Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Garden Update

I showed pictures a while back of our beginning garden. I went out this morning and took more pictures to update the garden. Since I belong to a Container Gardening group on Ravelry, I wanted them to see my latest pictures. I can't figure out how to post pictures on there so I am going to post them there and link from Ravelry.

Here is a view of the middle bed. The two metal trellises are supposed to be more full than what they are, but we waited too late in the season to plant the snow peas and the heat is eating them alive. If you look closely in the background you can see the vines are dying from the bottom up. I have see what happens in the past and I am debating whether or not to just pull them up and try something else. The pepper plants are skinny and look sad but I have noticed a few blossoms on them. I doubt they will yield any peppers this year but I will let them go a bit longer and see what happens. The cucumbers are small but they are going strong as well as the two basil plants I have in that bed. I am going to go and top off the basil plants and try to preserve them in a plastic bag for later this weekend.

This bed has three transplanted tomato plants. They were in the shade of our fence so we moved them about three weeks ago and they are trying but they don't look right; kind of skinny and a bit pale. I can't remember what kind they are but hopefully we will get some blooms soon. Behind the tomato plants there are bush beans. We didn't have much luck with them last year but this year they look like they are doing much better. We have some in another bed because we eat a lot of green beans. In the front is my lettuce bed. It's really too hot for the lettuce to do much more than what it is before it bolts. I am going to pinch them back for this weekend and maybe it will be enough for two portions; maybe.

This is the bed that I am most excited about. We planted more bush beans of a different variety. These are Jacobs Cattle. They are supposed to be a dry bean. We got about 1/4 cup last year. Not much to speak of and I decided that this year I was going to have enough to cook some. So we planted much more this year. Plus we planted bean in the same space we move the three little sad tomato plants from. They are coming up and I am thrilled. The bushes are full of blooms and I think this year will be the year we actually get a good yield.
Beside the beans are onions sets that are both red and white. We have never grown onions before so this is just a wait and see thing. So overall I think our little city garden is giving it a good try despite the heat wave too early in the season and the fact we were about 8 weeks late in planting. The squash and zucchini are coming along but haven't quite hit their stride but I have a feeling when the weather settles down they will be going gang busters.

Here is what the tomatoes in containers are up to. We have not done anything to them except mix in manure and water. I have not pinched the suckers. I have just let them go to see what will happen. These are supposed to be smallish tomato but I have lost the stick that came with the plant so it will be surprise. I think they might be yellow but not really sure. They are going really well and with the tomato scare going on right now, I will be glad to eat something of my own that won't make me sick.

Here is our first attempt at pear tomatoes. They are small but they are going strong. I have seen what people pay for these at the grocery store so any amount of these we get are great.
Well that's the total garden update. I will post more pictures another time when I have picked something or they are starting to show color.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I love to garden and I am not really sure that I have done a good job until something happens; like some color. This year I didn't take too many chances on new flowers but here is what is going on now on the deck in pots.

These are really spring Pansies but I moved them to the shade and they are going full guns. Pretty soon I will have to find something else to put in that pot when these fizzle out.
These are Geraniums that DH picked out at the local boxed hardware store. I really didn't think they would do that well but they are doing pretty well. I love the color in the summer on the deck. We have a lot of shade in our yard due to the neighbors huge out of control oak tree. We have a maple that is bending over the deck trying to capture the sun because the oak is a sun hog. We are going to cut the maple down because we are afraid it will snap off in a hurricane or really big winds and take out our sun room with it. I love maple trees and it makes me sad to have to cut down a tree, but the house might be in danger. We have planted a little Japanese maple in the back yard that is under the shade of the oak. I was thinking that we should plant another one in the place of the maple as soon as we cut it down. If that neighbors ever cut down the oak, my shade garden will surely be toast.
This is one of the new Hydrangea bushes we planted in the spring. It has some really killer blooms on it but I know next year that might not happen. I still have one if not two more bushes that need to be moved to the shade but weekends are getting more full. DH has been doing a lot of over time so gardening on a Sunday is not high on his list of priorities. He pooped.
This is in the sun room and has a really cute story to it. My youngest son was about to go to Iraq about three years ago. He had some money (about $10) and bought me this plant. Right before he left, he said to please not let the plant die. It was so pretty when I got it and during the year he was gone, it looked like it had died. I was horrified. So I kept the pot in the same place for a year and threw some water on it when I remembered. Then one day I was looking at it and noticed there was a green shoot poking up from the dirt. I could not believe it. No flower ever appeared but there was some skimpy foliage. Three years later I have my first flower. The plant has gotten so tall in the current pot that it has fallen over. I think another flower might be coming soon. I am super pleased I did not throw it away but more than that; I didn't let my kid down by killing his gift.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Yet Another Pair of Green Socks...
This post got lost in the shuffle somewhere and was originally dated for April 20th and I guess I got more excited about other posts. Who knows, but here it is...

You might have guess it by now but if not I will tell you that my most favorite color is green. So I am a sitting duck for most green sock yarn. So here is another pair of green socks. I love how the pattern turned out. Now if I could just remember the name of the yarn. I think it's Austermann Step. Can't tell you the color way because I have lost the label. I know better now to keep things together. I even bought a knitting book so I can keep track to the kinds of projects I do, the yarns they were made with and the adjustments to any patterns. Maybe I can be more accurate when talking about the yarn, needles and project. It might take me a while to get started but I bought the book.

Here is the latest pair of green socks that were finished this week. I am thrilled they are done and now there are two more that need to be worked on.

Here is a close up of the color and pattern. I like them a lot. I had a thought that I might need some other colors, but then re-thought and decided to stick with colors that make me happy. Green makes me very happy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Same Song Different Versus...

I never thought that I would be one of those people who was so taken with a pattern that they had to knit fifty zillion of the same thing. Besides these and these, I haven't made duplicates of too many other projects. I went on a mini yarn crawl with a friend last weekend and when we hit this place I went nuts. We were there to see a purse designer but I got distracted by some yarn. I have never knit with this before so I was excited to purchase some. The minute I saw the colors, I was a goner. I loved the richness of this yarn and I had to buy some. I purchased 2 skeins and was even more happy that I got 20% off. That made it the find for the day! I even had a project in mind when I bought the yarn. I have started the project...

No, your eyes are not deceiving you...it's another Clapotis. I just saw the pattern when I looked at they yarn. I like the first one that I knit, but the pattern of the colors was not was I was hoping for. So I am going to donate the first one to the local guild and keep this one.

Here is a close-up of how the colors are evolving. I am so pleased with this yarn. I would knit another project using this yarn.I am only on section on and the 6th repeat. I am a little nervous about having enough to finish the project. So far I am very pleased. Did I say that already???

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pattern Dilemma
I have a pattern dilemma and I thought putting it on the blog and getting some opinions would help me decide what to do. The yarn I am using is Lorna's and it is the Shepherd Sock yarn. It's the Country Christmas colorway. I have had this yarn for a year so thought I would get a head start for Christmas.

I started the pattern with a 2x2 ribbing. Did 25 rows and thought the pattern and the colors went well. I wanted to seeing the stripping and decided to let the pattern of the colors come out and then did 70 rows in stockinette. Here is what it looks like. While I like the colors, I don't like the break in them. As you can see the break goes is over two rows. It's hard to describe but I don't like the break in the color. Since I already had the second sock done to the ribbing, I thought I would thumb through Sensational Knitted Socks and pick out a 6 stitch pattern. I found the Bluebell Rib. After working about 10 rows of that pattern, I decided it was not going to work. The breaks in the colors weren't as obvious but you really couldn't see the pattern. So maybe I was headed in the right direction. I ripped that out and moved on to the Chain Rib. This is what that one looks like... As you can see, the color breaks don't show up as much with this pattern. As much as I hate to rip out 70 rows of a sock, I will. So which one is better? Should I continue with the stockinette or should I do the Chain Rib? I figure now is the time to pick one over the other. I picked the Chain Rib because I though it would make the sock look like bumpy candy canes. Either way one is going to get tinked. So whatcha think??