Tough Summer for Gardening!

Now that the summer months are almost over I have to say it was tough and HOT!   I did very well maintaining all the gardens even during the 110 degree span, but I lost control when I had to leave for several weeks and the temperature actually soared to 115 degrees (heat index)!!   If I had known the weather would get hotter I would have scheduled my back and forth trips differently, but as we all know… the weather can be unpredictable and this year was extremely hot here – very unusual!   So today I arrived back up north here and the WIND is whipping around like crazy ….. unreal!

I am very surprised the Nasturtium in the huge pot on the deck survived and since it was cooler this past weekend it is actually blooming and thriving.   I bet it prefers the cooler temperatures – I know I do!

The various peppers finally took off and I was able to harvest some –

Nothing like fresh salsa with your own homegrown jalapeno peppers!   The tabasco peppers are still tiny and this is the first year I grew them.   I am excited for their final harvest.

 Tabasco peppers growing

I did have a little fun with the camera and took some neat pictures which I will have to add to my Flickr account ….

Make sure to check out the Garlic Giveaway and leave a comment for a chance to win some great garlic!   Last but not least the Sunflowers were looking Glorious!!!

“I’m growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”


Artist drawing and pickling seeds – Nasturtium

Just returned from several weeks down south and the weather was HOT – heat indexes reached 110 on several days and it looks like the week ahead will be the same!   We were lucky enough to receive rain each week so the plants did survive!   I canned up some pickles and the tomatoes were ripening up quite nicely.   The Nasturtium on the deck in the big pot had several more blooms and my nephew who is quite the artist found it a wonderful image to draw …… he had no idea the plant was a member of the GROW project and drew a remarkable sketch one day!

I WAS impressed …….. beautiful job Josh!!!

The Nasturtium which were planted next to the pea plants are thriving  now among the Jacob’s Cattle bean which replaced the peas.

I came across a very interesting recipe using the seeds from the flower!!!

Pickled nasturtium seeds – used as a substitute for capers.  Pick the seeds on a dry day while they are still green.  Steep in brine made from 1/2 cup of salt to 1 quart of water for 24 hours.  Remove and dry the seeds, then pack into small jars.  Make a strong spiced vinegar to fill the jars, using white wine vinegar and salt and a selection from tarragon leaves, mace, nutmeg, shallots, garlic, peppercorns and horseradish slices.  Pour the hot vinegar into the jars, then seal and leave for about a month.  After opening the jar, use up the contents quickly!   Enjoy!!!

“I’m growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” for the GROW project, thanks to for the seeds.”

First blooms of the season

My most recent trip down south was exciting with all the new blooms we were able to witness – I hope they can all survive the heat the next few months!   It did cool off somewhat and rain before we left so that was encouraging.   The nasturtium flower seeds that were direct seeded sent out a bloom well before the transplants in the deck pot (which I found interesting, since the transplants had a head start).

 Direct seeded in the ground

Climbing Nasturtium Spitfire Bloom

Beautiful deep orange color !!

The largest pot contains the nasturtium flowers I had transplanted and as of this picture there were no blooms yet – but about a week later , one did appear … yay!!!

I also planted Container Cucumber from Renee’s Gardens and they were doing Great – we even had our first baby cucumber!

Container cucumber

Some other firsts I was able to capture on film –

 First tomato

 First bottle gourd

 First watermelon


First zucchini flowers

“I’m growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” for the GROW project, thanks to for the seeds.”

May GROW project update

The month flew by!!!   I have been traveling between our two homes and gearing up for a great growing season ahead.  The garlic is growing wonderfully.

 Garlic down south

Garlic up north

The weather has been warmer down south but the chance for frost is still possible there, as well as, up north here ,,,, so I wait a little longer before I plant out all my seedlings.   Next trip down I will be taking about 8 trays of seedlings (good luck on that transport!)   The majority of the gardening will be down south and it can get a little tricky when I am gone for an extended period of time.  Speaking of which I had to leave the Nasturtium unattended for over a week and they did survive.  I had them watered and enclosed in a little greenhouse enclosure and did have someone check in on them to water if needed.  A few yellow leaves and I could tell they needed some attention (they had that look).  They will be joining the trip down south next week although I may leave a few up here for comparison – I will have to plant them outside before leaving and cross my fingers that frost doesn’t come visit while I am away.

The little growers, Natalie and Charlie are fascinated with their Nasturtium seedlings. 

There was a casualty when Natalie just HAD to squeeze one of the seedlings to see how it was doing!  Poor little guy couldn’t survive the hug.   I will be stopping over there early next week to talk garden plans and check in on all the little ones!

A whole lot of Windy weather lately – warmer, yes but windy as heck!  The lilac are in bloom – one of my favorites!

“I’m growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” for the GROW project, thanks to for the seeds.”