Weekend Coffee Share; Gardening and Outside Fun!

Welcome to my yard from Spring as I reminisce. I am missing my roses, they are not blooming right now and so I thought I would feature these beauties. It is amazing how this rose starts out a darker yellow and pink and then fades as it ages and opens up as you see these two roses blooming next to each other. They are heavenly! Can I get you coffee or tea? Iced is my preference on these warm summer days. As we sit outside enjoying this beautiful summer day and chat, I will tell you how I am looking for tomato recipes as I am getting a lot of tomatoes! Lol πŸ˜€

I am loving all these tomatoes and my neighbor is growing them as well and has given us eight more that are in my fridge. The lighter ones you see in the photo I just picked today. I read that it is good to pick them as they start to turn and then you can let them ripen on your counter. They are absolutely scrumptious!! I have been eating them on salads and in my sandwiches but I want to use them in some recipes. I know I can make salsa and spaghetti sauce. I looked up baked tomatoes and the recipe I found looks delicious! I’ll let you know how it turns out if I bake them. (Basically, they are stuffed and baked with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, garlic, you know…. all the good stuff!) I am also thinking of making homemade ketchup. I LOVE ketchup! Do you have any good recipes when you have a lot of tomatoes?

My teeny tiny garden – container gardening is working out very well. I have mulched it and I think its helping tons. The plants look very healthy and I know it might look crowded but the bell peppers don’t take up much room. I have two bell pepper plants and one tomato plant. I knew I would have a ton of tomatoes with just one plant, and I didn’t know if the bell peppers would grow well, so I guess that’s why I got two of the bell peppers. You never know what will live, and I haven’t killed a tomato plant to date! I wanted to share a couple more photos of some plants that are looking great. Can I get you a refill? I better get more iced coffee, cafe mocha is my go too..

These really are house plants but the weather is mild enough here where I live that they thrive really well completely in the shade outside on my front porch. I have two of the variegated philodendrons on my porch along with an ivy and of course the arrowhead.

I have a story about the Arrowhead. My hubby came home from work one day after our second son was born and walked into the house and I will never forget I was washing dishes and he walked up to me and asked me how I was and I just burst into tears!! I could not stop crying, and he was very consoling but the hormones raged and the postpartum blues had hit me hard. Usually about two weeks after birth I just can’t control my emotions. The next day he came home with a beautiful plant arrangement. It had a small palm and this arrowhead philodendron, and it meant so much to me that he bought these to help soothe my hormone depression. This arrowhead that is thriving on my front porch is 31 years old this year! AMAZING! I think all my potted plants on my porch are well over 20 years old and going strong. ❀ ❀ ❀

Oh dear, I hope I am not boring you with all the plants. The plants are looking so great it just makes me smile and so in turn makes me want to share them. Since we are outside, how about we head to the stables and we can turn out the horses! GREAT IDEA! πŸ˜€

Thank you for visiting today and I enjoyed our visit together. It is great to reminisce and to share my garden adventures. I would have shared baked tomatoes, now that would be a perfect lunch! I hope you are enjoying summer, I know I am the best I can.

Happy gardening horse loving gal,

~Diana

Roses are blooming!

This rose has the most AMAZING rose smell! I LOVE IT! ❀

I have a small garden in my front yard with a few rose bushes that are LOVING all the rain and I am getting some blooms. I can’t believe it is almost Spring and I absolutely LOVE the smell of roses. I find it amazing how smells can evoke memories as these beautiful roses remind me of my youth. This blog is all about roses! πŸ˜€

A rose bud, so fat and cute! ❀
This is so beautiful as the bud opens so dark in color, fading with the flower below as it ages on the vine!

Nature just amazes me with all it’s beauty. I have a handful of rose bushes that are all different, the variegated colors above are just gorgeous. I love being outside and seeing what the day brings and what is new in the world. There are a lot of fun things to observe. I wish I got my camera out yesterday at the stables as I observed a wild finch as it flew and perched itself on the fence and I thought what funny whiskers – haha – it’s beak was full of horse hair as it was gathering this for its nest! Darn, it would have been a great photo!!

Such a big rose, so compact in the middle! This is my favorite smelling rose.

I cheated and the first rose is the same rose as the last, but I tried a super close shot opposed to farther away. My favorite is the super close up shot, with my second being the rose that is light yellow with a pink fringe! I like the rose bud too, heck, I love them all. I just had to share my roses today as they put a giant smile on my face and I can’t wait until the sun returns. We will have some rain tonight and we have just seen the sun a little bit here and there the last week or so. It is to warm up this week and I am SO EXCITED! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Can’t wait for SPRING, can’t wait to garden!

-Diana ❀

R.I.P Baby Pumpkin…..

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I made a discovery yesterday after struggling this last week with my pumpkin and cucumber garden. I kept watering and watering and watching the leaves droop like they were thirsty. I looked and looked and could see many ants, a large amount of them, teeny tiny ants, I believe they are Argentina ants and so I thought they must be hurting my garden and so I went and purchased some safe ant/insect dust for my garden and before I applied the dust I finally got a good look at the ROOT of my problem! Something is EATING MY GARDEN!! The roots are gone on many plants.  😦

As I watered I found a deep dark hole in the ground, grrr… a gopher or gophers. We have lots of gophers, but since we let our grass die out for many reasons, but mostly the bad droughts we were having here the gophers have mostly moved on to other houses in our neighborhood. But clearly they are not far away! I lost 4 good pumpkin plants and 2 cucumber plants. Oh my heart is heavy as I watch my garden die an untimely death. I feel like I’m planting and spending my time in my tiny garden to feed the creatures that make their home in the Earth. Sigh……

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I took this photoΒ of the better side and you can see what I had to pull out, all dead. I still have a healthy amount if I can keep the gophers at bay or hope they are caught (my hubby is the gopher catcher) or they move on as we set the traps in their holes. I will have to keep a vigilant eye out for the holes. Unfortunately I don’t have enough other vegetation for the gophers to eat so they are dining nicely on my fresh green garden! So I had to gather up my thoughts about all this as I felt very sad and frustrated. I clearly can live without seeing a mature pumpkin, and I am getting cucumbers that I will harvest this weekend so I will be able to sample some cucumbers soon. AND I still have my tomatoes in my container!Β  πŸ™‚

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SO I told myself not to be too sad and to focus on a new crop of veggies, a small crop that I am going to plant in my 2 containers I bought that are gopher proof! I will take a photo once I get them planted, but I feel I need to realize that gardening is not always easy and it has its perils. I am thinking we use to have bunny rabbits come in through the fence and dine on our grass when it was fresh and green. No more grass so no more bunnies. There are ground squirrels in our area but none on my street or at my house, so very thankful. And we have no deer to worry about so other than the bugs and insects these darn gophers are my headache! Here is a photo below of a good pumpkin still alive that if I’m lucky may grow up. I have more than one vine left, so maybe I’ll get 3 or 4 pumpkins. I’d love to get at least one so that I can give it to my granddaughter for Halloween.Β  ❀

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As I am out in my garden I have about 8 rose plants and only one is blooming right now. It’s a beautiful tea rose that is loving my attention and so it puts a huge smile on face. Its colors so beautiful. I won’t give up, I just won’t and I know the containers will be much easier to maintain. I have grown pumpkins here before when we first moved here around 13 years ago and they grew fine with no gopher interference. But I had a ton of vegetation on my property so either the gophers weren’t around? or they prefered something else.Β  They have eaten at the roots of one of our small palm trees, it is pretty much dead and a nice hole near that tree. Life with rodents and wildlife sure can be challenging. Do you have many challenges in your gardens? I’d love to hear from you, and thank you for reading my plight. I have to laugh, as I’d rather laugh than cry. I know I’ll survive but I can tell you I have been spending EVERY DAY in my garden grooming it and loving it with all my heart! ❀

Silly me,

Diana