Sunflowers!

Sunflowers!
This morning I awoke to a fabulous surprise! This sunflower had bloomed, and the remarkable thing is that I never planted it! My husband teases me every year, because things just show up in my garden, and I have no idea where they came from. I like to imagine that a sweet bird friend planted it for me, maybe as a thank you present for feeding them all the cold winter! Wherever it came from, it's all the more precious because I'm three floors up!


Roses in the Morning Rain!

Roses in the Morning Rain
This is one of my father's extraordinary roses in full bloom!  I have lost track of it's name, but I believe that it was a David Austin Rose, one of the old fashioned English varieties. It smells wonderful at anytime, but for some reason it smells the best when coated with drops of warm rain. Perhaps that's when the essential oils rise to the surface, whatever causes it, it smells simply incredible, like  a hot toddy made from rum and spice! This is the rose that I use the most often for potpourri, as the petals really hold their scent even when dried!


Roses in the Morning Rain!

Roses in the Morning Rain
This is one of my father's extraordinary roses in full bloom!  I have lost track of it's name, but I believe that it was a David Austin Rose, one of the old fashioned English varieties. It smells wonderful at anytime, but for some reason it smells the best when coated with drops of warm rain. Perhaps that's when the essential oils rise to the surface, whatever causes it, it smells simply incredible, like  a hot toddy made from rum and spice! This is the rose that I use the most often for potpourri, as the petals really hold their scent even when dried!


My Windowbox Tomatoes!


Well......I feel like a proud parent! This year I made the decision to  grow tomatoes and strawberries in my windowboxes instead of my usual flourish of flowers. I have tumbler tomatoes growing in a basket but these are different.....Sweet 100 is the variety , promising me loads  of tomatoes between now and autumn! I wasn't sure if they would fruit, because I am up on the third floor, but when I went out this morning there were loads of little babies all over the stems! My secret is Osmocote, a long lasting fertilizer that delivers food continuously for 4 months. Also containers are more of an effort because they do need watering every day. The other trick that I've discovered is that I have flowering herbs growing on my patio as well, namely anise hyssop which really attracts honeybees and other pollinators. I also have these planted with French Marigolds and from the beginning they have loved each other! I have noticed much less of an aphid population in my little ecosytem, and I think that it's because of the marigolds. As soon as I planted them, the insects dissapeared!

Yumm.....I'm dreaming of tomato salad with fresh mozzerella and basil!


My Windowbox Tomatoes!


Well......I feel like a proud parent! This year I made the decision to  grow tomatoes and strawberries in my windowboxes instead of my usual flourish of flowers. I have tumbler tomatoes growing in a basket but these are different.....Sweet 100 is the variety , promising me loads  of tomatoes between now and autumn! I wasn't sure if they would fruit, because I am up on the third floor, but when I went out this morning there were loads of little babies all over the stems! My secret is Osmocote, a long lasting fertilizer that delivers food continuously for 4 months. Also containers are more of an effort because they do need watering every day. The other trick that I've discovered is that I have flowering herbs growing on my patio as well, namely anise hyssop which really attracts honeybees and other pollinators. I also have these planted with French Marigolds and from the beginning they have loved each other! I have noticed much less of an aphid population in my little ecosytem, and I think that it's because of the marigolds. As soon as I planted them, the insects dissapeared!

Yumm.....I'm dreaming of tomato salad with fresh mozzerella and basil!


The Strawberry Patch!


I am so excited.....These are everbearing strawberries that I've planted in two of my windowboxes. After wondering if they would ever flower, last week they rewarded me with loads of pretty white blooms. This week they are setting tons of fruit! The trick is patience I guess.....My intuition told me to just leave them alone and let them get established underground, sort of like raspberries do. Fruiting bushes like these do their work under the soil first and then  usually at the point when you are about to toss them explode with life! Now I've got to go get berry netting as I see the robins are keeping their watch!


The Strawberry Patch!


I am so excited.....These are everbearing strawberries that I've planted in two of my windowboxes. After wondering if they would ever flower, last week they rewarded me with loads of pretty white blooms. This week they are setting tons of fruit! The trick is patience I guess.....My intuition told me to just leave them alone and let them get established underground, sort of like raspberries do. Fruiting bushes like these do their work under the soil first and then  usually at the point when you are about to toss them explode with life! Now I've got to go get berry netting as I see the robins are keeping their watch!


Fragrant Mock Orange!

Fragrant Mock Orange!

Just one of those old fashioned plants with a yummy fragrance! I love to clip a few branches for spring bouquets. It's sweetness is shortlived, but memorable!

Some of it's important features as chronicled by Captain Merriweather Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame!) who discovered it are as follows:

Uses or Importance:

Beautiful shrub for the garden.

Scent of flowers is sweet and very fragrant.

Wood is strong & hard for tools, bows, & arrows, pipes, and combs.

Leaves and flowers make a soapy foam when wet for cleaning.

  It is browsed by deer and elk, and the seeds are eaten by quail and chukar.

Hmm....And I just thought it smelled good!


 


Fragrant Mock Orange!

Fragrant Mock Orange!

Just one of those old fashioned plants with a yummy fragrance! I love to clip a few branches for spring bouquets. It's sweetness is shortlived, but memorable!

Some of it's important features as chronicled by Captain Merriweather Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame!) who discovered it are as follows:

Uses or Importance:

Beautiful shrub for the garden.

Scent of flowers is sweet and very fragrant.

Wood is strong & hard for tools, bows, & arrows, pipes, and combs.

Leaves and flowers make a soapy foam when wet for cleaning.

  It is browsed by deer and elk, and the seeds are eaten by quail and chukar.

Hmm....And I just thought it smelled good!


 


Growing Salad on the Third Floor!

Lettuce 3 Stories Up!

This is one small part of my container garden, 2 square feet of it to be precise! You are looking at  spicy mesclun greens that I've been cutting since mid april, basil and Italian flat leafed parsley, fresh marjoram and lots of edible violas and pansies! My favorite salad is a composition of all of these things, on top of which I've set  a  poached egg that's been basted in herb butter with lots of fresh chives, some prosciutto that's been frizzled in the same butter, and a yummy wedge of perfectly ripened Brie with a toasted crouton or two! Sometimes I add a few spears of freshly steamed asparagus. Make a simple garlicky vinaigrette and enjoy with a glass of champagne......Such amazing living out of about 5 dollars worth of plants!