Friday, September 26, 2014


I had training in Ft. Collins, Colorado last week.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I'm not a big city fan (I always feel trapped).  Well, I was in for a pleasant surprise.  Across from the building where our training was held was the Gardens on Spring.  They were amazing.  Especially the children's garden.   I apologize for the harsh light,  I went every day at noon.  A great time to refresh from training, not so good for taking photos.  Our tour today will be of the children's garden.  I do not have kids, but I was one once and I would have been in love with this place.

What a great entrance.
 Information about the different parts of the garden.
 You can't see them, but there are little watering cans everywhere for the kids to play with.
 I had never considered putting a piano in the garden, but it works.
 The signs were bright and bold, as well as the sculptures.

This is the entrance to the Secret Garden.  The secret garden had little tee-pees, log table and chairs, and little kid benches  hidden among the trees and plants. There were sound poles also throughout, so a little kid could talk in the shower tube and their friend, somewhere in the garden could hear them.

The sound pole is above and the hidden tee-pee is below.  I walked by the tee-pee twice before I saw it.  I also had to go look up what the little shower poles were for.  

 There are all sorts of things in the path to make you look.  Information about the months and animal tracks to be identified.  There was even a sundial.

 Even a miniature train garden with an actual running train.  I was scared to make it go, but a kind little boy proudly showed me how the whole thing worked.
 Back to the water feature.  It wasn't easy capturing a photo of it without kids.  Right after I took this about 40 little kids and parents showed up.  That was my cue to exit.  It was pandemonium.  
This was just the highlights there were more things than I could take photos of or name.  The vision this garden had was amazing.   If you are ever in the Ft. Collins area, please stop and spend some time enjoying this beautiful place.  I will have more about some of the other gardens in my next post.  I hope this gave you some ideas.  I know I will be working with my sister to help her implement a few of these ideas.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Harvest continued...

 For not having a great garden this year, I am getting a pretty good harvest.  I took my little sweetcorn ears and cut them off of the cob.  The final tally was 8 cups of corn.  Not bad.  Then came the crab apples.  I boiled them then used the fruit press to squeeze the juice.  The juice went towards wine and jelly.  The pulp was put through the food mill to make apple sauce.  Then I put the pulp from the peach wine through the food mill.  I ended up with a wonderful batch of peach/crab applesauce.  It is much sweeter than the crab applesauce I made last week.  Busy busy.  
I also tackled the worm bin.  I took the bottom layer and have it soaking in water for a nice houseplant fertilizer.  I then took potting soil, the leftovers from canning, shredded paper and some other compost for a new home.  Hopefully, they will be happy little worms and make plenty of fertilizer for my houseplants next spring.  

It was kind of a bummer working inside when outside the colors are incredible.  Mother Nature is rewarding us with a fall after keeping fall from us last year.  

 My camera does not do the vividness justice.  Oh to capture the scent of fall and the sound of the blue jays.  It was a wonderful weekend.  I hope everyone is enjoying the season also.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Ok, I can admit that waking up to this (even if it is September) is pretty cool.
 The snow put harvesting on fast forward.  Even the beekeeper came early to harvest the honey.
 I tipped over the potato cage and gathered the potatoes.  They aren't huge, but it is better than what I got when I planted them in the ground.
 I made 6 jars of crab apple jam, 10 jars of spicy vanilla peach jam, 14 jars of spiced peaches, 8 jars of spiced crab applesauce.  1 huge jar of brandied peaches, 1 gallon of rhubarb wine, potatoes, apples, sweet corn, plenty of leftover crab apples and one honeycomb.  
 I will make wine and more jam with the crab apples.  The sweetcorn will be frozen.  Who knows what will happen with the honeycomb.  I'm happy with my little harvest.  There is also box of green tomatoes, as the greenhouse was unable to fend of the freeze.  

I've had lots of people amazed we had snow this early.  Seriously, nobody else got any snow? How lucky can we be:)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Double Drat...

Yes, I these photos are from today.  Why is the weatherman only right when he predicts snow?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hummingbirds and sunflowers...

We went back to Minnesota a few weeks ago.  It was a good trip.  It is always good to see family.  I also enjoyed the show my mother-in-law's hummingbirds put on.  I had one this year, but she had a plethora.  I put on my pink hat and tried to take as many photos as I could.  I'm a sucker for hummingbirds.

 The sunflowers in South Dakota were breathtaking.  The fields literally glowed.  I'm sure those were happy bees in those hives.

Finally, for my loyal readers.  During a meandering Minnesota drive, I about jumped out of the pickup while it was moving.  Lo and behold I saw that Darlene had made it to 70. Congratulations Darlene!  You were just 60 three years ago.  Someday I will stop and meet Darlene and her sign painter.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What the heck happened?

So I really thought I had this vegetable gardening down.  The last two years I had some wonderful harvests.  Well, not this year.  I guess it had to do with the cool weather all year.  This is my first harvest.  Yes, fellow gardeners this is my FIRST harvest and I don't foresee much after this.

I was hoping to make crab apple jelly, but they are still a tad tart.
My sweetcorn has about another week to go, but now my husband is saying it is supposed to snow Wed or Thursday.  Drat.
At least I can close up the greenhouse and try to coax some more tomatoes and peppers.  No berries and no garden produce from this year's harvest.  It is a good thing I don't rely on them for survival or I'd be losing some weight.  Guess I will have to go with my gardening credo... "maybe next year."