Turning my frown upside down….

So I had a bad day, I know we all do.  Sometimes I think we need them to appreciate all the good days we have.  Well I decided I needed to turn my frown upside down so I went outside and took a tour of my yard.  Here’s a little of what I looked at….

The lemon tree that my Mom and Dad gave us when we moved into our house.  Mom has since passed, so makes me think of her.

my first burpless cucumber of the season.  Its almost ready….

my first zucchini of the season….

mini yellow rose bush my Grandma gave us when we moved in.  She has passed also…

a salvia start from the front yard.  Its doing great, has a few blooms!

plums are coming along….

Grandma’s favorite flower….Hollyhocks

my Redbud tree is getting so big!  It looks a little droopy cause it was the hottest part of the day when I took his picture.

pinchushions are back.  They got a mildew really bad during the winter and i cut them all the way to the ground, wasnt to sure they would forgive me and come back. But they did!

a new addition, my favorite plant name ever!  Portulaca!

Another fairly new addition, State Fair Zinnia

Of course then I saw this….

my strawberry patch full of weeds.   But you know, it was ok.  Life goes on whether Im having a good day or not.  So I get to make the choice of how I react to things.  So I decided to just concentrate on all the pretty things I saw and smile.

The weeds will be there tomorrow……

Surprises and reruns

One of the things I enjoy most about gardening are the surprises that pop up every once in awhile.  This morning while I was out watering, yes, sadly I hand water.  Sprinklers are on the list….

This first picture is a plant that comes back every year.  The first year I had it I wasnt sure what it was.  You know you have a problem when you plant so many plants that you have no idea what they are or if you even planted it!  In my defense, i worked at a nursery and would rescue plants that were on their way to the dumpster.  sometimes they made it sometimes they didnt.  sometimes i knew what I was planting sometimes it was just a surprise.  I have planted SO many surprise tomatoes!

So anyway when this started growing the leaves were pretty so I left them.  Then it started spreading and creeping all over and I was like hmmm….maybe this is a weed.  Then it started growing shoots up.  i took a picture and took into work to see if anyone knew what it was.  One person did.  THEN it bloomed!

Isnt it pretty!  Its a campanula.  I have no idea which one, like I said it was a surprise plant.  Before it bloomed 2 of my friends thought it was a weed and wanted to pull it out for me.  haha  So far I just have the one spike but I should be getting more.

Another happy rerun is this geranium….this one i believe is “Rosann”……again it was a rescue.

This poor little plant.  When i got it it was barely alive.  And it has “died” at least 3 times in my garden.  It will disappear and then come back, this is the first year that it has grown and flowered.  AND at some point I must have had phlox nearby cause there is a white phlox growing with it!  It had tripled in size so i think its going to make it this time!  Fingers crossed!

Another surprise is this Gerbera.  I do remember planting this plant!  In fact Im pretty sure I paid retail for this plant!  haha  It disappeared a few years ago, the plants around it got bigger and it was getting to much shade.  But he decided to come back this year.

I do need to cut back the plants around him, hes a little smooshed.

OH! My lupines bloomed!  They are purple.  Very pretty.  Ill have to get some pictures of them.

Cant wait to see what other surprises are waiting for me out there!


Another Gopher

It’s that time of year!  Gopher season.  Had another one, set the trap yesterday when i checked it this morning nothing.  Checked it again about an hour ago BINGO!  Caught him!  I have such mixed feelings about it tho.  Im happy that I caught him but also sad that I killed a living thing…..  Put him back in the hole and filled it with soil, hopefully he can be a warning to others to stay away so I dont have to kill them.

Lupine, Babies and a Beware….

I stumbled out of my house half asleep this morning on my way to get the paper.  Yes, I still get the paper.  I also like real books…..:o)  Reading the paper while I have my morning coffee just seems right to me.  Anyhoo, as I’m walking and looking at the yard I spot something that I hadn’t seen before.  Seems like its been years ago now, which now that I think about it ….I’m pretty sure it has been, well, at leat 1 1/2 years ago.  Someone had given me Lupine seeds.  I have never grown them and I’m not really that good with seeds, I’m trying to be better.  So instead of following the directions about how to start seeds I just dug a small hole poured them in and watered.  I know….so you’ll understand my happy surprise when they started to grow!  And grow.  Like I said its been about a year and a half.  Was about to give up on them when I saw this today

YAY!  It’s going to bloom!  Now just have to wait and see what color it is.  As I was looking at it  I found another surprise

Babies!  There are several baby Praying Mantis running around the Lupine.  Makes me so happy!

My  beware is to my friends and family.  It’s why I should never, NEVER give anyone a haircut.  A before and after….

Pruning is one of my favorite things to do and I have a little problem in stopping……

Hanging a basket the way Grandma used to

I was at the 99cents store the other day browsing, you never know what you’ll find there.  Well that day I found small wire hanging baskets.  which was perfect cause I was looking for a way to hang herbs from my fence, was leaning towards small galvanized buckets, but I couldn’t find any, so I settled for the baskets.

I remember being a little kid and helping my Grandma plant up hanging baskets in the spring, we would plant the sides and bottoms as well.  Anyone else remember those hanging pots?  They were a wire basket but they had squares to hold the moss in and you could plant the sides and bottoms up.  When they filled in it was like a big ball of flowers, really pretty!  Today they all used those coconut liner, not really a favorite of mine.  So when I saw the baskets I kinda hesitated, not sure if I wanted to look at coconut liner.  But for 99cents I went ahead and got them.  Another problem with the coconut liners are that you need to find the right size or get the flat liner then it kind of bunches up.  I figured since these were a rather small size it might be hard to find the liner so I decided to plant the way Grandma used to.  The problem of course is that these don’t have squares to hold soil.  So I had to get creative.

I had some green 22 gauge wire left over from something….flower arrangement?  I’m not really sure, anyway it would work perfect.

I started at the bottom of the wire form and crisscrossed the bottom hole then just went up wrapping around each post as I went

when it was done it looked like this

To line the baskets I was going to use green moss.  It comes in bags and is much easier to work with when it’s wet.  So I got a bin filled it with water and added the moss.

Looks kinda gross right?   haha  Once its all wet you grab a piece and squeeze the water out, it will be soft and easy to form into a layer, the bigger the piece the better.  When I helped Grandma this was always my part.

Start at the bottom and work your way up the sides.  Doesnt have to be super thick, just thick enough to hold the soil in.

Once you get it all covered fill it with potting soil.  The green wire doesn’t really show anymore.  See….

Then just plant them up!   I added mint to this one.

In the other 3 I planted basil, cilantro and spinach.  I like the way they look over the coconut liners and it reminds me of planting with Grandma.

I have a few larger hanging baskets that I am thinking of planting up just like Grandma used to, sides and the bottoms, but I need to find a place to hang them first……maybe from one of the tress?  hmmm….that may work.  Think I’ll go check.


Can’t help myself…..

I have come to the conclusion that having a large lawn is a guy thing.  This is a conversation that I have had over and over with women, their husband wants the lawn she wants flowers.  I have the same thing in my house.  My hubby likes the lawn, which don’t get me wrong I like it too, but I’m happier with less lawn.  So for the last several years I have been slowly carving away at the lawn, so slow in fact, that I’m not sure if my hubby has caught on yet or not.  🙂

A few weeks ago we added a few pavers stones to the patio off the den, well as I was sitting  out there enjoying the yard, I thought “Oh, that’s the perfect place for a few little flower beds”.  So, I put them in….

They are really small…..I didnt take out that much lawn….really there were some bare patches there anyway…..it’s a tricky place to grow grass……think he’ll buy it????

Here’s what it looked like before

See!  There are bare spots from adding the pavers…plus, well….it’s just not pretty!

So I dug out the grass….

added edging…..

The soil wasnt very good there, so I took some out so I could amend it.

I mixed the ground soil with planting soil, a small amount of peat moss and worm castings. Then I was ready to plant!

You can see my potting bench in the background, it’s all primed and ready to be painted.  The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend, maybe I can do it then!

So, anyway, I planted lobelia, alyssum, zinnia, marigolds..which really aren’t my favorite but the color was so pretty I couldn’t pass them up  and also impatiens. The spot is kinda half sun half shade as you can tell from the pictures.  And when summer gets here the sun will move and it will get more sun.  So we’ll see how these do.  I also added little solar lights.

Cute right!  When is fills in it will look better, there was more room in the beds than I thought, but still you get the idea.

Hubby will be home any minute…..we’ll see if he likes it.