Category Archives: Gardening

Life as a Gardener #2

Well, today was a better day.

Did not get the garden watered yesterday, exhausted from working on the front sidewalk path. Our front garden area is filled in with lava rocks. I hate them and they are not very good when trying to start new flowers from seed. I don’t like the way they look either. So, I decided to take them out of the garden area and line the sidewalk and surround the mailbox with them. Possibly the driveway as well. This will prevent us from having to edge those areas when we mow the lawn.

However, I did not think it through. I spent four hours sitting on my numb arse, taking lava rocks out of one area putting them in a bucket after I cleaned them off, and then putting them into the new area. Of course, I had to edge, dig out, and weed the edge of the sidewalk before I could put the rocks back. But as you can see from the picture, I think it was worth it.

When I got up yesterday I had one new sprout in the green bean pot. It was barely poking out, but it was pretty exciting. So this morning I go out to check and that little sprout was full up. He was lovely. My first bean sprout! So a little while later it began to rain, which continued for most of the afternoon. When it finally stopped, I went out to make sure none of the pots had standing water. None did, but what do you think I found?

The bean pot has SEVEN full popped sprouts now. They are magnificent and they look so happy in that big yellow pot. I was giddy with pure joy. Might sound silly, but damn I love how it feels to grow things.

So, I mosey around to the back and low and behold we have a second cherry tomato on the plant. Woohoo, two at a time. A record for us. LOL Sad, but true. The tomatoes in the bed look good and strong and the pepper plants are looking stronger as well. I think I might actually do better with tomatoes from seed.

As a side note, I am going to dream about new ways to hunt and eliminate squirrels. I keep trying to explain to them–in rather colorful language–that I am feeding the birds, not their fat little hineys. So, they had better stop flipping my bird feeder over.

The cucumber plants, are splendid. The plants look lovely and hardy and I just know they are going to give us tons of the best cucumbers ever. My goal is to have cukes as yummy as those Zieglers. Lofty goal, I know, but I think I can do it.

Spent the entire day today watching repeats of Army Wives on Netflix and updating files and ISBNs and eBooks and all manner of things. Tomorrow it is back to editing.

Well, I have a lovely turkey, freshly roasted by me today in the kitchen waiting to be carved up for dinner. Hope you all have a super-duper night.

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My Life as a Gardener #1

Well, with all the mess of the audit and my need to volunteer to be on the BOD and some committees for our Homeowners Association, and the day to day of running the business, I have once again over-extended myself. Moghis came home last night (I love my time alone, but I missed him horribly) and I woke up in tears this morning. Poor man might wish he had stayed gone.

At any rate, I did a bit of business this morning and then decided I needed to relieve some stress. What I am about to say may shock many, and make others giggle. I needed to go out and work on the gardening. I know, right. I needed to fuss in the dirt and plant things. So after an hour outside in my little garage/garden shed (heehee) I am back in and feeling tons better.

I began by planting some Derby (Bush) Beans in a big, bright yellow pot! I have read mixed reviews on whether beans grow well in pots, but I decided to give it a try. Once I get the next bed cleaned out and set, I will plant the rest of the seeds out there, then I will know for myself.

Next, I cleaned out all the yogurt containers that I had started the onions in and I started 8 Hale’s Best Jumbo Cantaloupes. We really like cantaloupes, but they are too expensive to buy right now, so this will hopefully solve the problem …hopefully. We  have these two trees in the backyard, quite small and don’t offer much shade at all, so I have decided to build a base around them (probably with bricks) and then build a sloped bed and use that when I transplant the cantaloupes. At some point I hope to plant strawberries inside the holes of the bricks. Should be lovely.

Lastly, I found two good size plastic (terra cotta-colored) pots. In each of those I planted a combination of Purple Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans. When they bloom they should be stunning!

I am very shocked to find how soothing the act of planting things and watering and even weeding is for me. I used to view it as work and avoided it at all costs. But now it has become something I thoroughly enjoy.

Wednesday evening when I got back into town, I transplanted my onions–all 81 of them. And I am thrilled to say that one of our three concord grape plants has its first leaf!

How are your gardens doing?

Rain Rain Go Away

Today started off on such a down note, that I was not sure I had the strength to make a go of it. Our trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom yesterday was lovely and relaxing, but the cool wind seems to have left me with a bit of a head cold. But I was determined to make the best of the day.

I spent some time this morning out in the garden it was fertilizing day. So I fed my maters, peppers, onions, carnations, peppers, and even the ginormous cilantro. I also dug out and turned the spot in the front yard where I’m going to put the birdbath and wildflower patch. That was quite hard work as our front yard has those damn weeds that go deep and spread far. So I dug and I turned and I sifted and I turned and I made the most lovely dirt circle.

Yesterday I planted hollyhocks in the front landscaped area in front of the dining room window.

So now…it is pouring down rain. The yard is a big puddle of standing water and I’m certain all my hollyhock seeds have been washed away. Lord help me if they grow in some freaky place in the yard. LOL

I spent several hours editing, I hope you all like Arabian Dreams by J.A. Campbell as much as I do when it comes out.

I also set up a new boutique company designed to help authors. I love publishing and I see myself doing it forever, but there are those authors who want to self-publish. That is where they can make more money. No problem with that. My problem is when authors try to do it themselves when they have no idea what they are doing. My new brainchild will offer writers and other small business people a helping hand. So if you need help self-publishing or increasing your visibility with readers and other consumers. I hope you will tell them about Sassy Gal Enterprises.

Things are changing faster than I care for in my life and it is more than a little bit scary. Trying to build a business and maintain a family is hard work, but the payoff is splendid.

So today’s question is for the gardeners out there. How do you know when to transplant the onions you started from seed? I’ve got a bunch and I don’t want to wait too long or go too soon.

A New Adventure Has Begun: Brace Yourself

Never in a million years would anyone ever have been able to tell me that I would one day want to be a gardener. No kidding. Dirt? Bugs? Sweat. I think not! I had no desire to eat a vegetable, much less grow one. What the hell is that all about?

So here I am a couple decades later, and I am going to publicly proclaim myself a gardener. Okay, a novice gardener. Okay, a gal who is trying very hard not to kill the vegetables in her backyard. No, no, a gardener. I’m sticking with that. For most of my life I’ve lived in apartments. Only a couple of houses and never any with the space to garden, not that I wanted to. But in the last couple of years, a few things have happened to make me take pause and reconsider the whole gardening thing.

  1. I met a lovely gal named Gale Borger who is an extremely talented gardener and the  brilliant author of Death of a Garden Hoe.
  2. I connected with another gal on Twitter who has a site called Red, White, and Grew.
  3. And I paid $1.29 for a freaking cucumber that little to no flavor.

So, here I am. Pamela, at Red, White, and Grew (who has an awesome display of boards on Pinterest) had a lot to do with this as she reminded me about something I had long ago forgotten: Victory Gardens. You all know what they are, right? If not, hit Pamela’s site and pay attention. I’ve watched Pamela’s enthusiasm and willingness to answer a series of (what must be mind-numbing) questions from all manner of people, including me. She appears to be tireless. Truly.

Gale, who is also one of my favorite authors, has spent many an hour answering my questions as well. If you want to see what a true gardener can do, visit Gale’s site and look at some of her award-winning plants and flowers. She has a remarkable gift, and she loves to share it with others.

Then there was the whole cucumber incident. Now, it wasn’t just the high cost of that flavorless cuke, but my mouth-watering experience on the other end of the veggie spectrum. I was up in Pennsylvania at the launch party for Kieryn Nicolas’ debut YA spy novel, Rain. It was a grand party, and I was overwhelmed with the family garden gracing their yard. As I was leaving that day, Mara, Kieryn’s way super-awesome-cool mom, gave me some treats. One of them was a small bag of cucumbers. NEVER in my life had I had a cucumber that tasted so good. I mean , seriously people, my husband and I stood in the kitchen all but crying with the joy of this cucumber. I kid you not. It was SPECTACULAR. But I do go on.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when hubby and I gave up apartment life and bought a house in Orlando, FL. We had this lovely backyard and nothing in it. As of today, it has a patch of ground that I cleared, and tried to till, and turned, and babied so I could plant my tomatoes and bell peppers. A week later came one night of frost. Guess what? Yeah. Lucky for us Home Depot, gems that they are, took back all the dead peppers and one of the three mater plants. Two of them actually came back and produced a few more maters (9 cherries maters to date.) Then came another stupid frost. Really? In Florida? Come on.

'Maters and Bell Peppers

So, as I type this post in, I am anxiously waiting for Sunday when we will go out and buy the materials to build a couple raised beds. I have several mater and bell peppers plants that I started from seed and are almost ready to be transplanted. I have a monster cilantro plant that thinks its some kind of giant tree (I can’t use as much cilantro as I keep cutting), and we have a grapefruit tree (with leaf miners), a lemon tree that might actually bear fruit, and a tangerine tree that is doing splendidly. Oh and three concord grape starters.

Onions

I am determined to become a successful and fruitful gardener, even if it kills me. I am trying to learn as much as I can, so if you garden and you have tips, ideas, and other stuff you would like to share, please let me know. Who knows, maybe I can become some famous publishing gardener.

I’d love to hear what you grow.