Look at all the new growth!

I don’t really have anything new going on in the garden. It’s that time when you have to just sit back for a minute and watch things grow. Learn patience… do something else. Make sure there’re no pests or blight and tend to that. I had some aphids on my okra, but I caught it fast so no damage was done. They’re easy enough to get rid of with a strong stream of water and a little rinse with mild soapy water to keep them away.

I’ll be adding more strings for the peas soon in the keyhole garden. My green beans in the pools and the garden tower will be ready in a couple weeks. I’m super happy with all the new growth on the honeysuckle.

Eric moved a russian sage bush, I might get a pic of that soon so you know what I’m talking about.

Everything’s looking good.

Just a little update on the goats, since I ran into my neighbor.

Never thought I’d ever be able to say this and not mean the boy band. New kids on the block! Squee!

Yeeaah, I’m a dork. Lol.

So far, you’ve only seen the male goats that live next door, to the north of us. I managed to get some pics of the mamas and their kids they had a few weeks ago. They’re still too timid and want to stay close to mama. I can’t wait until they let me pet them. They’ll be romping around in no time. They’re so cute!

I’ve been dying to show you some of the animals on the other side of us, to the south. Eric seems to think they roam the neighborhood. We don’t actually know who they belong to. It seems they only show themselves when I don’t have my phone or I’m too captivated and want to enjoy the moment rather than run and get it. This morning I had just gotten my coffee when Eric tells me from the back door, the peacocks are in the yard. I was so excited. I grabbed my phone and almost knocked him over to get out. I had to remember not to run out and scare them. They still took notice of me and moved along, but I was able to get a quick glance to share with y’all.

One of these days I’m gonna catch a picture of a bee in a flower with his butt in the air. Today I’ll settle for chillin’ out with a refreshing drink. I always try to put rocks in standing water after I learned they could possibly drown if they have nowhere to land. That’s not to suggest every bee you see dead in water drown, it’s just something gardeners mostly do. Bees get thirsty gathering pollen and I want them to work hard in my garden, so I supply them with ways to cool off. Speaking of cool, I also learned they use water droplets in their brood nests as air conditioning. Woah!

I’m so happy to be able to decorate and enjoy it! I was discouraged before, when we were in the cabin, because shortly after we put them up it would get too cold to enjoy it. And just forget about Christmas decorations. Too cold to put them up, if it hadn’t already started snowing, it would as soon as we put those up. We would run in and out to our destinations instead of lingering just a little bit to soak it in. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to some. To me, that’s what makes the holidays. Those little things. The moments. So while I was taking in some of those precious seconds this year, I thought I’d capture just a tad to share with y’all.

To my delight, while we were building the keyhole garden, I realized there was a honeysuckle bush near by. It was even in the picture of the original keyhole garden. Would that be considered a photobomb?

I was pretty sure I knew what this was, but I have this nifty app called plant net that identifies plants. You just take a quick picture or choose from your gallery, so you can save pictures you want to identify later. It’s been pretty accurate so far.

Let’s get to work!

I find it sad this guy was never given a proper trellis. I mean the fence works but I’m not sure it was ever properly pruned either. Well, this guy’s in luck. With a little research I found out they can handle massive pruning and come back strong by the next season. You’re about to witness the instant gratification in gardening. Not too many plants allow this, so it’s one of the rare beauties you should stop and appreciate in my opinion.

Once I got him completely pruned I had to dig out a bunch of grass that was choking it. Eric grabbed the shovel and helped me with that. I had to remove a little dirt to do this. When I was happy I used some of the blocks around the property to make a nice border. I used some of the dirt I took out to secure the blocks in place and then created a bowl with the dirt. I filled that bowl with compost and left a little bowl shape. I filled the remaining space in the flower bed with much, maybe two inches.

Wow it looks so much better!

But! The issue before was that he had no trellis. That’s easy enough to fix, so we ran over to a garden center. I found these bamboo sticks for under five bucks. Perfect! I used some string to tie the tops of the sticks together and wallah! It looks awesome.

And just a week later… would you look at that growth!

I can’t wait to start doing updates on all the things!

I got my Garden Tower in early spring of 2015 when we lived in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. I’ll go into that more in detail another time. It really has helped me hone in on gardening. I’m super happy to have a place of our own, in a warmer environment. Look at it go! I’ll have green beans real soon!

The okra is a bit of an experiment, it isn’t the time of year for it. I moved from USDA hardiness zone 6b to 8a here. It’s October… haha! If i’m lucky I’ll have some fried okra soon too, but I’m not too worried if I don’t.

This is about a week later. We’ll have beans soon!!!

We decided to only plant peas in the key garden for the first season because they’re nitrogen restoring. The soil we have isn’t the best. As I explained before, the key garden is perfect when you don’t have good dirt. While my cycle starts to break stuff down and improve the soil, I’ll assist it this way and reap the benefits while I’m at it. Win!

I’m at one of the worst times of gardening now. Waiting! Ugh! Haha!

Since I have to wait, I’ll work on the honeysuckle plant I discovered while I was doing this project. This is exciting!

One of the things that was very appealing to us about this property was this keyhole garden. It was old and disintegrating but we saw how valuable it could be in or first few years in our new home if we just fixed it up. We decided immediately the compost tube and bedding needed to be redone. The compost tube was just wire and was kinda crumpled and out of shape. The bedding had blown into the compost tube from dust storms and years of being untended. As a result, any structure to the bed was gone. So we began!

First, we started the layers of our African style keyhole garden by adding a healthy layer of cardboard, rock, peat moss, and wood mass. Then we layered small sticks, manure, dirt mixed with compost, and thick wood chip mulch on top. The purpose of layering like this is to pack in nutrients and hold in moisture in the desert of New Mexico.

Time to build a door for the tube!

We really only need something temporary so we can start using the compost tube. I came up with this idea, we’ll see how long it holds up before we have to go ahead with our permanent solution. I’m gonna try to cut cost a little bit here and not buy the wood for this right now, because most of these are designed open the way it was before. I just didn’t want to see the compost, lol. The reason this is temporary is because the materials I used were cardboard, greenhouse plastic and garden fabric glued together with spray adhesive. Then I covered the piece of cardboard I cut out to make the door the same way and used hot glue to glue the bottom and used sticky back velcro patches. I may go back and use hot glue on those as well, but we’ll see how it works for now. It’s time to try it out!

It’s time to plant our peas!