May 28, 2011


There are many reasons right now for me to celebrate... My gallbladder is out, and I am hungry again!  Woo hoo!  I am slowly recovering, and my husband has done a wonderful job of taking care of me.  I couldn't have asked for a single thing that he didn't provide.  I am ready to be 100%, and am trying to be patient with my recovery.

Also, I now have 10 followers!  I think this demands a party.  So, when are you all free?  Hahaha, only joking, I know you all live across many state lines.  Thanks, readers!!  I honestly thought no one would follow my crazy, nerdy blog.  Apparently, there are many other crazy, nerd-loving people out there!  =)

Now, I haven't been able to get out into my garden, but I have a few more plants that have been hardening off this week on the deck.  Next year, I know I need to start my seeds earlier.  This year a trip interfered, and I knew they wouldn't get the water they needed.  But, here is an update from some old pictures that I took before my surgery. 

My poor, confused TT tomato was still growing strangely and strong.  I haven't seen any blooms or signs of fruit yet, but at least it is still green and growing!
I harvested some lettuce before my surgery, and we had a salad this week.  Sadly, it is time for the lettuce to go.  It tasted bitter, and that's a sign the cool weather season crop has had it's day.  I will definitely be planting more lettuce in the fall!
If you look closely here, you will see my first planting of corn is coming up.  I am spacing them out every two weeks so we aren't swamped with corn.  I can't wait to taste it and hope it turns out okay.  What did the corn plant say to the farmer?  Stop picking on me!  LOL, couldn't help myself, a corny joke was necessary.

All of my other plants seem to be filling out nicely.  I can't wait to get out there again, and see what they look like now!  I know that I have mentioned that this garden is organic, and I am not using pesticides unless I absolutely have to.  I have some natural repellents like marigolds, nasturtium, garlic, and other herbs.  While I was working in the garden, I am happy to say a few insects gave a stamp of approval.  Here is my first visitor that I was able to capture on camera!
Thanks again everyone for your support and good wishes!

May 22, 2011

Bye Bye Broccoli

Well, it was definitely time for my plants to get growing out in the garden.  They had been hardened off, and were ready for outside conditions.
This meant one thing.  Time to say bye bye to the broccoli! 
Bye bye! 
The garden looks so different already.  I also had to prep the other bed, which to this point didn't have any plants.
You should be able to see that I am marking off sections.  I have read and loved the common sense behind the Square Foot Gardening book, so I am growing something different in each square foot.  It sounds just crazy enough to work! 
Welcome home little plants, I hope you will be very happy here!  Excuse me while I disturb your roots and plant you. 
Here I transplanted some marigolds, thyme, oregano, and also planted some corn from seed.
In the other bed, I now have green beans, grape tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and a Thai pepper plant. (Thanks, Jess!)  The craziest thing to me, while transplanting, was that the cucumber roots smelled just like a cucumber.  Maybe it's not so crazy, but it was weird when transplanting to get a whiff of a vegetable I haven't tasted yet!

Also, for those of you that are curious, I have rigged bird netting over the fencing.  It now takes a good while to get in and out of the garden, but no one has (yet) infiltrated the Fortress d' Angela. =) 

May 17, 2011

Everything's coming up roses

As most of you know, I will be having surgery next Monday to take my useless gallbladder out.  I haven't been feeling the best since my friend Tisha's birthday last month.  (Not that I am blaming you Tisha!!)  It has been a long, hard month (+ a few days, yes, I'm counting) with many ups and downs, and I am ready for the surgery.

Sadly, my sister pointed out, that I have been a little less funny since I haven't been feeling the best.  (Now, THAT, I can blame on my useless gallbladder!!)  Thanks for sticking with me, readers.  I swear, I'll bring the funny back.  Not the sexy, just the funny.  =)

Now, what you have all been waiting update on plants!  My rose bush out front has been taking off.  I did some major pruning this year, and have been trying some advice given to me by my friend Jess.  I can't wait to see how it improves from being a neglected plant.  Here is a pic of the large rose bush.
It shocked me, because last year I saw one sad bloom.  This year I see there are two different roses!
This small pink whatever kind of rose.
And the huge, white knock out roses.  As you can tell, I know absolutely nothing about roses.  I wouldn't be sad if this plant died, but I am trying my best to give it a boost!  There is another cute miniature rose bush out front too.

I'm not a really big fan of roses and there are way too many plants in a small space out front, but I don't want to dig it all out and start over.  It's too ridiculous to consider.

Unless you all want to come over and help...

Anyone?  Anyone??

*Crickets Chirping*

Okay, FINE!  I'll keep all the plants I hate.  In the meantime, to keep my sanity, I'll have to just look out back and smile.

May 14, 2011


My lettuce is sporting a fauxhawk.  It's cool like that. 
I gave some to a friend, and we also had two awesome salads in the last couple of weeks.  I was trying to avoid it getting ruined with the 3-4 90 degree days we had recently.
On this one, I added boiled eggs, croutons, pine nuts, cheddar cheese, and some dressing.  I ate it before I took a picture.  =)  The next salad we ate was a Caesar salad.  Check out this yumminess!
Fresh parm, sliced chicken, croutons, and dressing.  Yum!

May 9, 2011

Off with their heads!

The broccoli looked so weird with the main stalks cut down. It seems like a crime against nature or something.
However, it did continue to produce some side shoots.
Although the broccoli tasted great, I'm not sure I will grow it next year.  I envisioned a lot more broccoli per plant, and have to say it wasn't enough for two people.  Perhaps I will just grow more broccoli, but I don't think (right now) it's worth the effort.  Who knows, next spring, I might have such spring fever that I won't be able to help myself.  =)

Here are my transplants, in the process of hardening off, and waiting to go into the garden.

Some of the green beans seemed to be plagued with a pest.  I did some online research, and it looked like a leaf miner.  I wrote to my favorite, all-natural gardening guru, whose website I used to peruse daily.  His response to me..."Never heard of such a thing; beans are direct-seeded plants. Just plant new ones directly outdoors when all threat of frost is gone; use pea and bean innoculant." 

Listen, buddy.  Nasturtium is also supposed to be transplant resistant, and guess what?  I have a seed I grew and TRANSPLANTED!!  And it will knock your socks off!!!  

I hate it when you are let down by someone you look up to.  He didn't answer my question about the pest, so I decided to cut some of the leaves off.  I hope they survive.  

If not, I know I can just plant new ones blah, blah, blah.  

Bitter, party of one?  Your table is now ready.

May 5, 2011

It's my garden, and I'll cry if I want to

Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, I transplanted all of my little seedlings into Newspaper Pots.  I only had enough newspaper for most of the plants, and so I decided to put some that were more cold hardy directly out into the garden.  Here is a picture of my indoor seedlings, growing up so fast! 
It looks like a jungle!  =)  Here are some close ups, so you can see what the plants are growing.  Tomatoes,  cucumbers and green beans!
Cauliflower and marigolds!
Check out the basil, yum!  I can't wait for it to grow up a little more!
Now, as Paul Harvey used to say... "The rest of the story."  I painstakingly transplanted 18 carrots into the garden.  They were so happy with their new home.  Don't ask how I know, but I just know it.  =)  I wiped the dirt off of my hands, (I almost always forget to put on my gloves at critical moments.) closed the fencing, and called it a day.

Two days later, I went out to water and check on my transplants.

Don't they look great?  What's that?  You can't see them.  Well, I .... Um....
Okay, who's the joker?  Anyone?

This isn't a joke??

Where are my carrots?  I grew those from seed!!!  I nurtured them, I cared for them, I LOVED those carrots!  Wah!  Two different varieties, gone in the blink of an eye.  Despite my fencing, something jumped over, or squeezed through, or teleported around and ate all of my carrot fronds!!

Now I need netting to put over my fencing.  And a 24 hour security guard.  And shooting lessons, why didn't I sign up for shooting lessons?  I am ready for a greenhouse.  This day was also the day I found out my tomato seedling had been lost to wind in the TT planter.  (Please see previous post, as this is too painful for me to mention.) 

In the meantime, all of the plants that I have hardened off can't go out in the garden, until I figure out what pest is making my life miserable.

If anyone wants to come forward with information on this crime, your identity will be protected.

Unless you are a rabbit.

May 4, 2011

Miscellaneous Meanderings

I was going to show you all how to make a topsy turvey planter for your tomatoes....  But then Menard's had an amazing sale, and I bought one for $0.99!!!  You can't beat that with a stick!  :-)  So, maybe next year, sorry readers.  In the meantime, I am conducting another experiment, because I am curious to see which of my tomato plants will grow the best, the garden grown or TT transplant. 

My husband convinced me to put one of my seedlings in the TT planter, even though I knew that it was far too small.  That plant lasted about 1 week in the Kansas wind - Typical.  So, I ended up buying a plant to replace my seedling.  I found a place in the yard for my planter, added some crushed eggshells and topsoil, and here it is!
These things are so ugly.  If this works, I might just have a bunch of them, all over my yard next year!  Forget the garden and all the hard work!  It's easy street for me! =)   Right now, I think the poor plant is confused.  I imagine I would feel the same if I was uprooted (ha!) and turned upside down.  The tomato plant is reaching around the planter in a disturbing way.
Which way do I grow?  Which way do I grow?  

We also bought some dwarf spruce trees to put in pots on our deck.  So far we have only transplanted one, but it looks so cute!
Don't you think?  The plan is to (eventually) put twinkle lights on these to give a little ambiance to our backyard.  It will also be nice to look out in the winter and see something that makes me smile in the no-grow season. 

Finally, while meandering around the backyard, I found some surprises!  We had to cut down two trees: A dead tree and live one that were too close to the deck when we bought the house.  Mushrooms grow and work to break down the dead root system.   Here are the interesting formations they are growing in.  
Kind of gross and kind of cool.  =)