Summer is Almost Here, What Happened to Spring?

Time is really flying by, isn’t it?  The first day of Summer is quickly approaching and I am still wondering where our Spring is.  We have had more raining dreary days than nice sunny ones, so when you get a day where you feel you can snag an hour or two of good weather – – you act on it.  We had to replant more cucumbers since the chippies have attacked them, and now they are starting on the romaine lettuce that is coming up.

GARDEN 6-10-13

That is how we operate around here.  Sun comes out, you head outside to get your chores done, and when it rains, it laundry day.  LOL  I am sure that is probably the case for most of us.


It has been an interesting gardening season already, and we’re surprised that our plants have even got the chance to grow a little with all the rainy days.  While it is true that rain does make the garden grow, it also needs  some good sunny days to perk up the plants.  Our garden, overall, we are very pleased with its progress, but the daily saga of battling with the chippies is endless.  Those little **bleep** keep pulling out our seeds, and yanking out the ones who actually manage to emerge through the soil.  I feel so bad when we have to replant seeds, but that is what we have to do in order to have plants left in the garden.


We had a nice relaxing weekend, and our neighbor who actually does read my blog (Hi Steve!) and keeps up to date on my craft projects, had dinner with us the other night.  I made huge split chicken breasts for each of us that were marinated in Marzetti’s balsamic dressing for hours and seasoned with only oregano and basil and placed in a glass baking dish on top of uncooked white rice.  I covered the dish with aluminum foil for at least 40 minutes, then uncovered the chicken for another 10-15 minutes to brown the top.  The chicken breasts come out so flavorful and the rice soaks up the balsamic dressing to please your taste buds.  I definitely have to take a photograph of this dish to show you how delicious it looks. Just ask Steve and he’ll tell you that he was in Heaven with this dish.  And to think that he was just going to eat some leftovers at his house.  We were so glad that he joined us for dinner and got to enjoy the dish that he smells in his backyard when I am getting dinner ready.  🙂


About a week ago, we planted lots of Solar Flare Sunflowers in one of our flower beds, and when they started to come up, the chippies nipped them all.  Now, that just put my underwear in a bunch that once again, in a different location in our yard, the chippies attacked and demolished our little seedlings.  So, thankfully we have more seeds left and we have now started them in little pots under our grow lights in the basement.  Once they get big enough, we’ll transplant them outside.  Hopefully they will have a chance this time!

Our strawberries are growing like crazy which is hard to believe, because if you remember me mentioning that the deer chowed down each and every one of them when we uncovered them in the spring, but within three weeks, they all came back!  Since we have our garden fence up that surrounds the entire garden area, the deer cannot get to the strawberries.  But, now that the strawberries are producing nice red ripe strawberries, the birds have been unstoppable in eating them!  Geez, if it is not the chippies or the deer, it’s the birds!  So, once again, I had to go into action and covered the entire strawberry patch to keep the birds out.


Since I am a huge fan of Pinterest, I looked up ways to rid our yard of chippies.  They reported that chippies don’t usually run in a pack or group, rather there is usually one that claims your yard as his own.  If you could even catch one, they said to take that chippie at least 7 miles away from your home, because if you just caught it and let it go in a field near your home, it would most definitely find its way back to your yard again.  Geez!  Hopefully the seven miles is far enough, right?  Anyhow, we are trying out one way right now to rid them of our yard, and I will let you know if it works.  Since the reports say that there is usually only one in your yard doing all the damage to your garden, we hope that we can rid that one once and for all.

What is bugging you in your garden?





24 thoughts on “Summer is Almost Here, What Happened to Spring?

  1. I have been looking forward to your garden update! And here it is. So happy the peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes growing healthily! 😀

    Too bad for the ones that the chippies took (or chip now?). Thankfully the Juliet tomatoes seem to be growing safe. OH my, are those strawberries??? They look deliciozo! 😀
    I do hope that your sunflowers won;t be untouched this time. I am wondering, what if you cover the whole garden area with those little-square-holes fence (I forgot the name sorry…), will the chip stop coming? I mean, it won’t be able to get in anymore, right? Because I kinda feel bad for it to be taken away that far…I mean, there must be other food for him and his family outside this garden of yours. He just find yours more abundant.

    • Hey Nessy! I think it might be just “Chip” now, but now the birds are relentless in their pursuit in trying to get under our netting on the strawberries! These critters & birds are driving me nutso! I can’t sit outside all day long to keep watch on the garden, but I am at my wits end. One bird even got stuck under the netting this afternoon, and I was trying to shoo it out and when it finally got out of the net, feathers were flying everywhere! I laughed and said “serves you right”. LOL I knew you would enjoy the garden update, as it has changed quite a bit from my last garden post! As for the sunflowers, I started them downstairs under the grow light and when they get big enough, I will plant them outside. I think this is the only way for us to have sunflowers this year.

  2. Maybe you could plant one giant section of the yard with just something for the chipmunks? I’m not sure what their favorite might be. I’m worried if you drive her or him 7 miles away, he or she might have a family left behind. What about chicken wire over the beds? Little rascals anyways. It all looks fab xK

    • We are just baffled on how to deal with them. You work hard to create a beautiful garden, put food on the table, and these little furry things will take down a whole section of plants in a day! It is just frustrating.

  3. Sorry to hear about the critters attacking your seeds and plants!! But, your garden does look delicious, Val!! And, so does your recipe!! LOVE to marinate too!! I also use Italian dressing and Chardonnay(for scallops)and Hearty Burgundy(for London Broil)and…, and I am starting to get hungry! So far, all the critters are not eating our garden!! Thank goodness!! We have a homemade fence around our garden too. To save some strawberries for US, Mike found a VERY fine wire mesh at Home Depot(I think?). It is VERY flexible and VERY light in weight and VERY TINY holes. We just placed it over the strawberries, and it seems to keep them safe from the chippies and the birds and the squirrels. I agree with you about the weather and the limited amount of time we get to do outside work! Today, I had to go around the yard and remove all the saucers from beneath all the pots because the dirt was soooo water logged. I hope our flowers didn’t drown, and I hope that they don’t rot from all the rain. The sun peeked in and out of the clouds today. It felt wonderful!! But, it was VERY breezy and NOW HUMID!! We are way over the average amount of rain that we usually get in June already and are only down .16 inches for the year. We were down four inches of rain for the year; ALL of this catching up came in less than one week! And, we are expecting more rain after tomorrow(Wednesday)accompanied by violent thunderstorms! Gee Whiz already!!

    • I hear ya and feel for you guys too! We are supposed to get some violent storms too at the same time. I want nicer weather already, but not that super hot stuff. Just nice enough temps so you can head outside and enjoy it without melting or sweating to death. But you have a pool to cool off in, so that has to help! Definitely try out that Marzetti balsamic marinade on your chicken, you’ll love it!

      • We will try that marinade! Did you use the marinade from the chicken when you baked the chicken and rice? Don’t forget to post a picture of it! Hopefully, the storms are over for a LONG time now!! We were awaken this morning at 5:00 AM with a downpour of rain and an electrical storm! Harmony was on the family room couch with her head under the pillow! She wouldn’t even do pee pee or poo poo after breakfast because she was afraid, and it wasn’t even storming outside at that time! But, when she couldn’t hold herself any longer, she barked and ran in circles around me in the kitchen, and being a Mom, I knew what she wanted, “OUTSIDE, PLEASE, NOW”!!! She RAN right over to her spot in the yard! And then, later this afternoon when it got darker, AGAIN, outside, she was in the bathroom using the sink carpet to hide! It does make it interesting when us humans need to use the bathroom! She is our cute puppy!! Speaking of pool, we had an electrical problem here. We did not have any power going to the pool filter for four days. The electrician came and thinks that the electrical box for the fiber optic light is to blame. He disconnected the power to it, and everything seemed fine. That is, until, today! The power turned off for a few seconds, and then it came back on. Don’t know if there is still a problem or if there were storms somewhere else but affecting us also. I hope that it was just because of a distant storm!! (Two weekends ago, our TV cable was off for a full day because of a problem in Philadelphia; Philly is at least sixty miles away! Some people did not have cable until two days after ours came back on!) I don’t know what is going on, but these are a couple of the weird, unexplainable things that have been happening in our lives! Hope all of you are okay!! Hugs, Karen XO

  4. Ugh, you just make me itch to get out of my apartment! I’ve had a garden my entire life, so living on the third floor with nothing but a balcony is not doing anything for my green thumb. Right now, I have herbs, recycle containers, a small compost, a rocking chair, flowers, and select veggies all crammed in a small space. Any soothing words for me?! P.S. I just can’t get over how cute that skull is – looking forward to your posts this year around Hallows!

    • If you would have not mentioned that you have containers on your patio, I would have suggested that to you! Container gardening in small spaces can be fun too! Oh wait and see what I come up with for Halloween! By the way, did you go back and look at the older posts around Sept/Oct for prior years? You’ll be able to see some of the neat things that I created!

    • Hey Laurie…..if you want to hop on a plane to get here, I will be more than happy to cook you dinner! Steve deserved that dinner because he smells it cooking at least once a week from his backyard! LOL

  5. Looking great! The strawberries are awesome looking. I still say put some chicken wire (or smaller wire) over the areas the little varmints are getting at. It’s sunny every day here. 😉

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