it's that time of year

it's that time of year

a middle tennessee garden blog

finding beauty in the natural things around us makes for one happy self and a lovely life. ~marmee

dash home farm, leiper's fork, tennessee

Friday, May 1, 2009

one fine day

sitting in the garden is not something gardeners often do...once we do sit...we
see some weed that needs to be pulled or a branch that needs pruning or a nearby
flower that needs deadheading...sitting is not very often done.

however, i have many sitting venues throughout the lawn and garden.
i have a little bit of a chair fetish...inside and outside.

with the help of david, jesse, dh and moi...we were able to create another place in which to
observe wildlife...even when that includes watching our children and grands.
the blueberries are beautiful.

mother mocking bird is very her babies...she is
always keeping a watchful eye out.

every thursday we have a wonderful little gardening helper.
she loves her g-pa and marmee.
we are putting in some raised beds in the fenced vegetable garden patch.
we had a huge weed problem last year and we have gone to great lengths
of preparation this year to avoid them by tilling...weeding...pulling...having other plantings
as barriers on the outside of the fence...amending the soiling with soil...potting soil...
sheep/cow manure & compost...another mixture called...soil amendment(finely ground pine bark)... also using a method of overcrowding with intercropping flowers/vegetables.
ellery was right on the spot...aiding her g-pa.
we were able to get one of the raised beds filled with...
heirloom chantaenay red core carrots...beets(early wonder)... small
yellow onions...poppies(beauty of livermere)...cleome.
this raised bed was placed on top of the well tilled amended soil with no bottom.
in another same veggie patch...we planted through the top of black
weed-bloc...6 tomato plants...3 mr. stripey...3 firey orange...with shallots and green/red
peppers placed in between...then mulched with pine bark mini nuggets.
newly planted soprano light purple asters on the side and the angelonia just
outside the fence help insure beneficial insects will come and eat the pests.

blooming pretty and helpful.
i think i said rose breasted grosbeak more than a dozen times on thursday
while ellery was here...she is very curious about our new visitor.
we talk about the pairing of birds and what happens when they do...
birds and bees are common topics of conversation...and lots of questions.
another hummingbird feeder has been placed near the
wildflower garden...2 starla red pentas...2 northern lights
lavender pentas were added also.
both g-pa and i are trying to teach ellery all we can
about loving nature...and all things wild...including buzzing insects.
she can identify the american gold finch...and loves watching them feed.
this year we are trying new ways of doing old things...these tepee poles were planted with blue lake green beans at the bottom...they should make their way up the poles to shade the
mesclun gourmet greens...planted underneath...with cherry zinnias planted in the center.
heirloom purple along with pink lady tomatoes were planted just outside of the tepee with easter egg radishes in between those tomatoes....seeded along the fence line inside and outside were giant violet queen & envy zinnias as well as true lavender.
just to the right of this we placed strawberry ornamental corn
in a triangular pattern with papaya cream nasturtium interspersed.
the last two honeyhill joy hellebores are in the ground...the other potted
up with pinto white geranium & white lobelia.
velvet queen sunflower and silver petunia rastrera seeds are in the ground.
lemon basil growing within the herb hutch.

our garden angel has been doused with rain for two days have
all the new plants and seeds...i am hoping they didn't wash away...

i love rainy days...but enough is enough...rain, rain, go away...come
again another day...but such as it is...upon us is another happy may.

happiest of may gardening to all!


Lisa said...

Lovely pictures. We too are doing all raised beds that we spent much time preparing. Cardboard in the bottom for weed protection, then vermiculite, peat, perlite, manure and organic soil mixed together. We have fought the traditional garden and lost miserable; never again.
Everything is growing wonderfully and NO weeds!!!
We also are enjoying a variety of birds at our bird feeders. They are beautiful.

Lisa Q

Blossom said...

I enjoyed your post and pictures. love your flying visitors. It's good that you give them places to perch on.

Darla said...

Another lovely post. You all have done a lot of work already this year. Love how your are training the little one to be a gardener and nature lover!

Brad and Esther Pagh said...

Oh I love your little helper, I am so excited to have her here with me soon!! I don't know how you keep up with all of those names and what you have planted. You must have a gardeners journal! I love you and miss you very much. I really want to come see all this good stuff you are doing.

tina said...

That grosbeak is so pretty. What a good picture. I do hope it dries out soon-can't believe it is still raining! You are doing the right thing with the veggie garden. Weeds can overwhelm us pretty quick and it's easy to get discouraged but being diligent will take care of most of the problem like you are.

Meems said...

Dear Marmee,
Wow. I can see I have missed so many goings on just being away for a week! The garden is hopping and blooming and growing so nicely. All your new acquisitions will be full force before you know it and the buzzing, flying, crawling critters will have a haven at Dash Home Farm.

I recognize a few of your newly planted beauties but several of them I'll have to admire from a distance. The columbine so graceful and wonderful color.

Don't the little ones bring a whole new adventure to the garden! They are so interested and so alive to all God's creations... it is an eye opener and a blessing to have them along on our journeys.

You guys have really done it right this year with all the amending and prep... I always say preparation, preparation, preparation... it's what all of LIFE is made of!!!!!

Hope that rain has only been a blessing and not a hindrance to your little seeds. If so, they will be most grateful and so will you!

Well, I could go on and on but I should give you a call for that so everyone else isn't bored to tears.
hugs and love to you... and happy May gardening!

Susie said...

Lovely pictures as usual Marmee. Looks like you have lots of good help gardening.

You can send some of that rain to us. We've already gone into summer, hot and muggy and no rain.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Cheryl said...

Dear Marmee......I have just read all the posts that I have missed.....sorry I have not visited as frequently as I would have liked but it has just been too hectic here.....

It is all coming on so well......your journey is one of hard work and incredible beauty. There is nothing like a little helper to motivate and charm us. To teach and show them natures way will lead them to a healing path as they grow.

I love the additions to your soil....I am one of life's composters!!!!! I have nine compost bins and have emptied every one around the garden......the soil has been lovely....

You cannot have too many seats around the garden....I am sure we do not use them as much as we would like.....but at least they are there waiting, in case we are in need of a cup of tea and a rest.......

Have a lovely weekend with your lovely family and dogs......

marmee said...

dear lisa,
i love seeing so many wonderful different types of birds. they all bring something different to the area. we had a terrible time with weeds last year but it was our first year here and it was sort of understandable...this year i hope not. we aren't getting anything up yet from seed. our grounds our saturated with rain the last few days and more is supposed to come. i would like it to stop. we are trying to do all organic and no pesticides. it can be challenging but oh so rewarding.

marmee said...


so delighted that you came by "things i love" you are most welcomed. glad you enjoyed being here, come back anytime/

marmee said...

dear darla,

it is great to teach the grands in a peaceful setting. they seem to like soaking up all you have to offer.
this year has been a lot of work but it has been very satisfying...which is all well worth it. now if we just can have some success.

marmee said...


this is my journal that's why i make sure i put the names on here. i don't remember them all but am learning as i go and trying to retain it all. what makes it twice as hard is the fact that most of them are new to me...when i plant something that i have planted before it feels good...i feel like they have a better chance of making it...but the soil is oh so different so lots of amending and making it looser. all clay and limestone here. i would be happy to have you come visit and see all that is being done...i guess we will be waiting till july.
our little helper just went to the airport and g-pa dropped them off. soon they will be with you.
how are the puppies doing?ruby?
love and hugs to you my dear sweet estee'.

marmee said...


thanks for your encouragement especially coming from you the master gardener. i didn't want to be so concerned with weeds this year that i could enjoy the things i want to grow and watch and nuture.
i can't believe all this rain so late in the season. i really thought it was over for the flooding part. i think we are alright with our newly planted seeds if it doesn't stay too moist for to long.

marmee said...

dear meems,
we are having so much new life here. i can't even identify all the flying, buzzing creatures. but i do think we will be having a batch of kittens here soon. she is so young but i think it is inevitable at this point. abbey will be happy. i haven't had a baby kittens since i was a little girl.
i have decided not to be to concerned to plant new things i don't know about other wise i would have a very tiny garden so i am taking the plunge and it will be all trial and error. there is a lot of that going on this year.
having the grands in the garden is so much fun not always a lot of work getting done but a lot of learning.
after wading around in the garden this morning i am thinking we haven't had too much of a loss but now i don't want the moisture to stay to long or it could kill some of the seeds or seedlings. i am happy with the herb hutch so far. it being off the ground has some benefits.
have a great may day in your garden and with your visitors.

marmee said...

dear susie,

how i would love to send you some of our rain at this point i want to have a little dryness. i am trying to think about what you are feeling right now because we have had two summers in a row that have been very much a drought.
the gardening help comes and goes but i will take it anytime.
have a nice weekend and i hope you get some rain.

marmee said...

dear cheryl,

i totally understand about be busy. i am surprised at myself being able to post...but i do it when it's too hot or late at night. or the last few days with all the rain...i can catch up a little. the ground is too wet to plant anything. but i am hoping all the new plants(not seeds) will just be loving it. the seeds i am a slight bit concerned about.
i do love that our little ellery is learning to appreciate nature...she is very afraid of bugs but i am working with her teaching her most you have nothing to fear and the rest just leave alone. i hope to help her conquer her fear one day.
the soil here is very heavy and needs lots of amending or nothing would have a chance...although natives would be more likely to do well. i am trying to add as many of these as i can. when i finally get to my front yard i want to do mostly natives so they will thrive without much help.
i went thru a time when i didn't have much in my early twenties and was a single mother, there were never enough chairs...i think that is why i always want everyone to have a place to rest and feel welcomed. i am determined to use them too...we do eat outside whenever the weather is nice. which is often right now.
hope you are enjoying your weekend. we just took my oldest daughter and her family to airport for a week down to florida and then off on a cruise.

Q said...

Dear Marmee,
Your gardens are going to be outstanding. Lots of work but worth it. All your plantings sound fantastic.
I just saw a male Rose breasted Grosbeak this afternoon in my backyard. So nice to see them again. Your hummingbird feeder is lovely. You are so right, sitting in the gardens is just so seldom done. Always something to do. I also have had lots of rain. I am waiting for the ground to dry up and warm up a bit before I put any more seeds in the ground. I an concerned about seed rot!
Your Grand daughter is very sweet. It is wonderful you are passing down the love of nature and how to be good stewards.
Happy May,