Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gathering nuts

It's been raining and cooler the past week. Thinking about firewood and insulating those cold spots. The long winter ahead is just around the corner. Time to get ready for hibernation.

Ok, here's where I go into weirdy territory.

Wow, gnomes read, who knew?

I don't actually know anything about gnomes, except that people put statues of them in their gardens. It was what popped into my head when I had to think of a name to sign my posts with. Y'know, gardens, gnomes, they go together.
Tonight I looked it up in The American Heritage Dictionary:

Gnome (1) n.
1. One of a fabled race of dwarflike creatures who live underground and guard treasure hoards. 2. A shrivelled old man.

Gnome (2) n.
A pithy saying that expresses a general truth or fundamental principle; a maxim, an aphorism. [Greek gnome, intelligence, judgment, maxim, from gignoskein, to know.]

Hmmm. Something to think about. Shriveled old man? Intelligence? Underground treasure guard? I don't know if I can live up to all that. I have to try. I'll spend more time in the sun. I'll read more books. I'll protect the dirt and worms. This is my pledge to America! (oops, been watching too many political speeches.) I will try to be a better gnome, and live down to the name.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wait for me!

I think I finally may have located my flock. This is my kind of bicycle race. Go Zentrok!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Some other news

I'm going to leave the garden for a bit to talk about some other news.

Slammy got tired of sharing with a garden gnome, so she's moved here. And now there's another blog in the family, called Z Project. See what you started, Dori?
We got hooked up to (so-called) high speed internet. It's only been working about 30% of the time though, too many trees in the way of the signal. Boo hoo. The company is virtually unreachable on the phone, so it's quite frustrating, and I'm close to throwing their equipment off the roof. There, how do you like that, you, you, bad service internet company!!!? And I'm not paying my bill either!

It's been a stressful summer, and I'm actually looking forward to Fall. Even to snow. (Am I crazy? What am I saying?) A nice cozy fire, a good movie, a savory pot roast for dinner with potatoes and carrots and apple pie for dessert, while the snow falls steadily outside the window. What a peaceful scene, but not likely to occur with two teenagers in the fam. Simplify, simplify, why is it so hard to simplify? It's all those after school activities, they completely mess up the dinner hour, and empty the gas tank. Should I just put a ban on them? So they can tell their kids what a mean mom I was for not letting them play basketball? I imagined such a simple, slow paced life when we moved here. A little cabin out in the snowy woods. My hermit dreams are not shared by the kids, alas, (or thank goodness.)

Back to the garden
The potatoes are not a complete wash, I found a couple under the straw that weren't rotted, green or half eaten. I need to go and remove all the straw and see what's down there. Some of them are green because the straw is letting in light. I'll just cover up what's left with dirt.
I let Rusty in to investigate the gophers, and he got right onto their scent.
The cats follow me wherever I go, mocking my efforts to keep pests out of the gardens. I put the row cover back on the box, and it was working until Rusty decided it was a comfy blanket.
Katy likes it too. We have quite a few Katydids this year, and I hope they're bug eaters, not plant eaters.

Indy can get in this garden even when the gate is closed.The beans and squash in here are producing, good news, as it's almost fall. The pumpkin and watermelon are not going to make it. Single tear.

Knapweed Revisited

See the resemblance? One is cornflower, or bachelor button, and the other, knapweed.
I am the walrus.
I picked, and picked, and picked. This wheelbarrow full has a potent smell of poison. Toxic waste! I can't stand seeing livestock around here eating this stuff. Now that I've gotten rid of it in our grass field, I'm ready to go get a cow. After I build a fence, and a barn.

Beautiful Bugs

The mint is attracting lots of buzzing flying things of all shapes and sizes, even the elusive honeybee.
I have no idea what this is, but I don't think I want to know.

Flowers Excuse the length of this post, who knows when I'll return?

It's 77 degrees at 4 pm.

Monday, August 18, 2008

When I'm done with this bean plant, there will be nothing left for you, human! hahhahahhahha!

August would be a good month to go on vacation. Somewhere cool and refreshing like Glacier N.P. or maybe the Oregon coast. I'm tempted to hop in the car and do it. But my guess is there's nary a campsite or motel available, as everyone else probably has the same idea. Not to mention the fact that the garden would be toast without water. Not that there's much to lose...after the deer, grasshoppers and rodents have done their work, there isn't a whole lot of produce left for us, lucky we have a small family.

Check out the potatoes. I used to be smug about not having any gophers up here, and now look. If it isn't gophers, it's a close relative. Not only the tubers are damaged, but the leaves are getting completely stripped as well. Meanwhile, our neighbors' potatoes are doing fabulously well. I've decided to ditch the straw. It just isn't working. What the garden needs is some serious nitrogen. The neighbors plowed in leaves last fall and that really seemed to work for them. But now that the gophers have found us, there may be no point. Last year they took down a few bean plants, but that's all. I suspect it'll get worse every year. Where's that cat, anyway?

But the stuff in the greenhouse is doing well, even though it's only the first year and the soil is terrible. I used Jobe's organic fertilizer spikes and they help a lot. It's much easier to have a vegetable garden close to the kitchen, I've noticed. I think maybe the further one will be better for berry bushes or fruit trees.

It's time to put the row cover back over the box garden, as the deer have been coming and eating up all the cabbage, which is ok, since it had already been decimated by insects. I don't want them getting the carrots though. I've tried replanting some crops, but the grasshoppers and their friends devour everything. The row cover may help a bit.

The mosquitoes are STILL here. The dust is here too, in the evenings. August is not my favorite month. We have been having a little heat wave and it makes me thankful we don't live in Arizona. But it's sposed to rain, so that's good.

August does have some rewards, the potted maters are ripe.
And these.
I love this perennial, Heliopsis helianthoides 'Summer Sun', also known as False Sun Flower. Good thing I kept the tag, it's not in Sunset!?! How could they leave it out? It's very cheerful, and the grasshoppers don't seem to like it.
They do like the Rudbeckia flowers.They even eat the Echinacea, maybe they feel a cold coming on.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The nights are getting cooler, many of the flowers are done blooming, and the grasshoppers are way way out of control. This is one of the more interesting ones, maybe only because it's rare.
We have green ones, brown ones, yellow, orange, grey, striped, you name it, we've got it. Coconut is partial to the small green ones, but he doesn't even make a small dent in the population. We need those guinea hens now.
I've been cutting stuff back, weeding and deadheading. There are a bunch of empty areas in the flower bed now, which I'm looking forward to filling. I have several things to move and transplant. A mock orange and a river birch that have become deer food, iris, a lilac, lavender, and a few daffodils, plus a rose and two echinaceas I bought.
The bee balm has been suffering from mildew, a serious drawback to that plant.
There are little gourds on the one in the pot, none yet on the one in the ground. The potted tomato had a red one we ate today. The zucchini are still a bit small to eat.
Our internet is so slow, I haven't been able to do much lately, and I don't have time to do the moon signs anymore. I hope we get a faster connection soon.
The mosquitoes are still here.
It's 68 degrees and clear at 8:45 pm.