Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The veggies are growing

This spring we put up a hoop house covered with shade cloth.  The benefits-- less wind, less heat, protection from hail.  I think fewer large insects, i.e. the white butterflies have less access along with the sphinx moths and larger grasshoppers. 

The first photo is the frame as it looked in May.  We then covered the hoops with 40% shade cloth.  I made the ends as they cannot be ordered.  It took a few days in the 'sweat' shop to get those made.  And of course one week after it was completed we had one of our horrendous days of wind that have been far too common this year and due to a minor design problem, the shade cloth was cut and ended up with a 4' opening in it on the east end.  Of course that had to be repaired, in the wind,  and we solved the problem so it wouldn't happen again.

This is the south side after it was planted.  We had all of the plants in by the end of May.  Our tomato varieties are Viva Italia, Rutgers, San Marzano, Super San Marzano, Harlequin, Margarita, Principe Borghese and Tachi.

   To the left is the garden at the end of May and to the right is the garden today.  You can see the grain trailer to the right, which helps block more wind.  As I said, the wind has over done its thing this year.

 These are the San Marzano tomatoes.  They have continued to set during the heat we have had in June and July.  The ones that have done the best are the Viva Italia though.  They have been going non stop and since it cooled down over the weekend, they have really gone nuts.

 The cabbages are doing well.  We have Pixie, Bourbon, Bobcat, Stonehead, Late Flat Dutch, Copenhagen Market, Blue Thunder, Blue Dynasty, Caraflex and one  Mammoth Red.  One bed is doing quite well, while the other one is sort of taking it's sweet time.  This photo is of the good bed.  I had a hard time getting this bed to live while the other bed took off, but they have since reversed their attitude.

 The carrots are planted between the green bean rows.  We have Circus, Kuroda, Little Fingers and Cosmic Purple.  The Circus carrots have three colors, orange, white and purple.  Anxious to see the colored ones as I have not grown any before.  I grew them for our grandsons, who eat purple carrots in the squeeze packs of baby food they have now days.  The oldest grandson might wonder about them.  We have purple pod green beans and regular green beans that we refer to as Bob beans. 

The peppers are in two different beds.  We put the support between the rows so we can tie the plants to them as they grow.  They were getting a little too much water, but I now have that under control and they are doing better.  We have several kinds of Anaheims, Jalapenos, Spanish Padron, Cayenne, and California Wonder. 
The onions are grown in a bed outside of the hoop house.   I start the plants from seeds early in the spring.  We have Australian Browns, Yellow Parma, Candy, White Cipollins, Italian Torpedo, and Borteannas.  There is another bed in the old garden area of onions as not all the plants would fit in this one.  One can never have too many onions or too much garlic. 

We have a couple of types of winter squash, gourds, baby beets and various herbs scattered around in the hoop house and outside of it.
The garlic bed as it looked in May of this year to the left.  First time I have ever really worked at growing garlic.  Have grown it over the years, but I am trying to learn how to grow and harvest it correctly.  We planted the garlic in late October of 2011.  The varieties we planted were Polish Softneck, Italian Late, Purple Glazer, Duganski, Chesnok Red, and Mt. St. Helens.  I harvested the garlic at the end of June, braided the soft neck varieties and bundled the hardnecks.  The garlic was then hung under a shed where it will be out of the sun and will cure for 4 weeks.
That is the end of the garden tour.  I will say the hoop house has far exceeded my expectations.  The wind and heat have been overbearing this summer, I know the plants would have suffered greatly had they not been in the hoop house.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

In Memory.....

Two years ago today my sister passed away from breast cancer.  I still miss her very much.   Some lovely person gave this 'Knockout Rose' bush to the family after her death.  Everyone thought I should take it home.  It is in our flower garden and I remember what a beautiful and wonderful person she was when I see it, even when it isn't blooming. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It seems that some things are a little early this year.  The crabapple is about 10 days early.  This photo was taken a couple of years ago, but it was better than some and it looks the same, covered with beautiful off white blossoms containing a hint of pink.

The bleeding heart is knocking itself out.  The plant is beautiful this spring, no bugs bugging it.   Surprisingly the aphids are no where to be found.

  There are many little hearts this year.  I should try painting some of these little things.  Perhaps today would be a good day if the wind is not blowing. 

The tulips are few and far between.  Most are still waiting to unfold.  This is one my daughter brought back from her visit to Europe in 2001.  Wow, time flies!!!  Hard to believe it has been that long.

The daffodils are still holding on, surprising because it was so warm earlier.  These are a later blooming variety, but we have had daffodils for weeks now.  

And last but not least, the greenhouse.  Most of the plants are quite small yet.  I don't like setting the garden plants out until late May.  Most are only three weeks old, but in another three weeks time these little things will be quite large.  Or at least that if my hope.  

I have planted 10 varieties of cabbage, 9 different tomatoes, 6 kinds of peppers, 7 varieties of onions, gourds, different flowers such as verbena, toad flax, African daisies, poppies, petunias, lobelia, and the alyssum will be planted next week.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Weather Stick

 I can see this new format will take a bit of getting use to.  I published this post once today, but somehow lost it in translation or somewhere.

To the right is my Vermont Weather Stick .  I received this unique little stick from my husband as a Christmas gift. 

It took awhile to get it hung under the eave, but that didn't matter since we really had little weather of any significance other than wind this past winter and early spring.  

The little stick usually is turned skyward, much more 
so than it is today, top photo.  We are wondering if the poor little thing is defective or just hasn't acclimated itself to Colorado weather patterns and conditions.  Which would be understandable since it grew up in Vermont.  

It is interesting to say the least and surprising that the little stick does move.  I will post a photo of it turned skyward one of these days.  The second photo was take after we received some rain last week.

I am currently taking a journal class from Jane LaFazio on Joggles.  Why, I don't know!!!  I love Jane's classes, but I have little desire to do anything right now.  I guess I am still recovering from being sick and trying to keep up with the daily things.  I did do the first assignment, which is not one of the best things I have drawn and painted.  I couldn't find my good watercolors, they were hiding out down in the sewing room.  Can't say as I blame them.  I do need to get them out and get going on this class as it is fun.  I have at least been reading the lessons.  Not that it gets the work done.  Which is one thing I really want to focus on this year, "Doing the Work!"  It is only mid April, there is still time to kick it in gear.  

Friday, March 30, 2012

So Much for posting more in March

Another month coming to a close!!!  Where the heck to they disappear to?  The only thing I accomplished was a little watercolor pencil work, a sinus infection and while on medication for that, picked up Influenza A.  I totally missed participating in the Silk Dyeing class I had signed up for on QU with Marjie.  I have saved those lessons and will get to them one of these days.  I had really looked forward to that one as well. 

I was already in a class on Joggles with Dion Dior and watercolor pencils.  I did manage to get through the first lesson of that one before getting sick.  The water color pencils are going to take some more work and present different challenges.  It was a great class.

A new class started yesterday with Jane LaFazio. Just got the lesson printed off this morning. It is another "Watercolor Sketchbook" class entitled "Designs from Life" and is through Joggles. Hopefully I will get a little more done in this one than the last one I took from Jane. Don't remember what happened, but I became totally sidetracked in that one.

I did get the color wheel dyed for our Dyehard swap last week and packaged it up at the first of the week.  I didn't think much of the colors when dyeing it, but one should never rush to judgement due to the influence of the soda ash.  It turned out much better than I thought it was going to, particularly the one I used brown as an additive.  That did wonders for the fuchsia!!!   It is a great fall pallette. 
The light color wheel is on the left and the one with the brown additive to a medium color wheel is below.
I will have 8 different color wheels coming back from Mary in OR.  Hopefully mine arrived today, it was sent Priority, doesn't mean much at times though.
So it is back to the greenhouse and planting this afternoon. I received a very nice Moleskin Garden Log for Christmas from my husband. I have started keeping track of what is being planted. I write it down inside because if I were to take it out with me, it would be a mess. I guess he thought I needed something after seeing all of the papers I leave laying around with names and numbers on them of veggies, herbs and flowers. I have the peppers, onions
planted so far. Only a week late.

So it is back to the greenhouse and planting this afternoon.  I received a very nice Moleskin Garden Log for Christmas from my husband.  I have started keeping track of what is being planted.  I write it down inside because if I were to take it out with me, it would be a mess.  I guess he thought I needed something after seeing all of the papers I leave laying around with names and numbers on them of veggies,
herbs and flowers.  I have the peppers, onions
planted so far.  Only a week late on those.  Hopefully I will have the tomatoes and lobelia planted by this afternoon. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

February post

Not many days left in February, where oh where does the time go?  I think being gone 12 days this month might have made the time go a little faster than it normally does, plus I was sick in between the trips. 

 I didn't post any photos from the Tea at the Brown Palace in the January post.  My daughters gave me this gift for Mother's Day in 2010.  Due to my sister's illness, we didn't get to it right away, but finally made it this January.  The Christmas decorations were still up and it was quite impressive.  

  The Grand Champion Steer from the Stock Show had been in part of the lobby of the Brown the day before.  An old tradition and it still surprises me that they continue to do it.  I have seen a number of grand champion steers in my life time, perhaps that is why I have no need to see one in the Brown.

The tea was very good and there were scones with Devonshire cream, delicious finger sandwiches and little pastries.  I had black tea, "The Brown's Crown Jewel".  It was a very nice afternoon spent with my daughters.  

There is an old church diagonally across the street from the Brown that I would like to get some photos of one of these days.  I will have to get one of the girls to drive me down there on a Saturday morning as it is very silent down there that time of the week.  

I believe I posted that I was headed to Oregon the first of February to make up the Portraiture class with Hollis and if I didn't, it really doesn't matter.  It is the third class in the Master Series I am taking and needed to make up.  Enjoyed it, surprised that I did as well as I did.  Oregon is much prettier in June than February.

My next trip was to Texas, New Braunfels to be precise.  This class was Year # 7 in the Master Series with Hollis.  We quilted for five days, really began to understand hue, value and intensity and that everything is relative when it comes to color.  It was a very interesting five days, it was good to see everyone again as well.  

I snapped the roadrunner sculpture at the hotel in San Antonio.  I would have liked a better photo, but the elevator arrived just as I was taking it and there was a gentleman on it waiting patiently for me to get in the thing.  

As we were leaving the yard, the wild turkey herd that has taken up residence here this winter were wandering through the trees.  The Toms were strutting their stuff.  I must get the telephoto lens on and get a better photo of them.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's Been Awhile

Hard to believe that January 2012 is coming to a close.  I am still trying to find October, November and December of 2011.  Where has the time gone??!!!   Might explain why I haven't posted in some time.

The photos are of fabric I dye painted when I took a class this past fall on QU with Marjie McWilliams.  Enjoyed that class immensely, learned how to dye paint using a different technique so that was good.  

Currently I am getting ready to travel to Oregon next week.  I will be taking the 3rd class in Hollis' 10 year program there.  Then after my return from OR, I will leave for Texas and will be taking class number 7 in the same program.  So I have two piles of items on the bed in the spare room waiting to be packed in the appropriate suitcase.  Sure hope I remember which is which.

Taking an online class through QU with Elizabeth Barton.  It is a very good class and I am learning a few new things and it is a good review of things I have already learned.  Never hurts to review as things just don't stay put in there very long anymore.  Maybe they just have a hard time finding their way into my mind anymore!!!    

I need to paint, I need to sew, I need to draw, I need to dye fabric and of course I need to clean.  So life is pretty much the same around here.