Canning Season

Last week a friend suggested to me to use a rack from a canner filled with jars to hold flowers.

The very next day I found an old one at a garage sale that was covered quite nicely in rust and hard water deposits.  I had to scrounge a bit to find enough vintage green jars.  That surprised me!  But, I've sold or given so many of them away.

A few sunflowers were the perfect choice for flowers!

I really like the light shining through the jars.  It's currently on our dining room table so catches the morning light.

I plan to turn the enamel blue canner this rack came out of into a planter. :) 

Life is Just a Bowl...

...of cherry tomatoes.  :)

I'm not sure what variety I planted.  Hopefully, I can find the tag down in the dirt once the plant is gone because these have been delicious!  They are dark like  some heirloom tomatoes are.  And they are big too.

I planted three plants of a different regular red variety and I actually pulled up the plants and tossed them even though they were full of little red tomatoes.  They had absolutely no flavor at all.  And the skin was tough and chewy. I need to find the tag for those too so I don't accidentally buy them again!  These dark ones have a fairly thick skin, but they are super sweet.  I like them best right out of the garden and not refrigerated.

The tomatoes are already slowing down.  They lost a lot of bottom leaves as our tomatoes usually do this time of year.  I've had a lot, but not as many as I thought I would by judging how big the plants grew.  I plan to make green tomato relish with the end of the season ones.  The recipe is from my Mom and I just love it. 

From Just Little Seeds

This arrangement just sort of "happened".  I had gathered a few less flowers thinking I would just do a couple simple vases and get on with something else. 

I don't recall what the something else was now.

But, there the cockscomb were so very gracefully cascading out of the pitcher I had gathered them in and I thought, I think I need to do something more with them.

I pulled out this pedastal vase so there would be room to drape.

There was a phrase in my head that came from a podcast of Kim Klassen's that went something like this "you already have what you need".  When I thought I needed just a couple more wine colored cockscombs and didn't want to take the time to run back out to the garden, I glanced over at a bouquet that was beginning to fade and there was just what I needed all still very fresh. Hmmm, yes, I already had what I needed. 

Cockscomb, Teddy Bear Zinnia, a variegated Cosmos, and Hyacinth Bean Vine.

All grown from little seeds.  

As I sat in gratitude of what God grows and gives us, I thought maybe I'd want to photograph this bouquet.

It was an Incredible Sky

I don't know why the sky looked like this on a Sunday morning a number of weeks ago.

But, I was sure happy I saw it and grabbed my camera

because in a matter of minutes it was gone.

~a God Sky if you ever saw one~

Irish Poet Tassel Flower

On Monday, I mentioned the Irish Poet Tassel Flower that I thought was so neat. (I purchased my seeds here.)

I took these photos of one of my arrangements a few weeks ago, when the first little blooms were ready to cut.

Small, but mighty they are.

The perfect vase for this arrangement is actually a piece that had a candle in it that was gifted to me from one of my daughters.  Such a stunning vase it made!

Black-eyed Susans (or brown eyed), Liatris, Queen Anne's Lace, Gomphrena, blooms from a Hosta, and various greenery pieces were all included in this arrangement.  I have also enjoyed the Irish Poet Tassel all by itself in a vintage green pop bottle a few times too. :) 

Just Amazing

Monday morning after a big rain, I found this in the Tank Garden.

Just so very amazing.

Cutting Garden and Garden Notes

A while back when I wanted to try and bring flowers in to the house more, I decided a needed to actually name a part of my garden a "Cutting Garden" so I would remind myself that I planted them to cut!  I have no idea why it was initially hard to cut flowers and bring them in, but it was.  This space is also our vegetable garden which of course is a cutting garden so to speak too!  Not hard to do that at all.  Except maybe the zucchinis, ha!  Not because I want to keep them in the garden, but I am unsure I want more in the house.....They also have a powdery mildew on them so pretty sure I'm pulling them soon.

I hope I can find the package from these sunflowers because I hope to plant them again.  Great looking and the shorter version is really quite nice.  They don't have to be at the back of the garden!

Cosmos, I believe it was a mixed variety package of seeds.

Would you believe I was sort of, kind of on top of the weeds in this space for awhile this summer??  Now I'm thinking a little mower would be handy to mow in between the rows. Oh well.
Those are tomatoes and tomatillas on the right and a few different peppers in the middle of the photo.  All doing well this year.  Certainly can't say that every year.

These Balsam seeds were a trial.  Neat plant and I've enjoyed watching them grow, but most likely won't plant them again unless someday I have a space to put them in the distance.  The blooms are on the stalk of the plant and really hard to see the color.  They don't work as a cut flower either.  I also have them planted way to0 close together!  (I do that most of the time.)

I've posted about these Orange Cosmos before.  Love them!
Bottom left you can see that the cockscomb was just getting going when I took these pictures.

Right there in the middle are the few stalks of broom corn that came.  Not sure what happened.  I'm pretty sure I weeded out the corn with the grass that volunteered!  I had a thick row of something growing and it was really hard to tell what was corn and what was grass.  I think there are only 6 stalks of broom corn now and some of that laid down in the rain we had last night.  Oh well. I have a lot dried in the house from last year.  I wonder if I need to buy the seed each year.  I planted seed I had saved from last year.  

This little sweet flower is my 'flower of the year'!  I think it is just the neatest thing.  Small, yes, but graceful and fun with a firm stem.  The name, Irish Poet, I'm pretty sure had set the stage for me to think it was going to be wonderful, ha!  Anyway, for sure planting it next year!  To be determined yet if I'll be able to collect my own seed or not.

Cleome.  Seeds saved now for quite a few years.

The zinnia are blooming well, but not much to show here, because most have been cut. :)

I can't tell you the name of this sunflower either, but it's a good one.  It seems to drop less pollen than the yellow ones too.

(Again, ignore those pesky weeds!)

Cockscomb are a big favorite of mine and I'm happy to see them finally coming along.  They are always a bit later it seems.

This is Malabar Spinach, another plant that was new to me.  I'd highly recommend!  The small leaves are delicious if you like spinach, but I've not harvested a lot of them because I wanted to watch the vine grow. I had been told that it was a beautiful vine and it is.  It looks a lot like the Hyacinth Bean Vine of which I have eight patches growing. 

I began training it up a tomato cage to watch it grow.  The info I had said it was very heat tolerant and it is!  The leaves are still delicious and it keeps growing.

Now, I'm watching these little buds on it to see what the blooms will be like.  I wonder if I can save seeds from it?  I'll have to do some reading about it yet.

Red Zinnias

These Zinnias were from a packet of seeds that had a mixed variety.  There is only one yellow one, sadly, as I think it's color is vibrant and wonderful.

Between my Tank Garden, the Cottage Garden on the side of the house and this space, the winged friends are abundant!  Sadly the caterpillars of these Painted Ladies are doing a lot of damage to the soy bean crop out there.

I don't what kind of butterfly this one is.  Very similar to the Painted Lady, but different.

This is Tukane Ruby Buckwheat.  Again started from seed and an experiment looking for new cut flowers.  This plant is beautiful and I may plant somewhere again, but it did not work at all as a cut flower.  The little flowers did however dry well.  

I ordered some of my seeds form Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  They are missing some vital information on the website and in their catalog though.  One of the seeds I ordered didn't germinate at all.  When I went looking for more information online, I discovered that the seeds needed cold to germinate.  I"ll still use this company, but I will make sure I look for more information first.  The other seeds all germinated quite well.

Also in the garden that I didn't get photo of: Dill, Bells of Ireland, White Teddy Bear Zinnias, a number of varieties of Cockscomb, Pumpkin on a stick, and two Thai Red Hibiscus that the bugs almost devoured.  I'm still hoping for blooms on them though!

Next up: salsa and tomato soup as I believe the tomato harvest will be plentiful!

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