Last weekend we decided that we had limited opportunities left to go outside and enjoy the last remnants of a Maryland fall before we were covered in snow. Baltimore has lots of parks, but its best kept secret is Cylburn Arboretum. Not only are the main grounds of the arboretum beautiful, but the large majority of the 207 acre property is forested… right in the middle of Baltimore City!
We had fun with our camera, so here’s a few fun shots to share.
Somewhere down a very large hill are the foundations of servant houses that belonged to the owners of the property back in the late 19th century. We found lots of cool mosses, especially this 3.5ft2 patch covering a stone wall.
Another moss growing on a log with sporophytes.
It started off chilly, but warmed up as we hiked up and down hills, away from the buildings and grass paths. It was a fun day getting outside and being able to appreciate the beauty autumn has to offer. We hope you get a chance to spend a day outside before all the leaves are gone and it’s far too cold!Posted on August 10th, 2011 by Dan
It is a beautiful day today, bright sun, cool breeze, and not too humid. It’s the perfect day to be outside or sit by an open window. And in fact, it’s very distracting as I try to write this post. Maybe even more distracting is the occasional need for me to carry Michi away from stalking birds.
The bright sun today made it especially nice for photography. First up, our Herb Pot, which always has something exciting going on in it. The catnip we planted in there at the beginning of the summer has practically quadrupled, taking over the whole pot. But we still have healthy parsley and bay leaf plants in there (I know it’s not much of an herb garden, but it came with a nice sign). Well, the parsley attracted a few friendly caterpillars. I am almost %100 these are Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars. We tested it by poking them and they shot up their defensive osmeterium (orange slingshot looking thing).
Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good pictures of the osmeterium because they shot it out so fast and it was scary.
So other than these awesome native caterpillars that we had in the Spring, we recently got some fun fungi along with our herbs.
I have no idea what kind of mushrooms these are, but they’re crazy cool looking. Bright yellow with little pimples all over them.
In another side of the yard (the front), we have our vegetable garden in full growth. This year we decided to implement a ‘Square Foot’ gardening method. This is where you divide the garden in square feet and allocate each square foot with a certain crop. For instance, you can plant one corn plant in a square foot or 4 lettuces or 16 beets. Here’s a photo from early spring when I first started planting. You can still see the dividers.
It looks nice, right? Not sure how well it worked though. Everything grew very nicely, but I feel like the yields weren’t as good as when I wasn’t using a method. Below are a few shots from the garden, fast forwarding to today. Something that really caught us by surprise are these cucumbers. They transformed from blossom to fruit in about 3 days and they’re super long and beautiful. Each one is easily over 2 feet, and the plant is covered in flowers!
I’m also proud of the corn, cabbage and pumpkin vines!
Lastly, we’ll go over to the side of the house and take a look at the ‘Man Garden’, which is my own little special section of the flower garden world, well, mine and my fellow male cats :). For the past month or so, the black-eyed susan has been in full bloom.
And, our newest addition, which happens to be right next to the Man Garden, coincidentally and appropriately, is the grill! Susanna’s mom dropped it off over the weekend (they had two?) and I couldn’t be more excited to use it. I’m thinking corn, pizza, bread, stuffed peppers, pretty much everything. Oh, pardon the cracked backdrop, it’s on the waiting list to be
Lastly, I’ll leave you with a picture of Michi in the fish tank. We have plans to make a sweet terrarium with this, but that’s for another post. It seems like if she’s not in the sink, she’s in the tub or fish tank.
I hope your vegetable garden is doing excellent. What are your favorite things to grill? Give me your best ideas in a comment below.