From My Carolina Home

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Karesansui teien

I have been planning for some time to do a series of posts inspired by Japanese influence.  I hope you’ll enjoy these posts, with interesting facts, fun projects, and even a couple of giveaways later this month.  These posts will be sprinkled around  other post subjects over the next month or so, with gardens, sewing projects, a quilt design, recipes and more, all inspired by Japanese culture.  Today we’ll go back to Cheekwood Gardens in Nashville for a visit to the lovely Japanese garden there.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Japanese gardens have some common elements, one being the art of building anticipation as you walk toward the garden.  This is achieved by creating curves in the path, or an elevation change to hide the destination and build up expectation.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Karesansui teien is the Japanese phrase for depicting a pond with sand or gravel.  A glimpse of the dry pond is seen from the path.  Building anticipation with just a partial view is called miegakure.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

The path curves again, and over a small rise in elevation, another glimpse of the garden yet to come.  The stone object on the left is placed in the tradition of catching your attention with a jinriki, a man made object, as a means to mark a place to stop and observe.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

This was the first marker that gave an overview of what was to come.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Stone lanterns called Oribe Lanterns, named for a 16th century warlord and tea ceremony master responsible for designing stone lanterns for gardens.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the Japanese garden, only a few man-made objects are placed, and only to draw attention to a view or a feature.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

This lantern draws attention to the entrance to the pavilion.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

The marker describes the Shõmu-en style garden, meant to be viewed from only one place.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Notice the play of light and shadow, that will change as the day advances.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

A pattern of ‘ripples’ is raked into the gravel around the stones called aranami-mon with straight line patterns in a checkerboard called ichimatsu-mon.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is a quiet, contemplative place.  Note the stone wall on the right outside the pavilion, meant to hide the garden from view from the pathway.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Visiting in a colder month, some of the deciduous trees had lost their leaves, and the beauty of their forms could be appreciated.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

One last look at the garden, with the stones along the edge.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Leaving the pavilion, a bamboo grove lines the pathway.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Carefully placed stepping stones define the path.  An Oribe Lantern is a stone lantern placed in the garden to mark a place to stop and observe.

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

Japanese gardens are designed to make the observer slow down, contemplate the surroundings, calm the mind.  To appreciate the beauty of simple things, see each element on its own  and as a part of the whole.  I think it is this more than anything that draws me to this style, appreciating the little things, observing the beauty all around us.  Konnichiwa! (good day!)

At home, it is the ideal time for planting seed beds now, and I got busy on that project this week too.  The red amaryllis doesn’t look like it will bloom this year, so I may repot it when the weather gets warmer.  The hyacinth bulb gave me a small flower spike, in my favorite white.  It had such a lovely fragrance.  Other than that, not much going on in my garden yet.

Do you enjoy Japanese gardens?

Cheekwood Japanese Garden at From My Carolina Home

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January In the Garden 2018

For those of us who enjoy digging in the dirt, the cold part of winter is a time for planning. It is a time of thinking about what I’d like to grow in the veggie garden this year, and looking for some new flowers for the perennial beds. Long time readers may recognize this silver pot with the large bulb as my red amaryllis. It is coming up again, for the fifth year! I’ve never had one live this long, and I am excited to see if it blooms again.

Amaryllis Year 5 at From My Carolina Home

A couple of weeks later, and it is growing nicely, still no flower spike yet.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A gift from a friend over the holidays, I now have a rosemary plant. I have never had much luck with these, so I’ll be carefully tending it over the winter then planting it outside next spring.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Caring for the plants brought inside is a bit of a challenge as we get so very little sunlight actually coming in the windows, only a sliver is available in the mornings. The entire front of our home is glass, but the large verandah overhang limits the direct sunlight except in winter when the sun is lower to the south. Pulling back the curtain early and rotating the plants that get the direct light through the window is a daily chore. Today, the white amaryllis, my rosemary plant, a succulent and a bulb get the light for about an hour.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There aren’t many chores for January, especially when it is so bloody cold. It is a great time to sit in front of the fireplace and look at gardening books and magazines, read the Farmer’s Almanac, peruse the seed catalogs, and dream.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This book, Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady, was a Christmas gift from DH.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is a totally charming book of poetry and art by Edith Holden. It is divided into chapters by month, and is just enchanting.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is available at my Amazon link – Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Before the new year, the turkeys came back for a short visit. I noticed them in the lower meadow, and stepped outside with some bread for them. They came running and I had to move fast to get a pic of them coming. This small flock has seven females. At this point in time, I had not seen a male for quite some time.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Bites of bread were thrown in different directions to make sure everybody got a few. They came back one more day, and then apparently moved on.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Sunsets are sometimes really lovely, when the clouds are still drifting by. Even as cold as it has been, the valley views are spectacular.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This cold has brought the birds in large numbers to the feeders. DH is having to refill them almost every other day.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This larger woodpecker has figured out how to get some of the food, even though he is too big to get inside the cage.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A flock of about a dozen goldfinches is taking advantage of the bounty, sometimes all of them will be on the three feeders at once, but that has proved difficult to catch in pictures.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Some readers have asked about how I keep the squirrels out of the feeder, so here is the setup from a distance so you can see the whole thing. The top feeder is almost 9 feet off the ground, with the others hanging slightly below. The pole is far enough away from the house and the trees so the squirrels cannot jump to it. The baffle below is a tube baffle to prevent them from climbing up the pole.  We remove the lower feeder and the suet feeder in the warm months to keep the bears from getting them.  But they are hibernating now, so we can put more food out for the birds.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is available on Amazon – Audobon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The female cardinal is coming regularly, she doesn’t migrate so she depends on our feeder.  The male often comes by to eat too, and sometimes they come together.

January in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I have a head start on the veggies with the seeds saved from this year’s crops and meals. See how I saved seeds Here.  The Farmer’s Almanac says the best days to plant seeds for indoor head starts will be February 5-7, so I need to set aside some time then to get the grow lights cranked up and the potting soil ready.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

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A couple of days ago, this young male turkey paid us a visit.  He may have been here before, as he readily began to cluck-purr when he saw me come out with a bit of bread for him.  I am hoping that the flock will return soon.

Young Male Turkey at From My Carolina Home

Back inside, when I planted all the bulbs in October, I held out a hyacinth bulb to force indoors.  It has taken it forever to root, probably because it wasn’t chilled for forcing.  But it has finally made some long roots into the bulb vase, and is beginning to look like it is going to put up a flower.  There is a second little stem coming up from the bottom and side of the bulb, and I go back and forth as to whether or not to pinch that off.  On one hand, it might be taking energy away from the main bulb, but on the other hand, it might grow enough to create another separate bulb for planting.  Would you keep it?

January in the Garden at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

What is going on in your garden?  Gardens must be getting lovely for readers ‘down under’ in NSW, New Zealand, and Australia.  Are you in a planning mode?  When do you plan to start your seeds?

 


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A Year at From My Carolina Home, and a plan for next year

Are you a planner? I have to confess that I am not much of one anymore. After spending many years in the business world and the medical field, using complex planners to keep track of appointments, travel arrangements, goals and objectives, this is the last thing I want to do now. For me, quilting, cooking, gardening, reading, and blogging are fun and I do not want to turn it into goals and deadlines. But last year, I did just a short overall goal list as part of an linkup for the new year. Here’s the list from last year with links to the some of the posts and projects from this past year too, and an overall plan for 2018, subject to adjustment, LOL!!

My goals and progress  for 2017 were –

Goal 1 – Do a mystery quilt for 2017 – Scrap Dance Two Step done.  Photo above.

Goal 2 – Plan another event during the 2017 year with giveaways from my favorite sponsors for readers – this was encompassed into goal #5.

Goal 3 – Be a stop on a Christmas in July blog hop, not a 12 day event this year like I did in 2016 – done.

Cross Stitched Quilted Christmas Ornaments | From My Carolina Home

Goal 4 – Publish Scrap Dance Waltz – done, now on Craftsy.

Scrap Dance Waltz at From My Carolina Home

Goal 5 – Do another Autumn event, encompassing a wide variety of projects heavy on the quilting and sewing, with gardening, cooking, reading, crafting, card making, thrifting and recycling, and more thrown in for fun.  – done, Autumn Jubilee took the entire month of October in the second year of this event.

Autumn Jubilee at From My Carolina Home

There were prizes almost every single post which included a quilt-along free pattern for Stars on Autumn Lane, …

Stars on Autumn Lane Quilt Along for Autumn Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

sew along with a free pattern for this Tablet Cover, …

Tablet Cover Sew Along at From My Carolina Home

wool stitch along for the Pumpkins and Leaves Penny Rug, …

Wool Applique for Autumn Jubilee at From My Carolina Home

tablescapes, a new recipe for Mushroom Meatloaf, …

Mushroom Meatloaf at From My Carolina Home

stamping Thanksgiving Cards,…

Autumn Cards at From My Carolina Home

gardening with Saving Seeds and Crafting.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

For the coming year, I do have a few goals.  First, I want finish writing the the Scrap Dance Two-Step pattern, get the final testing done and publish the pattern.

In the middle of last year I decided to do a special charity event, with donations and cards made for the Safelight domestic violence shelter.  The response to The Safelight Project from readers was truly inspiring, and the bags we made together were so appreciated.  More cards and small gift bags were done for Christmas, you can see HERE.  I have an idea for a Summer Fun bag for this year’s project that will need Sunglasses cases made, if you can use up some scraps and sew a few.  If you are a card maker, I’ll need a lot of summer fun cards with inspirational messages inside.  More on this a bit later, as I am still in the process of working out some details.

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

There will be a new Scrap Dance mystery, and I am working on that design now.  I want to do something different each year, help us learn a new skill or way of doing elements like last year’s quarter-square triangles.   This next one will have something new too!  I have figured out how to do it easier than anything I found in online tutorials, and how to integrate it into a step process for the mystery.  I will promise that it will again be scrappy, as my thing is to use up the bits and pieces you have left over.  No cutting into new fabric with the anxiety of maybe not liking the end product.  After all, just using up scraps doesn’t require a huge commitment, and you can give it to charity if you end up wishing it was different.  This picture is the finish of Scrap Dance Tango from 2015, now available in my Craftsy store.  Links to the patterns are on my sidebar (smartphone users, scroll down past the comments to see the sidebar info and links).  I would like your input as to which day of the month you like best for the posts, last year it was the third Friday.

In February, I am planning to do several posts in an event that will be Japanese inspired.  I have been a bit obsessed with Japanese things lately – food, gardens, quilting and sewing, origami and more.   This beautiful meal was served to me at Sora’s in Pisgah Forest.  If you think you wouldn’t like sushi, know that there wasn’t anything raw in this one other than avocado.  I figured out that salad too, very different and delicious.

Japanese Food inspiration at From My Carolina Home

So I’ll be sharing some projects and recipes along with garden visits.  I have some beautiful Japanese print fabrics to play with, and several ideas on how to use them.

Japanese Fabrics at From My Carolina Home

Lastly, I hope to be able to do the third annual Autumn Jubilee.  I actually already have a couple of commitments for prizes for the event, now I just need to come up with three new designs (1 quilting, 1 sewing, 1 wool stitching), a new recipe and more crafting projects.  The Autumn Tablescapes are the easy part.

Autumn Tablescape at From My Carolina Home

I am joining the link up going on at Quilting Jetgirl’s 2018 Planning Party with some fun prizes to win. I am delighted to be a part of that, and will have two patterns to give away as part of Yvonne’s event.  Her link up is open for a few more days, and I have my eye on the Aurifil thread.  As much as I have been privileged to be a blog where Aurifil sponsors giveaways, I’ve never won any for myself.  I do buy a lot though, LOL!!!  Plus I’ll be linking with Cheryl’s Best of 2017 Linky.  Buttons on the sidebar.

Beyond that, we’ll see.  I promise to continue showing the variety of subjects you have come to know as part of my blog, quilting and sewing, free patterns and quilt alongs, tips and tutorials, travel and mountain living, crafting and stamping, cooking and gardening, tablescapes and decorating, reading and more.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Won’t you come with me for fun next year at From My Carolina Home?  You can follow by email by using the sidebar sign up, or Bloglovin using the sidebar link.  If you are a Facebook user, follow From My Carolina Home Facebook page.  I like interacting with readers too, and you can put your pictures on our Flickr Group for the quilt alongs and projects, and on my new From My Carolina Home Project Sharing Facebook group too.  This new group is for anything and everything inspired by my posts, sharing of projects and quilt alongs, sew alongs and stitch alongs, your tablescapes and gardens, and any project inspired by my blog.

What day of the month would you like to see the steps for the Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt steps next year, for example third Friday, or another week and day, or a specific day like the 10th of each month no matter what day of the week it falls?

Are you a planner?  What are your goals for next year?

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Cheekwood Gardens

Last month, I accompanied DH on a trip to Nashville for a few days.  He had an open afternoon one day, so we went to visit Cheekwood Mansion and Cheekwood Botannical Gardens during the Harvest exhibition.  This is a huge estate with an American Country mansion and 55 acres of gardens built in 1929.  We only got to a small fraction of the gardens, taking the Harvest tour walk and getting to a couple of the specialty gardens, but we had to skip the Sculpture gardens because we ran out of time. Visiting in the fall, they had a wonderful array of autumn color gardens. This orange gerbera daisy attracted one of the many butterflies in the Bradford Robertson Color Garden.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

The entrance was inviting us to keep walking, with pumpkins, gourds and autumn squash lining the walkway.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Walking paths were accented with pumpkins, and full of autumn blooming flowers.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

They do a fun pumpkin house every year. The frame of the house has small hoops of metal that cradle the pumpkins without damaging them.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

It is surrounded by bales of hay to define a ‘yard’.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Inside the bales, a pumpkin patch with pumpkins available for purchase.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

In the meadow next to the bar, a ‘tree’ made of potted chrysanthemums made a beautiful autumn display.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Next to that was a tower with orange and white pumpkins, so festive for the season.  Workers were still arranging more pumpkins under the trees for an event later in the week.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Autumn color abounded in the flower gardens as well.  This area is part of the Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Orange impatiens were profusely blooming near the visitor center.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

All along the walking path out from the visitor center, lanterns were placed for an upcoming evening event.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

On the other side of the visitor center, more autumn pumpkins and gourds on display.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Rows of small yellow chrysanthemums in front of tall dark elephant ears had surprise pumpkins placed here and there.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

This was the first time I ever saw a ‘black’ elephant ear, never knew they came in this color.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Monarch butterflies sporting autumn color wings were everywhere, feasting on the bounty of nectar.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

These flowers and butterflies were in the Wills Perennial Garden.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Stunning color, rows of flowers, it was gorgeous in every direction and every path.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Again, a surprise of pumpkins tucked into the floral displays.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

Coming back around after several hours of walking and seeing the mansion, we came upon the pumpkin house again.

Cheekwood Gardens at From My Carolina Home

I should mention here that the entrance fee to see the gardens, mansion, art museum and the rest of the estate was $20 per person, but when I told the gatekeeper that we were members of our local arboretum, we got in free just by showing our membership card.  Many arboretums have reciprocal agreements like this, so if you are a member of your local arboretum, be sure to ask when you go elsewhere.  I took over 100 pictures of the gardens, but will stop here.  I’ll save some of the others for another post.  Tomorrow, we’ll visit the mansion.  It is gorgeous!

Thanksgiving is coming fast, and just in case you want to try it, my post on Brining Turkey will show you how to brine and bake the most moist and succulent turkey you have ever eaten.  The meat is moist and tasty even after a day in the frig too!

Do you like to visit pumpkin patches and fall gardens?

 

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Take Me Away!

 


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November in the Garden

November is finally getting cooler, more like real autumn weather.  I’ve been waiting for the right time to plant some bulbs, and finally got the perfect time.  It was a cool day earlier in the month, plus the forecast was for rain for the next several days, so I could be sure all the planted bulbs would get watered in well.  I gathered up the bulbs I had purchased a month before, some tools and bone meal, and set out to find spots for all of them.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I started the planting with the crocus bulbs. They are planted fairly shallow, so I put them between the rhizomes of my iris plants. Since I had divided the irises last spring, there was plenty of space. Adding the crocus bulbs will give a longer bloom time for this bed near the front door. I threw some bone meal in with each bulb. Some places I could scratch out a long trench and plant several at once.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Hyacinths were planted in a random pattern in the middle of the front bed, scattered just like nature does.  I am hoping for a fragrant display in the spring.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then I put the pale peach ruffled daffodils in the brick planter between the asters and the irises there.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Next thing I knew, looking at the planter the next morning, the bloody squirrels had dug up some. I had wanted to put some green plastic fencing over the bulbs, but thought I had another day to get it done. So, I fixed that.  The fencing did keep the squirrels from digging in the bed after that, although DH noticed one sitting on the brick looking at the fencing like he was trying to figure out what to do next.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Look who stopped by, a beautiful young deer.  This photo was taken through the screening from the Carolina room on the backside of the house.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Very young, likely born just this past spring, his antlers are just beginning.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

His family has been eating my hostas, but I don’t mind at this point. They will die off soon anyway. I planted more crocus bulbs between the hostas. I have one little clump of them there now, and wanted to add more.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The island of land created by the circle driveway needed some color. There are azaleas there, but I have wanted to add daffodils there for some years. I planted gladiolas in this spot years ago but they never came up. I suspect the squirrels dug them up and ate them.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Bigger bulbs meant deeper holes, plus this area has a ground cover of vincas making the digging more difficult.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Down on the south side of the island, I planted more daffodils in this open area where I had some azaleas taken out a couple of years ago.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In another area of the garden, I created another stand of daffodils. All total, I planted 155 bulbs, and we will see how they do come spring.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Up on the veranda, I planted a gold chrysanthemum in the large pot next to the front door. The torenia baskets were finished, and looking bedraggled so they were taken down and the plants removed.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There was a frost in the forecast, and my tomato plant was still heavy with tomatoes.  So I picked them all, and pulled up the plants to clean up the pots.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home<

I put them on a plate to ripen inside. Some may never ripen, but that would be OK.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Amazingly, days later, one had fully ripened and others were looking like they were coming along. It has been nice to eat them as they ripen, and there are more to come.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Moving inside, the Thanksgiving cactus bloomed with just five blooms total.  I repotted it this fall, so that might have made a difference.  Here, three red and one pink bloom came out first.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

One white one came out later.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A month ago I bought a white amaryllis, you all know I love white flowers. Just days after potting it up and watering it, several leaves had grown and the bud was coming up.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few days later, the bud is getting taller on the stem.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

And this past weekend, a beautiful flower is opening with the promise of three more to come.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Gorgeous isn’t it, this white with a pink blush is called Appleblossom.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Outside, the trees have come into fuller color, and the bird feeder is in full use.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looking down the driveway, nice golds and oranges in view.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looking over the house to the mountain behind and the very tall trees that surround us.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There is still a bit of green yet to change, but overall it is autumn here.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a look at the meadow, lovely!

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I haven’t seen the turkeys in three weeks, and I think they have moved on for the season.  I wish they would come back as I love watching the males fluff and preen for the females.

What is going on in your garden now?


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October in the Garden and a Giveaway

Our weather has continued to be warm through most of the month, not really getting chilly at night until this past weekend. But I know that the garden is winding down, most of the flowers are done. It is time to prepare for some things to come indoors for the winter. One of the plants I want to keep over winter is this schefflera, and it was getting potbound. It was a gift, and I had not paid any attention to it other than to set it out on the veranda and water it. So it got a bigger pot.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

While it was still nice outside, I wanted to dig up more of the day lilies. I was going to a quilt retreat early in the month and wanted to give some away to friends. So I dug up two more big clumps, divided them, and put them in bags to take with me.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

So, the brick planter in the front looked like this last summer, full of two colors of day lilies. This was one end….

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

and this was the other.  Between these two clumps of day lilies were several purple iris plants.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

After I dug up the daylilies and the irises, I planted two perennials on one end. They are miniature asters. I haven’t had these before so will see how they do.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I got them on the bargain shelf at the garden center for 50 cents each.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I also needed to make room for these, a bag of irises. They were picked up from a gardener friend who got three times this amount on a free giveaway. I don’t know what color they are. With my luck, they will be purple, LOL, since I am already overrun with that color. I really hope they are white or yellow. But, I won’t know until spring. They went into the brick planter on the other end until I know what color they are.  If they are purple, I’ll dig them up and give them away next summer.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Believe it or not, I still have tomatoes growing. Some larger ones I just had to pick and bring inside to the window to ripen. There are still over a dozen really small ones that may not make it to maturity. But, I’ll leave them there for now.  I am still not happy with my tomato pie recipe, but DH has asked that we take a break from that particular recipe for a bit.  So, I am shelving any further testing on that one until next tomato season.  Not to worry though, I have other recipes ready to share in November.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

One more hydrangea, and these will be done for the season.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The African violets got huge over the summer, and I brought them inside for the winter.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I brought in the red amaryllis too. A few days later, the leaf fronds started to turn yellow, so I cut them off and put the bulb’s vase in a cool spot in the Carolina room and covered it up so it could rest. It needs about six weeks of dry dormancy. I’ll bring it out the first of December to start watering it in the hope that I’ll get earlier flowers next year. If it blooms again, it will be the fifth year that it has bloomed.  Amazing to me, as I have thrown these away in the past after the first year!

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Putting the orchid outside in the summer heat was good for it, but it still doesn’t look like it is going to flower.  I was happy to see some new leaves, though, so there is hope.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Back outside, there are two daisies that decided to bloom once more before winter.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Wildlife is visiting our mountain home regularly as well. Just past the hosta seed pods, there are four deer in this photo. A small family unit with one male, a female and two juveniles.  Look carefully and you can see their tails on the right.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Beautiful buck, isn’t he!

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Both of the little ones still have their fawn coloring with spots.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

On another day, a second small herd with two females and two young ones stopped by for some acorns.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

These deer were much more skittish, and took off for the woods fairly quickly, so getting their picture was a challenge.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

On the feeder, the purple finch is stopping by more often. He discovered the lower feeder that DH put up.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The goldfinches live here year round, and are in the process of losing their bright color for winter.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This little guy, a young woodchuck (or ground hog if you prefer), has been seen several times. He loves the acorns like the other visitors do.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A large flock of female turkeys are stopping by on almost a daily schedule. There are 12 or 13 of them, and they have decided that they like the bread I give them. It is funny to go out on the veranda and call out “hi, girls!” and then watch them run up the hill from the meadow or the driveway toward me to get a bite.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

They don’t get a lot, and I try to throw the bites so everyone gets one. When I am out of bread, I go back inside, and they dine on acorns for a bit. Then they move on.  I have seen a male only once, and that was down the hill.  I’d love to see Bert and Ernie again.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I am still harvesting parsley and I plan to just leave this for as long as it wants to continue.  The yellow calibrachoa are still blooming their heads off.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The torenias continue to bloom a little, mostly on new growth at the top, but the trailing parts are looking a bit ragged. A Carolina Wren has taken to sleeping in this pot, buried in the foliage, and I scare him sometimes when I go out at dusk. He startles me as well when he flies out unexpectedly.

October in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Today’s giveaway is from my collection of Gooseberry Patch books. This one is out of print, and was published in 1997. It is charming book, wonderful for cold winter days to read about gardening and planning, recipes for garden veggies, herbal treats and more. It has some fun projects to do with things grown in the garden, and to do for the garden. Charming and fun in traditional Gooseberry Patch style. I have two copies, so one can be yours!

For Bees and Me by Gooseberry Patch

Entering today is easy, just leave a comment on this post about your garden, what you are doing now or your plans, anything to do with your garden.  Yes, international entries welcome, I can send anywhere.  Good luck!

Craftsy LogoDid you know that Craftsy has Gardening Classes? Several are on sale now!

 

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Saving Tomato Seeds

It’s time to save seeds from all those wonderful tomatoes coming out of the garden.  I remember my grandmother’s little seed packets that she made herself using paper envelopes and the seeds from her garden.  I remember using them to plant, but I don’t remember her drying the seeds in the fall, so I wasn’t sure how she did it.  I’ve been working on the tomato pie recipe and almost have it right, but not quite yet. In the process of making those pies, I decided to save some tomato seeds, and I need to show this before we get to the pies in case you want to save yours too.  These tomatoes came from my garden, all except the large yellow one.

Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Tomato seeds are embedded in tomato jelly, and I found an easy way to get them clean by doing an internet search.  I really do not know if my gran did it this way or not, but it worked very well, so here is how I did it.  First, I gathered my tomatoes, and labeled three vintage mason jars with the three different varieties.   Start by cutting the tomatoes in half along the middle horizontally.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Scoop the seeds and jelly into the jar, getting as much out as you can.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Now, add some water to the jar, not a lot, about the same amount as the seeds and jelly. Roughly double the volume.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Here is the Cherokee Purple seeded with its jar of seeds and water.  There was a bit more I went back to get.  The idea is to remove a lot of the moisture from the tomatoes as it makes the pies soggy.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Then I did several red heirlooms.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

I like yellow tomatoes too, this one came from the store. By saving its seeds, I might have some in my garden next year.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Now, let them sit on the counter and ferment for several days. I left mine for a week, shaking the jars several times over the week. A week later, there is a definite separation between the pulp and the water.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Now, dump the seeds into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

The jelly will rinse off easily.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Then spread the seeds out on a paper towel and allow them to dry. I wrote the variety on the towel and prepared a little plastic bag to hold them with a bit of paper labeled with the name. Each variety got its own paper towel for drying.  Those seeds look identical, so you have to take care in labeling and keeping them straight with more than one variety.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

I let the seeds dry for a least a day, and put them in the little bags. I stored them with my other seeds in the basement, cool and dry. I hope that they grow next year, will see!!  The second harvest gave me more red heirlooms and a medium size Cherokee purple.

Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I made the first pie, and didn’t like the results, too soupy and the crust wasn’t done right.

Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Second try, I prebaked the shell which helped a lot.  But it still wasn’t right.

Tomato Pie at From My Carolina Home

It looks good, and it tasted good, not soupy, but the ratio of topping to tomatoes was off.

Tomato Pie at From My Carolina Home

So, yet another to be made.  More Cherokee Purples from the garden, along with some basic red slicers locally grown from the store.

Tomato Pie at From My Carolina Home

And I’ll save more seeds just to be increase the odds that I get viable ones.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever saved seeds?

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

 

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