Make yourself comfortable under the Tulip Tree.

My name is Victoria and I am gradually creating a suburban homestead in Central Illinois.

Friday, May 25, 2012

potted plants


Herbs in pots: clockwise...stevia, dill, thyme, and baby basils

Bonus planter: calladium and double tap petunias.

berry berry squirrel

Cup of strawberries for the morning sun. Bonus: every squirrel loves berries!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

peas are flowering

These peas are in one of the "new" beds from last year and are almost chest high. In an old bed, they barely got to waist high. I assume the abundant nutrition from compost has helped their growth. 

These are snow peas so the pods are picked young. 

Underneath are the cucumbers and yellow squash plants which will be trellised up as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

plant giveaway

I left about 2 dozen tomato plants, a dozen cauliflower and broccoli, plants, a flat of peppermint, lemon balm, and oregano, and a dozen sunflowers on the table at work. Within 5 minutes of my email, there were a dozen folk down there. They were all gone by the time I came back from lunch an hour later. Plants put to good use by folks who appreciate a local harvest.

the color, yellow, pops out from the shade

The first of  the daylilies have popped. I put them in about 2 years ago. They were a gift from a co-worker. These are located under the Tulip Tree. I really like yellow because it "pops" out of the shade. My garden and landscape design is designed to give the eye something to look at. You reye wanders and you say, Hey! What's that? That's interesting!" beforeroaming again. Contemplation. Meditation.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Last week while I was gone...

Alexa did a lot! She raked out all the old mulch from the landscaped areas in preparation for the arrival of the new cedar mulch. The cedar mulch, about 6 yards (3 cu ft) fill about half a dump truck. It was the prize for winning the Journal-Star Better Earth Garden contest for 2011.

See post here: http://tuliptreehomestead.blogspot.com/2011/06/yes.html

Also being delivered is 2 yards of finished compost. One can never have enough compost, truly.

Asian Lily
Also, while I was away at a conference for work, the asiatic lilies popped out near the toad houses.

Today, we planted all the annuals into the pots for the front patio. Also, planted another section of sunflowers on the north side of the house edged with hostas. There are already 3 types of sunflowers on the south side of the house also fronted with hostas. The sunflower varieties are: Lemon Queen (Seed Savers Exchange, Iowa), Valley Green ($0.10  generic seed), and Kervin's (a coworker) Giant Russian Sunflowers.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"butterfly" daisy

I've always loved daisies.

This one is....

Argyranthemum frutescens
Marguerite Daisy

Monday, May 14, 2012

raspberry parfait!!

raspberry parfait dianthus

Alexa's raspberry parfait flowers came back from last year in their pot!


The Dianthus Raspberry Parfait, 'Dianthus chinensis' has petite pink flowers with a dark crimson eye that grows equally well in patio pots or beds. The Super Parfait series has a compact growth habit that flowers earlier than other varieties.

True story.

We had in order of appearance this year: daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, peonies, and now dianthus.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

weeds are not really weeds

Peppermint and lemon balm starts. They are going wild in and out of the boxes. Started them and plan to offer them at the neighborhood garage sale next Saturday.

strawberries - every week

About 12 berries - 1 pint this morning with waffles.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

strawberries are here!

Oh yeah!! Strawberries are popping out. It will be a bumper crop. We netted the bed yesterday to keep birds away - they are very greedy. The first two were delicate and sweet!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

share the garden

We've made converts out of our friends, Dave and Fred. We helped them install two raised beds and planted some of our heirloom tomatoes. We are using 2L soda bottle as mini greenhouses for the very small plants and also to protect them from critters. Dave and Fred live on the edge of a subdivision where they get rabbits, the occasional deer and other critters. They will also install chicken wire to help with denying the critters.

This brings up an interesting note. I have been thinking about starting a side business for designing and installing raised bed gardens. Small scale for urban dwellers. I've read several books about small business practices. I'm not sure I have the time or energy and we certainly don't need the money. But I toy with the idea nonetheless.