Monday, December 31, 2007

Just for fun..

can somebody tell me what the label thingies are for? And how do you get them? Do you have a 'Label Assignor' on the loose out there, or do the words just pop out of your post?

sry Iam so slo.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Elliot the Turtle

This is Elliot.
He is about 2' long, with a body that is about a foot wide. Very cute.
The Master is busy.
I have new birds too.

A great Christmas gift!

I got some of these from my friend Virginia. Nectaroscordum siculum.........I was unfamiliar.

This morning I looked them up on the Google. They are Alliums! Some of my favorites!

Characteristics & Attributes

Exposure - full sun
Moisture Needs- Average
Critter Resistance- Rabbit, Deer, Squirrel resistant
Nature Attraction- Butterflies
Growth Rate- Medium
Secondary Plant Type- Spring Bulbs
Bulb Bloom Time- Late Spring
Foliage Color- Green
Uses- Naturalizing, Rock Garden

I am going to get them in the ground today!

Saturday, December 29, 2007


This is the cute little worm. He is about 3' long, and 18" tall. I think he will be called "Edward".

Busy, busy, busy.....

This is a work of art in progress.

I was watching him from the kitchen window, and all I could see was 4 legs on this critter. I knew he said it was going to be a worm.....
I was surprised when I saw it has 10 legs. He is putting eyes and expression on it now. What color would you paint a creature such as this?
Pat was by here the other day, and being the practical soul that Pat is, suggested that he could take that pile of metal 'stuff' to the place where they buy metal. I thought 'The Master' was going to swoon!
Not even when he is gone should I get rid of his stuff! Do you have any idea how many things he can make with all that stuff?...........

Texas Rose Rustler

This is not about the TRR, but rather about a rose. Not even a Texas rose, just one that grows here in Texas.

I got an email from 'Don and Pat' this morning, letting us know that they need/want things for the TRR Newsletter. So, this is what I sent them.


rosa 'Aimee Vibert'

I have this rose. I love this rose!

I first saw it in my absentee neighbors yard, and I coveted it from first sight. It grows under a big old hackberry tree there, with never a bit of care, watered only with rainfall, and never fed.

I decided I would have a cutting when the appropriate time came. Actually, the appropriate time would be whenever I had time, but I was on a dead run all the time, and just didn't get over there to 'borrow' a cutting.

Then one day, it was gone. I was horrified!

As it happened, the neighbor had 'pruned' the rose.
In August.
He cut it to the ground.

I looked around for the cuttings, as I knew they were somewhere. I found them on the 'burn pile'. (Those things designated as needing to be disposed of made up the 'burn pile'.) The rose had been cut for at least 3 days, so I didn't have much hope for the survival of any stuck cuttings, but felt I should try anyway.

So, I drug a nice cane home and cut it up and stuck it all. I had 7 nice cuttings.

I got 7 rooted cuttings.

This is the toughest rose, so hardy in heat and cold. It responds to the slightest kindness with beautiful blankets of delicate blooms. Starting with the palest of pink, it actually blooms white in big clusters, and the fragrance is amazing! In my garden, this rose blooms off and on for the whole of spring, summer and autumn. I have never had to spray it for any disease!

I would urge everyone to try this rose in their garden. It is a winner!


And I included the picture and info from Google Images;

This is one rose that I hope I always have.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 23

December 23 is our wedding anniversary date.

We usually make our gifts to each other. This year, my spouse outdid himself, as far as I am concerned.

For the life of me, I cannot remember what this stand thing is called, but it is a wonderful help to me in my office.

I have several big books that I use regularly, but this one is used more than any other. It is The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, and it weighs a LOT! I have had it for about 10 years, and I worry about doing harm to the binding. I don't want my book to fall apart.

So I was delighted when I got one of these stands, whatever they are called, as an anniversary gift.

My Sister TOO, saw it yesterday and she wants one for her big books.

We could probably keep him busy for awhile.

I hit the jackpot.....

I found a cazillion seeds on my Shell pea vine, also known as Butterfly pea vine. It has the most brilliant royal blue flowers in the whole garden, and it blooms all summer and through the autumn here. Mine comes back year after year, but I don't know how hardy it would be in a less mild climate. Best to treat it as an annual, I would think.

I have a lot of seeds, and I am willing to send them to my interested blogging friends. Let me know.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

umm-umm- good!

Very exciting news here! We cut this stalk of bananas about a week ago to protect them from freezing. We always cut them green and hang them in the shop to ripen. There were 12 bananas on this stalk, and 11 are surviving now.
They are ripe now, just perfect to make a banana pudding and a banana nut bread for Christmas.

We are soooooo lucky!

An amazing sight....

We witnessed an amazing sight last night.

We had gone to Victoria, about 30 miles down Hwy 59 from us. I don't know far it goes north, but it goes straight to Mexico from here.

The trip south was a regular, normal drive. Kind of heavy traffic, but Friday evening, the last weekend before Christmas- I just figured it was Christmas shoppers.

We had a delicious seafood dinner, by the way. The first time we have eaten out in a long time.....

Back to my tale.

On the way home, about 10:00pm, we saw the most amazing sight.

The southbound lanes were bumper to bumper traffic. We are flat land here, and it was headlights as far as you could see. Never a lull in traffic, never a little space where maybe a vehicle could jump in line. It continued for the entire 30 miles that we travel Hwy 59, until we turn off on our little FM road to home. I can only imagine how far north it started.

Sounds silly? Well, not to me. Those cars were rushing home for the holidays. Headed home- TO MEXICO!

It was frightening. Have we allowed all those polititions to give our country away?

Honestly, when I hear 'But they do the work nobody else will do...' I cringe.

Who did those jobs before the illegals came to claim them?

It seems to me that we did our own dirty work back then.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Other treasures to collect...

Isn't this sweet? This is called 'Heartleaf hibiscus'. It is a native of Texas, grows very easily from seed. The leaves are kind of furry. It seems we grow more and more natives in our gardens now.
This is Jatropha. There are many, many varieties of Jatropha, and I am not sure which botanical this would be, but this is the one we grow in our gardens. It will freeze, but usually will come back from the roots. This one makes a little ornamental tree, blooms most of the summer. I have seen it get to about 10 feet tall, with some protection in winter.

A lot of bio-fuel is being manufactured from some varieties of Jatropha now, I think, and it is a big part of the economy of some Third World countries. Sumatra comes to mind, for some reason.

Foxtail fern is related to the Asparagus fern, only more 'civilized'. It makes little white berries, and does have prickles that hurt if you step on them, but WHY would you be stepping on them?! They will multiply rapidly, and they will get big, so we try to allow for growth when we plant them.
We have very sweet soil, and the ferns seem to like it. I don't know what they would do in a more acidic soil.
Take over the world, probably.

All these things are spectacular when grown with Sweet Potato 'Blackie' or 'Margaurite'.
Also, 'Aztec grass', a form of lirope, is a great companion for any of them them. They are happy in a bit of shade, if necessary.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The beginning of a collection...

These roses are part of a collection. I think they are all outstanding.

This is rosa 'Nacogdoches', now called 'Grandma's Yellow Rose'. This is going to be the new Texas SuperStar rose. Clear, strong yellow, once established, it needs little or no care. Large blooms, wonderful fragrance, and it blooms all year!

This is 'Belinda's Dream'. This rose possesses most of the characteristics of the yellow rose, plus it is disease resistant. No spraying!

This is 'Double KnockOut'!
This is the newest Knockout, I think. I know that the old ones are fantastic, blooming like crazy right now. Just gorgeous!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Makes me wish it was already Spring....

This is a lovely flower to anticipate in the spring.

My Wonderful Spouse found this plant at our local "transfer station". To everybody else, that would be "the dump" Someone had dug them up and thrown them away.

It is a crinum, not sure which one. We call it a 'ribbon' lily, and it blooms for about 3 weeks in the late spring, early summer.

Pretty good for a free plant. I was astonished when it bloomed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Granny's toys

I am having FUN!

I got a new labeler. This is a 'DYMO LetraTag' from WalMart.

I am labeling everything I can put a tag on. I need to figure out how to pull the backing off, or is there actually backing on this one? So far, I have just put tape over the tags. It works just fine.

I am gonna know where EVERYTHING is in my house! I do need to hide it from the Grands tho. They would love it as much as I do.

This is PINK firespike!

This is the PINK firespike I have alluded to earlier (somewhere!) Pink is not common at all, the RED firespikes being most prevalent. I have 3 nice big plants. I can stick lots of cuttings and eventually have great swaths and drifts of this plant, too.

Odontonema strictum is the botanical, we call it 'firespike', but it is also called 'Mexican firespike'. It is winter hardy in the south (zones 8-11), and tolerates our hot summers as well. A real selling point for this plant is that it blooms beautifully in deep shade or part shade!

This is the RED firespike. This one is common in our area. I do like it too!
Firespike will easily reach 5' in height in a season. It doesn't require a lot of water, which makes it a good choice for us.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just thinking of all I saved!

My order of 1/2 price bulbs from Brent and Becky's Bulbs arrived today.

Amaryllis bellodonna, with lovely pink blossoms in the late summer or fall.

Lilium 'Black Beauty'. Five of them , and I was thinking of sharing one or two, but I have talked myself out of that. Mine, mine, mine.

Fifty each of triteleia 'Corrina' and triteleia 'Queen Fabiola'. I have never grown these, I may share some of them. Like maybe half. This is triteleia.

Yes, that would soothe my selfish conscience. Maybe.

I have 4 big blue-enameled mugs that are planted with narcissus. They are doing nicely, and I am going to give them to the 'girls' at the Extension office. I doubt they will bloom by Christmas, but it would be o.k. if they don't bloom until later. Something to look forward to in the nasty grey days of January.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The wonderful, fabulous, "Pride of Barbados"

The picture in the header at the top of my page is called 'Pride of Barbados', and is a member of the pea family.

The botanical is 'Caesalpinia pulcherrima', and it is a native of the West Indies. It likes a hot and humid climate. It is an excellent specimen plant or a wonderful addition in a mixed border. It grows easily from seeds, and they are found in large, dark brown bean pods after flowering. (Note- Seeds from tropicals usually require a temperature of 70 degrees to germinate.)

The bloom is usually orange-red, with gold on the edge, and very long red stamens. There are also forms which bloom yellow, and also red.

'Pride of Barbados' will grow to 5-8' in a season, even after freezing to the ground the previous winter. It will return dependably in zones 8 and 9.

This plant is either going to be named as a Texas Super Star, or has already been named such. I know it is definitely a star in my garden!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I have been guided to the 'font and color' change place.

This is soooooooo much fun!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Somebody took my pig!

He is not in his customary space in the front bed. I know I haven't moved him, and he is too fat to just walk off on his own. I don't know anybody else who would care enough to move him....

I wonder if something happened to him that somebody might be skeered to tell me about?

Hmmmmmmm. A mystery.

Help needed, Please!

I would like to move the propagation chamber post to a separate little blog, just about propagation methods.

Does anybody know how I could do that? Just move it as a whole, rather than having to delete and reassemble.......

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Friday, December 7, 2007

AN tis uh PA-a tion!

I almost cannot wait! The little seedlings of 'Laura Bush' petunia are beginning to appear. She doesn't mind the cold of winter here, and is such a beautiful sight. Her bright majenta blossoms are a real treat on dreary winter days. She has won a permanent place in my garden, and in my heart.

The garlic beside her is a steadfast companion, returning every year.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

MORE seeds!

My friend Jean Anne brought 2 big sacks of seeds to a meeting last week. For me. Mine, all mine.

BEAUTIFUL, smoooooth, seeds, not quite 2' in diameter. Big seeds, and did I say how pretty they are.

These are kind of a light, reddish brown color. They darken as they dry. Just gorgeous.

They are seeds of the Buckeye, a native here.

"Red Buckeye
This is another native buckeye that prefers the shade and moistness under larger trees. Its rich carmine flowers are a spring highlight. Red Buckeye has a rounded habit of growth and will grow 15 to 20 feet high and wide. One disadvantage of this tree is that it may lose its foliage early (August to September), especially during dry summers."

It is usually more shrubby here. This is the info on the native that grows all over in the Hill Country of Texas, and ours is very similar. Ours does have RED flowers though.

"Mexican Buckeye Sapindaceace Ungnadia speciosa
Pink flowers appear on bare branches just after the redbuds bloom in early spring. The tree is multi-trunk if grown in full sun, but more open if grown as an understory tree. The leaves are long and slender and turn yellow before dropping in the fall. The seed pod hangs on in the winter even if the seed fall out. It makes an interesting sculptured look in the winter. It is drought tolerant when established. "

The Mexican Buckeye that grows here blooms RED, but has the habit of what grows around Wimberly.

Anyway, I like it. The main drawback is that it grows slow, but sometimes you need something that will grow slow.

They germinate very easily.

I did share some of them, and I still have many more than I will ever be able to use. I would share.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is it too late to learn to cook?

I go to read about cooking at Ohiomom's blog,, and I always learn something.

I cooked when I was young. I made all the bread that was consumed in my home at one time. Then I got divorced, and that stopped.

I have 6 children, so I had to cook. But I did enjoy it, back then. I was much better at it then.

I think one thing is that I still refuse to do the convenience thing, but I don't want to take the time to make the good stuff. I certainly don't NEED to eat, and would benefit from being left alone on an island with nothing but low-cal vegetation on it. For about 3 months would be about right.

But..that is not going to happen.

I think I can learn from Ohiomom.

One thing I want to know; Why is brown sugar always measured 'packed'? I was reading about making the "Blueberry Crisp", and noticed that the brown sugar has to be packed.

And I remembered it was always thus.

I want everybody to notice..

the picture in my header!

A simple thing to all of you, for me it was hours and HOURS of work!

I am challenged, computerally. It takes me FOREVER to do things that other people can just whip out in no time.

I got it done, tho.


(More of a loud chortle, actually. heheehe)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

'Tis the time to.....


Must be simple, must be quick. No exotic ingredients.

And I don't want to have to scald any milk. I can never do that right.

Quick and Easy Pecan Bars

2 cups bisquick
4 eggs
1 box light brown sugar
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped*

Lightly beat eggs. Mix all ingredients thoroughly (dough will be stiff). Pour into a 9" x 13" ungreased pan, and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut while warm.

*You can substitute raisins, chocolate chips, walnuts, dates, or anything else you want for the pecans. can leave the pecans and add those ingredients in addition. Enjoy!

I feel so wealthy!

I was leaving the Extension Office in town, when I noticed Claude raking pine needles. When asked what he was going to do with them, he told me he was going to throw them away!


So I asked if I could have them, and he promised to bag them up and leave them so I could pick them up. AND HE DID!

So, now I have 3 BALES of wonderful mulch material for my rose beds! Free! And I didn't even have to rake them up!

I don't mind raking them, it is just hard for me to find them to rake. We have very alkaline soil, and the pine needles are usually 'taken' or 'spoken for' by the time I see them. They are a valuable commodity around here. LOL

I am rich, rich, rich!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Red sky in the morning..

This is the day we are given today. Up to us to make the best of it.
What a glorious beginning!

a rose, by any other name....

Oh, wait! This is not a rose....

This is what we call 'bulbine'. The American Horticulture Encyclopedia of Plants calls it 'Bulbinella'. Whatever, it is still a marvelous plant.

It is native to S. Africa and New Zealand. The leaves are kind of thick, like an aloe vera, or a succulent of some sort. It blooms orange or yellow. The orange flowered plant seems to be the tougher of the two, but the yellow grows much taller, and much more elegant.

It seems to like whatever conditions you give it, but it doesn't like real cold weather.

Supposedly, you can grow this from seed, but I have not found seeds yet. Perhaps because I have not looked for seeds. Who would suspect you could harvest seeds from a succulent?

At any rate, you can propagate by division.

Very worthwhile, in my opinion.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This is such fun to look at!

Squealing here! Y'all have to see this!

This is Dr. William Welch at Chelsea Garden Show, and other places. I saw them for the first time tonight and it is spectacular! Turn up the sound!

If you lose this URL, just google Aggie Horticulture, then click on The Southern Garden on the side menu.

WHAT is this???

Would you look at that last post? It says I posted it at 4:46 A.M.! I was just opening my poor tired eyes at that time, certainly not posting anything here!

Who runs the clock department here? The clock on my computer is correct. Where is home for this blogger outfit?

Is it really important? Why does it bother me?

The Front Garden

This is a peek into the front garden. We ripped all the grass out from the front yard and put in a cottage-y type garden. I am excited about changing some things in this garden this coming Spring.

The majenta flower is a Hardy Hibiscus called 'Cranberry Punch'. The blooms are close to the size of dinner plates, and it has a 'bloom and rest, bloom and rest' cycle for the summer months. I have cut it way back now, and stuck the cuttings, but it grows very easily from seeds. I just have to be very vigilent about harvesting seeds.

Some other things you see here are Purple Fountain grass, and rosa 'Nearly Wild'. Lantana 'True Gold' and 'Red Spread', Confederate rose, and bi-colored iris (Butterfly Iris) are also in this space. It is actually a rather large space, just doesn't look so big here. The garden is approximately 50' long x 40' wide. There is a lot more to explore in this garden.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More from my gardens

This lovely is a 'Cat's Whiskers', Tacca chantrierei, also known as 'Bat flower' or 'Devil Flower'. I prefer the name 'Cat's Whiskers'.

It gets about 2' tall and blooms in either white or lavender. The roots are rhizomatous. In our winters, it will freeze but will readily come back.

I say it gets about 2' tall, but I have had it reach my waist (well, what would be my waist, if I had one). It just depends on what is available in the way of plant food, I think. It loves acid soil, moist but well drained, and partial shade.

Root cuttings with at least one bud, seeds, or cuttings of semi-ripe wood will get you many new plants. This one is very easy to propagate.

This is a native of India, or SE Asia. Isn't it marvelous how they get into our yards from so far off?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

back in the good old days...

Does anybody eat fried potatoes anymore?

I don't mean french fries. I am talking about cutting up potatoes in rectangular pieces, but short pieces. Then you fry them in grease- oil, shortening (horrors!) or whatever. If you stir them just right, they will cook soft, with maybe a bit of crispy on one side. If you don't stir them, they will cook crispy on one side and not be soft. Also, they will probably stick together, if you don't stir them.

When I was a kid, we ate fried potatoes at least 5 days a week. My Mother and Dad ate fried potatoes after all us kids grew up and went away, but then it was mostly Daddy doing most of the frying. Sometimes he would get on a health kick and lay off eating eggs, but he never heard about hydrogenated products being full of trans fats and all. So he didn't swear off fried potatoes, and they always used Crisco, in the can. Daddy took real good care of himself too, and back then, he was in great shape. He never heard about frying stuff being bad for you, but I think they would have had to prove it to him.

Anyway, back to those fried potatoes.

When I met my spouse, he had NEVER HEARD OF FRIED POTATOES! I couldn't believe it! I almost didn't marry him because of it! He said his Mama had never cooked them, nor had his spouse from a former life.

Now that the fat phobia is on us, I don't cook them very often.

Tonight we had fried potatoes for supper. Hamburger steak, with brown gravy and onions, fried potatoes, (fried with some bacon drippin's) and cole slaw left over from Thanksgiving dinner. It was a delicious supper.

Sure brought back old memories. I was wishing for some biscuits, too.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My friend Pat

This is my friend Pat.

She is demonstrating how she had injured herself while dancing the YYYY-M-C-A at a wedding the weekend before.

Pat is highly thought of around here. She works about non-stop. She is always taking care of somebody, or doing something for somebody.

Pat is a widow, very devout in her faith. She lost her little boy to cancer when he was about 5 years old. She takes care of all these old folks around here now because when Nicky was sick, they had benefits for him, blood drives for him; they brought crops in for them so she and her husband could stay at MD Anderson with Nicky. She has never forgot their kindness.

I am blessed to have Pat for a friend. People take us for sisters, and have asked if we are twins before. We have the same build, same coloring, same deep gruff voice, and many of the same mannerisms. We are no kin, never knew each other until we met when I transferred to the local Master Gardener group. Our friendship was instant. We have so much in common.

Pat turns another year older this coming week. I am going to take her to lunch at 'Los Cuckos', a nice Mexican restaurant, and celebrate with her. And be glad she is my friend.

Just bustleing around here...

...getting ready for Christmas.

Actually, I am feeling dismayed that Winter is upon us, and I will have neither bloom nor bud, so I am working feverishly to fix that.

I have potted up 8 amaryllis bulbs, to have them look nice enough to give as Christmas gifts, even if they are not blooming then. Also, I have 12 pots of paper whites to force. Each pot has at least 3 bulbs (blue enameled mugs), and some have as many as 7 bulbs (pretty crystal vases). They (the bulbs) are just set on pretty gravel, and when they get tall enough, I will gather the foliage and bloom stems into a bouquet, and tie them up with a gingham ribbon. It keeps them from flopping over.

Also, to keep them from getting extremely tall, you can stunt their growth with a shot of vodka. Keeps them about half their original height.

And...when the blooms are gone, I always plant these narcissus in the ground. They will come back next year.

Tough plants, the daffodil.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In my yard...

...this passes for 'orderly'.

I am not what you could call an orderly person. I seem to thrive on dis-organization.

Perhaps it is because my perception of what is orderly and that of some others is different. My sister TOO's ideas of orderly are amazingly different. TOO (The Organized One) would have to have those zinnias laid out in precise patterns, encased in a border, and probably clipped to a height no taller than..... and no shorter than.....

I like to throw the seeds out there and see how they look when they come up. I don't care if they are random heights, or falling over the front edge of the bed. As long as they aren't affected by mildew, I am happy with zinnias as they prefer to be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The prettiest YELLOW flower....

This is THE prettiest, most vibrant flower in the garden. The prettiest yellow one.......

This is a Native of Texas called Esperanza. I think it was Greg Grant who saw the potential and went to work to put this plant in every nursery in Texas. It blooms like this most of the year.

It grows easily from seed or can be grown from cuttings. It will easily reach a height of 8 feet, blooming profusely for most of the way.

There is also an orange Esperanza, but it doesn't have the flash that the yellow one has. There is just something about this yellow flower that shouts "I'm happy! Be happy!".

And who could look at that flower and not be happy?

A puzzle for you

What kind of plant do you think this is?

It is kind of bushy, with dark green leaves; BIG, glossy, leaves, but thin. Not a thick leaf at all.

It blooms bright orange. Pretty little rosette-looking blooms.

This might be a clue.

This thing has NASTY long thorns!

It is a cactus!

and another.....

This is the Confederate rose. Actually, this one is a sport, hence the two tone appearance.

I have them that bloom pink, then turn colors to finish as a crimson bloom. And I have them that bloom white, and turn to crimson. Both are show-stoppers when they are in full bloom.

The bloom is enormous, as big as a man's hand in most cases.

This one is from a wayward seed, so it isn't really sure which way it is going to bloom. It isn't all white, nor all pink. Not very big, but not a single as many sports are. (The singles remind me of magnolias.)
I like it anyway.

This plant is incredibly easy to propagate. Just cut it and stick it; don't let it dry out. It will grow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Shredded Hankie

This is one of my favorite plants. It is a brugmansia called 'Shredded Hankie'. This is the bloom, fully unfurled. It looks like a wadded up kleenex. LOL

Like all brugs, it is poisonus. All parts, all the time.

But, since I don't eat them, and don't teach children to eat flowers, I don't care.
People are asking for trouble when they teach their kids to eat the nasturtiums. Let them wait until they are grown to find out you can eat flowers. Like I did.


What does it take to get a simple 12 pack of diet soda on the shelves at our store?!!!

I have talked until I am blue in the face, and I cannot get the derned vendor to leave any Diet Rite Cola at our HEB. I have talked to store managers, department managers, and shelf stockers. The store manager today told me that it was up to the vendor to decide what gets put on the shelf.

SO TELL THE VENDOR! They can't sell it if it isn't on the shelf, and I hate to drive 35 miles to buy diet soda!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

WHAT was I thinking?????


Janie was elected 2008 President of the Jackson County Master Gardener Assn.

WHAT was I thinking?

WHAHAHAHAHahahahahahaha! can I get out of this one?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

seeds, seeds, seeds......

I TOL' you I had a lot of seedlings! And this isn't all of them. I just kind of go nuts about sowing seeds.

I think these are snapdragons, with one tray of calendulas. I put them in trays because I have too much work in some the flowerbeds to be sowing a lot of seeds there. I will over seed these, when I put the transplants in the ground. It is a good technique, works most of the time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

WHOOOwhooooo! I think my internet is fixed!

Peoples scurrying all over the place here this afternoon. Three techs from my ISP here to fix the internet. It seems to be working since they left, MAYBE it is fixed!

Let us hope it is so!

I have little baby seedlings up. Swiss chard 'Bright Lights' are about 3" tall. There are a lot of them, and the stalks are all different colors. I love this plant because it lends colors to the garden so beautifully.

My dill and parsley are up. Goodness, I have a lot of baby dill plants! I am going to moved some of them to the front flowerbed. Dill is so elegant, and in winter, it is nice to see the seed heads when they are full, like big old flowers.
ALSO...............I have a ton of spinach. I like it raw, hate it cooked. We will have many fine salads from this crop.

The pepper plants are full of peppers; every color you can imagine, even PINK! The 'Super Chili' is my favorite, although 'Black Pearl' and 'Christmas Ornament' are also my favorite. The 'Super Chili' looks like a pepper plant with a hundred old fashioned Christmas lights sticking out from among the leaves...all different colors.

My vegetable garden is growing nicely. I was given a 9-pack of Brussel sprouts- what will I DO with all those Brussel Sprouts? We don't eat them, I just like to watch them grow.

And the cardoon and artichokes are up!
Cardoon is a beautifully architectural plant, and good to eat too. The last cardoon I grew got to be 12' across, so be sure to give it plenty of room. The flowers are a big old purple thistle looking flower, and they are pretty too. They are supposed to be frost tender, but mine did not freeze.

I suppose they might, if it gets cold enough.
The artichokes are very similar, but a coarser looking plant than the cardoon. My grands love finding 'neat' plants in the garden.

Also, my husband was not too thrilled when first I was growing 'a thistle' type flower. He did mellow when he realized it wasn't going to take over the whole garden. And look like a weed.........

Friday, November 9, 2007

I promise, I promise......

I promise I am working on a post. I accidentally published one this
morning, and the pictures look better than I expected,
but I deleted it because it looked stupid the way it was.

It was an 'accidental publishing'......

These desperate characters have just enjoyed a good meal. Do we look like we were drinking?

This little one is our precious SIL. She never ceases to amaze me. Loves that junk!

I am working on it, Really, I am!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First Monday sale

I have my pictures downloaded to my computer, but the sheer number of them is confusing!

I didn't buy much. I bought a birdcage with a nice tarnished finish.

I bought a nice old composition doll that was crying for me to bring her home. She is a baby, with open/shut eyes, and two teeth. She is in really good condition, but she only has her old underwear on. She needs a dress. She was only $7.50, which is why I know she was wanting to come home with me.

I bought a slew of doll clothes for almost nothing. I know I have a doll that will fit into those clothes.

I bought a cute Christmas ornament made from an old piece of quilt. It is a boot shape, flat, cut from old quilt, and starched. I bought it for the idea, mostly. I am always looking for an ornament to make for my whole family- that is a whole bunch of ornaments.

I bought raspberry tea. I could have bought it elsewhere, but I was there, and so was the tea, so I bought it.

I bought a steak turner for Bob, and some racks for his air hoses and extension cords. They also had them for water hoses, but I didn't buy them. I probably will order some of them later. You can see them here- Bob really liked his presents.

I bought a sign for Pat, and an old iron cross. A few little doo-dads. Only one gardening item- a little clear bottle with holes drilled into the sides of it. A piece of copper wire, quite substantial wire, too, was run through the holds and twisted and curled up to make a hanger. It is for rooting cuttings.

Oh, wait! The other thing I got was a double rinse tub for a wringer washing machine. I am going to use it to grow herbs. I had one once before, and loved it, and it looks really neat!

The real story was our actual stay at Canton. We stayed at a B&B that turned out to not be a B&B, really. Rather, it was an older couple who rented out their bedrooms. She told us we had to eat at 7:30- take it or leave it- and she didn't make coffee. There were possessions in every drawer, the closets were stuffed to the brim, and the man sat in his recliner in the living room and watched us run to and from the bathroom getting dressed.

We went and bought a coffee pot and coffee and all the trimmin's, and made coffee at the crack of dawn. We didn't have even a card table to set around, so there was no card playing or anything like that. It wasn't very relaxing. The thing is, we were there, and there was no room at any other inn in the whole derned country!

Canton swells to a population of about 400,000 during First Monday Sale. The natives number about 3,000. To make up for them having to put up with all the aggravation once a month, they don't have to pay an electric bill. The city takes care of it.

So, now we know. Bob and I are going back in the Spring, and I have already made reservations. At a motel!

The whole time I was gone, I had this really naggy guilty feeling. I kept thinking Bob would just love this! I sure did miss him!

Monday, November 5, 2007

I have returned.........

I am back from our great adventure at First Monday at Canton, and what an experience! I have pictures too! You wouldn't believe that place! Acres and acres of junk! The whole town is a huge garage sale!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Down here in HOT old Texas..........

We live in zone 9a, and have very mild winters. Winter is usually 3 days, not consecutive. Just 3 days total.

It fools you sometimes, and really does get cold. It is the nastiest, wettest, coldest cold when it is cold here; it just goes right through you. But it doesn't last long. The next day, it will be back up in the 60s or 70s, with a bright sun in the sky. We garden year 'round.

The killing weather for us is our hot, HOT summers. August in South Texas can be brutal. We lose more plants in summer than we do in winter.

So, when the gentle temps of October and November roll around, we get in the mood to garden again.

My husband starts to talk about turning the AC on in April. I resist, usually until about July. Nights are pleasant with a fan, and sleep is comfortable. When it gets too hot at night for tomatoes to set fruit, I relent and turn the AC on. He has never understood this.

So, last April, I told him, "When we turn the AC on, I won't go out to work anymore." And I didn't.

Actually, it wasn't the heat that kept me inside. We had rain everyday for forever. It was impossible to work outside.

Well, yesterday, we were working in the garden, reclaiming it from several weeks of neglect. My Husband told me we were never going to turn the AC on again.

LOL LOL LOL! I have giggled about that all day!

Sometimes the garden is ART.

This is a favorite garden. I don't know the gardener, only that she is an elderly lady.

As far as I know, she does all her gardening herself. I have never seen anyone there to help her. AND....I have never seen a weed in her garden. Her space is immaculate!

This is the first time I have know her to grow zinnias in that space. She usually has beautiful RED poppies there. It is a wonderful sight to see!

I see this garden on most of my travels from home, unless I go to water's edge, which is the opposite direction. The garden is a lovely gift for all of us, and the gardener is truely an artist.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

aggravation, aggravation

I am aggravated! I haven't figured out this blog thingie. I want it to look one way, but can't figure how to do it. I think I need to wait quietly, don't throw things yet, until I have time to work with it. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to post a picture. OR change things around................

Working with plants is so much less complicated. The fall garden is almost all in the ground.

I pressed seeds of dill (Bouquet) into a circle of soil in a raised bed and added a border of curley parsley. Arp rosemary encircles that, and the whole bed is squared up with corners of oregano and mint. They are both supposed to be so invasive, but in my garden, they must feel deprived, because I have never had it go crazy on me. I have seen it go crazy in other flowerbeds. We don't want that, we certainly don't!

Planning is the part of gardening that is most fun. Well, eating is good too.

I have found some new area to work. We dug several good size Spanish Mulberry trees out of some beds. They volunteer so easily. It is a pretty little tree, but I would prefer some LA lilies there, maybe. The area is about 12'x 10'. If I thin some branches out of a crepe myrtle in that area, I will really have a nice space.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A different kind of weekend

Last Monday, we had a little cold snap blow in. I mean BLOW- hard! I was surprised, as I had not bothered to check the weather for a few days. The weather is so nice, I guess I didn't want to think about winter approaching.

Anyway, something happened to my internet service. I didn't have any! This is a bad thing, as far as I am concerned. I called, a man came to check it, and it came back on for a few hours, but then died late Thursday, or early Friday. No internet all weekend.........Oh, yes, and the computer crashed on Tuesday, and I lost EVERYTHING!!! I did finally get it to take the recovery discs, and it is up and running (knock on wood). I have purchased a flash drive thingie to put stuff on in case it goes down again. It is a terrible shock to not even have an address in your computer! And I will save everybodies addresses so I can at least contact them.............this is a trauma!

It was a very productive weekend. I gathered stuff to throw away. I pruned and trimmed, weeded and cleaned, piled all the trimmings in the bed of the truck, and we hauled it all to the dump. I found a galvanized chicken waterer that someone had discarded, and brought it home to plant 'hens and chicks' in the part where the birds get water. It will be a cute planter.

I have gathered seeds and spent many hours packaging them, labeling them, and sorting them into catagories. I am considering what to do with all the seeds I already have..........I have way too many already. I cannot NOT save them tho; I have to find someone who will want them, someone who will use them. The older seeds, I mean, and probably most of the new ones too.

I planted seeds of poppies and larkspurs, calendulas, snapdragons, and sweet peas. I am anxious to know what kind of sweet peas I will have this year, as I have not purchased any sweet pea seeds. I saved all that I planted from vines grown last year. They were all beautiful pastels, except for a few brilliant RED blooms. I would like to have more of those RED blossoms.

Likewise with the calendulas. I saved all the calendula seeds that I planted. Last year, they were a nice mix of yellow and orange blooms of varying sizes. I hope they are the same this year. They are very pretty, and last well into the end of April. I love to plant my green bean vines behind the existing calendulas. The green foliage of the bean vines is a great background for the yellow and orange blooms. Calendulas don't have the prettiest foliage.

My snapdragons are all going to be 'Rockets' this year. Tall, and bright! I planted a lot of snapdragon seeds, putting a lot in one spot or another. I want them to really show off!

The biggest showoffs will be the poppies, if they grow at all. Last year, I had only one poppy plant! I planted lots and lots of seeds, but for some reason, they didn't grow. The one plant I had was magnificent however, and bloomed for about 6 weeks. It was covered with bright RED blooms, and nothing is cheerier in the garden than a big RED poppy. Especially when it is kind of cold still...........

The Hyacinth Bean vines are full of pink, purple and white blooms, and dark, shiney, purple beans! Some of the seed pods are ready to pull, and I have about a half gallon of pods now. I should triple that amount before they are all harvested. Enough for me and several of my closest friends. This is one of my favorite things to do in fall- harvest the seeds for next years hyacinth bean vines.

I planted Byzantine gladiolus. They should be spectacular next spring too- I planted a hundred of them! I wish they would bloom with the crocosmia. THAT would be a sight!

I have allium and freesia to plant, but I will wait for cooler weather and cooler soil before I put them in the ground. I have not decided about planting daffodils. I want to know if mine drowned before I make that decision, I guess. I am going to be heartbroken if my daffs drowned.

We carried 4 big old boxes of good junk to the lady who is having the fund-raising garage sale for her niece's medical expenses. I was sure glad someone was happy to take that stuff. I have lots more to take to her.

The internet might should have stayed gone just a little while longer.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

When first I knew

One of my instructors once admonished us as a class; "don't bother with one of these and one of those. Stick to sweeps of one plant, concentrate on great numbers of a certain bloom or color."

"Oh, well", I thought. "I am going to have a hard time here."

It wasn't that I had anything against great sweeps of a certain bloom or color. I love to see great sweeps of brilliant bougainvillea dressed in magenta or hot pink. I love a soothing carpet of Purple Heart, with a perky pick-me-up of yellow lantana. I just like a lot of other things too.

The problem comes with the fact that I am also an obsessive/compulsive propagator of plants too. The one plant I purchase turns into 6 plants or 10 plants. Wow! Now I have great sweeps of one kind of plant, one bloom, one color.

But I continue purchasing one of this and one of that. I stick them into the beds with the great swaths of one color, one bloom..........and that plant becomes many too.

I am going to run out of land before I run out of plants.