Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to Orchard Cottage


Yes, I say WELCOME~and I do hope that you will be able to visit us this summer!  Here in Jefferson the sun has been shining, the rain has been falling and the weeds have been popping their wee heads out of rich earth teasing me away from the computer to do mass destruction on their numbers~Because we had such a miserably cold winter, (and we haven't had one that cold in a few years,)  now we have wonderful fruit like these Granny Smith apple dripping from the limbs of a very old tree.



We tried the topsy turvy tomato set up last year but find that we much prefer our own variation on the theme...we took a hanging planter and drilled a one inch hole in the bottom, lined it with newspaper, made an X thru the paper to insert the tomato plant root and then covered the root with a good potting mix and planted a basil plant at the top of the planter.  So, we have this great looking basil plant on top and a grape tomato hanging beneath.  We now have four of these planters, one with basil, one with sage, one with stevia and finally one with greek oregano.  I love this idea...Mac is a genius!


In one of the raised beds you'll see our large tomato plants.  Also growing on the fence are string beans and cucumbers.  We've already begun consuming the cucumbers...I peel and slice them and keep them in olive oil and vinegar...yummy! 

  The peach trees (we have a dozen of them that Mac grew from seed) are all bearing fruit this summer.  We look forward to going out to the orchard and pulling a tree ripened peach from our very own trees!  Most of the trees are now four years old, but even the younger ones are providing fruit!  Isn't that amazing?


And this is one of the 180  tomato plants in the garden...it promises to be a bumper year for the many different varieties we have growing in the garden.  This one is called 1884 because that's when it's seed was first discovered.  We have Mortgage Lifter, German Head, German Queen, Guatemala , a Russian tomato called Silvery Fir and of course the many grape type tomatos for salads.  Looks like I'm going to be busy canning and freezing this summer when it comes time to lay the garden by!



 
The plum trees once again do not disappoint.  The wild plums are plentiful, too.  I've decided to try my hand at a mixture of red plum and wild plum for jelly.  I haven't made jelly in years...Joanne (our neighbor) is such a master of jelly making that I feel intimidated!  But I'm going to give it a try.




The pear trees are no slackers either, people!  We've decided to thin them out so that the limbs don't have to be propped up to support their weight.  I'd rather have a bushel of great pears than hundreds of dullards and broken limbs to boot!  Wouldn't you?


The pond is not safe from our planting endevours, either...here you will see it surrounded by plants, tomato, cucumber and flowers like my hibiscus and the New Guinea Impatiens...the bees are quite happy to be included in the fray!
Meanwhile, down in the garden the squash have decided to do us proud...and there will be enough to can this year.  This will certainly taste good in the cold winter months... like opening a can of sunshine on a cold wintry night.

I'm so happy with the fig trees this year.  They apparently enjoyed the cold winter, too.  The tree on the other side of the house looks just as good as these two.  These trees are now five years old, they are brown turkey fig trees and make the most delicious figs...from which I will be making Fig preserves this summer.
The blueberry bed is doing better than we had hoped for.  The drought last year took its toll, but they have recovered nicely, with Mac's tender loving care and heroic efforts of watering and fertilizing.  We'll have quite a few lovely fruits to enjoy and yes, to freeze and can.
And this is view of the garden that Mac built.  His love of God's earth shows in the holes in the knees of his jeans and the deep red skin on his neck where his head is bent to toil in the sun.
But still, he can take a breather, go sit in the edge of the woods and eat blueberries to revive himself for a bit...they call it a respite...a simple word for an awesome event.

50 comments:

Anya said...

Hi Sandi
nice to see a new post
and such a wonderful green post :-)
Your plants looking very fantastic!
Here we have a very cold wet spring this year.
My plants are growing all so slow:(
I hope the sun will shine soon for a long time :-)
Nice to see you back :-)

Kareltje =^.^=
Anya :)

Akelamalu said...

You have your own little cottage garden - fabulous! I love your idea for growing tomatoes and herbs in the same pots - I may have to steal it. :)

i beati said...

I'll always be a farm girl at heart. My tomatoes are dying in sun so I'm getting more- had one round so far... love it growth rejuvention the whole ball of wax, even tired shoulders.

Vee said...

You two are doing good work down there! Everything looks amazing. Mac is a genius, I'm sure, but I am not so can't quite figure out what's happened. That tomato is growing upside down through a one-inch hole? Amazing! If anyone else does this, we're going to document that you showed us right here today first!

Have an amazing time in that peaceful garden setting. Wish I could visit now let me tell you.

Carver said...

Your garden is fantastic. So much great food to eat and beautiful too.

Jeanne said...

Looks like the garden is going nicely. Should be keeping you even busier as it's time to harvest. You can send some tomatoes this way thank you. hehe

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Happy to see your garden, looks so lush. Mine is just coming in and I am jealous that you have tomatoes already! I have been picking strawberries for awhile and got cherries yesterday. I want a a big batch of squash and tomatoes!

Brian Miller said...

you have the most amazing garden...i could live back there and eat all summer...180 tomato plants...thats a lot of tomato sandwiches...i can bring grapes and pears...smiles.

mihalisThalassis - halkida said...

Hi Santi. I was very happy. Very nice your garden

Hello, Michael

SandyCarlson said...

Seeing what happens south of here is like traveling through time. I love the experience. Your garden wil be fruitful!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Sandi: What a beautiful show in your garden area. You are so far ahead of Ohio with us just getting past frost problems.

Pondside said...

What a garden and orchard! You will certainly be busy from one end of the summer to the next with caring and canning, but what wonderful treats for the winter from all your work.
Lovely to see you back!

Zuzana said...

Wow, this is a garden of my dreams, look at all that growth and all the vegetables. My garden consist of only two small patios and I can at the most grow things in pots.;)
Lovely pictures and a lovely place.
Thank you for your very kind recent comment.;)
xoxo

Everything Stops for Tea said...

Oh my goodness!! you must live in the garden in the summer, those tomatoes look lovely!

Mickle in NZ said...

With such a great growing season this year no wonder the garden keeps calling you away from the computer. It all looks magnificent!

I have spinach, cauliflower and broccoli growing as winter crops - but the weeds are growing far more lushly.

Hope the cats help you by supervising rather than digging plants up. Sending care and huggles to you all, with a special tickle under the chin for Pyewacket,

Michelle and Zebbycat, xxx and purrrumbles from under his quilt (the dear lad)

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

it seems the unusually cold winter did wonders for our southern gardens. My hydrangeas are doing unbelievable things. I am not a fan of those upside down tomato hangie things either. They dry out too fast. I like what you did much better. You and Mac enjoy those mater sammiches. :)

Jeni said...

Whenever you disappear for a fairly long stretch of time, I get a little worried -concerned that you may be ill or had an accident or some such. And then you put up a post like this and I think, "Holy Rip! It's a miracle you haven't worked yourself into being sick! My goodness, but you've been busy!"
What a fantastic garden and so many fruit trees around you too that are producing. Your early growing season does make me quite envious! I do have a few things planted in my little plot -lettuce, green onions, beets, carrots and beans -and they all appear to be doing nicely. Haven't bought any tomato or pepper plants as yet because I don't want to risk putting them out and getting bit by another frost and I don't have any room in the house to keep plants till they can be moved to the outdoors. Hope the tomatoes don't get hit with that stinking blight like they did all over up here last year though. Very, very few folks in this neck of the woods had any tomato plants that survived and produced anything at all last year -quite depressing that was. (And your prayer for my grandson, Kurtis, must have worked because he got up the morning after his massive meltdown, all bright-eyed, chipper and extremely happy and friendly to his Mama and to me! A good sign for the day that was!

Kat_RN said...

I am envious of your garden. As another SC resident (transplanted from the west) how do you keep the bugs and everything else from eating the produce before you do? We have almost given up, I don't want to spray. Wonderful pictures.
Kat

Sally said...

You guys are simply AWESOME!! Man, what I'd give for some of my mom's fig preserves. YUM!!!!!

San said...

What can I say, Sandi? All of that lush green, those branches groaning with produce, make me GREEN. With envy.

Here in our desert yard, the only thing that's blooming yet is the salvia. I could never send you any black hollyhock seeds because the gophers ate those plants too. We're not bothering with hollyhocks this year.

Love Bears All Things said...

Your garden looks lovely. Lots of fruit for the labor.
Thanks for stopping by my place.
Mama Bear

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Wow you guys really have green fingers. I can kill a houseplant at fifty paces. This year we have had a shot at planting onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and radish. They will probably all die off but we're giving it a go. much better to be out in the garden when the weather is fine rather than sitting at a keyboard anyday!

Hilary said...

Wow.. you two certainly have green thumbs. Everything looks lush and luscious. I bet those peaches will be incredible!

denise said...

your gardens are fantastic!!!! mama died in september and she and i had had a small garden together for a couple of years. i planted it again this spring and will tell you that through that garden my healing from grief has taken off in earnest. when i get to heaven all i want to do is work in the garden.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I cannot beileve how much further on your garden is from mine. I may be able to harvest a couple of radish this week, if I am lucky!! One thing we are lacking is rain, everything is bone dry around here.

Thanks for the recipe yesterday, sounds yummy.

Gill in Canada

♥Mimi♥ said...

Your garden is TOTALLY remarkable! My gosh, things are just now beginning to grow up here near Canada. How gorgeous! LOVE the upside-down planter. Gonna try one of those myself!

NitWit1 said...

The gardens make me drool, thinking of all the fresh produce.

You've got a nice selection, too.

Mary said...

Hi Sandi
Wow the garden looks fantastic and so far ahead of British gardens I am about to plant out my toms which have been living on my dining room windowsill until we can be sure there are no more frosts meanwhile the apple blossom is only just going from the trees Enjoy while the weather is good Mary

Jeff B said...

Hey there. It's been ages.

The weather here has been so cool and wet, my garden is just sitting in limbo, waiting for a glimpse of the sun. Loved the pics of your garden.

Retiredandcrazy said...

I love a beautiful garden but I just don´t have the time to tend it myself. You must be full of beans again Sandi. Do you remember that saying from your time in England?

Kat said...

Wow, your hard work is certainly paying off. It all looks wonderful. Yum.

Hugs!
Kat

NeereAnDear said...

What a gorgeous garden!! Lots of fruits and veggies for some healthy meals... and all planted by you... mkes it all worthwhile doesnt it?

Hope you share some recipes from your harvest

HUGS
JO

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Wow you are so far ahead of us, my tomatoes are still to appear. It looks like you'll be feasting for awhile on your crops!

Anna said...

Oh Sandi, thanks so much for your garden tour, all is so amazing. I love the grape tomato and herbs arrangement (I must admit I will try it myself one day). And your squash photo is stunning, what a lovely plant. Thanks again, this is beautiful garden!!! Anna :)

diney said...

Those grape tomato and herb pots look brilliant - what a fab garden and so full of lush vegetables, fruit and flowers! Much hard work, but better for you than sitting indoors on the computer!

Merisi said...

I am so glad you that are being rewarded with such bounty for all the hard labor you and Mac put into the garden! Those blueberry bushes could not carry any more borries than they do, amazing!

Suldog said...

Wow! You have so much excellent stuff growing there! I currently have three ferns and a grapefruit tree that is about three inches high.

(No joke on that last one. I planted a grapefruit seed and it is growing. I hope I can get it to survive.)

Donna said...

I 'wanna come live wich YOU!!!Hahaaa...
(((HUG)))

CatHerder said...

wow looks fantastic!!! My tomatoes are doing fairly well....i planted almost 60 strawberry plants that are NOT doing well....melons are way behind...but i have a few planters of eggplant, pepper, and patio tomatoes too...i miss living in the country, nothing seems to want to grow here!

Deb said...

You guys don't have green thumbs ~ you have green fingers, toes and entire bodies...master gardeners! I have a relatively small garden and I know how much work is involved...I can't imagine the amount of time and energy that goes into your gardens...a true labor of love!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Such a beautiful garden. I know you will have so much fun with it!!! happy 4th...m..

Merisi said...

Hello, Sandi!
I hope you are having a great 4th of July weekend and that the bumper crop knocking on your door is not too rowdy,
hugs,
M.

Merisi said...

A big hug,
Merisi
*dreaming of a blt*

Donna said...

Hope you're alright sweetie! Just checking!
hughugs

Merisi said...

Big hug,
M.

Kat said...

Where are you? Have you forgotten us blogging buddies?

We miss you.

Hugs,
Kat

Merisi said...

Have the tomatoes taken over?
I hope you are well,
hugs,
Merisi

Mockingbird Hill said...

Ms. Sandi,
Just a big ol' HI to you & Mac...hope you have had a wonderful summer, in spite of the h-e-a-t. ;)

Cassie

Anna said...

Hi Sandi, I guess summer is keeping you busy. Hope all is well, and wishing you well. Anna :)

SandyCarlson said...

I visit your blog and realize life is for getting up and going outside and DOING. You are an inspiration.