Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer

Well, I've been out of town for several weeks and I'm just now getting back to the gardening, or rather the extensive weeding. The year that I choose to leave in early summer is the year that has the most rainfall (ever?). The chicory is 5 feet high, the hollyhock finally bloomed, the grape actually has a few little balls of fruit, the scrub oak added a couple of feet of branches.
We have a nightly deer visitor who is sporting a line of christmas tree lights in his antlers and I fear he has a broken leg. But he seems fine otherwise, munching on the greenery. The baby goat up the street has grown and has a pal to play with. Hummingbirds abound.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

After the Boulder County Fire










Here are some photos of the area north of town that was burned a couple of months ago. It's really greening up, even with the dryish winter we had.  After this 2 feet of snow melts, it's going to grow like crazy!



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Everybody's Hungry!






Go for it.  I put it there for you anyway.  Just leave the seeds alone, ok?

Monday, January 19, 2009

January Thaw in Boulder

Neither one of us can wait for warmer weather to start digging into the dirt.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Placeholder


I don't have any outside photos because nothing is going on in the yard except for occasional finds of bags of leaves that we haul home to compost. Our neighbor down the street is doing a number with leaves - he solicited with a sign and must have had 100 bags in his driveway for a couple of months. They appear to be forming new garden beds now. I think we got about 30 this year which suffices for us.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowy Yarrow

Yarrow is good in just about any season.  The flowers stand out and last a long time.  Some people can predict the future with them. If I fall down on the sidewalk on the way to the mailbox and start bleeding,  I can just grab a bunch of the leaves and it'll stop the hemorrhage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Record Cold Denver

Not much time for gardening lately,  just composting and responding to the zoning complaint about our at-home business.   I think digging up half of our front yard for gardening was just more than one of our new neighbors could handle.  No matter, we had a good run for 15 years and it's just a matter of moving up the street.

Plus my yard man and I have a been busy with new members of our pack!  One of the sons is preparing a lady  to be his wife and in the process, they took on a puppy named Honey.  My grandpuppy.

Oh, and it is cold out there.  -15ยบ in Denver last night!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gettin' Close to Winter in Boulder



We took a one gas tank trip up I-70 for a dip in the Glenwood Springs pool. That stretch of the I-70 is gorgeous and it was pretty clear, even over snowy Vail Pass. The pool's mineral water never fails to satisfy.
On the way back, we stopped at the Butterhorn Bakery in Frisco on the way back for some yummy soups.


The next day, we were dumped on as you can see with the Sultan of Barbeque picture.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

1st Snow in Boulder

The balmy fall days are gone for a while.  We woke up to some snow on the ground that melted right away.  The mountains are being dumped on, though which is great for the water supply. Most of the systems are going south of us.

I remembered some greens I had planted in September - kale and turnip greens, I think. Those are covered now with a plastic cloche.

My Yard Man and I did get the new garden area roughly dug before the moisture hit. The plan is to let the water seep down into the deeper soil and break it up with freezes and thaws. I still haven't gotten used to the look of the fence but the dogs are loving the extra area to run around.

Some time after that 6' high fence went in, our Scottie went tearing out the open door into the back yard. There was a full grown buck, something I haven't seen since the fence went up. He could have gored her with one of his antlers but she is such a fierce little presence and that sent him running off to the front yard. She tried to go after him down the side yard but I stopped her so she settled for scolding him through the front window.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Front Yard Gardening


I started my yard man on a project that I have mixed feelings about. I've been wanting to grow more vegetables and flowers in the the sunny front yard but the deer have the final say on what stays and what is eaten. In order to keep the deer out, we decided to take drastic measures in terms of fencing.

This side yard is a perfect area spatially, but the fencing is so big and obvious. The yard man wasn't willing to dig a bunch of holes for wooden fence posts (he's still a little pooped from painting the house this summer) so here we are. Next Spring I can install some plants around the fencing to de-uglify it but will just have to grow love it throughout the winter.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This is Where Your Bags of Leaves Ended Up





I've been collecting leaves from all over town and filling the front yard and the new back yard compost heaps.  They are so light and fluffy now before the snow weighs them down.  Can't beat leaf mold.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Teller Lake, Boulder County

My yard man and I went for a ride in the county to Teller Lake.
Gorgeous day.
More gorgeosity.
Coming back on Valmont we saw a farmer getting his hay in. There's some snow way up there on the mountain tops.
We ended up at KT's on Arapahoe for some yummies.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Orange Outside

Munsons on Valmont and 75th
Red Oak near the Red Cross HQ in Denver
Cherryvale Road

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Burning near Boulder

If you see or smell smoke north of town, the city says:

Prescribed burn at Heil Valley Ranch scheduled to occur during second half of October

The Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department will ignite prescribed burns at Heil Valley Ranch on several occasions between the dates of October 17 and October 31. The open space is located north of Boulder, off Lefthand Canyon Road.

Heil Valley Ranch Open Space picnic area and trails will not be closed during the prescribed burn, but due to safety concerns, no visitors will be permitted in the controlled burn area.

There may be heavy smoke in the air during the prescribed burn. Visibility may be impaired for short periods of time. If your home is in the area, you may want to leave your windows closed during the prescribed burn and leave your pets indoors. If you’re a frequent visitor to Heil Valley Ranch, check the department’s website at www@BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org for updated information before you leave home. Due to smoky conditions, you may want to go to an alternate open space property to hike or ride that day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Road Trip



My Yard Man and I made a little delivery north and east of town the other day and saw some spectacular scenery. There's a lot of land devoted to agriculture in Boulder County so birds are stopping in to graze the fields on their way down south.





We stumbled onto this old cemetery that was built in the late 1800's.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Fall in Boulder


The solitary bee condos and Maximilian's Daisies are new additions to the yard. I got daisy seeds from Plants of the Southwest and the Sunflower project but none of them sprouted so I bought these potted up plants that did not disappoint.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Surprise Potatoes



Probably the most successful thing I do in the garden is compost. Nothing fancy - I just pile it on and let it sit. The other day I stuck my hand into the back of the heap to see what the volunteer potatoes had to offer and my hand just kept going down, down, down into the cool rich darkness of the new soil. Growing potatoes is so easy, just dump some peelings on the heap and ignore. Next year I intend to actually grow a crop. Oh, and they were yummy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nearly Fall Color in Boulder



Here's the color from my back yard these days. The impatiens won the 'Amazingly Steady Prolific Bloomer' award for 2008. I found them at an evil gigantic discounter in June, full of color and put them right into the ground. They have maintained the color through the whole droughty summer, including 2 weeks of high 90's.

The rose is one of 3 that I got for Mother's Day from a big grocery corporation. They bloomed well, then rested and now, they are blooming again. The smell is heavenly.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Fruit Dilemma


Ok, I love the idea of fruit trees in the yard. I love the sour cherry that is on the edge of the lot that the birds and deer decimate every year. I loved my plum tree before the frost and wind sapped the life out of it. But the apple tree and the peach tree in front are testing me this year.

Remember the peach tree I was so proud of earlier this year? The volunteer that rarely blooms did so abundantly this year and the peach crop was so huge that we had to pull hundreds off last weekend so that the branches wouldn't break. The bad thing is that the peaches have no flavor. It's a cruel joke for this peach loving lady.

The apple tree normally blooms and fruits but the crop this year was also plentiful so for the last month I have been dealing with apples on the sidewalk outside the front door. This picture was taken a couple of minutes after I cleaned them all out. The squirrels are still taking one bite out and then throwing them on the ground. It's hard to beat the taste, though, of a warm apple just fallen from the tree.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Deers and Apples

The apple tree near my computer is dropping a lot of fruit this year.  The squirrels act like it's a Whitman's Sampler, taking a bite out of one then dropping it and going to the next.  

The Deer Mom and her fawns were just having an early supper on the grasses and apples.  I noticed the little one was having a hard time getting hold of the apples which aren't that big. He got it into his mouth but couldn't grab onto it so it would roll out onto the ground.  Finally he got a good grip on it and smashed it up and gulped it down.  No incisors, apparently.
Photo from michigan.gov

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Zinnias

I get excited about zinnias like I used to get excited about candy shops. I have all these great perennial flowers that I've been stuffing into the yard and the ones that the deer don't eat are great to see every year. But the one annual that I'll go to the trouble of seeding the ground with are zinnias. I love 'em, love 'em, love 'em.  I want a huge field of them next year.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Highly Unusual Boulder Rain


This highly unusual puddle maker is winding down. We had steady rain and rain showers for the last 2 days. The monsoon was a little out of whack this year with that 2 week + dry heat wave we had. I think we're catching up on our deficit now, though Denver's pretty far behind.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Computer Garden

I don't think there are any documents that will expose me in this photo.  The concrete wall in the window is my neighbors' house.  I put some brown nylon screen up to shade against the summer sun.  I had the little Reverewear pot when I was a little girl and somehow it followed me here.  That hoya plant - I can't remember where I got it but it has to be 25 years old.  A good bloomer.  The boots belong to my Yard Man - his mom took the trouble to bronze them for him.  The meditating elephant I got near Cambria, CA (made by www.dsgardenshop.com); the Santa type face I made in a pottery class with my then-toddler; the Mardi Gras beads came from Whole Foods; the gargoyle from West End Gardener was in my son's garden when he had one; and the robin came from a Hobby Lobby sale.  There, I think  you know all about me now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Fawns in Boulder

There seem to be so many this year! This little one came by with his mom this afternoon.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tomato Trials

This year I decided to grow some 'maters once I realized that I could if I planted them in the back yard out of the deer's reach.  
I bought seeds and nursed them along,  potting them up as they grew, then I struck out in a new direction, trying different locations.  
Most of the plants are so unimpressive that they don't show up in the picture.  One was totally swallowed by the Rugosa Roses that are having a banner year;  another one grew tall and spindly and begged to be eaten by buggies (and they complied); one is doing O.K. in full sun but just has one fruit. 
The star of the show is this one that I put in a pot and moved from the east side of the porch to the west side of the porch every day.  It's filled with little green tomatoes.  It was little effort for the reward that's coming and I understand now where my future lies with tomato crops.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Xcel "Smart Grid" Comes to Town

Our power company is in the process of installing a new energy tracking system that is going to allow us to notice our energy usage as we go throughout the month and adjust it.
I think that's the plan, at least.

To do that, they had to make sure all the utility lines are clear of tree branches that have invaded the right of way over the years. Tree trimmers from all over the company are in town chopping and sawing and chipping the mulch to make way for the new system. Asplundh trimmed ours and did a good job.

Just up the street, these people weren't so lucky with the contractors. I actually did a double take when I saw this and had to turn around to get a picture. This heart of this tree is gone! There used to be a trunk right about where that telephone pole it. Wouldn't it have been better to just chop it down? With our hurricane-force winter winds, this poor thing doesn't have a chance. Arggh.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's all Green

Hmmmm....seems like there is a lot of green going on in the yard.  This big healthy plant is horseradish that comes back every year.  It's most prolific in the shade of my apple tree.  

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bold Colors

I read that morning is a good time to photograph the garden. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Backyard Corn in Boulder


This is where it all started for me this year. I wanted to plant a natural screen for my yard and thought corn might be a fun project. When I got to work, I realized the location I had in mind was too shady so I found a sunny spot along the fence. Choosing some corn seed inspired me to get some other food to grow and I was off! Then I discovered that we are all growing food now! Everywhere I look, someone is writing about it, talking about it, doing it.
Anyway, the corn is waist-high now and I'm watering it much more than I anticipated. I don't expect to beat the raccoons out of the ripe ears, but I'm enjoying the sight.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mid Summer Meadow

Here's my front yard with the defiantly unmowed meadow. I was anticipating some pushback from the neighbors but I forgot that we're all pretty congenial. I like the idea of growing grass seed for the birds and the deer seem to like having it there. Some yarrow, sweet peas and rabbit ears are maturing there.

In another bold move, I stopped mowing half of the strip of land in front of my yard that is owned by the HOA across the street. We only use it to access the mailbox but we've mown it for years. After the HOA president mentioned that they want to reassert ownership (in light of all the adverse possession cases in Boulder recently) I realized that they can take care of it. I think getting our mail 6 days/week for the last 22 years established our right of way to the box. It's still a conversation waiting to be had.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Perfect Job

You know, great pleasure comes to me from sights like this. I got a watermelon that was too big and not sweet enough so half of it went to be composted. I know the critters like watermelon so I left it an accessible spot. Look at the job they did of cleaning it out, leaving the thin rind perfectly intact. It must have been sweet enough for them.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Watery Mistake


This started out as a lovely little water feature to fill a need until I could take the subject seriously enough to make a larger one.  A simple pan, a simple pump and some rocks.  Then I had to have a spitting frog and that is when the trouble started.  

I noticed  that the pan was half drained in the morning and attributed that to a thirsty raccoon or deer.  

Ok, simple enough to turn the motor off at night and refill it in the morning.  Then the motor wouldn't start the next day.  

Ok, I'll use the back-up pump.  Oh wait, two days later, it's not pumping.

Ok, fine, I really like the sound of the water so I'll go get another pump.  Luckily I run into a water gardener at McGuckin's who gently explains to me that the pumps need to be cleaned out.  

Oh.

Well, the new feature hasn't been installed yet because the Yard Man is busy working at his real job, so right now, what I have is this algae pondlet.  I know it's up to me to change the water and clean it out, but I get busy, all right?

I hope the children don't find out how I'm wasting their inheritance in the garden.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Garden Colors




Don't use a flash with poppies.
I like this borage. It's really an electric blue that didn't translate digitally.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Problems, Problems, Problems


A couple of issues to grind over:
The area I dug for the corn bed used to be sunny all day but is not achieving the 6 hr minimum that I expected.  We used to literally stretch out under bushes for shade when we were building the house but now, most of the back yard is in shade.  There are puddles of sunny areas, but that's all.  
The area I dug for the corn bed is near a Siberian (I think) Elm tree that decided to scatter seeds All Over the Place this year.  I'm happy that it felt healthy enough to do that, but I'm faced with the slaughter of hundreds of tiny elm trees if I want to have veggies in that bed.
My little froggy fountain is being messed with somehow at night.  For a couple of months I had a little garden feature, then somehow the water disappeared while we were sleeping.  OK, so the solution is to turn the fountain off at night.  Now the thing isn't pumping.
A little sparrow is chewing off my Snow in Summer for her nest.  Flower by flower.  She's in there, over to the right.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Blue Period

Like Picasso, my garden is in its blue phase these days.  The sage and chives (actually sort of purply) meet me when I come through the back gate.  Blue iris nod as I go out the front walk for the mail.  There is a peony next to those that are a screaming crimson, but they come and go so fast that I probably won't get to them with a camera in time.   And a bird flew into our house.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hail Yeah!







We had an incredible and rare downpour yesterday that totally overwhelmed my poor cisterns. The blue one just overflowed but the brown one (that my Yard Man never got around to stabilizing) filled up and bit the dust. For and area that averages a foot of precipitation/year, this was a doozie. Oh, and a little bit of hail came with that.

I have to wonder if we're in for a cool summer. We've had a couple of warm (high 80's) days but it's back in the 60's now.