Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gardens, Flowers and Squirrels

We have finally got some nice warm weather and my husband has been busy in the garden. He is a Chef and loves to grow his own food and hopefully this year, sell some extras to the local restaurants.



This is our broccoli coming up with lettuces under the dome. The second photo is his cold frame and with onions inside.





This is his new thing this year - straw bale gardens - we got an article from a friend at work about doing it this way. It is an inexpensive way to have a raised bed, easy to care for and at the end of the season you have a glorious heap of compost!


In a nut shell the directions are - purchase seed free bales of straw and arrange them on weed free ground. We spread hardware cloth under the bales. You can do it in a square, a single row or double row - whatever fits. Sprinkle the top with granular organic fertilizer and then top with a 2-3 inch deep layer of compost. Water the bales thoroughly for the next ten days using organic liquid fertilizer like kelp meal or fish emulsion every time you water. This 10 day composting period allows the bales to break down, getting them ready for planting. After this period you can plant directly into the bales. We will be planting tomatoes in the single rows.


While hubby is doing all this, I have been planning my flower garden and admiring the spring flowers left in the yard - some late blooming daffodils - with apricot colored centers and others with a double bloom, tiny wood violets, bright forsythia bushes and purple and pink phlox cascading down the retaining wall.











One afternoon we took a garden break, sitting on our front porch and noticed a tiny squirrel quietly hugging a tree branch above us. Some animals leave their young behind while they forage for food - he blended in with the tree - I am surprised we noticed him at all. He stayed there as I took pictures but finally moved around the other side when I got too close. I lost him then.




His folks frequent our feeders daily - soon he will be joining them!




We are participating in Camera Critters, Today's Flowers and Scenic Sunday this weekend. Be sure to visit them for more interesting posts. Thanks for stopping by!

29 comments:

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Dear NC Friend:

I want one of each of those in your photos above. I just mailed a link to your post to Mr. GDP (in the next room right now LOL) so that he can get to work making those boxes and bales and nets, ALL OF ABOVE!

Jan
GDP

cat said...

What a lovely garden you have, and how great to grow your own food:) Cute little critters that visit you as well.

Captain Shagrat said...

Got to love them squirrels's, my brother Michael has also posted squirrels today

Ladynred said...

Beautiful garden you have! I love to grow vegetables too but unfortunately we just moved to smaller place.

Kea said...

I've never seen a straw bale garden before, what a fabulous idea!

I really enjoyed all the photos, and hope we'll get to see how the garden progresses.

-Kim

EG Wow said...

Gardening in straw bales sounds interesting!

Crafty Gardener said...

Very interesting info on using the straw bales for growing. Cute squirrel photos for Camera Critters

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Growing vegetables in bales of straw is an interesting theory. You will have to tell us how it works out. Valerie

JC said...

Love the gardening with hay idea. I wish I had a green thumb but I don't. Your garden looks great !!!

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Aww that bale garden looks amazing! Do you dismantle it after the crop has grown to compost it or just leave it? How interesting - I've never come across anything like that! I can't wait to see the results of your crop grown in it!

Your veg garden is looking really well and healthy. I hope you get lots of goodies soon. And it'll be great for you local restaurants too wouldn't it?

Your flower garden is fantastic! I love that double flowered daff! Very pretty. And such colours with the yellows and the blues and purples and pinks - beautiful. This is such a good time of the year of colour!

Awwww the lovely squirrels! They really are little cheeky things aren't they? But very entertaining and I love their boldness!

Thanks for sharing a lovely montage!

Take care
x

sunnymama said...

Beautiful flowers and the squirrel is very cute! :)

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I have never seen a baby squirrel, I often wondered why and still do as we have hundreds of squirrels around here.

Michael said...

yep, those squirrels, always up to something

Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful post that overflows with beauty. I love the haybail idea. I hope that works out for you, it sounds like it has grand potential.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I love that idea of the bale/straw garden. I have some cute photos of squirrels on my blog, along with my doogie, who LOVES those squirrels!!

Great photos.

Gill in Canada

Pat said...

Bales of straw--what a great idea for raised beds for us older folks!

I LOVE the double daffodil in the 5th shot.

The squirrel is very cute--he looks fat and happy.

Have a wonderful week!

Denise said...

I'm really taken by the bales of hay. A very clever idea and please will you show photos of the plants/veggies? Your photos are great and I enjoyed learning about the baby squirrels. I love watching our squirrels here but did not know that about the babies. I'll be more observant from now on. Lovely flowers too. Thank you for sharing and have a great week.

Carletta said...

Loved the forsythia in the background. It is my spring favorite.
Don't you just love those little violets popping up. Hubs was mowing and stopped and come to get me before he mowed them down in our yard. :)
I have enjoyed looking at your flowers but that baled gardening is fascinating. I'm definitely showing that to my Hubby.
Cute squirrel shots too.
Mine’s here: Carletta’s Captures.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful series of photos, Neat garden ideas.

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Cute little squirrel!

Nice flower shots too. :)

i beati said...

never heard of a bale garden how cool sandy

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful pictures, Cheri... Your Daffodils are so pretty... I love that yellow and white one with the double/triple bloom. Gorgeous!!!!

I've never heard of a hay bale raised bed before. Sounds neat. Keep us posted as to how it does. Hope your hubby has good luck with his veggies...

Hugs,
Betsy

Naturegirl said...

Love the idea of the hay garden!! I've never heard of that and it is sure worth trying!
Oh my those apricot dafs. win over my heart!! The doubles are beautiful too! Isn't Spring just so much fun after a long winter nap! Happy Spring gardening to you!

Cher' Shots said...

it looks like somebody is getting ready for planting ~ I love the straw bale idea. Any more info on it would be appreciated.

Appalachian Lady said...

That's a great idea with the straw bales--may try that this year. I just make a little raised bed with timbers from the woods. I'm trying to grow potatoes for the first time.

Love your beautiful garden and you're lucky to have a husband who gardens and cooks too!

vincibene said...

Wonderful series! My son loves the squirrel!

Judy said...

I was noticing that lovely forsythia in the pictures of your garden, so I am happy that you included a macro of it! And the daffs and shy violet!

Pat's Addition said...

Like the straw bale idea. You've got a great garden going.

NISHANT NISCHAL said...

Beautifully captured. I'm real;ly glad that I'm finding so many blogs that are dedicated to flowers here on blogspot. My blog is not dedicated to flowers but I love capturing flowers and posting them on blogger. My most recent posy ahs got some flowers from my hometown, plz visit and comment,. :-)

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