Progress in the yard

I finally got some gardening done. Some of it is working, some of it isn’t. So it goes.

This hanging basket came with the house, so I filled it with a mix of annuals.

I love the combination of purple and orange flowers. They seem to be doing well.

I’m trying a pot of basil again, which I’ve never had success growing here. So funny since I always used to have so much more than I could ever use.

I got two cherry tomato plants. They seem to do better than full-sized tomatoes, which thrive in warmer weather, too.

I got new chives, thyme and lavender plants. Mint ended up in the ammo box. I wanted it to have plenty of (contained) space to grow.

It’s happy there, and we’ve already used it several times!

I’m so happy to report that 1) the orange tree has several oranges on it,

and 2) the little potted orange tree seems to be coming back to life. After looking nearly dead for a long time, new leaves are growing and I spotted one tiny orange.

About half of the first strawberries I planted keeled over, so I bought 6 more and made a little patch. Had to dig up a big plant to make room, but that’s OK.

The blueberry bush I bought looks pretty droopy, though. I’m not sure what it needs. I think I need to do more research.

I think I am going to end up removing these overgrown geraniums to make room for more berries.

I don’t really care for the red ones and we have a bunch of pink ones elsewhere in the yard.

I was thinking of planting something in this bare spot, but Sadie loves it so much I can’t do it.

I managed to kill all three zinnias I planted. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to separate them.

I don’t want to give up on having zinnias, though. I really love them. The dahlias I bought look great.

I think they’re really too big for their pot, though. So maybe I’ll plant them in the ground and get more.

There are some pretty little marigolds scattered throughout the yard that I might transplant once the workshop construction is gone.

I’ll at least clean up the weeds and try to give them a dedicated space.

I’m happy to say these pretty mums are doing well after getting cleaned out and watered.

And my fave fucshia plants are happy as can be.

Overall, I don’t think I can expect too much from the yard this summer, but it’s fun to get started on it. 

Skillet meals


Skillet enchiladas, so good.

These days I’m a big fan of dinners that come together in one pot, pan or skillet. It’s kind of the Hamburger Helper concept — saute meat and maybe some onions or other veggies, add in pasta or rice plus water and seasonings, put the lid on and let it simmer until the pasta is cooked through. Top with cheese (no cheese powder needed…) and serve. Usually the prep is under half and hour and you only have one pan to wash. My kind of dinner!

Here are some of my favorite recipes. They are getting me through life with a toddler, that’s for sure:

Chicken enchiladas skillet

Cheeseburger mac (I always use less paprika and add more cheese)

Mexican taco bowl spaghetti, great with macaroni pasta too

• Southwestern chicken and rice skillet, topped with cheese 

 
Skillet lasagna (I add sweet red peppers)
 
 
All-veggie options:
 
 
 
I’m surprising myself at how many of these recipes I have! Hopefully it helps if you need a quick recipe.