Friday, December 31, 2010

Jung's Order

I received my first seeds of the year today. I ordered them from Territorial Seeds a couple of days ago. They were fast in getting the order out! I ordered the following seeds:

Edamame (bush beans-Sayamusume): I ordered the edamame because it's one of my favorite vegetables when I eat out at Japanese restaurants.  I want to try to grow them myself. Since they are often steamed after being frozen, I assume that they will be even better fresh.

Celery (Redventure): The red and yellow stalks of this celery are what called to me as I was browsing through the catalog. When I grew celery last year, I grew a green celery that was self-blanching. Unfortunately, I got more leaves than stalk.  The celery made great soup but there wasn't much substance for munching. I'll have to read up on celery so that I can avoid this problem this year.

Cucumber (Lime Crisp): I chose this variety because it is supposed to be both sweet and crisp.

Eggplant (Fairy Tale): Fairy Tale is a pretty purple and white small eggplant that isn't supposed to have the bitterness of other eggplants.

Strawberry (Italian Alpine): I want to grow alpine strawberries because of their sweet taste and clumping (rather than spreading) habit. I will plant them in my flower border because my strawberry pots always dry out. I've never grown strawberries from seed, so any suggestions are particularly encouraged!

Broccoli (Apollo Hybrid): I dislike broccoli as a general rule because I think that it tastes bitter. However, I really like broccolini. Supposedly, Apollo will prolifically produce the side shoots that are sold as broccolini. I grew Apollo last year and didn't have very heavy production. I think that I didn't water the plants enough.

Heliotrope: My mom loved heliotrope and grew it every year. I, too, love the way that it smells, but I think that it is too expensive for an annual. I'll try growing it from seed this year and see what happens.  Maybe I'll get lucky.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bringing My Rosemary Inside

I love rosemary so this year I was thrilled to find out that rosemary 'Arp' is hardy with protection to zone 6. Since I live in zone 5b, it might make it through the winter in a sheltered part of my garden on the south side of my house. I bought two plants: one for overwintering indoors and the other for planting outside. Maybe one of them will survive.  According to the label that came with the plants, Arp will grow to about 48" tall and 30" wide.

I haven't experienced much luck with rosemary.  I can grow it through the summer, but overwintering inside usually results in an untimely death due to fungus or mites. My rosemary last year survived the winter but died from mildew in the spring after I set it on my front porch. Well, in all truthfulness, it may have died from a homemade treatment made from baking soda and other household ingredients that I used to treat the mildew.

This year, I will try to not overwater or underwater the rosemary.  I will let the top inch of soil dry out and then give it a good soaking. I put it in a south window for as much light as possible, but my neighbor's house blocks some of the south sun.  Maybe I won't kill it this year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Squirrel Buffet

My younger dog, Marci, likes to look out the window overlooking my front porch. She rests her elbows on the back of the sofa in front of the window and scans the street and sidewalk. She watches for people and dogs to walk on her sidewalk. Then she barks what I suspect might be some obscenities.  She's not a very refined dog.  

For the past couple of weeks, she has started to bark at what I assumed was nothing. She would start one of her tirades and I would look out the window.  I saw nothing.  I saw nothing because I wasn't looking closely enough.  We had squirrel intruders.  Neither the dogs nor I are very fond of the squirrels.  They are rude house guests. I've been angry with them ever since I moved into the house and they dug up all my porch plants and flung them across the porch and front lawn.  Because of these little &%#$#, I can't have any potted daffodils on my front porch in the spring. The dogs don't like the squirrels because they run along the top of the fence and taunt them.

I found the evidence of the squirrel activity this morning and I had to apologize to Marci for questioning her instincts:
Lately, the squirrels have been digging up acorns from my lawn 

and eating them on my front porch.

I don't mind if they eat the acorns.  I just hope that they won't dig up my daffodil bulbs.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Return to Blogging

I really enjoy taking pictures of and writing about my garden.  I got busy last summer and then I got out of the habit. However, I'm back and I intend to do much better this year.

I also have some extra time on my hands.  I was supposed to go to France for two weeks to be with my niece, Polly, who is an English teaching assistant in an elementary school in Valenciennes. We were going to travel through France and Germany. Unfortunately, the weather in Western Europe and the Eastern US has been so bad that I had to cancel my trip. Oh, well, I will probably go over there in May and the weather will be warmer and the gardens will be in bloom.
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