Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Tomorrow I will regale you with stories of the Potato Box and other sundry items. But not now. It's too late now, so I will do it tomorrow after work.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I was playing around with the telephoto lens taking pictures of butterflies and horn worms and when I looked through the viewfinder, at one point, I saw this, and I thought it was pretty with the light and the tomato leaves. So I took a picture of it. Note: I haven't done any work on this photo, what you see is what you get (but I would recommend clicking to embiggen).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On the Road Again

I never really realized just how many photos of gardens or being in gardens I take when I'm on the road, so to speak.

Sunflowers and with church in background. Straubing, Germany

On our honeymoon, I took photos of gardens in each of the countries we visited (Switzerland, Germany and Austria, albeit the Austria photo is of a hedgehog in the garden bed), and this was before I was a garden blogger or had even thought about starting a garden blog.

Flower garden in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Though to be fair, I only took the picture of the flowers in Lauterbrunnen because it had rained the ENTIRE time we were in Switzerland except for the last day and passing these flowers cheered me immensely. We, of course, had decided to camp the whole time. But it does give us something to talk about every year on our anniversary - the fact that it flooded in the camp ground we stayed at, and because of the flooding no one could get in or out of the town, and then the power went out. And we were in a tiny backpacking tent, with no form of entertainment in the town except for walking from one end of town to the other. Ah, the memories. (sorry for the in-depth honeymoon trip, but our 5-year anniversary is today, so it's the perfect time to wax nostalgic and go through all of our honeymoon and/or wedding photos)

But I digress.

Back in 2008, when Shawn had to go on a recruitment trip for his at-the-time employer to our alma mater, I decided to tag along. There aren't many places prettier than the CU campus in early October (in my opinion, but then, I may be biased). I spent my days hanging out at Varsity Pond taking pictures and counting turtles.

Varsity Pond, University of Colorado at Boulder Campus, Boulder, Colorado.

And just on the other side of this pond, in one of the flower beds, I found this, my entry for the August Gardening Gone Wild Picture This photo contest:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Horny Fly?

I keep thinking of the 'There's a lady who swallowed a fly' song whenever I see this photo.

I've discovered that each of my pepper plants has one tomato horn worm on it, and each of my tomato plants is horn worm free. Odd, that.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Science Experiment Updates

An update from my post on June 6, 2010:

- The Garlic Experiment (aka Growing Garlic) - Win!

- Make seed start pots out of toilet paper rolls - Fail. I will try this again soon. I've just been lazy.

- Strawberry Popcorn - Neutral. The corn grew, it produced. Because of my own stupidity, they didn't produce as much as they could have. I planted I think 8 plants or so and got 6 good ears and about that many not good ears (I had stopped watering the plants well before I should have).

- Paper towel seed starting technique - Epic Win! I successfully managed to start 5-year old basil and black eyed susan seeds using the trick of sprinkling seeds on a wet paper towel, wrapping it up and putting it in a ziplock bag on the counter. The basil is still alive (the black eyed susans all died after I planted them). I also started swamp milkweed and butterfly weed (both from my own plant and from seeds I bought) by this method. I was successful enough that I gave away 2 swamp milkweeds and 3 butterfly weeds. The least successful was the butterfly weed seeds that I bought (only 1 survived and it's still just an inch tall or so). I haven't started any other seeds this way recently, but you better believe that I will.

- Lemon Balm + Nasturtium to repel Squash Vine Borer - Neutral. I don't know if it really repels the SVB, but I'll probably plant this again as the Nasturtiums are pretty and the Lemon Balm is well, lemony. I love lemony things. As mentioned earlier, when the lemon balm is crushed and rubbed on exposed skin it works as a decent mosquito repellent (for me and the hubby at least, I don't know if anyone else has tried this so I can't tell you if it works for everyone).

- Quinoa - Has not started yet. This will be the fall garden experiment.

- Starting tomatoes/eggplant/pepper from seed - Epic Win! I got a handful of tomatoes from the green zebras and there are 2 eggplants on the Beatrice. I have yet to get peppers, but I blame the heat.

- Agave pups - In process. the agave plant at work sent up a bloom stalk and is dying so I took a handful of pups and have them sitting in a sand/soil mix at work. About half seem to be doing alright, the other half, not so much. The other people at work who took pups and put them in a pot with dirt right away seem to be having quite healthy looking cacti. I will pot mine up soon and bring them home for planting...somewhere...I'm not sure where yet.

- Pumpkins - Has not started yet. This will be a spring 2011 garden experiment. If it works out, we'll have white pumpkins for Halloween. I will draw Casper the Ghost on every one of them, too.

- Carnival Mix Carrots - Has not started yet. This will be a fall 2010 garden experiment. I believe I've read somewhere that people haven't liked this variety as much as some other single color varieties.

- Chef's Choice Cauliflower Mix - In process...sort of. This will be a fall 2010 garden experiment. White, green and purple variety cauliflowers...which reminds me, I should probably start more seedlings since the last ones are all bent funny.

- Tulle Bags to protect the tomatoes - Has not started yet. I'll make the call when I have more tomatoes growing and if there are still lots of stink bugs around. The gist is that you use those little tulle wedding gift bags and put your tomatoes in them (while still on the plant, duh), to protect the tomato itself from bugs. Note: As Annie in Austin has pointed out, this will not protect your tomatoes from other, larger varmints. Varmints with teeth.

- Potato box - This will be starting shortly since it is Fall Potato Planting Season now. I just need to convince the hubby that he loves me enough to go buy lumber and build this box thingy.

So, if you have any experiments ideas, let me know and I'll see if I can squeeze them in.

You gotta watch your melons...

As I tweeted a while back, the ONE watermelon I had was eaten by the opossums or the raccoons. Around that time, I noticed that there was a cantaloupe on a vine that had started climbing the tomato cage. After it was heavy enough, it pulled the vines down and was growing behind the garden bed. I figured at that point that I'd better reach over and actually put it inside the garden otherwise I'd forget about it. In my haste to wait until it was good and ripe, I let it get overripe and the bugs ended up eating it (earwigs, specifically). I tasted a small bit today that wasn't eaten by the bugs and it was pretty bland--it did taste like cantaloupe, but not very sweet cantaloupe.

So, there you go, 1 watermelon eaten by varmints, and 1 cantaloupe eaten by bugs.

Last night I noticed another watermelon growing, and considering that it was the size of the last watermelon before I even noticed it, hopefully that means that the varmints won't notice it either. fingers crossed!

In other planting news, I planted the aforementioned zucchini and yellow squash seeds in the garden. Of all the seeds I planted, I've noticed 3 spots where the squash has come up (and the odd thing is that in these three piles, all the seeds have sprouted, and in the other piles none of the seeds have sprouted). This most likely means that the squash are all the same variety, which, meh, whatever, the point was to get something in the garden that will cover the dirt. I thinned the squash to 2 plants per location, so hopefully they appreciate that rather than 5 plants per spot.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010