Friday, April 16, 2010

Gardening And Feathered Friends

This year instead of planting our garden in the North Forty......I went for easy and planted two raised boxes, much closer to the house.  I won't have near the space to plant, unless I add another couple boxes, but it will be easier to tend to.  The soil was so hard last summer, and we lost so many plants to varments, that I decided to try another route.  Here, the trouble is finding a good sunny location, with all of our trees that is the hardest part.  So my garden is not in a pretty spot in the yard, in fact it is downright icky.  Over against the side of the property that divides ours and our neighbors yard, and next to the where we keep the garbage cans, and the misc. junk that piles up over there so no one can see it.  So, until I finish making my space more attractive, please excuse the ugliness of it.
In this box I planted seedlings from Lowe's.  I have two varieties of tomatoes, spinach, cantaloup, basil, beans, and jalapeno peppers.
This is my mystery box!  I ran out of my soil, so waited to plant my seeds for a few days until I could go get some more to fill the box.  In the meantime, we had some rain and I had left all of my seed packets in a bucket outside!!!  OH NO!  When I went to get them, they had all opened up inside the bucket which was now filled with water.  Most of them, I could identify, but I didn't know the yellow squash from the zukes, and even the cukes were similar in size and shape.  And I couldn't save the leftover for later crops.  I had to plant what I could, and chance it.  So the second box I call mystery garden.  I hope I get at least a few things come up.  I moved my compost bin up to the new garden too.  Composted soil is THE best!!  It is very easy to do. 
I moved this bench up from the fire pit in back so I would have a place to sit and watch my garden grow.  And even though looking straight onto the garden is not the prettiest sight, slightly turning my head to the left is.
So I think I will be able to adjust.  I have several other large planters that I plan to plant a few things in as well.  So no corn this year, but hopefully several other successes.  May even put some watermelon in again.
After my yard work yesterday evening, I sat on the back patio and waited for my birds to come to the feeders so I could get some pictures.
This is probably my favorite bird that visits our house spring through summer.  The Hooded Orioles.  This handsome fellow is the male.  The males are always the more beautiful and brilliantly colored.  He is so striking sitting here in the bottle brush tree. But they nest in the nearby palms.  He is waiting to come to the nectar feeder.  I took this with my zoom, and was quite a distance away.
Below is his mate, the female Oriole.  Much more subtle in color.
She was sitting on our pool fence, a wee bit closer than her mate. 
Second favorite to the Oriole, is probably the Hummers.  I love their irridescent colors and their feisty behavior at the feeders.  They are much more comfortable coming close to me, and will even come to the feeder as I am hanging it up for them.  In the warm months, I make about 6 gallons of nectar a week to keep our many feeders full.  If I go a tad too long before refilling, they are dive bombing my head to remind me that they are hungry!
As afternoon gives way to evening, they come in masses.  I could watch them for hours. 
One spring while picking lemons, I came nose to nose with a Mama Hummer sitting on her nest of two teeny tiny perfect oval eggs.  I had the good fortune of watching this entire process from egg to hatchling, to fledging,  I documented it daily.  These photos are on another hard drive and I will post them soon. 
I leave you with a few pictures of the pretty flowers blooming here on Grover's Grove. 
Wave Pansies, taken through the screen of the pool fence.   Love these for color around the pool.  I will be getting more this weekend.
See the little bluebird peeking out on the edge.  My Mom's friend Kay gave that to me.  He used to chirp.
Geraniums...in full bloom.
The gigantic bouganvillia by the garage.  Greg actually trimmed it this past weekend, it was much more full of blooms before he did that!!!!  He wants to trim it to same height and make it more manageable.  I say NO!!!!  I love how it cascades like a giant salty wave to the shore....er grass.
I am thinking a new gate will be in order after we get the roof and house painted!
This is one of the planters by the pool  It is about to explode in blooms of Grape Irises!!!  I started my irises with one cutting from a frind in Indiana who sent me a division of hers.  I have divided them each fall and have them in almost every single planter, and they are all about to explode!    They actually smell like a grape sucker too!  When they are in full bloom I will take another photo.
Our gardener was a no show last week, and the grass is looking pretty shabby.  In this planter, I sprinkled a can of wild seeds one year and they come back every spring so pretty! 
The roses are putting on show in the front yard.   These go around the whole perimeter of the front.  We used to have a white picket fence that hid them from the street.  When we took the fence down, the neighbors said how much better they liked being able to see the roses.
And lastly, a picture of son Drew's new ride. 
Happy Friday everyone.  Noah and I are going to go have lunch with my Mama.

13 comments:

Diane said...

Loved the pictures! It is so much fun to see how you have everything. I am jealous of your vegetables. We grow several tomato plants each year, but that has been it since we moved to the mountains. We have them in large pots and it works well. After seeing your plants, I think I will try more veggies in pots. Also, I love your pictures of all the birds and I look forward to seeing more.

Diane said...

Loved the pictures! It is so much fun to see how you have everything. I am jealous of your vegetables. We grow several tomato plants each year, but that has been it since we moved to the mountains. We have them in large pots and it works well. After seeing your plants, I think I will try more veggies in pots. Also, I love your pictures of all the birds and I look forward to seeing more.

Diane said...

I have no idea why this posted twice, I am holding the baby and she is squirming around. Maybe I held the publish key down too long.....

NancyNoBlogBlogs said...

Your flowers are amazing. If I were a bird, I would be staying at your place.

Gammy said...

Enjoyed my afternoon stopping by the Grovers....by blog, that is...always inspiring. I feel like I'm on the nature channel....good job, Kris

Katie said...

You have the best Camp for planting!!!

deb said...

you are so lucky to have orioles in your yard. The pictures are amazing of the hummers....love them. Great pics!!!!!

Debbie said...

Oh you have SUCH good pictures Kris. I love the ones of the birds. I haven't planted veggies in years. Mel & her daddy used to do that and have soo much fun with it. Me? I just LOVE the way they taste. Have a great week-end...

Jamie said...

I'm learning lots about birds! Great pics with your zoom!!!

I made my blog private, but I don't have your email to invite you... can you send me yours?
jamie9404@gmail.com

Tawny said...

I always love looking at your bird pictures! YOu got some great shots of those hummingbirds. We have a feeder outside our window and I always want to get a pic, but never get it in time!
Happy Gardening!

Genn said...

Your veggie garden looks great. I wish we had a spot for one.

Great pics of the birds with your zoom!!

Cathy said...

Your garden is gorgeous, and I would give almost anything to have a place like yours for vegetables. Our soil in this part of the state is solid clay and I have trouble even digging a hole for new plantings.

Love your bird photos too.

Kelly said...

your landscaping is beautiful! I really want to plant a little garden too... but i know i won't do it! lol