Tag Archive: garden


One evening this week, I opened up my back door to let my dogs outside and I was hit with an incredibly wonderful aroma. Soft, sweet, and intoxicating, little white flowers bloomed by the hundreds on my jasmine vines. The amazing thing is there were no flowers on either of my vines earlier that afternoon. It’s like they all decided to pop open at once and surprise me!

The aroma was so enchanting, I decided to open all my windows in the back of the house. Jasmine wafted through the house all evening and its continued to linger in the air all week long. Aside from the springy smell, the vines themselves have double in size this year and now wrap around patio roof posts. After watching them struggle this winter, its so nice to see them thriving.

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Jasmine vine gone wild!

The sunflower is another interesting story. Our Monster Sunflower sprouted two more stems with buds and this one bloomed this week. The other one broke off due to an odd angle and the weight of the bud.  The main bloom was quite small (as expected), but weirdly enough it grew larger after all the petals fell off. That’s a story I’ll have to share once it stops growing!

Over on the plant rack, my seedlings are getting so big! While my vegetable starters are almost ready to go into the garden (probably this weekend), my flower tray holds the biggest surprise. I’ve never been very successful in growing any sort of flower except a wildflower mix in the yard, so it was really exciting to see several sprouts. In particular, four out five nasturtium seeds came up! This week, they graduated to a larger pot, along with another unidentified flower.

The garden rabbit took a break from sniffing the jasmine to help me celebrate graduation day . . .

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I hope these guys keep growing!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

A giant is lurking in our yard. What started as a random sunflower growing on the edge of the grass patch has grown into a stalk of almost nine feet! Not bad for a seed I didn’t plant in a place reserved for grass and jasmine vines. Somehow, one little sunflower seed landed in this spot and decided he like it there enough to sprout and grow and grow and grow and grow …

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Reaching above the roof! The garden rabbit is a teeny, tiny creature compared to the giant. Photo by: c.b.w. 2014

I’ve planted sunflowers in the garden box and along the fence, but none of them ever reached the height and size of what I now call my sunflower tree. When he first popped through the grass back in early February, I thought he’d grow to four or five feet (like most of the random sunflowers that sometimes show up in the yard), give a little burst of yellow, and fade away. Boy, was I wrong! This thing is huge and it’s been really fun to watch it get taller.

When it hit six feet, it started to fall over from its own weight, so I propped it against a lattice.  When it grew a couple more feet, I had to bring in a metal patio chair to hold the weight – he keeps leaning further and further over to reach the afternoon sun. A huge bud sits at the top of the stalk and it’s getting bigger every day. I am anxiously waiting for a big, bright yellow sunflower to bloom.

Of course, the garden rabbit is fascinated by the biggest sunflower he’s ever seen. The leaves alone are three times bigger than him!

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That’s a mighty big salad! Photo by: c.b.w. 2014

Don’t worry, he didn’t break this particular leaf. It got stuck in the patio chair when I was trying to find a safe place for the sunflower to rest.

The stem (or trunk!) is a good three inches around, which makes me wonder just how big the root system is on this monster! The rabbit better not get any ideas about nibbling.

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Now, that’s a sunflower stem! Photo by: c.b.w. 2014

From where the rabbit sits, this sunflower looks a lot like something that’s only possible with three magic beans. Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!

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Keep climbing! Photo by: c.b.w. 2014

 

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

 

 

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Garden Sprouts

Three weeks ago, spring settled into the Arizona desert with 75 degrees warming the air and a big blue sky. Weather like that leaves no other choice but to till and plant this year’s batch of vegetable seeds.

Sometimes gardening is all about experimentation. Last year, I planted every seed in a seed starter grid in order to give each plant a good start. The harvest was good, but not as plentiful as the year before. So, this year, we decided to start the seeds directly in the garden box.

While I’m all for trying new things, I was a little nervous to plant seeds in soil that is a bit “tired.” Our dirt has gone through quite a workout with three consecutive years of gardening. We’ve been relatively good about returning nutrients via compost and rotating crops, but Arizona dirt can be challenging due to it’s high clay content.

For two weeks, I went outside hoping to see little bits of green, but only found brown. I was starting to think our experiment was a supreme failure, until I went out a few days ago and found tiny little babies poking through the ground.

Peas …

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The garden rabbit is already hoping for a snack!

I’m not sure if this is a sunflower or a cucumber, but the garden rabbit thinks it needs a little help…

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Help! I’m stuck!

Cowpeas …

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This little guy sprouted just the other day!

The tomato plants are starting to sprout new leaves …

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Back from the dead!

A new raspberry plant is taking off …

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When do we get berries??

The blueberry bushes we planted last year sprouted all new leaves and flowers. At he end of last summer they shed all their leaves and looked like dead sticks. Good thing we never got around to dumping what we thought was was a dead plant. This spring they came back to life and are just beautiful!

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Beautiful blueberry buds.

The garden rabbit will be sniffing around all spring, so stay tuned for his adventures in the garden.

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What’s your favorite thing?

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c.b.w. 2014

While the rest of the country is covered in snow, it’s 75 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods. Perfect weather for planting this year’s garden! In the back garden box, we planted a wide variety of vegetable seeds and berries with hope of a good harvest.

Planting a new garden is always an adventure as you never what might be hiding in the soil. Everything from worms, scorpion spiders (they sound scary but they eat scorpions, so I love them), and remnants from last year’s harvest can be found while tilling. We actually  have five plants from last year that survived the winter – 3 tomato plants came back from the dead, a strawberry plant started growing for no reason (we didn’t plant it there), and a green pepper plant. All have new blooms and are rather insistent on staying where they’re planted!

However, nothing could have prepared me for what I found while tilling the dirt in the space next to the miraculous green pepper plant. Our garden grows a lot of different things, but never did I expect to find a teeny tiny cactus poking up through the ground. We don’t have cacti anywhere in our yard, nor can they be found in the desert preserve across the road. I’ve only seen cactus growing about a block away in our neighborhood, so the seed had to have come from one of those houses. How it got in our garden box will forever remain a mystery (a bird or a stray cat maybe?).

It would have been easy enough to add this little cactus to the compost pile, but we decided to give him a chance. It just so happens we had a tiny planter leftover from my baby pine tree (he graduated to a bigger pot!), so we very carefully dug up the cactus and gave him a new place to grow.  The garden will soon be very wet, so a dry pot is his best chance for survival.

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Cactus baby!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2014

This little guy is only 1½” tall. I don’t have a lot of experience taking care of cacti, but after talking to my mother, (the Cacti Goddess), I learned a few things. What I’ve got is a Jumping Cholla. They grow really fast and like extremely dry ground.  After all we went through to save him, I hope we can keep him alive.

As the seedlings come up, my garden rabbit will come out of hibernation. He’ll be sure to keep an eye on this little cactus, too. Stay tuned!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

Perennial

Tears from above,
settle on thine
Innocent face,
envious spikes
Spring’s gentle gift,
 here to remind
Spirited youth,
folded in time
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Garden Tulip
Photo and words by: c.b.w. 2013

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c.b.w. 2013

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