Tag Archives: gardening

Wisteria Bloom

We’re having a really nice display this year. My husband has been trying to get the wisteria to go all the way across over the woodpile, and then climb the tree on the other side. I was standing close to the wisteria yesterday so I could breathe deeply and enjoy its glorious smell, when I realized I was seeing some wisteria in the tree on the far side of the main part of the plant! I brought my husband over so that he could see that his efforts are bearing fruit. He was really happy. He doesn’t grin ear to ear often, but he did this time. :0)


Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Where Does the Soil Go?

Funderland Amusement Park

Funderland Amusement Park

I just spent an hour and a half mixing batch after batch of Mel’s Mix and trying to get my raised bed planters topped off so they’re ready for planting.

The thing is, when we finished putting up the last planter, I filled all three new ones with Mel’s Mix. Now, when I’m getting ready to plant, the mix is down by a good 3 to 4 inches!

I wouldn’t gritch if piles of dirty clothes or dishes did the same thing… Or stacks of magazines, waste baskets, or piles of bills… if YOU know what happened to all the Mel’s Mix, I’d appreciate it if you would let me know!

I use a big trash basket to mix the components of Mel’s Mix (2 parts peat moss, 2 parts vermiculite, and 1 part each mushroom compost, barnyard compost, and cotton burr compost.  Occasionally I mix in compost I’ve made from our yard and food scraps. Then I carefully drag the trash can over to the garden and even more carefully lift up the trash can and distribute it on the raised bed box. Then I move the mix around, delighting in the joy of playing in the dirt until I pronounce it done, and then repeat the process. After an hour and a half of this, I’m taking a rest.

Also in the mix of my day is working on a mosaic on a glass bowl in the shop. I do it one narrow band at a time, carefully propping the bowl between a bottle of water and a scotch tape dispenser to keep it from rolling. If I do too many tiles, the slope of the glass causes the tiles to quietly slide down, coming to rest in a spot I didn’t intend. I’m taking my time, doing one ‘row’ a day until the bowl is covered. Then I can do the grouting all at once. I’ll share some pictures of it when I get the tiles all glued on.

In my art room I’m working on some presents I’m making for next Christmas. I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about NEXT Christmas, but I’ve always bought things I like for people when I find them regardless of the time of year. Particularly when I’m trying to MAKE something, I want to do it when I’m excited about the project. :0)

My sweet husband is in the shop, slaving away to get our new used riding lawnmower ready to be used. As he works, he’s finding more things that need his attention. (We’re discovering that, although the guy who sold us the mower told us about the leaking tire, he got creative about the things that were ‘new’ on the thing; the air filter, for example.) My husband just bought what he thought was a spare filter, discovering that the filter that was on it was in the worst condition he’s ever seen. It starts well, though, and my husband likes the way the mower is  laid out. It’s not nearly as difficult as some designs to work on. He found a manual online that shows him good exploded diagrams so he can see what parts are there, and it makes sense to HIM about how to do what it needs.

He bought a new mini-tire changing tool because the tire we bought is too small for the one we have.  Even after he made a stand to bolt it to the floor in the shop, it took both of us to get the old tire off and the new tire on the wheel. It turns out that tubeless tires are difficult to get onto the wheel with a good seal so they don’t leak.

It’s time for lunch. I’m going to go out to the shop, roust my husband, and then figure out what’s up for the rest of the day.



Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Wonderful Rock Garden

Recipes from Heaven via Ann Gilstrap

Recipes from Heaven via Ann Gilstrap

I absolutely love this. I think that if ‘I’ were doing it, though, I would put down black plastic and maybe some shot-crete on that before building my design to keep weeds from growing up between the stones. It’s gorgeous, though, isn’t it?  Thanks so much for sharing it with me, Ann.


Filed under Creativity, Gardening

Sign of Spring!


If you look carefully, you can see TWO iris spears with deep purple iris buds! Whoopeeeeeee!


Filed under Arkansas, Gardening

Celery Plant Experiment Progress Report 2/4/2017


I told you recently that I decided to play during the winter, since I can’t start anything outside for a good while yet, trying to grow some celery. Someone on Facebook, I think, posted a video where you simply cut off the end of a bunch of celery you purchase at the store and put the bottom in a glass with some water.  When it sprouts well, you then transfer it to soil.

The idea thing would be to transfer it to the garden. Since it’s February, I transferred it to a planter with Mel’s Mix in it and put it on my window sill.  So far I have three plants in soil and three more in glasses of water on my divider.

The plant above was transferred two days ago.



These are the other two plants I’ve transferred to the window sill. They’ve been in the soil for over a week now, maybe closer to two weeks. They seem to be happy so far.

I have no clue whether these will continue to grow or not. It’s fun to watch them, though, and I’ll continue to try to grow them inside or outside, when spring comes. :0)

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Filed under Gardening

Celery Experiment Continues


This is celery I started two days ago. I cut off the bottoms of celery I bought at the store and put each end in water.



These are two other bottoms I showed you a few days ago.



These are the same plants today. I put the water glasses on the window sill for a couple of days. Today I put the plants into the soil. The planter is on the window sill. I got to this point before and then the sweet plants croaked. I have no clue if they’ll be happier this time, but I intend to keep trying until I find something that works. Fingers crossed!

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Filed under Gardening

Hope for the Future


I’m trying to grow some celery from packages I bought at the store.

The idea is to cut off the bottom of each bunch of celery and put them in water to sprout. When they are forming roots, you transplant them to a soil-filled container or the garden. Since I can’t grow them outside now, I’ll transfer them soon to a planter I have on the window sill in my dining area.  It’ll be fun to see if I can actually grow a plant from here.


Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Playing in My Art Room

Yesterday I started painting my newest order for stationery and note cards in my newly cleaned and organized art room. What a pleasure! I finished the package of deckled edge floral stationery last night and I’ll start the package of note cards today. I’ll share some photos when I’m finished.

I have to tell you I love my life. I don’t know how I ever found the time to work full-time, as I did for some 45 years. Then I changed to working from home, continuing to do medical transcription I used to do at an office in Fort Smith. I also started my website, Creative Artworks, in 2000.

I still run my website, which has about 25 other artists right now. I love writing this blog, trying not to bury you alive in pictures I’ve found, thoughts I’ve had, and more each day. I love working in my art room on orders or ideas for new things, plus working in our shop with my husband, creating metal yard critters out of scrap metal, cutting new mailbox decorations out on our CNC setup with computer-guided torch, creating stained glass pieces and mosaics. I’m brimming with ideas for a new mosaic project, a new technique for working with gourds, a glass etching, and ideas for a new theme for Christmas cards and wooden ornaments.

My raised bed square foot garden is always in my thoughts. As soon as I finish a few more things, I’ll get out my master ‘map’ of my six 4’x4′ raised beds and figure out what I’d like to try to grow for our veggie garden in the spring, as well as where to put them in the garden. I’ll start some spinach seeds inside, since I have real trouble finding spinach plants.

A gift that keeps on giving is our brick planter beds all around the house, brimming with flowers. We’re trying to add more perennials each year, since we ARE getting older, as well as planting our favorite annuals each year.

I started practicing yoga – the old ladies’ version called “Gentle Yoga” by Sixty & Me. I’m still surprised that it is so helpful in controlling pain and promoting flexibility and better balance. I’ve bought a 2nd DVD from them, called, “Gentle Yoga Flows” which combines what is taught in the first DVD set and guides you through four different practices that leave me feeling looser and much more relaxed.

I have more books than I can read and feel rich for it. I love learning new skills. Between the Internet, YouTube demonstrations, and books (either physical or on my Kindle) I can learn things as fast as this old brain can absorb them. What a luxury!

My husband’s and my health are improving, thanks to our low carb lifestyle and a newer emphasize on avoiding as much sugar as we can. We’re both feeling better for it. (The latest new thing is Cashew Milk, thanks to my sister-in-law, Mary Lou’s, recommendation.) It has 25 calories and 0 grams of sugar per serving. He says it doesn’t taste watery and likes the more creamy taste. My husband is wonderful about encouraging my efforts to cook new recipes, not griping if the recipe is just not for us, and very complimentary if I find one he likes. This makes it ALMOST fun to cook!

The days, weeks, months, and years whiz past our heads. We truly enjoy getting in as much fun as possible each day.

So – today picture me up in my art room, dancing to favorite CDs while painting note cards…

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

Appreciating the Rain

Anita Opper via Zen to Zany

Anita Opper via Zen to Zany

I’m delighted that we’re having rain today. Not a good, soaking rain, but rain nonetheless, and for that I’m grateful. The temperature has finally gotten to 50 degrees F. here, and I think that will be the high for the day. The next few days are supposed to be very cloudy with another chance of rain Monday.  AHHHH!

The sad news is that Tuesday night or Wednesday a strong cold front is coming with killing freezes for several days, probably spelling the end of my fall garden. If the temperatures get down to the 20s, it won’t do any good to cover the plants with sheets. :0(

I’ll plan to harvest all I can by Tuesday evening.

We’ve had a fun year of gardening!

  • The biggest thing we did was build six 4’x4′ wooden planters. We installed three of the raised bed planters while the spring and summer garden lived to give us more tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, etc. We planted our fall garden in the new raised bed planters, enjoying broccoli, some cute little cauliflower heads, lots of lettuce of three different kinds and radishes. I also tried to grow celery from what I bought at the grocery. I planted the cutest little bright green plant in the garden. It STILL is a cute little bright green plant, but no celery. I’m trying some more inside, just for giggles.
  • When the spring/summer garden finished, we installed the other three planters, so now we’ll have six ready to go for the spring. We’ll plant our tomatoes in two brick planters we converted to square foot planters. One gets lots or sunshine and wind. The other is more protected, in the hook formed by the back of the house and the porch. I’ll have the winter to figure out where I want to plant things, using my fall printout to make sure I achieve crop rotation on the south side of the main garden.

Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy today’s cold rain, hope for more rain tomorrow and Monday, harvest the veggies we can in preparation for the freeze Tuesday night into Wednesday.

I hope the weather where you are is either pleasant enough to enjoy being outside, or that you can stay safe and warm inside.

Make it a wonderful day!

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

Greenhouse Envy



Our good friends are in the middle of a huge project to build a two-story greenhouse on the back of their house!  This will have to move slowly – both for the size of the project and the horribly hot weather we’re having now, but it’s happening!  This picture shows you the beautiful arches they’re attaching to the concrete. Attachment rods were sunk into the concrete to make this really secure. I don’t know all the details of what they’re doing, but I’m green with envy. I really don’t know of anyone who deserves a beautiful greenhouse more than my friend.



Here you can see more of the back of their house and how the greenhouse will fit in. I’ll try to get more pics as the project moves on. I’m so excited for them!

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Filed under Gardening, Wonderful Projects

Storm Aftermath


Well, we got the rain we needed, but a whole lot of gusty winds that we didn’t. This is the aftermath in my square foot garden. You can’t even tell there’s a plan here!



After taking these pictures, I did the best I could to straighten up the tomato cages and then tied them to the others that are right along the fence.



I have no idea if the garden will continue to produce after this or not.



Hopefully, in the coming days I’ll see signs that the sweet plants made it. I’m glad we don’t have storms like this often.


Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds