Friday, October 9

Flowers Around Town: North Conway, New Hampshire Part 2

As promised, here are some more photos of the flower displays and gardens in North Conway.

Wednesday, October 7

October Greenhouse Tomatoes

I still have some tomatoes in my little greenhouse, though they are slowing down. The nights are getting cooler but the greenhouse extends the season a little.

These tomatoes are ripening. I have a lot of green tomatoes I hope will turn red. We'll see. This is a bit of an experiment. So far the greenhouse tomatoes have fared much better than the garden plants, particularly in the way of pests. I had fewer problems all around with the greenhouse plants. 

These tomatoes have been grown in containers since I started them from seed late winter.

I also have these small delphiniums I started from seed which I will transplant into the garden.
Soon I will post an update on the big greenhouse which has caused a lot of drama.....more on that in a future post.

Monday, October 5

Flowers Around Town: North Conway, New Hampshire Part 1

Late in September, my family went camping in New Hampshire's White Mountains. One drizzly day, we spent exploring the shops of North Conway. I'm always interested in the flower displays shop owners plant to dress up their stores, so I snapped some photos for our readers to enjoy. I found a mix of summer flowers still looking happy and Autumn displays.

I thought these pink petunias were very well complimented by the pink and white mums, white pumpkins and other fall additions.

This was the most impressive sidewalk garden I think I've ever seen. If you look closely there is a path through it. I'll post some close-up photos of this garden in another post.

The autumn displays at Zeb's go so well with the color scheme of the building. If ever you find yourself in North Conway, this is a must see shop. It's like stepping back in time to another era. Well worth the time to stop and browse.

This old fashioned 5 and 10 Store had a beautiful display of petunias still in their full glory.
I just love these pink striped petunias. So cute!

I'll be posting more photos in an upcoming post, as well as more from Strawbery Banke Museum. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 20

Historic Gardens Part 1

 My family recently spent a day at Strawbery Banke Museum. I enjoyed visiting all the various gardens from different time periods in New England history. In upcoming posts, I will share them all with you. Today, I've included photos from the formal gardens at the Goodwin Mansion. Below you'll see a lovely fountain, a gazebo and a beautiful greenhouse as part of this garden. For  virtual tour of the mansion, click here.

Sunday, September 13

Last Harvest Recap-Portland,OR

A big bounty of tomatoes this year

I can't believe I am saying this, but I am ready for the end of summer and the start of cooler weather. It seems like it has been the longest and hottest summer ever, or at least that I have experienced since moving here. I am in the middle of closing down the garden for fall even though with our mild climate I could continue to winter right through the winter. I need a rest. If we have a warm spring, I could be back planting cold weather crops such as lettuce as soon as February or March.

Even with the hot weather the watermelon growth was disappointing
 Small is the word that I could use to describe my crops, over and over this year. Here is a photo of what I mean.  The melon looks ok from the photo, until I tell you that it is only about 3 inches wide. It is really a mini melon. From what I have read we have had 28 days during this summer with highs over 90, but that did not produce massive vegetables in my garden at least. Was it too hot? Can it ever be too hot for watermelon? I guess so. If anyone knows for sure, let me know in the comments.

Chili peppers picked before they turn red

Herbs in olive oil frozen into cubes

This is the first year that I have made herbal ice cubes. I chopped the herbs and then added olive oil before freezing. Once frozen, I emptied the cubes into freezer bags.  Most of my herb harvests were air dried this year. I was able to give my dehydrator a rest, but I made a habit of picking and drying herbs every week.

Tasty, but small sweet peppers
  An advantage of small crops is for the most part, they are very tasty. Such was the case with my green bell peppers. Each plant produced a bumper crop of mini green peppers. So many that I able to freeze them for the winter.

The squash were another early harvest item this year

Another first, all my squash were picked at the start of August. I usually have a few to use in the winter, but this crop got used up before the summer end. Here is a squash that I baked with maple syrup and stuffed with kale, pecans and sausage.

So how was your summer garden this year compared to last? We would love to hear about your year in the comments.

Wednesday, September 2

Bonneville Lock and Dam-Near Portland, OR

Enjoy the view

I love going to the Bonneville because it is always very peaceful. Maybe, I have been blessed with good luck, but there are never a mass of people around when I visit. The grounds are always well kept and you can find lovely plantings of annuals and perennial's during the summer.

The dam is 145 river miles from the mouth of the Columbia River and is 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon. It was built and managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was designated a national historical landmark district in 1987.

One of the areas where you can watch the power of the water
Here is a link to the Bonneville Dam website. It includes lovely virtual tours that really give you an accurate view of the entire grounds and dam.

A viewing deck inside the visitor's center 

Saturday, August 29

Waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge-Near Portland, OR

Multnomah Falls is Oregon's most famous natural attraction. But all together there are another 76 other waterfalls to visit in the area. Other falls just minutes from Multnomah include Wahkeena, Latoourell and Horsetail Falls. Parking is very limited, so if you are visiting you might want to consider talking a bus tour. One I take on a regular basis is
As of the date of this post prices were $54 for adults, $27 for youths and free for children under 6.

Another beautiful waterfall in the Gorge area

View from the other side of a waterfall

Multnomah Falls

Thursday, August 27

Crown Point and the Vista House-Outside Portland, OR

View from the visitor center

The Vista House is a historical visitor center build for people to see the spectacular sights  the Columbia River. The center sits hundreds of feet above the river in the River Gorge National Scenic Area. The visitor center is about a 40 minute drive from Portland and is only a few miles away from Oregon's most famous attraction-Multnomah Falls. 

The center includes marble women's bathrooms
The Columbia River looks very calm in the summer

Friday, August 21

Growing Tomatoes in the Little Greenhouse

This year has been a good one for tomatoes. I started seeds in late winter indoors and then transferred them to the little greenhouse once temperatures were high enough.
Here you see the plants back in June.  I planted most into the ground but saved a few to grow in the greenhouse as an experiment. I'm surprised to report those in the greenhouse have done much better than the garden plants. I wondered if the greenhouse would get too hot or the containers didn't hold enough soil. But it's been a good thing thus far. I've fertilized the greenhouse tomatoes with seaweed tea so that is a factor as well.

My hope is the greenhouse will extend our short growing season and I'll enjoy home grown tomatoes a little longer this year.

Wednesday, August 19

August Community Garden Album-Portland, OR

Winter Keeper Squash-a new variety that I am growing.

Lemon Cucumber. I have harvested up to 15 cucumbers on this one plant 

Mini watermelons

An assortment of tomatoes

Another winter squash

Growing another crop of beans.

Tuesday, August 18

Mom and Dad's Gigantic Geranium

Mom and Dad's front porch always looks so pretty in the summer, but this year I think it looks extra special.
The addition of two lush spider plants and a gigantic geranium to their three tiered hanging basket is a fantastic effect.
This geranium has grown at an unbelievable rate this summer. We have been wondering if geraniums will grow to fit the size of the container? Does anyone know?
Other geraniums they planted in smaller containers haven't grown to the large size this one has.
Isn't it gorgeous?

What to do when it is just too Darn hot to Garden?

It has been a very hot summer everywhere. From what I have been told it is normal to get 100 plus days from the months here from  May to Oct...