Saturday, February 28, 2009

Back to Winter and a Gray Day

This tasting of 4 seasons in a week is pretty tough on a person. Yesterday it was a lovely 76 degrees with sunny/cloudy skies. Today it is in the mid 40's and lovely gray skies. Plus misting rain and very windy. Not a great day to be out in the garden. So what does one do? The one being me you understand! I bake!!! Check these out............These are my everything muffins. They make your house smell so good when baking not to mention your tummie growl.If you get real close to your computer screen I think you'll be able to smell all that yumminess oozing out!

Somehow I need to relate this to gardening so lets see.....................

I wish I could say I grew the carrots that went into them but no. Oh I know, no not the apples either. How, I don't have any grape vines from which the raisins could have come from. Let's see, hmmm......Okay this is as close as I can come. The pecans were locally grown. Actually they came from the park where I like to walk. They were everywhere but no one was picking them up. Well I don't miss a chance for free food so you can bet your sweet bottom dollar I I picked them up. I think they add such a delicious touch to them.

Well sorry you can't personally taste them so I'll eat one for every one of my readers. I should be sufficiently full after that! I hope all of y'all find something fun to do today!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Winter Project

As everyone probably knows winter is not my favorite season. I prefer the warm days of spring and summer. But fortunately living in the south does provide many days in winter when I can get out and accomplish some things in the garden. I thought I would show what I just finished today. Nothing fancy but come spring it should look really nice.Introducing a new path at the back of my lot. On the left of the path is my evergreen grouping. On the right is my Keepsake Garden. It is filled with perennials and when warmer weather permits I will add some annuals for seasonal color.As I look at these pictures all I can think is how brown and drab it looks. Sorry.

In this picture you can see some English ivy on the left. Hopefully it will fill in that area a little more. I think where that stand of trees/shrubs is I will put some containers with color too. And then toward the other end of the path is another project I will show you in my next post. Until then here's hoping you have some warm weather to get out and garden in.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Spring Bug won't leave me alone

Y'all remember me showing you these cute little hanging pots I bought. Well I've been wondering what to put in them. So the other day I was nosing around in the garden section at Wal-Mart and came across an idea. I found these lovely packages of strawberries. And you know since strawberries are about my most favorite fruit I thought why not give it a try. Should be easy right? No? Does anybody know? I could certainly use some help here!

I was reading about them on the internet and discovered you need to keep the flowers cut off the June bearing ones and expect a bigger crop next year. Okay, so maybe that's a little disappointing since I did buy one bag of them. Then the ever bearing are suppose to be pruned back to July and then hopefully you may get a good crop afterward. Okay.

I guess I will have to chock this up to a learning experience. But now I am thinking I better find something else to put in my pots. So I don't think I accomplished anything by buying these strawberries.

Seriously though if anybody has grown strawberries I really would love some input.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

We Have a Winner!!!

First of all, Happy Valentines Day to everyone! I want to thank everyone who played along in my giveaway. And the winner is..................................(drum roll please).......Congratulations to you! Racquel is the great author of Perennial Garden Lover. If you haven't checked out her blog before be sure to do so. She is quite knowledgeable about plants and flowers.

Racquel I know you have my e-mail address on your comments so send me your address and I'll get this mailed out to you.

Once again this was fun to do so stay tuned cause you never know when another may show up!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Garden Suprises!!!

Like everyone who enjoys gardening I've been going out to check my flower beds on a regular basis. I enjoy pulling back a little mulch from around my perennials and finding just a tad bit of greenery. It tells me Ms. Spring is on her way even tho we are still in the middle of winter. But unlike the shy little sprouts waiting on the warmth of the Mr. Sun, this beauty shouts out, "Look at me, winter or not, here I come"!This is my saucer magnolia(Magnolia x soulangiana) that I planted late summer last year. It had been in a large pot at work and it was decided to remove it. So, of course I brought it home, cut half of it's roots off, watered it in good and hoped for the best. I guess the winter rains helped it settle in.In this picture you can see the progression of the bloom soaking up some of the warm sunshine we've been experiencing.This was what it looked like yesterday. I love the color of the bloom! I decided to smell of it since I know the big, white blooms of magnolia grandiflora smell so great. Much to my surprise, this blooms smells just as lovely but not quite as strong as the other. There are several more blooms on it that I am looking forward to seeing. Another beauty(to me anyway) showing lots of new growth was this...This is a cypress tree that was in my yard when I bought the house. It's not real big but has this vibrant yellowy/green growth all over it. Then I've had a few visitors to the bird bath recently.One of my favorites, Mr. Bluebird. These are the sweetest little things.As you can see, he was enjoying his bath much.

Well that is as about as exciting as it gets for now. Hope you enjoyed my garden surprises. Stay tuned for more. Also, don't forget to sign up for my giveaway in my last post. Here's hoping everyone finds little surprises in their gardens.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Receiving and Giving

Recently I won third place in a contest over at Pigeon Has Pants. If you haven't visited here before be sure to check out the site. It's really cute and full of great photos. It was a caption contest where a picture was posted and you had to give it a caption. Well I entered never thinking I would win but sure enough I won 3rd place. How exciting is that? This is what I won.....It's a beautiful heart shaped prism. When the sun shines on it little flecks of light dance around the room. I don't have to tell you how great it is to receive gifts like this. So, I want to pass the fun onto some one else. Here's what you can win......................A great guide to butterflies and moths. This little guide is filled with many different photos and information for anyone interested in identification. I like it so much I would like to keep it for myself. But as stated before I want to pass along the fun. All you have to do to be eligible for this giveaway is have an active blog and leave a message on this post by 2/13/09, 10:00 p.m. central time. A winner will be announced sometime on 2/14/09.

Also I want to let you know another giveaway is going on at Quill Cottage. You might want to go over and check that one out as well. Sandy is quite talented at crafting and her creations are amazing! Good luck!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Seed Inventory/Planting Part III

I finished off my last post showing what I was going to plant in and now this is the third and final phase of my seed planting. A few years ago my sweet hubbie gave me a wonderful birthday present that I had never used. In fact, it had never even been brought out of the box and assembled. So, guess what it was !Is this a great birthday present for a gardener or what? I never used it because I didin't really have any place to put it, that is until now.As soon as I got this assembled I placed it on the south side of my house. I got out my seed trays and filled them with this wonderful medium.This is the packaged mix I used. It's the same stuff that you can use for the peat pots. Here's the little assembled trays just waiting for the seeds.As you can see I made a little "well" in the center of each section and then placed the seeds in them. Some of the seeds were tiny so a few went into each section. When the seedlings sprout I'll have to cut back the weakest looking ones in order to get one good seedling.The last thing I did was water them in good and check for appropriate drainage. I poured off the excess and placed them in the greenhouse. Now for the last step, keep fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Seed Inventory/Planting Part II

In my last post I showed you my collection of seeds and my list of what I was going to plant. Today I want to show you what I will be planting them in.I love to recycle and this is a great way to do it. Introducing my seed trays. Ingenuous? Not hardly. Economical? You betcha! This is a nice, easy and inexpensive way to grow seeds(or at least I think so). All you have to do is cut the lid off the carton and that becomes your tray. Punch some holes in each section, sit the carton in the lid and wal-la! You have your seed tray.The next thing I did was turn the lid over and line off 12 squares. Then I wrote on each square what seed I would plant. Pretty easy so far. Now one last word of caution. The last time I planted seeds in an egg carton I had some mold that started appearing in the soil. I figured out there wasn't enough drainage. So to prevent this from happening this time I decided to do this.Hopefully the rocks will keep the seed tray from sitting in too much water. So, there's phase two of my planting. My next post will show(hopefully) the completed process.

Now I have to show you what I stumbled upon yesterday. I had to run into Dollar General(love that store) and look what I found!I thought they were the cutest little planters. I could easily see them hanging on my drab looking fence. And guess what? They only cost 2.00 each! They said, "Susie, take us home!" So what else could I do? They also came in a pale blue color too. They look so springy and cheerful! I couldn't refuse. Now I'll just have to figure out what to plant in them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seed Inventory, Part I

With time on my hands I decided to go thru my seed collection and figure out what I wanted to plant. My aunt who lives in AR has sent me all types of seed.Most of the seed did come from AR with the exception of some I brought from my flower beds in GA. I may have cut a seed head or two from work as well. The seeds I'm going to plant (more/less) are:

Purple Coneflower
White Swan Coneflower
Shasta Daisy
Globe Thistle
Perennial Hibiscus-White w/maroon center and a dark rosy red
Blackberry lily
Butterfly weed
Money plant

Money plant? Who said money doesn't grow on trees? For those who don't know this plant here's a picture from the internet. This plant is unique in that the first or second year it flowers and the next year it produces these neat little seed pods that look like silver dollars.Stay tuned for my next post to see the second stage of planting.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Plants

Recently I was conversing with one of my co-workers about globe thistle. I told him I would like to try this plant but I have been having trouble finding it. Evidently not too many nurseries stock it, including the one I work at. Anyway he said he had seed and asked if I wanted some. Yippee! For those who may not be familiar with it here's a photo.

(Courtesy of the internet)

The bloom looks similar to an Allium but it has a bushy growth habit. It can grow up to 36" T and grows in full sun/partial shade. When I went by to pick up my seed he gave me two other plants that I haven't grown before. He started these by seed recently.

The one on the left is Armenian Basket Flower(Centaurea macrocephala). It grows up to 4' T, prefers full sun, and blooms in June/July. This is what it looks like(courtesy of the internet)....Then the plant on the above right is Borage(Borago officinalis). It is considered an herb. It has many uses, actually too many to list but one I did find interesting. If planted near tomatoes it can improved their flavor. That's a great asset. It grows best in full sun and gets to 18" T and 12" W. Hopefully this is what it will grow up to look like.Wish me luck with growing these since I have no experience with any of them. If any of you have grown them before I would love some input. Thanks!