December 1, 2009

Winter is about here in Baldwin City, Kansas, but the weather has remained fairly warm. Below are some of the plants that are still hanging in there. Below the shots of die-hard plants are pictures inside my greenhouse.

asters in Dec.

Some of the aster blossoms have failed but others still look fresh.

hollyhocks Dec.

Hollyhocks, purple decorative peppers that popped up in the front bed (probably from a pepper that fell out of a planter box) and a fern grow together at the edge of our front porch.

gourds and TCU rock

Halloween gourds and a pumpkin turkey that decorate the front proch (in front a of a sandstone rock that reveals my alma mater) have not become mushy yet.

purple butterfly bush

Purple butterfly bush has about died out.

winter bird's nest

A bird's nest in the front yard maple tree is visible now that the leaves are gone.

Dec. day lily

Day lily

Dec. lettuce

Some stubborn lettuce grows in the corner of one of my raised beds.

Dec. peppers

Some peppers from Pepper Joe's are still happy in the whiskey barrel.

Two shots below: a peach tree sprouted last summer and produced many peaches that the raccoons ate. The darker colored tree had died, which was disappointing since I liked to hand bird feeders on thebranches. Once the peach trees branches grew, there was no need to cut down the dead tree since the leaves covered it.

peach tree sprouts

peace tree sprouts

Keeping your greenhouse warm is a challenge if it's not framed with stone and glass and is piped and wired.

Below: my greenhouse is covered in thick plastic. I put "walls of water" around the tomatoes.

walls of water around tomatoes

Hank and greenhouse

Hank the Tank and a window that faces east. You can see plants and bubble wrap through the glass.

mulch around greenhouse

Every little bit helps to keep the inside warm. On the south side of the greenhouse I stacked mulch and soil bags along thebase along with all the black items I could find, including an upside down snowboard.

plant with plastic

This plant does not have water walls around it. I used bubble wrap and a plastic container that held apples instead.

kitchen greens

A variety of kitchen greens grow from seed inside the greenhouse. I put them in small black plastic containers that sit inside a larger one to help retain heat.

Tosh makes pies

Tosh tried to make pumpkin pies for culinary class as Ari pesters him.


Tomato corn salsa and pickeld vegetables

I canned a lot this week--tomato, pepper and corn salsa along with pickled peppers and cucumbers.

My butterfly garden

My butterfly garden has grown well all summer and I expect it to be twice as lush next year.

Below: swallowtail butterflies emerged this week. Here they make their way up the netting to dry their wings.

New swallowtail

New swallowtail2

Swallowtail new

swallowtail new2

This one had a very hard time, but eventually his wings unfolded.

Tosh and swallowtail

A butterfly crawled around on Tosh a while before being released outside.

New swallowtail dried wings

Here is one of the other butterflies after being released, getting its bearings in the garden.

Monarch caterpillar

A Monarch caterpillar has eaten about all it can of the milkweed growing in the whiskey barrel.

Monarch caterpillar

Here it is after forming the chrysalis.

Bee on a Buddleia Honeycomb Butterfly Bush

A bee enjoys a Buddleia Honeycomb Butterfly Bush

Marvin in fish tank

Marvin, our aquarium algae-eater. He also likes zucchini.

Floating pond plant blossom

A water hyacinth in my small pond. Theses floating plants multiply rapidly and make good cover for frogs and fish.

Below: what appear to be two sulphur moths

Sulphur moth

Sulphur moth2

Tomato seedlings

I plan to grow a variety of vegetables in my greenhouse this fall. Already the tomato seeds have sprouted. These will be transplanted into larger pots.