Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wednesday Wandering

I have to sneak out in the early morning to catch the Four O'Clock flowers open. I have them in pink, salmon and yellow in various parts of the flower garden. I collect seeds each year for planting the following year. For me they do not self sow. Four O'Clocks are temperature sensitive and so they open when temperatures cool down in the evening. One year I never saw any flowers because it stayed too hot and were probably open only in the middle of the night. So don't be disappointed if your Four O'Clocks don't actually open at Four O'Clock.
Morning glories open in the evening and close around ten o'clock.  These morning glories are self seeding annuals so I haven't had to plant any years.   I think this variety is called Grandpa Ott.  

I need to weed the Stocks next to one of the pathways. They are fragrant and make nice cut flowers (if they are given proper care) but with the dry weather I have not been watering or weeding them enough. 

Another old fashioned annual I like to grow is Balsam or Touch-Me-Not. 

I like it because it is rather unusual. (I like fragrant, unusual and old fashioned flowers). The seed pod form where the flowers are in between the leaves and with the slightest touch the seed pods burst. 

This is the year I need to divide a BIG patch of Siberian Iris. So far that empty space is what I have dug up. I still need to dig up that big clump and another big patch at the other end of the pathway. Gosh, that has been a lot of work. It is so dry it is like digging in cement even after I watered the patch three days in a row. 

A yellow Four O'clock. I think that little yellow patch is in too much shade so there are not as many blooms on it. 

Toothache plant is an unusual plant I grew for the first time this year for a border along a pathway. Supposedly if you chew on the flowers your mouth will go numb and tingly. I'm not going to personally verify that info but my husband says it is true. 

This is a hosta I need to divide. When I planted it years and years ago it was in a shady area. Times change and now it is in a sunny area near a very tiny pond. Even though it is in the sun the hosta is massive. And it is very tall. In shade the leaves were always blue looking but the last several years they have just looked green. It is flowering now and it is too dry so I may wait until spring to divide it. I'll wait and see. That's really going to be a back breaking chore but has to be done (so says I). 

I planted some of the Siberian Iris divisions along a wide pathway and in front of an area that has a peach tree and some flowers. I'm also going to put those hosta divisions along the back of this space. This area used to be rather sunny but now it is shady because lots of large mulberry trees have grown up along the barbed wire fence that separates this space from a field of corn. One of the massive mulberry branches fell into this space and took off half of the dwarf peach tree. It was too difficult to remove it and it looked like a nice place to sit so all these years later it is still there but not a nice place to sit right now because I see ants there and who wants ants in their pants? So, anyway, this peach tree space has changed so I guess I need to go with the flow. 

And I have also been clearing a new area of lots of scrub brush, brambles and weeds for a new cutting garden next year. (Hubby thinks I'm crazy at this age which happens to be 69). This is on the other side of the pathway from the peach tree and so I also am planting the Siberian Iris along this pathway. However, there are groundhog holes there and I'm kind of creeped out by that. I heard two of them fighting further back in the brush the other day and they came out of the brush with one big one chasing a smaller one. I keep covering up the groundhog holes but the darned groundhog keeps uncovering them. I'm still angry with Mr. or Mrs. Groundhog for eating all my lettuce and peas. I wish he/she would see his/her shadow every time they venture out so they could run back in and stay inside for six more weeks each time. But maybe that only happens with groundhogs from Pennsylvania. 

Purple, pink and white Prairie Phlox grows wild around here. The butterflies love it. 

Another thing I need to divide is my clump of Blackberry Lilies which are so named because the seeds look like blackberries. Weird, though, that it is named Lily because it is actually an Iris if I remember correctly. I started this clump from seeds someone gave me several years ago but I planted them too close to a pathway and now they have grown into the pathway.

I started Green Twister Echinacea from seed a couple of years ago and it has finally flowered this year. 

My husband likes to grow a variety of peppers. Since he had oropharyngeal cancer a number of years ago he can't eat those really hot peppers he used to love so most peppers that he grows now ,.are mild or sweet. 

He also likes to grow a variety of heirloom tomatoes. He grows them from seeds saved from previous years. Plus each year he tries out a new pepper and tomato variety. Some tomatoes we call volunteers reseed themselves in the veggie garden each year. We leave some of them and it is always fun to see what kind of tomatoes they will be. 

Add some onions, garlic and cilantro from the garden to the peppers and tomatoes and you have...

...Salsa for the entire year. Hubby loves his salsa and eats it on everything from eggs to taco salad and then some. 

We have an old cabbage cutter that is missing a part - a wooden box on top to hold the cabbage that slides back and forth. This used to belong to my husband's grandparents. The 8 gallon crock used to belong to his aunt.  My husband loves sauerkraut so I grow cabbages and make him sauerkraut every other year. 

But I don't use that cabbage cutter. I have an attachment for my Kitchen Aid that I use instead. This time I used 30 lbs. of cabbage. I cut five lbs. at a time and add 3 tbsp. of canning/pickling salt to the bowl of cabbage and mix it up by hand so juices start to flow.  Then I pack it into the crock. This is a recipe from an old Farm Journal cookbook I bought long ago when I started gardening and processing my produce.  In about three weeks we will have sauerkraut if all goes well. I'm not a big fan of sauerkraut but I have to say it is not bad when made fresh. 

Last year the rabbits ate most of my cabbage and I had found baby rabbits in a nest under one of my cabbage leaves. This year I think the free range cats have kept the rabbits at bay, thank goodness. I prefer my cabbage in cole slaw or salad or with corned beef or mixed with potatoes from the garden in an Irish dish called colcannon. I have memories of one of my brothers fighting with me over the cabbage heart whenever we had a cabbage at home. Now I'm all grown up and get those cabbage hearts all for myself!

So that's it for this week's wandering off the quilty path. 
Hope all is well in your world. Have a wonderful day!



JCH said...

Wonderful trip- its dull foggy and rainy here and our flowers are done. Yours are soo pretty. :)

Anonymous said...

Your flowers are lovely. Thanks for including the balsams. My grandmother grew them, and I loved picking the seed pods when I was a child. Happy memories!

Linda said...

I always enjoy your Wednesday Wanderings. Your garden is so full of such a huge variety of flowers and veggies. Wonderful.

Robin said...

I enjoyed the walk around your flower garden. I had forgotten about four o'clocks. I used to have them and loved the thick foliage which was almost like a small hedge. I've got a very shady spot that I think will get four o'clocks next year. I made sauerkraut one year. After I had packed the 3 gallon crock I noticed I was no longer wearing my pinkie ring. Rather than comb through all that cabbage I decided I'd probably find it when it was time to bottle it all. When that day came no ring was found. I felt really bad because that meant that I had lost my mother's small wedding ring. It took us two years to go through that batch of sauerkraut and when we opened the 2nd to the last bottle - there was the ring glistening in the middle of all that cabbage. The ring was 14k gold and diamonds the only thing the sauerkraut did to it was get it immaculately clean.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Loving your vast array of colorful flowers and veggies. We made sauerkraut when we lived in Indiana and grew our own cabbage - messy to make but good to eat.

gayle said...

I love seeing all your garden treasures! Four o'clocks bring back memories of my mother showing me the flowers and explaining the name when I was a wee little dirtgrubber.
I'm right there with your hubby on salsa-goes-on-everything, but he can keep all the sauerkraut...

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Most of the time I divide Hostas either spring or fall and replant. In the summer I will dig along one side of a big one and lift it enough to be able to pull some new growths off of it. I have replanted pull offs in the summer by pouring at least a half gallon of water in the new hole before putting the plant in and filling in the dirt. I don't cut/chop my Hosta roots into pieces but if you do, spring and fall are best. Its always a battle to keep them in shady areas as things change in the garden.

MissPat said...

Oh no, now you've reminded me of all the plants that need dividing. But since, at 73, I'm not about to start any new garden areas, I'm afraid many of the divisions will just end up in the compost pile. The vegetable harvest looks appealing. Not a fan of sauerkraut, but my husband loves the stuff. Not that I plan on making any. I remember my grandmother growing balsam. I keep buying seed of old-fashion flowers and then never planting them. I think next year, I should take all the old seed packets and cast them in the garden and see what comes up.

Janie said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful garden! Your flowers are gorgeous, so much inspiration.
And I saw in your previous post you had an invasion of mutated squirrels and rabbits and problems with
ground hogs too?
Yes, hopefully the free range cats rise to the occasion and tame your garden.

Cathy said...

I really enjoyed your garden tour this week! I’ve got to get out and divide my irises and lilies next week (we’re being flooded with rain - literally - this week). I love sauerkraut but have never made it. We’ve got lots of tomatoes, onions and spaghetti squash this year in the vegetable garden. Bruce planted one bed of wildflowers, and we were tickled that we had four o’clock and zinnias come up. I’m going to harvest the seeds so we can grow them again. We had them come back for several years in a different location, but at some point they stopped self-sowing.

Annelies said...

Love your garden !

Sherri said...

Thank you so much for your wanderings. A true joy.....

QuiltGranma said...

Don't set your watch by the 4-o'clocks! Lovely walk through your garden, so refreshing.