Saturday, April 24, 2010

More of the Same!

My blog is becoming mostly a garden diary while I'm busy getting the yard under control and plants started. After a couple of lower effort gardening years, I'm hoping to do a bit more again this year, weather and pests permitting, of course!

Some of the beds, while reasonably low maintenance, do need some weeding, edging and mulching this year to keep them in good condition. While I'm at it, I'm expanding one 'island' bed a little that I have to mow all the way around on the lawn tractor. It has been kidney bean shaped and the concave side is too hard to mow tightly up to, so I am making it convex and the bed oval shaped overall. I started a couple days ago and then today while I did some weeding, Jeff skimmed off the remaining sod. Soon, we'll till it up with the mantis, mulch heavily and then I'll add some more plants to fill in this year or next. Here's a progress shot for now. My arbor/bench is kind of rusted, so I'm not sure I can use it anymore and it's lying on the ground in the background here. So far, the Lunaria (money plant) is flowering, both white and purple varieties.

Today, Jeff burned 3 more brush piles. I think the rate of brush accumulation will slow down a bit now that we've done such a big clean up removing limbs from trees and ripping out a row of privet hedge. I am ready to go back to just one burn pile on the go!

It took awhile for the green wood to catch, but it lit up eventually!

The Riff Raff enjoyed themselves while we were getting things done.

As usual, they ran around faster than I could really line up and focus shots and I caught them in some crazy postures! At their vet visit last week, the doctor was very happy with their strong physiques. This crazy sort of playing does keep them athletic! It's good to have two dogs.

Also today, I planted 8 more flats and tended the little seedlings. Some of the milk jug plants have had the tops removed already like these Bachelor Buttons,


and Swiss Chard.

After the upcoming rain, I'll open the tops for the Acorn Squash seedlings. Each squash jug will be planted out into the garden as a 'hill'.

Some of my 15 pots of Clark's Morning Glories looking sturdy and healthy.

Here is a window box style planter thickly sown with scallions. I can't wait to be able to add them to some meals!

Speaking of meals, this past week, for a couple of dinners I made Chicken in a Mustard/Tarragon Cream Sauce served with rice pilaf and peas. This is a recipe I first tried when it was published in Everyday Food in 2003 and then regretfully forgot about until I was browsing the Martha Stewart website recently. It's so quick and delish and will go well with garden veggies this summer, so I won't forget about it again!

I altered the recipe only in that I cut up the chicken into thick slices before sauteing it and then tossed the cooked chicken in the sauce before plating.


2paw said...

That's a great bonfire!! All the plants are growing so well, you must be a very happy gardener!!
Aren't Labradors funny? They love all the crazy energetic running and leaping. I'm glad they are both so fit and healthy!!

knitseashore said...

You have so many seeds sprouting now; your garden is going to be amazing!

What herbs do you like to grow in the garden? I'm thinking of mixing in some chamomile, and possibly oregano into the flower garden, along with catnip. My deer garden book said that strong-smelling herbs tend to dissuade them from invading the garden, though I don't want the invasive herbs to take over either. I've heard mint, chives, and lemon balm have to be very contained.