Mini Veggies

 I love watching the vegetables grow in the garden.  i find it both beautiful and intriguing!  Here's a few more pics from the garden that I took yesterday.

Oriental Eggplant blossom

Oriental Eggplant growing

Baby Jalapeno!

Lots of basil

Mini squash


Updated Photos of the Garden

I purchased this lavender plant a few weeks ago from the Hub City Farmer's Market.  It's grown a lot since I potted it and it smells wonderful!  In the background is my favorite little blue chair I got from an antique store/ flea market.
I just purchased this transplant last week from a guy people call "The Professor".  He grows and sells transplants and fresh veggies from home for a killer price! Most of the transplants are $1 and his veggies are cheaper then at the grocery store.  You can even pick a gallon of blackberries for only $10- that's only $2 a pint!  This particular bell pepper will actually be purple when fully grown!  The Professor had some already full grown peppers and they are beautiful!

This is a very small sampling of our blackberries!  I can probably pick 2-4 cups a day of berries right now, if I had time, and there are just as many red berries that will be ripening soon.  It's been great having the huge production this year.  I've made a few desserts with them and have been putting them in my salads for lunch frequently.  The best part is being able to "gift" freshly picked blackberries to friends and family.  I can even show them the little cuts I got on my hands from the thorns from picking their berries that morning. That's a labor of love!

Figs in waiting!  Our fig tree has loads of unripened figs just soaking up the sun and waiting for their time to shine!  We may put some kind of netting or a fake owl in the tree to deter birds from eating the sweet fruits.

A peak at the front beds of the house.  You can see Frank the Frog defending the garden, the varigated liriope, the nandina bushes, and the newest addition to the garden, caladiums! 

Front to back: Garlic chives, Roma tomato plant in wire hoop, jalapeno plant, a very dry rain barrel, wood pile.

The tomato plant is hard to see behind the freshly planted, sprawling chives but the plants are doing very well! 

Green beans! This is one of several plants producing beans.  I will be snapping those suckers off today and preparing a delightfully fresh dish with them! 


Bird Feeder

    About two months ago I attended a local Arts and Craft Fair/ Farmer's Market that happens annually near my home.  One of the vendors had little homemade bird feeders made mostly out of 1by 2's and 3's and mesh wiring.  They were cute, practical, and seemingly inexpensive to make so I studied the feeders and decided to try my hand at building one soon.  I kept a look out for scraps of wood my husband would bring home from his many remodeling jobs and Mother's Day weekend I decided it was time to create the feeder since cardinals, blue jays, and red- winged black birds were gracing the yard daily!
    I searched through the scrap wood pile and found a number of pieces that would work perfectly for my feeder and then set off to find a skill saw in the shed to begin. Somehow, with the multitude of tools my husband owns, I was unable to locate a saw.  Since he has been working on a large job I assumed all tools were with him for the day.  Suddenly, I had to revisit my bird feeder plans.  
    In the corner of one of our sheds Justin has a dozen or so logs stored up to use for creating sculptures (once he has both a bigger shop and more time).   My two or three creative genes started up.  I had logs and I had chisels.  Thus, the new, impromptu bird feeder plan was birthed.  The new plan consisted of using a chisel to create a circular recession a half inch deep at the top that could be filled with bird feed (in this case safflower seeds for cardinals) and then, in a very rustic way, sit nestled between a couple of nandina shrubs right out front of our living room window.  I set to work removing parts of the wood and about thirty minutes later, my feeder was sitting in its new home.  

    While I don't typically do any woodworking/ chiseling/ sculpting (Justin is the artistic and creative one in this match) I really enjoyed the simplicity of the little project and working with the wood.  Justin promises to teach me more about carving correctly and efficiently in the future, but for now I can mark "Making My Own Bird Feeder" off of the to do list.  
    Now, I'm just waiting for those cardinals to start fluttering around the feeder for a delightful show in front of our window! 


Tomatoes and Peppers

         Its been a few weeks since I invested a little time and energy into the garden.  Mothers day worked out to allow for free time during the day, so I took full advantage of my time and the beautiful day and tended to the garden.  The veggies are looking a lot better since I added the Miracle Gro a couple of weeks ago but I still wanted to add a little top soil under each plant to reduce the amount of compost.  This, as you can imagine, was somewhat time consuming to achieve.  The black weed paper was one obstacle I had to overcome.  I thoroughly enjoy not having to pick weeds (yet) out of the garden thanks to the paper so it was important that I didn't rip the paper too much and have gapping holes.  The other concern is obvious: the plants are rooted in their location and I didn't want to uproot them.  With painstaking care, I added enough topsoil to make myself feel better and offer a little incentive to the plants to continue growing.  I did, of course, rip a huge hole in the black paper in one area of the garden but, ah, what's a girl to do!

Roma Tomatoes
(The variety I am growing) 
        I also transplanted my three tomato plants and a banana pepper plant.  I had previously moved the tomato plant seedlings to clay pots outdoors to give each plant more room to grow.  The plants quickly became larger transplants and looked great.  When I finally moved them to the garden I was amazed at the speed in which the roots grew.  It seems like the roots must have been out of room to grow a week or two ago without my realizing it.  I carefully transplanted the four plants into a lovely mixture of top soil, native soil, and compost.  Hopefully, delicious ripened tomatoes and peppers will make it to my table soon!

         The green bean stalks are starting to flower and the fig tree is starting to produce figs (not yet ripe).  I plan to get a camera soon so that I can share photos of whats going on.  We already have a camera but its designated for the business since Justin takes a lot of pictures for work.  My last little project yesterday was one of inspiration rather than a "to do".  More on that for my next post!