Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello Again!

I seem to be neglecting this. Well here is the most recent image of myself with a 2nd harvest of red cabbage.
Next we have some fennel. I like fennel but at this point am annoyed by how much fennel I have had. Anyway, this fennel plant is impressive.
Here's several small cabbage head regrowth. They look like large brussel sprouts.
This turkey is coated with 5 squares of dark chocolate. It's my trial thanksgiving turkey. I believe the chocolate worked about the way I thought it would. It stayed adhered to the bird well and seemed to keep things moist.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cabbages, butterfly, ladybug and hops

Cabbages fascinate me endlessly. This is a tiny 2nd growth.
This better illustrates what's going one, though these have not filled out like the picture above
I have not seen many butterflies but this one flitted around a lot. It likes verbena, lantanas and coneflower.
here's a late season ladybug. I seem to have manged to keep them in my garden all during the growing season. I swear flowers have been vital for that.
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Monday, September 28, 2009


I decided to harvest this bull's blood beet today. It's been growing since this spring. I don't know how tough it will be. In the background is my PG hydrangea.
I have let things get out of control. Tomatoes are like that. Yeah, that's my sidewalk. The bright red is my sidewalk crack love lies bleeding amaranth.
The usual suspect is lurking as usual. The other day I saw him devouring a squirrel. Shortly after that he gave me a hungry meow. He's getting fat and must be the most spoiled feral cat ever.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saw A Mantis this morning

But I didn't take pictures. I feel like I overdid that especially the reproductive aspect but really it could have been worse. I now know that it is possible for mantises to mate more than once because I witnessed it, and by that I mean female mantises.

They were all AWOL for about a week until this morning. I am not sure if it was Rasputina or Sylvia but the mantis is female and green. I sorta think it is Rasputina. I still have not seen any eggs though there should be some soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm on a scarf kick

No pictures today. I am just enjoying seeing my experiments. I'm not efficient but I am still creating some cool stuff. I sorta like knitting it up then dying it.

So far I've made 3 scarves that border on shawls, all tapered. They seem to work well layered in various ways. When it's daylight I'll take some pictures.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hop Harvest

Todd here is helping me uncover our mailbox. We made the mistake of harvesting some immature cones but there's plenty more.

Our hops were planted specifically for brewing beer. I am sorta amazed by how many people ask me "What do you use these for?" Goes to show that I have been keeping different company than I used to.

Decades ago I worked on an archeaological project with 2 crews, the limp dicks and the fat lushes. I was a fat lush. But yes, I suppose I might actually consume some simply as tea.

Thought I'd link to this, Harvesting Home Grown Hops, from Ben's Home Brew youtube account. Ben is actually local to Pittsburgh. Todd has gotten brewing and winemaking supplies from his Tarentum store.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm back

Sorry it's been so long. I just got lazy. Everything is overgrown. I look at photos and think now what part of this should I discuss? A cat picture makes it easy. Here's Abe on the sidewalk.
The bed next to my porch has numerous textures and colors. I can pick out 8 different plants in this image. Well maybe next year the chasteberry will bloom. Nice leaves though.
This eggplant, ghostbuster is my current star. The rest have dropped off their production. The skin is a bit thicker perhaps but it still has a nice flavor.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

White Flowers and 2nd Cabbages

Earlier this summer, or was it still late spring? a nice lady offered me a moonflower seedling. It began blooming this week. The flowers are about 6 inches(15cm) in diameter. They open at night like many night blooms and have a very nice perfume.
This next flower is shown much larger than life. It is old man's beard clematis. It is pretty invasive but at this time it's very nice. Not only are they pretty but like the moonflower, they smell very nice.
I still get a kick out of seeing mini cabbages sprout from where a large head was.
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Claude and Rasputina

Claude(formerly Claudius) is quite the lover. This shows him with Rasputina shortly before they actually mated. He takes his time.
Here's Claude the morning after. The little seeds are fennel.
Rasputina is in the same spot, almost hidden in plain sight
Just in case you haven't been following this blog this week, this is the SECOND liaison that Claude has had this week. He mated with Sylvia a few days before.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Mantises After

Claudius survived. I gave him the wrong name. Maybe I'll just call him Claude.
Sylvia is as hungry as ever.
Still hasn't laid her eggs. I wanted to believe it would happen sooner.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Praying Mantis Romance

Here's some nature. Claudius found Sylvia in her usual spot and well, these 4 pictures say enough.

They stayed like this for hours. As far as I can tell Claudius left Sylvia unscathed. I thought she might eat him but google sources tell me usually that does not happen. I also figured out that these are probably Chinese Praying Mantises.

I will be looking for an egg sack, also called an ootheca. Hopefully Sylvia will lay it close by.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obscure Mailbox, Bumblebee Eater, Cypress Flowers, Rainbow Peppers

My mailbox is getting hard to find.
Sylvia likes to eat bumblebees. If you look closely at the leaf next to her arms, you'll notice a couple balls of pollen from a bee's hind legs. I guess she doesn't like pollen. I get mad at her but she can't help it. Mantises will eat anything that moves.
I stills get a kick out of these flowers and the lacy leaves.
Rainbow peppers are very pretty and VERY hot.
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Gabrielle and the Beanstalk

My backyard is chaotic. This beanstalk illustrates that pretty well. I wish I had somehow arranged it so it could continue skyward. I'm sure that if I had it could be taller than my 3 story house.

Scarlet runner beans are kind of amazing and hummingbirds LOVE their flowers.
My fairly neglected back porch tomatoes are thriving. These are super sweet and juliette. I think I might dehydrate some juliettes for later.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

About me and this blog

This is my homespun gardening blog. I started out trying to make it be instructional but have fallen into posting a million gorgeous pictures of my garden with lots of kitty pictures. This shows Abe the kitty looking cool.
I do emphasize edible plants but am a sucker for straight up beauty. I grow organic and try to do it as locally as possible which generally ends up being cheaper.

I welcome and seek comments from you and will try to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge. I try to give credit where it is due so will link to source I recognize as not being myself.

If you like this blog you will probably find it easiest to follow me on twitter which I have come to recognize as an excellent source of information both petty and deep. I hope that though my emphasis is on the pretty and I do tend to hide the ugly parts of my garden that you will find some depth to it too.

I tend to do things as cheaply as possible which often means recycling things like other people's trash. Here we have Sally the cat testing a wall I made from found bricks from here and there.
I am not a writer and my thoughts, being largely image driven tend to be scattered. I am a landscaper and if you desire my services, do not hesitate to ask if you live in my area, though at this point this blog is not really about generating business.

Oh yeah, my name is Gabrielle Marsden. I am smarter than most people and I've done and seen lots of interesting things. My politics as you might well imagine are left of center. I am an omnivore and value locally produced food more than organic. I have permaculture tendencies though I've only been checking it out recently. I am in my mid-40s and am not a tea-totaler. I speak only one language but have traveled overseas a little and even south of the equation once. My garden is in an urban suburb of Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania.


My sidewalk is very lush. This 1st picture is my terrace which has filled out completely.
Next to it is my feral tomato. I am glad that it is a cherry tomato.
My yarrow is growing in well, and so are the weeds. Hrmph. Everyday, I weed it a little bit.
You may have noticed that I have let my garden spill out onto the sidewalk. Most pedestrians seem not to mind though some plants get a little trampled. It's not as bad as some hedges on my street.
The sidewalk makes some things easier. I don't have to search in the dirt for these seedpods.
One plant I have growing in various locations is nasturtiums. After a while they go to seed and when they do they tend to die out a bit and drop these seed pods. I might save some to plant next year. They are also edible if you pick them early enough.

I will let the seedpods dry out then break them open for the seeds inside. That'll be one less package of seeds for me to buy next year.
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