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Archive for June, 2013

Mystery Daylilies

Last year, we took my MIL on a drive to the daylily nursery up in the Gold Country.  Usually a daylily in a pot will cost between $8 and $10, but I noticed a small bin with daylily roots that had lost their labels, all jumbled together.  I bought 6 of them since they were only $1 apiece, and potted them up when we got home.  They struggled in their pots for almost a year,  suffering the cold, the forgotten watering, you name it.  At the end of the winter I was afraid they were all dead, but they put out new shoots.  I finally planted them out between the fruit trees and the fence and waited to see if they would bloom.  It is kind of exciting waiting to see what color of bloom they will have.   Finally, this week one of them bloomed.  I was hoping they would not be ugly dark dark red or purple, but the spouse and I were really pleased by the first flower:

DSC00214This photo was taken in the evening when the whole yard was in shadow.  Look at the intense red!  Not bad for a dollar.

DSC00216And finally, during the spring gardening, I found the plastic alligator.  The kids used to play with him so he must be 20 years old or more.  I took him out of the stack of bricks he had fallen into and let him gaze at the garden again.

DSC00219He used to be played with a lot by the kids (I think he put the bite on She-Ra a time or two)  but sadly never had a name.

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Middle Of June Already

We have been working on the garden the last few weeks, so the tops for my daughter are languishing in UFO-land.  My husband did go away for a week to help his mom travel to visit his brother’s family, so I used the alone time to tackle the serger.  I don’t know why I had a mental block about learning to use it, but it just seemed to be a big hassle at a busy time.  I finally got over it and learned to use it.  It’s only a machine after all.  I got a big stash of ivory and white knits during my last jaunt to the craft thrift store, so I plan to make things for the daughters and dye them fun colors.

Here are some views of the garden in the second week of June:

DSC00204

The picture above is of The Back Forty, the section at the back of the yard that used to be a wasteland of brush and a filbert tree that we took out this year.  Planted here are pole beans at the back of the shed, basil, squashes, beets and parsley, beans, and winter squash along the fence (to climb up the fence).

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The area above was overgrown with some ground cover that crept in from the neighbor’s yard, but the spouse dug it up last year.  It produced several dozen big butternut squashes last year, and this year the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers are looking great so far.

DSC00205Here is the main center bed with the 45 or so cucumber plants growing up a trellis in a small area.  Every day I pick 10 or more cucumbers and have already made the pickle relish for next year.  I always plant a wide strip of flowers across the front of the bed so I can see them from the dining table.  There are also onions, peppers, eggplants, and beets in this bed, but the center section is still empty waiting to be planted in more beets and onions.  It is really amazing what a big harvest you can get out of a smallish suburban yard.  There are also some fruit trees that give us apples, pears, several varieties of plums, peaches and apricots.

In addition to working on the serger while the spouse was gone, I was drafting a new sweater pattern to fit the oldest daughter.  She fits in the sweaters I make for myself, but of course wants a younger, more fashionable look.  In particular, I like a comfortable sleeve that fits over other garments, and she likes a sleeve tight to the arm.  She is taller than I am so wanted the sweaters a little longer, and the general measurements needed a little adjustment.  I’ve got the pattern all written out and am working on the first prototype, a red, 3/4 sleeve, raglan cardigan with scoop neck.  It looks, though, like the plums and apples are getting ripe rapidly, earlier this year than last, so I may be spending the next few weeks putting up fruit for jam making, which I do in the winter when it is cold outside (using the fruit I froze in the summer).

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