Tales from a Gardening Novice: No 2

A funny thing happened upon our return from vacation– everything in my garden is in bloom, or is at least doing what it is supposed to do. What I may not have told you is that this is my first garden, which means I am truly experiencing a gardening adventure. The only part of my plot that I “planned” was the effort I put into planting beneficial flowers between certain crops, knowing they would attract pollinators. (If you haven’t caught the memo yet, pollinators make the world go round. Love them; attract them; coddle them.) For the majority of the time, however, I have no idea what I’m doing. I am learning by the tried-and-true method of experimentation that I like to call “you win some you lose some.”

Here are some of my garden’s current happenings:

Pole Beans

Pole Beans

The grape tomatoes are on their way to ripening!

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I think this corn has about two more growth stages before it produces ears and can be harvested.

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These daisies are some of my favorite flowers. Their long stems are so enticing.

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Snapdragons

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So, celebrating my garden’s success is a must, because there really is nothing more exciting than seeing your garden flourish after all of the time and worry you put into it! Then again, I really can’t give myself all the credit. I have to thank the soil and the pollinators before I pat myself on the back. Those wee little things make big things possible.

A Trip for Two

We took a long weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, before it’s August, and we’re back to the grind. Denver, Colorado is roughly 8 hours from our abode, so it was a perfectly doable trip that wouldn’t break the bank. After spending a night in the city, Matthew and I made the quick trek to Golden, where we stayed with his wonderfully gracious cousin and her hospitable husband. Left to our own devices during the day, we did what every agile couple does in Colorado: we hiked, drank, and cycled. It was perfect.

Here are a few snapshots of the flora and fauna from the region:

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Harebells

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Queen Anne’s Lace

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Mariposa Lily

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Sulphur-Flower Buckwheat and Wild Grasses

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This sweet babe let me snap her picture before she ran into the trees.

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I caught this wild animal in its natural habitat . . .

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Red Rocks

DIY: Laundry Detergent

One of the easiest ways to make an eco-friendly, cost-effective change to your habits around the house is to switch up your laundering patterns. A great place to start is with your detergent. There are recipes for liquid detergent all over the inter-web, but I prefer to go dry-style. Frankly, there are less steps, and my little one appreciates that she gets to grate down soap. Two birds, one stone.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 bar of soap

Use 1 tbs. per load.

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First, grate down your soap with a cheese grater. This is fun, and I think the delicate curls of soap are pretty.

IMG_3120Then, combine the washing soda, Borax, and soap curls.

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Store in a container, in a dry place.

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In my daughter’s words, “it’s easy peasy lemon squeazy.”