Ladybugs and tiny tomatoes

After planting the garden two weeks ago, the girls decided we should try something a little different.  They asked if we could add ladybugs to the garden.  How did they get such an idea I have no idea but I found the request to be both interesting and possibly fun.  In life I have found there are many things asked of us that are not possible so when I come across those that are I do my best to oblige.

I did think this request would be easier to fill than it turned out to be.  Madison and I jumped into the car last week and headed to a local garden center.  We looked around a little and then asked a woman at the desk.  She looked at me as if I were a bit crazy and said no they did not carry them.  Back to the car and a little bit of a longer ride to the next center.  Right to the desk this time but same result, no ladybugs.  This center did carry them “maybe 2-3 years ago” but no longer.  Interesting, with the rise of environmental awareness that no one in my local area would carry a natural garden insect control.

So to the internet and within seconds many options appeared.  We placed our order with the promise of live ladybugs arriving through the mail.  Madison found this to be rather taxing to think about.  The questions flew, How would they ship them?  How do they get the bugs into the box? Would they still be alive? Are ladybugs really all ladies?  Hmmm on that one :-).Image

Saturday the package arrived in the mailbox.  1500 little red bugs ready to be set free.  We  followed the directions and set the out into the garden.  There were many who did not make it through the trip but even more did.  They scurried everywhere as did we.  With all of the movement in the garden we thought it best to just get out-of-the-way so they new residents could settle in.  While releasing them we did notice the beginnings of cherry tomatoes on two separate plants.  We may be eating from our garden before July!

Image 1I checked the garden today and indeed many of the friendly little bugs are still around.  It is yet to be seen if they will have an affect but we will was with great interest and enjoyment!


Garden fresh

If it was not for the allergies that the girls and I suffer from, Spring would be my favorite season!  Trees blooming, birds chirping and time to plant the garden!

After weeks of prepping, planning and expanding the garden the plants went in on Sunday.  We have come a long way since the first time we tried to grow some things.  A few tomato plants in pots just 4 years ago to the largest garden to date this year.  We will be growing tomatoes of course, both large and cherry,tons of cherry!  We eat them like fruit all summer long).  We also have both red and green bell, jalapeño and long hot peppers, cucumbers, strawberries and a first this year an attempt at watermelon.IMG_4242

It has really been a team effort this year.  Frank bought soil for us that we needed for the expansion.  The girls both took turns with both the hoe and rake getting out the weeds.  On Sunday when it came time to plant, the girls were so excited. Every year we say that it is “our” garden but of course I do most of the work.  Last year they did a wonderful job during the summer harvesting since I was still recovering from the bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.

IMG_4243This year it truly is “our” garden.  Megan and Madison both did a great job planting.  They took their time placing young, fragile plants into perfectly dug holes.  Two days later things look great.  The plants look healthy and already seem to be growing.  I look forward to watching the garden flourish and to the satisfaction it will provide to my girls.  It should be a fun summer of gardening and fresh veggies!

Sunshine on my shoulders….

I feel like it was just a week or two ago where I was on here complaining about the cold temperatures.  For weeks we had been stuck in grey skies, winds that felt like they would never end and damp chilly air.

Well, happy days are here again!  We seem to have jumped from winter right into summer and enjoyed an 83 degree day today with bright beautiful sun shine and perfect blue skies.  To make it even better, tomorrow looks to be a repeat and yesterday was almost as great!  A local news station does a little rating with the weather and today was awarded a perfect 10, something I had never seen.  I fully concur!

I have spent hours outside cleaning up the yard, pruning bushes and mulching.  As Frank and I get older this Spring clean up takes a little longer and causes more aches and pains but I still love it!  To me it is part of the pride of home ownership.  There is no race on getting it finished and I will be back at it tomorrow.  I enjoy spending time in the yard and am perfectly willing to put in the time and effort to make it the way we like!

In a few weeks we will be able to plant our veggie garden.  This is something that the girls and I do together.  I enjoy watching them as we watch the plants mature.  They take it very serious fully understanding that the care given to those little plants produce wonderful vegetables that we enjoy for months.  We grow so many cherry tomatoes that through the summer months we always have a bowl full left on the island for all day snacking. Last summer my beautiful little girls had to handle most of the harvesting themselves since I was recovering. Although they did a wonderful job,  I look forward to being fully involved this year! The area is prepped and ready, we even expanded again this year.

A harvest from last season
A harvest from last season

The weekend looks to be heading back into the 50’s.  I am sure that will feel really cold after these few days.  Until then, I will fully enjoy every ray of sun I can!