Category Archives: Arkansas

New Green Tomatoes!

QuartoKnows

I’m hoping we’ll be like this cute little boy soon, picking fresh, ripe tomatoes off the vines to slice for a meal!

 

It’s kind of like treasure hunting now. You don’t see the tomatoes until you get up close, and sometimes you have to search a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

I worked out in the square foot garden for about an hour yesterday, trying to undo the neglect due to too much rain, then my husband’s cataract surgeries, and then the new puppy. I’m basically down to tomatoes, onions, two kinds of lettuce, some spinach, some celery, and one spaghetti squash plant I grew from seed in the kitchen. I’ll try to get pics of the garden tomorrow. I’ve been using a push weed-whacker, trying to go around the outside of the garden today. It’s hard work for an old lady. I ran into a tough something-or-other, snapping off the whacking cords. My good husband put some new ones on, so when the sun is a bit lower, I’ll do another hitch out there.

I hope your day is good.

 

 

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Filed under Gardening, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Arkansas, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Top Notch Care

“Happy Heart” – Pinterest

My husband and I have been super lucky to live in a place and time when we can get such good health care. We live in Greenwood, Arkansas. We are older than dirt and are covered by Humana.

If you’re in the area, an absolutely wonderful family physician is Charles Jackson, M.D. at Bailey Clinic in Greenwood, a member of the Cooper Clinic/Mercy Hospital network.  We don’t like doctors as a rule, but we both feel we won the lottery when we found him. He takes good care of us.

When I developed cataracts in 2009, Dr. Jackson recommended I go to Dr. Christopher Greer, D.O. at the Cooper Center for Better Vision in Fort Smith, AR.  He removed my cataracts and I was very happy. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Greer personally called me the night of my first surgery, asking how I was and telling he would see me the next morning. He did this with the 2nd eye, as well.

My husband needed cataract surgery recently. We of course wanted Dr. Greer. My husband’s 2nd surgery was on the 16th, and he reports his vision is improving daily. Again, Dr. Greer called the night of the surgeries to be sure my husband was doing well. We cannot recommend Dr. Greer, and his partner, Dr. Renner, highly enough.

Our surgeries were performed at the Outpatient Clinic at Mercy Hospital. The whole surgical staff provides an orderly, competent, and compassionate experience. We were amazed to receive a Thank You card from the surgical staff, signed by all the people involved with us! We’re sending one back to THEM tomorrow, saying, “It is WE who should be thanking YOU. Thank you so much for your competent, compassionate care.”

We’re lucky that there has been so much progress in medicine since we were born. The things we have had are now treated routinely with so much less recovery time than ever before.

We are very grateful, indeed.

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Encouragement, kindness, opportunities, taking care of yourself

Meet “Sedona”

I told you awhile back that we lost one of our three Rio Samba rose bushes. We went to the local nursery to get a replacement to find that of the 15 plants they had gotten in, none was left. We walked around the variety they had, both deciding we liked this one. It’s called, “Sedona.”

 

It started its first bloom today, the buds opening quickly this morning. It’s a nice contrast to the yellow and coral Rio Samba and we hope it’s happy with us.

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Harvest May 8, 2017

Families Online

Cold temperatures and nearly torrential rains for over a week followed by intense sunshine wreaked havoc in my square foot garden. I spent an hour weeding, pruning, and harvesting today, and another hour cleaning up what I harvested. I’ll probably do one more session out there before the day is gone.

Just at the wrong time for the broccoli and cauliflower. I found a bit of harvest-able broccoli, but the cauliflower was granular-looking and dry. The rest of the main broccoli plants had bolted, so I had to cut those off and hope for some more shoots off the main plants.

 

The romaine lettuce really surged, showing me that next time I plant this, I’ll only have one plant per square. When they touch another plant, the outside leaves get yucky and croak. I have a lot of pruning to do to get these plants happy again.

The spinach went nuts, as well. I harvested a bunch today, cleaned it, and froze it.

The red leaf lettuce plants look like small BUSHES now. I’ll tackle them tomorrow. I harvested the rest of the radishes and will start another two squares of seeds soon.

I’ll need to try to either get up earlier and get right out to the garden, or plan to work out there right before sundown. The sun is really intense and this old lady gets more than enough in an hour’s time.

I feel bad when the garden isn’t at its best. It’ll probably take another day or two before it is under control again. My goal will be to have it done, plus the weed whacking of the yard finished, before the rain comes again Thursday.

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

2nd Annual Greenwood AR ArtFest on the Walking Trail

Greenwood ArtFest

 

After running some errands yesterday, my husband and I took a few minutes to see the 2nd Annual Greenwood ArtFest. It was on the walking trail, part of which goes behind two bank, the court-house, some restaurants, and more on the south side of the square.

The city has created a walking trail that now goes almost all the way around the main part of the city. Not only are there nice sidewalks, there are benches every so often so you can stop and rest. There are trees, birds, squirrels, and flowers, too, so it’s a nice feast for the eyes as well as a great place to get good exercise.

There were lots of artists. Each had a tent and displayed their artwork. The only thing that could have been better was that the wind might not have been quite so energetic.

I saw several artist friends.  I got to hug necks and visit a bit. My husband and I enjoyed the variety of artwork being displayed. Some teenagers were working on string art, and had some for sale. There were several artists displaying original paintings. There were artists who made jewelry. Some were showing prints of their work. One artist specialized in leather and wood. One lady did 3-D carvings in horizontal cuts of  tree wood, with the ring of the tree being the ‘frame.’ One of my friends was showing some of her hand-painted gourds, some decorated bottles, her original Fort Smith AR Civil War paintings, and more.

I was delighted to see so many talented folks in one place.

I’m going to see if I can make some small  ‘people and critters’  out of screws, nuts, bolts, and small scraps – with the idea that I might participate next year. I’m excited to dive in and see what I can come up with! :0)

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Greenwood

Tomatoes 5/5/2017

Since the rains came and the sun started shining, the tomatoes have really grown. I spent some time today tying up branches, trying to get them to climb the trellises my husband made. This is the smaller tomato plant in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch and behind the house.

 

This is the larger of the two nook tomato plants, planted about two weeks before the smaller one.

 

Here are the two together.

 

We have six more tomato plants in the brick planter we also converted to square foot garden plants, with Mel’s Mix. We bought these at three different times, again trying to expand the season and spread out when the tomatoes ripen a bit.

 

You can really see the difference between the plants here.

Finally, I just planted two grape tomato plants in the main garden a week or so ago. I’ll take pics of those when I start repairing what the rains did to the plants out there tomorrow.

My mouth is already watering! I saw some sweet yellow blooms here and there today…

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Sunshine!

HD Walpapers Rocks

The sun has come out to play today! Wheeeeeee! We had almost forgotten what the sun looked like here in Arkansas. Some of our counties have received over 1 FOOT of rain in the last couple of weeks.  Thankfully, though we are susceptible to hail, high wind, and tornadoes, floods are not a problem on top of our ridge line.

Now that our errands are finished for the day, I’m looking forward to getting out to our garden. The raised bed garden with Mel’s Mix is designed to drain well, but with so MUCH water, cool temperatures, and almost no sunshine, I’ll probably be spending several days working out there to get the plants happy again.

I’ll take pics when I see what’s what.

In the meantime, I wish YOU a nice, sunshiny day, too!

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

The First Hummingbird is Spotted Today!

All About Birds

This isn’t THE hummingbird we saw this morning, but it is the kind we see most often around here – A ‘Rufous,’ I believe it’s called.

We were eating breakfast when the sweet hummer came in for a quick drink. He was gone so fast my husband didn’t get a chance to see him.  It was only 56 degrees F. at the time, so he wasn’t even thinking of playing in our new hummingbird bird bath, but I hope he at least looked at it and will consider it the next time he comes.

My friend, Carla, assured me that hummingbirds weren’t due here until the 14th, so obviously this little guy didn’t get the memo. I’m glad we had fresh nectar for him so he could tank up.

Have you seen hummingbirds yet? Do you think they actually will enjoy a birdbath, or was someone just playing with us when we saw a picture of a gazillion of them playing in the water on Facebook?

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Tornado Warnings Expired

science – HowStuffWorks

We’ve had a very interesting late evening here in Greenwood, Arkansas.  We were watching TV and our weather alert started making all kinds of noise in the office. I discovered we were under a tornado warning – not watch – until 11:58 pm.

I’ve told you before that my husband and I are complete opposites. I tend to get nervous when ‘tornado warning,’ ‘Fort Smith,’ and ‘Greenwood’ are all mentioned at the same time by the weather alert thingie. My husband scoffs and wants to go outside on the deck and watch the storm come in. We’ve learned to compromise over the years. I try not to freak out. He tries not to make fun of me. We take care of our animals and listen to the local TV station and stay alert until the danger – or at least most of it – passes.

The warnings have been cancelled. Whew. We had lots of lightning. We haven’t had any rain yet, but I expect a lot of it over night. The TV guys were talking about two areas of rotation reasonably close to us. One seemed to touch down in a rural area in southeastern Oklahoma, right over the state line from us. It was moving in a northeast direction, and the cone of possible travel seemed to skirt past us to the west. Then they added rotation in the Fort Smith area. I don’t think anything happened in Fort Smith, other than hail. That was happening in Oklahoma, too. In fact, they showed a piece of hail that had a measuring tape beside it – measuring 4 inches long!

We’re still under a flash flood warning through Sunday, with 5 to 8 inches of rain forecast by Sunday. That’s a LOT of rain. We have several rivers and creeks that go through the area, and a lot of those won’t crest until Monday or so.

We’ll just keep all appendages crossed that everyone comes through this weekend all right.

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Rain, Rain…

Izismile.com

 

Friday: Potentially severe storms along the warm front after dark; Hail primary threat; tornadoes possible.

WEATHER ALERT DAY SATURDAYExtensive Flash Flooding 5-8″ of rain likely.

Sunday: Rain ends, cooler. River flooding remains possible.

_________

SO – we may need a boat before this is over. We live on top of a ridge line, so we don’t have to worry about flooding in the house or the shop. We may have a lot of flooding in Greenwood and Fort Smith, though, with Arkansas River flooding, plus flooding from lots of other smaller rivers throughout the state. Spring is usually rainy, but this is a little much.  Our biggest danger up here is tornadoes. I’ve lived in Oklahoma and Arkansas (aka ‘Tornado Alley’) for most of my life and I’ve never actually seen a tornado. I’ll be delighted if this remains true the rest of my life.

The saddest thing is that the worst day for the rain is supposed to be tomorrow, when the 30th annual car show is scheduled on Greenwood’s square. It’s a fun event, with lots of people coming from all around to show the great work they’ve done on their cars, with some of the cars from the 1920s. They provide a fun day for lots of people, and then give a check to the city to use for community projects. I’m hoping that either the forecasters have misread their maps, or that the car show can be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, all has been planted and will appreciate the rain (I hope!) I’m a bit worried that my garden plants will get hailed on again. All appendages crossed that we’ll ONLY get the rain…

 

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Flowers – Part II

I showed you pictures of the new plants I planted on our deck. I took some pics a couple of days ago of the flowers I just planted in the rest of the yard, plus a couple of others I wanted to share with you. The planting is all finished now, with the exception of nestling some hummingbird flowers seedlings into the deck pots –

My husband’s clematis. This year they’re really giving us a nice show.

 

On one side of the front portch, we have fuchsia impatiens,  neon orange impatiens, phlox, and some iris. We have an evergreen bush on the other side of the porch in the same kind of tall planter, the fuchsia impatiens, some phlox, etc.

 

I did this mosaic gazing ball a couple of years ago. This pot is on one side of our driveway. I planted some periwinkles around the edge of the pot.

 

One of four gerbera daisies.

 

Lavender stripy petunias.

 

‘violas’ or what I call bright happy pansy type flowers.

 

Periwinkles in our emu planters, plus phlox and periwinkles in the pot at the bottom of the pic.

 

This pot is on the other side of the driveway from the one above.

 

The ‘thing’ at the top of this pic is an old computer. The birds like to build nests inside. The flowers are fuchsia purslane/yubi/portalaca, and then we have phlox and periwinkles in the square planter.

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Deck Flowers are Almost Finished

Yesterday I planted the rest of the flowers on the deck and around the yard. It’s a good thing I pushed myself to get them in because, as predicted, it started storming overnight. It’s still really rainy-looking and dark outside, and more rain is forecast.

We love geraniums, and my husband likes the red ones best. We have two of these on the deck now.

 

Here you see two of the four pots of mandevilla, the hummingbird bird bath, and a pot with two colors of petunias.

 

More  petunias, plus our metal flower in the background.

 

Petunias surround our emu planter, shovel bird feeder, and our ‘party animal’ penguin.

 

 

Petunias, geranium, and nice view.

I have some small pots of hummingbird flower seeds growing on the dining table. If they live, I’ll transplant them in several bunches out on the deck, nestled in with the other flowers to welcome the hummingbirds.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Tomatoes

Home-grown sliced tomatoes are one of our favorite things. Each year the only thing my husband is excited about is planting tomatoes. He hounds me from WAAAAAY before we should be planting them until every space for tomatoes is planted.  Last year the two plants in what we call ‘the nook’ beside the porch and behind the house got SO big that a big storm broke them off in the middle and folded them over into the yard. They never recovered. We still got some tomatoes, but the tomato orgy was over.

My husband built some stakes for the tomatoes in the nook this year. These blue stakes are about 6 feet high and made of metal. They are sunk to the bottom of the front of the planter and then lean against the brick wall behind. They’re super sturdy. I’m worried, though, that the metal will get hot and burn the plants. We’ll see.  The picture above is the plant we planted three weeks after the other one in the planter, hoping to extend our tomato season as long as possible.

 

Here is the other plant in the nook. It’s much larger and both have yellow blossoms already!

 

This is the other tomato planter. It has been converted from a flower planter to a square-foot garden planter. We have fairly sturdy tomato cages that stick down to the bottom of the planter. I planted the six plants at three different times, hoping for the best. They have really grown this past week. They weren’t even touching the cages last week.

Yesterday I found two grape tomato plants at one of the stores in town. I throw these into salads, eat them with carrots, celery and dip, and love the way they give color to whatever you’re eating. I HOPE they’re happy in the garden.

As soon as the rains quit, I’ll go out and see if I can tie the plants up carefully to give them as much support as possible. We’ve been having heavy rains, lots of wind, some hail, and flying hair balls lately. I’m trying to be thankful for every drop, but I hope all this doesn’t batter my poor little plants…

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Outside – Days 2 and 3 of 3

APA-Sick Child

A couple of days ago I told you I was going to use the 3 days of sunshine we had to finish planting the flowers around the yard.

Day 1/of 3 was productive.

Day 2/of 3 we bought a bunch of flowers and two grape tomato plants. Before we went to do errands and buy the plants, I wasn’t feeling up to par. By the time I got home, I was feeling BAD. Something I had eaten didn’t agree with me. I ended up asleep under my throw in the recliner most of the day.

Today is Day 3/of 3 – and it’s been a good one. I’m feeling 90% back up to par.

 

Shutterstock.com

I just came in from getting all of the planting finished. It took me several sessions, but things are good now.

I planted

  • 4 yubi/purslane/portulaca plants
  • 4 gerbera daisies
  • 2 geraniums
  • 1 whole flat of petunias
  • 1 whole flat of periwinkles
  • 2 grape tomato plants in the garden

It’s almost 2:30 now – time I fixed lunch and I’ll continue to rest and re-hydrate.  Then I’ll go out and take some pictures to share with you.

This is why I’ve had to hurry to get the plants in. I’m trying to be thankful for every drop.

 

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Garden Images – April, 2017

I’ve just come in from a little over an hour of weeding and pruning in the garden. The pictures here were taken BEFORE I did that, ad I’m cringing a bit that you can see some little weeds and leaves that need to be removed, etc., but I wanted to share my delight in how well things seem to be doing now.

I actually have little bitty heads of broccoli coming on!

 

This is a terrible picture, but I have TWO cauliflower heads showing!

 

This is the largest celery plant, though I have several others. No clue yet whether I’ll actually get a stalk or not. (See what I mean about the little weeds? Most of them are gone now.

 

These are Georgia Sweet Onions. They seem to be happy now, rebounding from the hail storm.

 

This is one of two squares of radishes.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started from seed in the house.

 

And spinach. I was so delighted to find plants for sale this year at the local co-op. I hope that I thanked the guy effusively enough that he’ll try to get them again and again. I can’t be the only person looking for them and wanting to grow it.

I mainly cut up spinach for salads, or put the leaves in the rare sandwiches we eat now. I’m going to try to actually cook the leaves this year. It might be a thing where we love the stuff in the can, but the actually fresh leaves taste like a completely ‘different animal.’

Does anyone have directions for how best to cook fresh spinach leaves?

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

1st Real Harvest of the Year – 2017/04/23

After the hail storm, I cut off lots of broken leaves. We had good eating from the sweet, broken plants, but it was sad to see everything so battered. Today, things have rebounded and I got our first real harvest of the year. I could have harvested much more, but I’d like to ‘eat our way through the garden,’ if possible this year.  These were the largest of the radishes so far.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

Romaine lettuce

 

Spinach.

My husband came in just as I was finishing washing everything. He said he’s looking forward to a big salad with our grilled steaks tonight!

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

The Sun is Shining!

After several cool days and rain, the sun is shining! HOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!

We have what looks like a three-day opportunity to spend time outside before four more days of cool and rain this week.

It’s been SO cool and rainy, I haven’t checked on our garden in several days. I’ll do that today. I’m hoping there will be some good things to harvest. If so, I’ll post pictures later.

I have flower planters to clean out, weed whacking to do, and planters to get ready for new plants. We’re hoping to go to the local nursery tomorrow for a flat of periwinkles, several purslane plants, some geraniums, and maybe a flat of gerbera daisies – one of my very favorite flowers – if they still have flats for sale.

To celebrate having such a nice day today, my husband suggested that we get steaks to grill on the deck tonight. We always turn on the rope LED lights while we’re out there, and we can listen to our wind chimes on the porch and the new hummingbird bird bath waterfall while we sit, enjoying the evening and each other.

The errands are done for the day. I’ll finish my coffee and head outside to see how our garden is faring.

I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous Sunday, too!

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Playing in the Rain

In Lieu of Preschool

 

The 80% chance of rain started in early this morning, with dark clouds, wind, rain, and an almost 20 degree drop in temperatures. It only sprinkled on us as my husband and I got the mail, enjoyed our friends at Lunch Bunch, and did a few errands before coming home and starting a comfort beef stew in the crock pot for tonight.

The rain came again as we were settling in. Perfect timing! The forecasters are saying we could get 3 to 5 inches of rain by noon or so tomorrow. We may need a boat! Usually, when we have a good, wet spring, we have a long period of NO rain for a couple of months of the summer, so I’m enjoying every drop we’re getting now.

My husband has come up with a new project –

He ordered a Blu-Ray DVD reader we received today. He wants it to read his collection of DVDs, storing each movie in a special storage drive.  When each has been stored, we’ll sell the DVD. This will eventually free up a lot of our shelving in our entertainment center. He’s started moving stuff around in the office as I type. This rainy day is a good time to get started on the project. I hope he’s happy with the results. My part in this is to add to his spreadsheet of his movies, listing main actor/actress, plus a short synopsis of the movie.

I hope that you have a fun day planned. Stay dry, my friends.

 

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New Plants!

Yesterday I told you I spent the afternoon and early evening planting new plants, mostly on the deck.

We have two of these pretty burgundy wave petunias.

 

 

 

We have these impatiens planted on both sides of the front door.

 

These are electric orange wave petunias. I planted two of these in the planter to the left of the front porch.

 

 

I brought these blue iris in yesterday, since we’re supposed to have lots of rain and possibly severe weather today, tomorrow, and into Saturday.

 

This is the new ground cover I planted in the trio of brick planters between the driveway and the front yard.

 

A pretty purple wave petunia. We have two of these on the deck.

 

This rose is called “Sedona.” We liked the color of the roses a lot, and thought it would be a nice addition to the Rio Samba rose bushes.

 

 

We have two white wave petunia plants on the deck. We’re hoping all of these will spill over the sides of the planters.

 

And, finally, this is the official hummer welcome area. We have two feeders out right now, plus the bird bath. My friend, Carla, told me the hummers are due around the 12th. I’m hoping for sooner…

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Playing in the Dirt

learningandyearning.com

I’ve decided that, for the past week, I’ve been paying for ‘SOMETHING’ I did wrong – first, the wisdom tooth that needed to be extracted, and just as I’m almost over that, a really bad earache kept me up all night. I tried the heat pad, but that didn’t work. I tried some ear drops, and they didn’t work. I got up at 4:30, found some Sweet Oil and some Advil, got under my comforter in my recliner and read,holding the heat pad to my ear until I was sleepy enough to drop off. My husband came down to find me this morning, still asleep, light on, book and glasses on my chest.

The pain is mostly gone now – I think.

This morning was a really good time for us to test the new-to-us riding lawn mower we bought recently. When we tried it the first time, we found a tire was flat. After testing it carefully, we discovered it had cracks in the sides, so we ordered another one. The second test it ran a little bit, and then stopped. We discovered the clutch wheel was completely sheared off on one side and the gas tank was leaking. We ordered both of those.My husband put those in yesterday. My husband also filled another tire that was flat yesterday. When we checked it this morning, it was still good! We had a little bit of trouble starting it, but we finally did. My husband went around and around and then pointed to me.

YouTube – (ours isn’t NEAR as shiny as this one.)

I’m always intimidated by new stuff. I’m afraid it will bolt, or I’ll do something stupid. I got on, it bolted, but my husband showed me how to slow it down. I mowed the rest of the front lawn and the back, gritting my teeth most of the way. It doesn’t turn quickly, so we’re adapting to that. Our weeds were really high and the mower wasn’t too happy with that, but the yard now looks as if someone cared, sometime. At the end of my turn I came too close to the tarp we have over a pallet of potting soil. The tarp was quickly taken into the blades of the mower. :0(  My husband had to cut it out. Thank goodness, it all came out and things were fine again.

We’re planning to mow again with the level lower after the rains come and go this week and the yard has a chance to dry again. We need to order a starter solenoid now, so it will start more easily, and a new muffler would be nice. Since the model we have is selling at WalMart for $1900+, and we got ours for $400, having to replace some things doesn’t seem that bad.

We rested a bit and then piled into the truck to go to Sharum’s, our local nursery again. Today we bought a replacement rose bush for the Rio Samba that died. This is something completely different. I’ll take pics when we get it planted.

We also bought 7 Wave Petunia plants for the deck. We got purple, burgundy, red, and white. We also brought some plant that has glow-in-the-dark bright neon orange flowers I HAVE to put somewhere. We got two large pots of impatiens for the front porch. I’m going to rest a bit and then get out and get planting! I love this time of year!

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Sharing

The West Australian

Yesterday when our good friend came over to get some help with a toy she had bought for her grandson, I had the wonderful pleasure of filling her hands with some things we had grown when she left.

I gave her a bright yellow iris, a pretty blue iris, and then some goodies from our garden – spinach, romaine lettuce, and red leaf lettuce.

The damage from the hailstorm is gone. We actually found some very small heads of broccoli in the garden! No actual veggies on the cauliflower plants yet. The radishes will be ready to harvest soon. I have one spaghetti squash plant that’s looking good, at least healthy leaf-wise. The onions are progressing. The tomato plants are all looking good.

One of the distinct joys of gardening is sharing with friends. Carla said she was going right home and fixing a salad. :0)

Life is great!

 

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Our Garden is Recovering!

Natural New Age Mum- Little Miss from Gardening for Kids

Not long ago I posted pics of our garden, battered by a hail storm and eaten by ‘someone’ other than us. Happily, the garden seems to be rebounding! We’ve still had too much rain for me to start really trying to combat the insects, but I cut off and cleaned things out, bringing in what was good to eat and composting the rest.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday of the garden –

These are the tomato plants in what we call “the nook” – a planter we built beside the back porch behind the easternmost part of the house. The plants are more protected here from the gusty winds we get, so sometimes, these are the only tomato plants that do well. My husband built some super-sturdy things to which we’ll tie the plants as they grow, since the medium grade tomato cages collapsed with the weight of the plants last year.

 

The is the brick planter to the east of the house that we also converted to be a square foot planter. We now have six tomato plants, planted at three different times, hopefully to expand our tomato eating season.

These are newly transplanted celery plants. I cut the bottoms off celery bought at the store, plopped the bottoms in glasses of water, and put them on the window sill.

These are older celery plants. I have no clue if I’ll actually get celery to eat, but I’m sure having fun trying.

This is the largest spaghetti squash plant, also grown from seed from one I bought and put in soil in a pot on the window sill. Again, who knows if anything will come of it, but I’m like a kid at Christmas…

The romaine lettuce and spinach have rebounded. We’re still enjoying the harvest of broken leaves I gathered after the hailstorm, but the plants seem happy now.

The broccoli and cauliflower plants look pretty good. I don’t know if I’ll actually get much from them. Last year I had good-looking plants, but not much actual broccoli and cauliflower to harvest.

It has lightened up outside now, but the wind is really whipping our tree branches around. The forecast is for scattered showers (80% chance) the rest of the day today and into tomorrow, so I won’t be outside again, probably, until Tuesday, when I hope to get more flowers!

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

A Productive Day

We built 3 brick planters to divide the driveway area from the front yard. (Seeing this, you can see what my first job with the power washer will be this year…)

We went to our local nursery because I saw some ground cover that had little blue flowers on it that was gorgeous. I called, and they said they had it! When we got there, though, they only had one, and it was in the same family of ground covers, but wasn’t what we wanted. The lady guided us to another area where they had lots of ground covers. We found Bugleweed, Chocolate Chip. I bought six plants, two for each of the planters. I’m hoping that they will spread, covering as much space as they can in the planters. They have tiny blue flowers with evergreen foliage. When they finish blooming, you just cut off the blooms and the foliage looks good all year round. They’re perennial, too!

 

I spent all afternoon yesterday pulling out huge, lacey-looking vine-y weeds with really sticky, small pods on them. They stuck to my gloves. I then pruned everything so that I could see where I could plant the new ground cover plants. My husband dug out a Rio Samba Rose bush that died. You can see the disturbed dirt area on the right end of the planter. They had already sold the 15 Rio Samba Rose bushes they had, so we’ll look for something else that’s wonderful. (We still have two healthy Rio Samba bushes.)

 

In the center of this picture you can see one of the new Bugleweed plants. You can see the slightly lavender flowers sticking up from the nice dark green foliage. I’m hoping these will be really happy, spreading more each year, so I can just dot some colorful annuals around each year.

We also got four mandevilla plants for the deck. Plants go really quickly here, so my husband said he was afraid these would be gone if we didn’t go ahead and get them. We still hadn’t gotten the old roots out of the planters from last year, so my husband said he would get them out while I worked in the brick planters in the front.

 

We got all red mandevilla this year. Usually we get two different colors, but we’re hoping having four red ones will invite the hummers to come check them out.

 

We have two mandevillas on either side of the deck.

Since it’s wet and rainy today, we can enjoy the feeling of a day well spent yesterday while enjoying glorious peace and quiet – a good day to enjoy a book.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

A Glorious Day

As I walked around the yard a few minutes ago, three of our four furry friends walked with me. (Bambi was inside asleep on his bed.) This is Abby.

 

Our hummingbird bird bath came on automatically as it should this morning with NO LEAKS! Hooray!!!!!!!

 

Camellias are starting to bloom.

 

This is Molly.

 

Rio Samba Rose Bush

 

Smoke and a hydrangea plant.

 

We’re enjoying clumps of blooms like this all around the yard and down one side of the driveway. I had hoped that the dark purple iris and the pale yellow iris would bloom at the same time, but the purple iris is gone before the yellow iris starts to bud.

 

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I Love Iris!

Awhile back I posted some pictures of a glorious new bright yellow iris we got from Nanna’s Garden in Charleston, Arkansas. I love this time of the year because we’re rich in iris! The deep purple iris is pretty well gone, only to be replaced by pale yellow iris and this lavender color.

 

My husband insists these are WHITE. Then, when we talk about it, he says these are white compared to the bright yellow new ones we have…

 

This is a nice blue iris blooming in the iris bed we made for the new ones from Nanna’s Garden.

 

This is the planter for the new iris. My plan is to thin these out, this year or next, to eventually have these all over the yard.

 

These are more of the bright yellow ones, plus some yellow with rust colored centers, plus a peek at some medium purple ones in the center of the picture.

 

These pale yellow iris are all over the yard now. We had so many at one point that, after no one wanted iris, I simply threw down the hill off the edge of the civilized part of the yard. To my amazement, many of them grew!

 

These are the ones I threw off the edge of the part of the yard we mow. (Molly is checking out a lizard as I took this picture.)

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First Spring Harvest – 2017

I spent another couple of hours getting the garden under control, and things are looking a lot better now. I cut off dead stuff, harvested some  broken stuff and leaves that were torn or had bites out of them,  but would still be good to eat. I washed everything carefully in the sink and then patted the leaves. I harvested two gallon bags of lettuce and two of spinach. This is the lettuce I harvested today. It’s mostly romaine.

 

And this is the spinach. I hoping that the roots are good and strong and that the fact I had to harvest way more than I would have normally won’t hurt the plants.  I got a pretty good workout with the 3-1/2 hours of gardening today, and I feel good that I managed to save a lot of what I had to remove from the plants for us to enjoy.

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, exercise, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

My Plants are Insulted

No Time for Flash Cards

My poor garden veggies have been/are under triple assault: hail, bugs, and weeds. I just came in from a session of weeding, cutting off broken limbs, harvesting some of the broken/hole-y stuff, pitching the rest. It looks like it will take several sessions to get my plants happy again.

We’ve had a lot of rain (with hail and other severe stuff), then good sun, resulting in all of the problems. I do pretty well for an hour out there, particularly with our new raised beds,  but I think it will take three or four more sessions to catch up. And THEN, guess what! We have more rain forecast for four days next week…

 

 

When you first glance at things, it doesn’t look very  bad.

 

 

The closer you get, though, the more you see.

Here you see a BUNCH of broken tops on the onions. This doesn’t matter as much on onions as it does on other plants.

The spinach has broken leaves, and someone is trying to eat the spinach before we do. I harvested a BUNCH of  broken leaves that will still make good eating, but not ‘pretty.’

This is one of the spaghetti squash plants. You can see the holes in the leaves. I don’t know if that will kill the actual squash trying to grow or not.

The romaine lettuce is basically really healthy, but you can see  broken and/or eaten leaves, plus little bitty weeds that have sprung up in the last couple of days.

Red lettuce leaf isn’t really a ‘pretty’ plant to my eye, but it tastes good IF it doesn’t get beaten down by hail and eaten by bugs…

The celery plants are still alive and kicking! You can again see the teeny tiny weeds, though.

I’ll try to get back out several times today and again tomorrow. The rains aren’t supposed to start until late tomorrow night – and hopefully, we won’t have hail this time…

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Small Setback

Clover Gazette – WordPress.com

We had hail in at least a couple of the thunderstorms a couple of nights ago. The day following was too wet and cold to play out in the garden, so I didn’t bet back to it until yesterday.

The hail did a number on my tender veggie plants. :0(

Many of the leaves on the lettuces and spinach are broken off. I’m going to spend some time this afternoon finishing weeding, but also harvesting some of the sweet, broken leaves. I’m hoping that the roots are still robust and that improving weather will bring them back to full health in a few days or a week.

Fingers crossed.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Trip Around the Yard

My husband has three clematis plants he’s trying to nurture. This year they seem to be happy. Were walking around the yard this morning and found these.

 

Our purple iris are still blooming nicely in clumps around the yard while yellow iris are just now starting to bloom.

 

These are growing down one side of the driveway. There are a couple more ‘drifts’ further on down, but this is the main one.

 

This is one of our Rio Samba rose bushes. I cut them back harshly this past year because of various problems. I didn’t know whether they would live through my efforts or not. One of them didn’t, but two of them did.

 

 

 

And the pale yellow iris have started.

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Garden Progress

Delightful Childrens’ Books

Isn’t this little guy a cutie?

I can’t believe how much our garden has spurted with growth in just the past few days. Of course, we’ve had a lot of rain and some good sunshine, but I’m still shocked.

 

This is the north side of the garden.

 

And this is the south.

 

This gives you an idea of the whole garden (except for the tomatoes).

 

Spinach

 

This is one of the spaghetti squash I grew from seed on the window sill.

 

Romaine lettuce and spinach.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

Radishes

 

Celery plants grown from the ends cut off celery I bought at the store.

I’m really encouraged so far. I’m hoping for a good harvest this year.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Yellow Iris

This is one of the new iris we bought and planted a couple of years ago. We bought it online from a lady who specializes in growing and selling iris down the road from us in Charleston, Arkansas. Nanna’s Iris Garden

I saw it blooming this morning. It was supposed to rain all day – sometimes with thunderstorms – so I brought it into the house.

 

We have some yellow iris around the yard trying to bloom now, but my husband isn’t impressed with them. He says they’re ‘white,’ because the yellow is pale. This one, he likes! And who wouldn’t?

Happy spring, everyone!

 

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