Tag Archive | Nature

Beefsteak Charlie 1

Tomatoes are one of the simplest of vegetables that one can grow. Providing the right conditions, (including water, sun, soil, and enough attention from the gardener);  you will have yourself eating a BLT with your very own fresh tomatoes in about 60-90 days.  Even at my age, planting tomatoes, is a first for me…..I have a looong way to go to become an expert vegetable gardener who offers up advice. This post is purely about  my experience.

 The best place to seek God is in a garden . You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw

I planted a seedling a little over two months ago, having no idea if vegetables will work with my soil type. Tennessee has more rocks than dirt in my neck of the woods., so I did NOT take the time to prepare the soil, nor did I make a decent garden bed. \Shame on me/ I figured, if this one plant survives and produces, then next year I will make a proper garden elsewhere in my yard.

I dubbed my first seedling “Beefsteak Charlie 1“. I’ve been checking daily for it’s progress, and with each growth spurt, I have been pleasantly surprised and tickled pink. Often times I have a childlike enthusiasm and I tend to flip out over the simplest of things. (insert big cheesy grin here !) 😀

About 1 week old tomato

I have been watching the leaves grow on BC1, from one leaf into three, four and so on. Seeing little yellow flowers grow on the stems and wondering what they were and if it was normal or not. I have been giddy with excitement from the first teenie tiny tomato which was about the size of a straight pin head.

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

As BC1 matures, his shape is nice and round, but his green stalk/vine is rather leggy. Not as many leaves as I had thought, and not very bushy as I have seen in other gardens. Perhaps it is because I planted BC1 in front of a fence which gives him a bit of shade. (not smart on my part). Next year, I will hopefully remedy that mistake, and plant my tomatoes in full sun. Live and learn.

Approximately 3 weeks old

3 weeks old

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns

Beefsteak Charlie1 on the rise

Turning red

Super Simple Tomato Marker made from a (recycled) plastic lid and a Twig, using Acrylic (color) Paints and Clear Krylon sealer paint.

Super Simple  Tomato Marker made from a (recycled) plastic lid and a
Twig, using Acrylic (color) Paints and Clear Krylon sealer paint.

Double Tomato

Picken my first Tomato 7-16-14

Picken my first Tomato 7-16-14

Today I harvested my very first Tomato. Although small, it must’ve been ready, because it came off in my hand as I was checking it’s firmness on the stem. It may have come off too soon. It does have a little pale (orangey) color on the backside to it yet, so I will let it sit on the window sill for a day or so to fully ripen. It should be a deeper, brighter red., in my opinion.

Beefsteak Charlie 1  debut 7-16-14 Black Eyed Susan,  Moonbeam Coreopsis, & Russian Sage  Pitcher Vase made in Italy

Beefsteak Charlie 1
Black Eyed Susan, Moonbeam Coreopsis, & Russian Sage
Pitcher Vase made in Italy

Once the tiny tomato formed from the flower, it took a little over 30 days to produce a somewhat ripened tomato ~ give or take a few days. In the mean time, BC1 gave me a chance to learn how to use a makeshift photo box, for better photos of my smaller objects. (Thank you Pinterest)! Now I just have to remember to use my good camera instead of the convenience of using my cell phone……what a difference it makes!
Happy Gardening .

My first Tomato Harvested

My first Tomato Harvested

Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle

 

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Roses from the Garden

A great pleasure of mine is time spent in my garden.  Sitting, walking, daydreaming and yes, even weeding.  I could spend all my waking hours just meandering outside.  Stopping along the way to pull a weed, sniff a flower, or to gaze at the blue clear sky.  Watching occasional puffy white clouds slowly moving by as they take the shape in an array of made up creatures and faces.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Recognizing the gift of hearing, I Listen to the many voices of the chirping birds. the buzzing of the bees and the croaking of the frogs. Hearing single-engine planes off in the distance of neighboring skies, while a few doors away a lawn mower clips some grass. Laughter fills the air, as the young children next door play gleefully; chasing puppy dogs and being silly.

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings”. – Eric Hoffer

I awoke yesterday morning, to my (un-prunned) rosebush in full bloom. Wow, what a sight! With pruning sheers in hand, I headed out of doors, and into my backyard. I delighted in the sweet scent of my fittingly named “Knockout Roses”.  I snipped my first rose of the season, and as I closed my eyes I took a deep but gentle breath in through my nose. The beautiful smell took me away to a place of pure enjoyment. A scent I can only describe as…….. Heavenly.  I cannot begin to tell you, how thankful to God I am, for my sense of smell & the gift of sight; to see such beauty.  How very thankful I am also, to my husband, for buying that first young rosebush several years ago. I love roses so much, that I named my cottage “La Vie en Rose” which means, “life in pink” or “living life through rose colored glasses”!  I will write about my cottage in a future post (coming soon).

Rose cuttings in wicker

“The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose”. – Gandhi

Roses in the garden are for me, like butter is to toast. You just have to have them. Toast without butter would be dry and tasteless. A garden without roses would be, well, I just couldn’t imagine having a garden anymore without roses.  I need them.  They bring a lot of happiness to me!

Roses n wicker

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, ‘Thank you?’ – William Ward

In light of Mother’s day coming up in just three days, might I recommend getting a live “Knockout Rose” if you don’t already have one, for your wife or mothers garden? It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  It is very low maintenance.  I think it even grows out of neglect.  Virtually failproof I guess you could say.  I sadly, have not given mine a proper “cut back” since it was planted about 4 years ago.  It still is thriving! I do trim it however, to fill an abundance of vases all spring and summer long; even well into fall here in middle Tennessee.  The more you cut, the more it blooms.  I snip flowers just about every day. I am noticing, as the older my rose bush gets, the thorns are getting larger, and stronger.

From a bush of thorns bears a fragrant rose…….

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears”. – Anthony Robbins

Happy gardening!

It’s about (spring) time!

Looks like we made it. Pretty far into April, but spring has finally arrived here in Tennessee.  And it’s about time!

Spring. A time of renewal. A time of growth. A time of fresh, crisp, clean air in the mornings.  Bright sun beckoning you to shed your coats and enter each day with flip flops, cotton shorts and tank tops.

Days get longer, and life bounces into your steps. Smiles seem to come easier in the spring. I see many more toothy smiles when the spring is new.  It just makes us all happier.  Spring. One of my favorite times of the year.

I ventured outside two weeks ago, for my first yard cleanup. My intentions were, to clean up my garden, with weeding and some planting. I made it as far as our woods to throw a few dead leaves.  Then I lost 5 hrs of my day, to picking up fallen limbs and sticks, and starting a fire in our fire pit. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I even toasted a few marshmallows.  I paid for it, the next day, and for 2 weeks. I am still paying for it. My back gave out.

What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. ~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, 1871

Donning a back brace and handling a cane, I gimped outside today. I am tired of feeling helpless. I pulled some weeds, in my gardens, around my house. It was a daunting task, and even though it hurt more than usual, it also felt good to tidy it up a little. Much more needs to be done, but all in good time.

Greeting spring with it's first sign of life, and color!

Hummingbird. Greeting spring with it’s first sign of life, and color.

The first thing I do every year, is to fill several of these little feeders with colored sugar water. These fragile  ‘looking’  birds grace my front porch in swarms, buzzing about  and working themselves into an almost “high” like frenzy. I sit in a rocker close by, and I am always greeted just inches from my face with a curious hummingbird. I hold my breath, as not to startle him/her. Of course, I talk to them.

Oregano starting to grow.

Oregano starting to grow.

My first Oregano planting ever. I am excited to see how these work for me.  They have already begun to emerge after about 1-2 weeks.

 

Yellow Coreopsis   emerging.

Yellow Coreopsis emerging.

Butterflies really love Coreopsis. These dainty flowers last well into the summer and early fall.

White Crepe Mrytle finally getting its buds into its second year.

White Crepe Mrytle finally getting its buds into its second year.

We had a long winter and several late frosts. I was beginning to think my Mrytles were lost. This is a welcome sight to see.

Russian Sage. Still needing some cut back, but is starting to grow.

Russian Sage. Still needing some cut back, but is starting to grow.

This is my next project. I need to place some river rock around my new flower bed. I have been collecting river rock for a year from places  I travel to, to implement in my garden.

Pink Dianthus in full bloom. This smells heavenly.

Pink Dianthus in full bloom. This smells heavenly.

See my Gnomes and their Mushroom? I paint these every year. They are beginning to fade.

Yellow Daylily. When bloomed, the Light fragrance is dreamy. Even my husband loves this one!

Yellow Daylily. When bloomed, the Light fragrance is dreamy. Even my husband loves this one!

I gathered the weeds here after I snapped the picture.

White variegated Hosta. I can always count on these to bloom, whether in full sun or shade. My go to plant to fill a space.

White variegated Hosta. I can always count on these to bloom, whether in full sun or shade.

My go to plant to fill a space, is Hostas. They are simple to grow, and very low maintenance.  Just dig a hole, plant them and you are done! Once established, they do not need much watering.

Cornus Sericea. This is really full so far this spring. It has white flowers on some of the branches. In the winter, it's stems turn red.

Cornus Sericea. This has really thickened so far this spring. It has white flowers on some of the branches.

In the winter, the stems on the Cornus Sericea turn red and drop their leaves.   My beautiful garden statue adds Angelic peace and a touch of romance to this part of my garden.She overlooks a cement garden bench that I often sit upon, gazing over green pastures.

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver

Purple Creeping Phlox. One of my favorites with its hypnotic  &  amazing scented flowers.

Purple Creeping Phlox. One of my favorites with its hypnotic & amazing scented flowers. These are in full bloom.

My little cement dog was a real find at a closed up shop in Cross plains, TN.  I picked him up for a mere 5 dollars.  He was crumbling on his base, but I buried him in the pea gravel. His is standing a firm watch.

More Light Yellow Day-lilies. These should bloom soon.

More Light Yellow Day-lilies. These should bloom soon.

My gardens are a continuing work in progress. I like to implement recycled items into them. The brick used around my cottage was from our front porch step that we knocked out when we poured a new sidewalk.

Chives. (Allium schoenoprasum) Nice onion-y flavor and scent, good in salads.

Chives. (Allium schoenoprasum) Nice onion-y flavor and scent, good in salads.

I have several cats that avoid this area, thankfully, due to the Chives here. Cats do not like onions! Now, to get them to stay away from my Thyme.

Pink Knock out Roses. My all-time favorite in my garden. I am ready for this to bloom again this year. I didn't cut it back, and it is getting over grown, but just wait till it blooms!

Pink Knock out Roses. My all-time favorite in my garden. I am ready for this to bloom again this year. I didn’t cut it back, and it is getting over grown, but just wait till it blooms!

Leo, one of my girls here, tends to follow me about my yard and gardens. I stop to hold her many, many……many times.  All my cats tend to drink from this fountain. I used to worry about them digging and ruining my plants. Once I gave up chasing them, they left things alone. My advice? Let them be. They will become lovers, not fighters, and actually stop to smell the roses with you!

I have many more perennial flowers, and plants that I will save for future posts.  More to come.

What plants are your favorite in the garden?

(Solar) Nighttime Angel watching over my garden.

(Solar) Nighttime Angel watching over my garden.

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.  ~Ruth Stout