Category: Garden

Erin has put in several new beds and decorated her garden area…

New beds with the brick’s we all fell in love with-made the job so much easier.

While the family was visiting Beth- they built beds there too- these girl’s take after their dad and love to garden!

Family News Garden

Linda and I have been busy putting in new beds and planting/replanting old beds.

New bed in back (covered) and 2 beds inside the fence for herbs and cherry tomatoes. They are huge now.

Still have to put down border (white rocks on first picture). Already put down a border and rock between planeter beds.

This was the area dug up to fix sewer.

The main garden out back- raised bed plus ground for tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. Side beds are metal beds we put in last year and the year before.

These two beds have eggplant, broccoli, 5 types of peppers.

Two beds are for plants that come back-asparagus and strawberries…

We worked on replacing areas with new grass… all up now!

Had 5 cubic yards of dirt delivered. Filled yard and beds one wheel barrel at a time-FUN!

We added/moved flowers in the decorative beds…

All the hostas in the 2nd picture where moved to beds on hillside (not shown) and more flowering plants were added.

Added lights last year and grasses to the area where we had the concrete put down…

Put a planeter where we use to have a bakers rack…

We are now power washing the concrete floor under gazebo and deck so we can recolor concrete(peeling) and restain deck. Our temps are now 94 and higher so it is slow going- one day at a time. Hillside gardens are still a work in progress and we plan to add one more 12 foot bed on top of side hill for flowers. We have the back garden for Matthew (Peace pole has Irish and Italian on it), a side garden full of daisies for Lu and two pots full of coleus for Mama (she taught me how to pinch off the tops when I was young and visited).

Family News Garden

“Traditionally, dried crushed red pepper is made using cayenne peppers. Cayenne peppers are not only the best peppers for crushed red pepper, they are one of the easiest, most prolific peppers to grow in the vegetable garden.”

Last year I grew this plant and got 1 pepper on the whole plant all year. Just 1! This year the plant is overflowing thanks to Clark’s advice to water my pepper plants with epsom salt. When I finish picking all the peppers I will dry them in a low oven, crush them and have homemade crushed red pepper flakes which I love!


Had to replace several beds this year as the wood rotted. The main bed was replaced with cinder block and then 4 metal beds.

I planted zucchini, yellow squash, spaghetti squash and cucumbers in the back bed- most died as our weather went from spring to 90 degrees! We replaced several plants. Also planted an asparagus bed and rhubarb bed. We have 6 different peppers, broccoli, eggplant, 2 kinds of cabbage, onions, shallots,  several lettuces, kale, spinach and 12 tomatoes, san marzano’s and 3 grape tomatoes. We also put in chard, dill, basil, chives, parsley, mint.

I made my first homemade Ranch with our herbs in it! Yummy! This is a recipe from Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines.

Garden Recipes/Cooking



Linda’s nephew…just a few morels!



I harvested my radishes yesterday- the orange is to show how big some are- these are called watermelon radish. I love to cut them up and add to cottage cheese for a little zip. Watermelon radishes have watermelon like flesh inside. They are less peppery but mildly sweet something similar to that of white-icicle varieties.

Health benefits of radish
Since ancient times, Chinese believe that eating radish and other brassica group vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and napa-cabbage would bring wholesome health.

  • They are one of very low calorie root vegetables. Fresh root provides just 16 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless; they are a very good source of anti-oxidants, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.
  • Radish, like other cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables, contains isothiocyanate anti-oxidant compound called sulforaphane. Studies suggest that sulforaphane has proven role against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of its cancer-cell growth inhibition, and cyto-toxic effects on cancer cells.
  • Fresh roots are good source of vitamin C; provide about 15 mg or 25% of DRI of vitamin C per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant required by the body for synthesis of collagen. It helps the body scavenge harmful free radicals, prevention from cancers, inflammation and help boost immunity.
  • In addition, they contain adequate levels of folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamin and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium.
  • Further, they contain many phytochemicals like indoles which are detoxifying agents and zea-xanthin, lutein and beta carotene, which are flavonoid antioxidants. Their total antioxidant strength, measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value), is 1736 µmol TE/100 g.

Garden Health


Trying to weed the garden and beds. San Marzano’s are looking good- best tomato for sauce.

This year put in blueberries and rhubarb- remember when we ate it fresh off the plant as kids out at the farm!



We love it and are going to get a similar one to place on the opposite side of the yard. It has 4 moving parts that move with the wind.

Here is the other one we are going to get…

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Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.




“When the moonflower shines, it’s a moment in time, that will truly take your breath away.”

moonflower bloom

Moonflower is one of the most romantic plants you can grow in the garden. It’s a statuesque, ideal evening-garden plant bearing large trumpet-shape flowers that unfurl in the evening (or on overcast days) and stay open until the sun rises. Some are sweetly fragrant when open. This beautiful plant is also very heat- and drought-resistant. Beware: It’s quite poisonous, especially the seeds.


The Lemon cucumber is a spherical, oval-shaped broad fruit that grows two to three inches in length. Changing color as it matures, its early, lemon-yellow color turns a golden yellow as it ripens. The mild, pleasant taste is complemented by a cool, crisp texture. Resembling a lemon in appearance, the flavor is more delicately sweet and less acidic than the common green cucumber. Similar to a kiwi, Lemon cucumber skin has tiny bristles that are edible but may be easily removed.

I thought they looked cute- so I grew them from seed- they have just about taken over the garden. Fruit is just starting to come on.


I was talking with my dad about gardening because I started reading the book: Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard into an Organic Produce Garden, and I read that members of the Allium family (onions, chives, garlic, leeks, shallots and scallions) can prevent many bug pests by planting them around the perimeter of your garden. I knew this about marigolds, but not these items. I told my dad and he said he knew there were a bunch of tricks, but he didn’t know that many. At the same time my sister sent me a link about broccoli that said Sage, thyme and rosemary all deter cabbage fly, which can harm broccoli plants. So I got thinking that maybe we could use a resource to find out some of these organic gardening tricks. Below is just one of the charts I found. I compiled a few charts into a .pdf document (CLICK HERE) that we can all print and use (a few more charts are included in there like what other veggies to grow together and NOT to grow together).

Natural Herb & Plant Pest Deterrents – Vegetable Companions Planting Chart




The summer has flown by and school starts next week. This summer was a very productive one!

The above wagon started with herbs- they were later changed to this fountain which Linda got for her birthday- adds some whimsy!

This summer saw the completion of boxing up all my CD’s-complete.

Reorganized all the warrenty paperwork, house paperwork in the file drawer (purged and alphabitized).

We power washed (I melted the chord to the power washer and had to get a new one) the deck and stained it and painted all the wrought iron furniture-complete.

We planted many gardens- I really have to rethink this process- our tomatoes are still not red (It’s August!) and the few we have had, have been eaten by deer. The peppers are 4 foot tall and just producing- I roasted 8 tonight. I can not say Italian peppers taste differently than American. I am most happy about my  Marina Chioggia– the reason for growing Italian in the first place. I have 8 plants– each plant should have 3-4 pumpkins- I have about 8 total- I just hope they are as good as I have heard.

Replaced windshield in car- person spit a rock and cracked it-complete.

Most happy- cleaned barn- still have to “rearranged”  but cleaned out and disposed of over 25 bins and boxes of stuff- clothing, books, junk- I will finish the final touches in the fall when it is a little cooler- I am very excited about this.

Last- we decided to scrap the ceilings, not expecting the nightmare we got (firing person-waiting for weeks, no lights and a house in plastic) but the good news is- it will be complete in the next 2 days- carpets cleaned Friday and house back together this weekend. We do have to repaint/ touch up most walls but the house will be very clean and new when we get done. I will post the completed pictures. We are also adding a new ceiling fan near the fireplace.

Edit: 8/7/09: No the ceilings are NOT done. Late start- guy blew the ceilings a night late- screwed it up beyond what words can say, next night scrapped ceiling off- crew chief fired guy, hired new one, machine broke, waiting for part maybe tomorrow then still needs painted. House covered in plastic and dust, no lights in half the house and I go back to work Tuesday. I also have a sinus infection and no voice- If you are thinking of scrapping your ceilings- I would recommend against it!

8/9/09: Excuse after excuse after excuse- still not done- threatened to take him to court for breach of contract and damage to my house- if he does not show up at 9 am tomorrow- another firing and will look for person # 3. You want to know why our economy sucks- people don’t want to work!

8/10/09: The ceilings are sprayed- finally…tomorrow painted and then I can fix the walls. Light at the end of the tunnel.

8/11/09: The painting is being done as I type- it really is going to get completed! The positive side- it looks really good. The negative, the dust and dirt have made me sick (great way to start school) and the house is a mess and I’m out of time- back to work. Guess that is why they make weekends. Note: He didn’t clean the edges, primed the stain which shows through and pulled some of the texture off when he pulled down the plastic and all the paint on the walls too. Linda will repaint this weekend and I will start repainting all the walls. People suck!

Got to read many pleasure books (Scarpetta, The Friday Night Knitting Club, Shelter Me, The Front, Where Are You Now?) and am currently reading The Julie/Julia Project. This beat papers, tests and PowerPoint presentations any day!

So as this summer draws to a close- so will a few projects we are working on- den closet doors, trim and floor (in progress), gardening/canning, the search for the “perfect pizza dough”- (long story), a retaining wall and some wonderful lazy days!

Garden Homes