Time for an Update on the Garden

Yesterday we got five more tomato plants.  This is the third planting.  The first four we put in when we set out the broccoli and cauliflower plants.  It was really too early to put them out as the black berries had not bloomed yet but we wanted the tall stakes for the inside fence and took a chance with the tomatoes.   We got no late frost so they are still doing well, most years we would have lost those to a frost and knew it could happen.  But here are the first blossoms on those tomatoes.Tomato blosson

All four have their first tier of flowers,  they don’t seem to mind being all alone.  Some plants require others of their kind around them but tomatoes don’t mind as long as they get a sweet soil (lime well) and lots of sun.  Then when the blackberries bloomed , last Sunday Joe and Holly helped by planting the two six packs of tomatoes along the side of the corn bed.  One  flat took very well and look great but all 5 of the second flat died, there was one dead before we planted them.  I think they were allowed to dry out too much before we bought them.  Anyways those were the ones we replaced yesterday before we watered the gardens again. Hopefully that will be the last of the watering for a while, they are forecasting rain tonight and all day tomorrow.  This morning I tied up the new tomatoes and put a second tie on the four that are blooming.  Norman put some mulch on the tomatoes and put another  ring of lime on them as we usually have a problem with blossom end rot because of lack of lime.  I then picked the rhubarb to make a pie this afternoon. rubarb

I am not a fan of rhubarb but I can’t resist it because it is the first fruit to come in the spring and the pie is very good.   Then I got my lap top and took these pictures for you .  I started with the front gardens – chinese laterns

I did plant a couple new flowers in the front beds but don’t have a picture of them but I did get a picture of these, the Chinese Lanterns.  I like to keep some color in these two bed.  These have a small white flower now which turns into a red lantern shaped pod that brings a lot of color to the garden in late summer.On the South side of the house are the fruit trees.  The apples are growing but too small yet to see well and there are only a couple dozen Winesap apple and no golden delicious.  The Moon Glow pear has quite a few pears but the Bartlett pears has none that I can see.  Here are the Belle of Georgia peaches.peaches

They do abort some, about 4 have dropped already but there are quite a few more on this tree and none on the other tree. Down the north side of the house is the rock garden.side garden hosta and black eyed susans

The hosta are getting big and the black eyed susans are taking over most of the garden but no problem as the bleeding heart is done blooming and the black eyed susans are so pretty come July. On the other side going down the hill you see the grapes, then the blue berries and behind those are the raspberries. grapes, blue berries

You really can’t see the raspberries.  Between the blueberries and the raspberries is the cloth  line and you can’t even see that.  You see we don’t have much of a lawn, it all wears away in the spring when the rains wash it down the hill.  This year we didn’t even try to reseed it, it is such a losing battle so we let the weeds take over.  In the spring the violets cover the ground and now it is just a little grass and lots of green weeds and plantain.  The rabbits love the plantain, they don’t bother the gardens, they just come for the plantain.  The grapes are in bloom and looks like we should have a good amount.  In the back, in front of the deck is the hosta garden. Big blue hosta

This is the big blue hosta with several other kinds behind it.  I have also put in other plants in this garden.  I have a rosemary plant I put in this year as I lost last years because it was such a cold winter for TN.  Collumbine and hosta


This is the last of the columbine I put in here six years ago, all have died except this one.  I also put some dill in the garden this year so I will have some to make the dill pickles for Tom’s family for Christmas this year.  Also in this garden is my lilies.  They are now budded. budded star gazer lillies


And as you can see I will have lots of pretty flowers on each stock and there are almost a dozen stocks.  Beside this garden is the May Flower bush and pushing hard are the two Chinese Bitter Sweet vines.  In Georgia I couldn’t get these to grow at all and here they just love it and want to take over.  Norman chops it up every year and every year it just laughs at him and comes roaring back.  I battle it some also to keep it out of my mayflower bush.  Chinesse bittersweet on the house

This is one side and you see how it tries to grown up the post to the upper deck.  Norman calls it a supper highway for the ants to the kitchen.  I just move these back away from my may flower bush.  Chinese bittersweet on the wheel barrow

On the other side of my bush is the second bitter sweet and it has chosen a frontal attack at Norman.  As you can see it is trying to claim his wheel barrow and doing a good job of it.  Norman hasn’t need it yet so hasn’t noticed it but he will!!! In front of all this is the kitchen garden.  kitchen garden

This week we froze five quarts of the spinach and we have been having either spinach or beet greens everyday but as you can see there are still lots left.  After the beets are finished and the spinach we plant green beans here.  In front of this is the Studio and the garden with iris and peonies, only two of those but they are pretty. peonies

The purple iris are all gone now, the Japanese iris are just opening but most of those I moved to the Hickory Grove.  I love the peonies but they are so big and heavy they don’t stand up well and if it rains they are flat on the ground so today I pick two of these and put them on my dinning room table. peopnies

Now I can enjoy them for several days and if it rains tonight I will pick the other three and bring them inside too.   Then walking down to the lower garden through the Hickory Grove you can see some of the yellow iris. japannes iris

They are not as large as the purple iris or the bearded iris which will come later but they are pretty and they help me to keep something blooming all the time.  I do feed the humming birds but they love the flowers so I try to keep something in bloom all spring, summer and fall. The hosta are  also growing here well too and they also bloom later. hostas in the woods

I keep a netting on these until they get going good because the deer love to come steal them.  Beyond this is the gladiola bed.


As you can see I still have not gotten down there to clean this bed up but the glads are determined to come up anyways and they will be pretty.  These are just for picking to have in the house as they fall over with their weight unless you stake them and that is too much for this many.  There are also some iris here and one bunch of day lilies on the other side of this garden.  Next comes the butternut squash bed and they are up but I didn’t get a picture of those.

whole garden with Norman in the corn

This is an over view of the lower garden but it is so far away you can’t realy see much. Norman is in there thinning the corn and adding the bush beans but you can’t see him.  You can see the fences around the whole garden and they are working, they have kept the deer out and even the crows have not bothered the corn.  You can’t see the lines across the garden over the corn but it is there so the crows can’t just fly in and out.  Now for a closer look at each row. broccoli

This is the broccoli, you can’t see the whole row as they are 23 feet long but at least you can see how nice they are growing.  The second row is started with a tall post and a pepper tied to that one, followed by green onions. cabbage and green onions

This shows the green onions and cabbage row, next to that is the cauliflower  and cabbage row.  Between each of these I have parsnips and they are up but so small you can’t see them here.bush beans

Then a row of broccoli from seeds and a row of green beans and a row of Swiss chard and zucchini .  The small broccoli plants are ready to be thinned or transplanted.  I will transplant these this next week and put them in-between the green beans where they didn’t germinate.  I don’t waste any space.  You can see the cucumber cage there on the left.

brocolli from seedHere you see the beets and the broccoli again.

beetsThis is another view of the beets and green beans.  There are three rows of green beans.cauliflower

This row is the cauliflower row with the green beans on one side and green onions on the other. corn

On the left is the rhubarb and the tomatoes with the corn beyond that. There are nine rows of corn with bush beans between each corn stock.Norman thinning the corn

Here is Norman thinning the corn, he thins the corn to stand 8 to 12 inches apart with a bush bean between each one.  lettuce and spinach

This row has lettuce, spinach, and carrots.  The lettuce is ready to be thinned. We can’t keep up with the lettuce so I guess we will just have to leave some uneaten unless Joe starts having more salads.potatoes

A quick look at the potatoes and we are ready to back to the house.  The potatoes are ready to give up some creamers but we have to finish the potatoes in the bag we got last week first.  This year we should have plenty of black berries.  These are all all wild ones and there are five or six small patches of them.  Here are some pictures of them.Blackberries 1

blackberries 2



blackberries 3

Back up to the house and just in front of the apple trees is the forsythia bush.  This started out as three little sticks.  That was 7 years ago and now–physthia

Norman tried to trim this bush yesterday but decided our clippers were to old and dull to handle this job so we will have to just let it grow as big as it wants to.  Have a great day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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2 Responses to Time for an Update on the Garden

  1. Rosemary Rafuse says:

    The forsythia bushes are blooming here! We don’t even have leaves yet but the buds are swelling. Our temperature today was about 70 degrees and it felt so nice. John hasn’t even ploughed the garden yet but it will happen!

    • Hi Rosemary, I am glad our planting is all done. That is so much work, getting the ground ready and planting all the seeds and plants – It seems as if you’ll never get to the end of the rows. I’ll be thinking of John these next few weeks and sending extra strength! We had small turnips from our garden today. I had forgotten how sweet the new turnip can be. Have a great spring.

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