Monday, December 26, 2011

Santa Was Good To This Gardener

We had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, friends, food and festivities.

This gardener received some nice gifts for the garden.

A subscription to Organic Gardening magazine from our God children.

New shears from a sister-in-law.

A dragonfly solar light from my wonderful husband's parents.

Let the 2012 garden planning begin!

This post is property of

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It Followed Me Home

Really, I don't know how another plant found it's way into the house.

Must have something to do with the season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Did Not Turn Out Well

I harvested some holly in November keeping it in a bucket of water in the garage in hopes of making some decorations for Christmas.

Since this is what the garden looked like Monday, I decided to stay inside and try an idea.

I got out a box of old glass ball Christmas ornaments that I use for just about anything except hanging on the tree, collected a few vases and brought in the holly.

I promptly broke one of the ornaments.

After tucking some ornaments into the vases (yes, one of those is a tree topper), I arranged the holly in the vases too.

Now, these are not the best ornaments.  The paint on many of them is cracked which I thought might cause some of it to flake off when I added the water (wanting to keep the holly hydrated).  However, I never considered that all the paint would come off making the water a mess and ruining the whole look.  I pulled the holly, poured out the vases and threw the ornaments in the trash.  This was not a good idea.

I found the glass pebbles I store in an old tin, cleaned the vases and went with a simplistic, elegant look instead of a colorful, festive look.

Tomorrow, I show you where I placed the arrangements.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turning A Frown Upside Down

I last shared this photo with you in July when the heat was bringing an end to several plants in the garden.
It was a fitting image for this gardener's mood.

The local arts council hosts a photography competition and exhibit each year.  I enjoy submitting photos and supporting the arts council with my entry fees.  I've been fortunate to have a couple of photos accepted for the exhibits over the years.  Most of my photos are of the garden.  Big surprise.  This year, I included this photo and it was accepted!  So, I'm smiling even if froggy still looks sad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Harvesting Holly

I posted in September that the two holly bushes would be removed and the area planted with more heat/drought tolerant plants.  I kept the bushes through autumn in hopes of harvesting some holly for Christmas decorations.  This afternoon was warm and calm.  I collected a bucket of holly branches.  There is water in there too.  Hopefully, I'll put together something beautiful and creative from them.  Next spring, the bushes will come out.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blustery Day For A Tour

I almost forgot to take the November tour photos.  Saturday, it suddenly hit me to get some photos.  It was windy and cold when I took the photos.  Certainly looks like autumn.  Go back one post or click on the "Tour..." link under Pages in the right hand column.

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with people you love.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that my mother is recovering well from her recent hip surgery (she also had back surgery in August.)  It has been a long autumn for her, but she is feeling much better since having the surgeries and is much more mobile.

I'm still extra busy at work; but all in all, the computer transfer is working pretty well.

November Tour 2011

Front Garden


Back Garden

Side Garden

Vegetable Garden



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gardener Busy Being Computer Tech

Life may appear quiet at Garden on Sherlock Street for a little while.  My place of employment is switching to a new computer system and doing some renovation work too.  I'm putting in overtime (not paid) to make sure my areas of responsibility transition smoothly.  I promise that I am continuing to tend to the plants overwintering in the house and am enjoying the nice fall rains we have received.  I hope to make some quick visits to your garden as I have time.  Take care.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Ones Toughing It Out

The recent snow and cold snap took a few more plants from the containers on the patio.  Mostly, the sweet potato vine, purple hyacinth bean and Jacob's coat plants.  I think the purple fountain grass also died in the cold, but the plumes still look nice so I left them for now.  I was most surprised that the ice plant is still looking good.  That's what is still in the trash cans.  I also have some blooming petunias.

The gooseneck loosestrife I planted in a container this spring is tucked in by the house where I hope it will overwinter well.  What looks like a dryer vent above the container is actually an air intake for a fireplace we do not use in the family room.  The fire place was added at some time in the house's life and is terribly inefficient.  It will be removed in a (hopefully soon) remodel of the family room.  By soon, I'm looking at two or three years.  The plant should be a little warmer there in general, and I gave it some extra mulch and can keep an eye on it easily.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Snow

I know this is nothing compared to what some parts of the US have gotten in snow already this year.  I just wanted to document the first snow on the garden.  It is melting as soon as it hits something.  I'm just glad for the moisture.

Update:  OK.  Half an hour later and the snow is accumulating.  Yea for the moisture!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Milkweed Seeds

This is not a "how to" blog post.

This is a "what I'm doing" blog post.

After consulting various websites about how to grow milkweed from seed, I have settled on the following attempts.

I opened the pod watching in awe as the milkweed silk nearly bust out in a big pouf.  My wonderful husband helped me by taking these photos as my hands were full.

I put the milkweed silk and seeds into a plastic container which I have a lid for.

It took a bit to keep it from flying out even inside the house with no air moving.

I added a few coins to the container.  This is ALL the change I had in my purse at the time.


No photos here, but I'm sure you can picture me shaking and twirling the container (with the lid on) to remove the seed from the silk.  It worked fairly well.  I had to pull a few seeds from the silk by hand.

The seeds got a little chipped in this process but I'm sure it won't affect them germinating.  Maybe I shook and twirled for too long?

Butterfly Encounters says the best way to plant milkweed seed is to just put it out in November and let mother nature do her thing.  Milkweed seed needs cold moist stratification.  You can also fake this in the refrigerator.  I didn't use the horticulture sand mentioned by Butterfly Encounters.  I used a damp paper towel as I read on another website (which I've lost the link to).  I've decided to try both processes.

I put about half the seeds on the damp paper towel.

After folding the damp paper towel, I placed it in a labeled zipper bag.  This went into the refrigerator where it will wait until after the last spring frost to plant the seeds.

The rest of the seeds were planted in the garden.  To remind myself where they are planted, I made markers with these teal plastic forks.

I just barely covered the seeds with soil, watered them gently and put a little straw there too to help hold some moisture in the area.

Even if the label wears off over the winter, these are the only teal plastic forks in the garden.

In the spring, I'll plant the seeds currently in the refrigerator.  Hopefully, between the two methods, something will grow.

We'll see what spring brings!