Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gardening and Possible Frost Again Tonight

First Harvest this year!
 I been busy in the gardens again this week.  The tomatoes were planted in the rain last Saturday.  One purple, green and Dr Wyche's tomatillo plant were also put in at the same time.  The rain was light but by the time I finished soil was clumping on my shoe and the front of the raincoat was black but the job was done.  On Sunday I put up the bamboo supports for my tomatoes and metal supports for the tomatilloes.  I finished the area by mulching it with marsh hay.  The mulch is so deep there is a tiny circle around the plant so it can get sun.

Tomato garden
I harvested my first radishes on Sunday and included them with the raw vegetables I take to work for lunch.  My lettuce pot is ready to pick also.

Barassicales Garden

Barassicales garden is doing well and the plants are getting large enough to peek out from the marsh hay.

The two raised bed are doing well the closes bed contains the radishes I harvested.  The front two bed are planted with radishes, peas, spinach, carrots and beets but the varieties are different.  The farthest bed will be planted with peppers since year.

Raised beds

Raspberry & Blackberry beds

On May 16, I planted 5 Killainey Red Raspberries, 3 Royalty Purple Raspberries and 3 Prime Jim Everbearing Blackberries.  I could not find Anne (Golden) Raspberries or the grape vines I wanted to plant in the local plant nurseries, so I ordered them on line last week.  They still have not come but I am hopeful they will come today or tomorrow.  This weekend I plan on putting a weed barrier 2 ft out on each end and in between the beds then cover the area with bark mulch.  This will make mowing the grass much easier than trying to mow around the plants.

Tonight there is a chance of frost again so I will be running around covering up the plants I put into the ground.  I will need to haul all the flats I have on the side of the house in.  Northern Wisconsin is forecasting a hard frost, so I guess I should be happy there is only a chance of frost tonight.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dodgeville Farmer's Market

The Dodgeville Farmer' Market in held every Saturday starting the first weekend in May to September in the Methodist Church parking lot off of Iowa Street.  I been selling my extra plants there for the last three year, below is my stand.

Not much has change in the last three years, I finally brought a table to put some plants on.  The previous years I used saw horses and 2' x 4' piece of plywood for my table.  I decided to try the farmer's market because I start about 18 plants for each type of plant I start from seed and if all the seed germinate I just have more than I need.  So selling them is better than composting the extras.  I enjoy doing the market and it allows me to meet more people in the City of Dodgeville.

Here are some of the other stands selling at the market.

 Drop by all of us would love to see you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Governor Nelson State Park

Wood Violet, Wisconsin State's Flower
 Governor Nelson State Park is located on the north side of Lake Menoda off Highway M.  It is a day park and is open for year around use.  In the summer people use this park for picnics, swimming, fishing and hiking and during the winter there are cross country ski and hiking trail.  Arthur and I went to hike on the Woodland Trail that is only a little over a mile in length.  The wildflower were in full bloom.

Dutchmen Breeches

Wood Anemones
The trail passed a Panther Indian Mound and some Conical Mounds; the only way to view the mounds as a whole is from the air.  The trail is marked where the mounds are but they just look like a mound of dirt.  So I only have pictures of the wildflowers along the trail.

White Trout Lily
Yellow Violet
The weather turn very hot with the tempertures in the 80's really humid when the day before was in the 50's.  My brother need a to sit down and cool off.

The Jack-In-The-Pupit are just staring to bloom.

After we finished the trail, we both stop for some nice cold ice tea.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's time to plant the garden!

Finally all but two flats of the plants I started from seed are outside and hardening off.  It has been a touch and all this spring.  We did have frost again on Tuesday morning; I was watching it creep up the creek to my property line before I went to work.  I covered up all plant so they were going to be OK even if it crept into my property. 

I moved all the plant hardening off outside into the three-season porch on Sunday night and they slay there for three nights.  The back porch floor was filled with wall to wall plants.  If I need to get out the back door I needed to move about 5 flats before I could open the door. 

I did get a chance to plant two gardens while Art was visiting.  Arthur was nice enough to mow the lawn while so I could spend time rototilling the garden.  Thanks Art, you really do help me out when mow the lawn for me.

Here Art mowing the lawn in 2009.

It was the garden where all my Brussels Sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli were planted.  They were planted on Thursday the 12th.  I bedded plant down with a lot of marsh hay to protect them from the frost on Tuesday.

On Friday the 13th, I tilled the long thin on the right-hand side from the picture above and planted a mixed row of yellow, purple and green beans.  This week the weather been wet or I needed attend some event so I have not found anytime in the garden.  Hopefully the weather forecast is wrong and the rain will hold off so I can get out there this weekend.

Wisconsin State Capital

The State Capital seen from Olbrich Park on Lake Monona.  Frank Wright's Monona Terrace is the large white building sitting on the lake.
 The State Capital building is the center for social and governmental functions in the City of Madison.  Here is where the all Wisconsin governmental workers have been protesting over the last months.  We had another rally here last Saturday.  The Capital building is not just all business either every Saturday from April 16 to Nov 5 the Dane County Farmer's Market on the Square is held.  The market is well attended; I have not been to the market since I moved out of Madison but I use try to get there by 8 AM so I missed the crowds.  It is the place to be if you want to be seen and meet friends. 

Another big summer social event is Concerts on the Square, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra hold 6 concerts on Kings Street corner from June 29 to August 3 at 7 PM.  The concert is free and everyone bring a blanket to lay on the grass along with a picnic basket and listens to the music.  The 4th of July week concert is always a fun one to attend.

The reason why Arthur and I came to the Capital last Tuesday was my brother wanted to take some picture of it so he could try his hand at painting it.  We walked all around the outside of the Capital and enjoyed the wonderful sunny day and took pictures.

This time of year the Capital grounds planted with all types of bulbs and all the plants were in bloom.  When the bloom are finished; the ground crews remove the bulbs and give them to the public.  I was hoping to put a picture of the status Forward which sits on top of the dome but must have transferred that picture to the wrong flash drive.

When Art and I finish touring the outside we walked over to the roof top garden of Monona Terrace before going to lunch at a pub on the square.  I was hoping that Art would like to go on a free Capital tour but he declined.  I have walked through and explored inside the Capital but never went on an official tour.  When we finished at the Capital we drove to Governor Nelson State Park on the north side of Lake Menoda.  That is for the next blog.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Olbrich Gardens Thai Pavilion

The pavilion was a gift from Thailand.  The country sent craftsmen over to construct the pavilion in 1992.  When you first enter the garden you are greeted with this beautiful statue. 

To reach the pavilion you walked over a bridge and wander down a curving path.

The bridge from the Thai Pavilion.
 The path finally turns into the formal garden space and you get to view this.

Through out the garden there are wonderful stone statues and reliefs.

The pavilion interior is very ornate.

This is the view you would see as you are crossing the bridge.

The next stop on our day tour of Madison was the State Capital but that will be for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Touring Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

The last two weeks my brother Arthur has been visiting me.  Last Tuesday, was the only day which rain was not forecast so I took the day off and we did the tourist thing around the Madison area.  The first stop was Olbrich Botanical Gardens.  The land was donated by Michael Olbrich in the 1920.  The land is located on the Lake Monona east shoreline.   I would visit the garden regularly until the early about 1995 since that time there have been many changes to the garden.   If you have not been there lately you must stop and walk through them.  Here is a tour of the gardens.
Jacob Ladder blooming in the Wildflower Garden.

Looking toward the Rock Garden from the Wildflower Garden.

Rock Garden

The pond between the Wildflower and Rock Gardens.

The Rose Garden

I am not sure which garden this is.

 Tomorrow I will finish the tour with the Thai Pavilion.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Week 2: The weather has not been helpful.

We had freeze warnings from last Friday to Tuesday night, so none of the plants were put outside to harden off until this Wednesday afternoon.  I only put the cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower along side the house with a light covering over them.  The stones next to the house work as a heat sink and keep them warm overnight and the covering is also use to use the plants from being burned in direct sunlight. 

Plants are kept under a light weight cover the first couple days.

Here are some blooming plants that did survive the frost.
The first tulips of the year.

The hyacinth is near the end of its blooming cycle.

Prairie Smoke is just beginning to bloom.  When the flower starts to died it looks like smoke is billowing from it.
The next two pictures show Wild European Ginger in bloom.  The blooms are very hard to find.  It is hidden under the leavers on very short stems next to the ground.  The flowers are not at all showy.  If you look in the center of the pictures you will see a small bud like flower.

Last weekend I did get all my basil and paste tomatoes transplanted into their containers.  I did plant seeds for my cucumbers, winter and summer squashes.  I put the cucumber and squash plants in the garden on the last weekend of May.