About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and will have been married for 55 years this February.

Friday, June 17, 2022


Again, since it has been so long between posts, I have difficulty knowing where to start so I'll show you what I've been up to from the photos on my phone.

Yes, that's little old me in a weedy neglected vegetable garden.  It was all going to seed and had to be rescued. One year of seeding makes 7 years of weeding so the saying goes... My son took this picture of me before my husband weeded this patch.  Now this garden is all weeded and planted. 

These are my two long rows of potatoes, approximately 180 feet long each row. Not a very good picture.  I did an experiment this year by planting some potatoes in 4-inch pots before it was time to plant outside. They all did well and I got my son Vaughan to plant them in 8-inch deep trenches. They have been hoed twice and are much taller than those I planted directly in the soil on the same date. 

As you can see they are being attacked by Colorado potato beetles who lay their eggs on the undersides of the leaves and as they grow they can decimate a plant in no time if left unattended they will soon get out of control.

This is what the eggs look like. They are easy to crush with your thumb. I prefer to use vinyl gloves. Checking for eggs and beetles is a time-consuming job since I don't like to use poison unless it was out of control.

My red Norland potatoes are blooming.

I harvested my spinach from a small raised bed in the backyard. I got 2 pounds  4 oz.

A before picture of weeds in my flowerbed where I had annuals growing last year.  It's been raining so often that in no time the bed is overrun by weeds. I've always mixed annuals in my perianal beds but I find it produces lots of weeds.

I had to remove many pails of soil next to the brick border so the straw would stay in place This is what it looks like after weeding and mulching with premium straw. 

I had such a hard time this spring with my onions as they were out of the soil and I had to replant them every morning.  I covered them with a black fine mesh fabric weighed down with bricks as I thought the birds were pulling them out but the next day they were pulled out of the ground and the mesh was undisturbed.  I  looked it up online only to find that night crawler earthworms were pushing them out of the soil. After years of mystery, I finally know who the culprits are. 

So I decided to try an experiment with rooting onion sets before planting them. 
I use styrofoam containers and use a small kitchen tool with serrated edges that I use to cut the core of tomatoes to poke little circles in the styrofoam and place them in a glass pan and add water until it touches the under  top of the plate and in two days, the onions are rooted enough to plant. A few take longer. I forgot to mention that I cut the tops of the onion as in the picture.

These onions were the same ones that the earthworms were pushing out of the ground. They finally rooted but it was very frustrating.

Another experiment I tried this year to speed up the sprouting of carrots is to fill a Chinet paper plate with potting soil and sprinkle the carrot seeds on top I placed the plate in a large used Ziplock and I put them in the freezer for 24 hours and then I put them in bright light but out of the sun as it would get too hot.  I check them every day and in no time they start to sprout.  When most of them are sprouted, I gently pick up a handful and sprinkle them on fluffy soil and then sprinkle some soil on top and that's it. I water them well and make sure they don't dry up. It can take from 14  to 21 days to sprout when direct-seeded but with this method, I think it took about 5 days to sprout.  The ones on the left were sprouted in the Ziplock bag and the ones on the right were direct-seeded. I took the picture in the evening sun so they look yellow. 

My beets are doing well. This picture was taken earlier in the week. The 8-inch brick is to give a bit of perspective.

I planted two trays of sweet corn that were given to us by Scott's Nursery.  I have some that I direct planted, that are also growing, but not shown here.

Now, time to share some flowers. This is a weigela bush.

If I remember well, this iris is called Rare Edition.

This one is called Supreme Sultan

Sugar Candy Clematis

This one is called Royal Velvet and was having difficulty but has made a comeback.

One of my many Peonies is starting to bloom

This tall bearded iris is called Cherub Smile

My Alliums are having to compete with the Lady Kim lilac that has grown so large and they are leaning to get some sun. The tips got frostbit early this spring.

Remember the deers ate my Hostas right down to the ground this spring and I worried for nothing.

Look at them now, you can't even tell that there was damage.  Did you know that the young shoots of Hosta are edible for humans and are reportedly delicious when cooked as a vegetable?

I think I better stop here as my blog is getting to be photo heavy. I hope you enjoyed my gardening experiments. I have still so much weeding to do, probably until harvest time. lol.
Thanks for coming for a visit, I really enjoy seeing that you visited and your comments are much appreciated. 


  1. I am super impressed. It is early winter here and I am still weeding (and planting spring bulbs). Both jobs should have been finished a long time ago, but for a variety of reasons are not. Gardening can be a chore - I often say that my blood, sweat and tears feeds mine, but it is also worth it. And my garden is smaller (and less productive) than yours and still too much for me some days.

    1. Thanks for your comment EC. Your garden may be smaller but it sure packs a punch with all the exotic flowers and flowering trees and and beautiful exotic birds that eats from your hand. The beauty of color last all four seasons.

  2. You are positively ADORABLE my friend! I absolutely love that photo of you. And wow...just wow... I don't know which astounds me most: The amount of work you put into your gardens or the stunning beauty of them. So many colors of irises!! Incredible! I had a little patch of irises when I first moved here...just the plain, common, purple...that inevitably turned dirty yellow after a few years. I found them very difficult to weed/maintain with rhizomes always working their way to the surface. But you're making me want to give them another go. You obviously love gardening...and your plants and beds reflect that beautifully. And I love your creative innovations/solutions to problems you've encountered. And I had to laugh at the onion culprits. Who would have thought it?? You must have some healthy soil! I hope you have a great weekend...and find some "down time" too. ~Robin~ (TheCrankyCrow)

    1. Me adorable? You had me laughing. I look even older than I do in person. lol... Sweet little old great grand

      All my irises are so tall they need staking. I would much rather have shorter ones that don't fall down in the wind and rain.

  3. Beautiful pictures of your garden! Yes, “never let weeds go to seed.” That happened to us one season. Not fun! That’s new information about earthworms being a sort of pest and uprooting your onions before they could settle and root. Take care of yourself in the heat! We’ve had a heat advisory every day this week!

    1. Thanks Nellie, I've never seen so many weeds as this year. They grow well and tall in all this rain. I'm trying to get them before they go to seeds but it's not always possible.

  4. Wow Julia, Your garden and crops are incredible and so interesting to read about. I feel like I learned so much about gardening reading this post. I never knew that about the earthworms. You much have very healthy soil. Just incredible.

    1. Thanks Kim. I'm glad that you learned something. I learned something new too this spring and I like to share what I learn if it can help someone. I appreciate your comment.

  5. I am totally gobsmacked by your vegetable gardens. So much work now...and even more at harvest time. With the talk of food shortages ahead, I may be taking a trip north to visit you ;-)
    Your flowers...simply beautiful!!! That Supreme Sultan...and Cherub Smile...are both so pretty.
    Like Robin said, you are positively adorable.

  6. Thanks for your comment Lauren. I would love to have you come over. I sure would share some veggies with you. Too bad you don't live closer, I'd give you lots of flowers too. I had to take a look at my picture but somehow couldn't picture me as adorable. Lol...Old and puny, maybe but not

  7. I’m so impressed by your gardens. Huge rows! You must work sun up to sun down! Interesting about the onions. And your flowers! Wow! My task as a kid in our garden was to find potato bugs and drop them into a jar of turpentine. Ugh.
    I guess you can’t kill hostas. Hubby isn’t a fan and calls them “hostiles.” They are good textural space fillers.

  8. Hi Kimm, thanks for your comment. Now that I have met you, you can be sure that I'll be sharing some veggies with you.

  9. Unbelievable Julia!!! I am both in awe and jealous of your gardens. your winter supplies are a sure thing!! I know the work but oh the rewards. So wonderful to see that picture of you and your lovely flowers.

    1. Thanks Cathy, my garden is growing well at the moment but I'm not counting my chicken before they hatch. The weather has been so erratic with hot and cold an excess rain so gardening is always at the mercy of the elements. I'll be very grateful if it all turns well. Too much rain is not good. It's been raining steady all day today. Hope reigns eternal and I hope for a good crop at the end of the growing season.

  10. I so enjoyed reading your little techniques for your veggies. Very interesting. I cannot believe you have the energy to weed all of that. I would have been pooped out. I was pooped out reading about it. LOL Great photos of your flowers and so glad your hostas came back. They are beautiful too! Janice

    1. Hi Janice, I'm pooped out most of the time, lol. I'm feeling my age more and more every day. On Sunday, I don't weed or garden. It's my only day of rest and I pulled some loops and baked a spinach quiche from the spinach I harvested from my garden. It was really tasty. I had a good size piece and a sliver. A big sliver, haha.

  11. Many here have said you are adorable and I agree! Such a cute pic of you in your "Garden of Weedin"! Your gardens are amazing and so beautiful. The irises are lovely. I just started growing them. The weeds do give me back aches and getting it all done is a never ending job. Your veggies will be delish in a few weeks time and will be there to feed you this winter. I don't know how you have all that energy to do all that you get done but I'm glad your health is allowing you to do it! Our weather was horribly stormy last week and we have about 4-5 trees to cut up and get out of the paths to the woods. But that will again warm us up in the winter. The cycle of life in full view! Be safe, and enjoy all your beautiful gardens!

    1. Thanks for your comment Yaya. I don't see my picture as adorable. lol... If I was to plant any more irises, I would plant the dwarft ones as they do not need support and they are lower maintenance than the tall ones in my opinion. The flowers on the tall Iris get so large, when it's windy or rainy, they get heavy and topple over.

  12. Wonderful photo of you to start my visit!
    The weeds are rampid here too, I did some weeding & moving of some hen & chicks & was so tired afterwards. I too am feeling aged but the sun was so intense that day & I'm not an outdoor person. I hope the straw keeps the weeds at bay for you, it looks great!
    I have for years lived & mimiced the plants in your garden, I will be looking for the weigela bush at the nurseries this summer! Your veggie garden is plentiful & the inventions you've come up with admirable!! With the cost of food I think more of us will be planting food as you can't eat all the flowers.
    Your spinach looked yummy!! I often make spinach quiche & you need so much as it cooks down making it dense in iron. My garden is a week behind yours so I know whats going to bloom by seeing yours, the peonies buds are up right now! And the smell of the lilacs & roses is heaven on earth right now.
    Glad to hear that you pace yourself with Sunday as your day of rest & pleasure with rug hooking.
    It was a great visit & I'm a visual person & loved all the photos & listening to you explaining them!
    Hugs, Cynthia

  13. Thanks for visiting and for your comment Cynthia, I'm glad that you can be inspired by my gardening posts. Nothing is ever perfect in my garden or life. When I work in one area, the other areas get neglected. I wish I could clone myself so I could get everything done. I try not to show the ugly and focus on the pretty. There's enough ugliness in the world.

    Today is another rainy day and I won't accomplish anything outdoors.

  14. I enjoyed the tour and the information.
    Your iris are lovely. I have a new iris in the garden, it got so big this season, I could not believe it.
    Sadly, we got HOT and the flower did not last long.

    I am going to go check for potato bugs, YUCK!

  15. I did so enjoy this...from beginning to end. Amazing about the nightcrawlers. I had never heard of that. So amazing that that is what was happening. I love the irises and that real dark clematis. It is gorgeous. Well, the other is, too...but I had not see the dark one before.

  16. Oh, I really enjoyed reading this! I love Gardening posts! Your flowers are lovely- that Candy Clematis is wonderful!
    Shame about the beetles on the potatoes- so much work to remove! And how annoying about the Earthworms! Well done for finding a solution though!!xx