Sep 30, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

Bloomfest 2007 is finally here!! The Brugmansia decided that Thursday night was the ideal time to make a grand entrance into the world....lucky for me my husband was out in the yard and smelled the intoxicating aroma. He came in to ask me what might be blooming that would smell so wonderful, and I immediately sprang to my feet....knowing that it was Brug time!! Boy are they beautiful, really worth the wait.

Up close Thursday night!! Glad my neighbors didn't freak out with me lurking in the yard in my pajamas with my camera and all !!

Then on Friday morning after some light rain, more skirted in appearance and definitely fully colored and a much deeper shade of pink...and I think I was still in my pj's.

So now its time for me to figure out what my next Green Thumb Sunday Subject will be. I believe it will probably bounce back and forth between a few different things for the next month or two....... see you next week for the next Green Thumb Sunday saga !!

Sep 28, 2007

Not Ready to Give Up Yet

Somewhere in my head , I got the idea that Summer was over. I don't know , maybe it was the calendar telling me that it was Fall, or maybe it was the bunches of colorful Autumn leaves I have been spying left and right. I am still not sure, but it appears that I am wrong. I went out back this morning bemoaning that fact that I no longer will have as many exciting vegetable filled pictures to post here . I love coming here to share the beauty of a good veggie garden harvest, and even though I also love the changing of the seasons, I also look forward to the crisp apple days ahead.So with a heavy sigh I grabbed my camera this morning and began trudging into the back yard to see if the Native Asters were looking festive enough to be posted here , or if the shambles of my vegetable patch in deconstruction mode were going to have to suffice.

Lo and Behold ,it seems as if my patch of dirt doesn't want to believe the calendar!! It is still gloriously Summer in the back 40....

I cant imagine this kind of harvest will go on for much longer, but it sure was a nice surprise to end up with a bowlful of Summery goodness when I was actually going out to plan what got ripped out of the ground first.

Next week you get to see the pretty festive looking Aster picture I took on my way to the back yard....

Sep 24, 2007

Wild Grapes & Apples

Yippeee I finally got a harvest off of my Apple tree!! We have only had it for 10 years so the 4 apples that we got this year are a huge windfall(note this is written dripping with sarcasm)

We also harvested some apples from a tree near where my husband works as well(those are the red ones in the picture). I hate seeing fruit go to waste , and around here it seems to be the norm for people to plant fruit trees solely as a decoration, and just disregard the actual fruit.

The Grapes that are in the little white bowl in the picture , I found growing along a fence by the woods on the side of the road.Pretty cool , huh? They aren't like store bought grapes at all, but they make some pretty cool jelly...again nothing like store bought.
But it sure is pretty!!
There was a pie from the apples....emphasis on the word was.

Sep 23, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

Due to a cold snap at the beginning of the week, my bloomfest is not quite as far along as I had hoped. The weather was much colder than I expected for this time of the year with nights in the low 40's and days that barely reached into the 60's Fahrenheit. I was truly wishing for full bloom by today, but we aren't there just yet. You can see that they are starting to slowly open and show their tendrils .....oh the anticipation!! So , we are getting there slowly but surely, and I am definitely, really...well mostly sure that they will be opened and fully colored by next Sunday.

So make sure and stay tuned for the exciting saga of the Blooming Brugmansia!!

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information about GREEN THUMB SUNDAY.

Sep 20, 2007

My Little Pumpkin-like Squash

My little pumpkin-like squash is not growing.

I would have taken a picture to update you with, but it seems that this little fellow is doomed to remain a golf ball sized pumpkin.

What is weird is that this is on the same side of the garden as my mini butternut squash. SO this almost leads me to believe that there is something in the soil that is miniaturizing my winter squash. I would have said my crop and I would have said convinces me that there is something in that soil, but about 1 foot away is a zucchini that produced many fine sized vegetables. I did however have 2 zucchini plants that produced smaller than normal fruit, but those were in between 2 plants that produceda crop of average sized I don't know what to think at this point. Mother Nature is playing tricks on me again...

I will let you all know if there is a sudden burst of growing.

Sep 18, 2007

Another Thing to Do With Your Fresh Tomatoes

Now that the days are getting markedly shorter, and the nights much cooler, my tomatoes have gotten slower to ripen. I am not complaining at all. I know that these are the last tomatoes I will get to enjoy until next July rolls around, so I am worshipping every last one of them. Unfortunately though, the hybrids are not all that pretty this time of the season. They are almost done , and the fruits that are still ripening just don't look as tempting as the ones from the weeks ago. So what to do with fresh tomatoes that really need some help ........ Aha !!

So I promised myself that I wouldn't post pictures of my pizzas on this blog, and now I am breaking my promise. I cant help it. This pizza deserves its moment in the spotlight!!

And here is what it looked like in the process of becoming that gorgeous pizza you see above^

^Here it is with just the basic crust with peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes just gently torn and scattered about along with a drizzle of Olive Oil.

^Now here it is with some freshly shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese.

^And finally all Mozzarella-ed up and ready for the oven.

Boy that was a good pizza. Usually I use a pre-made sauce and make a very thin crust then cook it on the pizza bricks that my Father left me, but I think that this is really my favorite way to have pizza. Just fresh and simple.There is something about the tomatoes in little hunks like this, you get some mouth fulls that are mostly cheesy, and some that just burst with fresh summery tomato goodness, now how can you beat that ! I wish there were some left overs...

Sep 17, 2007

Seedy Dillema

I have a thing for seeds. This strange addiction started last year during the tail end of the big summer harvest. This is the time of the harvest season where even though I am still picking the fruits of the current seasons labor, my mind is off and running onto next seasons crop. Right around that time last year I discovered... Gardening Websites...Oh my what a delight to find so many people with so much information and so many varieties of tomatoes, and peppers, and eggplants etc. that I had never heard of.

Now herein lies my dilemma. The more varieties I hear mentioned, the more seeds I feel the need to acquire. Already the list of tomatoes that I want to try is getting completely out of hand, but I keep adding to it. Of course it wouldn't be so bad if I only added the tomatoes that I hear fellow gardeners waxing poetic that would be all right. No my problem comes from looking at the Seed Sites and thru the Seed Catalogues for those aforementioned seeds. That is when the real trouble begins. I just fall victim to all of the beautiful pictures and tasty descriptions, and little by little without me even realising it, many of those tomatoes end up on my "Must Have "list. Plus to make matters even worse, many of those Seed Companies end up Bookmarked and in my favorites for easy access.Whats a gardener to do?!?

Lately...I have been finding the peppers and cucumbers adding them selves to my list....I think its a conspiracy!!!

Oh and if anyone has suggestions for a good pepper to use for CHILIES RELLENOS, let me know so I can add it to my seed list.....

Brrrrrr Where did Summer Go? got cold!!! I couldn't believe how chilly it was this morning . Not cold enough to kill any of my tender plants, but cold enough for me to put on socks and close the window.I think the temperature I saw, through slitted before that first cup of coffee eyes, was °46F....not cold really, but for Mid September. Brrrrrrrr.....

Sep 16, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

My little bud is turning into quite the charmer! One bud has turned into three buds and boy they are no longer little. With any luck we should have a picture of them beginning to open and show their pretty faces come next Green Thumb Sunday.I am so excited to see my very first Brugmansia flower up close and personal ....oh the anticipation.
Make sure and check back next Sunday for more Brugmansia blooming Excitement!!

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit

Sep 14, 2007

The Eggplant Saga Continues

This morning I went out back to see what , if anything due to the cooling temperatures, there might be to harvest. I found a few paste tomatoes, and a handful of green Beans, ands also one lonely Boule de Turquie Chili. I sauntered over to the newer garden, and was pleased to find 8-9 golden raspberries ready to come inside, and many more lining up to ripen.

I stroll back to the main veggie garden and decide to open the gate and take a closer peak inside. Since I am still amazed that, after the initial harvesting of maybe 7 or 8 eggplants off of my "Managers Special 4 for .99 cents", there was a new eggplant . I figured it was getting too cold, but I was so obviously wrong.

At anyrate, I digress......So after opening the gate and stepping in for a closer inspection. What do my wondering eyes spy, 3 more egg sized Eggplant . What is really amazing , every honey bee and bumble bee in town is trying to pollinate my eggplant blossoms. I am figuring that by this time next week, I will have parmigian-ed up the original late season fruit, and made plans for the newer three....and possinbly because of all of the bee action going on , spied maybe a few more baby fruit.

This has been one encouraging vegetable season here ...I hope next season goes as well.

Suprise, Suprise

I try to get out into my garden at least every other day. During the peak of the season say, July thru late August I like to get out twice a day. On my latest trip out into the garden, I figured that I should clear out the old Eggplant plants to make room for the garlic that really , really needs to get in the ground. I tend to think alot about pulling up plants, but since I don't really like pulling up plants, I tend to get very lazy right at those moments when I am near those plants.
Back to the Eggplants....I was just about to start heaving those little suckers right out by their roots, when what do I spy?????

The Eggplant have decided that they are not ready to leave this year. Well,I guess as long as they are still going to bribe me with cute little softball sized black orbs of eggplanty goodness.... then the garlic is just going to have to wait.

Looks like my laziness is paying off all over the garden....

These are some gorgeous Black from Tula tomatoes that I had intended on pulling up back in the later half of August when it had seemed that they were done for the year....fooled me , huh?!?

Sep 12, 2007

A Word About My Garden

I started to think about my garden, and how it might appear to some that I have a large amount of space to work with. I don't want anyone to think that you need a bazzillion acres to have a good veggie garden. In fact many seed suppliers have varieties that are well suited to being grown in pots on patios, or balconies or just about anywhere. So a few pots, and a little bagged soil are all that you need to have your own garden fresh produce. Or get creative and look around at what can be recycled into a planter. I have an old crockpot with a pepper plant growing in it...the crockpot didnt work any longer, so instead of taking space in a landfill, its now doing time as a veggie pot. I also have those jumbo sized cans you get coffee in planted up...just about anything that can hold soil and be made drainable, can be a planter.
So, what I am trying to say is, even if you live in an apartment with only a tiny balcony of space or a ledge out a window, you can grow your own. Granted you aren't going to be canning up gallons of sauce from one tomato plant, but you will have a few tomato sandwiches and salads, and the flavor alone will make it all worth the time and effort you put into it.

Back to my garden....nope I don't have an acre, not even fact my lot size is only 50 feet wide and 100 feet deep...and a good 1/3 to 1/2 of it is covered with my house . So all in all I only have two smallish veggie gardens,and the odd pot or 10, and yet I still seem to get enough to make my family sick of vegetables by the time the end of September rolls along.

So don't fret, if you want a garden, nothing can stop you.

Sep 11, 2007

A 9/11 Moment

I don't know where to begin to express my feelings. I still get queasy whenever I think back on that sunny morning when my sister called me to tell me to turn on the news. She was explaining to me that a plane had hit one of the Trade Center towers and that this was something that had occurred before in the past.We were chatting away, when in horror we watched as a second plane hit, and we both knew in an instant, that this was an act of terrorism and we were chilled. I was in a state of disbelief as the other 2 planes went down, and maybe I am still in shock to this very day. I can never begin to express my sorrow for the people who lost their lives that morning, for the men and women who lost their lives trying in vain to help...for the all of their families who will never be able feel the same as they did in the moments before,when the sky was just sunny and the future was sunny as well.
But today I will take a moment to reflect...and maybe someday I will be able to express more.

The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling....

Okay, so the sky really isnt't "falling" , but it is finally raining after 3 weeks of dry. My birdbath runneth over....My garden is happy!!

Sep 10, 2007

Is There Enough Time??

Back in the Spring , when I planted the "Mystery Squash" seeds, I also planted seeds for a variety of squash called 'Sunshine' that I purchased at a nice seed source online.
The description was encouraging,it said that these would produce a generous crop of small 3 pound-ish fruits from August til first frost. I planted them as an alternative to Pumpkins as I have had bad luck growing those in the past and figured I would give these a shot knowing that they would be small, yet still a tasty alternative and very similar in shape to a small attractively dark orange pumpkin. Well I finally have a squash on my vines and I hope that it will start getting bigger soon, because even though I was prepared for small, this is a tad bit too small even for me. I know in my head that this baby has 4 more weeks until we have a real danger of frost, but in my heart I am fearing an early frost this season, and I would really love to get more than one of these fellas.
Truely I dont get the size thing...I just don't get it, maybe its the soil on that side of the garden that is prompting all my squash to be miniatures. The weeds seem to grow full sized there, and the zucchini are doing fine....just the squash.....hmmmm....Curiouser and curiouser.

Mini Butternuts

I have written before about my "Mystery Squash" , and I may have mentioned that I could identify one as being a Butternut Squash. Well this would make some sense as I usually do include Butternuts in my Fall shopping,but what I don't get is why they grew in the ultra mini form. It's pretty cool though as I will now be serving whole squash as an individual serving. I wish I had gotten more than two, but hey free squash is free squash and I am dancing in the street!
I will be planting these again season after next, and I will be using the same seeds as I did this season. I can't wait to see if I get minis again. I will most likely be saving the seeds form these minis to plant in addition to the original seeds and see if they breed little ones as well. I will definitely be posting an update to this story when the time comes.

Sep 7, 2007

Berry Beautiful

No matter what I do, the gardening season continues to slowly wind down. I go out back every day or so , and where I once would find so many ripe tomatoes I would need help not only in bringing them in....but also in smuggling them into other peoples homes and escaping before they took notice, I now find tired looking plants. Sadly there are only a few green tomatoes left and even fewer ripening ones. This is the part of Summer I dread almost as much as the Heat and Humidity that we are so blessed with here in New England.

I did, however , find one gem while I was out back yesterday wandering my yard.

My lovely Golden Raspberries have decided to grace me with a stellar Fall crop early enough for me to still be wandering around out there and able to get at the berries before the wildlife does.
This looks to be an even nicer bunch of berries than the summer ones. I have often heard that some of the everbearing raspberries produce heartier berries in the Fall...well now I am seeing that first hand, and I have visions of Golden Raspberry Jam dancing in my head.

Sep 6, 2007

Little Bud is Growing

This baby is getting bigger ....not much bigger, but still bigger. Now all I have to do is cross my fingers and toes that it actually blooms before we get a frost. I know that frosty weather seems a million years away, but Fall is actually 17 days away. It really is hard to believe that the Autumnal equinox is less than 3 weeks from now on September 23....where did Summer go?!?

Look at My Bloomers!!

Isn't this bloomer a beauty?!?!?
I have to admit, when I repotted my seedling I could have sworn that the label said Purple Datura.I guess it fooled me! I don't mind though, I think that Triple Yellow is mighty fine. The bonus is that since I already had three Triple Yellow blooms on another plant(don't get me wrong, this bloom is the finest), I am going to have enough seeds to cover half the town in Triple Yellow Daturas!!

Sep 4, 2007

My Little Bud Redux

Looks like the little bud on the Brugmansia has a little buddy. So if I cross my fingers just right I may actually get TWO flowers this year ...well if the frost doesn't come early and the creek don't run dry.

I would have gotten a picture of them for you, but bud #1 still looks the same as it did in the last photo-op, and bud #2 really looks the same as bud #1. So as soon as there is some change in their buddy goodness I will update the photos right here, for your viewing pleasure!!