Posted in Flower Photography, Flowers, Garden, Garden Photography, Gardening in California, Gardening in Colorado, High Mountain Gardening, Organic Gardening, Ornamentals, Photography, Southern California Gardening, Sunday Zen, tagged Allium Bud, Barbara Wartman Photography, Blossoms, Coneflower, Durango, Flower Photography, Flowers, Garden, Garden Photography, Gardening, Irvine, Mary Beth Jarrosak, Nature Photography, Organic, Organic Gardening on August 5, 2012| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Bee Photography, Beekeeping, Bees, Garden, Gardening in Colorado, Hive, Organic Gardening, Pollinators, WIldlife Habitat, tagged Bee Habitat, Beehive, Beekeepers, Beekeeping, Durango, Gardening, Honey B Healthy Recipe, Honeybee, Nature Photography, Organic Gardening, Top Bar Hive on April 29, 2012| 2 Comments »
Saturday: The bees are coming today! To get ready for their arrival, I’m preparing their sugar syrup and making a homemade version of Honey B Healthy, a nourishing supplement that is added to the syrup.
I’ll be teaching my co-workers how to be beekeepers and they’ll be installing the bees on Sunday with my guidance. Ray built us some beautiful Top Bar Hives (Thanks, Ray!) which will be their new home. We are very excited!
We have, over the last couple of weeks in our (very little) spare time, been creating a bee and butterfly sanctuary. It’s in its beginning stages and will soon be filled with plants that all the local pollinators will want to come and visit. We are also adding a labyrinth that will be planted with medicinal herbs and a vegetable garden filled with heirloom vegetables. The hives will be nestled in this wonderful little spot we’ve created located in the Animas River Valley. It’s coming together beautifully and I’ll be posting pictures of the hives and gardens soon.
Happy Spring everybody!
Recipe found on the Beekeepers of the Ozarks:
Honey B Healthy (generic)
Dissolve lecithin in 1/4 cup of water. This may take several hours. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Stir in lecithin until dissolved. Stir in essential oils until everything is evenly distributed. Cool before using.
I use 1 tablespoon per quart but I don’t use thyme in my mixture. One to two tablespoons per gallon works if using thyme oil.
Makes about 2 quarts.
Posted in Flower Photography, Flowers, Garden, Garden Photography, Gardening in California, Gardening in Colorado, Organic Gardening, Photography, Sunday Zen, tagged Delphinium, Durango, Flower Photography, Flowers, Gardening, Irvine, Nature Photography, Organic Gardening, Raindrop Photo on November 13, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Gardening, Gardening in California, Gardening in Colorado, Organic Gardening, Tuesday's Tips, tagged Durango, Gardening, Irvine, Organic Gardening, Pain Relief for Gardeners, Yoga for Gardeners on November 1, 2011| 1 Comment »
I just finished a two-day marathon of transplanting, pruning, and garden cleanup. Still to go are mulching, freshening up some containers, and planting some bulbs and shrubs. That’s going to have to wait a day or two to give my aching muscles a chance to recover.
Gardening is hard work and the older you get, the more of a toll it takes on your body. Much as Mary Beth and I would like to power through, denial in full force, we simply can’t ignore how tired and sore all that lifting, squatting, bending, and digging makes us. No matter what age you are, if you’re in the garden all day you’ll feel it later on.
And I was really feeling it last night. So into the hot water I went and as I was soaking it occurred to me that we should share some of our best tips for pampering our aching bones. So here are a few things that will help you recover faster:
Posted in Flower Photography, Garden, Garden Photography, Gardening in Colorado, Herbs, Organic Gardening, Sunday Zen, tagged Blossoms, Chive, Durango, Flower Photography, Flowers, Gardening, Nature Photography, Organic Gardening on October 30, 2011| 2 Comments »
Posted in Garden, Gardening in California, Gardening in Colorado, High Mountain Gardening, Organic Gardening, Tuesday's Tips, tagged Durango, Fall Gardening Tips, Garden Watering Tips, Gardening, Irvine, Organic Gardening, Water Conservation, Watering Your Garden, Winter Garden on October 18, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Fall is here, there’s no denying it, and to tell the truth we are loving it. There’s a certain sense of relief and a feeling that we can FINALLY catch up on all the things that were running just ahead of us in the garden all summer.
It’s time to catch up and clean up (click here for our fall cleanup tips). It’s also time to make adjustments to your watering schedules.
Those of you who garden in this region know that fall and winter watering can be very tricky. It all depends on how dry it is. When there is less atmospheric moisture you’ll need to water enough replace what the plants transpire. Unlike SoCal where the local water utility provides good guidelines for seasonal watering, Durango seems to either not have the information available or to have it buried so deeply in their website that it is not findable.
So we went to the Colorado State University Extension site for info. Here’s a link to Watering Basics that you may already know — water early in the day, don’t over water, etc., but watering in fall and winter in this semi-arid climate can be a challenge so here are some quick facts to help your plants make it through the next few months:
At this point in the season plants are transpiring less water and so their needs are not as great as they were a few weeks ago. This is true even if it’s hot in the daytime because the days are shorter, nighttime temps are a lot cooler, and many plants are entering a dormant phase. Plant water needs drop by almost 30% in September so cut back your watering accordingly.
The one exception to this rule is when the Santa Ana winds are blowing. When that happens the air is extremely dry and you should give your plants supplemental water. This is especially true for container plants that may need to be watered twice a day when the hot winds are blowing. (Hint: misting them mid-afternoon will cool them down and help them make it through the most brutal Santa Ana conditions.)
The Irvine Ranch Water District does a really nice job of helping home gardeners figure out how to adjust their irrigation schedule and cycles. Click here for handy chart with suggested weekly watering schedules. You may have to make adjustments for your landscape, but this is a very good starting point.
And while we’re at it here are some good general tips for conserving water in either region and for preventing runoff — which in SoCal ends up in our ocean carrying all manner of nasty pollutants with it.
Posted in Garden, Gardening in California, Gardening in Colorado, High Mountain Gardening, Organic Gardening, Southern California Gardening, Tuesday's Tips, tagged Durango, Fall Garden, Fall Garden Chores, Fall Garden Cleanup, Garden, Gardening, Irvine, Organic Gardening, Vegetable Garden on October 4, 2011| 1 Comment »
Why are we startled? Really!? Fall comes every year at the same time, yet we always seem to be caught off guard when those first cool mornings hit. For most it means the end of the growing season and a welcome respite from our garden chores. But not so fast buckaroo! There’s still the Fall Cleanup to do.
There are actually two sets of chores in the garden now. One is cleaning up your garden, which we will look at today. The other is tool cleanup and storage which will be our post next week.
Go out into your garden with your garden journal (You are keeping one, right?) making note of what worked and what didn’t. If a plant didn’t thrive, was bug infested, or disease ridden, it just might be time to “shovel prune” the thing to make a space for something that’s more suited to your climate/micro climate. You’ll have all winter to ask around and see what worked for your neighbors, or to talk to the folks at your local nursery about more suitable plants.
Bring your camera along and take a few photos to have when you’re looking at garden catalogues in the dead of winter. Not only will it cheer you up, but you’ll have a better idea of what new plants to order and where they should go.
Keep an eye on the weather reports. Harvest the last of your veggies just before that first frost hits. Or, put up some hoops and floating row covers to protect your crops for the early light frosts extending your growing season by a few weeks. Mary Beth did this in June, but you can still install them as a weekend project if you hurry.
Remove dead and dying plant material from your garden beds to prevent diseases from overwintering. Be especially vigilant in your rose beds — leave not even one fungus-infected leaf behind! Here’s a link to a great video on the Annie’s Annuals (amazingly great source for plants) website that shows how Annie “tears up” the garden in November to get it ready for spring. (Thanks for Dirt Du Jour for posting this.)
Yes, we know you hate this chore, but do it! You’ll be patting yourself on the back when these beauties are in full bloom next year. Click here for MB’s great “how to.” In coastal California you don’t have to dig up dahlias. You can just cut them back to the ground in November.
In Southern California this is the perfect time for putting in some spring-flowering bulbs. Click here for a list of bulbs that will do well in our warmer temps and for some good sources. You might want to consider filling in some early spring blank spots with native wildflowers. Planting time for wildflower seeds is mid-November through mid-March, but get your seeds now. Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano has nine mixes formulated specifically for California gardens using only native plant seeds.
Here in So Cal we really don’t get much of a break from gardening, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your energy level any given day. Regardless, fresh, homegrown veggies on your dinner table make it all worthwhile. You can grow arugula, beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, mache, escarole, favas, green onion, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mesclun, mustard, parsnips, radicchio, radish, snap peas, spinach and turnips.
Seeds should have gone in mid-September and you can probably get away with planting most of them if you do it right away, otherwise buy some starts and you’ll be right on schedule.
Ok. That’s enough for now. Next week we’ll talk tools.