June Landscapes

We finally had a nice break from all of the rain we’ve been getting recently. It was a beautiful weekend and not too hot. I’ve been enjoying hiking around the farm and seeing parts of the acreage that I haven’t checked out much yet. Since its the last weekend in June, I thought I would…

Family Farm

We had an emotional Father’s Day Weekend in our family. One of my aunts passed away recently and we had a celebration of her life on Saturday. The entire family got together, which is no small feat, because we have relatives in California, Indiana and Missouri. Everyone came together in Alta, Iowa as we remembered…

The Swallow’s Nest

The June West Pott. Master Gardener meeting tonight was held at The Swallow’s Nest – Jayna’s Country Store & Gardens in Council Bluffs. We enjoyed listening to stories from the owners, held our meeting under the shade trees on the farm and then enjoyed a tour of their expansive vegetable and flower garden. It was…

How To: Grow Larkspur

Larkspur is what is called a hardy annual. They easily self seed year after year in the same patch and they are very cold hardy. They can be direct sowed very early in the season and sown in succession to have continuous blooms. Place seeds in the freezer for a few days before planting. Harvest…

Peonies, peonies, peonies

It seems like the peony season came and went very quickly this year. I’m glad I got out to take lots of photos right away because the HOT weather flushed all of our peonies out very quickly. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t make a single bouquet this year. These peonies at our new house…

Garden Journal 6/2/2018

We kicked off June with some more heat. My leafy greens are doing amazingly well. I’ve got several kinds of lettuce and kale along with arugula, turnips, beets and swiss chard growing in this market garden style bed. My agave sure are happy right now! They thrive in the heat. I planted a few coreopsis…

Longhorn Cattle

Meet our new neighbors. This is the first time they have grazed on our side of this hill. How lucky am I to have this great view! Aren’t they just beautiful!?!? They seemed very nice. Our neighbor must spend quite a bit of time with them. This one had the biggest horns.Although these were pretty big…

5 Tips on Growing Iris from Nancy

One of my fellow Master Gardeners is into irises. Nancy has over 250 varieties of tall bearded iris that are mostly from California. Her brother, who lives in California, started sending her irises for her birthday each August and then one year while visiting him, they dug over 150 varieties together. She has since been back…

Oranges and Grape Jelly

I enjoyed a four day break from work and got so much done around my house over this Memorial Day weekend. My only complaint is that I wish it was slightly cooler. Nearly 100 degree temperatures each day made it hard for a lot of heavy outdoor work. But, clearly I didn’t work too hard…

Pee Wee Gardens

There is an amazing peony garden in Council Bluffs. It’s located on Old Lincoln Hwy or N Broadway, directly across the street from Kimball Park. There is a large sign that says “Pee Wee Gardens – Flowers and More Since 94.” I googled this name and found a story about Oscar Kilnoski, the man most likely…

Pineapple Rum Agua Fresca

We have been making some fruity mixed drinks to cool off in the heat of the summer. We’ve been hooked on two particular recipes for a year now that I’m going to share here on the blog. They are both quite refreshing after a long day of doing yard work or gardening! The first drink…

Garden Journal 5/25/2018

After a cold and wet spring, we’ve jumped straight into summer here in southwest Iowa. On this memorial day weekend, we are expecting temperatures of nearly 100 for four days. I was able to to take the day off yesterday for some plant shopping and did some digging in the dirt when I got home….