Thursday, July 30, 2015

Butterfly Bush

Some plants stay with you no matter where you move. Our first butterfly bush is dead and gone in VA I have no idea what happened but I planted total of three bushes at our MA house why? because I love them so much. 

This spring I was able to cut down one bush to my heart content but I had to stop because there was a finch family residing in one of the bird houses and I did not want to bother muma bird and she was bit feisty. I fled the scene and decided to head inside. we have not seen much of the butterflies this season yet but when we do I love recording them. Little Nicolette loves observing them and keeps a great track how many visits per day. Her data accumulation is very interesting and hilarious too. 

The other day I was able to capture this image of this flower which was porking out from the bush. Purple adds a cooler tone to the garden during warmer months. Butterfly bushes come in various colors including white but it is well known for its sweet nectar which attracts butterflies. 

Visiting the idea why I stick with the butterfly bush is very clear because it attracks butterflies and humming birds.   

Monday, July 20, 2015

My love for hydrangeas....

I still recall the day I saw this plant when I was in sixth or seventh grade. It was at one of my mother’s friends house. They had a bush and their neighbor had a bush as well and it had these beautiful huge clusters of flowers together and they were pinkish violet.
And my next encounter was at a garden show which I must have begged my mother to take when I was young teenager. I can recall to this day that she had no interest in gardening and if she did someone helped her to make our garden. During this time I showed an interest in house plants and other colorful foliage. Mainly the lovely begonias which had beautiful 
foilage. They were stunning and had different textures as well. 

This heavy influenced came mainly from a classmate. Her mother was a phenomenal gardener. I always loved and admired her garden and the energy she had to take care of her garden cannot put into words. I knew she was a teacher and mother of three who was very much interest in gardening. She gave me the first seedlings, I was very thankful to her and to this day cherish that single moment.
I was determined to change our garden to somewhat of a jumble. My mother had a lot of patience with me, she did helped me in getting pots, fertilizer, and at the end I am sure she did enjoyed our little garden coming to life as well. Her friends offered me cuttings and plants when possible. I was a young gardner back then. 

I first plated our first Hydrangea bush in Virginia. They were very young plants back then. I saw them when I visited them this year I mainly choose them for its foliage because they turned bright copper like hue in fall perfect to add color to a cookie cutter stamp size garden. I added more during this visit as well they were a pink and blue bush, I can't wait to see them next year. 
Then I planted some in MA and waited and waited they bloomed last year but this year they add so much depth to our yard. I simply could not resist the urge to photograph them day after day. 

Will I add more this fall may be if time allows how about next spring I want to say heck yeah !

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ladies and Chiks...

Our little chicks are no longer little chicks. They are getting bigger and yes I am certain I have two roosters.  One Plymouthrock and a RhodeIsland Red but I have still not figured where to pack them hope to find a petting zoo soon. I am a bit disappointed with the whole drama. The local feed shop did guaranteed 99.9% they are hens so you do the math. Last year feed shop owner sold three hundred hens and there were three roosters but the irony is this year I bet she sold the sameamount or little more but I have got two roosters from that batch. From a total of six chicks which I purchased early spring. Well I got that 0.1% well protected in our coop. 

That being said most of them seems to getting along with each other. Bright side of this story is we will be having two less from the six. I initially wanted only two more extra hens so they could be cosy during winter. Older girls like to hang together leaving the younger group alone basically but they seems to be content together as well. Occasional pecking from older girls are hard not to notice. Placing a pecking block has somewhat reduced pecking at each other and constant distraction from gander bounty keep them all check and happy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Our Vegetable Patch...

I remember three years ago I started our own patch of vegetable garden. It was a raised bed and I frantically plated everything I can in a 4 x 6 feet space. Well, it was an experiment but a successful one and that year we had so much tomatoes but not much beets. I recall I would clip few beet greens to cook and that’s about it. Since then we have expand our growing space one foot at a time. I have had successes and failures during this three years but in all I have learned a lot. 
This tiny bit of raised bed had taught me a great deal from feeding my family to preserving food. I have reduced my trips to grocery store and made conscious decisions what I put in my children’s food. I have also integrated their little hands and young ideas in implementing in our vegetable patch. 
We have reduced the weight of our trash can by adding much to the compost. This little raised bed let us explore the idea of backyard chickens which in return made our compost the best by adding chicken coop waste. We learned nothing goes to waste is a TRUE concept not a myth. Our left over vegetables goes to chickens and in return we make less trips to the local feed store. I am adamant about cutting down my visits to the Midwest cornfield. Again there is a lot to learn about how corn could end up everything we eat and the food industry in the US. 
This summer I panted broccoli, green beans, parsley, sage, thyme came back from last year, swiss chard, and many more. I have already clipped my herbs for cooking, and harvested green beans twice. Chickens are fed with fresh green every day. At the end of the day I feel happy about this tiny edible raised bed of our!