Archive for the ‘In the Garden’ Category

— and I didn’t even realize that until I was reading some blogs whereby gardeners are striving to be self sustained by their gardens.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m like a little kid when I come in from the garden with my pockets full of peas, or beans, or tomatoes. And I’m so damned proud of myself when I’ve made a batch of jelly or jam, or put up the pear preserves, or picked my OWN apples for a pie. But it’s just gravy to me – that bounty. It isn’t why I garden. Part of it is that I just love digging in the dirt. I love putting plants in…moving plants around…sowing seeds…watering by hand…getting down on my hands and knees to see which vegetables are beginning to sprout. 

But the big reason I garden, my first love, is to be surrounded by flowers. Flowers make me happy. Just looking at them. In the winter time, I buy them from the store, weekly, just to have them in the house to look at. No matter what variety, they are the *hyacinths that feed my soul*.

I’m feeling a little sad now, watching some of the summer bloomers die off. Although the autumn bloomers are beautiful – they are still the harbingers to me. And I’m not ready. Guess I better get ready. You know when autumn is here when the mums start blooming.

They are.                                                        


and the Autumn Joy sedum turns from green to reddish-pink.   It is.

and the Autumn Clematis begins to bloom.   It did. 


* If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,

And from they slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,

Sell one and with the dole,

Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.

 (Moslih Eddin Saadi)


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I saw these beautiful, big, white blooms beside a house where I stopped at a garage sale last year. The woman who was having the sale did not know what kind of plant it was, but she said that it “spread like crazy” and that she couldn’t kill it. I asked if I could take one of the seed pods from the plant. She not only told me to help myself, she said that if the seeds didn’t grow, I could come back and dig up some plants in the spring. I was able to identify them as Angel Trumpets by going through my garden books. Don’t you just love that name?

I started the seeds inside, and transplanted them when they were a couple inches tall. It has taken them all summer to get to this height, and to finally bloom.

This first picture is of the blossom just before it opens.

And this one is of the fully opened blossom.Img4593

Img4652 And this final photo is of the whole plant – which began as three plants – planted too close together. Obviously. I just love them! The blossom only lasts a few days – but then another is open.

 As for us ‘blowing’ -we’re out of here again! We loaded the motor home last night and are leaving today to spend four days at a state park which is a couple hundred miles Northwest of us. We stay there on the lake for a few days every summer. My sister, Caryl, is going to come with us, and my sister, Jean, who lives about 200 miles from there, will come down. It’ll be fun to spend some more time together. When we leave to go South for the winter, it’ll be a long time before I see them again. I’ll be back with pictures! 

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Hello, September!

Where did August go? The time really wasn’t flying by, though, as we waited for our computer to be repaired. When we left it with Mr. Repairman he told us “you’ll have it back in two to five business days”. Well, let me tell you, he counts a little differently than we do. It’s been a total of ten days – and they were long days. You know how it goes – if you don’t have it – of course, you absolutely, positively NEED it NOW. (After all, we have banking to do, and things to research, and people to ‘touch’.) Not to mention that I am so far behind on blogs that I’ll have to sit here for three days to catch up! We have a desktop Gateway, but somehow lost the power cord for it in the house cleanup done when we came back this last spring, so it wasn’t operable either. We did order a new power cord from Gateway – which arrived the same day our laptop was repaired!

Our Toshiba laptop is a great machine- but it quit reading and writing CDs. I was so afraid of losing a years worth of pictures before I could get them downloaded. And the power cord would sometimes stop working and use up the laptop batteries. What a surprise – three years later – we were still under warranty and the repairs didn’t cost a thing. Well, except for the cost of the external hard drive we purchased so that all our pictures, documents, etc. could be downloaded and then reloaded after our laptop was restored. We lost a lot of software that has to be reloaded now – and that is such a pain.

After our little touch of autumn in the air, the weather turned lovely again, and I’ve been enjoying the yards and garden. I love to ‘piddle’ (as T calls it) with my yard and gardens. Sometimes when I’m out there, I’m not even working – except in my mind, where I have reworked some of my flower beds, decided where to move plants, etc., and now all that’s left is to decide whether I’ll do the actual work this fall, or wait until next spring. Guess I’ll see how the weather is and play it by ear.

I’m still loving my peas – eating them every day. I don’t remember ever having them this late in the season before. Am anxiously awaiting my very own spaghetti squash now. I’ve still got green peppers, onions and beans. AND lots and lots of tomatoes! After thinking my tomatoes would NEVER get red, and envying everyone who was posting pictures of red tomatoes – now there are so many ripe tomatoes every day that I am giving them away like crazy. Yesterday I decided I’d make my own ‘stewed tomatoes’ and freeze them. I chopped up about a dozen tomatoes, three of my green peppers, and some of the onions. I threw in garlic salt, salt and pepper, and Italian spices, and boiled it all. It looked so good and I just wanted to eat it – so I took the juice off of it and threw in some cut up chicken I had cooked. I chopped up a bunch of left over angel hair pasta I had cooked the night before for T’s spaghetti, and threw it in. I sprinkled it all with parmasan cheese, and it was DELICIOUS. And I have left overs and will eat it again tomorrow – I’m happy.

We took my son, his wife, and the four grandbabies to the museum down town to see “A T. Rex Named Sue”, as the exhibit was only here for the summer and is now on its way to Alaska. “Sue” is the most complete , best preserved, T. rex fossil ever found. It’s pretty amazing. Besides the life size cast, there were many interactives. And even a small room where the little ones could dress up in T. rex costumes. I don’t know who enjoyed it most – the kids, or Terry.

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I still have not figured out what this ‘mystery’ plant is. I do not even know where I got it. All I do know is that it is taking up a lot of room in the front of a bed – and if it doesn’t show me something pretty impressive, pretty soon – it will be relocated. At a good 2-1/2 feet high, and wide – it’s covering a lot of prime real estate.


Below is a picture of one of the blossoms on the plant- it is beginning to open. So to what little I do know about this plant, you can add: I know it has pink petals.


Does anyone have any ideas?

As for the HIATUS: our Toshiba needs to visit the computer doctor. It will no longer read or write our CD’s, and we’re fearful of losing all the pictures we’ve taken over the last year. I’ll be back in a few days. I hope.

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Do you know what this is?

This is a photo of my sedum, Autumn Joy, which shows it is beginning to get it’s color! 

I have one of these in the side yard, one in the front yard, and one in the secret garden. And all three of them are doing the same darned thing!

 Do you know what this means?

It means that autumn is on it’s way! I do not want it. I love my Autumn Joy, they are beautiful when they are in color, and left in the garden all winter, they add a nice accent. But, I am just not ready to see them begin to color.

I was going to say that this is my only plant that I DON’T anxiously await the blooming of – but that isn’t true. I also have an autumn clematis (purchased without knowing it was an autumn variety) and several mum plants, which herald the same change in season, by their blooms.

Actually, it isn’t just the color in my autumn bloomers that tells me a season change is on the way. After nearly six weeks of high 80s and low 90s, it has cooled off here on the hill. The last two mornings have been just a little nippy. And the last two evenings, I’ve put a flannel shirt on over my tank top when I went outside.

Oh, my. What’s a gardener girl to do? Keep gardening, I guess. After all, it isn’t here yet. And it was still in the high 70s today. And expected to get warmer again. (Relax, Jackie). And we always have some really hot weather in September – I’ll get more summer! But not enough. Never enough. 

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I am addicted to garage sales. Well, garage sales, thrift stores, junk outlets – you name it. I’m a firm believer in the adage, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. I love finding treasures. I once had a house that was furnished and decorated almost exclusively from garage sale items (they fit my budget at the time). 

When we built the ‘secret’ garden last summer, T put up a tall pole which was to be used for a bird house. We’ve thrown ideas around all year, trying to figure out whether we wanted a platform on top, with several bird houses on it, or just one large house, or just exactly what it was we I wanted.

I went garage-saling Friday and found this delapidated bird house – for the great price of $4.00!
And after some paint, and some assistance from T, this is what we have now… high-rise for the birdies. T put a blue steel roof on it, that matches our house, the shop, and our pump house, which both have white, steel siding and blue roofs. Left to my own devices, I’d have painted some flowers and ivy on the high-rise, but as T is more on the conservative side, I restrained myself.

Oh, and for only $10.00, we got a cart exactly like my old one. It’s handy in the garden, and light enough for me to use.  When we had the shop built, the contractor mixed cement in my old one and a leg broke off of it. I didn’t want to spend $35.00 – $45.00 to replace it. But $10.00? Sweet! 

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We put in what I call my ‘secret garden’ last summer, finishing in September. After I dug all the flower beds, of course I wanted them to look ‘finished’.  So – I did what I definitely know you should NOT do….I planted waaaaay too close, and waaaay too much, and planted some things that I wasn’t even sure what they were!

After our great little mini-vaction,  I came home to a real mess. And, darn it, I couldn’t even blame someone else for it. I knew before we left, that I had tall plants in front of short plants, plants on top of plants, etc., and that I’d have to do something about it. Especially in this corner I’m showing you below. But I was waiting to see what color these hollyhocks were going to be – am sure I did not plant them here.  

Well, now I know they are white – they bloomed while I was gone.  And this picture above shows how I found them when I got home. I left timers on my hoses when we left, and was watering an hour every day as it was to be in the high 80s, low 90s. (This is more water than the yard and gardens get when I am home).  Water will do wonders. In hindsight – I should have turned the damned water off and just let things wilt and stunt while I was gone!

These hollyhocks came right up on top of my 5′ tall butterfly bush and killed it.  Well, except for at the trunkline where it is sprouting well, about six inches high. I cut off the top and trunk and I think it’ll come back. The hollyhock is also ‘hiding’ two red hot pockers, a white coneflower, a pink coneflower, a liatris, some pansies, and half of the honeysuckle! I decided it was time to ‘relocate’ a few things. (And I don’t CARE what time of year you are SUPPOSED to transplant!)

And now it looks like this:
Img3959 Much better.

Then it was time to do something with part of the middle bed. Daylilies and liatris were hidden by tall bluish things that are through blooming, which are both behind the tall yellowish things which are through blooming. And beside them, this large pinkish thing I thought was lamb’s ear, but am not sure? Well, as you can see below, this was really a big mess.

But after some more of my ‘relocating’, it now looks like this:

These grapes are growing great – taking over the whole fence. I’ll be making jam like crazy one of these days. If you can see it in this picture below, there was lavender behind the angel trumpets, and a lilac start behind that, and the spider wort was just messy looking.

I cleaned it up and now it looks like this:

And then there was the squash. I was so envious of bloggers talking about their square foot gardening, and decided to put a few things in this way. I knew at the time, that you could NOT grow squash in a ‘square foot’ – but, oh, look – I had to try:Img3937

T screwed some boards on the ends of my raised bed, drilled some holes in them for my twine,  and now the squash can get OFF my green peppers!Img3967

My four way, grafted pear tree is bearing fruit for us – in just one year – but the fruit got a little heavy for these baby branches – here’s the ‘before’ picture, and one ‘after’  T fixed it up for me.

There was some good news, though. I’ve waited and waited for my sweet peas and they are blooming like crazy. It makes me smile just to look at these vibrant colors, together.


Now I’m doing absolutely NOTHING for two days – I’m tired, I’m hot, and I hurt all over.

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