Ducks and Gardening

They don’t hang out near the patio as much as Maddie and Mabel, but this morning they thought they’d check in.

Despite dire warnings of a very, very cold Mother’s Day, I planted about half of my tomatoes today. They were getting leggy and I worried they’d be difficult for my petsitter to take care of while I’m away.  The water tents should keep them safe.  These five are all San Marzano.

The other three tomatoes will have to wait for friends to bring over their walls-of-water and some pots. They’re moving this summer, so no garden. It was decided I’d plant enough for all of us. Excited to have my little garden be a “co-op.”

I’m leaving the peppers inside until I’m sure it will be warm enough, even though I have walls-of-water for them, too. Ground is still unseasonably cold.

The front yard is looking stunning with all the bulbs (this is but a few). None of which I planted and all survived the cardboard/mulch arrangement. Actually, they seemed to thrive.

That’s it for now. On the road for the rest of the week, but I’ll check in with any fun recipes we might make along the way.

Until then…


Gabe is sitting in a light drizzle, working. Watching for squirrels is not just a job – it’s a calling.

Random Raccoon

Beef and barley soup. Ever since we bought that grass fed beef I’ve had a package of neck bones in the freezer. I added the frozen block of bones to the instapot, poured in half a box of chicken stock, a crushed head of garlic, and set it to cook for an hour. I strained the liquid, chopped a couple of onions, picked the meat from the bones and added a half cup of pearled barley. It was a good start.

I got that shot of a Downy and a Hairy in the same frame. Yay!

I’m pretty sure I’m going to run out of fermented peppers. They keep getting better the longer I have them. I expect the last of them will be so good I that I will cry. I will make more as soon as I get the patio garden producing

Cheddar broccoli chicken soup. Another use of the citrate in milk to keep the cheese from separating. I finally opened that bag of broccoli cuts I bought to see if the frozen product was as bad as I remembered it to be. I’m happy that I bought the stems included version because the florets were a bit soggy.

A hawk swoops by the backyard feeder but comes up empty. A couple of years ago we had a young Cooper’s hang out around this feeder for weeks. It provides an unobstructed approach for the raptor but it has cover nearby.

Eskimo Viburnum

I was afraid the cold snap was going to knock these blossoms off but it has survived. All of the herbs and peppers I had already potted also came through practically untouched. I did more harm covering them than did the freeze. Mrs J’s columbines came through – they were covered with old cotton sheets for two days.

Grr… Late Frosts

The patio container herb garden was well underway. The Eskimo Viburnum is at peak bloom.

I had enough empty pots to cover everything I had just potted. The waste basket liners should help. The chives are plenty sturdy but I’m afraid the snowballs are goners.

Mrs J is busy covering her perennials with sheets. The low growing leafy greens are black eyed susans and she thinks they will be fine.


Mrs J keeps a few bird baths in this corner of her garden. It’s under a redbud tree that is starting to get some size on it. We mounted a camera to it and pointed it towards the baths in hope of getting video of birds using them. Meanwhile, Gabe is checking the water in one of the smaller ones. This is a spot where she places some succulents but hasn’t put them out yet for fear of a late frost.