Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday Lunch

Last Sunday we had a nice lunch before we took to the garden: a tomato tart and a green salad.
This is my new favorite salad. Mixed greens, romaine hearts, shredded carrots, radishes, and sugar snap peas topped with vinaigrette.
The tomato tart is a favorite of mine from the Jackson, Mississippi Junior League cookbook Come On In. I used basil from the herb garden and tomatoes from the farmer's market.
To me this was the perfect Sunday summer lunch.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Bad and Ugly, Part 2

The weather this weekend was gorgeous! I couldn't have asked for better. It barely got up to 90 with a slight cooling breeze all weekend. Partly cloudy, so we got relief from the sun every once in a while. It threatened to rain on Saturday afternoon, but it missed us. We were out in the yard all day Saturday and Sunday. Chip was off this weekend, and I was excited to have a helper.

I inhereted a bed that spans the entire right edge of my backyard. Only a small corner of the bed gets sun throughout the day, and that's where I planted my herb garden. The rest of the bed is either full shade or part shade.

The back corner of this bed was like the other bed. Some good looking azaleas and many dead ones. The top photo is what it looked like after I dug out all the dead ones and added an Adam's Needle yucca (passalong from my mother) under the tree.

When we moved in we planted a "Little Gem" magnolia in the middle of the bed in between the two palms. The long fence really needed something to draw the eye to in the middle of the bed. Well, that tree died, so we are back at square one. The soil there is in major need of help. Hard, compacted, and depleted.The second photo is what it looked like after we dug out the dead magnolia. The last photo is what it looked like after we cleared some space.

Some space for what, you ask? We've decided to add a brick patio area where the magnolia was. Nothing seemed to be growing well there. The soil was just too compacted. A patio seemed like a good idea. Definitely something that will draw the eye to the middle of the bed. I think we'll probably add a bench and a grouping of container plants. Chip has already done a good bit of work on the patio, and I can't wait until it is all done. I'll post photos then.

As for the back corner, I added edgers this weekend to help define the area a bit better. I am short about 12 blocks, but I'll finish it up eventually. Chip added some mulch.

Already this is looking better. I obviously need more plants. On my short list are hydrangeas, camillias for winter interest, and possible another Japanese Magnolia (aka tulip tree) on the right side of the big tree.

I am so happy this is finally coming together! More photos of the patio to come soon.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Veggie Garden and Rainy Skies

Forget all these silly elephant ears. How did I miss the fact that these plants drink gallons and gallons of precious water?! Augh! I'm getting rid of some of them, and I am getting this:

Yep, a raised veggie garden. I can't wait. It is on SALE, too, at Gardeners Supply Company.
I am already reading about raised beds. I should have them installed in the next few weeks. By July 20th at least. Here in Missisippi that leaves basically an entire growing season before I even have to think about frost. I can grow all kinds of veggies! And with the rain we've been getting...

Look at these clouds! It has been raining for at least a week. Daily showers, very little sun. This is what the sky looks like all the time these days. Like England!
Speaking of England, hubby and I are going to London in about 8 weeks. I am beyond excited! 3 nights in London, 2 nights in Paris, then 3 more nights in London. Fabulous!

What happens when your computer crashes?

I'll tell you what happens when my computer crashes. Work becomes very hard. The things that used to be easy to do - look up a stored proc, read a quick snippet from a document I wrote in 2005, email someone whose email address I don't have stored in my brain - become acts of God to get done. For two weeks I endured life without VPN. And for three weeks I pretended to be a Systems Analyst without SQL Server. Ha!

Needless to say, during those three weeks the LAST thing I wanted to do when I got off work was to look at the computer! I didn't want to blog! Everything was harder to do when I didn't have a trusty laptop by my side.

This was my computer screen on June 14th. Yikes!

Thankfully the good folks at the helpdesk were able to get it fixed. Yes, I sometimes blog using my work laptop. No, I don't save my photos to the laptop. I use picasa. Thank goodness. Because that means my photos didn't get eaten by the hard drive killer monster.

I am back up with a rebuilt laptop, VPN, and SQL Server. And I'm ready to blog. I have a lot to say! I'll be in Oxford this week (leaving today), so hopefully during my down time I can do a few posts this week to catch everyone up.

The Garden Blog is Back!