Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How does my garden grow?

Not very well.  I get the strangest looking weeds and even stranger looking insects.  Never a bumble bee, sometimes a wasp.  Occasionally a plain white butterfly.  Lots of sparrows in the back yard, the robins like to hang out in the front of the house, more grass.


While pulling the never ending scourge of the mutated weeds, I snapped a couple of photos.


Could these 'weeds' really be daisies?  I pulled them anyway


I did plant vegetables for three summers and fed them well.  I don't know if this contributed to the mutated weeds.  Summer before last I had an invasive beetle which pretty much destroyed my hydrangea, rose bush and anything nearby  (except weeds).  I like to use organic products, but I don't think they did the job.  


One lone flower, the bush has lots of new growth but just one flower


I do continue to use white vinegar as my #1 weed killer.  It burns them down to a crisp, but you need to be careful with splashing.  


I never expected to see a rose on this poor bedraggled bush
Oregano


My oregano came back nice and full, fragrant, but started to go to seed too fast.




First tomato. This is a patio variety, I am not doing any in-ground planting of veggies or herbs.  Just flowers in the front.




Ah, a normal bug, walking on a bunch of weeds I just yanked out of the ground.  Actually she was scurrying along quickly.




An angel keeps a watchful eye.  This stained glass window belongs to my neighbor  (as does the ugly fake 'green' fence.)  Wish I could get a photo of the whole window.


Francesca the fig tree
My fig tree is so huge and has lots of figs.  I rarely get to enjoy the fruit, either they remain hard and green and never ripen, or the birds and squirrels finish them off.  Only the first year it was planted did I eat lots of these sweet white figs. 






Slowly but surely I am making progress.  Still have lots of  things to do, like washing the patio furniture.






I am looking forward to eating breakfast outside, reading and enjoying the fruits of my labor before the heat and humidity set in for a while.


I am hoping to catch a glimpse of Venus tonight.  Weather permitting,  Staten Islanders, along with folks across Alaska, the Pacific and Eastern Asia, will be treated to one of the rarest recurring celestial spectacles visible from Earth.   The planet Venus will pass between us and the sun, appearing as a tiny black dot crossing the sun's surface.

The so-called "transit of Venus" actually occurs in pairs a few years apart (the last one was in 2004), and then the phenomenon does not reappear for more than a century. The 2012 occurrence, visible on Staten Island near sunset, is the last time anyone on Earth will see the phenomenon until 2117 -- 105 years from now.


xo

58 comments:

  1. I've often had years where I've only gotten one hydrangea too. I wonder why? (Last year was the first time I had tons of them though.)
    I would love to have a fig tree!

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  2. Your garden is coming along -- you'll have tomatoes to eat by July 4th! I love, love fresh figs--I have a recipe for sugar fig freezer jam that's marvelous! We have two bushes here at the camp, and one at the house we're trying to sell. I collect every one of them I can!! :)

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  3. Oh I hope that the weather permits you to see such a rare event!

    I might be asking the folks at the local nursery about my garden, if I were you. Sounds as if something is going awry. Have you tried Epsom salts for your roses? Can't hurt and might help.

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  4. Your garden is looking so wonderful!You have tomatoes already, mine are still full of leaves and no buds yet. Loving your fig tree:)Does it do well in Zone 5? Hoping to catch a glimpse of Venus as well. Thanks for sharing your pretty garden:)Hugs,Poppy

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  5. Dearest Barbara,
    I never knew that you are engaged in gardening as well, beside your gorgeous tablscaping. There must be times really upsetting like not being able to harvest well; maybe learning from error and trial. I am always wishing good luck for you. Hppe you are not too discouraged!!!
    Enjoyed the photos a lot, I enlarged all of them.
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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  6. Barbara,trovo tutto carino quello che hai mostrato!Baci,Rosetta

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  7. Every year I become more manic about gardening. This year was the year of simplifying. But those little noxious weeds get me every time. I am off to try your white vinegar.

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  8. Barbara, you sure do have an amazing garden in more ways than one! I can surely vouch for that! lol
    I remember that rose you had blooming in November!
    The tomatoes look like they are coming along nicely.

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  9. I hear you with the fig. My comes back nice and healthy, but I have yet to get a fruit to mature. Major bummer. Lucky you with the baby tomato!!!
    XO,
    Lisa

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  10. Barbara F.,
    I love your photos. That is a wild flower/weed, you pulled up. They're pretty weeds. Ha! Ha!
    Looks like everything is coming along nicely. Our tomatoes look bad this year for some reason.
    You have a pretty little one on the vine.
    Pat

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  11. I've never used white vinegar to help kill weeds. I'll have to give it a try. I envy you those figs. It must be wonderful to pluck them from your own yard. I hope you got/get to see the moon. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. I loved seeing pictures from your garden. The rose is so lovely. My vegetables are not doing so well this year. But yesterday we had a rain! It's so unusual for CA. So I hope it will help my garden a bit.

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  13. If only everything would grow as well as the weeds. I like your idea for using white vinegar to get rid of them. I'm going to give that one a try.
    Figs seem to do well around here. I don't have any, but there is a house near my office that sells them for awhile every summer.
    I hope everything is favorable for you to be able to see Venus.

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  14. Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for your sweet comments... Yes , I made "La Donnina" glad you like her, she is pretty cute. The "weed" in your first picture looks like Feverfew, it is an herb and the flower resembles that of Camomile . I have it throughout my gardens and I love it. It reseeds easily but is not a weed, enjoy it next time you see it.
    Happy gardening.
    Ciao,
    Mary

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  15. I have to use your vinegar tip on my weeds...I love growing flowers and veggies, but I hate weeding, and I always choose the hottest day of the year to do it! Your tomatoes are looking good! Have you tried to Google tips on figs, maybe they need something added to the soil to ripen. Keep up the good work!

    XO,
    Jane

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  16. I love your pictures especially your oregano and tomatoes; i love how smell and the tomatos is the best ah dear I hope to my nect spring (september here) plants things like you:) lol

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  17. I hope you get to see Venus tonight! Tell us all about it if you can.

    I would call those weeds daisies in my yard because I'm pathetic and have to claim what I can. I didn't have trouble with bugs eating things or weeds. The thing that seems to have done irreparable damage to some things is the drought we've had for several years now. We have had rain lately, and I'm trying to revive things, but it's still pretty bad in some parts of the garden.

    I also wanted to tell you that I want to try the recipe in the previous post. I can't have a lot of refined sugar either.

    I'm behind because my computer has NOT be wanting to let me comment for days now. I think my daughter has uninstalled some culprits so I'm trying to catch up. Thought it was easier to just yak it all up here.

    It's always something...

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  18. I hope you get to see the spectacle tonight! The guys said 6PM would be perfect, I did step outside and it's all cloudy. Oh well, if I eat right and exercise maybe I'll be around for the next one:@)
    PS-All I can say about the gardening is, good luck, it's a never ending battle!

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  19. I don't think we will be able to see Venus from where we live.:( We certainly won't be around 105 years from now, either!:)
    I hope your garden will be a source of pleasure to you this season.

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  20. Hi, again♪
    It was clear, fine moning. Hubby was making fuss about Venus (*^_^*) it was hard to see as it is too small, he said.

    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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  21. I would love to have oregano...I'm sure it tastes wonderful fresh! And that is a spectacular window! WOW!

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  22. Hi Barbara! Weeds! Don't we hate 'em!! You have lots of things growing in your garden. Oregano! I've never grown that but I have some rosemary! :)
    I have a little hydrangea in a pot and it's not looking too good!
    Hope you get to see the marvelous sight tonight.
    thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  23. my uncle had a fig tree that he loved and pampered
    made me smile to remember

    I love single blooms and yours are lovely

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  24. Hi Barbara!

    Gardening is a lot of work! The weeds are the hardest to deal with. It always took me a good three years of constant weeding to get a new garden under control, then every time I brought in more dirt it would start up again!

    I think you have the right idea... sitting out in the garden and enjoying your morning coffee. Also your potted plants are probably much easier to maintain, at least weed wise! But they still get bugs. I opened the front door last week to see my beautiful potted geranium (big) totally chewed up by caterpillars.

    However I sure enjoyed all the little critter babies (in my old Texas garden) that I posted about the other day.

    xoxo Bunny Jean

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  25. My garden is mostly dead, no rain. We need rain, Precious Lord above.
    Richard from My Old Historic House.

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  26. How neat to have a fig tree. Your neighbours window is gorgeous. Enjoy the outdoors while you can, Barbara!!

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  27. You sound like me, a nature girl who loves to be outside but has trouble with gardens and such! You need to climb a tree and get a good pic of that angel! LOL (I am glad you made it to my blog, i have had trouble with my link!) :)

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  28. OOh you sound like me.. I don't even plant fruit trees, i have a caterpillar thingy eating at my sage right now, i had to replant the mint already, my dill has had to rejuvenate itself, he honesuckle had flowers. my iris don't bloom, but he day lilies are doing great.. I could go on and on. However, your one rose is gorgeous and the rest of the plants look fabulous. Have a great week, xo marlis

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  29. It was raining here in Brooklyn yesterday, Barbabra, so I watched the transit of venus (love that term!) on the NASA web site, as they had a live stream video.

    Your garden is coming along very well- my little flower pot garden is far behind yours. My first figs are not ripening, but hopefully the second round will do well!

    Thank you for your compliments on my daughter's wedding (it was held at "Ginado on the Water")and best wishes for the new couple...they are very appreciated We are on "Cloud 9" with happiness!

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  30. Oh, I how sympathize with your garden "misses"! We used to have a wonderful pear tree in our back yard and we never actually were able to eat a ripe one the whole time we lived there. However, the squirrels had many feasts! I admire you for continuing to try!! I have just about given up on gardening!!

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  31. Hi Dear One,
    Sorry, I'be been off for a bit...you inspired me to post about what is going on...! I love your post today...your reference to the ugly fake grass fence was hilarious!
    I do think her stained glass window is pretty!

    Enjoy your weekend and never worry, I'll be lurking and reading, maybe not commenting every time!
    Hugs~

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  32. I'd say your garden grows very well!
    xo Cathy

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  33. I bought my neighbor some hydrangeas and something is chewing on them. They aren't looking too well. I don't have a very green thumb, but sprayed them and am hoping for the best. Did you enjoy your Venus watching?
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  34. White vinegar as a weed killer??? Oh you just made my day!! I have so many weeds that I have to pull, and I have used weed killers some, but I hate them so I end up pulling the 1000 weeds we have. I will try that for sure! I have missed visiting for sure too, and I apologize for not getting by:-) Hoping to get around more soon!!

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  35. Hi Barbara, I just don't even try any more for the veggies. My flowers are dried up and I have one buterfly bush in bloom. My roses are all gone and it's a pitiful sight. I think your plants are coming along nicely. I have got to work harder, nothing I would love more than growing tomatoes.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    ~Emily
    The French Hutch

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  36. hi, I think you daisy/weeds look good. I would have picked them. Actually, I remember this week from my youth. I did pick them.
    OOPS, I forgot about Venus. I'll just catch it next time.
    2117...I can make it. LOL
    xo Ginger

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  37. OK....I think you're going to have to go into just a little more detail about using the white vinegar for killing weeds. Do you spray it on or just pour it all over? Do you dilute it, or is it full-strength? How soon after using it can you water in the area? When you use it, do you put it just into the soil or all over the whole weed? I'm assuming it'll kill any "real" plants that it splashes on since you said to be careful not to splash, but once it gets into the soil will it be safe for the "real" plants? I'm just full of questions!!!!! :-) I really need/want to know. My husband uses some kind of weed killer out there that I fear is going to kill of our trees. It did a great job of killing off everything in the "island" area of our yard, but now I'm praying for the survival of those trees in the adjacent area. Oh...once you use the vinegar, are you able to plant "real" things there after a certain amount of time? Thanks, Barbara! I know I'm a nosy Nellie!

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  38. I'm not really a gardener but I do know there are good and bad years - gorgeous rose!! keep at it!!
    Mary x

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  39. Hello Alycia! I use white vinegar full strength, I just pour it directly on the weeds as carefully and steady as I can, on a sunny day. Then I directly pour some on the root. I sometimes put a piece of tape over half the bottle opening to control the flow. :) If it will rain later on don't bother. Before planting I would wait a couple of weeks and even go to a garden center to test the soil. You might have to reapply the next day providing it is sunny (or at least no chance of rain). So no watering either for 24 hours.

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  40. New York City is a tough place for plants. I admire your figs. They are favorites of mine and would love to be able to grow them. Alas, not in Manhattan.

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  41. I envy that fig tree, Barbara. My garden has gradually reduced to tomato plants in pots and a few herbs. I have that little daisy like weed in my yard as well. It keeps coming back but is easy to pull out. Don't have a clue what it is.

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  42. Its nice to know other gardeners that have a few issues! I have started hanging CDs in my trees to keep the critters from eating all of the fruit. Maybe you could try that in the fig tree. I meant to get them in the cherry tree and just noticed today that the whole top of the tree has been picked clean and they aren't even ripe enough to eat yet - the little gluttons!

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  43. YOur garden is looking beauuuuuuutiful...love d cliks..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  44. I think your garden is lovely! I wish I could grow hydrangeas here. I think they are lovely. xo

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  45. Your garden is looking lovely Barbara. I know all gardeners can have problems. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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  46. Barbara, your garden is coming along! I am so surprised that you have a fig tree. We planted 2 of them year before last, but they didn't make it through the cold winter that we had that year. I've heard that they need to be in a protected area, so I may try another one. LOVE figs as much as the birds.

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  47. Gardens are a source of enjoyment even with the ongoing problems that seem to arise. I loved seeing all your photographs... even the weeds. ":o)
    Blessings!
    Geneva

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  48. My annuals are awful! It looks like something is eating them, bugs, and I planted over 100 , and yuck!
    Good luck with yours! It is great when they grow, stinky when they don't ! :)

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  49. Hi Barbara,

    Your garden is beautiful!

    I think all the rain we have had this spring made the weeds pop. I can't seem to keep up with them. Thanks for the vinegar tip.

    Dee

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  50. Looks like your hydrangea is going to be pretty this year. I have had lobelia die already, disappointing. Thanks so much for stoping by, Laaura

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  51. I have a few plants that are struggling this year too, Barbara. Normally, the planters on my deck are full and lush, but not this year. I don't know what I did wrong. Even so - I still enjoy sitting outdoors! Were you able to see Venus? That's just so cool! I have serious doubts that I'll be around for the next occurrence! ;)

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  52. I have hidrangea too, roses and geranius, and many other. I love your figs. nice to hear from you, hugs

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  53. Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I was going to suggest vinegar but I see you are using it too. The Herb Festival was wonderful and my friend Deb and I had a lovely day. You must come down some year and join us for the day.
    Ahrisha

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  54. Lots of beautiful photos! I know your garden will recover...has to with you tending it.

    xo
    Pat

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  55. I'm so jealous of your first tomato! I can't wait to see some of those here.

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  56. Have never heard of using vinegar but will try.

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