Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

August is turning into a bear of a month. The drought in the Bluegrass state is well into its 3rd week and everything is starting to show wear and tear. Although I am trying remove much of the lawn on my one acre property, I still have large expansives of grass - it's looking bad. There are places were the ground is cracked into wide fissures running along the ground.

I have been trying to keep the container plants, veggie garden and young trees watered, but even they are starting to show signs of giving up the fight to the drought.

All plans for my fall garden have been put on hold until we can get a good soaking rain to re-saturated the parched soil. I do have some seedlings started, but for now, I'm keeping them in pots until I'm sure they can survive in the garden.

Even with everything scrotched and dying in the garden, there are a few things that are thriving in the heat and drought. The Autumn Joy sedum is just coming into bloom and is showing no signs of stress. I have this lining my driveway and this area gets the full sun and heat from the road and driveway all day long.

The goldenrod and ironweed are also coming into bloom, and although the leaves are showing some wear and tear, the blooms have not been effected. I love the yellow of the goldenrod mixed with the purple ironweed - they make wonderful cut arrangements. The frost asters are also starting to bud, although there are no flowers yet. When the asters bloom, it looks like snow in the backyard, but that's a few more weeks away.

So, all in all, even with the long, dry summer, I have a few things to be happy about in the gardens.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Harris Seeds if having a deck and patio vegetable challenge and the prize if a $25 Harris Seeds Gift Certificate! I just received their newsletter and here's what is says:

"If you are growing vegetables on your deck or patio, tell us your story in a few short paragraphs and send us some photos of your accomplishments (the photos should have you in it and your special growing techniques to illustrate how you get it done). We will award 8 - $25.00 Harris Seeds Gift Certificates to the top 8 entries, and a $100.00 Gift Certificate to the gardener with the most creative and successful presentation for growing vegetables on a deck. We will publish the winners in our newsletter some time in the fall, after harvest."

Submit your entry to
Deadline for entries: August 31, 2008.

Now, if you'll excuse me, August 31st is just around the corner!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Last Chance for Book Give-Away

Just a reminder to all those interested, tonight at midnight is the deadline for entering my contest to win a copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. To be eligible, click here and leave a comment. Good luck to everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tending the Back 40

When our riding lawnmower broke down this past spring, my hubby and I made the decision to not mow our one-acre backyard this year. With the exception of the trails I mowed throughout the backyard, we have allowed the native grasses and wildflowers to grow unchecked, along with many new seedlings of maple, walnut and oak trees.

We have many different varities of grasses that grow in the back 40: Kentucky Bluegrass, fescue, wheat, oats and millet. After the grass has completely dried, we will push mow the grass and rake it into piles for the birds and rabbits to live on this winter.

I do have one section of the backyard that has many different types of wildflowers: Black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, goldenrod, daisies, yarrow and several different types of asters. During the month of August and September, the backyard will be filled with many varying colors and textures of flowers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Heat and Humidity

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but the Kentucky heat and humidity has made me very cranky. Although I love working in my gardens, the heat is just too much for me!

So today I'm going to leave you with two wonderful photos. I help with the newsletter for Habitat for Humanity - Mercer County and we had the dedication service for our 13th home this week. The family is a lovely couple with 6 children - ages 3 to 17. They helped with the house as much as possible and with help from our other volunteers, this home was built with love. I'm including a photo I took of the house, as well as one with the entire family. Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rev Up the Victory Garden

Red, White and Grow wants to rev up existing Victory Gardening chat online a bit more.
"We can build greater interest and demand for Victory Gardening in our own communities if we work collaboratively. By replicating a Victory Garden/fall harvest meme, we can use or blogs to engage in some serious social entrepreneurism. By writing about vegetable gardening in a particular way--united around a particular set of principles (gardening for ourselves, our pocketbooks and the planet), we'll be fueling interest in our online and real world communities."

1.) What are your favorite local sources (ex. nurseries, blogs, reliable regional "celebrity" gardeners, county/parish extension office)? In my area of Kentucky, I get organic seeds from Southern States. DanyaBrook is a local nursery that I can get locally grown veggie seedlings.

2.)What are your favorite books and magazines? Organic Gardening, Herb Companion, and Mother Earth News are my favorite gardening mags. As for books, I love all the gardening books by Sharon Lovejoy: Sunflower Houses, Hollyhock Days, and Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots.

3.)What have you had success with growing in your fall garden? Peas, green Roma beans, cabbage and salad mix (different types of lettuces).

4.)When do you plant and harvest it? I typically plant the first few weeks in August and continue to harvest through Thanksgiving, sometimes even later.

5.)What is your favorite gardening tip? Use garden waste from summer garden to mulch around plants in the fall garden.

6.)Why do you call your garden a _________ (Victory Garden, Peace Garden, Freedom Garden, vegetable garden...etc.)? Mine is a veggie garden and I call it that mainly because I grow vegetables; but I do have several varieties of fruits and berries I grow as well.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh, No - Cicadas Again!

Okay, just when I thought I was finished with Cicadas for the 2008 season, along comes another crop! Thank goodness these little buggers aren't as bad as the 17-year variety we had early in the year. These are the normal cicadas we normally get during the dry months of August. They aren't nearly as prolific or as noisy as their little cousins. They also don't have those beady red eyes - yuck!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blogging Award

I was honored to learn this afternoon that Cindy from Brambleberries in the Rain had nominated me for a Brillante Award. I am so excited! I am unable to complete the rules of this award today, but this is something I will be working on this week, so please check back in!

And again, I want to send Cindy a great, big thank you!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Blogging Break for Breaking Dawn

This is the weekend I've been looking forward to for months. Breaking Dawn will be released at the witching hour tonight and I hope I'm curled up reading by 01:00 a.m. This means I'm taking a tiny break from blogging this weekend so I can read - uninterrupted!

Right now, I'm off to take a nap so I'll be rested and refreshed before this marathon reading session begins. With the exception of my Robin Hood post on Rightmyer Rants, I probably won't be blogging again until Monday. Hope to see you all then!