garden

Garden: before and after

The garden: before

I’m not sure how much you can really appreciate from the pictures, but since I mentioned how much work I’d done in my back garden area in my last post, I thought I’d try to share this. Looking through my camera roll for something else, I found that I had actually taken a picture early on in my cleaning up out back. This wasn’t the very worst of it, but almost. Mostly, I hope it shows how much those vines had taken over and were even smothering the big rose bushes to some degree.

The garden: after

Now it is a nice place to spend time, and I’m starting to get the occasional ripe tomato or bell pepper. I just moved some edamame and zucchini seedlings out there yesterday. Here’s hoping the continue to do well – edamame is another thing I’ve tried a few times to grow and failed, but these look great so far. Maybe I had my time of year wrong before.

garden

I’m Growing Cotton

Cotton plant in bloom

I’ve really gotten into my garden this year. Maybe because I’m physically in better shape, maybe because we aren’t out running around as much so I can dedicate the time, or maybe I just missed it enough to at last put the work in. I’m not sure why this year is when I finally fought off the invasive vines that had literally taken over the entire space, and salvaged the plants that had been suffocated by them, and cleared out the broken junk and debris that had gathered out there. But I did, and it’s so nice.

Calling my outdoor space a yard is probably too generous. Patio might be a better word. There’s no grass. Just concrete and a retaining wall against the back fence with some huge rose buses that were there when we moved in. So all my additions are in pots. A lot of my bigger pots had disintegrated over the years and I finally threw their crumbling husks out this spring. My two remaining large post are holding a tomato plant and pumpkin. I also have two large Earth Box style boxes ( I think only one is an actual Earth box). I just moved my other tomato plants into one when the peas that had been there were done. The second has lettuce and what I’d hoped was cotton.

I planted several kinds of seeds in that box and had trouble getting anything to come up. So i just kept trying new things to the point where I’d kinda forgotten what all I’d put in there. The lettuce was obvious when it cam up, so I knew what it was, and it’s still growing great. Pumba, our guinea pig loves it. The other plant that came up was unfamiliar to me. I hoped it was the cotton, because I really wanted to grow that, but it had been over a month since I put those seeds in , so I wasn’t sure if it was maybe a weed, or just something else I didn’t remember planting.

Time has confirmed it is cotton. I love the blooms. They start off white and get deeper and deeper pink over a few days. You can see several stages of color in my picture above. I don’t know how long it takes for the fluffy cotton to come along, or how to tell when it’s ready, so I have some research to do, but it’s exciting to watch. (feel free to drop any cotton wisdom you have in the comments please!) Now I need to pull my spinning wheel out of the garage and get it fixed up and operational. Fun!

P.S. Those vines in the background of the picture are the ones that had taken over in the past several years. I am letting them keep that corner they started in and gave them a small lattice to climb. But I wonder if this is asking for trouble and if it would be better to tear them out all the way. They do make a pretty purple flower in the spring. I feel maybe I can keep them under control now that I’m paying attention out there. Thoughts?