A Garden in July

It’s been so long since I’ve done a garden update. We’ve been picking strawberries and pulling carrots for several months now and the tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. We have cucumbers growing and lots of herbs and Jeff over did it this time with the hops. They are growing everywhere! Ellie and I enjoy being out in the garden daily, tending to everything and watching the bugs we find.
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We spend so much time outside these days, I thought it would be fun to start bringing some art into the garden too. We painted rocks for the garden the other day and they bring a pop of color out there!
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We also found a lovely little caterpillar friend in our milkweed plants a few weeks back. I thought it would be really neat for Ellie to bring him in and watch him turn into a butterfly, so we bought a butterfly house and made sure he had plenty of fresh milkweed. Well, after watching him turn into a chrysalis, yesterday he finally came out! It was really neat releasing him in our garden. We watched him fly around for a while and then he flew away.
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What’s happening in your July garden?

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Portrait Project

33/52
33/52eloise: We planted this sunflower months ago from a seed in a cup, we got at library storytime. This week it finally bloomed. It felt a bit symbolic to me, waiting to bloom a week after you turned two. The reminder that you are growing and blossoming as well as the world around you. Blossom and grow my little one, just not too quickly.

-joining jodi and the 52 project!

Weekending!

reading books the ellie way

fluff

new stakes

shucking peas

cherries and beer

grami kisses

pinata

dead pinata

the loot

A weekend consisting mostly of gardening, laundry, playing at home, visiting the farmers market and all of the other regular weekend chores. Sunday however, was spent at my Grandmother’s house in Los Angeles celebrating my Uncle’s birthday. My Grandma was kind enough to add Jeff’s upcoming birthday in the festivities as well. Besides the horrible traffic we had to endure on our trip back home, it was a fun-filled day of family and too much sugar. The best part is, there’s still one more day of weekend to be had! Happy Memorial Day!

*joining Amanda at The Habit.

A New Garden

I’ve been growing food for a couple of years now. However, it’s always been on a balcony garden and my yield has always been very small. In this new house we have a pretty decent sized yard. So, this is the first time I’ll have enough space to grow more than a couple handfuls of tomatoes and herbs. I’ve been so excited about gardening I just couldn’t wait till spring. And since this is California, Jeff and I went to the local nursery and picked up a few plants to tide me over through the winter and also until he could make me my raised bed I’ve always wanted.

cabbage

chard

red chardWe have some containers filled with chard and cabbage (container cabbage- who knew there was such a thing?) as well as a little container of lemon thyme, winter peas and celery.

lemon thyme

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peasEverything has been doing very well except for some snail damage to some lettuce and our cabbage but we’re trying to keep them at bay with crushed egg shells and salt and any other snail tricks we read about.

The past two months or so, my wonderful husband has been hard at work building me a raised bed. He finally completed it this weekend and I got to finish planting my winter garden.

painting the box

prepping

dirt inThe finished raised bed! We would have loved to fill it up with composted soil from the worm bin Jeff built a few years back but we have yet to get that up and running. It’s on the to do list! So, we filled it up with some organic soil from the nursery and I went ahead and planted what we had left. Some brussel sprouts, lettuce, broccoli and more beans. We shall see how it turns out with it being our first go at this raised bed thing and the fact that we are attempting to grow things in the dead of winter but I had success last year on my balcony in Irvine, so what’s the harm in trying. Here’s to growing in 2013!

winter garden 2013

Visitors in the Garden

A few days ago I went out and bought a container of praying mantis for my balcony garden. I was having trouble with aphids and the lady bugs just wouldn’t stay around long enough to eat them all up. I had some luck with the praying mantis at the school I teach at so I thought I would bring some into my own garden.

They are fascinating little creatures to watch and when they are so tiny, very easy to hold in your hands (perfect for a preschool teacher who is not too fond of bugs). So the other day I welcomed them into my garden and they went to work munching on those darn aphids. They seemed very content to pose for pictures as well.

This beautiful, sunny California Fourth of July I will be tending to my garden (and mantids), enjoying some Cinnamon Breakfast Popovers from Janice Cole’s Chicken and Egg cookbook, and hopefully working on my husbands long overdue birthday quilt.

Happy Gardening and Happy Fourth of July!

Lovely Day

I turned 30 yesterday. I had a lovely garden party on Saturday with my closest friends and family and then yesterday I spent the day just doing what I do every Sunday (except it was Monday), tending to the patio garden-¬†adding chives and marjoram and a few new summer flowers here and there. I got the groceries and did some laundry. Jeff, my husband spent the day cooking for me (I know, I am the luckiest gal around). He made a delicious dinner of green olive tapenade¬†chicken and smashed potatoes and for dessert a finger licking chocolate pound cake with cream cheese icing. It was a fantastic way to welcome this new era of my life. I’m feeling very good about my thirties…. I have been wanting to get here for awhile now. Something about thirty screams, “I am finally an adult!” I know that maybe a little old to “finally become an adult” but I guess what I mean is that I finally feel able to make life decisions without first consulting with a parent or close relative. Maybe this also comes with the territory of being married (which I am still shy of two years) but, something in me feels different and more focused on “me” and what is the best for my body, my mind, my marriage, my home, my job, my life. In just this year alone, I have changed my habits so dramatically…. eating locally and seasonally, taking up growing vegetables on my balcony, walking every day, and much smaller things like letting beauty surround me as much as possible- adding flowers to the home, dabbling in handicrafts and quilting. I feel as if becoming thirty is just the beginning of opening my mind and heart up to many possibilities. It was truly a “lovely day.”