Planting Fall Bulbs for Spring Color

                                                                                                                                                   

                                            
                                        
                               

I decided to expand my perennial garden next year and found these gorgeous flowers at Michigan Bulb.  I started the perennial garden below this year and want to add to it in the spring.  I fall in love with these pink bouquet tulips.  I’m going to add them along with Alpine Rosy Bells around the rocks in the garden.    


I currently have Knock Out Roses and Yarrow planted.  I will be adding more rocks to give it a more naturalized look.  I had a difficult time keeping the weeds down, so landscape fabric is must in the spring. 


I live these pink parfait lilies.  I’m going to plant these behind the birdbath and feeder shown in the picture.  I hope to mix in some wild flowers and add a bird house.  The great thing about bulbs, you plant them once and the plants come back each year.  Planting bulbs is a great way to add color next spring and summer and an inexpensive way to expand your garden.  The stock at Michigan Bulb has gotten low, but check out Lowes or Home Depot.  They usually have a good selection of bulbs for fall planting too.  Winter is around the corner, hurry before you miss your bargain.   

                                                                       

Vegetable Garden Closed



I’ll be spending the day closing out the garden.  Frost it hit Friday night, so it’s done for the season.  This is my second year gardening, and I’m really enjoying it.  There’s nothing better than picking fresh vegetables in your back yard and preserving them for future use.  This year I planted a variety of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, green beans and Sugar Baby watermelons.  

I love sliced tomatoes with a little mayo.  I freeze the green beans to use with green beans and corn for holiday meals and family gatherings.  This year I froze a variety of peppers and tried my hand at pickling them.  I have to say the pickled peppers are the bomb.  I sent a few jars home with my daughter and in-laws and they received great reviews.  They are so good the cleaning lady at my office chased me down as I was leaving with two empty jars asking me to refill them, lol. 
I eat them on nachos, in chili and anything else that I can find to put them on.   I made fresh salsa and canned it.  It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.  I love being able to pull out a jar of garden fresh salsa during the winter and it tasting like I just worked down to the garden and picked the ingredients.  I’ll be munching while reading my kindle when the cold weather sets in.  What I’ve enjoyed most is having my grandson involved in watering and harvesting the veggies. 

Here’s a picture of one of my prized tomatoes weighing in at 1.136 ounces.  It was huge and delicious.  I managed to harvest at least 6 colanders of green beans putting away 5 – 6 quarts in the freezer.  Probably the same amount for peppers.  In addition to the frozen peppers, I’ve canned (pictured below) 30 – 40 pints/quarts of pickled peppers, most given away.  
 
I’m working on 12 pints of salsa this week-end.  I’ll be putting them in baskets along with salsa chips and homemade cookies and brownies for Christmas gifts.   Do you have a garden?  How productive was it?  If not, are you interested in planting one and exchanging gardening techniques and seeds next season?  Please leave me  a comment and let me know your thoughts.  You can find my gardening blog here

How To Start A Home Vegetable Garden

Yep, this diva is turning into a gardener.  I’ve staked off my vegetable garden, purchased a compost bin, and drawing plans to install additional flower gardens over the course of the next year.  I’ve decided to start small and gradually add in various gardens. 

Right now I’m going to start with the beds around my house and the vegetable garden.  The soil is great for edging my beds and clearing out weeds, so that will be my week-end chore depending on the  weather.   I pulled out a spade that I had in the storage building to see if I had the stamina to make the edging around the beds, this is something that I normally pay to have done, snap – I’ve figured it out.  I must also say, that my trench is better than the landscaper’s too.  I’m so glad that I tried this spade, I was heading to Lowe’s this week-end to buy one of those half-moon edgers.  This will do just fine!  Oh, please disregard the weeds, I’m getting to them.  Can you believe that I’ve had this tool in the storage building for 20 years, lol.  I’m debating on whether I should pull up this Alberta Spruce.  This is suppose to be a dwarf.  I didn’t know that a dwarf would reach 6 feet, lol.  I love it, but it has become too big for the spot that it’s in and it’s overshadowing my Azalea.  I would love to relocate it, but I don’t know if it would survive the shock of moving it.  I want to place Double Knockout Roses on that corner and a few other places in the border. 

I’ve staked off my vegetable garden.  I’m using the tarp to kill the grass, but it is as green as ever underneath.  I may have to resort to Roundup.  I debated on a raised bed, but decided to go with the rich soil in my yard.  My development used to be a farm, and my little acre of ground used to be a pig pen.  Everything grows!  I’ve decided to do some container gardening as well.  I’m going to plant a few tomato plants, cucumbers and herbs in pots on my decks.  In the garden I’ll plant squash, zucchini, lettuce and a few pumpkins.   

Another project that I will be working on is putting up a privacy fence.  My neighbors have a dilapidated barn behind me, which is another story.  I want to hide the ugly barn and use the fence as a backdrop for my gardens.  As soon as the rain stops, we’ll clean the fence line, till the garden and install a 6 foot wooden fence.  I’ll be planting shade, butterfly and a cutting garden as well as a little reading area where I can admire the fruits of my labor.   I’m going to use field stone to use as a border.  I got lucky, there’s a couple who has a retaining wall made out of field stone and they no longer want the walls.  I can take as much as I want for free.  I’m having a few garden benches, birdhouses and a tree house made for my grandson.  I’m in search of old benches, bird baths, and old watering cans so I’ll be attending auctions this summer in search of a few fabulous finds.  As a matter of fact, I’m heading to a flea market in Amish country next month.  I love Lancaster, Pa. and try to spend a few days there every year.  It’s such a peaceful way of life, the food is great and I always find a few treasures.   

Stay tuned for my adventures in gardening.  I’m actually thinking about starting a gardening blog to chronicle my growth as a Zone 6 gardener?  Do you garden?  If so, please leave me a comment with a name for my gardening blog.  If you have a gardening blog feel free to leave a link.  If you don’t garden, please leave me a comment/suggestion anyway.  I love them!