REMEMBER...

LIFE IS A GARDEN; ENJOY THE STROLL.

July 16, 2017

NEVER MIND THE ROOSTER.....

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the year of the Rooster, though I really think it's the year of the Hydrangea.  And moles/voles.... but, we won't go there.

Perhaps it's the generous rainfall the north east received this past spring that has something to do with it, I can't be sure, but they certainly are showing off everywhere I look.  It's absolutely delightful!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Do you know what else delights me?  I've got beets!  Yes, I've finally had some success growing beets, which hasn't been the case in years past.  They are one of my most favorite vegetables, and simply plucking them from the garden is such a treat.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
They're great roasted in a drizzling of olive oil, salt and pepper, along with onions and sweet potatoes.  Don't forget to throw a few sprigs of sage into the roasting pan, too.  Even better, just peel and shred the beets, dump them into a bowl and toss with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and some sliced onions.  That "farm to table" movement is all well and good, but there's usually a lot of cooking, canning or freezing involved, and I don't have the ambition or patience for that.  My movement is "farm to mouth."

The bumble bees are loving the leek flowers, as are a slew of other magnificent winged insects.  It's truly a collaborative effort with regard to pollination.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
I'm drawn to leek flowers, too, though not for pollinating purposes.  I'm attracted to them for beautification purposes, and added a few to this arrangement made up mostly of herbs.  Cutting flowers and making a little bouquet for yourself in the early morning is one of life's sweet and simple pleasures.  Do it!  Give yourself that gift, even if it's just a tiny bud vase with one single flower in it, which is perfect for placing near your kitchen sink.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Now, do enjoy this lovely day!

July 10, 2017

MY, WHAT FASCINATING PESTS....

Devoting the weekend to yard work was both, blissful and tiring, and many tasks were accomplished. I was just about wrapping things up late Sunday afternoon, when I spotted this little creature hanging out at the entrance to my vegetable garden - a hawk moth.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
A quite striking specimen, no?  Well... striking, interesting and quite lovely as she may be, she's also the egg layer of the tomato horn worm.  And, you know what that means.  Your prized tomato plants will be eaten while your back turned, by a green, horned and quite grotesque looking finger-sized monster.  But, I hadn't encountered any green monster worms while tying up my tomato plants earlier in the day.

I took a closer look, and lo and behold, I found tomato horn worm eggs.  My, oh, my, are they tiny! They're roughly 1/16" in diameter; I removed ten of them from my four tomato plants.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, look what I also found... baby tomato horn worms!  They were just barely 1/4" in length with a horn almost as long as their body.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Though I don't like plant destructing pests in my garden, I found the afternoon's experience quite fascinating.

Last year many of my pumpkin/squash plants had succumb to the squash borer (another pesky garden pest).  This season I'm just sticking to squash species that the borer tends to ignore - butternut squash and Long Island cheese pumpkin.  I got the cheese pumpkin seeds at a seed swap back in February, and pictured below is one of the plants.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Two years ago I acquired three little 'Pixie' grape plants.  And, yes, I do mean little.  The plants obtain a height of only 18-24" at maturity, and they do not produce twining tendrils like standard size grape vines do.  Do you see the little grape cluster?  Adorable.  There are two other clusters on this plant (which is only 12" tall!) hidden behind the leaves.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Did you ever sow seeds, forget to label them, and then find yourself unable to identify the seedlings? Well, something similar happened to me with the plant pictured below.  Back at the seed swap in February, which was the first time I ever attended one, I failed to bring ziplock baggies.  Lesson learned! Some folks offers seeds in envelopes, and, well, many seeds found their way out of the envelopes and ended up..... in the bottom of my purse.  I knew these particular seeds were bean seeds, but I had more than one variety in my possession, and they were all mixed up..... in the bottom of my purse.  As it turns out, I'm growing heirloom Oregon Giant pole beans!  I did some research on them..... looks like I'm going to need a much, much taller trellis :D
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, last, but not least.... the art of shell gardening.  It's pest-free, maintenance-free and doesn't break your back!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Well, that's all for now.

Enjoy this beautiful summer day!

July 4, 2017

BABY YOU'RE A FIREWORK!

Hey everybody, Happy Independence Day!  I hope your weekend was a sparkling and celebratory one.  No festivities at the createaerie this year.  It was a quiet one, sin the evening neighborhood fireworks.

But, isn't this yucca flower sort of like a firework?  I think so.

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

And, this leek flower too.

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

Yes, I think my favorite fireworks are floral ones.  They're quiet and they don't scare my cat.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017 
I love how the spent flowers from my Stuartia tree decorate my garden floor.  There are so many blossoms this year.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
This peach Mandevilla vine just rocks my world.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson2017

Come stroll my backyard with me.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Hope you exercise your freedom to relax and enjoy this gorgeous day!

June 18, 2017

WELL, HELLO THERE!

First of all..... Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

My dad passed away many years ago, but my living in a house that he built does keep me connected to him in a daily sort of way.  Though he didn't have a fondness for gardening or yard work, he did appreciate handcrafted objects, as he was a craftsman, himself.  My dad whittled this little creation from a wooden dowel.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
He would often do this when he came home from work while waiting for dinner to be ready.  My mom has a whole collection of things he whittled over the years.

I have about another week or two of a demanding work schedule, and then I'll be able to come up for air...... sort of.  Next, will be catching up in my own yard and home.  I've yet to vacuum and dust May's delivery of pollen, and many areas in my yard need some serious tending to.  However, this spot, which I get to view every time I pull into the driveway, is looking to my satisfaction.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
My front yard is currently awash in yellow blooms, but, in no time, other flowering plants will come into play and become an orchestra of color.  Yay!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

lindan elson at the createarie
©Linda Nelson 2017
This shell is yet another treasure my daughter schlepped from California to give permanent residence to at my home.  I love it!  And, there's no potted sedum that ever disappoints me.  At the end of the season when I empty and store all of my glazed pottery, I simply pop the sedum into the ground, then repot it the following spring.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Well, it certainly felt good to steal a moment to post a little something.  I do miss being connected with all the home decor, crafty and garden bloggers out there.

Enjoy this gorgeous day!