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 😀

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! 😀

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

Weekend Coffee Share; Summer is Here!

She is clothed with strength and dignity
and laughs without fear of the future
                                                    ❤ Proverbs 31:25

I am sitting here enjoying my cup of coffee reflecting back to all the summers that have come and gone. Boy, has there been a lot of summers. Haha, I am getting old (but feel young) and don’t really want to count them all but I will say I usually have really fun summers. We live where in the summer it gets a bit hot but honestly, you can’t beat the weather here in Southern California. There is no humidity and we are close enough to the ocean that the nights cool off really well. There is a lot to do in the summer if you have the time. I am not retired, so I have to take vacation days to enjoy any extra days off to explore or enjoy weekend retreats. 😀

As I am finishing my coffee, may I get you something as we sit outside enjoying the cool morning? We are still in June and so we usually get a lot of marine layer that rolls in and keeps us cool. Us locals call June “June gloom” Haha, it is very welcoming as it is the last of the cool weather as we approach July. I am feeling more confident each day I see all the tomatoes growing in my container. I am watching a lot of Youtube videos learning lots about tomato gardening. I didn’t realize there is so much to this to get the best out of your plant and fruit! I have grown before, but my plants were tiny with barely any tomatoes. I am learning a lot this year!

I think it is fun to learn about gardening. I think container gardening is a great way to start, plus I don’t have to worry about gophers and I do not have any other critters that climb into my containers. My girlfriend who lives in a different area, about 15 miles from where I live planted veggies in a couple of containers last year and once the plants started to sprout up (she started with seedlings) something jumped into her containers and ate everything that she tried to grow! Maybe ground squirrels? She never saw the critters but needless to say she gave up after several attempts. She ended up giving me her containers. She is having better luck with fruit trees! How is your coffee? or can I get you something else? The sun is still not out, very overcast today.

I loved crocheting these pretty pastel placemats for my daughter. They are like doilies all connected only not as tiny as real doilies. They will be cute on her table in her apartment. I also am starting another sweet dreams baby blanket and this time it is for a girl! I just love this pattern and it stitches together quickly and I LOVE seeing how it comes together in a different color. So many babies this year!! This really eases my stress being able to create and make all my crochet fun creations. I thought I would share my latest projects.

I must say as we sit and chat enjoying this cool morning that my emotions and thoughts are all over the place. We are trying to figure out the best way to move to Arizona and oh my goodness, this is not going to be an easy thing to do at all. I find myself feeling anxious because this all takes time, and I feel like a little kid wanting answers and decisions right NOW! But that’s not how this is going to work, we need to take it one day at a time. SO I waffle back and forth with, screw this idea, this is HARD – to I can’t wait to move to where cost of living will be better and I will be close to family and friends in AZ and feeling excited. Holy Smokes! I need to think about our future as we age! Shoot…. I find the process frustrating. And that’s all I will share about this subject right now. Thought it would make me feel better sharing, haha, its just tough to know what will be best for us and our future. On to what I know makes me smile and keeps me sane! 😀

Chloe and Zack running lose in the arena for exercise! Pretty ponies!

Oh my goodness! This day is so exciting! I FINALLY figured out how to upload a video! I am so silly. I have been trying and trying and finally found on the editor I am using the video icon. I take a lot of videos so ya’ll beware! You might being seeing a lot more of these. I have trail rides to share too. I get so EXCITED over silly things but I have been wanting to share videos of my horses for a very long time. (I am embarrassed to say how long, haha, I’m so happy I finally figured it out). I hope it plays correctly when I publish for everyone. All I can do is try and see if this works!! YAY!

Thanks for joining me for coffee this weekend. I showed you my tiny garden and enjoyed sharing my craft projects. We then chatted about the future, what is in your future plans? And finally we drove just over a mile to the stables as I turned out the ponies! I had so much fun with ya’ll!

Have a wonderful weekend!

~Diana ❤

Teeny Tiny Garden Update!

20180807_180911.jpg

This summer is just crazy, and I know many will agree! It’s crazy hot and crazy wildfires, and I pray the fires will all go out soon even though I know the fight will be long and hard for those putting their life on the line. But I am so thankful we are not near any fires, no, we are inland enough to get a healthy dose of hot weather pretty much every day. My poor garden is really suffering and I feel badly only because I did not prepare better, but it is all a learning curve and boy have I learned a lot this summer! I have to thank fellow gardeners that have given me some great advice, and most of that advice I’ll have to try the next time around as my garden that once was mighty, even though it is small has wilted down and is just about ready to be dead. I never thought I would write about death, but my cucumbers have succumbed and my pumpkins are right behind. I think I will have one pumpkin, maybe, it’s not the size most normal pumpkins are and it is still early for a pumpkin but the plant itself I don’t think will make it more than a couple of weeks if I’m lucky. I’m SUPER HAPPY about my tomatoes! That is what I decided to put as my first photo, they are very happy tomatoes in a container and I hope they stay that way. I didn’t want to put photos of my sad pumpkin/cucumber patch, okay, here are a couple of photos. It’s just about done like I said, next time I will prepare the ground better and definitely I will lay down mulch to help with keeping things moist when I water! I can only post these tiny photos as its hard to look at, I’m rather embarrassed, sort of, well, it is what it is at this point!  😦  I know, I’m being dramatic…

As my teeny tiny garden is shrinking (minus cucumbers and soon pumpkins) I am planning on starting a new one in 2 containers that I have waiting to be planted for fall. Since I had to battle Mr. Gopher I am going to just concentrate on the containers. I will check my planting zone as I’m sure this will help my success in my gardening. I’ve known about these zones, I just haven’t taken the time to look and see what grows best where I live. Since my garden is tiny, I plan on keeping it that way until I get the hang of this gardening thing. I sure love watching my garden grow and so I will do my best with my fall crop. Haha, I have to laugh because it isn’t much of a crop but it is still a garden and really fun!   😀

P.S. I only got about 7 cucumbers that I am eating instead of pickling. They are delicious, sweet, succulent and only one that was bitter so I threw it away. Maybe I will try to grow more cucumbers. Next time.  🙂

20180805_115219.jpg

Only one of my tiny herb garden is beaming and that’s my basil. It sure is shiny and green. The box for my herbs is really small which is fine since I need to learn to cook with fresh herbs! I have occasionally bought fresh herbs from the grocery store but I’ll be completely honest, I have NEVER grown my own herbs. Oh dear, I need to learn to eat healthier and cook and eat fresh and home-grown foods! I’m slowly getting there, better late than never I always say….

20180805_115129.jpg

As sad as I am about losing some of my garden, my eyes and nose can’t believe my honeysuckle!! It smells AMAZING! And it is blooming like CRAZY! It’s just loving life and so it puts a huge giant smile on my face! I have to say that I love sharing my garden even though it is so very small. My little tea rose is loving life too like I’ve mentioned before. My other bigger roses are dormant as I think they bloom later in the fall or usually late winter into spring actually. So I’m not surprised they are not blooming right now. Here is another tea rose bloom. It is so pretty, I do love these plants.  ❤

20180718_070551.jpg

I hope you have enjoyed my gardening plights and joys. It is work, but it is rewarding except the part about the plants that don’t want to live any more. That part is sad, but everything else is really fun and enjoyable! If you have any gardening tips I’d love to hear from you!

Newby Teeny Tiny Gardener,

-Diana

My First Cucumbers, YUMMY!

20180728_140835.jpg

I have never grown cucumbers before and I have to scratch my head and wonder why? Oh my goodness, home-grown cucumbers are so amazing I have no idea why I have never planted them before. For some reason I always chose zucchini or yellow squash to grow and I’m not bashing them but my hubby has never liked zucchini or squash so I end up making zucchini bread and I bake the squash despite his lack of enthusiasm. When I cut into this cucumber the sweet, juicy flavor was unlike any I’ve had before! It’s like home-grown tomatoes, they just taste so much better than buying from the store, so strange but it’s so TRUE!!

20180722_141047-2.jpg

I LOVE these babies so much that I cut up the whole cucumber and put it in my salad. Haha, I had more cucumber than salad but it was so delicious I had to have a salad the next day and of course consume another cucumber. The skin is not very thick on my cucumbers which is fine by me, as it makes it that much tastier. I’ve been seeing and reading a lot about other gardens and all the produce they are producing its just amazing as my garden is so tiny but it’s a start. I am such a busy Mom, Grandma, supervisor, horse owner, dog owner, kitty owner and small garden maintainer, not to mention the house work I need to do (it’s pretty easy to neglect the kitchen floor) also working on crochet projects, did I tell you I’m really busy? Yup, now I’m repeating myself! And I love sharing and writing and that takes time too! 😀

20180731_174830.jpg

Here is one pumpkin that has taken off and I had planted white and orange seed pumpkins. I think this is going to be a white pumpkin. I also discovered that in my zealous trying to be a good pumpkin/cucumber mom I’ve been over watering! Oh dear, I’ve had a few pumpkins get all mushy and fall off the vine and upon reading this is caused by too much watering or flooding. Oops, so I’ve backed off and am trying to just water every day by wetting the soil and like counting to 10 and making myself stop. Haha, it’s been so darn hot that I’ve been standing there flooding my garden! 😀

I’m getting some weeds and a bit of grass growing around my pumpkins that I’m leaving for groundcover to help keep moisture in since I waited to long to mulch. At this point I just want to get one or two pumpkins full-grown if possible. And I’ve gotten six cucumbers, yes only six, remember I’ve got a teeny tiny garden and I can see more cucumbers growing on the vine so I may get more before the vines all shrivel up and die. We scared away the gopher for now, hopefully he’ll stay away to complete this growing cycle. It’s all good experience. I’d rather learn by trial and error on a tiny garden than invest a whole bunch of money and time on a huge endeavor only to screw it up and have most of my crops drop dead! Haha, I’m not doing too bad considering!

20180731_174905.jpg

AND I’VE GOT TOMATOES GROWING! I feel like a little kid, look what I did Ma! I grew a tomato!! You have to realise or if you haven’t noticed yet I get REALLY EXCITED over little triumphs. I want to thank all the blogs I have read on gardening and thank you all for sharing your stories, photos, tips and encouragements. You all as I sit and stare and read about these beautiful gardens are why I try to do some container gardening. I have to think small as my land where I live is not conducive to a large garden area. And I live in the stinkin desert, so it makes growing much of anything a bit of a challenge! But I try!  ❤ ❤ ❤

I thought I’d close with my honeysuckle bush which is absolutely LOVING all my watering! It has so many blooms ready to bloom I just love it and the smell is AMAZING! There are a million buds and I took a close up of the tiny flower but boy does it smell good. I wish I could share the honeysuckle smell, but suffice it to say that I am doing a bit better with my plants but then they are a bit more forgiving. I have plans on two containers that I will plant probably this weekend some fall veggies. Since I’m planting from seed it’s not costing much but my time, so I squeeze in time in my garden which is soothing and relaxing. I love being outside!

Crazy teeny tiny gardener,

-Diana

Up close Garden Stills

20180722_140910.jpg

I don’t have a fancy camera but I absolutely LOVE photography.  Growing up my father was an avid photography and had some really nice cameras with many different lenses including the top of the line zoom lens. It was so fun using his fancy camera back in the day. Then you had to get the film developed. I actually took a photography class in high school and learned how to develop film. We just used black and white as I am sure that was easy to teach us young high school students. It amazes me what we can do at a snap of a finger today! I just point and click and even though my Samsung Galaxy S9+ may not be a super duper fancy camera it fills my needs and is super easy to use. I actually need to look into this camera more and see all that it can do as I may not be using it to its full capabilities, I just haven’t had the time to read and learn about all its camera features. Suffice it to say, I just got as close as I could for this fun Sunday Stills photo challenge!

Above is a close up photo of my honeysuckle bush. It is loving all my watering and is getting a million blooms and is smelling AMAZING!  ❤

20180722_140953.jpg

I keep mentioning my beautiful tea rose in my garden writings and right now it is the only rose-bush blooming. It’s just loving life right now and so I can’t help myself but to photograph all its beautiful foliage.  I got as close as I could to this pink rose without it getting too blurry! ❤

20180722_141019.jpg

I have to include a very up close photo of a healthy pumpkin that the gopher has not eaten (yet) and am hoping he keeps on growing, grow baby pumpkin grow!! Mr. gopher has hopefully fled and is living elsewhere.  For those of you following my blog I had written about the demise of a bunch of my pumpkin and cucumber plants which Mr. gopher found and was getting fat enjoying their roots. I have about half my ground garden still growing and even harvested a few cucumbers which is my next photo!  😀

20180722_141047-2.jpg

These are my very fat cucumbers. I’m not sure why they are so short and fat as they are supposed to be thin and about 6 inches in length.  I actually wasn’t sure how long to leave on the vine but it just felt right to harvest them today and I know my plants will hopefully grow some more. If that doesn’t happen that’s okay, this is all for fun and of course I would love to be able to eat and enjoy my grown veggies. I think this will do fine.  This Sunday Stills photo challenge was a lot of FUN!  I hope you all enjoyed my stills and I hope you think about sharing too!

Sunday Fun!

-Diana

R.I.P Baby Pumpkin…..

20180719_143609.jpg

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……

20180719_141229.jpg

I took this photo 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!  🙂

20180719_141334.jpg

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.  ❤

20180719_143642.jpg

20180719_141301.jpg

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.  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