Garden and Thread

Collage_FotorFoodThis time of year certainly provides for some good eating. The tomatoes are aplenty and the fresh blueberries are delicious.

Our blueberry bushes did not produce this year after a major move and trim, but we went to McKenzie’s Farm, and they have a wonderful crop available.  I froze several bags but had to made a fresh blueberry pie and blueberry banana bread. We need to enjoy the blueberries because there is not going to be a peach crop this year anywhere north of Connecticut.

For those who not only eat but garden, I want to provide an update on our stock tanks that we decided to utilize as raised beds. They’re doing well.

Here are my unofficial and lacking research thoughts. I have three tomatoes in each of the two larger tanks,  two in black containers, and one in the ground. What am I seeing? Well, the one in the ground is the smallest and has more blight than all the rest combined, the two in the containers look kind of puny even though they are producing a few tomatoes, and the ones in the stock tank are looking good. We had new loam compost mix added to the tanks, but we also used it in the containers, and I’ve fertilized them more than the others. I used black plastic under the mulch in the tanks and in the containers. Next year, I’ll stick to the tanks.


2016-07-31 14.43.23Our weather has been hot and humid so once the chores were done first thing in the morning it was inside to enjoy the air conditioning and ceiling fans. I read a couple of mysteries, but with spare time, I decided to redo the cushions and pillows for the three chairs on my porch. I also ran across a tray that was my grandparents and decided maybe I could clean and oil it and add a matching Lady of the Lake quilt block under the glass. Good place for hubby and I to set our beverages when we are reading out there.

For those who are into repurposing, I used a previous daybed cover for the cushion covers and cut up the two accent pillows and used that fabric for the front of the three pillow covers and then used the matching sheet fabric for the backs. I still have the original colors and patterns I picked out to match the paint but in different form.

What’s up this week? Catch up with weeding, do a little more quilting, and maybe get out and about since the temperatures are supposed to be a little more temperate. What’s on your calendar this first week in August?  🙂

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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43 Responses to Garden and Thread

  1. Thanks for your garden update! Glad you were able to harvest some home grown tomatoes! We haven’t had rain in a while and I have been watering my butterfly garden in the early mornings. I’ve seen a few butterflies and the hummingbirds continue to visit our feeders. It’s too hot to do much of anything outside during most of the day but late afternoons we get a nice breeze and can enjoy sitting out on the porch. I enjoyed lots of Georgia peaches and blueberries from my favorite produce stand this summer but they are about over now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We finally got some rain over the weekend but are still fighting drought conditions. Glad you are seeing butterflies and hummingbirds. I see a lot of pollinators, very few butterflies, and no hummingbirds this year although I’ve had the feeder out all season. I absolutely love watching them zoom in for a drink. Oh well, maybe next year. We’ve been able to buy peaches at the grocery store that have been pretty good but no crop at all up here this year. A freeze on Valentine’s Day wiped them out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sigh, what an excellent start of my day!! A wander through your garden, a good look at the beauty in your porch and then those delectable images of the good food…I am ready for breakfast now! xo Johanna

    Liked by 2 people

  3. germac4 says:

    Very interesting to see the tomatoes growing well in the larger tanks…we have something similar, but with mixed success…not sure why. We are heading off to Queensland to get some sun for a few weeks (while you are baking there in New England we have cold miserable rainy weather here) that’s life! I’ll try to keep up with my favourite posts good luck with the quilting and gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is one lush garden shot! 🙂 The cushions are so pretty and I love the idea of putting that quilt block under the glass.
    From the forecast it looks as if we are to be in the high 80’s this week and the chance of rain that I see hopefully will NOT happen; we had too much on Saturday here. Had javis and Brent down here yesterday picking cherry tomatoes to take home ; had about 20-30 all ripen at once! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shanaart says:

    Love the look of the stock tank as well. I can’t believe it is August! I am planning on going kayaking with my mom, catch up on weeding, and enjoying the sunshine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joyce says:

    I’m impressed with the “New England values” you demonstrate! Thrift, tidiness, and creativity. Not an inch of garden space is wasted. Things grow under and around towers of tomatoes. And heirloom pieces are beautified and recycled into items used every day. You also make the best of days too hot or too cold – quilting away in comfort after the day’s chores are complete! I love your lifestyle!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dan Antion says:

    We’ve been buying tomatoes from a farm stand, but my wife picked her first one today. We’ve had cukes and peppers and more on the way. It’s a good time in New England, Judy. I’m glad you’ve been able to find a way to stay busy and cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joey says:

    Everything. Everything is on my schedule this week, except for the everything I did last week. lol

    Those tank mater plants DO look good! I wonder if I could convince The Mister I need one…Probably, he loves tomatoes. Our tomato crop is nowhere near as good as it’s been the last two years. Very sad. I’m still buying some, and by now, I usually would be giving ours away!

    Well done with the repurposing. Stuff like that brings me such joy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wordzfrommeblog says:

    I love your photos. Do you take them yourself? I also love the quilt-looking rug under the table. The whole decor is nice really. Your tomato plants are doing much better than ours. Only one has produced a few tomatoes which are still green; it is too hot for the rest of them to set any fruit now. Our tomato plants have spider mites, I think, too. I was in school this spring, so my gardening fell by the wayside. Anyway, very nice blog. We live in Oklahoma where the temperatures have been in the upper 90s for a few weeks. July and August are just too hot to do much of anything outdoors. The East Coast is nice. My dad lived in New Jersey most of his life. The stock tank is a good idea. A car wash in town has two of them out front filled with plants, and they seem to do well in the tanks. Might have to get one down the line…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I take the photos myself. Sometimes I take a lot in order to get one I like. 🙂 I like that rug too. Yes, Oklahoma is warm this time of year. I can say that with experience because we spent the majority of our married life in Kansas where gardening wasn’t a big activity either because of the heat. The stock tanks have worked out a lot better than we ever thought, and they are certainly a good height. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, yummy…….blueberry pie. 🙂 You’ve been very industrious, Judy. I’m still waiting for my kitchen to be finished before I can perform any culinary wizardry. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have a blueberry plant but it hasn’t ever been a big producer. I bought it because it is bred to be in a pot but I wonder if it would do better in the ground. It has plenty of new growth coming on so perhaps I might harvest a bigger crop this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The two high bush blueberries used to produce a ton of blueberries but then the area got too shaded and we moved them. Then it became apparent that wasn’t a good spot so we moved them again. I guess I’m grateful they are both still alive at this point but I did fertilize them in the spring but no berries this year. Here’s hoping you get more than I did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m wondering how badly hit our apple orchards were by the caterpillars. We are in the heart of apple country … so whether or not there’ll be crops has yet to be announced. Awful summer this year. Maybe it’ll get better from now onward.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. pbmgarden says:

    Sound like life is good!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    Harvest time is the best! I need to get to a blueberry farm soon – it would be nice to have some bags in the freezer for winter use.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oddment says:

    How homey everything looks: comfy porch, homemade treats, happy garden — so inviting. And those faithful little marigolds, ever guarding the borders — they surely speak of home. There is peace here. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. KerryCan says:

    Your world looks wonderful! And your porch looks so civilized! Ours tends to be pretty ragged-looking this time of year, with most of our days spent out there and lots of random hobbies and books everywhere. We had the first corn on the cob of the season last night, with plans to eat as much as possible while we can!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Annie says:

    Judy, I’m not sure when you rest! I was breaking a sweat reading all you are doing. We chose to grow a hybrid tomato named ‘Defiant’ that was boasting disease resistance. We planted that one in the ground in composted soil and are thrilled that it’s bushy and full with twenty-some tomatoes at various stages of ripeness. Not one blemish on a leaf! Maybe just lucky…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nadezda says:

    Judy, you have wonderful tomatoes, I grow them in the greenhouse, where temps are higher then outside and tomatoes grow better and get red. Have a nice day reading and quilting.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, I do so love fresh blueberries! Sorry about the peaches.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Grandma Kc says:

    That blueberry banana bread looks amazing. I would have you send me the recipe but the blueberries we get just aren’t worth the effort. And I would love some of your tomatoes, please! Interesting how differently the 3 plants done. You will know for next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. reocochran says:

    I like home projects, Judy! I really liked the way you chose an older fabric, I did this once for my Christmas tree skirt. I took the crocheted tea colored edging off an antique coverlet, sewed it to a new off-white/beige large circle. Then I hand painted a Holly ivy border of pine green with red berries.
    The use of a glass covered tray is a really special re-purposing.
    Lastly, my 16th summer I spent in Rockport, MA. went from June until end of August. When I went blueberry picking with my great aunt, she told me about a great book, “Blueberries for Sal.” But just in case I am wrong, I will come right back with title and author.
    I have been working between 44 to 48 hour weeks so please excuse my missing some of your posts, Judy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  22. reocochran says:

    What do you know? My memory did not fail me! 🙂 “Blueberries for Sal” was written by Robert McCloskey. Judy, a perfect illustrated New England book for youngsters.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I love how you read a couple of mysteries the and then had time left over to recover cushions! Hahah. Are your days longer than everyone else’s or what!?? 😊😊😊 looks great… Very pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

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