In the Garden: Lavender and Olive OYL

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I bought an olive tree yesterday. It is a Spanish variety. I plan on putting it in a very large pot (that I have stored on the side of the house). I might put in the ground next spring. But for now, I’m going to baby it. I’m still thinking about getting a pear tree. If I do, it will be in the late summer or fall. I have been looking at this French technique called Espalier. If I Espalier the pear tree, this may help keep the squirrels away. I know from my grandmother’s pear tree that squirrels love pears. If I keep the pear in Espalier form, then I would be able to cover it with netting so that the squirrels could not snatch pears. Oh yeah, the olive tree is self-pollinating meaning that I do not need two in order to grow olive-fruit.

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The peppers are getting bigger. I’m thinking about getting a tomato plant.

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The carrots, potatoes and cabbages are also getting bigger.

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I made a homemade insect spray, there in the white bottle. It contains distilled water, dawn and olive oyl. I just shake it, before using to mix the oil well. It seems to be working so far. I killed two caterpillars by hand but none since I began spraying.

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Next time I make the insect spray, I will melt this Castile soap in hot distilled water. Dawn is okay but its still chemical-like. 04-02-2016: My grandma used this soap. Did y’all know that Castile soap was originally made in Spain and it was made from olive oyl? My niece was asking me about the Moors the other day. I wonder if the Israylites are the ones who took the knowledge of olive oyl soap to Spain? Castile is a region of Spain that I read about when I was learning about soap making. Things that make you go hmmm…

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The marigold pot has many blooms all over the place. It looks better in person.

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The roses are in the ground now. I’m thinking of doing yellow, white and peach roses in a different area.

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The hot pink rose is blooming a lot.

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The lemon tree is in the ground. I may have to move it next spring. It may be to close to the other lemon tree.

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Lavender. The flowers will probably be dried and used for potpourri. I read that Lavender and olive trees do not like constant wet soil. They like to completely dry out like most Mediterranean plants (which includes plants of Israel).

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I bought another coconut. I was told that when I crack it open with the hammer, that I should cover it with a hand towel so that the shell does not fly and hit myself or anyone else in the eye. I have been increasing good fats like coconut, avocados, sardines, butter and olives (which I just heard about olives). When body builders are about to go into competition, they go on a high protein, high good fats, low carb diet. It’s called a Ketogenic diet, that is (partly) how they get their bodies sleek. When I was in the grocery store yesterday, just about all those coconuts were gone and it was a very large heap that was originally there!

*Some body builders, when not in competition mode, have cheat days that they call carb days where they will eat things like sweet potatoes (and other slow burning carbs) to bring their energy up.

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A picture showing just how vast the region of Castile (in yellow) is where soap making was done. Tomorrow, Yah willing I will come back to this post and show you a bar of Greek olive oyl soap that I purchased in a health food store at the time when my niece asked me about the Moors.

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04-03-2016: This is the Greek olive oyl soap, I was referring to by the “Kiss My Face” Company. I have been knowing about this soap for years. I stopped using it around 2008 because it got hard to find during the recession. Then I forgot about it but it came back to my remembrance while visiting the health food store with my niece a couple of weeks ago.

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This is the color of the soap, a true olive green. Many years ago, I wondered what makes this soap green? When I and others made homemade soap with olive oyl, it always came out a creamy beige-y color. I searched long and hard to find out how the Greeks do it. And one day, the answer was given to me. Not only do they add olive oyl but they also add the olive fruit/pits which can be black and/or green in color. This is what turns the soap green. I have also seen soap from Syria and some of them do the same thing. I think this is the oldest technique for making olive oyl soap. I wonder if it is the Hebrews that brought this technique all about with them?

By the time we got to West Africa…there were no olive trees. The Hebrews began making this soap called black soap. You can find black soap in just about every West African country but the ingredients may vary slightly. What makes homemade soap better than store bought soap is that its made with real wood ash and more oyl is put in it. The soap in the store is made with synthetic lye which causes skin problems (for some).

When my olive tree starts producing fruit, I will probably begin making olive oyl soap again. 🙂

 

In the Garden: Cabbages and Roses

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Carrots, cabbage and potatoes today.

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A close view of the cabbages. Last week I put Epsom salt in a watering can and fed the whole garden. The cabbages and all the vegetation responded immediately. I did this after reading an old garden book where the gardener said all old folks did was put Epsom salt, compost and manure in the garden to fertilize. That’s it! They did not use fancy, science-y fertilizers back in the day. Hopefully this year I will finally start my own compost bin.

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A close view of the potatoes on the other side of the cabbages. We use to eat cabbage and cornbread with our fingers back in the day! Finger-licking good.

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New roses. The rose on top is called American Beauty, or something like that. I bought it because it’s hot pink. The other rose is another lavender Angel Face rose, so now I have two purple roses.

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Marigold pot.

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New lemon tree. It’s similar to Meyer lemons but its not a Meyer lemon. I will place this lemon tree near the Ponderosa lemon tree.

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The Hamlin orange tree has gotten a little bigger and greener because of the Epsom salt.

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Brown sugar daylilies. I hope they put on a good show this year.

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The old Ponderosa lemon tree. I gave it a good,hard pruning back in January. It’s looking good so far.

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From left to right, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper and jalapeno pepper. I was going to plant pepper seeds again but I changed my mind. Maybe next year I will plant from seeds using my little greenhouse. It’s too late to plant them from seed here where I live. I planted some back December (?) but some animal dug up my pepper seedlings. Every year like clock work, I plant peppers in the ground and something comes and eats them up. I got a trick this year! I put them in pots! We’ll see what happens.

I also planted a pineapple in the ground but I forgot to take a picture of it. I’m going to plant several pineapples in the same area. I’m thinking about planting corn, okra and onions from seeds.

In the Garden: Purple Rose

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I have been wanting a purple rose for a long time. This is a Lavender Floribunda rose called ‘angel face’. I found it on the clearance rack in the garden center right before winter. I babied this rose all winter. I planted it in November. It only had one bloom on it, at the time of this picture. Friday, I noticed that there is another blossom/bud forming.

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I will probably add more colors later. I saw a darker purple rose too, online. Thursday, when I was outside, a bumble bee was chasing me all over the yard. I forgot that I had on some sweet lotion. I’m glad no one saw me doing the windmill, lol. Just kidding.

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The sweet pea patch. Since taking this picture back in February, the patch is almost done. I have a big bag of sweet peas in the freezer now.

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I might pluck this lemon today.

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Carrots on your left and cabbage on your right. Over there in the bald section, I have potatoes which I planted this past week. They have not sprouted yet.

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Seedling cups on the ground: They were a disaster. Some animal came and dug in one of the cups and the cold destroyed the other seedlings. So I have to start over. These are mostly onions and peppers. I want some Jalapeno peppers this summer, to set my mouth on fire…lol.

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I bought a seedling tray and I plan to put it up high. Maybe this will keep the animal(s) out…We’ll see. And spring is almost here…it’s time for a Home Depot or Lowe’s run!

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Friday, I bought myself a coconut and a pineapple (but the pineapple isn’t ripe yet). I just finished picking the coconut meat out of this coconut a few moments ago.

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I think this is the most coconut water that I have ever gotten, from an old coconut, baby coconuts are green and with more juice. I will strain this water before adding to my smoothie.

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The meat was creamy and white with a slight sweet smell. I put the meat in the freezer to add sliced chunks to my smoothies, for good fat. I rinsed the meat with water before freezing. The picture above, shows it still in its shell.

In the Garden

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I’m growing cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I will transplant these into the ground soon.

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sweet peas seedlings.

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Barely there seedlings, Romaine lettuce on one side and beets on the other.

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Bell peppers.

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More bell peppers. I did not have much of a crop this summer (overall) because it rained so much. I did have these bell peppers and also onions. I also have lemons that are almost ready to harvest. I’m thinking about getting another fruit tree. I was watching this show the other day and this couple had a pecan tree on their property. Oh how I wished for a nut tree. My grandma used to have a pecan tree in her yard (it’s been cut down now because of squirrels) and I used to eat pecans ’til I was sick from eating too much! She had pecans by the big brown bag fulls. She also had a pear tree and it is now gone also. Old people use to plant plenty of food. I would love to have a pear or apple tree.

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Carrot seedlings. Next month I will start over with onions and hot pepper seedlings.

In the Garden: Smells of the Garden

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Red (purple) onions in a pot.

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I moved two pots of purple and white Globe onions to this area. When I finished moving the onions, I smelled like the onions…

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Pink Amaryllis is blooming.

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Beets up close.

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Most of these beets are ready to be harvested. Yellow onion seedlings are on the other half of the bed but they are hard to see right now.

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Baby Ponderosa lemon. Lemon and orange flowers smell like candy.

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Marigolds. Marigolds have a smell but its not delicious. It’s a great mosquito repellent though. I have a Rosemary plant and they repel mosquitoes too. Mosquitoes hate aromatic plants.

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White Globe onion in pot. I placed these in the ground also.

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This is my newest specimen. It’s called Grape Hyacinth. It smells like an expensive French perfume. I have it at the front door. When the flowers die off in a few weeks, I will transplant the foliage/bulbs to another pot. I hope it makes babies! Purple is one of my favorite colors.

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Red Amaryllis are blooming. Amaryllis are beautiful but they have no smell. Amaryllis are in the lily family too. My bubbling brown sugar daylily has no smell either. It’s kind of hard to find (locally) flowers that are beautiful and smell delicious.

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White and pink Amaryllis blooming.

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More onions over here. There are beets over here too but I’m not sure that they will stay. They aren’t looking to well, maybe transplant shock occurred. Way down yonder, I have sweet peas growing.

 

In the Garden

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Blueberries.

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Pictures of Misty Blueberries in the ground. I might add more blueberries next year. I need netting to cover these from the birds. They love berries.

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The orange blossoms smelled like candy this morning! It smells similar to honeysuckle.

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The onions are in ground. You have to look closely to see them or click on the image to enlarge it. There are seeds planted in the middle but they have not sprouted yet.

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I moved this rose over here.

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The broccoli and cauliflower are still producing.

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I have bricks left over. I want a mango and avocado tree. Buying an avocado tree would probably be cheaper than going to the store weekly to buy them. Avocados are getting expensive!

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I love cool pink, purple and white combination of flowers in the front yard. The white flowers are on the other side but I did not take a picture of them. I also love hot spicy colors of red, orange and yellow in the vegetable garden.

In the Garden: A Pretty Mess

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This is my garden wagon. I re-used crates that I bought from the dollar store (or somewhere) while in college.  Don’t mind my go-go mud boots. Gardening is a dirty job hence the name of this blog post: A Pretty Mess.

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I recently saw another girly-girl gardener on youtube. She has a purple garden shed with flowers surrounding it and its very beautiful.

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She rides a bike too. Her bike is yellow/white.

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Three orange blooms today. There are two more about to open on the top but the camera cut them off. I planted onions in the ground the other day. I still need to plant the blueberries and move the rose. Hopefully, Sunday I can do it.

In the Garden

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Broccoli Florets have formed on several of my plants.

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This Hamlin Orange Tree is covered in blooms even though it’s still cool here. My Ponderosa Lemon Tree is covered in blossoms too but I did not take a picture of it.

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Onions are getting bigger. I need to get these in the ground soon. I still have not moved my rose and planted the blueberry bushes either.

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This is a beet that I have growing in a pot. The leaves look sparse or meager to me.

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These are my beets that are growing in the ground. The leaves look much healthier. Maybe the ground dirt has more nutrients? Beet roots don’t grow very deep so I assume its because of more nutrients in ground dirt. I’m thinking about composting or making my own dirt in the future.

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I came back to this post because I saw that I have a few cauliflower growing too. At first, the leaves were covering the heads. Now all I need is a cow and a few chickens…just kidding. No really. 🙂