And Before You Know It,

the month of May is gone and my plants have come to life.

heurchera bloom with columbine bloom on the side
Heuchera bloom with a columbine on the side
showy evening primrose
Showy evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is a good groundcover
Phlox paniculata is a tall garden phlox that blooms profusely in the spring
I’m pairing this hot pink impatiens with my white hydrangeas ’cause that’s how I roll
The garden is waiting patiently for the rain to let up.  We’ve had over 13 inches of rain this month with more to come this weekend.  My lettuce is looking very yummy but I sink trying to get to it.
pinto bean
Lina Sisco Bird Egg Bean (pinto bean)
okra seedling
Okra prefers sunnier days. This little seedling was found about a foot from where I planted it. Surprise!
Garlic seems to be holding up well
Tomatoes also love warmer days. Mulching tomatoes helps prevent blight which occurs from water splashing up from the soil to the plant.
Tomato bed with wire supports
This past winter I started saving my eggshells.  I placed them in a plastic bag and stored them in the freezer.  Around April, I thawed them out and placed them in the greenhouse to dry.
eggshells eggshellsAfter a month, the heat from the greenhouse made them brittle enough to be crushed easily.  As I planted the tomatoes, I placed a handful of eggshells (calcium) in the hole, mixed them with the soil, and placed the tomato plant on top.  Calcium deficiency in tomatoes presents itself as blossom end rot, a very dark, rotten-looking spot on the end of the tomato (hence the name).  I’ve never had any problems with this before but figured it wouldn’t hurt to give them a boost and possibly prevent a very ugly problem.
The meat chickens are growing nicely and the first batch is almost 6 weeks old.  Out of the 25 I started with, 17 have made it and they will be ready to process very soon.
meat chickens
The newest set of meat chickens are 2-1/2 weeks old.
*whisper*of the 50 I started with, only 2 have died.*end whisper*
I still have a long way to go, but so far this is much better than the first batch. They will be ready to move to the chicken tractor when the older ones are processed.
A while back, I told you about all the eggs in the incubator.  Unfortunately, none hatched.  I was sure it was operator error but Peaches only hatched 4 of the 13 she was setting on.  This means my rooster is only good for one thing.  Making noise.  Oh well.  My luck all 4 of the new chicks will be roosters.  Wouldn’t that be interesting.
My great-grandmother’s peony bloomed on Mother’s Day weekend like it usually does but the rains have beat the blooms down to the ground.
They were pretty for a day!
The peach tree is loaded.  My dad said he used to work in a peach orchard and his job was to hit the trees with a big stick to knock off (or thin) the peaches out.  I decided I wouldn’t go that far, but I did give the tree a good shake and several small ones fell off and that’s all I’m going to do.  I don’t know what the rains will do to them, but I would really like to eat fresh peaches this year.  Pleeeezzzzzeee!
My resident road runner is scouting for snakes.  Excessive rains bring out the snakes and although I’ve just seen the good ones (aka king snakes), bad snakes like the poisonous water moccasins and copperheads are also common.  I didn’t know they ate snakes until I recently saw him with a small one.
road runner
You go, bird!
This is a shot of what used to be the old highway on the way to our house.  When the new highway was finished, the Highway Department planted the old one in wildflowers.   It looks like a river of daisies and I love it.
daisies on old highway
As part of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful program, they also planted coreopsis and evening primrose on our  unmowable strips next to the highway.
roadside daisies and coreopsis coreopsis and daisies daisies and coreopsis
A weird thing happened with the bees.
I had just finished weed-eating around the bee yard and had taken the weed eater back to the barn.  From inside the barn, I  heard the buzz of bees.   It was very loud.  Too loud.  I ran to the bee hives only to see the bees POURING out of the large hive.  I’ve never seen a swarm leave the hive, but I’m sure this was the beginning.  They weren’t flying away  but gathering at the bottom of the hive.  Thousands of bees.  Luckily I had my bee suit on and the smoker ready because I was getting ready to add some supers.  I smoked them and literally picked up handfuls of bees and put them back in the hive.  I don’t know if it worked or not because it has rained ever since that happened.  Hopefully the rain will stop soon so I can check them.  Like I’ve said before though, once they get in their heads to leave, they usually do.  I have no idea what to expect when I  open up the hive.
On a happier note, we’ve been fortunate to spend a good deal of time with our grandkids.  When they are together, there is running, chasing, splashing, and laughter.  Lots of laughter.  They are the best part of my day.
hallie and luke may 2015
rare photo of him–most are blurry
We’ve attended PreK graduation,
hallie prek graduation
and her first dance recital
hallie ballerina recitalfollowed by losing her front teeth!
Hallie 5 lost teeth
Life is good!