Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
I love you forever and ever, Amen!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

The winner of my March Giveaway and Happy Spring!

The lucky winner of my March Giveaway is Lisa at Two Bears Farm! Congratulations, Lisa! I will send you a message to get your address for sending you the book and puzzle. I hope you will enjoy them!

First let me say that it was 90 degrees in the shade on my front porch today and I know my outdoor days are numbered. If this is spring, I really dread summer....

In honor of the first day in Spring, I'd like to show you some photos of my container gardening progress, and the reason why I have not been blogging very much:

Sitting on my back porch are planters containing Leaf lettuce, except upper right container has Kohlrabi.

Hanging basket on back porch containing Salad blend lettuce leaves

Another hanging basket on back porch with assorted lettuce leaves

Sunflowers in Styrofoam cups (below) and more leaf lettuce as well as some sprouting tomato seeds.
Plants in both large containers to the very left are lilacs that are getting established and starting to produce some blossoms.

Leaf lettuce in all pots, except Kohlrabi in the pot on the left.
Container in back has a star jasmine plant that is doing well on the trellis.

I have started to plant some of the sunflowers in the soil between my heirloom roses (see l and r.)  I had to find a way for the small seedlings to not get trampled by the stray cat traffic.

I placed some small plastic cages around each sunflower and then surrounded it with pine cones that I collected from the nearby woods to deter cat paws from crushing the plants. I hope it will work because these sunflowers are the mammoth variety and will grow very big. They should look striking towering over the rose bushes growing along side the brick wall of the building that gets all day sun. I have smaller sunflower seeds that I still want to sow later....maybe for in between.

More leaf lettuce in hanging containers on my front porch.

Leaf lettuce doing well.

More leaf lettuce in containers and more sunflower plants that I need to stick in the ground. I will continue to move the lettuce in the standing containers inside at night, because of the stray cats and armadillos, etc.

Front yard with Violets and pink budding Azaleas

Lettuce doing well - maybe I can have salad soon

My herbs on the window ledge out front: Dill weed in front, behind that the Parsley that took the longest to sprout (I almost gave up on it) behind that is Chives and the last pot has sweet Basil. I have some more herb seeds coming in the mail that I will plant as soon as they arrive. I love fresh herbs!

I have to figure out a way to anchor these pots and my window planter boxes so that the cats won't knock them down when they jump up on the ledge...that's the problem with stray cats - they know who feeds them and they come around too much. I love cats, but they have a tendency to get lazy and hang around just waiting for meal times.

This is my first time container gardening since living here in these apartments and after adding up the money I spent on potting soil thus far, containers, seeds, fertilizer and the back breaking work due to having to drag some of the pots inside every night and back out in the morning, I may reconsider and not do this again next spring. I know if my crops of lettuce, tomatoes and Kohlrabi make it to full term, they will be delicious and nutritious, but oh, my, oh, me...I'm not as young and strong as I used to be ;-) But, I will see it through this time as I am having fun watching my seeds sprout and the plants grow. I also sowed snapdragon and bachelor button seeds  - and I still have Marigolds and Forget-me-Nots to sow, but I'm beginning to wonder: "Where am I going to put them all?" I'm waiting for some window planter boxes I ordered from, but after that, I'll make due with what I have.

I also have to remember to move all my edibles inside when the Astro Exterminating Services drive by with their pesticides, plus the city sends a vehicle through here periodically (unannounced) usually at night during the summer to spray outside for mosquitoes because we had so many last year...that will be difficult to predict and I'd best have some sheets for cover up on stand by when/if I hear the vehicle drive through...they always come when it's dark and once you hear them, it's often too late to do anything about it except close your windows and doors. 

That's the bad part about living here - they use a lot of chemicals because we have so many mosquitoes. I noticed a lot of dragonflies already and am so happy when I see them. I've seen swarms of gnats so thick that when you fling your arms, you can actually feel them on your hands, so I suspect the dragonflies will be fat and sassy again this year as well.



Ginny said...

We have gnats in our front yard in the summer, big swarms of them! Wow, you have more plants than most farms do!!! I can see, that would be way too much work for me! I used to have a big room with over 50 plants in it, but had to quit because the upkeep was taking all my time. Of course yours are outdoors, well, it should all really pay off!!!

Ginny said...

I just read your comment on my Blue Ridge sunset post. I live here!! I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains, So I get to see this all the time. Lucky me!! Come on over!!

Jindi's Cottage said...'ll soon be having yummy fresh salads...

Ann said...

That's some container garden you have going. With the prices that we're paying right now for lettuce and tomatoes planting your own sounds like the way to go. I paid $2.99 for a head of lettuce and $1.00 for a little tomato.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Thank you! I'm very excited!

can you come do my seeds? I have 20 packets but haven't started a one yet!

Heather said...

What a wonderful assortment of plants you have started. It will be fun to watch your seedling grow and as you say enjoy the rewards of your labor with your tomatoes and lettuce. Thank you for stopping by my little world and leaving your nice comment. Have a great day! :-)

sprinkles said...

Wow, you've been busy! My mom enjoys planting seeds too and usually gets several new plants in the summer time.

Happy Spring! Wish it was warm here. I can hear the wind whipping as I sit inside my home all curled up with my chi's.

Congrats to the winner.

Jules said...

Wow! What a fantastic looking garden!! We have a plane that dumps mosquito repellant down here. When we hear it flying overhead, we have to make sure to bring Sandy (the cat) in from the screen porch. Don't want her getting sick from the stuff. I can't wait to see your harvest!

Congrats to the winner!!!

glor said...

Wow Doris, thats quite a garden you have in the making. I'm sure its a lot of work, but just wait when you have that fresh salad! We only plant some tomatoes but I would so love to have more veggies. Not something we can do right now but the farm markets are close. Have a great day.

the booker man said...

your lettuces look great!!
my husband planted our vegetable seeds last weekend, and they have started sprouting -- green peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. we also planted a cherry tree in the backyard, but it will be a few years before we see any fruit.
i know how you feel with the hot temps already. we caved and had to turn on the A/C yesterday because it was 82 in the house. boo!

the booker man and asa's mama

Mindy said...

Wow! They're really going strong already! We still have snow going away... ;-)

Chatty Crone said...

My goodness Doris - they are wonderful, but what a lot of work you do. Then bringing them in at night. But it it so worth it. I know you are going to be so happy when you get all your fresh items.

Congrats to Lisa - winner.

I can't believe it was 90 that is way to hot.


gin said...

What a nice collection of plantings you have there. That's going to be some good salads. You seem to be worried about the cats alot, but I'm kinda worried if you have any rabbits around. They gonna love that lettuce!! haha

Mausie1 said...

you have been busy.. wanna get some planting done with hubbys help but right now still unpacking and being honest would rather spend time with the Enjoy the arm weather as I am enjoying mine.. hugs from Indiana...Birgit

Cathy said...

Lookin' good, Doris!! I can't do much container gardening, because it's too HOT here. Plants in pots dry out and burn up really fast :(
Too bad, because I've always loved the look of grouped pots on my patio and porch.
I do have lettuce, onions and radishes growing in my raised bed and will try to transplant my tomato and pepper seedlings out in the back next month.
Cathy ♥♥

Beansieleigh said...

Oh my gosh, Doris, I was almost afraid to read this as I went along, reading through this post! I thought for sure you would say you're already planting the kind of seeds I GOT YOU!.. But a little sigh of relief, I don't think I saw among the names of plants you mentioned! Whew!.. I am "making ready" your packet of seeds that I'll be sending you. I'm just not sure what day, exactly, that it will be ready, so that I can send it out to you yet. Did you state a deadline in this swap?? I don't recall seeing one, but want to follow along in good and proper time as is expected. Please let me know, when you get a chance to! I must say, everything looks wonderful there, where you are though! You and Gizzy must be having the time of your life, soaking up the sun and fresh air! Enjoy! ~tina

Janine said...

Oh in deinem Garten sieht es aber schön aus.
Ich muss auf so viel grün noch warten.
Schöne Tage

Julia said...

The thought of 90 degrees right now is awful.... sorry. But you will have some great veggies in about 60 days. :)

Clara said...

I wish pesticides were banned unless absolutely necessary.