Monday, May 28, 2012

Garden Envy thanks to Lincoln Park Zoo Demo Garden

Well first of all I was thinking Hah I have irrigation system now can they top that?

Well yes, because they now also have irrigation system just donated.

I wonder if this is "cattle panel" that I keep wanting to use for trellising hoops and a big tunnel that my husband keeps talking me out of it.

At first I thought "Hey I'm not the only one with Sorrel out of control but turns out this is horseradish." I heard horseradish was ugly but certainly no uglier than Sorrel and really not ugly to me? I've seen uglier. Like Echinacea Purpura if you don't hack away the dead ones between winter and summer. YUCK!

We both have a huge batch of Chinese red giant mustard greens!

AND WE both have Asparagus BLUES. There's didn't really come back either! Hah! Maybe we picked the wrong year to start and Asparagus Bed.

I currently am using an old bird seed feeder or it must be squirrel feeder because it's for holding corn cobs as my "aerator" for the compost bin. This is great idea and probably easier to put in place.

We will make all of our bins this way from now on. And I'm going to add sitting ledge to top of the raised beds in garden after this is done.

Wow is that beautiful! What is it?

My potato sacks that I plan to plant today or tomorrow will be much more colorful! I already put the early potatoes in a bed. But the mid season fancy shmancy potatoes are going in sacks. Next year I'm growing them all in a "potato box" which my husband will be making but doesn't know yet!

Oh so envious.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Irrigation is awesome!

I have better pictures on another camera. I can already tell after just one week of irrigation that this is going to be Sa-weet.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Huge bok choy

And I made sure I "eliminated" a few cabbage loopers! They're amazing though the way they stand up and get pissed! Should have snapped a picture. One minute it's this green worm and next think it's shaking it's head and saying "Oh no you didn't!" gives me pause before I squish it. Only for a second.

This image thanks to Google. See the attitude!!!
The Chinese greens in this recipe are bok choy, the most popular vegetable in Chinese cooking. Serve Shrimp with spicy Chinese greens over cooked rice for a complete meal. 
•1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp, medium to large, tails left on or removed as desired 
•3 to 4 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
•3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
•1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
•2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
•2 tablespoons sugar
•2 teaspoons light Soy sauce
•1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
•2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water, divided
•3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, for stir-frying, divided
•3 thin slices fresh ginger, divided
•1/4 teaspoon chili paste or to taste, optional
•1 pound bok choy, ends trimmed, stalks cut diagonally and leaves cut across into 1 to 1 1/2-inch strips
•1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Place the shrimp in a bowl and add 3 to 4 teaspoons of Chinese rice wine or dry sherry, pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Marinate the shrimp for at least 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons water. In a separate small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch in 2 teaspoons water. Set aside.
Heat the wok and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add 1 slice of ginger. Let it brown for a few seconds and add the shrimp. Stir-fry the shrimp until they turn pink. Remove from the pan.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in the wok. When the oil is hot, add the 2 slices ginger and the chili paste if using. Let the ginger brown for 20 to 30 seconds then add the bok choy stalks. Stir-fry for 1 minute, sprinkling with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the leaves. Continue stir-frying until the leaves are wilted and dark green (about 1 1/2 more minutes). Note: Sprinkle the bok choy with water, or a bit of Chinese rice wine or dry sherry if it begins to dry out.
Push the bok choy to the sides of the wok. Whisk the sauce and then pour it into the middle of the pan. Bring to a boil. Re-stir the cornstarch and water mixture and add to the sauce, stirring quickly to thicken.
Add the shrimp back into the pan. Stir to mix everything together. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.

It was tasty for sure!!! Not the loopers silly, the bok choy stir fry.

Monday, May 21, 2012

For perspective

New squash garden along back fence North of blueberry bushes!

LG is always saying there isn't enough room for a pool but where there is a will there is a way my friend!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May Dreams Gardens: An OLOGBA for the Society

I had to copy this to my blog so you could see further down why I love gardening.

May Dreams Gardens: An OLOGBA for the Society: Dear Esteemed and Potential Members of the Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition...

Dear Esteemed and Potential Members of the Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition (SPPOTGWLS or “the Society”),

I, your self-appointed society president, have taken it upon myself to compile a list of all acronyms currently or formerly in use in the garden blogging world (GBW) to aid all new, current, former and future garden bloggers and readers of garden blogs in the understanding of same as they apply to garden blogs.

Without further ado and discussion the following are presented for the membership to consider. There will not be a quiz.

AGB – Austin Garden Bloggers. Far and away the largest congregation of garden bloggers is within and around the city of Austin, Texas, so they shall be referred to as AGB’s

BIRDS - Bird Information and Reference Deficiency Syndrome. The general condition of not knowing very much about the birds that visit your garden.

BTS - Black Thumb Syndrome. According to Kate from Gardening Without Skills, there are some people whot are afflicated with this. No matter how hard they try not to, they kill green things. They've been trying to get the AMA to recognize it as real for years so they can go through their health insurance for therapy. It's quite sad really.

CCG – Cold Climate Gardening. One of the pioneers of garden blogging, Kathy Purdy named her blog Cold Climate Gardening because she gardens in a cold climate, USDA Hardiness Zone 4. She has already reported frost this year.

CGB – Chicago Garden Bloggers. Though not as numerous as AGB’s, the CGB’s have graciously volunteered to host the next GBSF the weekend of May 29 – 31, 2009 in the windy city, Chicago, Illinois. Please, oh please does the event include a visit to the CBG?

DIPT - Did I Plant This. First coined by Beckie from Dragon Fly Corner, this is nother syndrome some gardeners seem to suffer from which causes them to forget what they planted, and thus they are often happily surprised when a pretty flower shows up in their garden that they didn't remember planting.

EGG - Egregious Garden Gloating. Identifed by Eliz. from Gardening While Intoxicated, this is when one gardener gloats in the presence of other gardeners about his or her better weather, plants, flowers, climate, soil, etc. An EGG violation is scored from one to ten, with ten being reserved for the most egregious violations. This is very similar to EGT, Egregious Garden Taunting.

GAD$ - Garden Attention Distraction Syndrome, Shopping Version. An affliction that causes gardeners to buy plants and other garden supplies at random, often resulting in spending more money than was originally planned to be spent.

Garden Attention Distraction Syndrome. An affliction that most, if not all, gardeners suffer from, the primary symptom being the inability to focus on one garden task until it is done. Instead the gardener moves from task to task, as they are distracted by one plant and then another, like bumblebees flitting from flower to flower.

GBBC – Garden Bloggers Book Club. This is a now-defunct book club formed to promote garden bloggers reading and posting about a garden book selection every two months.

GBBD – Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. GBBD occurs on the 15th of every month when garden bloggers post pictures and lists on their garden blogs of what is blooming in their gardens on that day and then leave a comment on the GBBD host blog, MDG, so we can find them and pay a virtual visit to see what they have in bloom.

GBSF – Garden Bloggers’ Spring Fling. A meet-up of garden bloggers from near and far that occurs in the spring. The first GBSF was hosted by several AGB’s in Austin, Texas in April 2009. A grand time was had by all. The second annual GBSF will be in Chicago the weekend of May 29 – 31, 2009.

GR - Garden Rant. One of the few garden blogs with an actual manifesto, they are 'uprooting the gardening world' one post at a time.

GRTH - Gardener's Reduced Time with Horticulture. One of the side affects of not spending enough time gardening is an overall increased in the gardener's own girth.

GVAD – Garden Visit Anxiety Disorder. First coined by Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings, GVAD is what a gardener suffers from when they are preparing their garden for a visit from a SOGI

GWI - Gardening While Intoxicated. The place to find out about gardening in Buffalo, NY, where EAL swears there is not snow on the ground nine months out of the year. If there was snow on the ground all the time, that would be a good reason to garden while intoxicated.

HHSBP - Horticultural Hypochondriac Syndrome by Proxy. Mr. McGregor's Daughter suffers from this, the constant worry that something is wrong with your plants.

IGT - Iced green tea. This is the beverage of choice for discriminating garden bloggers! Starbucks brand is preferred.

LAPCPADPOUB - Lets all post cat photos and dire poetry on our blogs. A one time event created by Happy Mouffetard of The Inelegant Gardener.

MCOK - My Corner of Katy. A very interesting cottage style garden in Houston, Texas, this also refers to the Cindy, the gardener there.

MDG – May Dreams Gardens. That’s my garden, also used to denote my blog of the same name.
MSS – M Sinclair Stevens. Also one of the pioneers of gardening blogging, this blogger’s blog is Zanthan Gardens, and she is one of the AGB’s.

MSSGB - Moist Society of Southern Garden Bloggers. According to Compost in my Shoe, humidity breeds more than a slight aroma. I guess that means these gardeners need to stick together.

OGS - Obsessed Gardener Syndrome. Closely related to HHSBP, the primary symptom appears to be constant worry about your garden.

OLOGBA - Official List of Garden Bloggers Acronyms. That's this list that you are reading right now.

PLANTS – Pleasing, listed, achievable, nature-friendly, time bound, specific. A way to ‘plant’ goals for your garden.

RDR - Red Dirt Ramblings. The wonderful musings about gardening by Dee, who gardens in Oklahoma.

SGAFO - Society of Gardeners Age Fifty and Over. Enough said.

SLOP – Straight Line Obsessive Planting. This is a disorder that some gardeners, especially those who grew up planting vegetables, suffer from which causes them to instinctively plant nearly everything in a straight line. This creates a disaster when the SLOP affected gardener attempts to plant tulips bulbs. At least one garden blogger refers to this as Always Neat And Lined-Up.

SOGI – Someone of Garden Importance. Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings suffers from GVAD when a SOGI is coming to visit. We all do!

SPPOTGWLS – Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition. A society for all garden bloggers, the only requirement for membership is to occasionally leave a comment to indicate “present”.

WOO – Window of Opportunity. A gardening WOO is the perfect amount of time for a gardener to actually work in their garden without interruption and feel like they got something done.

WUT – World’s Ugliest Tomato. And yes, I did grow the world’s ugliest tomato this year! Some bloggers may have attempted to compete, but in the end the WUT in my garden prevailed as the one and only WUT.

If any members know of any acronyms that have been inadvertently left off this list, please raise your hand and reply with comment so the missing acryonym can be added to this list, which will hereby be known as the OLOGBA (Official List Of Garden Bloggers Acronyms).

Submitted by,
Your Self-Appointed Society President,

Carol, MDG

New winter squash beds

Since winter squash takes up far too much room I'm garden I decided to grow in "containers" this year or mini-beds. If it works well instead of rotating I can rotate out the dirt!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fairies need gardens too!

Out at Hoerr's nursery. I have lots of fairies in my garden but I see now I need to make a miniature garden for them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Succession planting bush beans

This chart is from article in GROW, Vol. 4. You can still buy it at and I recommend it. It was packed with great articles about vegetable gardening through the seasons.

It always cracks me up because one of the beans has same name as an employee I had not once but twice that was ALWAYS late if she showed.

So starting 1 week after frost 1st bean to go in is Provider. CHECK
Now 3rd week after time for Royal Burgundy.
5 weeks Purple Queen*
7 weeks Gold Rush*
10 weeks pull out Provider and put in Venture*
12 weeks replace Royal burgundy with Topcrop*
14 weeks replace Purple Queen with Gina*
Last one at 16 weeks replacing Gold Rush is "I could be a CONTENDER"*

However, I'll substitute some since I have a few different varieties: which I will add more about later today I hope.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Asparagus garden in need of help! Help?

Growing asparagus is an exercise in patience.  This is the bed last year. Looks like it's going in the right direction. Unfortunately this is the bed this year.

Not sure what I did wrong. I joined a garden forum and I'm hoping someone can tell me if I can salvage this or I just have to start over. Three years! This is all that came up. Fudge.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bok Choy is up and ready for eating

Wish I had a picture but will have to do that later. This morning it was looking very ugly outside. But notice the Bok choy looks very filled in and needs to be thinned so need to cook some tonight. Did find this beautiful picture of Bok Choy on Steamy Kitchen recipes and it looks even more appetizing there.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Irrigation kit

Well for some reason this took most of the day and only half done. I've only laid and connected the main lines. But need to flush system before proceeding and pat working in garage but hasn't repaired line to that spigot yet.

Could I shear these like the ones at the Japanese gardens? I fully intend to chop them down this year so what is the risk?

And you probably need more than a hedge trimmer