Tag Archives: gardening

A Lot of Worx

 

This is my wonderful Worx Leaf Mulcher. (This one is MUCH cleaner than mine. Picture this with a leaf bag between the orange part and the top ring of the legs, and a cord attached to it and you have a great picture of what I’m doing in the yard this afternoon. I also have two plastic yellow leaf-gathering ‘hands’ that allow me to pick up a bunch of leaves at once to put in the top of the mulcher. Once the leaves are pushed down into the top, I pull the power button out and the mulcher grinds up the leaves. When the bag is full, I pick it up and distribute the mulch in my flower planters.

I told you recently, when I was trying to prune and weed after the freezing temperatures essentially killed all of my blooms, that I have 12 brick planters in the front yard, plus two concrete pots. Ao far, I have finished an hour out there, first using our leaf blower to amass a large pile, then processing the pile and distributing the mulch. I have filled two-and-two-thirds planters. At this rate, I’ll probably croak before I finish, but I’m giving it my best shot today. It’s a bit after 3pm now, so I have a good two hours of light left. I’ll see how much more I can accomplish, and then take it up tomorrow, hoping I don’t get rained out.

I’m certainly not a stickler for a perfect looking yard. That was one of the reasons we built our home in the sticks in Arkansas over 30 years ago. Neighborhoods are nice, but we really don’t want to have to go around with the manicure scissors making sure that no blades of grass are any taller than the others or that we don’t have any weeds or yellow spots in the yard. We have moles, voles, and other oles here, plus fire ants, plus grubs, plus all kinds of other stuff. Our ridge line is woodsy. If we weren’t pretty good about hacking things down around here, I think the woods would simple cover the house and it would look like it did before we came in a short amount of time.

I DO like the idea of ‘free mulch,’ and I DO want to protect my flowers and the good potting soil in our planters, so I’m going to mulch as many leaves as it takes to fill up my planters and then leave whatever remains.

I’ll tell you – even with my leaf blower, my Worx leaf mulcher, my plastic ‘hands,’ etc., this is a really good amount of exercise today for this old broad…

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Thoughts on a Saturday 11-16-2019

Jeff Jett

I think one of the most important paths to happiness is REALIZING all you have. Today my main feeling is thankfulness.

I have a beef roast in the crock pot for tonight. I have a cup of coffee. Molly is resting comfortably at my feet as I type.

 

My husband is almost completely recovered from his stroke. (He still gets words garbled occasionally, but we smile at each other when that happens. He has to really work to use his keyboard on his computer. He still has bursts of anger, saying hurtful things, but the episodes are father apart. I’m avoiding triggers I know about, and talking to him calmly about the ones that do happen, making it clear that I don’t deserve it. Things are improving.

Our son is happy in Thailand. We are talking to him on the chat program almost daily, so it’s ALMOST like he is still here with us.  If a person figures out to send HUGS through a chat program, he or she will be a gazillionaire. :0)

Our weather is good, with a nice, sunny day. I’m hopeful it will warm up enough this afternoon that I can get outside. I want to rake and shred leaves, putting the mulch in our flower planters.

I have ideas rattling around in my brain on what I would like to do next in my art room. I’m even DREAMING about them! SO many fun things to play with!

 

 

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3rd Session the Charm?

design-dautore.com-Autumn Vibes-Sarah Patrick via Yolanda Vanveen

I’m about to go outside for the 3rd session of the day of trying to get flower planters cleaned out before our weather goes to pot tomorrow. I have finished finished 7 brick planters today. I have three more, plus 2 pots in the front yard. If I can finish ths, I’ll be happy with my efforts today.

My husband got me a nice roll-around, sit-down thingie that saves my back, so I think I have one more session in me before I’ll run out of both time and energy. 

This is the closest I could find to show you my wonderful gardening seat. Mine is red and has a small basket on one end, plus a rope and handle that allow you to pull it like the proverbial ‘little red wagon.” The seat turns, so it gives flexibility in how it is used. I love it.

While I was pruning and clearing out one of the planters, the wind picked up and all of a sudden it was raining leaves. The SOUND the leaves made was wonderful! I don’t think I’ve ever been in quite that position before, but it was a very special thing. My sweet elderly Molly (she is almost 15) was enjoying the sunshine and stayed right with me, keeping me company.

I just had lunch (it’s almost 4pm) and am finishing a cup of coffee.  I’ll go see how much more I can clear before the day is gone.

Hope you’re enjoying your day, too!

 

 

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Filed under Family, Gardening, Seasons

Thoughts on a Sunday 11-10-2019

Beautiful World via George Dumaine

We just got home from grocery shopping and putting everything away. I’m now relaxing at my computer with a cup of coffee. Ahhhh!

First, I wanted to thank those of you who wrote encouraging messages about the way “Blasing Bright” looks, the booth that my friend Carla and I are sharing now at Rags & Roses in Greenwood, Arkansas. I think we managed to put things where they show up well, people can get to them to look more closely, and you’ve told me that it looks inviting. So THANK YOU. The shop is closed now until Tuesday, but I feel GOOD that I have some of my stuff ‘out there’ for people to see and possibly buy. If you’re in the area, the address is 100 North Main St.  The hours Tuesday through Friday, are 11:00 – 6:00. Hours Saturday are 10:00 to 4:00. This is the first time I’ve enjoyed a local venue, and I’m hopeful that Carla and I can share this booth for a long time.

I am planning to spend much of the day out in the yard – or at least as long as my back holds out – cleaning out flower planters. We’ve had several freezes and things are looking pretty sad now. Today has been named, “The last good fall day” for awhile by the weather people, with a cold front coming tomorrow, along with rain, possible wintry mix, and MUCH colder temperatures, so today is the day to do all I can to have our yard look like someone cares.

On cleanup after the ‘gathering-and-processing-for-the-booth’ I need to work in our office and my art room. These are on the back burner, though, as far as priorities, due to the coming weather. I can work on both of THEM when the weather deteriorates.

With all the activity around here, I have ignored my exercising and my poor old body is complaining LOUDLY. I’m going to see how the yard work goes, and then at LEAST get in my yoga practice this afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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Filed under "Blasing Bright" Booth - Rags & Roses - Greenwood AR, exercise, Gardening, Mother Nature, Rags & Roses - Greenwood AR, Seasons

Last of the Harvest?

 

Of all the signs in our yard, this is my favorite. I laugh each time we drive up to the house. It’s on a tree to the right of the top of the driveway. :0)

I’ve told you I had to clean out our raised-bed square foot garden a few weeks ago because the intense heat was too much for the remaining plants. I haven’t been able to find any plants locally to plant for a fall garden, and it’s been too hot to start any seeds in the greenhouse, so I think we’re pretty much finished for the year.

 

The only thing we have left is the tomatoes in our two converted brick planters on the opposite end of the house. The plants look really sad, but are still producing tomatoes. They aren’t as large or as perfect as they were at the height of the season, but they are still delicious in our salads or cut up as an extra veggie on the plate. We’ve had a pretty good garden this year. I’ll start making plans for the spring garden soon.

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Thoughts on a Sunday

Jayanand Govindaraj via Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Hello!

I’m getting a late start on blog posts today because our Internet keeps going on the fritz.

My main thoughts today were to play ‘fruit-basket-upset’ with my priorities for the day.

We got groceries this morning, and I put a roast in the crock pot for tonight.

THEN, when the Internet wasn’t cooperating, I went up to my art room – a thing that got lost in the shuffle yesterday – and started painting another tee!

NEXT, I’ll get my yoga practice in for the day, and

THEN I’ll tackle the weed whacking and clean up after my husband mows later.

Anything ELSE that gets accomplished will be gravy.

 

I hope that YOU are having a great Sunday, too.

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Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Poor Plants

DripDepot

When I went outside to check on the tomatoes and weed a bit in our flower planters, I noticed that everything suddenly looked really wilted.

I got my husband and we turned on each section of the irrigation system, and went around to all the planters, making sure all was getting water. Some weren’t getting anything at all, others were getting too much – it varied all over the place. Once we got the back finished – with a lot of the things you see in the picture above, we switched to the front, where it’s mainly actual hoses and controls.

We think we got everything going. We are inside now, drinking ice water and resting. The heat index this afternoon is between 106 and 110. We’ll stay inside until at least dinner time before trying to do anything more out there.

I hope that YOU and your PLANTS are getting enough water today!

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Good News!!!!!

I told you that two of the 14 brick planters we have built up on top of our ridge line collapsed suddenly. We knocked the rest of the bricks down and tried to prepare ourselves to rebuild them.

We found that 25 years or so makes a huge difference in our stamina and ability to work in the heat. We ended up mixing one bag of mortar each day, laying one layer of bricks with it, then cleaning up for the day. We did this for five days, finally completely the first of the two planters. We put the potting soil we had saved back into the planter. My husband recently redid the plastic PVC pipe irrigation piece for the first planter, so technically it’s ready to plant. With a heat index of 105-110+ degrees, we have ignored the problem.

I’ve been trying to find a real brick layer to rebuild the planters. We had the bricks and the mortar, so it was their time, labor, and expertise we were paying for. The only man who came to give us an estimate knocked our socks off with how much he would charge for the two planters. We told him, ‘no thank you,’ and built the first one ourselves.

 

As you can see, it looks pretty awful.  It DOES hold the potting soil. The picture doesn’t show the new irrigation piece, but it’s ready for planting now.

 

This is the second planter. We have been mowing and weed whacking around this the whole spring and summer, hoping to find a brick layer.

FINALLY, yesterday a wonderful man named Jose Aguirre came up and looked at things. He rejected the mortar we had bought, both the sand version and the one with small pebbles, and gave us an estimate. I was overjoyed that it was reasonable, AND we can do it!!!!

He will come out tomorrow at 8 in the morning to do the job!

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that my husband and I don’t have to do it. I was trying to gear up for it mentally, thinking that when we start getting up at 6am each morning  (trying to adapt for the school year with Alessandro, our 16-year-old soccer playing student from Italy comes to live with us and go to school this year, starting August 6th) – that we could get right out and lay one row of bricks each day while the temperature was still in the 80’s.

If our wonderful luck holds, tomorrow we will have a newly rebuilt, good-looking planter to enjoy!

I’ll take pics. :0)

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Whew!

Steemit

I have just finished about an hour and a half of weed whacking in the yard this morning. I have probably one more session of weed whacking and then the leaf blower to clean off the sidewalks and garage pad before I’m finished.

My husband mowed the lawn yesterday, so the grass looks good. All the edges around everything were ragged, though, so I decided to get outside early this morning and see if I could clean things up.

With the heat index, it’s ONLY 95 right now. Since the index is supposed to get to 105 this afternoon, I decided it was best to get out there while it was COOL. :0)

The new-to-us riding mower we got recently from a wonderful friend and neighbor does a really good job. When the civilized part of our yard is freshly mowed, weed whacked and blown, we actually look pretty good!

With all the yard work this morning and bowling with good friends tonight, I’m not even going to feel guilty about not ‘exercising’ today. I’ve learned that the work I do uses different muscles than the ones used for more traditional ‘exercises,’ but when I’ve worked and played this much in a day, I’ll call it good enough.

 

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July 6th Harvest

 

After we got back from relocating the raccoon this morning, I went to check on the tomatoes and the garden. I harvested these from the larger planter – the plants I thought were going to croak earlier because the leaves were turning yellow and falling off. These plants still don’t look ‘healthy,’ but they are producing delicious tomatoes. The nook planter beside the house has only two plants in it and they are HUGE, green, and leafy. I’ve only gotten two ripe tomatoes so far. There are lots of green ones, though, and lots of blossoms. There might be a lesson here somewhere, if I can just figure out what it is. I would appreciate some opinions from people who know what they are doing in the garden.

In the larger square foot garden, I couldn’t do much because the irrigation system was going. I have large, leafy-looking zucchini plants now with large yellow flowers and a few actual zucchini!  I harvested one pregnant-looking one so far. I have several now that might get large enough to harvest.

I also have the cantaloupe plants whose arms are spilling out over everything with lots of blossoms. There is one small cantaloupe that I have supported by a plastic round thingie with legs and holes in it. I have no clue whether we’ll actually get anything worth eating, but it’s great fun to watch the progress. \

The onions are expanding, even though their tops were so damaged in several storms I elected to cut them off.

I need to do some weeding out there and then I’ll take pics to share.

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I Want One of These!

Avantgardens via Marianna Bellantoni

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Feast or Famine

All spring it has either been heavily raining or SUPER hot with strong sun. Nothing in-between. Today I was only out for about half an hour, and came in huffing and puffing, wiping my head and face, and wanting to glug water.

I found these yellow leaves on my tomato plants yesterday. My friend, Laufrain, and I looked up the problem last night. It suggested bone meal and fertilizer. I just added both of those to the planter and watered. Fingers crossed they like it. I have nice green tomatoes and am hoping for a good crop.

 

This is our other tomato planter. As you can see, the plants are good and healthy. I have no clue what’s going on with the longer planter.

 

This is my first trial at growing zucchini. I have several that SEEM to be doing well.

 

Sweet red onions.

 

Radishes I just started a few days ago.

 

And THIS  is the excitement for the day! It is a cantaloupe!  Ta DA!   If it doesn’t croak and continues to grow, I have a plastic bowl thingie with lots of holes for drainage and legs to keep the cantaloupe up off the ground. I’ve never grown one of these before. This was my husband’s choice of what to grow (other than head lettuce), so I’m really hoping we grow at least one and that it’s good.

On my way back in, I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the flowers on the deck. They make my heart soar every time I see them.

Now I’m very thankful that we have air-conditioning!

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The Tomatoes are Coming!

I’m hoping that we’ll have a good tomato crop this year. We have some good looking green tomatoes now. One of our very favorite things is sliced ripe tomatoes.

With all the rain we’ve had and then some pretty warm weather, the tomato plants in our nook planter really took off. I’ve given up trying to ‘control’ them. I’m just propping them up the best way I can and hoping for the best…

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And the Lilies Bloom!!

We have a really good chance of more severe weather this afternoon and tonight, so I got out and cut some of the lilies that are blooming in one of our planters.

Here are more of the yellow ones in the planter.

 

And I HOPING that this beauty won’t be harmed by the storms.

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Garden Progress 4-21-2019

I now have enough of OUR fresh grown broccoli to make some soup!

 

And this is the lettuce I harvested. I could have brought in lots more. We eat salad each night, but I’m not sure we can keep up with all we’re growing this time.

 

This photo shows many of our lettuce plants, plus you can see the onions in the rear of the picture.

 

This is the second row of planters. You can see the broccoli plants and some of the radish sprouts.

 

I planted several squares of radishes. I eat some raw every day at lunch, along with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery.

I have all appendages crossed that this is one of several sprouts of ‘something’ I HOPE is SPINACH!  Time will tell.

 

Close up of one of the lettuce plants. This is ONE plant taking up a whole square. It’s HUGE.

 

This isn’t a garden plant, but I’m so pleased with it this year. It’s a perennial ‘something, and it has had only weak blooms each spring until now. I just love it!

More work tomorrow, but it’s that time of year! :0)

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Filed under Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

Beautiful Day to be Outside

indulgy.com

I just came in from my third session of weed-whacking this afternoon. To say I’m done for the day is an understatement, but I’m glad I made some significant progress on neatening things up. My husband mowed the lawn a couple of days ago, and it was only fair that I get out and do the trimming. He actually came out with me the third time, hooked up the water that will go to the bird bath and then held the cord for me, gathering it up when we finished for the day.

Weed whacking is one of those jobs that is never finished. You know you’ve made some progress, but there are other places all around the yard speaking to me as I get near, saying, “Look at me! Look at me!”

We’re supposed to have several days of good weather, so I’ll plan to get out and do more tomorrow. Next up – around my greenhouse and around the garden.

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At Least Partial ‘Outside Day’

Southland SOD Farms

We been outside a couple of times so far today, with more to come. We’re kind of under the gun today, since strong, possibly severe storms are forecast for late tonight and into tomorrow morning.

I showed my husband my cleaner-and-better-organized greenhouse, and he showed me his cleaner-and-better-organized shop, and we each oohed and ahhhed appropriately. :0)

We just came in from a first session on getting our irrigation system for the flowers going. We have a couple of blowouts we’ll need to fix before it’ll be working correctly, but we got a start on it today.  I have a timer on our outside faucet that goes to my veggie garden set up already.

As soon as I catch my breath, I’m going to go out and gather the first lettuce harvest of the spring! We’ll enjoy some of it for our dinner tonight.

I will also do at least one session of weed-whacking. I’ll probably need to do some every day until it looks like someone cares in our yard.

We’re still hoping to find a bricklayer who will rebuild our two collapsed planters in the front yard. Fingers crossed.

I’ll take pics of the harvest and post them later.

Have a great day!

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Thirsty Veggies are Satisfied for Now

The Living Farm

Can you see the teeny, tiny broccoli spear in the center?   Woo HOOO!

Head lettuce looking happy.

Sweet Red Onions

Due to my bad reaction to the 2nd dose of Shingles vaccine, I haven’t done anything this week in the garden. I’m still looking for spinach plants locally, plan to start spinach seeds (AGAIN) in case none show up, and plan to start several squares of radishes.

In another week or so, we’ll start tomato plants on the other side of the house!

 

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Spring is Finally Springing

Ar Ali – Linkedin

FINALLY, signs of spring are popping up around here!  I’m delighted, though I feel bad for the people still getting more snow, and the awful flooding in the midsection of the country. I just know my spirits are rising with each passing day.

I still haven’t been able to find spinach plants locally (they said call again Wednesday), so I’m going to see if I can get another batch of seeds started, using another technique and keeping all appendages crossed for success. I would really love to shed my moniker of “Serial Seed Killer” some day soon.

That said, the red onions and head lettuce plants in the garden are doing really well. I’ll see what other wonderful things I can find to plant when we go out for errands today.

I finally reached the bricklayer today, who said he was personally covered up with work, but would ask another good person to give us a call for an estimate on rebuilding the two brick planters that failed recently.

I hope you are enjoying some signs of spring, too!

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Filed under Mother Nature, Seasons

First Session in the Yard

First thing this morning I was thankful the greenhouse was still up and functional. We’ve had a LOT of wind and rain the past few weeks, so the whole thing could have simple blown over the barbed wire fence and into the next acreage. The top could have torn or blown off, etc. I walked around the outside checking for needed repair and found, to my delight, none was needed!

I cleaned off the tables a bit, throwing out curled and brittle six-pack planters I tried to save, buckled and discolored plastic sheet lids designed to go over young plants, and more.

I hooked up the at least 200 foot extension cord so that the exhaust and second fans would run and propped the door on the opposite side open with a metal chair. The thermostat was down to 90 before I started this. I’m hoping the air circulation will bring that down more.

 

I planted five head iceberg lettuce plants and watered them thoroughly. They’re in a good spot of sun on the table. I wanted to make sure I got those planted, so essentially did that first.

I found a weed growing up through the black weed barrier on the floor, so I pulled it out. When I did, a gazillion little black ants swarmed out. I hurried out of the greenhouse and got the EIGHT spray and 2 gallon sprayer and mixed up a batch. I thoroughly hosed down that spot where the weed was and another spot I found.

I was starting to get hot and tired, so I sprayed my way across the back yard, treating various ant hills with a thorough hosing down with the EIGHT making my way back to the deck. I hosed down all the plants, including the one holding the one weed my husband pulled out. They swarmed out pretty ferociously,  but I kept the spray coming.

The next step on the greenhouse is finding a small broom that can live out there and trying to clean things up as much as possible. Eventually, I want to try to re-purpose bricks from the planters in the front yard that we are going to tear down as soon as the weather gets cooler. I would like to try to make some paths inside the greenhouse – one in front of each line of tables and one going down the middle.  Fingers crossed I can do this.

In the meantime, I’m going to sweep the floor as well as I can, and then prune the rose bushes (an important thing my husband thought had priority.)

I’m glad I can come inside, drink a bottle of water, cool down and relax in-between sessions easily.

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“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I walked around the yard this morning, taking pictures of what is surviving in our awful heat here in Arkansas. We usually have weather like this in AUGUST – not from May through now – in un-ending record heat.  Even with daily irrigation some of the plants are simply giving up. The trees are shedding their leaves in an effort to sustain life.  As I look at these, I see all the weeds and pruning that are needed – when “I” can survive long enough to work longer outside….

 

Wave Petunias

 

 

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Wisteria

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval

 

Phlox

 

Phlox and Elephant Ear

“Earth is a flower and it’s pollinating.” – Neil Young

 

Lily

“When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.” ~Chinese Proverb

 

Mandevilla

“Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.” ~The Koran

Hydrangea

 

 

Impatiens

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Miguel Angel Ruiz


Salvia

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” ~Lydia M. Child

 

Rio Samba Roses

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” ~Jim Carrey

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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

Clematis

My husband has been trying to get clematis to grow happily at our place for several years now. The past couple of years it has given us a nice display.

 

We used 4 half-barrels and arranged for something for it to climb on. When you look at the flowers from the house, there isn’t a lot to see.

 

 

But when you look at the flowers from the BACK, this is what you see. We’ll take it.

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Walk Around the Yard

We hurried to mow the grass and blow the debris off the sidewalks and driveway pad, just in case the rains would come swooping in. Tonight we’re supposed to have a chance of rain, but the day has been gorgeous. I took a break and took some pics to share with you. My husband loves clematis, and we’ve been trying to get the vines to grow up over the deck. Failing that, and finally admitting defeat, we planted some in plastic barrel halves on the east side of our property between the house and the greenhouse.

 

 

For a very short time each year my camellias bloom. Usually they are immediately beaten down by a rain storm, showering petals everywhere and giving up for another year. Right now they’re blooming, so fingers are crossed they last for more than a day or so.

 

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Nana’s Iris Plus “Volunteer Rose”

We bought three different colors of iris from Nana’s Iris Garden in Charleston AR about three years ago.  We have several like this blooming now. I think they’re wonderful.

 

And when I was pruning our new Rio Samba rose bushes, I found this ‘volunteer’ right beside the front planter! If it’s a remnant of one of the bushes we had to cut down, we’ll try to nurture it and see what happens.

You probably already know this, but a lady at Sharum’s Nursery in Fort Smith showed me how to prune rose bushes to encourage more blooms. Ever since I learned this, I have SO much better luck with roses! –

PRUNING ROSES

  • Take the spent bloom in one hand, and pull the branch out so that you can see the groupings of leaves. Find the first group of five leaves and prune at a downward angle right ABOVE the five-leaf cluster.

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Believing in Tomorrow

Audrey Hepburn via GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

 

tomato plants

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” ~ Kate Morton

Raised Bed Planters – Row 1

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. ” ~ H. Fred Dale

 

Raised Bed Planters – Row 2

“In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.” ~Robert Brault

We’re due for rain starting this afternoon – going from “Thunderstorms,” to “Heavy Rain,” to “Showers,” to “A.M. Showers,” to “Thunderstorms” through Monday of NEXT WEEK! My biggest concern now is that my sweet plants will come up out of the ground and flow out of the squares and boxes and end up on the ground below…

“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” ~ Author Unknown

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Filed under DIET!, Favorite Quotes, Favorite Things, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Researching about the Greenhouse

barbaragroen.nl

I was hoping to find ideas about how to organize my greenhouse on the net. So far, I’ve found pictures that make my mouth water, where people have obviously put more money into the greenhouse than we have in our whole house –

 

 

blog.freepeople.com

 

 

politiken.dk

 

 

wrensgate.tumblr.com

If my mouth will quit watering, I’ll change my search terms and maybe I’ll get some suggestions on good tips for setting up MY greenhouse – not the Taj Mahal! :0)

 

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Filed under Dreams, Gardening

Digging up Iris

A couple of years ago we bought 3 rhizomes each of 5 different iris than we had in our yard from Nanna’s Iris Garden. All of them were pretty (I never saw an ugly iris) and we particularly liked a large, yellow one.

The planter is now too full of iris for them to bloom well next spring, so I’m trying to dig everything out, separate the rhizomes, replant some in this planter, and replant all the others around the yard.  Doing this is easier said than done!

Today was a perfect day to get started on this.  Amber kept me company while I worked for an hour or so this afternoon on the project. I filled a large plastic bucket quickly, then went to get another one – plus my clippers, so that I could go through what I’d dug up, cutting off too-long roots and leaves. I came in when I got too hot and tired, and am about to go put in another session today. I can tell that cleaning out this planter is going to take at least 3 or 4 sessions.

I found a good article on “When and How to Divide Iris” at MyGardenLife.com if you’re interested.

I think we have large,  bright yellow iris, some quieter yellow, some blue, and some small purple. I think there is a fifth color, but I can’t remember what it is now.

It was really nice outside today. It’s 73 degrees F. and sunny, with a slight breeze. I dig for awhile, then sit on the edge of the brick planter to cut off excess roots and leaves. Amber found a huge stick. She paraded around with it hanging from her mouth down to the ground on both sides, and then sat down to chew on it. She also went exploring a couple of times but stayed close.

I hope the weather where you are is such that you can enjoy being outside, working or resting on this nice Sunday afternoon.

Sun Doll-Nanna’s Garden

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October Trip Around the Yard

On one of my outings with Amber today, I brought my camera. I got only a few pictures before it showed me the battery needed to be charged, but I wanted to share these with you. This is an elephant ear plant my friend Laufrain gave me recently. Part of the time I worry that it will be completely eaten by insects (see leaf on right), broken by mysterious forces (see leaf on right), but it seems to be doing well overall. I plan to move it to the greenhouse for the winter when we have frost warnings and see if I bring it through to the spring for replanting.

 

This plant was also given to me by Laufrain. I don’t know what it is called, but I love the purple leaves. Today I noticed it was blooming! See the sweet, delicate pink flower?

 

I’m just delighted with all the delicate little blooms. I’ll have to ask Laufrain if I need to dig this one up, too, for the winter.

 

I harvested these two tomatoes today. The new tomato plants are still alive. I really don’t know what to expect from them, but I’m keeping an eye on them. I picked another small tomato, but it wasn’t good. I threw it toward the group of evergreen trees toward the back. Amber saw me and went crashing into the trees, retrieving it. She brought it into the front yard, chewing on it. She spit it out onto the ground, then picked it up again running all around the yard. She wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do with it, but she had a great time.

I’ll try to get more pics to share as soon as my camera battery is charged again.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!  I checked on the temperature inside my greenhouse today and it was 70!  I’ll keep an eye on that and see if I can figure out if I can actually start some seeds in there soon…

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Wheelbarrowing Olympics

ack35.wordpress.com

Since we’re supposed to have severe weather this evening with rain, wind, hail, flying hairballs and possibly a tornado, we decided to not only try to clean up where Amber had been digging most recently by emptying out and cleaning up the two brick planters from which we dug out the Rio Samba rose bushes, but also to fill them up again with potting mix so that the planters could start settling.

It took us about another half an hour to empty out the planters as much as we needed to, in order to get the bermuda and roots out. And then it took TEN 40 pound bags of potting mix to fill the planters. When they settle, we’ll probably have to add more when we plant in the spring, but we were happy we got this chore done before the rain comes.

Moving that much soil was a little bit too much exercise for us today. We may end up taking a nap this afternoon…

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Zinnias

Last year I sprinkled some zinnia seeds around in my flower planters when it was really hot and my spring flowers were flagging. Nothing happened, and to be honest, I forgot about it.

This year the zinnias bloomed – volunteers all around the yard, in front of the planters, beside the planters, behind the planters…. It’s been a glorious summer awash in sweet, happy blooms. But – enough is enough and it had gotten to the point we couldn’t get down the sidewalk or around the yard without stepping on them or having the stems grab our legs as we tried to walk by.

Today I’m working on cleaning out, weeding, and pruning the three 8 foot planters that are between our driveway area and our front yard. I’ve already pulled 4 large gardening baskets full and I’m just getting started. (I told you that things had gotten out of hand with all the rain and sun we’ve had this summer. I wasn’t kidding.)

I pulled the zinnias that were outside the planters, bringing in some to enjoy for a few days.

I hate to get rid of anything blooming, so I brought in all that would fit in this vase and dumped the rest over the edge of the civilized part of our front yard. (We have over 8 acres of mostly woods. I’m hoping that the seeds from these will plant themselves and bloom next year along the front of the yard.)

It has been a real delight to have so many decide to bloom on their own this year.

I’ll probably try to do a couple more sessions this afternoon. It’ll probably take me a couple of days to get these three planters cleaned up. I lost most of the cloud cover, though, so it feels hot outside.

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