Category Archives: Arkansas

Flower Planters Looking a Bit Better

I did two sessions of weeding in the trio of 8′ long brick planters that are between our front yard and our driveway today. I thought I would take advantage of the cooler temperature and overcast sky to do some good outside. Of course, the MINUTE I walked out there, the sun came out in full force…

I came in dripping twice, and then called it a day. I’ll try to do more tomorrow. I wanted to share some nice flowers that are blooming now, though. This is a burgundy lily. It’s all one bloom and knocks our socks off each year when it blooms.

 

This is impatiens on the front porch.

 

 

Pink phlox.

 

Deep pink phlox

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Nice Storm

Iron Man Robot

Our wind and rain yesterday evening was impressive – hard rain and gusty winds. My husband waited out the storm in the shop. Our electricity flickered twice, but came on again quickly enough that our generator wasn’t triggered.

When the rain finally let up, my husband used the opportunity to burn all the trash that had been piling up in the shop, able to finally burn it safely.

When we drove down the driveway to go to town this morning, our robot beside the driveway (over 6 feet tall, weighing 250 pounds) was leaning into the trees. When this happened the last time, he went completely off the driveway and was head down halfway down the slope of the yard. We had to use a winch and my husband’s smarts to laboriously get him into position again. At that time, we arranged for a SECOND length of chain to be attached to his neck. The original went around his neck and was around the iron gateway post you see behind him. The second one is around his neck and goes around the tree down the driveway in front of him. The two together kept him mostly upright, just leaning into the trees. We were able to easily bring him to an upright position again. It’s an impressive wind, though, that blows him over!

No other consequences from the storm, thank goodness. Everything got a really good amount of water. All the plants are saying, “Ahhhh!” as we walk around the yard.

Since it’s still a bit cooler, I’m going to use the opportunity to try to get our trio of brick flower planters that run between our front yard and our driveway under better control. I’m hoping not to get bitten and/or stung, having sprayed everything with a good bug spray last week called, “EIGHT,” that’s supposed to kill the bugs, but not harm the plants, our animals, or us.

Have a fun day!

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Tired, But Clean

Klyker

My husband and I bought two kinds of salvia, 3 six-packs of impatiens, 2 mandevilla, and 15 small pots of wave petunias at the nursery yesterday. Since our weather has been wonky – with a cooler than normal spring followed by hotter than normal summer temperatures – it’s been all I could do to try to keep up with our vegetable garden, our flower planters, and the yard.

I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get ANY of our normal choices, but we did pretty well. Then there was the prospect of getting everything planted. Yesterday I planted the two mandevilla and some of the petunias on the deck. This morning it was already in the high 80s when I started planting. I finished the deck, saving one wave petunia to go in the planter at the entrance to our shop. My husband keeps a jug of water out there so that he can water ‘his’ flowers…. :0)

Then I cleaned out Amber’s kiddie pool. I scrubbed it with the car broom, drained it a bit more than halfway, scrubbed it again, and then dumped out the rest of the water. My husband suggested that we put it on the east side of the house where it gets a bit more shade so the water would stay cooler. I got it into a reasonable spot, sprayed it out again, and then started to fill it. Amber came running around the side of the house, jumped into the filling pool, laid down in it, drank some of the water, then jumped out into the dirt, now made into mud by her dripping body. She loved it. She ran all around like a mad thing, started digging in the dirt, and then, of course, jumped into the pool with the muddy paws. She laid down again, smiled at me, bit at the sprayer hose, jumped out…. You get the picture. The water isn’t pristine, but it’s much better than it was, the pool has been moved to a better spot now, and the dog is ecstatic. Mission accomplished.

I then used another hose to clean up the deck where I had made a mess planting. I used the “less is more” philosophy this time, emptying 4 big pots I usually fill with flowers. We have really nice, bright burgundy wave petunias and mandevillas on the deck now – making a nice spot to sit outside – assuming this abnormally hot weather tames down for a bit before we officially get into the too-hot-to-sit-outside part of the summer.

I took time while the pool was filling to move the nice Joseph’s Coat climbing rose-bush my friend Kay gave me for my birthday in March to a sunnier spot where I think it will be happier.

That’s it for the day on working outside, until this evening before the sun goes down, when I plan to mix up batches of ‘ant-to-elephant’ bug spray that I can use on my veggie garden. I plan to hose everything down, use a stronger spray for the ant hill I discovered, wait a day or so, and then see how things are out there. I still have pink areas up and down my arms from the angry ants that bit/stung me for disrupting their ‘homes’ as I pulled up cool weather plants, but the swelling and itching are finally mostly contained, thank goodness.  I’ve just come down from taking a long shower and putting on clean clothes. Ahhhh!

I hope that you have fun playing in the dirt at your house, too.

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

Romaine Harvest and Yard Work

All of my romaine lettuce plants are bolting in the heat. That means that the plants which used to be fat and lush, suddenly shoot up into the air, looking like miniature trees. I tasted some of the leaves on the ‘trees’ and they tasted fine, so I cut off all the bolting parts of the plants, harvested the leaves and brought them in.

I couldn’t know less about what I’m doing, but the rest of each plant still looked pretty good, so I’m hoping there are good leaves to harvest later. Time will tell.

I brought in a big basket of the best leaves, dumped them into the sink so I could get them clean, and then stored them in gallon bags and put them in the fridge. We’ll have some in our salad with dinner this evening.

The sun is so hot I was really shot when I brought the leaves in. I let them soak in the sink while I rested and gulped water. I cooled off and then washed and stored the leaves, then rested again!

I just came in from scrubbing and refilling Amber’s pool. I use my husband’s car washing broom. It works just fine to clean without hurting the plastic of the pool. I loosen everything, drain about half the water out, then use the broom again, then dump the rest of the water out. Then I spray the pool out and leave the hose in the pool, held down by two bricks, to fill it.

When it was about half full, Amber came bounding around the house, looked at me, and then jumped right into the pool. She walked around, drank some of the water, then laid down full length in the water. I could almost hear her say, “Ahhhh!” as she gave me a very satisfied look. She got out, shook water all over me, then started barking at the hose. When I laughed, she jumped into the pool again and luxuriated some more. I finally finished filling the pool and put everything away. Amber is snoring on her bed in the living room now.

At dusk, my husband and I will do our first pass at cutting back the greenery on the sides of the driveway. I’ll put our battery-powered weed eater in the back and my sunglasses that wrap around, and my gloves, so that when we get to the bottom, we can do some weed whacking and pruning. Then we’ll go slowly up the other side of the driveway, cutting things back as we go, and we’ll be finished for the day. Our driveway is long and steep – about 650 feet, so this will take several passes to get it the way it should be.

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful day, too.

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

A Bit of New Life for the Garden

Today after a nice time at Lunch Bunch, we stopped at the co-op on the off chance that they might have a few plants for our garden. I found a couple of lettucy type plants that I hope will fill in where my romaine is bolting and not long for this world. I also found a plant called, “broccoli stir-fry.” Since I’ve harvested the majority of the main part of the broccoli plants and I’m not sure if I’ll get more from any of these, I’m happy that I may have another chance for more broccoli this season.

The fact that we’ve gone directly from winter to summer this year is hard on the garden, particularly for the cool-weather plants like broccoli, spinach, and lettuce.

 

 

This is one of the lettucy plants and two cantaloupe plants at which my husband was looking longingly. Since it looks like a lot of the rest of my plants have a very short life span remaining, I’m happy to try these. (The last melon type plant I tried took over the whole 4’x4′ box, so I’m going to plan for this.)

It’s WAY too hot right now to be trying to work in the garden, so I’m doing other stuff while waiting for the sun to tone it down a bit. (We’re having a high of around 90 with humidity at 61% right now – way too hot for this old lady.) I’ll try to take some pics to share later.

 

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

Yesterday’s Harvest

I’m grateful for the harvest yesterday. In the picture above you can see that my spinach plants are not enjoying the heat. Lettuce and spinach are cool weather plants and I usually enjoy quite a harvest before the too-hot begins. I’ll harvest as much spinach as possible because I can freeze it.

 

The head lettuce leaves are still okay, but looking a bit stressed. These plants are happier than anything else, with the exception of the radishes, in the square foot garden right now.

 

I’m sad because the really hot-too-soon in the season weather we’ve been having is causing the romaine lettuce to bolt. I’m not sure how much more I can harvest before the leaves taste bitter and I have to compost the plants.

 

We’ll enjoy the fresh lettuce and spinach for salad each day for as long as possible. I’m not sure whether I’ll get more broccoli, but the hope is that I’ll get more from the shoots from the main plant after the center has been harvested. The radishes and onions are doing fine, although some of the green tops of the onions are shooting up and trying to make seeds. The tomato plants on the other side of the house are growing rapidly. They like the heat. I have a few blossoms, so I’m hopeful we’ll enjoy a nice crop this year.

 

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Garden Harvest – May, 2018

broccoli

I harvested this yesterday when it was super hot. I didn’t harvest any romaine because I just got too hot out there. I’ll do that later today.

 

head lettuce

 

Spinach

I also wanted to show you our tomato plants in the two planters we converted to square foot gardening on the east side of the house.

 

The first tomato blossom of the season!

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Ready for Another Harvest!

Our raised bed square foot garden is doing well so far this year. We have six 4’x4′ boxes on metal ‘tables’ at about my chest level. I can just walk up to them, planting, weeding, or harvesting without having to get up and down from my knees or bend over double – a thing I can’t tell you how very MUCH I appreciate!

 

We are growing iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, sweet onions, radishes, spinach and broccoli. We have two converted planters on the east side of the house with tomato plants.

 

I’m going to go out and harvest some things today, but I wanted to show you how nice the plants look before I do.

 

 

 

I have some celery started in the kitchen that I’m hoping I can transplant to these empty squares soon.

 

 

On the lower right, you can see the start of radishes in the square.

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Garden Update – May 7, 2018

This afternoon we went out to check on the garden – weeding, harvesting, and taking pictures. I got hot and tired, so I didn’t do any harvesting today, but will tomorrow. We got the weeds taken care of, and everything seems to be very happy.

 

I was surprised to see how the broccoli has grown! Last week I had to look really carefully to see any sign at all of the broccoli head. I’ll harvest some of this tomorrow. I learned last year that the broccoli goes from this to really spread out like a bouquet and not good to eat fast. I’m hoping that I can encourage shoots off the main plant to produce more.

 

I lost one lettuce plant, and I have no clue what happened, since all the rest looked like this. We have romaine and iceberg head lettuce.

 

The onion plants are tall and strong looking. The spinach is still looking happy, although it prefers the cooler temperatures.

 

 

I planted several squares of radishes last week, and you can see them here.

I decided to spread my plants out a lot more this year. I think that the square foot garden guy, Mel Bartholomew, gets a lot more involved with his garden than we do. My plants grew into each other last year and where the plants met, they seemed to smother. Everything seems happier this year, so far, with my idea of more air circulation around each plant.

I didn’t get pictures today of the two tomato planters on the other side of the house, but I’ll try to get some soon. They seem to be happy right now.

We turned on the irrigation system for the planters in the front yard and found where we had a blow-out. My husband said it looked like a ‘critter’ had been chewing on the pvc pipe that runs across the front of the yard, down over the edge between the ‘civilized’ and ‘woody’ parts. He had ordered a special repair tape a couple of years ago. This seemed a perfect time to try it. He wrapped the pvc pipe where the chew marks were and we’ll test it tomorrow, after it has time to adhere to itself fully.

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New Iris

Last fall I cleaned out the planter where the ‘new’ iris were, the ones from Nanna’s Iris Garden in Charleston, AR.  I transplanted iris all over the yard, and still have some that need to be planted. This is one of our new ones and I think it’s really nice. I cut the top bloom and brought it into the house for us to enjoy, leaving the rest to bloom outside.

I love this time of year, each time I take a trip around the yard, I find something that fills my heart.

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Survey Tape

Arkansas Valley Electric Company

This picture shows some of the equipment being used, but the season is wrong, showing them clearing branches after a bad winter storm.

The Arkansas Valley Electric Company guy woke us up this morning, telling us that they were bringing their equipment today to cut branches that were too close to electrical lines. We have seen them on the main arteries of Greenwood over the past few weeks, sawing down countless branches so that we hopefully won’t lose power during spring severe weather due to trees falling on power lines and bringing them down.

I just came in from trying to mark all of our guy wires on the ham radio tower, plus electrical lines going low across the area where their equipment is coming up to make sure they see them. My husband brought a PVC pole we use in the garden for them to use to hold up the low hanging lines so the equipment can go under them safely. I also unplugged the electrical cord that goes from the house out to the greenhouse so it wouldn’t get run over.

They have a regular pickup truck, a big vehicle that has a radial type saw on the end of a long pole that can cut horizontally or vertically, as needed. There is something else that is causing big chips to fly in all directions, so we’re keeping our animals inside until they are finished.

The biggest problem area that I can see is our triple evergreen trees that are practically grown together, home to countless birds. The tops of the trees are really encroaching on the power lines. They might have to aggressively attack those to protect their power lines.

We are due for severe storms Thursday, so I’m delighted that they are out there now cutting away the stuff that might cause problems.

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Hummingbird Bird Bath is UP!

Last year I saw the prettiest picture on Facebook of a hummingbird bird bath. This one is very different from the one we saw, but we enjoyed putting our spin on the idea.

This tub has a hole in the center where the water can come in. We have a trashcan under it with a pump. The system is set up to recycle the water, only using more water if the level in the trashcan goes down below a certain point, at which time the hose automatically turns on to add the needed amount. The PVC pipe is drilled with holes to make the spray.  The system is on a timer, so it starts up at about 8 am and turns off at about 8:30 pm.

 

I put bricks and stones in the bottom to be at a level where hummingbirds can sit or stand. They can play in the water, then warm up and dry off on the rocks. For some reason, we didn’t have a lot of hummingbirds visiting our deck, even though we had several feeders out and then built the bird bath.  I like the bird bath enough, though, if only for the calming sound of the water, to make it well worth the effort – whether the hummingbirds like it or not. :0)

I’ll put out feeders this morning, just in case we have some hummers around.

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Greenwood Arkansas Tornado – 1968

April 19, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of a tornado that practically wiped Greenwood, Arkansas off the map. It happened just after school let out on that day in 1968. 13 people died and hundreds were injured. Half the town square was obliterated, the tornado blowing away over 400 businesses and homes in the space of 4 minutes.

Greenwood Tornado 1968 – GreenwoodDemocrat.com

On April 19th of this year commemorations were held all over the city. Books were published by the Greenwood Democrat that we could buy, showing photos and giving details of that day. Farmers Bank also published a book that they were giving away to citizens.  People gathered to see a video, ask questions of the survivors, and appreciate what happened.  Others gathered at the square. Survivors recounted their memories of the day that devastated Greenwood.  The tornado was national news in 1968. They figure now that it was an F4 tornado.

Through the tragedy, though, people rebuilt. Survivors with homes intact offered rooms, clothes, and food to those who needed them. Ham radio operators helped with communications. Surrounding towns provided help. Help was offered from far away, as well.

There were 2000 residents of Greenwood in 1968. Today there are around 10,000. Instead of giving up and going elsewhere, the strong people rebuilt the town, building a stronger sense of community than ever before.

The photos of the devastation tear your heart out. The people of Greenwood were stronger than 4 minutes of Mother Nature’s wrath, though – stronger than anyone knew.

My husband and I found Greenwood, Arkansas when he took a job in Fort Smith in 1987. We feel lucky to have found such a wonderful place to live.

 

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Greenwood AR Car Show 2018

Photographer Unknown

We went to the 31st Annual Greenwood, Arkansas Car Show yesterday. I think it gets larger every year as word of mouth spreads about how enthusiastic we are about incredibly restored and souped-up cars.  Proceeds go to local scholarships and charities. There are the wonderful cars of all types, models, years, of course, and there is food and drink, country music, door prizes and awards given in several categories for the entrants. Many of the cars are for sale.

The good businesses around the square shut down for something like this, knowing that the events are good for the town, the charities, and fun for the people. They close off three sides of the square to traffic, allowing the main road to stay open.

We spent about an hour there. My husband was interested in the engines. I was interested in the shape and colors of the cars. The oldest car I saw was a 1926 Ford. Something older than we are! :0)

My favorite is always a 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe. There is something about the size and shape of that vehicle that calls to me.

Photograph by Dave Koontz

I have to tell you, though, that as much as I like a Deuce Coupe, I’ve been drooling over a deep purple Jeep that is in a lot on the way to Fort Smith lately –

The 1st Greenwood AR car show was in 1987, the year we moved to Greenwood and had our home built. It has been wonderful to watch it, and the town grow and thrive.

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Square Foot Garden Progress – April

 

Yesterday I showed you the first harvest from our spring veggie garden. I’m delighted that everything seems to be happy so far.

The raised bed square foot garden consists of six 4’x4′ wooden boxes about my chest level filled with Mel’s Mix (a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and three or more kinds of compost.) The boxes are divided into ‘squares’ by stretched string. I have opted to space things out a lot more this year because I lost a lot of produce by having the plants growing into each other. I decided to opt for a lot more air and space for each plant and see what happens.

We also have tomato plants in two converted brick planters on the other side of the house. We’ll plant another group of tomato plants soon so that we can space out our harvest and extend it as much as possible.

In the picture above you can see broccoli plants, spinach, iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, and onions. I’ll add some radish seeds soon (as soon as I get the squares weeded) and also celery (when the ones I started in the house are large enough.)

Each box has a sprinkler in the center that are connected by pieces of hose. These are all tied to a main hose that connects to a rural type outside faucet. We put a timer on it so that the garden is irrigated each morning.

I’m going to wash spinach, romaine, and iceberg lettuce for our salad today harvested yesterday from the garden. I hope that one day we can eat our own broccoli!

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Companionable Amber

quotesgram.com

 

Amber – April 2018 – 13 months

I grabbed my camera to take a picture of the entertainment center and the winterized deck for the previous post. Amber, of course, wanted to come with me.

We ended up walking all over yard, taking pics of flowers, veggies, etc. Amber would watch me, then run off and do doggly things for a while, and then come back on her on, or when I called. We did this over and over, walking out to the greenhouse, then all the way across our land to the square foot garden, then back around the house.

Amber is a really sweet, wonderful dog. I particularly enjoy her when it’s just the family here. She responds eagerly – probably in anticipation of a ‘cookie’ when we go back inside – but is truly fun, affectionate, curious and playful. (It’s when others come here, or we go out in public that she tends to go ‘maniac,’ requiring all our tools, skills, and dubious intelligence to handle things. We have agreed that we need to invite more people here, and put the no-pull collar and leash on her when she is allowed to get out of the car on our outings, giving her more occasions to meet people, LISTEN to us, and hopefully, do what we say.

As to what we saw on our walk this morning –

The deep purple iris is fading, but the yellow iris is all over the yard in clusters. My husband is less than impressed with the yellow ones, but the display is very impressive to ME.  (Each pic displayed here is a different clump of iris, plus there is more going down the driveway!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purple Iris

Deep purple iris are our favorites (although I like a lot of other colors). I’ve been working on trying to spread the purple iris all around the yard, since my husband loves them above all others.  Right now we’re feeling rich in purple iris!

 

This is toward the top of our driveway, on the right as you drive up. We have an antique computer tower perched on one of our brick planters. My husband put it there as a conversation piece years ago, but the birds now build nests in it each year. You can see some parts of the ’emu’ planters just past the brick planter. We’ll place my husband’s favorite periwinkles in those as soon as the weather warms up.

 

This is one of the clumps of purple iris that are finally happy along the side of the driveway. They make us smile as we go down the driveway. My husband remarks about them each time he sees them, thanking me for transplanting some there.

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Square Foot Garden After Storm

We had bad storms with a strong cold front Friday afternoon and evening – including tornadoes, damaging winds, rain, hail, and flying hair balls. I was worried that my fledgling square foot garden plants would get battered.  Yesterday and today we’ve had cold temperatures for April in Arkansas – barely 40 and gusty north winds.

As you can see, the garden is doing fine. WHEW!  Thank  goodness these are all cool weather plants!  I may lose some of my tomato plants, but the rest of the garden is good.

 

 

Broccoli

 

Iceberg Head Lettuce

 

Romaine Lettuce

 

Spinach

It’s almost time to start snipping!  I can gather the outer, larger leaves of the lettuces and the spinach soon. As soon as it warms up a bit, I’ll get some radishes started.

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Mother Nature in a Snit

Mother Nature was in a snit yesterday afternoon and evening, bringing us a cold front with accompanying 60 mph winds, hail, rain, tornadoes, and flying hair balls. The sky was black in mid afternoon and I watched the hard-working local weather guys try to warn people in our area and all around us about when to dive for shelter.

Happily, though we got wind and rain, all the bad stuff either went north or south of us. We came through her bad temper well. I checked this morning when I took the doggies out, that the greenhouse was still standing, we didn’t have any damage to the house, my roses were still intact, and the square foot garden was still looking good.

We planted 3 new rio samba rose bushes recently. I’m just thrilled that they seem to be happy.

 

 

 

Even though it’s too cool to be comfortable outside today, I’m thankful to see the sun and our thriving plants.

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“City Rock Bluff”

City Rock Bluff Overlooking White River in Calico Rock AR – Jennifer Price via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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Beautiful Arkansas

Lake Ann-Bella Vista AR – Douglas Keck – Only in AR – via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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I’ve Definitely Quit Dancing!

piccsy.com

Okay. We were in the middle of a drought and it even caused bad problems with our water supply, making the turnovers in the lakes cause our water to have a bad odor and taste.  Wildfire danger was high. Warm, windy days were worrisome.  I started doing mental and physical rain dances, trying to get our area over the problem.

Mother Nature listened. I’m not sure if she saw and heard ME, or if a whole lot of people were also doing rain dances, but she delivered. Big Time. We’ve had rain, rain showers, heavy rain, storms, sleet, and more rain. I’ve definitely STOPPED even thinking about rain dances, but now I’m thinking Mother Nature is saying, “You wanted rain. Okay. Here it is!”

Today we’re due for MORE storms, particularly between 11:00 and 3 this afternoon with possible severe weather.  We did a group of errands this morning, paring our list down to one appt this afternoon, in an effort to be ONLY blown away, rather than blown away and DROWNED trying to get our stuff done.

The doggies came and demanded that I take them out a couple of minutes ago, insisting they would blow up if I didn’t take them out NOW. I complied, then came back for my camera, to record some of the beauty I found while walking around the yard. The storm today might wreak havoc with our yard, so I wanted to try to catch Mother Nature at her BEST – first.

Every day the wisteria gets more lush and more purple.

It SMELLS wonderful, too!

We have purple iris blooming in planters, in clusters around the yard, even off the edge of the civilized part of our yard, plus down our driveway.

 

We have buds on the three new Rio Samba rose bushes, and now some of the buds are starting to open up!

 

A knock out rose bush is starting to have blooms.

 

This is the north side of our square foot garden.

And the south side.

The winds really picked up while I took pics and walked the dogs. We’ll probably be right in the heart of the thunderstorms this afternoon, since we have to be out at 1:30. It’s a good thing we don’t melt in the rain. We’re thankful for our warm, dry home. Our doggies have already snuggled down for a nap, and even the two cats came in with us.

Have a wonderful day. Stay warm and dry!

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Lake Chicot, Arkansas

Susan and Brad Whittle-AR Pics via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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One of the Perks of Living Out in the Sticks

One of the many reasons we love living on top of our ridge line outside the city limits of Greenwood, Arkansas is the privacy.  We have our space without having to speak to lots of neighbors or having them look harshly at us because we don’t make sure each blade of grass is cut to the neighborhood specifications.  We have created out own little world up here and we love it.

We can pretend we own all the land we can see. :0)  We own about 8 acres. Our land goes down to the street in the front. Picture a hill with the top part cut off horizontally. That’s our land.  We keep a small part ‘civilized’ and let the rest be natural.

We absolutely love our view from our back yard. We can watch the seasons change. We can enjoy the firework displays of our neighbors in the valley below.

If we can SEE it, it’s OURS, isn’t it? :0)

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Radiating Spring

We are enjoying a pretty early spring here in Arkansas. It makes me feel a bit guilty, so I’m trying to send some nice spring weather in all directions.

In my trip around the yard with the doggies, I found some nice things –

Even though it’s cloudy, the redbud is till showing up nicely around the yard.

Here is a close-up view of some of the redbud blooms.

The tulip tree is fragile, already losing a lot of its petals in the gusty winds we’ve been having off and on, but it makes me smile each time I see it.

Here is a close-up of some of the blooms.

These hyacinths are in one planter beside the front porch. We have some more in the planter on the east side of the house.

 

I love the contrast between the lingering winter and the redbud, plus the nice greens of the iris.

 

The first blooming iris of the season!

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The Unofficial State Tree of Arkansas

The official tree of Arkansas is the pine tree. I thought it was the Redbud, but that’s the state tree of Oklahoma, where I lived much of my childhood. We have three or four Redbuds on our property, and we carefully cut stuff away from around them, trying to encourage them to get as large as possible and have a nice show each year in the spring.

 

 

 

You can also see our larger propane tank and the shop here.

 

HAPPY SPRING!

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Young Veggie Garden

Our spring raised bed square foot garden is off to a good start. We have six 4’x4’x8″ boxes at about my chest level in our vegetable garden. (We also have two brick planters on the other side of the house we use for our tomato plants.)

 

You can see the sprinklers and hoses that run over the top of the boxes on either side, making up the irrigation system. I added the timer a few days ago to the outdoor faucet, so the garden gets watered for 10 minutes each morning. There are drain holes in each box so that excess water runs out freely.  I’ve planted onion sets, iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and spinach so far. I’ll plant some radishes later, plus bring out starts of celery from the house.

This year, except for the onion sets and radishes, I decided to only plant one plant in each square. There are only two of us eating salad in our household, so 4 lettuce plants to a square is too much for us to eat and the plants grow rapidly, crowding each other. I’m experimenting to see if this spread out version works better for us.

 

The spindly plants around this lettuce plant are onion sets. The tops of the onions don’t look great, but I’m hoping that the actual onions are doing well. I won’t know for a long time.

 

Here you can see broccoli in the foreground, a spinach plant in the middle, and lettuce toward the back.  I’m planning to start the tomato plants we bought very soon.

 

 

This is

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, doing what you love, exercise, Favorite Things, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

While Walking the Doggies….

White hyacinth and frog

The daffodils are starting to fade now, but the hyacinths I planted last year are bursting forth now. Such a showy, happy flower.

 

Purple hyacinth and kind old gentleman

 

 

New Joseph’s Coat Climbing rose birthday plant and camellias.

 

 

Purple hyacinth and hydrangea.

It’s a good thing I planted several purple hyacinths, since Amber ate one of them.

 

Hyacinths

glorious purple hyacinth

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, Mother Nature

Taking the Plunge

Belgian Nursery

My husband goes outside when the weather forecasters tell him it’s raining in Greenwood – on the Lewis’ house – right now.  I have a bit more faith in their abilities, though we both realize that trying to forecast the weather is a complicated task. I just looked up the 10-day forecast for Greenwood on the net and see that today was the last forecast freeze through the 23rd. I’ve decided to go ahead and take the plunge, planting the veggies we are holding in the greenhouse.

 

Gardening Know How

I have iceburg lettuce, spinach, romaine, and broccoli plants, two six-packs of each.

I have my raised bed planters filled with Mel’s Mix and the string stretched across in two directions, creating the squares for planting. My planters are at about chest level so I can just walk up and plant things without having to bend over, get down on my knees or back up again.

I planted Texas Sweet Onion sets a couple of days ago. It’s such a pleasure! I’ll take pictures when I get the plants in. I’m excited to be starting a brand new spring crop!

I’ll watch the weather carefully, leaping up to put sheets over the plants if they say it’s going to get near freezing for the rest of the month.

 

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

In Case Anyone was Curious…

Sonia Rod via Nora Hall

The sun is shining! It’s not raining!

We lucked out in our area of Arkansas. My greenhouse is still standing! We’ve received about 5-1/2 inches of rain in the past 6 days. There is some bad flooding and some damage in the state, but none that I know of in west central Arkansas where we are.

I found some pictures this morning that I wanted to share –

 

Heber Springs AR-Marcy Effinger via Cindy Basnett Thurman

Heber Springs is south and east of us.

I did find some really glorious pictures of Arkansas taken after the latest – and worst – of the storms by talented people from Arkansas Pictures

 

“God’s Rainbow Artwork after Storm” – El Paso AR – Amazing Shotz by David K. Niece – Arkansas Pictures – via Cindy Basnett Thurman

 

 

Four Winds Chapel – Conway AR – Mike Hall – Arkansas Pictures via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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Filed under Arkansas, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature

Arkansas Sunset

Christopher Moore-AR Sunrises and Sunsets via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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Filed under Arkansas, Awe-Inspiring Photography