Sunday, August 31, 2008

Counting my Blessings!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you remember where you were 3 years ago when Katrina hit? I do. I was in my comfortable home in Georgia not worrying too much about what was going to happen to me over there. And aside from the gasoline prices skyrocketing and the shortages I was practically benign to what was really going on. Oh sure, I saw the reports of how it had affected the people of New Orleans and the gulf coast. I truly felt sorry for them but I was comfy in my own home and not really having to worry about that. I also knew that Katrina had interrupted the lives of those here in middle to northern MS as well. For example, my in-laws were without power for several days. It was August and hot as all get out. Since electricity was out air conditioning wasn't functioning so you can only imagine how hot it was. Gasoline shortages occurred here too but once again, I didn't have to worry about that.

Well now that I am living in middle MS things are a lot different now. I find my emotions are flying high. Last night as my husband and I were traveling north on I-55 (which is basically a direct route to and from Louisiana) we noticed so many cars going northbound from LA. I could feel the heartache coming on.

This morning as we entered our church parking lot we noticed it was filled with cars from LA. I didn't know it but our church is a Red Cross shelter. People were out and about in the lot looking so sad and full of despair. During the church service we learned it was filled with 150 people and they were having to turn people away. When we were leaving outside sat one young man with some of his personal belongings and his pet in its carrier. The heartache is getting bigger.

We went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries and in their lot the county had set up emergency services for people looking for shelter. We parked beside a car that had LA tags. The backseat of their car was filled and they had their animal carrier with them. The man was standing outside the car and I just wanted to say something but words escaped me. What do you say to someone who is so displaced? Good morning didn't seem quite appropriate and of course "How are you" is out of the question. The heartache is almost at the breaking point.

When we left I was talking to my husband about how sad this is and he said, "Well I didn't want to tell you in church but when I went to the restroom there was a man in there that was bawling like a baby. He was obviously from LA with his cajun accent. He was telling someone when Katrina hit 3 years ago, she hit on his birthday and he had to leave his home. Now here it is 3 years later and he's had to leave again." Well needless to say this just tore me up. I started bawling like a baby and I looked at my husband who was crying as well.

As we headed up I-55 to go back home every other car that passed us had LA plates. Can you imagine having to pack up everything that you can possibly fit into your vehicle and leave your home? And then not knowing if you'll have a home to return to? I can't imagine that!

I'm glad I'm not feeling benign this time. It makes me feel very fortunate and blessed.

Please pray for all the people on the gulf, all the displaced people from Louisiana and all the families in the caribbean that have lost loved ones.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happenings in the Garden.......

Today I brought home some more plants that were being tossed at work. I brought home a couple of Gaura, a Mexican hat, one Caryopteris(bluebeard) and an unknown rose bush that I think is a pink Knock-out. Well, while I was out there digging, you know I had the camera ready(just in case). Nothing really caught my eye while working. While I was cleaning up I checked out my other bluebeard and noticed a big bumble bee on it. I thought well that would make a good photo. So I got the camera ready, bent down on my knees and Oh, My Goodness, this is what I saw.......
Poor little thing! I never even saw Mr. Big, Bad spider. (If you left click the photo, you'll get a good view). After this frightening moment, I looked up at my Keepsake garden and noticed my Turk's Cap blooming. This is one of those plants that I had given up on. I planted it last year when this bed didn't really exist. It probably didn't show up until very late June or early July. This plant also comes in a very vivid red.

My last little butterfly left the cocoon the other day. These are a couple of pictures of him before he said goodbye. He was a real beauty.

The last thing I wanted to show was my lovely new trellis. My moonflower vine is growing up it. Just think, it's 100% organic, the vine seems to be enjoying itself and best of all, it was free! I took this vine home from work several weeks ago knowing I had no trellis to put it on. Sometimes, a girl just has to do what a girl has to do. Have a great and safe weekend everyone!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Tribute to my Grandparents.....

When I was a child, my sister and I spent many summers at my grandparents house. They lived in a teenie, weenie town in northeast Arkansas. Their little house had a screened in front porch where grandma had some plants in pots. Outside their yard was full of all kinds of gardens; flower gardens, a strawberry patch and a large vegetable garden.

Now these things didn't really appeal to me then but I reckon this is where my love of gardening comes from. I remember they would spend hours in their gardens, sometimes just weeding or picking fresh veggies. Of course, I really loved it when they picked strawberries.

Strawberries were my favorite fruits. I remember standing by grandma in her little kitchen and watching her clean them. Seems like she put lots of them in the freezer for storing. But we always had fresh ones as well. She sprinkled a little sugar over them, let them make their own juice, added baked pie crust strips and we would have a great strawberry shortcake.

At night, grandma and popa never turned on their t.v. Instead we always sat on the front porch. I always sat by grandma in the wooden swing and we'd rock back and forth while we listened to the singing of the bugs. Then finally, we'd turn in for the night.
Becky and myself

My sister and I had a game we played after we went to bed. We called it "Kisses for Momma". Grandma and popas house was right down from the railroad tracks. Every night we always heard trains going back and forth. We missed mom lots so we decided to send her kisses by way of the train. When we heard it coming we blew kisses to it in hopes it would take our kisses to her. It was a silly little thing we did, but it brought us much comfort.

Now you are probably asking is there a point to all of this? No, not really. It's just that I spent so many happy days with my grandparents and I wish I had paid more attention to what they said and did. I'd probably be a much better gardener/person now if I had.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Whimisical!!!

Okay, before I even begin my next post I have to tell you what I did last night. The older I get the more stupider(I know that isn't even a word) I get. Last night I was just having a great blogging time catching up reading everyone's post and then I decided I needed to change a blog site on my blog roll list. Okay, here's the stupid part. I accidentally deleted my entire blog roll list. Don't ask me how I did it, I just did. Boy, you talking about lots of work putting all that back on my blog. All I can say is, "be careful".

Okay, now that I have gotten that off my chest, here's the latest.....

Over the last couple of weeks I have bought a couple more whimsicals for the garden. Since I didn't have any wind chimes I decided I needed some. These have a real soft tone that I really like. And with the hurricane headed this way, they are getting a good workout today.

I had stated in an earlier post, I love fairies, angels, cherubs and I love this one. It had listed for $45.00 dollars and I got it at a steal for $7.00. Actually, one of it's little wings had broken off and they glued it back on. You can't even tell.
The problem is I don't want to put it outside. But if I keep it inside I'm not sure where I will put it. Or I need to find a plant stand and place it in a flower bed.
And I just couldn't resist this sign. Yes, another buy from work but to me it just says it all!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Beauties!!!

Yesterday morning before leaving for work I decided to take one last peek out into my garden just to see if anything was photo worthy. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Beautiful new babies. As you can see from this picture the little guy wasn't quite ready to make his appearance but I could tell it would be soon since his cocoon was very dark in color.
It looked like this little yellow guy was waiting on him to come outside and play.
This was the one that was on my Bluebeard. Notice his abdomen and how large it is. (In butterfly anatomy that is). I had saw on a website about butterflies that their abdomens are filled with fluid that gets pushed out into their wings.
You can see his cocoon right under him in this picture. It's hard to believe he came out of that little thing.
This little guy was down in my Mexican Bush sage. I decided to pull the foliage back a little so I could see him better.
He decided to climb out when I did so.
And looked what happened after! He decided he needed to check out this big thing that was peering down on him.
Once again you can see the size of the abdomen. He crawled around just taking in the sights. I love the feel of the prickly little legs. He never seemed alarmed the whole time he was on my finger.
And of course I was talking to him the whole time as any un-normal person would do. I was telling him how beautiful he was and then he decided to show me by opening his wings. Then I let him crawl back onto my plant. It saddened me to know when I returned from work they would be gone. Also when I returned the other one would be gone as well and sure enough he was. The one on my tomato stake is not quite ready. I'm hopeful I'll be able to see him before he leaves.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Name for Flowerbed....

For anyone who is new to my blog, I work for a nursery and occasionally we throw away pitiful, almost dead looking plants. Well, I can't stand to see this happen so I bring lots of them home to plant. I have come to call this flower bed my throw-away garden. But since doing this I have received suggestions from my comments telling me I should rename it. So after giving this consideration I have come up with the name My Keepsake Garden. So I hope everyone likes it. It probably is more appropriate.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Update on the Caterpillars...

I been checking on the cocoons and so far they all seem to be snug in their little bedsacks. When I sit back and think about it I am utterly amazed with what is going on inside those little cocoons. Life really is a miracle in itself.
I found this one snuggled up in my Mexican Bush sage. Took me a while to find him. They are all so camouflaged I have a hard time finding any of them.

This morning I went out to clean out some old tomatoes that were way past their prime and found another cocoon on a tomato stake. He isn't camouflaged so good so I'm hopeful he doesn't disappear.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Little visitors......

I took a little walk in the yard the other day to check on my blooms and was able to capture some pictures from my visit. This little guy was enthralled with my Mexican petunia.
He wasn't happy until he visited each and every bloom.

I love these little visitors to my garden. I've gotten to where I cannot go out into the yard without my camera. The other day I was concentrating so much on getting a picture that I didn't even notice the pesky little ants crawling over my feet. I guess that's what I get for wearing flip-flops. Luckily, I didn't get any bites from them.
This little guy was truly enjoying my Mystic spires salvia. He could of cared less about what was going on around him.
Luckily this little guy stayed still long enough for me to get a picture. I have about 3 different hummers that fight over this feeder. I wish I could get a picture of that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Caterpillar surprises!!!

A few days ago I was walking out in my garden and noticed my parsley looking a bit sparse. Upon closer examination I found these little guys. They were having a great time enjoying a lovely parsley salad.
I must of counted six or seven just chowing down. Over the next day or two I noticed them vacating the premises. Luckily I found them hanging around here and there.
This little guy didn't do a very job disguising himself. He attached himself to the side of my house.
This one decided on my Iochroma. Can't say that I blame him. It has lovely rose colored flowers.
This one decided upon my Caryopteris. Another good choice. So far, the two on the plants are "hanging" in there. The poor little guy on the brick, well lets just say he must of been tasty. I really hate that. I'm going to keep watch on these little guys and see how it goes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A lesson in biology......

Have you ever wondered what holds your muscles together? Well I never gave it much thought until yesterday at church. Yes, you heard me, Church! It's called Laminin. It's part of a family of proteins that holds us together. Without it we would just be one big glob. The picture above is what Laminin looks like. Isn't it interesting it looks just like a cross; Jesus' cross.

What's the point, you might ask? My point is this. I love the fact that it's Jesus who holds me together. Colossians 1:17 says, He(Jesus) is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
I love knowing he is always there for me.

I know this doesn't have much to do with gardening but it has everything to do with me. Check out the link for a great story.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Summer time blooms

Profusion Zinnias

Butterfly Weed

Pincushion flower

Butterfly Bush

Perennial hibiscus

Garden phlox


Homestead verbena


These are a few of the plants that are blooming in my garden right now. The profusion zinnia is a great little annual that blooms all summer long. The butterfly weed is a plant I put in this spring and has done very well. Truthfully, I don't see as many butterflies on it as much as I thought I would. The pincushion flower is a great perennial. It stayed ever green all winter and has bloomed for several months. I have two butterfly bushes that were going to be thrown away at work so I saved them. They haven't grown much but are blooming good. The hibiscus has bloomed off and on since planting it this spring. It wasn't very big when I first planted it but has bushed out well. The garden phlox, coreopsis, homestead verbena and monarda were all saved from the garbage at work. The phlox was planted last fall and has bloomed pretty good. The other 3 were planted this spring and have done exceptionally well.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Power of Wind

When I got home today it was still hot and sunny so we decided to take our usual afternoon walk. We knew rain was headed our way but we wanted to give it a try anyway. Well the sky turned very dark and then the wind hit. At first dust flew everywhere. Thank goodness we were close to home. We got in and closed the garage door just in time. The wind was blowing like crazy! The trees were every which way. We walked out on the patio(it wasn't raining yet) and watched. Then it happened. One of the trees in the next door neighbors yard popped. It missed the house behind them by inches. We decided to go in at this point. Then the rain started but the wind was still blowing like crazy. The news said we had 60 +- mile-an-hour winds.

I watched my poor plants get so blown over. My Mexican petunias are now laying on the ground as well as my cleome. The trellis that my cucumber grows on was turned over. Our patio umbrella came out of the table, luckily landing in our yard. I don't know what else may have happened. It's still raining. Hooray for that! What a way to end a hot, humid day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A couple of visitors to my garden...

When we were working in the garden Saturday we had a couple of little visitors. This butterfly seemed to be really enjoying the Cleome. He flew around a little bit and then moved on. Then came the other visitor. He loved the Mystic Spires salvia. My question to anybody who knows is this. Is this a hummingbird moth? I thought he was unique looking but my hubbie thought he looked a little evil. Anyway, neither one of us has ever seen one of these guys before.

We are finally seeing more butterflies now. And the hummingbirds are regularly visiting our feeder. Such fun!!!