Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Excitement in the Garden!

A couple of weeks ago, I found baby Black Swallowtail cats on our dill plants. They were teeny tiny, much smaller than they appear in these pics, and weird looking. I've never seen Black Swallowtail cats, so I had no idea what they were! Before I could rescue them, though, the wasps got them. I was so upset!

This morning, as I was coming back inside from my morning stroll through the garden and checking on the tomato cages DH has built, I found a Black Swallowtail cat that had evidently escaped or survived the wasp attack! Woohoo! I was so excited! I showed it to DH and told him, "We HAVE TO rescue this guy!"

The husband had an appointment and had to leave, so I found a wide-mouthed plastic gallon jug, cut the parsley and put the sprigs in some water in old medicine bottles, and put the guy in the jug. I cut some holes in the top for ventilation until we can get some screen mesh put on the top. I need to get a stick for the cat in case he wants to make his cocoon on it. Otherwise, he'll probably use the screen mesh.

He's currently residing on my washing machine, but I think he'll probably be moved back outside to a shady spot. Stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Flower's are a Bloomin'!

The front flower bed by our driveway is coming alive with color. In the past couple of days, I've added several new plants, which I'll profile later on at some point in time.

The gaillardia (Blanketflower) has come back in full force. I gave many of these away at the plant swap this past weekend and I've pulled some and put in the compost pile. There are many self-seeded plants in my flower bed as well.

This scabiosa daisy has really put on a show this year. I really wish this thing flowered all summer, but alas, it doesn't.

Phlox pilosa (Prairie phlox) was added last spring. It's a wonderful bloomer and the flowers have a very soft scent to them. It's most prevalent in the early morning and late evening hours when it's not so hot.

Here's a better pic of the little flowers that can range from pink to purple.

This Sweet William was also a new addition to the garden last year. It acted as a perennial last year, but I'm not sure if it really is. I absolutely LOVE the color and the long-lasting flowers. I hope to collect seeds from this to plant more next year. By the way, that's a Prairie Coreopsis sticking out from the middle of the plant!

The poppies have performed beautifully this year. I've pulled out several of the little ones that have already bloomed, but I'm waiting for the bigger ones to go to seed before pulling them.

The Brazos Penstemon is still blooming. It's gotten top heavy and some are laying down. The color is so pretty and the flowers are so dainty. Last year, when I didn't know what I was doing, I collected a seed pod. Threw the seeds into one of my winter sowing containers and they've sprouted! Now I'll need to transplant them to bigger containers and then plant them in the fall.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's Going on in the Garden

Things are finally picking up in the veggie garden. We've finally gotten some steady warm weather and the veggies are thriving. I think I can safely say that spring is here and summer's on our doorstep.

This is the last radish of the ones I planted in March. I'm letting it go to seed. The radish itself is HUGE!

The broccoli is also going to seed. From the looks of it, I'm going to have TONS of seeds!

Both of the larger garlic plants have thrown up bloom stalks. I have cut them off so that the energy goes to the bulb and produces larger bulbs.

The companion planted bed is growing well. This bed has cucumbers, which you can't see well, onions, carrots, and volunteer tomatoes in it. We finally got it all mulched with oak leaves from our front yard.

Lookie what I found on one of the maters?!? How exciting is this?!?

I planted out my little orange bell peppers last week. Some are doing well and others have bit the dust.

The cukes have finally come up and are doing well. The squirrels kept digging up the little hills where I'd planted the seeds. Everyday I was having to stick seeds back down in the ground. It's one of the few times I wish I'd had a pea shooter or bb gun!

We have black-eyed peas! They only took 3 days to germinate and we didn't pre-soak them.

A few of the okra seeds have also started germinating.

The bush beans are also starting to germinate.

My lone jalapeno plant went into the ground last week, too. I traded 2 away at the plant swap and I'm giving 3 away to friends.

The dill is doing great! One of my plants has set a flower pod. I think this is called a "crown", but I'm not sure. I expect flowers soon and then some seeds! It's really been a nice plant and a wonderful scent to have in the garden this spring.

Lastly, I scored 3 blackberry bushes for my berry lovin' husband at the plant swap. One of the guys in the group was digging his berry bushes up to get rid of them, so I told him I'd take them They came with some young fruit. I know nothing about growing blackberries, so this is strictly the husband's project.