I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.

As my sister just seriously broke her right ankle and had surgery on it yesterday and my mom is there helping her out for the next couple weeks, I think I'll be holding down the fort over here at FYB.  My niece's 5 year Heaven Day is on Thursday this week, so the entire family is already feeling pretty emotionally raw anyway.  My sweet sister needs not one more bad thing to come her way in any July for the rest of her life.  And can I also just add Syria, Syria, Syria.  Oh, and this colossal heat wave (...climate change anyone ?) that is making me stir crazy inside with my kids which is sacrilege for summer.  Anyway, I thought a post about my yearly planting failures would fit right into the general mood I've been carrying around with me.

I'm no expert gardener but I've messed around enough with various plants that at this point I typically expect plants to behave as advertised if I am giving them at the minimum the care conditions and appropriate watering that they need.  That means if the tag reads, "full sun, sandy or clay soil" I expect the plant to be pretty carefree.  This has not been the case with May Night Salvia.  What kills me is that I see this growing in plenty of other places in which I know no one is taking any care at all with it and it looks beautiful.

This is what it is supposed to look like:

Mine don't look like this because they have withered and died.   Mine are brown and shriveled.  They were planted in sun, in leaf compost, well mulched and are watered slow and deep every 3 days on a drip system.  I simply have no idea what happened here.

Next are the Golden Jubilee tomatoes I tried this year.  I have grown lots of varieties over the years, most I've started from seed myself.  This year with my husband traveling an insane amount for his job (read M-F) while homeschooling my oldest and taking care of my 4 and 2 year olds, I decided to just buy seedlings and hope for next year.  I bought 8 seedlings, Golden Jubilee being one of them.  She actually got lucky enough to be planted in an Earth Box.  So calcium or uneven watering should not be an issue at all.  Somehow this lady has given me loads of tomatoes and every single one has the most pronounced blossom end rot I've ever seen on a tomato plant.  Sure, I get a little every year here and there and never like this.  I'm almost ready to pull the plant and just dump it.  Nothing is usable on the fruit.  Ack.  So frustrating!

Last is Zepherine Drouhin, an heirloom climbing rose I decided to give a try this year.   Apparently she is somewhat shade tolerant.  Apparently not in my yard.  I suspect that this rose is more shade tolerant if it were originally planted in full sun and then over the years a tree or something began to filter the light more and more.  Once well-established she may very well be reasonably shade tolerant for a rose.  But in my yard, 4 measly hours of direct sun are keeping her from putting on much growth.  I am not even sure what to do, she's alive and looks healthy, just not making much progress growth wise.   She needs a new home and I've got nowhere to move her.  

With all this said, I am overrun with cucumbers and I have so many tomatoes coming in that I know canning will be happening this weekend.  So, those are two positives to cap off the end of a failure themed post.  




Rach said...

Ah. All this means you're as human as the rest of us. :)

Let's not let a measly broken ankle and HHD bring us down. We need to get our sparkly going on! :)

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