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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Posts Tagged ‘peach trees’

Red Haven Peaches Waiting To Be Bottled

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Peaches to be bottled

One of the joys of growing your own fruit is being able to bottle as much as you want or need to without it breaking the bank. Peaches in the store and at the Farmer’s Market here on Thursdays cost a small fortune. It’s one thing to buy some to eat but having enough to put up is a whole different ball game.

The Red Haven peaches are going to finish up by early next week and then the Hale Havens will begin to ripen. I’ve tried one that was almost ripe and it was sweeter than the Red Havens. When I’ve finished bottling peaches from the first tree it will be about time to get started on the second…and so on and so on. Six trees should take us through September and then it will be time for a well deserved vacation.

We do share a lot of our peaches, thankfully so many people really like peaches. I can’t imagine what we would do with all that fruit if we didn’t share.

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Bottled Peaches

Peach Blossoms and Birds Singing

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Peach Blossoms

As if the gorgeous sunshine and warmer (74′) weather aren’t enough to make me super excited that Spring is finally here, the peach and plum trees are in bloom and the birds are singing away.

There is so much to do in the garden, but I have to admit that it has been hard accomplishing anything because I just want to BE in the garden, absorbing all the things coming back to life after such a long, cold winter.

The yard help came and went and did such a fantastic job (I’ll post pictures later of their work) that I can take time to enjoy the garden. It is fun to see things coming up that I had forgotten were there. In the Fall I usually put in more perennials (mainly because they are on sale then) and so it’s a surprise to see the new plants emerge.

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Plum Blossoms

The Aprium trees were in full bloom when temperatures dropped down to the mid 20’s so I’m not hopeful of getting many, or any, of them this year. The Apricots and Cherry buds were beginning to open and so this may be a bad year for them too. If we don’t get a lot of fruit, at least the trees will have a year to rest and get stronger.

Now we just have to wait another month before planting the rest of the garden, the annuals and vegetables. Gardening teaches us patience.

The Peaches Are Growing And The Hardy Kiwi Are Blooming

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Peaches beginning to grow

It’s so fun to watch as the fruit on the trees begins to grow and the strawberries start turning pink. This year, besides the peaches, apples, apricots and assorted berries, we also have current bushes (with currents) and the Kiwi are finally blooming. This is their 4th summer and the first time we’ve actually seen blossoms. So we’re hoping to finally get Kiwi fruit. These are the hardy Kiwi and the fruit is smooth and small. It doesn’t need to be peeled and it is said to be very sweet. Can’t wait to try them.

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Kiwi vines with blossoms

Also, as the plant (a vine that can grow 40-50 feet) matures, the leaves begin to get pink and cream colorations on them, making it look like the vines are full of blooms. See this post from Cornell for more information: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/mfruit/kiwifruit.html

We have a male and a female (yes, you need both) vine and they should cover one end of our grape arbor.

So looking forward to eating our very first Kiwi.

Circumcising the Peach Trees – The Importance Of Thinning Fruit

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Autumn Star Peaches on Tree in September

Even though it’s really hard to remove little baby fruit from fruit trees, it can be a very important step. Not only do you get much better fruit but the tree is better able to bear the fruit while it grows and ripens.

When our peach trees became laden with fruit we had to remove quiet a bit of it. Since this is just their third summer we were worried about such an abundant crop. We learned that removing the fruit is called ‘circumcising’ the tree. Well all 5 of our trees got circumcised. Apparently we weren’t thorough enough because just as the fruit on our Red Haven ripened the trunk of the tree split right down the middle all the way to the ground. I ran out with baskets and was going to pick the fruit and then take out the tree.

“Slow down”, my husband said, “let’s just think about this a minute.” So I stand there tapping my foot impatiently, knowing I’d have to do something with all those peaches right away. He headed for the garage saying we were going to pull the tree back up and strap it together.

Ha! I thought he was delusional. This was a young tree but it was already big, at least 12′. I tried to budge one side of it and I might as well have tried to lift our deck. But back he comes with pulleys and come-alongs and bungee cords and ropes and boards and a drill? Then he reaches down and smooth as can be he lifts one side up and braces it then pulls the other side up and braces it. He straps them together tightly and supports those heavy limbs. Then he gets out the drill and drills two holes through that poor tree. He used bolts and nuts and things and bolts the trunk together in two places. Poor tree had surgery with no anesthesia. I thought that by the next morning all the leaves would be wilting and the fruit would began to drop.

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Bolts in split peach tree with little hollyhock plants coming up everywhere

Except for the support straps still in the branches, you’d never know anything had happened to that tree. The fruit stayed on and ripened and was delicious. Now the tree will grow around those bolts and it’ll be impossible to tell what once happened. Isn’t that amazing?

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Early Elberta Peaches getting ripe...finally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Where to start? – How To Plan a Garden, How To Plant a Garden – How To Be a Gardener

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Back yard in 2009, before garden planted, arbor and deck built

I’m trying to decide whether to began at the end or the beginning. Maybe I’ll just jump back and forth.

I mentioned in “About Us” that in 2009 we’d bought a very old home in the Rocky Mountains (zone 5b-6a) and had taken up most of our lawn. I didn’t mention that we also took down four huge trees and many large, old shrubs. You can imagine what a mess our yard looked. But…we had a plan.

Here is a picture of our yard when we began laying it out. The big crater is where a large stump was ground out and where the Queen Elizabeth roses now stand beside the deck. You can see 2 of the 5 little peach trees planted early that spring. The small one on the end is stunted because deer ate the top out of it when it first put on leaves.

Peach trees, Queen Elizabeth roses, hyacinth bean tower

Peach trees, Queen Elizabeth roses, hyacinth bean tower

I think the neighbors were a little worried about the nut jobs that had moved in next door. It did look pretty bad but we did put up a privacy fence to protect their eyes. Of course the picket fence in the front yard didn’t hide very much and the front yard looked this bad too.

 

 

 

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Gardening Thought For The Day…

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Garden with no boundaries

 

The only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination.

-Thomas D. Church

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Flowers, herbs and fruit growing along the garden path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter In The Garden – What’s Going On?

The quick answer to that is…not much. Or so it seems.

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Peach trees, roses, raised bed and snow

Many plants, especially fruit trees and some perennials, need these cold temperatures. They have a cycle they must go through, that’s why refrigerating bulbs can force them to bloom early. Some fruits trees need a minimum of 1,000 hours of freezing temperatures to bear fruit. So a lot is going on with the plants, just not in the leafy, green, growing sort of way.

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Peach trees, corn, roses and feverfew, lemon balm

 

 

 

 

 

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Queen Elizabeth roses in summer

 

 

The rose bushes look so pitiful and almost dead. They will be pruned back just as the buds begin to swell in early spring.

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Queen Elizabeth rose bushes in winter

 

 

 

 

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Raspberry, rhubard bed in winter

The raspberry bed looks so empty without all that lush foliage. They will be back bigger, thicker and better than last year. The rhubarb plants that share that bed seem to have

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Raspberries and rhubarb in July,

disappeared, but they will also be back, bigger than before.

 

 

 

 

The raised vegetable bed is empty, the corn, green beans and squash long gone. Next year we will add more compost to rejuvenate the soil for the next vegetables to grow there.

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Asparagus Bed mid July, 2011

 

 

 

The asparagus has gone to sleep, with the plants all collapsed down with a covering of snow to insulate them. They will be some of the first to make their appearance next spring. Can’t wait.

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Asparagus bed in winter (What looks like boulders is plants collapsed down)

 

 

 

 

 

So much to look forward to in the spring. The dormant time in the garden is a really good time to learn about some of the things that need to be done when spring finally gets here…like pruning fruit trees and rose bushes, dividing and transplanting perennials that have outgrown their space, starting and maintaining a compost pile, deciding on what vegetables to grow this year…..and on and on.

That’s why gardening is so interesting and so much fun. There is always more to learn, always something to do and always so much to enjoy in a garden.

Just Some Of Our Garden Photos

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Sunflowers in the afternoon sun

Only October but I’m feeling the cold of winter breathing down my neck. So I’m just remembering “the way it was”.

 

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Crabapple blossoms in April, just before a big snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Under the peach trees - such a peaceful place in the garden

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Medallion Rose is one of my favorite roses and it smells heavenly

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Cut flowers from the garden

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Zinnias in sunshine garden photo

Added Photos

For those of you who might be interested, I’ve posted a picture of the bolted together peach tree that split to the ground in the post “Circumcising Peach Trees”.

The easy way to bring it up is to just type in the search box at the top right corner.

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by Eliza Osborn

Garden Skyscrapers

Hollyhocks in the morning sun.

Hollyhocks give a much needed vertical element to the garden with their colorful flowers reaching up so high into the blue sky. Some get 10′ tall or more and some only about 6′. If everything in the garden were waist high or lower it would be pretty boring but the height of the hollyhocks draw the attention up and then the eye will go back down to fall on something new in your multi-leveled garden.

Even though the substantial, sturdy stalks do a good job, a strong wind can tip them over. They pull back up easily but once down they will go down again easier and will have to be tied up a bit.

Hollyhocks re-seed freely and unless you like pulling seedlings out of EVERYTHING, cut the stalks down before they throw their seeds. On the other hand, if you collect the seeds and plant them where you want them to grow that’s even better.They produce so many seeds that you’ll have plenty to share.

Hollyhocks are biennials, one of those plants that have to come up and grow a little the first year and then bloom the second year but even in the first year they make a nice looking plant.

I get a lot of comments on the hollyhocks in my garden. They seem to remind people of their childhood or their grandmother’s yard. I like that.

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Hollyhocks by peach trees

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Hollyhocks and Peach Trees

 

Asian Lililies and Hollyhocks

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by Eliza Osborn

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