Tag Archive: flowers

Sweet, Sweet Summertime!


What is it about time that makes the summer go by so super quickly?  Time seems to go so fast now anyway, but summer flashes by at light speed.  It’s crazy!  It breaks my heart to think about the kiddos going back to school next week, but I will have more blogging time if there is an upside.

Gardening this time of year mostly means a little weeding and a lot of picking.  We have also started seeds for our fall garden under grow lights in the basement.  I want to do some canning soooo badly, but I haven’t been able to get a whole bunch of tomatoes ripe at the same time yet.  We have had several dinners with marinara sauce from scratch though.  There’s nothing quite like it.  🙂


The Super Awesome Husband looks at our haul every day, shakes his head and asks what happened to the good ‘ole red tomatoes.  Hee hee!  I have some of those too, but honest to goodness people, the colors and flavors of the others are incredible!  And purple peppers?  Heck yeah!  🙂

See??  I have red.  (Or it’s actually pink, but shhhh don’t tell him)! 😉 😉   Problem is, the stupid squirrels and birds like them too.  UGH!!!  I think what bothers me even more than the fact that they steal my tomatoes, is that they leave half of them to rot on the ground.  If you little jerks are going to rob my garden, at least eat every.single.delicious.nutritious.bite!!!!  Don’t waste half of it.  OR there are plenty of little ones, so leave my huge slicers ALONE!!!!  Sorry.  Deep breath.  I can’t stand waste or tomato thieves.  🙂


Can’t have tomatoes without fresh basil.  Mmmmmmm.  I’m getting hungry now.  My favorite meal in the summer is sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  Never gets old.


Tomatoes and basil are meant to be together.  They are fabulous companion plants.  Many of my tomato plants in the garden (like this one), and all of my tomatoes in pots have basil growing around them.  They are supposed to make the tomatoes taste even better when grown together.  Plus, it makes it super easy to pick your maters and grab a handful of basil to put on top.  🙂


See!  I told you I could grow carrots once I got them sprouted!!  It’s a jungle in there!!


Beets!!!  So far (fingers crossed) the evil mole/vole duo hasn’t cleaned out the beet patch.  This guy has a hot date with my juicer in his future.  Yummy!


I really hate the flavor of black licorice.  The Back to Eden film got me curious about fennel though.  Paul swore it was sweet and delicious and everyone seemed to love it.  Then I found a Bronze Fennel plant at our local farm stand and couldn’t resist how pretty it was.


Now I can’t walk out to the garden without breaking off a little sprig and eating it.  The flavor is amazing!!  I could probably sit and eat the whole plant.  I don’t know if they all taste this way, or if it’s my rich, Back to Eden soil.  You HAVE to try some!


Still only a couple of honeybees this summer.  I can’t wait to keep some bees one day.  Until then, we’ll have to rely on the little baby bumblebees.


My daughter’s Scarlett Runner Beans.  We love the flowers!


So I’ve been meaning to share with you some of my favorite gardening books.  I LOVE to read.  Though I don’t have a lot of time for it right now, these books keep me happy all winter while I can only dream about my little garden.

The Heirloom Life Gardener

The Gardener’s A to Z Guide to Growing Organic Food

The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self Sufficiency

Mini Farming:  Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

And because I am OBSESSED with getting chickens:

Homemade Living:  Keeping Chickens

I promise you will be hearing more about my chicken obsession.  😉  Lots more….

sign off green

DISCLOSURE:  This post may contain affiliate links, and I may receive compensation for sharing products and information on this site.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting Walking Softly Upon the Earth!  See this page for full site Disclosure.

Chasing Away the Crickets

Sorry for the crickets this past week. Summer vacation started for the kidlets, so we’ve been busy living it up with trips to the beach and park and hitting up their favorite playgrounds. And yes, there has been ice cream involved. We take summer vacation very seriously in this house. 🙂

The kids totally freaked out this week when these guys made their return:


I had no clue until very recently that our friends on the west coast do not have fireflies.  It’s one of those things I take for granted seeing every summer and I just assumed that everyone had them.  I can’t imagine summer without the kids running around catching these magical little guys.

I have a bunch of really cool posts in the works, but instead of making you wait while I finished them up, I thought we’d see how things were going in the garden.

Remember the sad state of affairs my marigold window box was in? Well, I spread out the few marigolds that sprouted and added some nasturtium seeds to fill it in and it’s not looking half bad now. Way less sad.


The kids and I were so excited to find a few Sweet Pea Currant tomatoes and Sun Gold Cherry tomatoes ripe this week. Sooooo tasty!! It just doesn’t get better than homegrown tomatoes!  If I HAD to choose just one thing to grow in my garden, it would probably be tomatoes.  Now ask me what kind of tomato and I would have a problem.  You need one for every color of the rainbow, right?!?!  🙂


Purple Beauty Pepper. It’s teeny tiny, but we don’t judge. 🙂  I can’t figure out who is chomping on her leaves.  I suspect a Hornworm, but haven’t found one yet and they are usually very easy to spot.  It’s a mystery.


Rosita has finally gotten over her transplant shock and her unfortunate run in with a slug. She really liked the compost tea I gave her, but what lady doesn’t like her tea? 🙂


I am loving the ground cherries. They form little lanterns like tomatillos.  If you are new I’ll tell you now, I love the out of ordinary when it comes to my garden. I pick a lot of my seeds based on unusual colors and I love stumbling across something I’ve never seen in the grocery store before.


My Sweet Pea’s lavender. She loves it like I do.


Garlic scapes I think. I planted all soft neck garlic though, so I’m not completely sure. Hmmmm…..


I may have a new garden obsession. Borage. It is so, so, so pretty!! I killed it all last year before I saw any blooms. (It’s a learning experience people)! 🙂 The plants in front of my strawberries are all way ahead of the ones by the tomatoes and are now blooming. Take a look and I bet you’ll be planting some seeds yourself.

IMG_9346 IMG_9352 IMG_9344 I’m so in love with this shot.  The fuzzy leaves and stems make it look like a watercolor painting.  I may have to print this one for the wall. IMG_9340 cropped IMG_9338  IMG_9316 IMG_9311  IMG_9321  IMG_9347 IMG_9355

See, I told you I was obsessed!!!  I get so excited when something I’ve planted from seed grows and flourishes.  If you have always purchased plants to plant in your garden, you HAVE to try growing at least one thing from seed this year.  It’s nothing short of a miracle to put this little, tiny seed in the ground, and a few weeks later get this. ^^^

This week will be packed with fun posts.  I promise not to stay away this long again.  Happy Summer everyone!!

Listen to the Whispers

I can’t even begin to stress enough that, in order to have a healthy, productive garden, you must listen!  You must listen to others with more experience, and you must listen to your plants.  They whisper, they don’t yell, so you have to listen very carefully.  (Well, except for maybe when they are being eaten alive by slugs, because I swear they scream then.  Or maybe I’m just hearing myself.  Man I hate those slimy pigs!  Ugh).

It is so very important to hear what they are telling you.  If they are yellow and sad looking they may need a little feeding or, when you look closer, you might find they are sick.  They may also be telling you that you have chosen the wrong spot for them.  Just because you think they would look pretty in a certain spot doesn’t mean that is where they will flourish.  Take, for example, my spinach.  I thought it would grow beautifully in my vertical gutter garden.  It’s doing okay.


But on the end next to the deck, where it is fairly shaded, look how much better this plant is growing.  If I hadn’t slowed down and listened, I might have missed them telling me it’s too hot and sunny in this spot.


As for my carrot experiment using vermiculite?  I think it’s safe to say it was a success.  Look at all the carrot babies!!


Aren’t they cute??


Guess who is planting with vermiculite next year?  Yep.  This girl!  So glad I listened.


Want to see what else is happening in the garden right now?  We had a carrot top survive the winter in the compost and sprout months ago with the tomatoes and lettuce head.  Carrots are one of those plants that only go to seed their second year.  We’ve left it in this spot hoping that we might get some seeds to collect.  Look at what’s happening!  It’s getting ready to bloom!!


Someone else decided to grow from the compost too.  I have no clue what this is.  Cucumber?  Squash?  Pumpkin?  No idea.  It will be fun to watch and find out though.


I absolutely adore sweet peas.  I tried growing them for years, while my thumb was still pretty black, and never kept them alive long enough to bloom.  I think now that my thumb is a pale shade of green I might give them a try this fall or next year.  There is just something special about the swirly twirly little arms and beautiful, sweet flowers.  This is my second season with snap peas, and they are so pretty (and yummy) too!  Not quite the same, but the tasty treats they supply more than makes up for the lack of color and fragrance.




The kids flipped over these last year.  I wish we had gotten tons more planted.  Maybe next year…


This folks, is our cute little garden toad.  The kids have decided to call him “Croaker.”  The pup-sicle tried to eat him last night.  Well, maybe he was just chasing with the silly little hopping creature that was in his yard, but I swooped in to the rescue anyway.  No toad eating allowed here.


Our yard is full of dragonflies right now too.  I love the green ones the most, I think, but this one is awfully pretty too.  I had one of the green ones sit and pose for me a couple of years ago, while I took pictures til my heart’s content.  I’ll have to dig those out for you sometime.


I’ve been working so hard to get everything in the ground that I haven’t checked on the other plants in a while.  I was pretty darn excited to see this:


and this:


Are you kidding me?!?!  Baby grapes???  🙂


Almost missed the blossoms on the ground cherries.  This is my first time trying these, and I am so excited to taste them and see what they are all about.  Sometimes you read the description on a packet of seeds and just have to have them.  Or is that just me??  🙂


Grape Jellybean tomatoes.  I’ll take them over candy jellybeans any day!  They are my Little Dude’s absolute favorite.


Chamomile flowers.  These all reseeded on their own.  I really need to learn how to make my own chamomile tea.  I grew them last year just because they were pretty, but I am a big tea drinker, so I shouldn’t just let them go to the compost bin when they are done.


The radishes need pulling.  They are so fun to grow.  I just need to find something yummy to do with them now.  The only way I have ever eaten radishes is in salads.  There has to be something else to do with them, right?


They are just busting out!


Sungold tomatoes on the way!


Baby Round Zucchini were one of my favorites last year.


I am so looking forward to Saturday.  The kids’ last day of school is Friday, and this will be our first soccer-free weekend in months.  There will be lots of playing in the garden and just hanging out with the family.  I hope your weekend is wonderful and all of you Dads have a great Father’s Day!

Special Mother’s Day Gift

This past weekend was absolutely beautiful and I was totally spoiled for Mother’s Day!  We had a lovely picnic at the park and I even got to spend a little time in the garden.  I was surprised by an extra special gift when I walked out back later in the afternoon.  My mom gave me some of my great-grandmother’s iris about 12 years ago.  I remember them blooming beautifully at her house, and my mom has tons that always bloom at her’s.  Mine have never bloomed in all the years I’ve had them.  Never.  Not once.  I’ve moved them, fed them and begged them.  Nada.  I walk outside Sunday and what do I see?


I’d like to think it was my great-grandmother sending me a Mother’s Day gift.  🙂  I’m so happy to finally have them bloom.

Dew drops on strawberries.  I love how there is always magic in the garden if you take a second and look around.  There are a lot of evenings when I will sneak out of the house for a few minutes just for a quiet moment alone with the plants.  You can call it therapeutic or renewing or spiritual, but it really is good for the soul.



Can’t wait for them to ripen!


I really can’t believe how healthy the plants are!  The leaves are HUGE and you can tell how happy they are this year!


My unused chives in bloom.  🙂  Aren’t they pretty??  They earn their keep making me smile.


Remember the Pink Senorita Zinnias I showed you growing in my greenhouse?  Well I dug through my photo files from last year and found a shot I got while they were blooming.  I don’t know if this is true for all Zinnias, since last year was my first year to grow them, but the blooms lasted FOREVER!  I hate when you have this gorgeous flower one day and it is gone the next, so I was thrilled to death to go out day after day after day and see these.  I actually bought seeds for two other kinds of Zinnias to try this year for that reason.  I’m really hoping to attract and keep some bees around, so I am adding lots of flowers to my garden this year.  The drop in our bee population is very noticeable and very scary.


Does anyone else have an obsession with succulents?  I love the colors and shapes and how easy they are to care for.  I have this spot at the bottom of the deck stairs, right up against the house that is overrun with weeds every year.  Nothing grows well there, well except for the weeds.  I’m trying a pretty succulent garden there this year and hoping that they really are hardy enough to survive the heat and cold.  I found this beauty over the weekend at our local farm stand and might have to go back for another.  I’m in LOVE!!!!  I’ll have to do a whole post one day soon about succulents.  They really are a LOT of fun!


I hope all the mamas had a wonderful Mother’s Day!