Beautiful Bulbs

Baylor and I found an Amaryllis bulb that was the biggest we’ve ever seen at Baker’s nursery. It was expensive, but one of the only one’s the had so we went for it. It bloomed this week and oh my goodness is it worth every penny.

Soooo ready to trim something…

Look at the size of that thing!

Diggin’

The final product!

And a mere four weeks later, we have this:

Six! Six blossoms all on the same stalk at the same time. I’ve grown these flowers for years and I’ve never had this many flowers!

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Lettuce Eat

Remember this post about the lettuce table that PW built for me? Well it’s back and better than ever! Bay and I planted seeds about 5 weeks ago and they are growing like weeds. I think we are some fertilizer and a week away from eating like rabbits for every meal. The best part is that Bay is totally persuaded to eat because she grew it!

 

 

Grass Between Your Toes

Due to the extremely hot Arizona summers and a slight to severe allergy to Bermuda grass, I don’t spend much time in the green stuff. But this time of year is a different story. The winter Rye grass seeds are all coming up and after two cuttings, our back yard looks like it has been redone with a lush, shag green carpet. But in a good way.

See what I mean?

Bay and I have spent many afternoons laying in the grass, looking at the sky or down into the ground. Kicking a ball or rolling around. Taking pictures and chasing each other. Just enjoying the simplicity of such a lovely thing.

(and yes, I know my Yellow Bells need trimming)

Fresh cut today…if only you could smell how good it smells!

Home Grown Deliciousness

Some of our tomatoes are finally ready! Peter surprised me with a little appetizer the other night made of yellow tomatoes, shallots, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. The mixture was served both chilled and also toasted on sourdough – delicious!!

The yellow tomatoes are going crazy and the reds aren’t far behind

Weekend Work

Baylor and I did a lot of yard work this weekend. Her contributions are along the lines of:

1. Don’t pull the plants out that have just been planted

2. Play in a big bucket of water

3. Water the plants. The house. The patio. And herself.

But we did get a lot new color in that will hopefully last at least until it’s 110!

Beautiful Salvia and Portulaca – a favorite!

I love that you never know what color the flowers will be


Finally getting bigger berries – these are aaalllmoosst ready!

Fresh Pressed and It Feels So Good

I wanted to take a minute and say thank you. Thank you for my friends and family who  faithfully click the link to The Goon Room despite already getting the posts in email form just to boost the number of hits. Thank you for Word Press choosing to feature TGR on Fresh Pressed and thank you to all the new readers who have subscribed. Lastly, thank you for all the wonderful comments. I hope to bring a little laugh to your days for many years to come!

And now for some business! The delicious lettuce table  featured in yesterday’s post was an obvious hit. So my sweet hubby Peter volunteered to write up the instructions for building the table for anyone that is interested. I will however warn you that the supplies may shock you.

When I asked Peter to build me the table, he was super excited. Little did I know that the process would include not only the supplies to build the table, but it would also include a new top-of-the-line miter saw. A table to mount the saw to. Several new tools including a staple gun (the version we already owned was not right, allegedly), clamps, saw horses and a lot of other crap that I’m sure came home from Lowes but was not shown to me. That said, the result was fantastic – I’m just saying that you’ve been warned! The measurements below can be adjusted. Our table is pretty big, but could be made into a much smaller version for a deck or balcony.

As far as planting, I found that loose leaf varieties of lettuce work great. Seedlings from the nursery didn’t do quite as well. Also spinach needs a little sandier and better draining soil. But the strawberries seem to be loving it so save a space for a few seedlings of berry goodness.

Supplies:

8 – 2”x4” boards (12’ long)

4 – 1”x4” boards (12’ long)

30 – 2 ½” Galvanized Deck Screws

24 – 1 ½” Galvanized Deck Screws

1- 2’ x 12’ Roll of Aluminum Window Screening

1- 2’ x 12’ Roll of Hardware Cloth

Mitre Saw (or a handsaw and some powerful biceps)

Staple Gun (with staples)

Drill (with bit to match screws)

Construction:

The first step in constructing your salad table is to cut your lumber into the following pieces (if you decided to us a hand saw, here is where you earn your keep):

2 – 2”x4”x12’ pieces

6 – 2”x4”x17” pieces

6 – 2”x4”x36” pieces

6 – 2”x4”x32” pieces

2 – 2”x4”x6’ pieces

2 – 1”x4”x12’ pieces

10 – 1”x4”x17” pieces

1.     Now that your lumber is cut, place your two 2”x4”x12’ pieces of lumber on the ground (parallel to each other) about 17” apart.

2.     Take two of your 2”x4”x17” pieces of lumber and place them between the 2”x4”s that are lying parallel on the ground so that you create a rectangle. Now use four of your 2 ½” galvanized deck screws to firmly secure the boards together.

3.     Take your four remaining 2”x4”x17” pieces of lumber and place them between the 2”x4”s that are lying parallel to create five relatively equal planting areas.  Now use eight of your 2 ½” galvanized deck screws to firmly secure the boards together.

4.     Now you get to use everybody’s favorite tool – the staple gun.  Roll out the hardware cloth and cover the bottom of your newly created rectangle with it.  Attach the hardware cloth with staples.

5.     Roll out the aluminum window screening and cover the bottom of your newly created rectangle (and the hardware cloth) with it.  Attach the aluminum window screening with staples.

6.     Now that the top of your salad table is complete, you need to construct legs for your table.  Because the top of your salad table is rather heavy you want stout legs that will bear all that weight.  To construct a table leg, take one of your 2”x4”x32” pieces and attach it to one of your 2”x4”x36” pieces with a 2 ½” galvanized deck screw.  You want the pieces to lay on top of each other on the 4” sides, meet at the bottom and leave a 4” gap at the top.  Repeat this process until you have six legs.

7.     With the rectangle still on the ground, you can now attach the legs to the top of your salad table with the 2 ½” galvanized deck screws – three legs on each side, one in the center, one three feet to the left and one three feet to the right.  The top of your salad table should rest on top of the 2”x4”x32” pieces and the 2”x4”x36” pieces should be on the outside of the table top.

8.     With the rectangle still on the ground, attach two 1”x4”x12’ pieces of lumber over the hardware cloth/aluminum screening with 1 ½” galvanized deck screws.  These pieces will give the table support and the table top won’t sag when you add soil.

9.     With the help of another person (or if you’re the tough guy who decided to use a handsaw you can do this yourself) turn the table over.  You can now attach the bottom shelf to your table.  To do so, attach the 2”x4”6’ pieces of lumber to the front and back the table legs about halfway between the ground and table top with the 2 ½” galvanized deck screws.  The 2”x4”x6’ pieces of lumber will not only provide a base for the shelf but will serve as a good brace for the table legs.

10. Now you can attach the ten 1”x4”x17” pieces of lumber to the 2”x4”x6’ pieces of lumber that you just added with the 1 ½” galvanized deck screws and create a slotted shelf – be aware that anything you put on this shelf will get wet when the table top drains.

Reduce, Recycle and Reuse

A few years ago, Peter’s mom and dad gave us two beautiful chimineas straight from Mexico. And literally with in a week, we had broken one of them.

For those not in the know – a chiminea is a little ceramic fireplace for the outdoors.

Well, WE didn’t break it, the umbrella did. If I hadn’t seen what happened with my own eyes, we probably would have never been able to piece the crime scene together. I was on a conference call for work and pacing the house. It was one of those extremely boring calls but one that required me to actually pay attention so pacing kept me from the temptation of Facebook and People.com. As I passed through the living room, I stopped to admire how nice our backyard looked. The plants were green, we had new patio furniture and of course, the chimineas. As I was watching, a small breeze kicked up – and suddenly the umbrella in the new patio table was lifted from its resting place, flipped end over end into the chiminea and landing in the small tree in the corner of the yard. Bam! Just like that, my beautiful utopia was smashed. literally. The chiminea was broken and spilling sand all over the patio, the umbrella broke and arm and more than one delicate branch on the tree was snapped.

Stunned, sad and a little too emotional to trash the broken chiminea, I convinced Peter to help me move it to a spot in the yard where I could turn it into a planter. PW was skeptical and not very supportive, but he can’t say no to my sad face/ nagging so the chiminea found a new home and became a new home for plants.

It dawned on me when I was watering it this week just how pretty the Petunias looked spilling out the front opening and the broken back – and then a little breeze kicked up….Bay and I made sure the umbrellas were all down and then took cover, just in case.