Monday, June 25, 2012

A Gardening First for My Hubby

"Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden.... It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart."  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

Hello Everyone,

This has been an unusual week. There is so much going on but I am having loads of fun in the garden!  I have to share a garden success scenario regarding the hubby (honey, if you are reading this, I just had to tell…sorry).  My husband has successfully grown vegetable transplants (peppers, tomatoes, corn, cowpeas and beans).  I am so proud of him because he has never grown anything…ever! He did this on his own, I did not advise him of the dos and don'ts for sowing seeds so I am very impressed. Not bad for a born and bred big city boy.

We placed shade protectors over his newbies today due to the thunderstorms we have been receiving lately. Basically we reused the chicken wire cages I mentioned in an earlier post.  I had a bunch of muslin I purchased several years ago for peanuts (for a quilting project) and anchored pieces over the cages. Very inexpensive, but effective. I have also used light colored tarps, cheesecloth, tall plants (sunflowers) and row covers in the past, but I am partial to the newest method.

I hope things are going well in your gardens!!!

Take care,


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day Fellow Gardeners!

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.  ~Hanna Rion

Hello My Friends,

Happy Father’s Day for any Dads who are reading this post…

I hope all is well with you. I was watching our local news station a moment ago and was thrilled to learn we are going to have a few days of beautiful weather. Truly excellent for my plants and for my sanity I think.  Also perfect for alfresco dining, so I am going to surprise the hubby with a special dinner cooked by yours truly.  I will make sure I have a bottle of Pepto Bismol on stand by Mom, I promise. LOL. The menu will be as follows:

Grilled Sirloin with Chimichurri Sauce

Sautéed Green Beans
Herbed Roasted Potatoes
Strawberry Shortcake
Iced Lemonade with Sprigs of Mint

It will be simple but I will be giving him what most men want, MEAT & POTATOES!!!  The best part is a majority of the ingredients are just outside my kitchen door grown from seeds and transplants I purchased last year (at an end of season sales, I might add). For example: Garlic, Oregano Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Basil. I am going to place his favorite flowers (Shasta Daisy) on the table. I hope it turns out well.

Until next time, happy gardening everyone.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Less Than Miraculous Bag of Potting Mix

Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.  ~Douglas William Jerrold, about Australia, A Land of Plenty

Good afternoon everyone,

I trust you are all well and gardening happily. I’d like to thank everyone who expressed get well wishes during my brief convalescence. I am fairing much better and have joyfully resumed my activities in the garden.  I am more cautious but not overly so. The hubby insists I wear more protective clothing because I am a “bug/arachnid magnet” but I think he is being a bit overprotective. LOL

I wanted to share a few incidents that occurred lately in my world.  I picked up a few bags of potting mix from a home improvement store (I know it sounds like I am cheating but it was purchased with a gift card because I have been pressed for time lately-typically I make my own medium). The soil is manufactured by one of the largest garden supply companies in the country. The bags basically contained large wood pieces, weed seeds, fungus spores, gnats waiting to hatch and a minute amount of soil.  I was livid and of course, I had to throw it away.  I did a bit of research and found out many people are having problems like mine or worse.  Not good. I won’t make that mistake again.

I mentioned in a previous post about the benefits of utilizing your town’s compost resources.  I have used several sites here to obtain free compost for my garden but a friend of mine found broken glass in her piling as she was transferring it to a container. It was disturbing because she rarely uses gardening gloves and she could have been seriously injured. I am not sure if the leaf donation bags were not checked properly last fall or if someone carelessly threw the shards in the pile but I will be using a homemade sifter I made from an old window screen from now on. 

Well, I have to run.  Enjoy yours gardens!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spring Gardening and Another Spider Encounter

"I know that if odour were visible, as colour is, I'd see the summer garden in rainbow clouds."
~Robert Bridges, "Testament of Beauty"

Good morning gardening friends,

My garden is coming along slowly, but I am pleased with the transformation occurring as the season progresses.  The temps here last week were pretty high for this area (at one time reaching 93 degrees).  However, the high yesterday was only 65 degrees and I must admit a wonderful respite from the heat.

You know I love sharing my gardening experiences, both good and bad.  Last week I had an unpleasant experience with a spider (a gardener’s best friend).  I was kneeling on the ground trying to tidy up a small unused part of my garden (I am trying to create a shady garden corner) and experienced a sharp pain on my right calf.

As I looked down, I noticed a brown spider trying to retreat from the leg of my pants.  I used a trowel to fend it off and noticed it looked familiar.  I went inside to clean the bite and show my husband because I was bitten by a venomous spider a few years back and had a really bad reaction that required medical attention.

After that experience, he insisted on becoming an “arachnid expert” by researching venomous spiders for this area.  Guess what, it was a yellow sac spider. Not as bad as the brown recluse spider, but still not good. They hide in dry, woody areas and this is where I encounter my spider.

I am receiving excellent care, trust me. I feel loads better and I am looking forward to returning to my garden today. Although I admit to having a fear of the little crawlies, spiders beware; you can’t keep this gardener down!!!

Until next time, take care of yourselves, my friends,


P.S. For anyone interested, here’s a link with information about the spider:
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