Pumpkins in a pot…

My daughter loves…I mean LOVES pumpkin seeds.  Every year for Halloween the seeds from the jack-o-lanterns are saved, washed, and roasted..and vanish very quickly afterward.  This year she put some into a sandwich container to roast later…and when she went to roast them….they had sprouted!

Image result for pumpkin seed sprouts

The obvious thing to do, of course, is…give the seeds to mom.

Pumpkins don’t really ‘thrive’ here in the Lowcountry…too much heat, no cold snap.  But heaven knows if they were ever going to grow, this nice cool weather is the tome to try. So I dragged out my big ‘tree’ pot, dumped in mulch, and topsoil and voila!

Sprouts of pumpkin seeds

The pot will remain outdoors soaking up warmth and sunshine until fall chills arrive, then move to the porch where the sprouts are protected from any untoward weather.

Can’t wait till spring.  Image result for 4 month old pumpkin plants

Hope springs….

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Gardener–minus the Garden

It’s a hard thing for me to deal with this spring…yes,  February is the beginning of our spring planting season here in the Lowcountry…and here it is March and I have precious little in the ground save the quickie crops…radishes, etc.

This spring…we are thinking we will be moving.  If not right now, as soon as school ends, which is long before most crops will be grown and ready to harvest.  How then to have a decent garden at a time when the uncertainty of the months ahead makes it ever more important to have my own source of vegetables?  The pear tree is covered in blooms.  If we are here long enough, there will be bumper crops of pears, blackberries and black raspberries.  The blueberries are still in pots, I got them last winter on sale, and didn’t want them in the ground till I could be assured of no strange weather eccentricities.  Now would be the perfect time to put them in…but…ya know, moving.

Herbs aren’t so difficult, they do well in planters as long as they have room to spread out.  So this weekend, pots of Mexican oregano, tarragon, white sage, lots of new starts off my very old rosemary. I still need marjoram, cilantro, and basil (probably a couple of kinds, variety is the spice of life) as well as nasturtiums.

And then there is the entire issue of which crops to plant now, which I can pot and transport, which we will simply have to do without this season.  My much loved pod peas will be grown and ready to harvest in no time.  Things like cauliflower and broccoli?  Sigh.

The obvious alternative would be to see if I can budget a share in a CSA.  This might be the best option…particularly in a transitional period where I will most likely need another year to get the garden itself ready for proper planting, and when our hectic lives are better suited to some crops than others, a CSA would provide a better range of produce.  I am checking it out now and will let ya’ll know how it goes.

 

 

Summertime sunshine

Another long fun filled day at work.  Lots of work outdoors, as usual.  Cleaning up, cleaning out.  Putting new plants in.  Mowed, edged, weeded.  All in the blazing high 90s, heat index in the 100s South Carolina sunshine.  And it was good.

In between, since poor Merrill is down with the ick and the meds are making him nauseous, I ran to the store and got club crackers and Coke for the upset tummy, and tuna and catfood for the grumpy cat.

DeeDee wrote me a lovely letter of recommendation which I shall send off to the school system tonight. My ‘plan’  (you know what they say about the best laid plans….)  is to get a part-time or floater position job, if possible, with the County schools.  That would provide the income cushion I am sorely needing and keep me under the earnings ‘cap’ for folks like me.  With my teenager having handily outgrown all his clothes over the summer…I swear the boy is taller than me, so probably 6′ now… I am going to need all the money I can save up to get him clothes and shoes for back to school.

Good news front…for reasons I cannot explain but am delighted with…there is NO flea problem this summer.  Now the dogs are always on their flea/heartworm medications through the vet….but most summers the fleas are still ‘there’… there are always the random ones carried through the yard by a squirrel, coon, or local critter…   The last two months? Nothing!  I am thrilled.  The dogs are the most content and itch free I have seen them in years.  This is wonderful.

And so… off I go to write.  Edits on crit partner’s book are done and now it is time to get Khyr wrapped up.

Isn’t life wonderful?!

Getting ready to roll

This is VBS week and I am going out to help with bible school at a very poor inner city school.  Worked at the school a year ago putting in garden beds so the school could grow their own vegetables, and was sad to hear from the children that the plants came up…and were allowed to die untended.

Perhaps this year, if I can get some help, I can go plant their vegetable beds and make it out to the school at least once or twice a week just to water and weed. Also thinking a few perennials would go a long way toward helping them have success…strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, sunchokes, ground nuts (Indian potatoes), scarlet runner beans, and kale. That alone would give the kids something to harvest almost year round down here.  I need to put this up to the school and the church group.

Scarlet runner beans

Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)

my magnificent magnolia….and other tales from the backyard

I have a magnolia tree.  Not too old, but old enough it towers above everything but the live oaks, beautifully pyramidal in form, deep glossy green and loaded with rust colored buds and huge creamy white flowers it is my showpiece.  I love this tree.  Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) flower   I wish I had a picture of the whole tree!

But these blossoms perfume the whole yard.  Heaven. 

And to make things even more amazing in the yard… I have hot banana peppers, baby white eggplants, big yellow bell peppers, tomatoes that are almost ripe, cucumbers going crazy…. and my FIG TREE is loaded down with baby figs.  So exciting.

In backyard news of the animal variety…. glass snakes! LOTS of them.  Looks like last year’s bumper crop of babies did well and now I have large, fat beautiful glass snakes in every part of the landscape.  Since they are actually legless lizards no one needs to freak out over their presence and it is so nice to see nature’s creatures enjoying the habitat I provide for them.  

More from the garden

Reesie and I had one last busy but beautiful day at ‘work’ putting in flower beds, caring for the vegetable garden, ripping out old pine straw from last winter and replacing it with mulch and topsoil and new flowers in sooo many varieties and colors.  It was wonderful and it felt good to get in a lot of hours in the southern sunshine doing something I love so much.

Back home we continued preparations for Reesie going off to her job the end of the week.  Tomorrow she has her physical for camp and I have the final meeting to set up AJ’s school schedule for next year.  A sophomore!  How do they keep growing up when I don’t feel a day older than I did when he was born?

The wrens have two nests out on the screen porch…I am thinking one of last year’s brood has returned with Mama to build her own nest. Sweet.

This is going to be a summer full of miracles

Flip flop Friday

A gorgeous Friday here in the Lowcountry.  Nice and warm (upper 80s) bright sunshine, wonderful breezes from offshore.  Long sunny hours at work. Lots of gardening and landscaping and hauling and cleaning.

The garden has tomatoes and peppers already, the potatoes are ready to be buried deeper. So far so good. Got my daylilies all in and the front bed looking nice.  It has been a good spring

And now…since we are worn to a frizzle from long days working outdoors… we will jump right to FANTASY FRIDAY!

Love this picture… how can it not make you smile with the wonder of other realms yet unexplored

Colors of Life....

Let’s go look!