Sunday, May 29, 2011

Community Garden!

Fridley Community Garden is Open!  Enough Said.

This is what happens when I let my fiance do the labeling.

Derek's work again.
Zucchini, tomatoes, jalapenos, habaneros, california wonder pepper, sweet corn, pumpkins, cucumbers, pickle bush cucumbers, summer squash, green beans.

Creating Planting Space

Yesterday was one of the most exhausting days I've ever had.  I'm super sore in my arms, shoulders and legs, I feel like I ran a marathon.  Maybe I should work out before I do any heavy gardening.  I had a shovel in my hand all day but boy did I get some things accomplished!

I found this small area on the side of driveway #2.  I thought to myself, that would be a great place to put some flowers, we never use the driveway and it's right on the patio. I had no idea this tiny area would end up being such a huge job.  Turns out it's full of rock.

I spend at least two hours trying to sort out the rock.  At least the dirt is pretty okay and not pure sand like there is everywhere else.  However it was a much bigger project than I had in mind.

After a few hours and tired dirty hands, this is the outcome.  I ran back to the new house and grabbed some plants I though would look nice there.  I ended up with all of my pansy's (yellow, purple, black and a mixture) and 3 lupine plants.  In this picture it looks like I killed my lupine but I promise you they have perked up since and it looks like they will be spending a long and happy life there. 

 By this time it was probably around 1 or 2 pm and I decided to start my other huge job, creating planting space around the curve of the patio.  My fiance had the idea, which is great!  So here's the before and almost after:

I'm obviously not done yet but my hands hurt too much and it was 7:30 by the time I got to this point.  Another issue is that the dirt is so sandy and I bought some good dirt last night but I'm going to need to get rid of my sandy soil somehow. Not sure how you go about disposing of dirt/sand.

 On a less exhausting note, there are some pretty things going on in the garden and some tasty things at my old house.
Today I plan to go to the community garden.  I drove by last night and there are plots already planted so I'm guessing it's been open for at least a week but no one told me.  Oh well, this is the first weekend I could plant it anyways.  I cannot wait to get over there!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

So Many Things to Do!

I have done so much the last two days!
To start, I resurrected the overgrown raised bed in the back.  It looks great now but it took me about 2 hours just to pull the weeds and mix the dirt.  I planted quite a few things that I had planned to bring to the community plot but if I can have it at home, might as well.  Originally it looked something like this:

Now it's all pretty and planted with peppers, carrots, lettuce beans and sweet peas, not to mention the Clematis, lillies that were here when we moved and a few red fox veronica.

That was project number 1.

Next I moved on to figure out what the heck to do about this rock.  Then I found out that my cousin started doing landscaping and could use some work. The fact is, I have so much to do and very little time left before everything needs to come out of my old garden.  The months are ticking by but there's no where to put things!  So he came out to look at the job and quoted me $150 to pull out the shrubbery that is ugly and just takes up my flower space.  I don't know if that's too much or cheap but I figure it's better than loosing all of my plants or having to wait a super long time to move them.  Here's what they're going to pull out.  In reality it is a LOT of rock.

That concludes my yesterday other than 3 hours of painting our basement.  More to follow when I get home from dinner with the fiance. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fridley Community Garden

I did not choose my spot for my community garden plot because I called from Florida and had no idea what the layout was. They just posted the layout and fellow gardeners on their website. I'm number 30, looks like I'm as far from the parking lot as possible (almost) and on the very end. It will be nice to have 2 corners to myself but it's annoying to be so far away and on the far end from the water as well. Can't complain though, at least I get to plant this year still!

I went to home depot today on my lunch break and grabbed my seeds and some plants for my garden including the following:
Pepper-Big Bertha
Tomatoes- Mortgage Lifter
Summer Squash

Morning Glory- Scarlet O' Hara
Sweet Peas
Wax Beans
Mixed Lettuce
Pumpkin -Pie/sugar
Sweet Corn

I think I'll have plenty of room for everything I want. Lots of people got two spots too which I thought was interesting. I hadn't even thought about that but maybe next year I'll have my yard all ready to plant and won't need the extra space.
This weekend is going to be great. Dirt on my hands and plants in the ground, that's exactly what I need right now.

Michigan Bulb Co.- One of My Favorites

I have used Michigan Bulb Company for the last few years and they continue to impress me. Though I can complain away about other companies, they have always been a solid, good-service company. They offer a wide variety of plants, bulbs, pre-selected gardens, vines and things of the like. I have found new fun things on their website every year. They also offer specials every day or weekly that blows me away. Order $80 and pay $40, free shipping, 67% off half of their inventory, and they mean 67%, it's not marked up and then dropped, I've watched for this kind of thing. Their shipments always come in good condition and with "extra care" packaging. I just can't say enough good things about them.

As oppose to Burgess who I have put in the "don't buy from" pile of seed and plant companies, Michigan Bulb Co. offers lifetime guarantee on their plants. This is directly from their webpage and is exactly how it works:

"Michigan Bulb Company's Risk-Free Lifetime Guarantee

If you're not happy with any item you order from us, notify us anytime for a full refund or replacement, whichever you prefer.

What's more, any item that does not grow and flourish to your complete satisfaction will be replaced free--with no time limit--for as long as you garden."

I have taken them up on this and everytime I get a responce by the end of that day at least with no complaints, questions or requirements. All I have to do is email them with "Hey MBC, my plant has died, could you replace it" and within hours I get a "Sure Tina, sorry for the problem, here's your order number, they'll be shipped tomorrow." That is how customer service should work. Easy Peasy.

Michigan Bulb Co. I love you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Morel Mushrooms

I have these growing in my backyard. Apparently they are valuable to many people but I am not one of them, I don't do mushrooms on anything. I'm wondering how I can get these into the hands of someone that wants them. Do I sell them, find someone who wants them, dry them? Maybe I could go to the farmers market and see if someone wants to sell them. I have no clue but we're waiting to mow the lawn until we find out.

Let me know if you have any ideas or know someone who would want a bucket full of morel mushrooms.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tornado Touch Down

I'm so glad we moved. This all happened at our "old" house today while we were at the new house a few blocks away standing in the garage. I don't have pictures of the backyard but a huge tree split in half and broke through our neighbors fence. This is my front yard:

This is unfortunately my roommates car.

Gotta love tornadoes and minnesota weather. Our street area got the worst of it in Fridley or so it looks. A block over someone lost their roof and we got insulation all the way over at our house and after driving around, it's all over Fridley.

Mild damage to my plants but nothing they won't recover from I hope, though a huge branch took out one or two of my irises.

Hope everyone in the area made it out okay. I know North Minneapolis took quite a big hit too. It's great to see everyone out helping each other and talking to one another. I met a few people in my "old" neighborhood during the process.

Best wishes to all effected by the storm

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm So Anxious!

I can't stand the waiting anymore! We close tomorrow morning, 24 hours from now and though I'm excited to move, all I can think about is gardening! I must have a gardening sickness of some kind, maybe an addiction but I can accept that. Acceptance is good right? Here is my new house, it's glowing!

See the rock I'm talking about. Soon to be all flowers I promise!

I've already planted 2 rose bushes in front of that AC unit in attempts to beautify the curb appeal.
And here's the back yard. .23 Acres

What you don't see is the super long driveway that extends to the very end of the back yard minus a few feet. The more I've visited it, the more I think I'm going to tear that out too.
Here's an idea:

See that trailor back there? Way back there? Yeah the driveway continues on another 8 feet or so.

How sad. But it will be my future raised garden bed (or 4) whether I tear it up or not. So, good things to come. Oh my gosh I can't wait!
I tore out my purple clematis last night, lots of work untangeling it from the lattice and other viney thingamagigs but I think I did okay, and only pulled off maybe three of four leaves in the process. It had to be done though, they are my favorite. Or one of my favorites anyhow. The plant is about...well taller than me so over 5 feet!

I did some last minute weeding as well so the neighbors don't hate us. And gave a quick flower lesson to my sister. I guess I did some productive things last night, just not exactly what I'd like to be doing.

24 hours!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things To Do At The New House

As I have mentioned there is rock in the front yard for landscaping. It looks nice but it's just not practical for the type and amount of plants I have. I was talking to a co-worker and she said "you know you're just going to pull that all out." I guess I hadn't actually thought that far but now that she mentioned it, why not? It's my house, it's my yard and I need a place for all of my beautiful flowers. So in a few months or sooner I may have a bunch of rock to give away. I thought about keeping it but it's not practical at all, where the heck would I keep all that rock?

I would much rather have the freedom to plant wherever I want and I love the look of red mulch.

So many projects but it's already planting time. Thank goodness I got that community garden plot or I would be out of luck.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Lovely Response from Burgess

All I am going to say is:
How annoying.

"We are sorry to hear that you are unable to return the original shipping
labels. The guarantee is VOID unless the original shipping label is

However, we are willing to make a single EXCEPTION and send a replacement
order if you will send us a COPY OF YOUR CANCELED CHECK or CHARGE CARD
STATEMENT as proof of purchase. You will need to send this information via
mail. Please include a letter that states you no longer have the shipping
label and are therefore sending the proof of purchase in its place. Also
include a full list, by item and quantity, of what item(s) need to be

This is a single exception and applies only to nursery stock and not
replacement orders.
Thank you,
Customer Care Department "

And that I'm moving, I dont have time for this.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My First Time at the Minneapolis Farmers Market

I am just blown away! And found my new favorite place- The Minneapolis Farmers Market Maybe I'm a nerd but I'm absolutely in love with the farmers market. I probably couldn't have picked a worse day to go but it was still packed with a hundred people. I'm sure I looked like an idiot walking around with a huge smile on my face just taking it all in. "cool, wow, oh my gosh" I was just taken aback.
Two words, Flowers Everywhere! I definitely got my fix of flowers this morning. Five dollar bouquets, two bucks for soap, a buck for a tray of potatoes. I got a bunch of stuff and didn't spend much at all and what's better is it supports someones small business which I am all for.

I would love to be there someday. Maybe with my pottery or plants or food. Who knows but I would just love to be there.

I had a wonderful morning.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Finally Photos

I can't believe this is my 3rd post today. Unfortunately there has been no sun to speak of for the last few weeks so these pictures aren't anything impressive. Also because of the lack of good weather, it's all greens and hardly any color yet. This year is so different from last year's blog. So far behind.