Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garden Creativity

Vegetable gardens do not need to stay just in the garden.  This year I have decided to plant bush beans as a hedge along a dirt bed I have in the front yard. They will grow to be about 12 inches high which is perfect for a hedge.  No one would notice from afar that they are beans unless they are a gardener themselves and to be honest my husband didnt even know.  I also have 3 ghost pumpkin plants, many echinacea and some sage that have made homes here.  I really am loving the mix of the flowers and edible plants. 

Sorry for the goofy angled picture but I wanted to get everything in the picture.  I used some large rocks I found to edge this garden bed.  In the front I have some small bok choy mixed in between my poppy plants. In the back I have my strawberry plants which stay green pretty much all year.  They are done for the year so I decided to throw some patti pans and a random bush bean I found.  As you can see I don't like wasted space. My husband is starting to like the mix of flowers and produce.  This gives me the green light to plant anywhere I want. Well he didn't say that but its a given right? lol.

This plant box was given to me by my neighbor so it was completely free. Sweet! I planted daffodil's and tulips which are beautiful during the spring time but that's it. The rest of the year it sits empty.  So this year I planted annuals on the top which will be beautiful till fall.  I usually don't plant any annuals because you have to replant them each year which is a waste to me. I also don't plant flowers in my garden but this year I decided to mix the two.  Boy am I glad I did. Just beautiful!
I planted some (what I thought were) bush beans which turned out to be runners.  Crap! Last year I kept some sticks from dead plants thinking I would do something one day.  Finally I can put them to use. I simply stuck them in the ground by the plant and wrapped the beans around them.  Now I'm happy I made a mistake because just look how beautiful and cool they turned out.  This area is all annuals except for my snowball bush which will be moved on the other side of the fence next year.  I plan on changing things in this area each year.  One side has raspberries which will thicken next year and the other side is for non permanent things such as sunflowers and random flowers I decide to plant. 
Speaking of raspberries....look how many it produced this year. Yep, you see 2 of the 3 they grew.  Whahoo! NOT! Next year I should get way more....
Anytime I have things I have to pull I immediately plant some starts of something different.  What you see are potatoes I planted because they started to grow in my pantry, bok choy starts, rainbow chard, bell peppers, cauliflower and bush beans.  Things are mixed up and frankly I like that.  The point of this is to show you that you need to take advantage of every space you have.  Something goes out then put something back in.  The growing season is not long so grow as much as you can. 
Last but not least look at this cauliflower.  I just love crazy colored produce because it gets my kids to want to try new stuff.  I'm in love.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Loving my camera

I really enjoy taking pictures of my garden and I have my camera to thank for that.  We bought a Nikon D3000 about a year ago because our older camera finally crapped out on us.  This camera was very pricey but to be honest its worth every penny.

With my old camera I would not be able to get this close to anything. I am obsessed with taking close up shots now. Here is my cosmo which I thought was a zinnia for weeks.
I mean look at this picture.  I just love raindrop pictures.  Sneaky spiders have been working overtime in my garden.
My Nikon captures colors so well.  This flower is so small and delicate which you can get the feel of in this picture. This. year I grew Iceland Poppy plants from seed. They are so tiny and delicate
I can focus on things from far off or......
Or I can get up close and have the background fuzzy which is my favorite thing to do right now. Now I'm no expert at taking pictures but wow does it make me look like I know what I'm doing. lol
I love taking pictures of my kids.  They are getting annoyed by their paparazzi mom.  I just cannot help myself.  They are growing so fast and I want to capture everything before they are gone onto making their own lives.
Look how beautiful these beans are.  If you have kids who do not like to eat beans then I suggest growing these purple bush beans.  We call these magic beans because they turn green when cooked.  Kids love this sorta stuff.  They taste just like any other green beans but they are bright purple. 
Another thing that's great about getting my new camera is that I find things I normally would not of found had I not walked around taking pictures. Last year my neighbor gave me a rhubarb plant and the bugs ate it all up.  Well looks like it stuck around and came back this year. I quickly gave it some yummy organic dirt and lots of organic slug repel and its doing very well.  Whahoo!! Hopefully it gets very large and I can harvest it someday. I can only wish......

So if your thinking of getting a new camera and are afraid to spend the money I suggest getting a good medium camera.  What I mean by that is don't get the cheapest one or the most expensive. Go for the  camera just out of your price range because you won't want to put it down. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

$50 a week

New Season's

.73 cents Fine Sea Salt
$2.59 Hormone Free New Season's Milk 2%
$2.99 Butter
$3.73 Ground Pork Hormone Free/All natural
$2.96 Bratwurst Sausage (New Seasons Sale) 4 brats
$3.73 Ground Beef 20% fat


Whole Foods

$2.78 Organic Whole Wheat Penne Pasta 2 packs
$1.39 Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli
$3.99 12 Pack Recycled Paper toilet paper
$3.43 Bulk Liquid Amino's Bragg
$3.39 18 pk large white vegetarian fed chicken eggs
$1.49 Half n half Sunshine Dairy (which rocks!)
.54 cents Bulk Tea Women's Blend (going to try it out then make my own blend)

Total cost $17.01
10 cent bag credit was donated to a local charity

Marks NW Fresh Produce

$1 two large red peppers
$1 large head of cabbage
$1.50 Large cauliflower
.50 cucumber

Total Cost-$4.00

Which leaves me with $16.26 for the rest of the week.  I just noticed I forgot to buy cheese so I will have to make a store run again this week sometime for the cheese and possibly some more milk.  My girls have been drinking lots of chocolate milk it seems. 
The packages of meat will be split up into half pound increments and will be used in 6 different meals leaving me one night for a vegetarian meal.  I also will be using produce from my own garden which will keep my budget down.  And of course I will be using up food from previous weeks as well.  I need to make room in my freezer for future produce from my garden and jelly.  I like to store lots of pumpkin to use up all year.  We love our pumpkin muffins and such. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th 2011

Hello to those I havee neglected. I have no excuse except that I know I suck for not posting anything for a while.  I have been just busy with life and completely forgot to update my life for you. So  a HUGE sorry for that. Anyways here some pics to make you happy. lol
My daughter is doing yard work for our neighbor which included watering her huge garden and push mowing their yard.  She says she doesn't like it but I think she secretly loves it.  Or the $5 a day she is getting. Well she is 13 so I'm pretty sure its all about the money.

While waiting for her to finish watering their garden we found this funky stuff.  It was spongy and growing in the organic mulch. Anyone know what it is? It smelt very organic and was foamy in texture. hmm...

The neighbor allowed us to harvest what we wanted while she was gone.  I had never grown kale but will from now on. That stuff is super yummy! Store bought has nothing on this stuff. You can really tell the difference. Fresh is best!
I had a visitor in my garden! Look how beautiful he is. Well I assume its a he....I have no proof but I think he winked at me. He is kinda cute....just sayin.
Meet Cally.  You see he was tortured by my 6 year old daughter Emma. She had him in a bucket and carried him around everywhere.  I finally told her to let him go because his family missed him.  As he crawled away she cried.  Run Cally and don't look back!!!! Poor thing.

For the first time our twins are able to play soccer with the older girls.  Megan (left) has taken a liking to it.  Emma (right) says its not her thing.  Makes me sad because they are getting older and more independent.. Sniff sniff....
Riley decided to run away yesterday for a few hours.  Ever since she came back she has been doing this.  We call it "Worshiping the sun god".  Wonder what adventure she went on?
What a goofball.  She thinks its her job to kill any fly that lands near her. Funny to watch.
She has the face only a daddy can love.  What a daddy's girl.
We will soon be eating patti pans! And crook neck, zucchini and.....
PINK BANANA SQUASH!!! First time growing it and I'm excited!! These things are so beautiful when full grown and I can't wait to try them out. I bet their super yummy!.
My Scarlett beans are blooming!! These beans are the most beautiful plants to grow.  Can't wait to take pictures of the actual beans.  They are fuzzy little things.
Found this little pretty growing in my compost.  It now has a home in my garden wall.  Love foxgloves!

Emma is loving the new Scarlett flowers.  She really loves hanging out with me in the garden.
Well that and wearing her bathing suit all day long.  She would wear it every single day if I let her. 

The girls took it upon themselves to paint pretty pictures on lots of things.  Here you can see a left over piece of wood painted. Stepping stones, bricks and random rocks as well.  I think it gives character to my garden.  The girls think it invites garden fairy's.  So cute.
We took a trip to my grandmothers house yesterday.  I was able to snag 10 bleeding heart plants and plant them in my front garden. I wanted to take some pictures of her house again but the place was so overgrown that we literally had to walk in line or we would of lost our kids.  The grass was that tall!!  So I decided not to take a picture.  I want to keep the beautiful memories in my head.Her beautiful garden, beautiful flower garden in front and her wonderful old house.   This picture is dedicated to gram.  I love you and miss you very much.  You will never be forgotten and your spirit still lives on in me.  I will remember you each time I look in my front yard. 

Today we will be spending time with our neighbors celebrating the 4th of July.  I hope you have a great day and enjoyed the pictures.  Peace