I am with my little zebra tomatoes.  Again I apologize for the poor quality of photo, it was quite bright.  There are grapes on the fences and arbors.  They were just taking the hops off of the arbor behind the hose reel.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't going to the food bank.

 I loved the colorful plants.  The Brussels sprouts did quite well.  Behind them is every type of berry imaginable.  That is my version of heaven.

 Of course you can have flowers in the vegetable bed.  There was plenty of calendula flowers and I was so impressed with this giant sunflower.  He was the granddaddy of all sunflowers.
  This was the tomato and pepper bed.   It was nice to see the hoop covers.  I am thinking that may be the only way I get a giant pumpkin.
That is the end of the tour.  There were some other beds, but the photos aren't very good due to the sun.  I can't say enough about all of the ideas I got from this tour.  Their use of rocks, the children's garden, the use of arbors and the pavilion.  My head is still spinning with ideas.  I have been to many gardens, but these were so well planned and so creative.  I hope you also got some ideas.  Thanks for coming.