Color week sounded like fun so I just spent 30 minutes in the yard trying to capture all the colors for the week. First up: GREEN. This was an easy one....
The sun finally came out! And my parents were here (apparently to spend two days working on our behalf, thanks, mom and dad) so we enjoyed the sunshine and turned the garden.
Under grandpa's tutelage Biscuit turned and hoed her corner of the garden bed (ultimately planted a zucchini and a cantaloupe)
We found many a worm.
And drank lemonade (not sideways). Our lemon tree has a few still hanging--hooray.
All in all a great day and the garden is about 1/3 planted. Which probably means it's time for a giant storm to kill my seeds. We'll see.
First we gathered some nature (and a penny)
Then, with some assistance from me and Grandma, the fairy house and yard were assembled.
I think it would have looked better if we'd followed Kleas' instructions more closely but Biscuit has strong opinions on these sorts of things and I try not to interfere too much. This fairy will live in a teepee with a carefully thought out bed.
The "pond" is a sand dollar given to Biscuit by a neighbor after he learned she was collecting nature for a fairy house. So nice! We also found the peanut shell boat on his lawn.
Now I'm off to sprinkle a bit of glitter and move the leaf cover off the bark bed so when Biscuit wakes up she'll see that the fairies have visited.
Every summer my dad and I have an informal contest wherein we both plant a garden using the same shared seeds then I spend all summer trying to grow more/better of each crop. Then I fail. Then I realize my dad isn't actually competing in this contest, he's just growing a really good garden and remembering to do things like water and weed.
So it's not surprising that his garden knocked the socks off my garden in: beans, beets and pumpkins. His carrots were better too and somehow he even beat me at zucchini (who fails at zucchini growing I ask you).
But hot damn check out this potato crop! They're monsters. There are so many. And I'm sure more are lurking in the soil waiting for me to accidentally chop them in half with overly enthusiastic spading. We're totally having scalloped potatoes the instant the weather cools down again.
As a note, it still would have been cheaper and easier to buy the 5 pound bag at Raleys but this is way more fun.
I found this robin's egg in the garden bed sitting next to the ripe strawberry I was pointing out to Biscuit. Kinda sad. I got up on our super tall ladder and searched through the cherry tree for a nest to no avail. So I put it in the nest in our house and crossed my fingers it wouldn't hatch. It hasn't.
In the same garden bed, right next to the strawberry plants, the rhubarb is finally getting tall so I harvested a few stalks tonight and made my first batch of jam for the season. Rhubarb strawberry of course.
In the second garden bed, the seed tape I planted is finally starting to sprout. (these photos are from planting day. not today. obviously)
Biscuit and I made carrot and beet strips by pasting seeds onto a piece of newspaper.
I based this on a tutorial I saw online and now can't recall where. Basically, dump some flour in a bowl. Mix in water until it's a thick paste. Dab a bit of paste every few inches on a thin strip of newspaper (no colored ink) stick on a few seeds and let it dry. This makes it much easier to plant small seeds but it turns out it's not a great project for the four-year-old set. Live and learn.
The third garden bed is lonely. Only four weak tomato plants to keep it company. Hopefully the tomatoes will live and I'll plant some beans to keep them company.
It's been a bizarrely rainy Spring here in Northern California. Gotta squeeze in the gardening when we can.
Today I noticed a bird going in and out of this birdhouse. And there was a whole lot of commotion and cheeps inside whenever the bird came or went. I think we have a bird family making use of our birdhouse! So exciting! Even though it was built for a nuthatch, I believe a family of Ash Throated Flycatchers has taken up residence.
Today's discovery is much more uplifting than last month when we noticed this carefully constructed nest on the Robin platform in the cherry tree and then realized it's been abandoned. No baby Robins for us. But I wonder when the little flycatchers will learn to catch flies....
This sign is my new favorite thing. Mr. H created it by selectively scanning this piece of art. Removing extra apostrophes and the robot that was shooting the chickens ;)
The sign is installed on the new fence Mr. H built to, you guessed it, keep the chickens out of the garden.
Now that the fence is done we could get started with the planting.
That cottage cheese container worked great for making plant labels in a pinch.
The birds are enjoying the sunflower seed heads. We took an envelope of seeds for next year and left the rest for them.
Hopefully the pumpkins make it another two months. They've been orange since early June (oops). They seem solid except for the big one which finally got worms. The pile in the background is about half of what I cleared out last weekend to make space for winter veggies.
The tomatoes are finally, finally getting ripe.
I'm thinking dried sunflowers might be prettier than fresh.
What do you think?
Who's this cutie?
Maybe one of these days I'll manage to brush her hair and get a cute, non-stained outfit on her before one of our impromptu photo sessions. There wasn't time tonight--the light was going quickly--so she had to wear the ugliest thing I've made her which, naturally, has been a favorite for over a year now.
Use a sharpie and a rock.
The ones I made in January held up well through the wet part of winter so I'm assuming these will easily last through the dry summer (or at the very, very least until the plants start fruiting, negating the need for labels).
I'm currently building a climbing structure (as Biscuit called it) for vegetables. It's made of the branches of my dying cherry tree (boo hoo). Hoping to get most of the rest of the garden planted today before the seedlings ALL die in the heat.