Monday, July 4, 2016

Don't Tell Lily

Happy Independence Day. Our celebration will be quiet, listening to the neighbors' fireworks explode all around us, as they have been for the last week.

We have had a busy week. The skies have been blue with lots of sunshine, cooled by late afternoon thunderstorms that rush over us, building steam and power as they head east. Our friends in the eastern part of the state don't need hail or heavy rain since wheat harvest is just days away. Nor do we need hail here, though the possibility is quite likely. The garden has just begun to take off with Roma tomatoes now taking shape, the peppers are flowering, and my zinnias are looking great. Best of all the peach trees are loaded with baby peaches. I am not holding my breath, for I know that all can be wiped out with rough weather.

The raspberry bushes, too, are loaded with fruit for the first time. They were the first to go into the new garden and it has taken years for them produce with any abundance. I never remember if they fruit on new growth or old growth branches, so I leave them alone. Please don't tell little Lily that we have raspberries, for she will pick them clean, eating every last one.

The peas have been harvested. This is my second basket.

This is one batch of peas that won't be recalled. I don't know about you, but I have had two recalls on bad food this last month. One was frozen foods; the other Gold Medal flour. I was surprised (don't why I should have been) when the clerk at the super market pointed out on my sales slip that I had a recall on the frozen vegetables that I had purchased. I had heard about the both recalls on the news, but paid little attention. I did return the vegetables. Next I received an automated phone call from General Mills informing me of the recall on flour. 

Thee peas are as fresh and pure as they can be: no fertilizers, no pesticides, or herbicides. Just sunshine, water, and marginal soil.


Battling weeds here at the Garden Spot most often seems like an endless battle. One troublesome spot  lies between the corral and the chicken coop. When I had to move my day lily collection, we decided to put them in this spare space, but weeds lack total respect of land use and continued to take control. I don't like weeds. The  tank that stores the well water for the irrigation system lies beneath the sparse lawn that others planted. So we decided to turn it all to grass with the thought that grass is easier to mow than weeds are to pull.

This is just a small amount of the 100 rolls of sod that the Head Gardener has laid this week not only by the barn, but covering other bare spots in the lawn around the yard, too. 

I warned the HG that the horses would nibble on the newly placed sod, and indeed they did, pulling one of the pieces out into the corral, he told me. Easily replaced. We want everything to look clean and neat. Perhaps we going to an extreme, but with all of this new grass on well water with an semi automatic watering system, it beats weeds any day.

The holly hock forest blooms rampantly. I have a love/hate relationship with these botanical creatures. They pop up every where, are hard to get rid of, and make a mess. On the other hand, they are so pretty, add a lot of color, take up space, and provide for the bees and butterflies.

 (There is a car hidden there somewhere)

With pink as my favorite color, I do enjoy the hollyhocks in their full bloom.

There are two nice clumps by the barn door, making for pretty, country photos. The ones that grow close to the corral fence don't last because Sundance has developed a taste for hollyhock buds. 

Look as these lovely ladies. It is hard to image that these were the Easter Chicks. Now adult hens, they should start laying eggs soon. This was their first time to roam free. Of course they loved it. I snapped a lot of photos of them. These six get along so well, are friendly, and have maintained beautiful feathers. The older hens on the other side of the hen house don't take as good a care of themselves and pick on each other. Of the 7 seven hens only 4 of them are laying. The rooster, Chanticleer only looks pretty and makes a lot of noise.

I leave you with my Face Book photo that I posted this week. I tell you, there is so much political stuff, satire, editorial, and mean stuff, that I refuse to participate, so I post silly things. This photo I titled "Free Range Sunflower." We left the sunflowers have their way in the garden. I couldn't believe the attention that this photo got. And would you look at those potatoes! There won't be a recall on them either.

Have a wonderful 4th of July celebration. 

God Bless America


  1. Happy 4th of July! Your peas look fab and I love your wire basket displayed full of peas. Hope you have lots of great harvests this year.

  2. You have a lot going on and I'm so impressed with your ever growing/bearing plants! Send some raspberries this favorite fruit!

    I hear you on wanting to keep things looking neat. I have two huge bare spots my front lawn. I seeded them twice and each time we had heavy rains that washed the seed away. I think I'm going to get a few pieces of sod.

    Looks like the hens are happy! And the hollyhocks are gorgeous. They grow along the roads at the lake. I'm starting to look at perennials on sale, I need to fill in a lot of space. Temps in the 90's mid week so I better get started!

    Hope you had a great holiday!


  3. Oh so many lovely photos - but the hollyhocks - what an abundance! I would give anything to be able to grow a patch like that - and I'd let them grow where ever they wanted to.

  4. So beautiful, the hollyhocks, the hens searching for worms free in the garden and your delicious harvest of peas. When I see your flowering hollyhocks, peas and peaches I realize that our spring starts much earlier than on your side but there is a catch in June and we stay behind again. Our weather is chilly and rainy with some intervals of sun.
    Enjoy your warm but nice summer!

  5. I love hollyhocks but they are difficult to grow here for some reason. What a good harvest of peas!

  6. Hello Ann, I hope you had a wonderful 4th holiday! Our's was quiet, chilly and rainy. The veggie recall is scary, it is great you can grow your own veggies. The peas look delicious. I love the shot of the chickens. Your flowers are beautiful. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day and the week ahead!

  7. Happy 4th to you! Your farm looks great. I'm hoping to can green beans and tomatoes.

  8. I can't believe how good your garden looks - I remember other years where your veg garden has been terrible and you had nothing to show for your efforts and you got very despondent - but this year it all looks great and such a lovely crop of peas - I am envious as I didn't plant any this year. I love that dusky rose coloured hollyhock - beautiful.

  9. Guess it's not hard to tell I'm outside gardening more than I'm inside on the computer? Your place is coming together nicely and the harvest of fresh vegetables from garden to table is the greatest feeling.
    Hope you had a happy 4th Ann.

  10. Your garden is wonderful! Love the look of the new Grass. Your garden is no neat and tidy. It's fantastic! My little Yorkie Lizzie would love those peas! She's all about eating peas right now. Used to be green beans but she's moved on. The basket of peas looks gorgeous!

  11. There's nothing better than looking at the food on your plate and knowing that you grew it yourself, I'm wondering how my potager will have survived for 10 days whilst we've been away, hopefully it won't be a jungle.
    Loving the look of your new lawn, so much better than weeds, your story about the sod stealing horse made me smile!
    bon weekend

  12. I too love to see how trim and beautiful your garden looks, Ann!
    Your hollyhocks are gorgeous. I hope to try growing them in the future... and I will definitely let them grow wherever they want to. :) Your hens look lovely and cute too.
    It's much too late to wish a happy 4th of July, but I wish you and your nation peace and safety and prosperity. Hugs!

  13. Oh Ann, I so enjoyed this post! I adore the pics of those amazing hollyhocks!!! I had just a few plants in my perennial garden years ago, and of course, they had to be staked up. But yours are truly beautiful, and so are all your veggies. :) The peas do look tasty, and no recall is always a good thing.

    I think the sod is a good idea and it sure looks pretty. You two have a big space to keep up with, but many folks would trade places with you in a heartbeat. I hope you don't get any hail to ruin all your flowers, fruit, and vegetables.

    Have a great week, Ann, and enjoy those raspberries! :)



  14. I understand what you're saying about hollyhocks. I do love them, the blooms are so pretty. But then they go into seed mode, and now they're just big swaying sticks in the air. I actually need a few more plants, so I want the seeds, and now I have to wait for them to mature before cutting down the stalks. Not to mention that Happy Lights hollyhocks are supposed to be resistant to rust. Yeah right!