In the Garden

The first round of tomatoes didn’t fare so well during my absence, so a few days after I returned from Scotland I went to the Greenhouse and purchased a few plants to replace the ones that were dying or stunted. They had a hard time at first in the extreme heat, but soon after our days were filled with rain and some cooler evening temps and the tomatoes have been thriving since then. Except for the flea beetles and my homemade organic insect spray. It was close to the miracle recipe I used last year only I think I went a little heavy on the clove oil. That’s how to burn your plants, folks.

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The plants that are doing the best in the garden this season are the mint and sunflowers — thanks entirely to me being lazy and not cleaning out the bed after last year’s harvest. That’s most likely the reason for the flea beetles as well. Learn from my mistakes.

I’ve got a ton of mint and all these big sunflowers that are very close to blooming and if that’s the most I get out of my garden this year, I’ll be thankful because it smells nice and sunflowers make me happy.

Also in the garden – peppers (jalapeno and bell), lemongrass, dill (it came back to life!), and chives.

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This is Clare, eating bermuda grass that’s growing up in the sides of the garden. It’s her way of helping.

Over on the west side of the yard next to the shed I have my butterfly garden. It’s grown quite a bit since I planted it last year and it’s served its purpose in attracting pollinators and covering up the dilapidated part of the shed.

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There’s sage and bee balm and echinacea and zinnias and coreopsis and sunflowers.

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I noticed the leaves of echinacea withering, looking lacy, and turning brown. Investigated further and found a few plants covered in frass (that’s fancy talk for insect poop). This was terrifying thanks to my long struggle with pests, but instead of jumping the gun and spraying it with insecticidal soap I turned to the internet and found that I’ve got a nice little colony of Silvery Checkerspots.

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It would be nice to see them make it to adulthood, but for now I’m just happy that my butterfly garden is doing what I wanted it to — attracting butterflies and giving them a good place to lay their eggs. Even if they are making an absolute mess of my echinacea. That’s why I planted it!

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Weekends and Butterflies and Pretty Dresses

I spent Saturday with my mom, one of my favorite things to do. On a typical Saturday when she comes up to visit we head over to the local farmers’ market. This past weekend was our first trip of the season and it was a lovely, warm day. Well, kinda hot. I’m not acclimated to the warmer temps yet (it always takes me a while) so it was a little bit uncomfortable for me.

 

Mom bought a few gallons of plants and I hauled them around the market for her, but didn’t buy any for myself this time. Before I buy anything else I am going to try to get my other flower bed cleaned out and ready for plants. I was inspired this weekend to plant a bed exclusively full of plants native to Oklahoma. There’s a stand at the market that sells only natives and beneficials and it’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a long time anyway. I’ll post updates here and try to get you a few before and after photos. And maybe some in the middle ones, though I tend to forget those.

 

The master garden was in full bloom this weekend and their butterfly beds were attracting all kinds of pollinators. This year in my own beds I have tried to plant things to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. So far I have only seen one hummingbird at my feeder, but it’s one more than I have had in the 7 years I’ve lived in this house 🙂 Such a change from my parents’ house, where hummingbirds tend to swarm.

 

We did a little shopping on Saturday as well and I found some cute dresses for summer. It’s so nice to be wearing light, bright clothing again.

 

My hair has gotten really, really long. Longer than it’s been at any other point in my life. About once every two weeks or so I toy with the idea of cutting it off somewhere around shoulder length, but then I realize how much I love it. When I’m sitting the ends touch my waistband in the back. I can twist it up, pull it back, pull it half up, curl it, straighten it (I never do that, but hey, options). So I think I’ll let it go. I have started pulling out the grays and according to my mom I’m going to have two grow back for every one that I pull out, so I should be easy to spot in a crowd soon.