"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


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Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Few Things Growing in MY Backyard

It is amazing the feeling you get when you plant things and watch them grow!  I highly recommend you plant something even if you don't want to be a gardener or a homesteader.  Pick one thing and just plant it.  You will be amazed as you watch it grow. 

These are grapes... in MY backyard!!! One day they look like these dead vines and suddenly they begin to sprout growth and get leaves and a few weeks later you suddenly spot these amazing little clusters of tiny flowers that become eensy, weensy little grapes.  I live in Southeast Texas and I have never seen anyone grow grapes in their backyard.  I just assumed it was not possible.  Guess what?!  It is!!!  Just because other people do not grow something in your area does not mean it can not be done.  So, if there is something you are wanting to grow in your backyard please do not assume it is not possible.  Instead, get on your computer and start searching... or read a book... whatever works for you.  Find the plant you want to try and then check what zone it grows well in.  It is best to trust that and pick a variety that works well in your area.  You might love Red Delicious Apples, but they may not be good for your area.  That does not mean you can not grow an "apple".  For me that means I needed to plant Gala Apples and I also needed to plant an Ein Shiemer Apple (small hard green apples) to be a pollinator for the Gala.  The grape bush in this picture is a Champanel Grape.  I will be honest I really did not do my research.  I was thinking we would be eating these little treasures right off the vine.  It turns out they are more of a wine or jelly making type grape, but that is okay because..... 
Seriously, it is just amazing to watch them grow.  Since then I have also planted two other varieties: Venus Grape (good for table eating, wine, & jelly) and Lakemont Grape (sweet green table eating). 

These little gems are Goldmine Nectarines.  Oh my gosh... they are so sweet!  The birds think so, too.... unfortunately.  But that is okay.  Planting these things is something you have to be willing to invest time in... and I don't mean just your personal, hard working "time" in planting and nurturing it.  I mean, you have to be willing to WAIT while your trees (and all your plants) have time to mature and strengthen and produce more.  Planting is not merely for what you will get now.  It is somewhat of a "time investment".  If you wait it out, eventually your time investment should pay off.  We are blessed that this small tree has produced last year and this year already, and this is only its second year in the ground.   We won't really get more than a few nibbles this year, but that is okay.  The birds don't know we planted this here for our OWN selfish enjoyment.  There are probably 20-30 nectarines on it and they are already ripening even though they are very small.  That's all fine... remember its a time investment.... right now this tree is maturing for a big harvest in our future. 

This is one of my four varieties of blueberries.  I went a little overboard!  I had bought two Tif Blue , one Premier, and one Brightwell blueberry bushes and then, I went to a local plant nursery that had locally grown blueberry bushes for sell for a mere $3 each.  I snatched up three Rebel Blueberry plants.  That is SEVEN blueberry bushes... I guess you could say we have one for each person in the house.  Ooops!  When they get larger we may be in the Blueberry business!!!  This is another fruit that the birds are beating us to, but once again we must remember this is a "time investment" type of thing.  One day I am sure there will be plenty for the birds and us.  

Amaryllises!  Nope, I can not eat these, but I certainly can enjoy them.  I am a lily lover!!  I have quite a variety growing in my backyard.  This is one thing I must recommend... stop fighting planting annuals and start investing in some perennials.  Perennials will come back year after year and are very easy to grow. 

The pic below is a new raised bed that we put in for growing veggies.  If you look close you will see some lilies starting to sprout up that I snuck in the there.  ;)

Not everything we grow should be for our physical nourishment.  Our heart and soul needs some nourishment, too!  This is one of my irises in my lily garden (a.k.a. the weed garden).  My lily garden is wild and unruly and has a mix of whatever I stuck in the ground.  I did not plan at all.  I just planted.  Most of it has been lilies that have been shared from a friend or transplanted from somewhere.  It is my little patch of craZy and I love it.  At this time it amazing, but by the time late Summer or Fall come around it is quite messy and I just get the mower out and mow it all down.  Every year it is faithful to come back up.  I can not tell you the times I have looked out my window to find a beautiful lily emerging just as I have really needed a lift in my spirit.  God is amazing!  He has such creativity and I am so glad I get to grow some of His creations in MY very own backyard!!  

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  1. Looking good! We thought we were going to have grapes this year, but nearly all fell off and died. Same for most of my blueberries too :( Oh well. We were out of town for 10 days with no rain and that's was about the same time the heat really came on and the person who came by to tend to things didn't really have time to water, so I'm sure the lack of it got to them. At least my chickens are laying eggs well...that seems to be the only thing going for us right now...lol!

    1. Well, we are not really having a lot of successes, but I like watching things grow even if I don't get the fruit. ;) The birds got most all the nectarines and my husband says he has seen the squirrels stealing the grapes. But it is an investment in the future... even if it is years down the road.... and even if we no longer live here someone in the world will benefit. Our chickens are the main thing we have going, as well. I am getting anywhere from 4- 8 eggs a day from 9 laying hens.

  2. I am curious to hear how your grape vines are doing. I will be planting two venus and two Lakemont vines in my yard in Silsbee.

    1. Well, we actually moved so I really do not know about the one we left behind. We transplanted two to our current property but they did not survive.... they survived the transplant but I think one got mowed down and the other trampled on. So, I am really not much help.

      One thing I can say is to make sure you get the type of grape you are wanting..... If you are wanting a grape you can just eat you will want a table grape. If you want a wine grape that is different, so just be sure you read about the ones you are getting and plant the one that fits your needs/wants.

      I have heard that many people do have success in our area with grapes.


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