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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Butterflies and gardens

Yesterday I was taking pictures in the morning hours. Probably why I didn't finish cleaning my living room carpet and putting everything back together until after 8:00 PM. Exhaustion ensued soon after.

Black swallowtail sipping nectar from my lilac bush.
 


Mr. Bumblebee finding something yummy in the chive bloom.
 


A silver-spotted skipper enjoying both.
 

 
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My very first hen resting in the herb garden.
 


From the herb garden: mint, chives, cilantro, sage, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, basil, oregano, lemon balm and green onions from the veggie garden.
 


Lettuce from the cold frame pictured below. There are a few pea plants mixed in with the lettuce. The grandkids planted those in early April.
 

 


Our first time for raised beds. Green onions in the front and peas in the background. We're also trying the Joy of Gardening method.
 


We're experimenting with this method from Mother Earth News for raising our tomatoes. We're trying a few heirloom varieties: Cherokee purple, brandywine, hillbilly and Elberta peach.
 
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Green beans
 
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This label says it all, folks!
 

34 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh my goodness, what beautiful pictures. I will live vicariously through you! I've considered starting a small garden in our backyard, but we have some pretty pesky rodents that would make it difficult. Someday!

Char said...

gorgeous garden and all that yumminess looks wonderful.

Susan said...

Thanks, Sandy! They seem to leave the herbs alone around here, but we did have to fence in the veggie garden this year to keep out the chickens and groundhogs.

Susan said...

Char, thank you! The oregano and lemon balm will take over if you let it. They're just like weeds!

We've been having some yummy wilted lettuce salads lately. Takes me back to my childhood when my mom made them.

VioletSky said...

Great captures of the butterflies - I am way to slow to get good shots. I'm hoping to plant some lettuces and herbs on my balcony this year, but it means an awful lof of watering and I often forget...

(WV: haus sigh!
my 'haus' is sighing for a little carpet vacuuming, too)

Ruth said...

Oh yippee! I haven't seen swallowtails yet. I think all our bushes are later than even other Michigan sites, let alone way down there were you live. It is a real treat when they flitter around, isn't it?

I love the bee on the chive blossom too, wow.

Your garden and herb beds are an inspiration. I hadn't seen that method you're using for tomatoes - crazy! Tell us how it goes.

We'll put out Don's seedlings this weekend, whether it's too early or not. Next year we're definitely planting early lettuce.

Beautiful and inspiring, thank you, Susie.

Susan said...

Sanna, if it weren't for the auto function on my DSLR, I would be too slow also! And there's no lag time between shots.

I know, container gardening is wonderful, but it takes constant watering, especially when the roots start to fill up the pot.

Yeah, I not only vacuumed, but also used the steam cleaner and rearranged all the furniture, well the parts I could move by myself, that is. I must say, that part of my 'haus' is lookin' a lot better!

Susan said...

Ruthie, this week is the first I've seen swallowtails. I always get excited when I see them. Summer is finally here!

We're willing to try about anything in the garden. Our soil is so poor. No matter how much we amend, it still dries up into rock-hard ping pong ball-sized clumps. I hope this works. They're doing pretty well so far. We didn't grow the tomatoes from seed, BTW. I didn't get them started soon enough, so we went with established seedlings.

Have fun planting this weekend!

Ladybug said...

Terrific bug shots - we don't get swallowtails here.

Great vegie and herb garden. Must go back and check out that method for toms, ours were a disaster this year, trying a new spot next year.

We're still getting squash, eggplant, green peppers, chilli and one cherry tomato is covered in red, must pick them today and dry them.

Cindy said...

Cleaning can definitely wait when there's all that outside stuff to tend to. Your garden looks awesome! I'm so jealous that you're harvesting things already!! I'm using something called a "wall of water" this year on my tomatoes. Are you familiar with these? It's suppose to help protect the little seedlings from the cold.

I wish we were neighbors. We could sneak out when we're suppose to be doing other things, and go to nurseries and swap plants and such.

Great photos!

Susan said...

Thanks, Ladybug! I guess you are heading into your Winter season over there. Are you still able to grow any crops? I think you are in a temperate region, is that right?

Tomatoes can be so finicky, can't they. I'm hoping this method works better for us.

Susan said...

Cindy, I have the hardest time staying indoors when the weather is so beautiful outside. Well, I have problems working indoors anyway! :)

I don't know how I missed that article in MEN on the "wall of water" method! I've taken that magazine for years. I probably read it at the time and promptly forgot about it. Definitely will be saving up my 2-liter bottles for next year!

Wouldn't it be awesome to be neighbors! We would never get anything done, except gardening and cooking and baking!

tipper said...

Beautiful photos!! And the garden is looking great!

Wrensong Farm said...

What lovely Spring time pics!! Your garden shots have me so excited to get my garden in (I have raised beds going in this next week) :) and that Swallowtail! I haven't seen that variety before....gorgeous!!

Susan said...

Thank you, Tipper! The peas are now blooming and I have one bloom on my pepper plants! Can't wait!

Susan said...

Tammy, we get those swallowtails every spring. They really are pretty.

I'm happy that my garden pics have inspired you to get started! Everyone needs a garden, even if it's only a few containers.

VaNeSsA said...

Lovely shots, Susan! It is so interesting how beautiful insects - not just butterflies - can be. Your bee picture captivates me.

Oliag said...

Wow! What beautiful pictures...especially the first of the swallowtail and lilac...stunning...I don't think I've seen those here in RI

I'm going to miss my garden this year...it was getting harder to grow as the trees have gotten taller and shading out the veggie patch...then we needed to drill a new well...right where the veggies were of course...not sure what I'm going to do next...

Susan said...

Thank you, Vanessa! It's hard to believe that a bumblebee's wings can fly that disproportionately large body.

Susan said...

Oliag, it's too bad you won't be able to veggie garden this year! I hope there are good farmer's markets nearby.

Thank you for your nice comments!

Jennifer said...

I absolutely ADORE your photos and comments about nature....they are lovely and have definitely given my day a boost. THANKS A MILLION!

Susan said...

Jennifer, thank YOU so much! I'm always happy to make other people happy! You're very sweet. :)

willow said...

Hi Susan! Wonderful shots! Fun to know you live in my neck of the woods, so to speak. We may have seen each other at the grocery store and not even known it! I was out and about in that Dublin traffic today, too. You could sure tell there was a buzz in the air!

Susan said...

Hi Willow! Nice to meet you! I've been following you for a while, but 1 out of 914? I wouldn't expect you to notice me, as I usually don't comment. Just enjoy reading your take on Central Ohio.

If you go to Trader Joe's much, we may have run into each other there. That's my usual Dublin haunt, and Target and Kohl's. And I'll be at the zoo this summer with the grandkids.

Thank you for the nice compliment!

Ladybug said...

I picked a full colander of cherry toms today (and it's the end of Autumn!). Will dry them tomorrow and have semi-dried toms later in the year. LBx

Susan said...

Ladybug, that sounds great! I'll probably be lucky if some of the heirloom tomatoes bear fruit by the end of September! They take a lot longer than the hybrids.

PeacefulWmn9 said...

Hi Susan...I love nature and gardening, so for me, these pictures are a true treat! I moved from a home in the country side to an apartment, so now my garden, including a large tomato plant, is in huge pots on the patio!

Your blog is beautiful!

Susan said...

Hi Karen! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the nice compliments!

Good for you on the patio gardening! It shows that anyone, anywhere can garden and provide fresh vegetables for the table. I can't wait to sink my teeth into that first ripe tomato!

California Girl said...

I swear I commented on this the other day! I so enjoyed the photos and the garden lettuce looks delicious. I think I keep forgetting to type in the damnable robot words. Either that or I'm getting senile.

Susan said...

Cali Girl, maybe there's something hinky going on with my blog! Cindy said on the above post that she thought she had commented there! Maybe I shoud get rid of the robot words!

Thank you! We've had lots of salads out of that lettuce bed. But it's starting to get a little bitter, so I'll probably pull it up soon and feed it to the chickens. David's going to plant some carrots in there.

Susan said...

Well, that's just weird! Everyone's little identity photos have been missing for a month, and as soon as I posted that last comment, they all showed up again! O....kay! Somethin' freaky is goin' on!

Susan said...

And now they're missing again!

Ruth said...

Love the butterfly photos! We are trying to do a little "butterfly gardening" on the back patio, I'll have to post some photos soon because we have a few flowers now. Your gardens look absolutely amazing!

Susan said...

Thank you, Ruth! Now I have two Ruths visiting me! I need to add more butterfly-friendly plants. The hummingbirds like them, too.