Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Wednesday Wandering


It's Wednesday again. Time to mention some non quilty things that have gone on here the past week. 
It was hot, hot, hot most of last week. However, the tomatoes did not take a break from ripening.  They were and still are everywhere.   We grow a lot of heirloom varieties that we save from seeds year to year.  My husband was proud of his Rainbow and Gold Medal varieties this year. Several weighed over a pound and one weighed 20 ounces. Gosh they are so juicy and tasty and great on a hamburger or in a BLT. 

We also grow a couple of varieties of paste tomatoes we use to make sauces, salsas, ketchup, and so on. 

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! 

Peppers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro...all from our garden. 


I've been slowly, slowly clearing an area of brambles, maple trees, honeysuckle, stinging nettle and other weeds. I'm making a few paths and have been doing some research on native wildflowers for both sun and shade and have found a good seed source. I hope to have this area turned into a native wildflower area in a few years. 

Another weed I've been lopping down is Pokeweed. There was a forest of it in there. I was watching Gardner's World a few weeks ago and had to laugh when someone told about growing it in their garden.  I was always going to try using the berries as a dye but that's for another day and another time. I want these in this area gone!! 

Pokeweed is edible but poisonous if not prepared correctly.  The most common dish prepared with this weed is called Poke Sallet. 

Tony Joe White and later Elvis sang about this weed in the song Polk Salad Annie. 

And Pokeweed is often represented in appliqued quilts. Barbara Brackman wrote an interesting blog post on Poke Weed and Politics that includes images of quilts with Poke Weed applique

Goldenrod also grows wild here but I leave some patches of it because I can normally keep those patches under control so it doesn't become invasive.  Several varieties of goldenrod are listed as native wildflowers of Iowa so I don't have to worry about buying any of those seeds for my wildflower plot.  I've actually dried goldenrod in the past and used it in wreaths I made of dried flowers. 

In the cottage garden I have one lone sunflower finally blooming. The deer ate most of my sunflower plants before they even bloomed. A few plants that were left and ready to bloom were blown over in the derecho and did not recover.  Earlier in the year some type of critter (maybe a groundhog or raccoon or even a big free range cat) got into my fountain and completely knocked it over and broke part of it and pulled out the pump. One of these days I'll look into fixing it. I like the sound of running water in the garden. 

The burgundy flower there is a rose. I added four of those to the cottage garden last fall. They were eaten down by deer earlier in the spring. I think all of our measures to keep deer away may have kept them away long enough for a few of my roses to bloom. The plant with the purple flower that is near there and now blooming is Obedient Plant or False Dragonhead. I planted one plant over 20 years ago and now Obedient Plant pops up here and there in the cottage garden. While doing my research on native wildflowers I found out that Obedient Plant is native to this area. So I will probably dig some of it up and transfer it over to the native wildflower garden whenever the time is right. 

I've gone off the beaten path and read a few books within the last couple of weeks too when it was too hot to do much else during the day. I do a lot of my reading in the middle of the night when I have a difficult time sleeping or if it is too hot to sleep. 

Stay by [Catherine Ryan Hyde]

I love the author's writing style. I loved the story too. Will read more by this author. 

Thief River Falls by [Brian Freeman]

Supposed to be a thriller but I wasn't all that thrilled although the ending did surprise me. I got bored about half way through so did some speed  reading (skimmed through the pages). 

The Secrets of Lost Stones by [Melissa Payne]

Do you believe in magic? (I do). All loose ends were tied up, thank goodness! 

Heaven Adjacent by [Catherine Ryan Hyde]

Sometimes you just need some life changes. Another good one by Catherine Ryan Hyde. And I'll probably read even more by this author.  I saw one source (Wikipedia) describe her books as: "generally optimistic explorations of ordinary people, characters who are troubled or down-on-their-luck or recovering from past difficulties or abuse. "

I am fortunate I can stop and smell the roses from time to time. Oh, the miracles of a garden!


Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

I like your off the beaten path!! Those flowers are all so pretty! and your books look interesting!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I always enjoy your garden photos. I tore out a lot of goldenrod early this summer but see I missed a huge patch which is now in bloom. I have to admit it is pretty because yellow is my favorite color but I just don't want it everywhere.

---"Love" said...

My mother used to make, we called it "Tomato Relish", like that, and it was sooooo good! I bet yours ia too! Wish I had a jar of it. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful flowers. ---"Love"

Janie said...

Your tomatoes are a thing of beauty! And that salsa, wow!
I enjoyed your garden photos and plans. We have cooler weather here and sleeping is easier now.
I looked through some of your previous posts, your quilts are scrappy goodness!

MissPat said...

Thanks for the garden update. The deer have even eaten the poke weed that grew up at the edge of the compost pile. I've cut it down once but need to attack it again. I didn't want to get into the high grass to avoid the deer ticks. Lyme disease is a big problem around here. Other than the marigolds and zinnia, my flowers are winding down. Rudbeckia still blooming, coneflowers fading. Autumn joy sedum and chrysanthemums budding up, but the deer will demolish those as soon as they bloom. I should spray deer repellent again to try to forestall that, but some days I just can't muster the energy. I envy your tomato harvest.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

What a beautiful, bountiful garden! I have some tomatoes and peppers but the tomatoes aren't ripe yet. We planted them late. Your salsa with everything from your garden looks delicious! Pretty rose too.

Linda said...

What a lot of tomatoes and jars of salsa! Plenty to store for livening up winter meals. I always enjoy wandering through your garden, so much to see. I would get very disheartened if deer came into my garden and ate everything I had so carefully planted. Good for you that you survive these raids so cheerfully.

Laura said...

Love going off the beaten path with you, Cathy! Your tomato harvest is fantastic! :)

Emily said...

Your tomatoes look amazing! And that salsa looks delicious. I like seeing your wildflowers. I went to a workshop on natural dyes (at least 20 years ago!) and we used 4 different dyes that day. Goldenrod was one of them and my favorite in terms of finished fabric color.

cspoonquilt said...

Dang, that's a lot of salsa! And your tomatoes are all so beautiful!!
What's your recipe and how long do you process them? And what do you use your salsa on or in?! Oh, I would love to see your garden in person. It sounds like you have a bunch of interesting corners. take care!

Angie said...

Thanks for another walk through the garden - you keep me inspired (I'm such a novice gardener)! Your tomato crop looks amazing! Ours was lackluster this year, so I'm in awe.

gayle said...

Oh, those tomatoes! And your salsa looks pretty drool-worthy!
Loved the tour of your gardens, too!
Years ago when I worked at my FIL's florist shop, we were unpacking a big order of flowers and I spied a familiar one.
"Goldenrod? Why on earth would you order goldenrod?" I asked. "I've got a yard full of it that I could bring in for free."
"That's not goldenrod. It's Solidago," he replied and showed me the invoice. "It's used for a filler flower."
I went and looked up 'Solidago' on the internet. Solidago is the scientific name for goldenrod...
I brought in a big bucketful the next day.

Quilter Kathy said...

My mouth is watering over that delicious looking salsa... and all from your garden produce... amazing accomplishment!

QuiltGranma said...

You are so energetic getting so much done! Good job! Somehow I missed, or do not recall having read before, the Poke and Clay article by Barbara Brackman. Thanks for that link back. I too am hoping for a wildflower garden. Something to replace the golden grassy weeds with some flowers that will survive the dry and heat here.