Monday, June 29, 2015

UBER Dropplets!

Greetings Wild Indigo readers! The Celtic Gardens are greener than ever with the whopping 2"+ rainfall we've had this weekend so once again many thanks to mother Nature for her showers of blessings! Seriously, the rain barrels are once again full and the bird bath graciously held out its Celtic arms and is at maximum capacity. The bird bath is at the center piece of the Celtic Garden for a reason: its kinda like having a pool in one's back yard - all the neighbors want to come swim! Its an eye catching garden feature but also serves as a major water and bathing source for our feathery friends. Plus it provides beaucoup tweety bird entertainment! Speaking of tweety birds, a pair of yellow finches were recently sighted accompanied oddly enough by a female hummingbird. They enjoy grazing in the zinnia, drinking from the bouquets and feasting on seeds.  These beautiful yellow and black birds are familiar Celtic Garden friends and their return is an auspicious homecoming!  Hopefully I'll get a picture of them since they are so captivating.
While planning our gardens sometimes we achieve undesirable results. Recently the Celtic Gardens received a much needed mulching. As all gardeners know, mulching provides as both a weed barrier as well as moisture retention which in addition to its clean look is a win-win all around.  Research and choose wisely for the kind most suited for your Xeriscaping needs. As for me, I choose a compost mulch that biodegrades well for soil amendment. However prior proper planning should be utilized, specifically in regard to drainage. Mulch was applied to the new serpentine shade bed and wild indigo crescent bed. During the mulching madness application, drainage troubleshooting was discussed. But we went ahead with the plan.  Friday evening's thunder storms were a sure test. After scouting this area from the deck during the storm, flooding indeed ensued to include the entire area beyond the wild indigo bed, surrounding the Japanese Persimmon tree and flooding clean down to the garden gate. The torrent of rain streaming off the roof line took the usual run off path along the foundation under the deck into the garden and/or driveway but was greatly impeded - by a bunch of horse poop! So this week's task will be to install the suggested pea gravel along the roof line and spread the excess mulch to other areas after flooding necessitated the immediate manual removal during the storms. Yea we're still drying out!

Despite the live and learn mulching event a personal gardening victory has been achieved!  Up until this point the elusive lupine has escaped the Celtic Garden.  Many plants have been tried and much investment has been made into plants that failed to thrive. Various locals were tried throughout the garden but to no avail. Until this little number came into the picture.  May we present: Wild Lupine! Many thanks to LITFM for sharing seeds and as you can see successful germination has taken place! YIPEEEE!!

While not yet rated by the motion picture association upon review it may prove risque for I'm sure you'll agree the carpenter bee is having a field day to say the least getting his buzz on in the bee balm crack!

Now these Rudbeckia Hirta Green Eyes were featured in the last post but I simply couldn't help but include their happy shiny faces in this one either. 


Obviously this is a soap making photo bomb! Patchouli you are a free spirit, indeed!

Capping off this weeks blog is a series of sunset photos taken Sunday evening. I'll let Mother Nature speak for herself ~ no words necessary.  : )



And as always may happiness be a ray of sunshine in your mind, body and soul!

UPDATE: Project completed! With a quick jaunt over to the local Lowes pea gravel was procured. The unruly mulch was raked into other garden spots freeing up the run off path. Now that the gravel is down hopefully this will solve the issue. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Drink of Cool Cool Rain

Greetings wild indigo readers! How be ye? Well we at the Celtic Gardens are thrilled with the recent rains Mother Nature has poured down upon us ~ to the tune of 2.5" in the last 48 hours! To celebrate here's a little Who's Who of thanks:

So now that the Celtic Gardens have drunk their fill I'd also like to include a link to LITFM blog which details the in's -n- out's regarding Mother Natures load of NITRO energies our neighborhoods with prized copious lavish greenery! Yes, beginning Wednesday night around 10:30 pm on and off through even this morning, all told our locality has received over 2" of rain.  I was so happy to hear the droplets that I even shot a picture as they began filling up the water collection chambers!

Although I'm still tweaking the daisy chain for both rain barrels at this moment they are at full capacity and ready for the next span between storms which I hope won't be too long seeing that we're still in store for another week of heat advisory double digit temps! Drink plenty of liquids and avoid the heat of the day as much as possible peeps! Now on to more pics.

Have I ever made mention that I love the smell of rain? It reminds me of when I was a little girl.  During late night summer rainstorms you could find me kneeling at my bedroom window cuddling my pillow with my nose pressed to the window screen smelling the air and relishing the sound of thunder and streaks of electricity from the storm clouds. There's just something about that combination of rain, thunder and lightning that thrills me.  Maybe its the rawness of nature and her ability to astound through our senses that fuels my tribal rain worship!

So now that the rains have come, look what's bloomed! Now before the unveiling, everyone say *FAIL!* That's because I have a new phone and the picture of the descriptive card is no more BUT I can tell you that this is a rudbeckia that I purchased at - you guessed it - Big Bloomers.

Notice the petal color which is a golden yellow with lighter tips and green eye!
So with a quick dash of the keys and a Google search, it appears this is a Rudbeckia Hirta Green Eye variety. As you can see it grows in containers quite well.  I also have a few strewn in the bird bath bed which are coming along nicely.

This next flower made its grand entrance just shy of this week's rains and certainly is a one of a kind. 
She is a white balloon flower but her more common violet-blue variety gets more fanfare. They've gained popularity as container and rock garden staples. She stands solo but made it through the harsh winter so she's a keeper!

You've heard me ramble on about selling items at our local Fayetteville City Market. Well last week I had plucked these beauties from the ground and they were sold at the market lickity split to good homes (and stomachs!)

These guys were direct seeded into the "root bed" back in March whose soil is very loose and well mulched.  Now it took well over 65 days to mature. I attribute their lengthy growing time to the warmer spring temps resulting in warmer soil temps. As we now carrots prefer cooler growing temps so they weren't grown in their preferred environment but still rock! They were about four inches in length at harvest. Thankfully there's still a few left in the field for personal crunching! I haven't grown such lovely carrots in years and they'll definitely be a yearly garden addition.

So I was at our local Target store recently pursuing the aisles when I came across this little number. I was happy to see this brand being offered commercially since "Mortgage Lifter" is an heirloom tomato which I had considered growing way back in February! How cool it is to see this kind of product being made available! Being the diabetes educator and food label reader that I am, I love the "no added sugar" boasting.

As curiosity would have it, research into the saucy mysteries surrounding this savory sampling was clearly in order! Their website is chunk full of neat vignettes and juicy tidbits to include mention of "The Beekman Boys" reality show and their competing in CBS's  The Amazing Race in 2012 of which they won the grand prize. Now according to their website 25% of the profits are donated to help support struggling small American farmers. If their pasta sauce earnings come anywhere close to their revenues from their tv series then I'd say they've made substantial contributions to some lucky small farmers. Although there aren't any details documenting how and whom has received support let's hope their word stands. Their dreams have been materialized and we applaud their efforts as we slurp down our zoodles drenched in their original recipe!

Finally I'm giving homage to the beautiful sunset Saturday June 13th. Summer's official arrival is this Saturday, a most welcomed visitation.  We may complain about the excessive heat but remembering the long winter we had I'll embrace the heat in exchange for gazing upon the Celtic Garden's pleasantries. In case you're living locally I'll be offering soap and sundries Saturday at the market. I've got sunbalm 30 as well as organic bug spray added to the Sonshine Soaps arsenal. In case you're looking for hot peppers or aloes to cool the burn check out my friend Tom's offerings at our Sustainable Neighbor booth.

And as always may happiness be a ray of sunshine to your mind, body and soul!

Peace out!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Going, Going, GONE!

Greetings Wild Indigo readers! A few pop-up showers are gracing our gardens as I type so I'm happy the garden is getting a drink. We also had some significant atmospheric events Tuesday night as a severe storm passed through our area.  The atmosphere went from neon yellow to neon green and then red to orange.  At first glance it could've been mistaken for the sunset but I grabbed my emergency items and got the hanker down closet ready just in case. Thankfully all is well but keep those emergency items ready folks! So after a few weeks on sabbatical from blogger land I'm back with a pretty picture heavy issue that will knock your flip flops off so let's get to it, strike a pose, there's nothing to it .....!!!!

In case you haven't heard here in these thar parts there's a kickin nursery in Sanford named Big Bloomers.  Not only do they have an astounding selection of plants but thye have a lovely selection of fountains and garden decor to include your truly's Celtic bird bath. As the temperatures are warming up the neighborhood fowls make frequent visits to refresh themselves. Planted around the feathered spa are black-eyed susans which have begun to bloom, asian day lilies and purple echnecia. Just lovin how the color pallet is coming together in this bed. The asian day lilies smelled glorious!
So the garden is changing its shape from the spring plantings on towards the summer offerings. In the far rear bed pole beans are taking center stage while the collards are having their last hurrah.  Believe it or not there's also tomato plants back there but with more time they'll start perking up as their growth is slow but promising. In the right bed the golden peas pictured here are no more for their glory days have come and gone.  They are replaced with Clemson Spineless and Burgundy okra varieties.  Once more collards and carrots and beets are plucked this will be the grains bed. The front bed is burstin with beans and thus far I've picked over 2# worth! The zinnias in the left bed are in bloom, attracting butterflies and other beneficial pollinators.  I'm still waiting to set my eyes upon the yellow canary birds.

Home grown carrot and golden beet. Now gimme a kimchee recipe!
A baby Praying Mantis outside my office window kept me company this week.

Someone suggested I post a picture of the Devils Horned Egyptian onion so here ya go!  : ) Notice the absence of the golden pea crop in the background.

Now plants show up sometimes in the darnedest places! Thanks to a friend who stayed my weed picking hand from yankin this little guy out of the pot, a most welcomed and prolific ground cherry has taken residence in last year's ginger pot.  Hmmmm ... would be an interesting combination: pineapplie, strawberrish, gingery yumminess!

Now this next plant has taken an unexpected turn for I thought it was merely a mint plant of lemon variety. But as it has continued its vertical span you can see how it resembles bee balm.  Its a welcome addition to the deck garden.

Before we end this weeks installation I've got one more announcement. Now for those who know me as a soap maker I'm expanding my interests and diving into new ventures. This week at the Fayetteville City Market I'll have not only Sunbalm SPF 30, as requested, but a new item of interest: organic bug spray! And boy does it WORK GREAT!!!! There's a few more secrets up my sleeve but we'll keep them tucked away in my magic sleeve for another day.

So as always may happiness be a ray of sunshine in your mind, body and soul.

P. S. The baby cat birds have taken flight not even 30 days since the building of their nest.  Going, going gone! ; )