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Garden Sights

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'd like to share with you a few things I am seeing in my garden now. I know why I started Spark People in August last year - because my life really is guided, or dictated, by the seasons. There's still more to do. Most of my exercise is coming from yard work. I managed to get on my bike a couple of times, but that is it. With two parents with dementia, time is in short supply.

A week ago, I finally got at the neglected flowerbeds on the east side of my house. I got a little surprise as I finished planting some columbine and went to trim my overgrown spirea. I've never seen this little guy before. He is different than the eastern green tree frog. He's probably a spring peeper type.

This one shows him in perspective with his environment. Notice my overgrown spirea.

Last night, I thought I'd check the apples again. Sure enough it was time to bag them. In fact, it is a little late to start. They're getting a bit big now, and I saw a worm when I started working. I have to hurry up to get it done before the worms get to them. I use Baggies with the twist ties. I tie every single apple myself. It's fairly labor intensive and time consuming, but I prefer this to trying natural sprays in my quest to be an organic orchardist, which would mean buying new supplies and equipment. It has worked beautifully since I started it a few years ago.

This morning, I decided to get my bees on video. Walking past them, I heard their familiar frenzied buzzing the past few weeks. I thought you might like to see it for yourself. We have three different varieties of bees. One of them is so small it didn't show up. Each video is 10 seconds or less. I went on to take photos of my apple trees when I was done with the bees.

The following photo shows where they need to be thinned before bagging. The one closest to the center needs to come off. You can see the stem starting to turn yellow. It is losing its supply from the tree. The small one behind the larger one at the top will come off. Thinning the apples means there are fewer but larger apples to harvest in the fall. That means less work when peeling them for recipes. And nice baking apples. The smaller one behind the larger one at the bottom may be removed as well. So I have 2 or 3 apples to bag out of five on this photo. Apples naturally drop off trees, but not optimally enough. Apple growers thin their apples chemically. I won't do that any more than I will use pesticides for worms. I prefer to take care of both problems manually if I can possibly manage the time.

I'm throwing this one in because I like the play of light on the leaves, showing the veins and structure of the leaves.

There is still more work to do, as you can see on the following photo. I hopped and skipped to get to the biggest ones first, then will return to the smaller ones. Whenever I can find another Remains of the Day. I will no doubt find scraps at the beginning and end of days, to avoid the sun on my skin. (DNA testing showed me to be 46% Scandinavian, which I never would have dreamed. All my life, I thought I was half German and half English, that was that. Family tree research showed how the Scandinavian to be true; many of my English ancestors resulted from Viking invasion. Names on my tree reflect that. Names I never knew were there. I always avoided the sun since it was shown to cause skin cancer, but now seems more imperative).

Before I try the bee videos again (they would not upload), I will show you a spider web in one of my flowerbeds. It was full of baby spiders ready to hatch. It was attached to the rose that is regrowing after it nearly died from the cold spring. A lily is at the top, cosmos in between that I grew from seed, and Echinacea (purple coneflower) on the right. I don't touch spiders or webs, either chemically or manually. They are beneficial, especially in the garden.

A different perspective, showing ajuga at the bottom, and zinnias I grew from seed at the left.

A close up of them.

A few days later, they hatched.

The bee video didn't work for the second time. I'll try again some time, as it's a total gas watching them. They sound and look in a frenzy. It's so cool. Any suggestions on how to get it to work, let me know.

Have a great week everyone! Even though I don't check in much, I'm still here and listening to you all.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow! I love this. I'm really getting into my garden this year. If you don't mind me asking, where do you live? The area in your pictures look so beautiful I just have to ask.

    When you say bagging your while still on the tree? Interesting, I bet that would work for my orange trees.

    thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see more over the coming months.
    1767 days ago
  • CMR1979
    What a cute frog! The garden is looking good - feels great to be out in the dirt and sunshine! :-)
    1780 days ago
    The zinnias are a foot tall now. I took the spider photos earlier in June.
    1780 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/5/2013 8:25:41 AM
    The Frog so cute. Love its color. That's an interesting idea, bagging your Apples. I'm glad you won't use pesticides, as Countries are losing so many Bees etc. Great pictures. Thanks!
    1781 days ago
    Jackie, help yourself to the Baggie idea. I got it from other people, a gardening forum on the web. My zinnias are really big the past two weeks with all the rain we've been getting. My cosmos is blooming too.
    1785 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Thank you for taking us into your garden, I really love this. So nice to see the little frog, I can hear frogs at night but only saw 1 a tiny green one, don't know where he came from.
    I never use pesticides in my yard either, I do have apples right now and if you don't mind I am going to use your idea, our problem is a raccoon who comes and eats all our apples, maybe if I cover some he will leave us a few, lo.
    Loved your pictures , thank you so much. emoticon emoticon
    1785 days ago
    Love your garden! Gardening is hard work and so rewarding. :D
    1785 days ago
    I'm sorry the apple photos didn't show as they do on my computer screen. The veins and structure of the leaves really were prominent on the photo I posted for that. I hope you can make out what I highlighted in the captions.

    1785 days ago
    I was fascinated by your blog, especially the bagging the apples. We have an organic vegetable garden and some fruits- blueberries and strawberries. We planted Liberty apple trees too LOL Have a great week, it's great that you have bees. We lost a few hives....
    1785 days ago
  • AJB121299
    1785 days ago
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