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Can You See Me?

11 Nov

Thanksgiving last year, at Nina Bay Farm, the herd of Black Angus cattle sold at auction.  The rest of the herd of burros found a new home.  The surrounding fields are leased for cattle grazing.

These burros are what remain of the herd.  I call the two on the right Jack and Jill.  Jack is two weeks old.  Jill is five months old (born June 1 and is featured in the top photo).

…..around back

Before

Seven trees shading the porch:  Removed.

The make over for the landscape will be honeysuckle free and feature natural “rocky top” ledges and outcrop.  Do you see it?  An artifact:  brick barbecue.  We plan to have wild flowers popping up in spring.  Like these:

Work in Progress!  Low maintenance perennials featuring iris (state flower of TN) and day lilies, plus peonies, hostas and hollies.

For more Nina Bay Farm photos select the tab at the top of the page.

 

Acorns

10 Sep

We removed dozens of trees @ Owl Creek this year…Some had been dead for a long time…  Some were volunteers too close to driveways or barn…Some were contortions of trees…bent, split, broken.  Several logging projects in the past 50 years harvested hard woods…walnut, maple and oak trees.  Our understanding is that oak seedlings are difficult to locate.

Our recent experience:  Squirrels/Ground Squirrels consider fresh sprouting acorns hors d’oeuvres.  Half of what I transplanted to containers were uprooted to eat the meat of the acorn.  (Redbud, tulip and cedar trees were undisturbed.)  I rescued these seedlings by moving them to the screened porch.

 

To get 2020 spring plants off to a bigger start, I gathered acorns from the backyard.  Mostly green, squirrels had not run off with them.

“How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns” Shelly Wigglesworth Oct 16, 2018, published in New England Today, Living

How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns

I like the idea of refrigerating with peat and barley in a sealed container over winter.

Shelly recommended discarding acorns with pin holes.  They are made by “inch” worms exiting the hull.  I believe the worms enter under the cap.  After checking closely and drying  about two weeks, I discarded 20 acorns of the 60+ I had gathered from our backyard.

Here we “grow” again…

 

 

This corner of the yard

15 Aug

has been reserved for compost of tree, shrub and yard debris for years.  The black compost bin in the background hasn’t stayed together even with a “zip tie” fix.  Time to shop!

Found on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085O6NXQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The cylinder in the foreground has an open bottom.  It was unrolled and secured with three plastic pieces that work like a key and lock inserted in slots.  The size is adjustable.  It is possible to expand the circumference an additional two feet.  Also, I could go smaller.

Last summer between kitchen, garden and yard waste, we yielded about 200 pounds of compost which we used at our remote garden site (future post).  We are on track with another 200 pounds…Eight  repurposed  cat  litter  buckets  filled (20 pounds each).  Two  more  to  go!

Delightful Outdoor Art!

9 Aug

Revisited “Artspark” today…lush, dense, summer foliage.

From a Nov 2016 post.  Mother Nature impresses us with bold fall colors and textures.  Bonus discovery!  the Indianapolis Art Center’s featured outdoor sculptures.  Check these out:

Crescendo

Crescendo

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artcenter5_img_20161031_100507455-copyartcenter9_img_20161031_101112429-copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great way to add interest to parking lot with flowers, herbs, vegetables

Great way to add interest to parking lot with flowers, herbs, vegetables

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Canoe launch site

Canoe launch site

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There is more to see of the grounds!

Book Review: The History of Bees, A Novel

2 Jul

My interest in bee keeping is shown on the Beehaven@OwlCreek tab above.

I struggled with this book.  I also appreciate the story.  Well over half way thru the book, I felt that I was reading multiple Twitter feeds.  Some characters lived in the 1800s, some in the present and some in the future.  The author does bring it together in the end.  If I had first read the Reading Group Guide on page 340 of my digital version, I would not have been so frustrated.

The contents include valuable information about commercial hives and the highly productive, delicate life cycle of bees.

Baby Kiwis

25 Jun

June 2019:  Woo! Hoo! In this photo…blurry, baby kiwis!

Baby kiwis

Apparently, I focused on the the one top-left of center.  Three in this photo!

It has taken two years for this perennial plant to mature and bear fruit.  Also, we have had significant rain fall this season.  The vines have grown over ten feet long.  Hopefully, the vines will meet the arbor between the house and garden shed…may not be this year.  (I would have planted if closer, if I had understood how it grew.)

May 2018:  Last year’s great expectations deflated.  Here we “grow” again!  Our perennial kiwi vine has a strong start for this season.  It is front and center in the photo below with four vines.  So far, the longest one is over three feet long.

May 2017:  Yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised to find potted “Hardy Kiwi” for $12 at Cox’s Plant Farm.  I thought kiwi grew on trees like apples or cherries.  It is a vine that prefers a trellis to support perhaps 100 fruit.  We’ll let you know how we did.

http://ediblelandscaping.com/careguide/Kiwi/

 

2019 Garden Expansion: May Update

8 May

 

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https://www.rhshumway.com

  1. Gourds (future crafty bird houses and dippers) started in egg cartons on the kitchen counter…they started sprouting I moved them to larger biodegradable containers.
  2. Hummingbird plant and zinnia seeds have been in an outdoor container for a couple of weeks
  3. Trial for fruit trees started with 1 persimmon, then 2 apples and 2 pears, 1 peach and 1 fig.
  4.  More Annual flowers:  Snapdragon, Bells of Ireland, Cockscomb to be planted

Expect future posts on my garden expansion project.

 

Joy=February Garden Planning

8 Feb

149th Year:  R. H. Shumway Seedsman

https://www.rhshumway.com

What may be better than Valentines Day?  Receiving the BIG, beautiful RHShumway seed catalog in February when the outside temperature is 20 degrees F.

I normally buy local herb/tomato/vegetable nursery plants in May.  This year, as well as plants I am ordering seed.  Three categories of plants have my attention.

  1. Gourds and Luffa Sponge:  future crafty bird houses, dippers and sponges
  2. Persimmon root-stock:  Regional fruit
  3. Annual flowers:  Zinnias, Snapdragon, Bells of Ireland, Cockscomb

Expect future posts on my garden expansion project.

 

Dirty job: composting

27 Jun
Yard compost bin

Yard

Kitchen compost bin

Kitchen

 

Compost bins

 

 

 

 

 

Composting is both a dirty job and “Black gold” to enrich vegetable garden….this season’s yield…200 pounds!

For eighteen years, I have used a three step process to mitigate the slime and smell of kitchen waste.  This year I added a fourth step.

  1. Compost kitchen and garden waste (very slimy and smelly)
  2. Compost yard waste (primarily trimmings of perennial flowers).
  3. Add kitchen compost to yard waste = black gold
  4. Top off with ashes from fire pit for enrichment

All gardening starts with dirt.  Yes, it is less expensive and messy to buy compost by the bag at garden centers.  Homemade is better.

Fabulous Foliage

16 Jun

and thank you to 2,000 followers!

Our very cold late spring in central Indiana stunted blooms on our flowering trees.  However, the rains that followed supported the best season ever for our hostas.