Mother of Pearls & an Emerald

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KINDERgarden Update 06-17-11 June 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 12:48 pm

We got alot accomplished in our garden this week. We planted out everything we had on hand for the Cutting Garden. They were all grown by seed, mostly through winter sowing. There are Bachelor Buttons, a wildflower mix, and Tall Snapdragons in the back row. Wintersown Echinacea, Shasta Daisy and Black Eyed Susans in the middle row. Our beautiful Dwarf Zinnias and Butterfly Weed in the front row. I may need to get some more bloomers for cutting to fill in this year, as I’m not sure that second row will even bloom the first year. We also have some Moss Roses, Sweet William and Phlox to plant in the very front.

Corner Cutting Garden

Beautiful Girl with her beautiful Zinnias

Next year, we’re growing Zinnias in ABUNDANCE! They’re so pretty. Let’s hope we can keep the Japanese beetles off of them.

This is also pretty cool, Miss Pearl’s teacher presprouted bean seeds with their class, but they left them over the weekend in their hot classroom. Look at these roots! I found it pretty fascinating. Truly, this entire spring of growing plants from seed has been remarkable. How a huge plant grows from just one tiny seed… It’s hard for me not to be moved by my faith while out in the garden.

And we did pot these up and later plant in our square foot garden.

The Bird-X netting over the strawberry patch seems to be working very well. Lots of juicy, red strawberries for the kids to enjoy. Even Mister Emerald is learning quickly this year how to harvest his own tasty tidbits in the garden. Just wish they’d save a few for Mommy!

Siblings Sharing Strawberries in the Summer

We are linking up with Kim at The Inadvertent Farmerand her KINDERgarden 2011 series. ***We are beyond excited to find that we won Kim’s contest featuring a copy of Sharon Lovejoy’s book “Sunflower Houses”! Please stop over and visit Kim and all the other KINDERgardens linked there for so much fun and inspiration!


KINDERgardens Update 06-13-11 June 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 2:39 pm

Now that the Sunflower “House” had been finished,  we were so anxious for Father of Pearls to install the cattle panel trellis. But, we had so many rainy days last week that he didn’t get to install it until this past Saturday. We had pre-sprouted the bean plants for it and potted them up and they were getting so big already! Our three Jack Be Little pumpkin vines were also getting so HUGE and needed to be planted. I was debating tucking those into the landscape on the North side of our house in front of some shurbs. Last year we noticed a neighbor did this. I never really took notice until we saw a huge pumpkin growing! It looked beautiful with all the lush green leaves trailing through. I’m getting very interested in “Edible Landscaping”.  So much so that I tucked some Zucchini plants in between a space in the Lilac bushes on that South side of the house that gets alot of sun.

Back on Memorial Day, we were sharing our KINDERgarden update with my Mother in Law, who is an avid gardener and landscape architect, and she excitedly showed us her new vines she had bought-a Hyacinth Bean and a Bat Plant. The Bat Plant has the neatest flowers that look like little purple/red bats flying! I had mentioned that I was thinking about adding some annual flower vines to the trellis for color and she surprised us with 8 gorgeous vining annual plants from her favorite nursery! We have 3 Bat Plants, 3 Black Eyed Susan vines and 2 “Candy Corn” plants. What a gift that was to our little Kindergarden!

After we hosted a huge “Three Ring Circus” Birthday party celebrating our three sweeties on Saturday, I was so excited to wake up Sunday to a gorgeous, sunny day. Finally, we could get the rest of the KINDERgarden planted!  Here it is best explained in pictures! (Click any photo to enlarge.)

There was already little pumpkins forming on our vine!And I think the Hopscotch turned out really cute. The 12×12 tiles were only $1.25 at Walmart. My Mom cut out the number stencils on her Cricut. I still need to paint a rectangle stone for “Sky Blue”! We still need to run some soaker hoses and mulch the entire area. Hopefully we can do that this week. Then we get to watch and wait for everything to GROW!

We are linking up with Kim at The Inadvertent Farmerand her KINDERgarden 2011 series.


Sunflower House is Planted! May 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 5:06 pm

Despite all the lousy weather and rain we had this holiday weekend, we managed to squeeze in some time to get all the winter sown sunflower seedlings planted around the kids’ climber. Only time will tell if this works! We planted Mammoth Sunflowers around the back and then an assortment of the Burpee Sunflower Cutting Mix in front. Autumn Beauty-yellow/red/brown (5-6 ft) Vanilla Ice-closest to white (4-6 ft), Aztec Gold Hybid (6-7 ft) and Jade Hybrid, a lime green version with cream centers (4-5 ft).


KinderGARDENS May 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 2:19 pm

It’s a fact, gardening is in their genes. So it’s no surprise just how much our kids love to be in the garden-exploring, collecting, helping, watering, planting, nibbling, and sometimes trampling things in the garden!
From our first Sweet 100 tomato plant in a container to our much larger garden today, we have truly been on a “KinderGARDEN” adventure with our own garden. This year, we have had big plans to expand and create a truly kid-friendly garden. In searching for ideas like sunflower houses, I came across Kim’s blog at The Inadvertent Farmer. She is again running her fabulous KinderGARDEN blog series to celebrate and encourage kids in the garden and we are joining up!

In her first week, Kim asked that we give a little intro into our family, garden and plans, so here it is in mostly pictures:

The Kinder in KinderGARDEN

Miss Pearl (almost 7), Mister Pearl (almost 5), Mister Emerald (just turned 2!)


Jasper, the only one of our cats that goes outdoors-resident bunny patrolcat
Next up is a before and after of the area we were determined to utilize this year for a true KinderGARDEN for the kids to really enjoy. We spend a ton of time in our backyard (staycation, anyone?) so we really wanted to make it fun.




Father of Pearls really worked his tail off all day Sunday hauling these extra pavers, building the wall, and tilling this all in. The past few years we’ve just been adding excess sod, leaves, grass clippings to build this area up and so it has cooked down very nicely into some very rich soil.
The plan for this area from left to right is to have a Cutting Garden for Miss Pearl, a cattle panel arch upon which we’ll grow two unusual types of beans-Chinese Noodle Beans and Violetto Beans as well as some Jack Be Little Pumpkins. The corner spot is where we will plant our Sunflower Garden House. We’ll use one of the kids’ cube shaped plastic climbing structures as the support for it.

To be Surrounded with Sunflowers

We also just saw an idea in a hardscapes catalog to use square cement pavers to create a Hopscotch court. I just love that idea, so hopefully we can put that under the bean trellis!
Lastly, we are trying to establish a Fairy Garden under the lone enormous tree in our yard. It’ll take awhile to get the ground covers established, but I think Miss Pearl will really enjoy it.

Linking to KinderGARDENS week 4


Garden Journal Update 4-18-11 April 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 7:00 am

We saw some little pea shoots peeking out of the ground! However, the weather has been cold, wet, and dreary so they may not flourish just yet. We also noticed most of the Watermelon Radish seedlings have come up under the row cover.
Lastly, we potted up all of the tomato plants from the little peat pots to 9 oz drink cups.


State of the Seedlings 04-14-11 April 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 8:11 pm

The week got away from me and I never posted the first State of the Seedlings! Lots more germination and growth this week. I’ll just sum it up in pictures this time. Click pictures to enlarge.


State of the Seedllings 04-10-11 April 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 10:55 am

1. We noticed more sprouts in winter sown containers on Saturday:
19 & 20 Violas (Johnny Jump Ups)
41 Vanilla Ice Sunflower
And some more on Sunday:
13 Echinacea-Purple & White Coneflower
14 Zinnias
18 Snap Dragons-Tall Mixed
50 1/2 Broccoli Raab and 1/2 Giant Parsley di Napoli
It’s GORGEOUS and sunny and 70 today, so I’m sure we’ll see more this week.

2. I noticed that our lettuces and baby spinach were starting to get their first true leaves and since I’m impatient, I decided to transplant some of these tiny plants to our square foot garden under row cover as well as a deck planter box. We’ll compare all three spots to see what’s the best for early growth.

Lettuce in Square Foot Bed

Lettuce in Planter Box

3. We have not noticed a single pea plant sowed on 3-31-11 poke through the soil yet. We planted the second side of the trellis on 4-7-11. Hoping a critter didn’t make off with our seeds…

4. I may have jumped the shark on the San Marzano and Amish Paste tomatoes by pre-sprouting more seeds! Both varieties finally germinated under lights and then all 3 San Marzano seeds pre-sprouted on the paper towel. I tried to transplant these as carefully as I could, we’ll see if they survive. Well, that’s just more to give as gifts, right?

5. The indoor seedlings look to be doing well. We found a really nice toasty germinating spot on top of the stereo receiver, much to Father of Pearls dismay. Alot of the Phlox seedlings got their start there and are now under lights, where they’d languished in the cooler basement originally with the Marigolds and Moss Roses in the same flat. Alright, next year I may have to buys some seed starting mats. Must look for clearance ones this summer.

6. I decided to try Sweet William mix/Dianthus inside, since I’d like to have alot more as edging plants. Father of Pearls has been hard at work moving garden wall blocks around to create new borders around plantings and that Alyssum and Dianthus will come in handy I hope. This will have to be the last of the seeding starting, since we’ll be out of room under the lights, especially when we pot up.