Monday, July 23, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Nearing the end of July. The determinate, container tomato that I planted into the ground several months ago is at full maturity and bearing nicely. I have had few problems with tomato worms on this variety. In June, I purchased another kind of container-type tomato for a late planting, which I put into a container. There are only two tiny tomatoes so far and the plant has just begun to take hold and flourish. It is healthy so far; I'll want to know how it does as we move toward fall.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Calendula officinalis. These are the easiest, most delightful plants to grow. I have had outstanding success growing Calendula from seed, as well as from transplants bought at the nursery. I started collecting and drying the flowers as soon as my plants began to bloom. Picking flowers encourages the plants to continue blooming instead of going to seed. After picking the flowers, I allow them to dry completely, then separate the dried petals and place them in a nice jar, tucked away from bright lights to preserve their rich orange color. My first batch of Calendula oil is currently in the making. The petals are steeping in an olive oil base; one part dried petals to two parts olive oil. The warmth of the sun releases their colorful medicinal properties into the oil. I will let this mixture steep for about two weeks. My goal for this batch is to make a small supply of Calendula Salve for my medicine chest.
|View of back area of property|
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Reading up on bees swarming, this is that time of year. We experienced a bee swarm just recently here at the Casita. Overnight a big bowlful of buzzing bees had gathered and formed a tight huddle under the old wooden bench in the back garden. This was not a good situation for Henry or me as we are constantly in that part of the garden, and so I called a good company that removes bees alive and intact. The beekeeper and his wife came to see the swarm in the afternoon. "A healthy bunch of honeybees" he said with a smile. The bees remained huddled, a handful of strays buzzing around. "Those girls are coming home to join the hive." Now I have never thought of honeybees as "the girls" but the hive is 99% female after all. We agreed, and I didn't mind if he took the bench as well, and so Mr. Beekeeper came back the next morning before dawn, as promised. When I woke up at 7 a.m. they were all gone, the bees, the beekeeper, and the bench. It's a good feeling, knowing that those honeybees are out there in a field or on a sunny hillside somewhere, free to build their hive without disturbance, and that there is a friendly beekeeper who watches over them.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
It is about 11:30 a.m. when this picture was taken; note that garden is in the shade. This part of the garden gets full sun around noon, then it's sunshine for most of the rest of the day. Soil has not been prepped properly, but planted these anyway for the pleasure of simple gardening. Curious to see how these plants will thrive as is.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
(Photo by C.K. Paz; 1/18/2012)