Weekend Recap

Over the past couple weekends, my mom and I have been tackling a backyard project: removing two large shrubs from along the back fence, which we did last weekend, then adding a border and mulch, which we did this weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't take an official before picture, and the only picture I could find showing the shrubs at all was taken back in April of this year. They're not perfect, but you can kinda get an idea of just how big these shrubs (shown in the background against the fence) were:

This other photo of one of my garden gnomes kinda shows how big the shrubs were, as well as the irises, which we also took out:

I tried to take a couple after pictures from the same angles as the before pictures, so you can kinda see what a vast improvement we made:

Here's a shot straight on from the patio. You can see the faux stone boarder we added, as well as the strip of river rock (which is slightly larger than the pea gravel, but blended in really well, I think), and the bark we added in front of the fence.

That slumped over clump of grass on the left-hand side of the picture? Was completely covered by one of the shrubs. We had no idea it was even there! And that back row of round paving stones? We haven't seen them in years! Also, you can see how tall the one shrub was by where it scraped the dark wood fence when the wind blew.

Also, here's a shot of the two large stumps we dug out of the ground. The first (tall one standing up) came out really easy, but the smaller one (on its side) fought us very hard for several hours. However, we were triumphant, and now have a nice, neat space in front of the fence.

As a reward for getting this hideous job done, we celebrated with a glass of Junebug Riesling, which is one of our favourite wines. The Grocery Outlet doesn't carry it anymore, so we've been hoarding our last few bottles for special occasions!


Friday Five

  • Frequent readers will know I've been struggling with pain and stiffness in my shoulders, arms, hips, and legs since last August. (We figured it was just "The Johnston Curse" or "The Stiffness" that my grandpa suffered with for years, but after finding some of my grandfather's insurance forms, and doing some research on the internet, I discovered it's actually a real-live disease called Polymyalgia Rheumatica.) After seeing a doctor several times about it since December, and being told I'm too young to have this disease, I was FINALLY able to convince her to at least TRY the prescribed treatment for it - namely prednisone - this past week. I'm starting it today, and hoping for the best. Fingers crossed!!
  • As predicted, the combination of super hot weather outside and super cold air conditioning inside resulted in several people being out sick this week. Luckily not me, but I guess I shouldn’t crow too loudly about that! And keep taking my vitamin C!
  • I haven't done very well at my water challenge this month. I'm lucky if I get one or two full glasses a day! Maybe I should start writing it down. The gluten-free experiment seems to be going along pretty well. I do feel a little better, so maybe it's working!
  • I am SO looking forward to this weekend, and I have nothing fun or special planned except to put together a new piece of garden art I bought last Saturday. And maybe play on the internet a bit. And sleep.
  • Finally, here's a pretty shot from last weekend of our irises in bloom. They're gone now, so I'm glad I was able to get this shot before they faded.



Last Harvest

Well, our little Earthbox garden is done for the season. Yesterday I went out and harvested some peppers and tomatoes for dinner, and today mom and I decided it was time to take the plants out, so I brought in the rest of the peppers and one more little tomato that seemed to pop up over night. 







I'm kinda sad to see the end of the garden (mostly going to miss those sweet, delicious tomatoes!!), but I'm looking forward to next year. We're planning to just get 2 bush goliath tomatoes next year because the one we had this year was the best producer and we just weren't impressed by the big beef tomato, and a couple bell peppers, and I might even do zucchini again, or try something else.


Garden Update in Lomo

Two Sundays ago I went out and took my weekly garden pics, but never got them resized or posted due to having put a bunch of my rubber stamps for sale on eBay, and subsequently selling them all within a couple hours. So then there was packing and printing and shipping, and gah! Why can't all my crap super good quality stuff sell this fast??

Then this past weekend I ended up with a cold that I'm despiratly trying to get over quickly since the Central Coast Writer's Conference is this coming up this weekend and my vacation with my mom to Cambria is next Monday thru Thursday. So I never even made it outside to harvest the few little tomatoes I can see from the kitchen window, let alone take a new set of pictures.

Anyway, the other night I was playing with one of my favourite photo sites, dumpr.net, and decided to do my garden pictures in lomo, just to be different. (BTW, dumpr looks.net has the best lomo filter for pictures,  IMHO.) So, here's what the garden looked like a couple weeks ago. It probably hasn't changed much.


Everything is crazy huge. My pepper plants are both pretty loaded down with peppers in various shapes, sizes and even colours. A lot of them have been turning red, and some have a little orange in them, too.  They have all been delicious sauteed in a little EVOO!


The Big Beefsteak tomato plant itself is ginormous, but the tomatoes never got too terribly big. They have been delicious, though, sweet and meaty, and hopefully we'll get some more over the next couple weeks.


We did get some pretty good-sized, uber juicy and delicious tomatoes off the Bush Goliath plant, but they're starting to fizzle out, too.  This plant was so successful we're planning to just get two fo them next year and skip the beefsteak.

I think the garden may be just about done for this year. The tomatoes are not getting as large, and there are fewer and fewer blossoms on the plants. The weather is finally (hopefully?!?) changeing from the hideously hot summer to a somewhat cooler fall, and I think in a few weeks we'll be saying farewell to the garden of 2012.

You Capture: Green

This week's You Capture theme was green. It was pretty easy since I have several more green tomatoes on both my plants. This is one of the Big Beef tomatoes. This plant has grown to immense proportions, but has produces only small- to medium-sized fruit, which is a bit disappointing. They've also been some strangely misshapen creatures off this plant, which has been odd, but kinda fun, too!


Attack of the {Deliciously} Killer Tomatoes

OMG. Check out this garden:

It's huge and we're suddenly getting tons of produce!

Both pepper plants are going strong. The little one has some baby peppers and blossoms, and the bigger one has several big peppers that are slowly going red. I left them and just took a nice big green bell and a couple little ones that were slightly burned. 





And, the tomatoes! Holy cow! The Big Beef tomato plant has exploded! Although none of the toms are very big, they're very red and juicy and delicious!



My Bush Goliath tomato plant, however, has several very good sized toms, most of which were ready to harvest today, too. Although they're not ginormous, either (I think it's been too hot and they're ripening faster than they're growing), they are the best tasting tomatoes I've ever had!



And, I love this awesome harvest bag from Fiskars! 


I was lucky to have it today as I ended up harvest a LOT of tomatoes and really needed something other than the bottom of my shirt to carry them in. 


Here's my haul in all its bright red glory:







August Break 2012