Another Busy Day On The Farm

Today we slept in. Usually we are up early, but all of us were just tired. So we all just stayed in bed a bit longer. Work began upon rising of course, and I headed out into the gardens. Sunday's are watering days according to the water schedule sent out by the water department. We are so looking forward to rain cachment but for now we have to use the district water. Since we are considered to be in an extreme drought right now, we are on a schedule of Thursday's and Sunday's for watering the garden with sprinklers. We can hand water any day, but I'm trying to stick with the schedule and do really deep watering those 2 days. Seems to be working so far!

I love my whole system of watering, it's very zen to me. It takes me some time as I do everything by hand and/or really low single sprinkler for really deep soaking. While I'm doing all this, I get a chance to look at what's going on in the garden, how things are doing, what's blooming, and if any new sprouts are sprouting. We are in the last month of our season where we can reasonably plant new things, either by seed or plant. Once July hits, it's all about just keeping things alive until September. So knowing I could still throw down some seed, I did just that. First I got the sprinkler set up. Afterwards, with seeds in hand, I spent some time scattering Mexican sunflowers, White Cosmos, Purple Allysium and Chartruese Zinnia. I also chose a couple spots and seeded some Borage. As I spread out the seed, I was lucky enough to spot my first Black Swallowtail flutter through and check things out. It hung out for awhile but wouldn't sit still enough to take a picture...drats! But I enjoyed it's carefree dance amongst my flowers. Definitely made me smile.

Another thing that made me smile was this gorgeous sunflower which I can't remember the name of. It is so velvety and mysterious looking. I love the color!

I also discovered yesterday, two caterpillars munching on my Passion Flower vine. I decided to leave them be as the plant didn't seem really distressed even with several of it's leaves turning into a caterpillar lunch. I do not know what these creatures will become however. Anyone have a clue?

J's grass seeds are growing fast and furious! Yay! They are so green and strong, pushing through the compost. We actually took out most of the lawn when we bought the house, but there is a far corner that is dark and shaded. We want to do a whole focal point with shade loving plants, statue and water feature. We also want a small carpet of soft grass to put our feet in.

I picked up a couple Purple Coneflower plants today. I have small ones that I planted this year, but these were on sale and already flowering, so I filled in the space around the smaller ones. I also got some Coreopsis "Sunfire" and put in the front bed. I'm happy to get more color in there and I think they will do really well.

A couple more bird feeders went up as I've seen several more birds hanging about, including a huge Blue Jay and beautiful Cardinal. And my little wren is still keeping house it seems! I hadn't seen her in a few days and thought maybe she flew off to a better tree, but it appears she's most likely sitting on eggs as she hasn't really left the birdhouse until today, and that was only for a few moments.

So far we have Carolina Chickadees, Red House Finches, Black Crested Titmouses, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Carolina Wren, and 3 or 4 more who I'm still trying to get a good picture of. One looks yellowish and sits up in one of the trees singing very happily and loudly...I suspect a Warbler of some sort, but am not sure. I also saw another hummingbird, but it didn't stay long. I think I need to put out another feeder.

Vegetables got a good drink today too and the new shade cloth addition seems to be doing alright. The tomatoes are starting to set fruit, but my cucumbers are going slow. They are flowering like crazy and growing long, strong vines, but so far only 2 cucumbers matured. I really don't want to have to go out there with a paintbrush. I planted several flowers in hopes of attracting more pollinators, so we'll just cross our fingers. I need to get the beehouses done, hopefully this week. I keep getting busy with other projects, but I need to make that a priority. I did get Scarlet Runner Beans in the ground to climb up one of the poles, so hopefully those will grow fast and start blooming. I've read they attract all kinds of bees.

In about 15 minutes, I'm going to go give everything a good foliar feeding of seaweed. Always makes the garden smell fishy for awhile afterwards..heh.

I also picked up another succulent for the collection. There is a garden store near here that I've been wanting to stop at since we moved here. I finally did today and what a place! All succulents, Mexican pottery, recycled glass, vintage items turned into planters, and lots of color. Super interesting place and will definitely be worth a repeat visit.

I hope your weekend was everything you hoped and needed it to be! Peace!