Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

May 29, 2014

Hey Bud!

I mentioned in this post how bummed I was that I had barely any lilacs this spring. While that is still true, it appears as though my bearded irises are planning to make up for the lilac lack!
iris buds (1)

I’ve got lots of iris buds. I counted over 50 when I took these pictures!
iris buds (2)

I’m thrilled with the abundance of buds. They should be opening any day now. This blog will likely be flooded with their photos in the near future.

The peonies are budding too – and the ants have definitely found their way to that sweet scent.
peony buds

I guess you can’t call them buds, but the vegetable garden is under way as well. Despite a minor injury to my ankle that I suffered at Zumba class Saturday morning, with some help and some bribery of the teenagers in my life it is all planted. I got my girls’ and daughter’s boyfriend to do the clearing away of last year’s garden debris. Then I was able to comfortably scoot around and do the actual planting.
veggie garden (1)

This year I’ve planted 2 types of tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, jalepenos, cayennes, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli and eggplant. I’ve never had a heck of a lot of luck with eggplant or bell peppers, but I decided to give them another try. Some little critter has already nibbled the leaves of the of one of the eggplant seedlings, so we’ll see what happens there.

I did plant all those annual flowers I showed you in my last post too. Those were mostly for containers, so that was easy, pleasant work.
dahlia hello!

I’ve been contemplating some kind of photo challenge too. As I told you at the beginning of the year (or technically at the end of last year) I’ve been trying to focus on the simple joys this year. There have been some rather trying events for both me and someone very close to me over the last couple weeks that, while I cannot discuss them here, have affected me deeply. They have left me feeling bereft of joy at times and attempting to seek it out wherever possible. I’d like to have a joy-themed photo hunt for June. It wouldn’t be a Karma kind of hunt if I just left it at that, though, would it? You awesome bloggers so often inspire me. Would you do me the favor of leaving some joyful comments or ideas or links? I think I could come up with just the thing with a little help from my friends!

June 22, 2012

What I’ve Been Up To

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 12:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been out of school for a week now and I thought it was about time to show you what I’ve been up to and what’s going on around the yard lately.  Of course we had recital this past Saturday, so getting ready for that took up time but I’ve been puttering around taking care of other tasks as well.

garden progress

The garden is progressing along nicely.  I’ve had one major weeding session since planting everything a few weeks ago and I’ve been pretty good about remembering to water in the morning when needed.  Fairly low maintenence so far, and I’ve got…
baby cucumbers

baby cucumbers,

baby summer squash

baby summer squash,

baby zucchini

baby zucchini, and even

baby cayenne pepper

a baby cayenne pepper!

The raspberries are coming along too..
raspberries

..I’ve already eaten a few!

As for those flowery-type thingies that I love so much, the bee balm is back..
bee balm

..and I’ve purchased and re-potted a few others, like this geranium,
geranium

and this cute purple, puffy algeratum:
IMG_8395

In addition to weeding, watering and repotting, I’ve been scrubbing and conditioning too. No, not me! Well, okay, yes me, but I was referring to this:

pool finally clean!

After quite a bit of opening work, the pool is finally ready for use.  Just in time too!  Here in the northeast, as is much of the country, we’ve been experiencing our first official heat wave of summer with temps in the 90’s for 3 days in a row.

I’ve also been taking care of this little patch:
yard work

This past spring, hubby finally finished burning all the debris that was left behind by all the violent weather we experienced in these parts last year. Unfortunately, we had to use a spot in the middle of the lawn to do it since the fire had to be a certain distance from the house but within reach of the garden hose.

I shoveled out the pile of coals, loosened the earth beneath and planted this patch of new seed: watching grass grow
Scott’s tells me I’ll have nice thick grass here in about a month.

I won’t let you think I’ve been doing nothing but work over the last week.  I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy myself in my happy place, too:

My happy place

Happy summer everyone!  So what have you been up to lately?

May 28, 2012

Feeling Accomplished and Tired!

Here we are at the end of a glorious 3-day weekend – (thank you service people who made it possible).  I made use of every moment and accomplished plenty in that time span.  Some of the accomplishments were enjoying time with friends and relaxing on my deck, but those are important too, right?

Memorial Day weekend is planting weekend for me.  It is always when I have the time to plant my veggie garden and generally have no more worry of a hard frost in this area.  Tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini make up this year’s patch.
IMG_8094
That took most of my day yesterday, a sunny day with the temperature around 90 degrees. I continued today (after mowing the lawn this morning before it reached into the 90’s again this afternoon) with my traditional row of marigold “sentinels” at the edge of the garden.
IMG_8095
You know, I was under the impression that the scent of marigolds was supposed to help repel critters who’d like to get their paws on what the garden has to give, but not two hours after I finished planting those marigolds did I find a chipmunk happily digging away and stuffing his cheeks right next to one of those marigolds! Curious, eh?

I also planted my herb bucket with basil and parsley after mercilessly hacking away about half of the chives that have a tendency to take over the whole bucket.
IMG_8096

I started filling some of my containers with annual flowers as well, but those don’t look too impressive yet, so I’ll save those for another day.

Another color of peony opened this weekend too:
peony1

While in one of those quiet moments relaxing and appreciating on my deck, I caught sight of a bird I’ve been wanting to photograph for a while now:
oriole1
This gentleman was fairly high up in my oak tree, so I wasn’t entirely sure at first that I was seeing a Baltimore oriole. But then he turned his backside toward me, and that made me sure I wasn’t just seeing a robin with a really dark head and a really bright chest!
oriole2

And so, dear readers, I’m quite tired as I type this late Monday evening, but it is a good kind of tired.  Memorial Day weekend was all that I could have asked for and I truly appreciated it.  How was your weekend?

May 29, 2011

What a Week for the Garden

Remember what my garden space looked like a couple weeks ago after I cleaned it out?

After

I spent yesterday from about 9 am until about 5pm (with a break for lunch) weeding (yes, they did manage to invade after all the rain we’ve had), raking, digging and planting.  It was probably one of the warmest and most humid days we’ve had so far this spring (86 degrees F), but I finished planting all my veggies:

planted garden.

It doesn’t look like much right now, but there are 18 tomatoes, 33 peppers (varieties of both bell and hot), 12 zucchini, 6 yellow summer squash and 12 cucumber.  I hope I haven’t overplanted my garden space this year!  I started putting down some landscape fabric too (you can see that along the foundation of the house where the tomatoes are planted) in an attempt to keep weeds down a bit this year.  I got too hot to finish that job; the black fabric just seemed to be throwing extra heat my way.

In addition to the veggie garden, my flower gardens have had some beautiful blooms this week too.  Rhododendrons, woodland hyacinth, bearded iris and just this morning, poppies have all opened up.  Do I have pictures for you? Of course!  I even spent sometime with my extension tubes and tripod.

Woodland hyacinth

These are woodland hyacinth.  They are not a large, showy flower.  Those little bells are about 3/4 of an inch.  The plants themselves are only about 6-7 inches tall.  I thought they might make a nice extension tube subject, but my tripod,  of course doesn’t go that low and resting the camera on the ground would be too low.  So, I got down on my belly and parked my elbows on the ground as I held the camera.  Here’s the best shot I got:

woodland hyacinth

The rhododendron is in full blown bloom now:

rhododendron

and so are my beloved bearded irises:

 bearded iris

bearded iris 2

bearded iris 3

Of course I played with the extension tubes on these also:

bearded iris

bearded iris

bearded iris 2

The bright orange poppy got in on the act this morning:
crazy poppy

My crazy poppy!  I must admit the light was just right for this shot this morning, and it has its own beauty, but it does look a little crazy where it is planted – take a look:
poppy with iris

Right next to the delicate irises.  Oh well! They are here to stay.

I just love this time of year.  Don’t you?

June 4, 2010

A Gardener’s Day in the Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:18 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Last weekend, after my mournful Red Sox Game, I spent my Saturday planting my vegetable garden.  This has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition for me for many years now.  In the early years of my garden, I easily grew luscious tomatoes, bountiful peppers, and piles of cucumbers and zucchini.  I dabbled in corn one year – result, epic failure, due to local raccoons managing to pick virtually every ear just a day or so before it was perfectly ripe.  I’ve experimented with carrots, onions and radishes.  My clay soil is not overly friendly to root crops, although radishes flourished for a few years.  Eggplant and summer squash have come and gone from year to year.  I even gave tomatillos a shot one summer, but we don’t really have the growing season for them here in Massachusetts.  I’ve never had a successful planting of any kind of melon – I’ve tried both watermelon and cantaloupe.  Despite my successes and failures, it wouldn’t be summer for me without getting out there and getting my hands in the dirt.

Typically, on the day that I set out to plant my garden, this is how the space looks that I need to tackle:
My garden, 9:00 am, 5/25/08

Leaves to clear, weeds to pull, debris to move.  This year, however, hubby gave my garden and me a treat after the garden of the past few years hasn’t been as successful as I’d like it to be: 4 yards of fresh top soil!
P5292322

The photo above is how my garden looked at 9:00 am on Saturday morning.
P5292326

And this is how it looked at about 6:00 pm Saturday evening.  I only took a break for lunch, and I planted 68 fresh young vegetable plants, most of which were purchased from my local garden center, Sixteen Acres Gardens:
P5232268

Yeah, all those seeds I started this year?  The only ones that actually made it into my garden were, you guessed it, the watermelon seedlings (and I’m still not convinced they will grow even with the new top soil and the patches of composted manure that I planted them in!  They are “icebox” sized seedless melons, but in the past the largest melon I ever got from these vines was the size of a baseball!) Here are the best looking of those seedlings, not that much bigger than the last time I showed them to you.
P5292332

In addition to the watermelon, this year’s garden contains:
P5292334

Tomatoes (6 Big Beef and 6 Better Boys)

P5292330

Hot Peppers (12 Thai Dragons, 6 Jalepenos, 6 Long Red Cayennes)
P5292328

Sweet Bell Peppers (6)
P5292335

Cucumbers (12)
P5292331

And zucchini (6)

And this is what I looked like at the close of this gardener’s day:
P5292323

(I think I’ve mentioned before its hard to do much around here without involvement from 4-legged residents! )

Right now, I’m still in the early glory days of the garden season.  The plants are fresh and new and healthy.  I have hopes for my new top soil.  I’m hoping for some cooperation from Mother Nature, with just the right amount of sun and rain (which has NOT been the case the past few summers).  The dirt is weed free.  But, like the road to Hell, the paths of my garden are paved with good intentions.  Check back with me in August!  Hopefully, the garden won’t look like this:
The weeds win!