Friday, January 27, 2012

Niko, Chioggia beets, and such

I was able to enjoy the sunny and cool winter day out in the garden today.  I removed some old kale and celery plants  left from last year and I added some manure and brown leaves to the garden bed.
This is "Niko" our greenhouse mascot. Isn't she adorable. She loves spending time in the greenhouse munching on kale. If I try to take her away before she is ready, she runs to the other side of the basket to get away from me.


I wintersowed "Garden Bells" penstemon in the greenhouse a few days ago...

along with "Tutti Frutti" Lupine

Their home.

Some of my spanish onions and leeks have sprouted and I find myself having to fill in the empty spots with new seeds.  The first seeds I planted were a couple of years old, hence the low germination rate.  I'm trying to use up all my old seeds.  I know, I should have sowed them in a papertowel first.

Sweet Pea "Perfume Delight"

I find it hard to reset the low and high indicators on this thermometer.  First, not that it matters much, but the blue indicator needs to be on the low side and vice verse with the green...and when you get both needles on the same side of the red one, it is hard to seperate them.  I need to ask someone that has one of these how they work it.
My new coat hook.  Now I have a place to hang my coat, hat, and camera while I'm working in the greenhouse.
Sedum "Autumn Fire" from last year; and waiting for me to make a bed for them to lie in...I need to continue the arduous task of removing the landcaping rocks and fabric.   
My "Blue Flax" have sprouted along with my "Portulaca", and "Bombast Poppies." The last two are not pictured. 

My surprise "Chioggia" beet harvest.  Last year, I remember sowing these seeds and forgeting to label them.   I thought they were swiss chard and I remember not being impressed by their leaves.  Well no wonder.  By the way,  I had some for lunch and they were deliciously tender.

Finally, I have renewed hope .  My "Elvas" amaryllis is growing.

I got a great deal from the local garden center... I know they look dead in the picture but they are alive and healthy.  I bought six 6packs of strawberries for .25 cents each. Ahh love the deals.  I planted two packs in my garden and the rest are for the Pathfinders' garden  I will be helping to start this spring.

Here is the before picture of another thrift store treasure.  I bought this wood planter for five dollars and I am in the process of painting it white.  It will be a window box.  I can't wait till it's up. More pic to come.

This is "Coco" our rescued dog.   Look at those innocent eyes.
Till next time.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wind and Fire

It's windy today with 55mph wind gusts.  Last time this happened we had a fire in Reno that made national news.  About a dozen homes were burnt and a lot of land charred.  We lost part of our fence.

I took a break from blogging to pick up my child from school and the second I walk out the door I could smell it in the air....another fire in the area.  Our firefighters are really working hard for their money. These wind fueled fires are so hard to contain because they can't use airplanes or helicopters, only ground firefighters and the paved roads only go so far.  I pray no one looses their home.

 On a lighter note, I recently did some winter sowing in some containers..  I planted some chinese lantern, guara, armeria, lupine, blue flax, snow-in-the-summer, cleome, portulaca and some varieties of hollyhock.

Excuse this poor picture, but what you see here is the bane of my existance.  Let me explain.  The perimeter of my yard is covered with various layers substances that keep me from turning my yard into the paradise that I have imagined. First, I have a layer of what started off as a decorative grass which has become invasive. Next I have a layer of landscape rock followed by a sheet of thick landscape fabric which has the roots of the grass growing right through it and last but highly significant is the hard concrete-like clay soil. I've been working at removing these rocks small sections at a time and it's taking forever.  I also have a growing pile of rocks on the side of the house and I'm running out of room.  I need to place an ad on craigslist to get rid of these rocks

My back and fingers hurt just from the sight of this picture.

A picture of Lake Tahoe.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Update on Paperwhites, Amaryllis and my Thrift store find.

My Paperwhites have flowered.  They are a beauty.


I really like these paperwhites because they're not really tall.  I've had some in the past that were so tall they would fall over...a real mess.  I'm glad I overcame my apprehension of trying them again.  I've read that you can add vodka (1:10 solution) to the water and it helps to keep them from getting too tall. 

No sign of growth from my "Elvas" amaryllis.  I've been careful not to overwater so the bulb doesn't rot and the bulb feels firm and it has a green color.  Hmmm...patience!

My thriftstore find.  It started out as an old ugly brown stained stool that you would never think about bringing home, but here it is in its new glory...naked.  I still haven't figured out whether I want to stain it or paint it.  What I like about it is that it has a lazy susan type seat and I can twirl around from one side to the other.  It will come in handy when I place a bench on the other side of the greenhouse.

The four rows on the left have sprouting spanish onion seedlings and the three rows on the right have leeks. So much for my little flag labels...they melted right off with the the high moisture level.  My seed starting box is housed in a heated propagater seen below which I think helps them when the temp drops below freezing.

 Last night the temperature dropped down to three degrees outside and the inside of the greenhouse went down to 20 degrees.  Not bad for an unheated greenhouse with no extra insulation.  This spring I will be turning on the heater when I start my warm season vegetables