Thursday, June 13, 2013

Veggies, Fruits and Projects

Despite the fact that daytime highs have been 109 - 117 for the past two weeks, the garden still is producing a varied bounty, including Anna apples (about 1 1/2 bushels so far), Ruby Seedless Grapes (nearly 15 lbs so far), tomatoes and habaneros.  Half the Annas were turned into a gallon of applesauce on Saturday and most of it is gone already.  Some of the grapes were picked just a little too early, in order to save them from the marauding birds, so I'll probably be making grape jelly real soon.

Some of the Large Red Cherry tomatoes.

Lots more on the vine.

Habaneros ripening.

My new toy makes peeling and coring apples a cinch.

Applesauce cooking on the stove.

The finished product.

This is about 1/2 the grapes I've picked.

I've been trying to grow some of the seeds I got from the 'Minerva' amaryllis and while some have sprouted, the seedlings have not fared well and all of them died, presumably from getting too dry, so I made a cloche out of an empty 2 liter soda bottle and put the last of the seeds under it.  Well, after about 3 1/2 weeks I finally got a single sprout and it's doing rather well under the cloche, so I sowed some seeds from 'Red Lion' and placed them under another recyled cloche; now to wait for results.

Recycled 2 liter bottle cloche.

"Minerva' seedling about 6 weeks after being sown.

I got an early Father's Day gift from my daughter and I decided this one better stay in the house or she may cause a riot among the bachelors out front.

She has ample "assets" in front and back.

Since I call my house "Dove Manor" due to all the doves I get at the feeders, I decided to make it official and make a plaque for the front entrance.  I used a faux slate roof tile, cut to the appropriate size, then covered it with painter's masking tape.  I then taped a printout of the design I made and used a razor knife to create a "stencil", removing the masking tape where the paint was to be.  Then it was spray painted white and when dry, the tape was removed to reveal the design on the plaque.  Using a special adhesive made for concrete and stone, I placed the plaque on the pillar closest to the front gate.

The uncut tile.

The plaque covered in painter's tape.

Preparing to cut the design into the tape.

The finished plaque hung for all to see.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Happenings 5-30 to 6-4

Despite the heat (108+ for the past 5 days) things are still blooming, especially the glads, as yet another unknown one bloomed.  The roses are also still blooming, as are the daylilies and the cannas.  I actually got some seeds from the cannas and it looks like more are developing.

Unknown glad.

A collage of all the other glads that have bloomed this year.

Climbing Joseph's Coat

A carpet of miniature roses.

I harvested more Anna apples and will be making applesauce with them and also harvested the first of the Ruby Seedless grapes, which my wife tells me were delicious.  The asparagus beans have gotten so much larger in just a few days and I'll be picking the first ones soon. Since the potatoes didn't survive the heat, I planted squash in the bed and the zucchini and butterstick have already sprouted, as have the purple tomatillos in the "salsa" bed.

Zucchini and butterstick squash sprouting.

Purple tomatillo sprouts

I found another interesting insect in the front flower bed, a Thread-waisted Wasp, Ammophila procera.

My neighbor gave me a tricycle planter that she no longer wanted that has three planters; it was a bit rusty, but I gave it a new coat of paint and looks like new.  I lined each of the planters with weed fabric attached with zip ties, then potted each with Moss Rose, Portulaca grandiflora, that should spill over as they begin to fill out.

Freshly painted and waiting for plants.

Lining's in place, now for planting.

I think it came out beautifully.

I also had purchased some plastic stacking pots a few weeks ago and after a visit to WalMart where I bought some daylilies on clearance, I found a use for them.  I planted each tier with a different variety, of which there are Stella d' Oro, Eenie Allegro and New Toy.  If they grow, then this Fall I'll transplant them into the bed with my other daylily, and if not, then at least I tried.  I may get a few more of these for succulents.