January 2007

January 2007

Friday, November 30, 2012

First snow confusing my flowers

We received our first snow of the season. Our area only received a couple of inches while 40 miles north received 2 feet.  Good for them!!  My flowers are still in bloom, although maybe they are just "frozen" in time.  This time of year is confusing for them. It could be 50 degrees or 20 degrees. Sun or snow or rain.  All in one day. I will continue to enjoy the color in my garden until it is completely covered with snow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings - Hurricane Sandy, Alyssum, and more

Good news, Hurricane Sandy didn't do anything here - just another windy day.  2 sections of my neighbor's fence did fall onto part of my flower garden, but I had an old metal step-stool there and an old wooden chair that broke its fall so it didn't destroy any plants.  The wooden chair is history. Good thing I only paid $1 for it at a garage sale! My heart breaks for everyone in Sandy's path who've lost everything.

The following is a verse from my children's story "The Moonlight Garden" about a stroll through a flower garden bathed in moonlight -

Clumps of white alyssum, swirling around our feet in waves of glowing mist, guide us down the garden path. The smell of sweet cotton candy floats up to greet us. 
My alyssum is still blooming, although a bit more buried in leaves than when I took this photo.  I have not had a hard frost yet at my house despite some morning temperatures in the high 20's. 

This weekend begins my marathon month of wreath making.  I've been "grooming" my niece for the past few years on how to make them and she will be helping me this year.  Besides selling them at our family Christmas tree farm, we have signed up for a craft show.  She's 10 yrs old and very excited at the prospect of earning her own money.

                                Stay warm and enjoy the busy holiday season coming up!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last of my flowers bracing for the "superstorm"

Our weather Thursday and Friday was wonderful. It's hard to believe that an historic "superstorm" is headed our way. I can only hope we are far enough on the outskirts to get a mild version.  Rain and 50 mph winds are predicted, nothing we haven't had before.  But what will it do to the rest of my flowers?
begonias are still going strong
Coleus looks beautiful against the yellow leaves of my hosta. I took a few cuttings to root.
Feverfew is re-blooming with more blossoms yet to open
This is my favorite mum.  I don't know the actual name of it - I get many of my plants from friends and the original names don't come with them. I should pick a bouquet of these and bring them to work before the wind demolishes them.
Jupiter's Beard and rust-colored mum
2nd blooming of lavender, alyssum doing great now that the hot, dry summer is over
miniature rose bush hanging in there
Climbing roses still working their way up the arbor
Turtle head not done yet

Morning glories and snapdragons
I let my morning glories come up wherever they want, which is all over my yard. Occasionally I have to pull some out when they threaten to strangle another plant. It's such a joy to go out in the morning and wander about looking for their pretty little blossoms greeting me with the morning sun. They have migrated to my back yard and are now growing in with my raspberries. That could become a problem - I'll have to stay on top of them next year.
Speaking of raspberries - look at what is still growing in my yard!  I've been picking and eating them right at the bushes - no chance of them making their way into the house.

For all the east coast bloggers - stay safe and dry the next couple of days.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

The weatherman said it was going to freeze. Here was my dilemma - I live so close to Lake Ontario, it was possible we would stay above freezing while 1 mile inland might freeze - so do I take my chance on not freezing and leave my tomatoes on the vine or do I pick them? 


Then comes the question - what do I do with all those green tomatoes?  I could let them ripen indoors, sure they'd turn red but they wouldn't have any flavor. They'd just be a tasteless red thing in my salad - like those things we use all winter just to add color to our salads. Then I got an Epiphany - FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!  YUM

I forget to make these all summer, or maybe I just don't want to pick my green tomatoes. I'd rather pick them ripe and slice them into a sandwich.
Here's how I make my fried green tomatoes:
Fried Green Tomatoes
mix yellow cornmeal with spices (I like salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano)
slice tomatoes about 1/4" thick
dip tomato slices in beaten egg, then dip in cornmeal mixture
fry in a little bit of hot oil until crispy on each side
serve with a dab of mayonnaise

And there you have a delicious end-of-summer treat when the weatherman says your garden is going to freeze - oh and by the way, mine didn't freeze.  I left a few tomatoes out there but they are still green.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Epsom Salts for your garden

I've been reading a lot about using Epsom Salts in your garden on other blogs so I decided to share what I've been learning. They aren't just for sore muscles anymore!
I've used them on my green peppers for many years - I never knew why they were good for them, I just heard that they were.  Well, here's why:
Epsom Salts are magnesium sulfate. Magnesium and sulfate provide many benefits to your plants
  • helps seed germination by strengthening the plants cell wall
  • helps the plants produce chlorophyll
  • helps plants absorb fertilizer such as phosphorus and nitrogen
  • many gardeners believe using Epsom Salts make their plants bigger and greener and produce more flowers
How to use:
  • Mix 2 Tablespoons into 1 gallon of water. This can be used to water potted plants, including houseplants, and outdoor plants in the garden once a month.
  • Mix 2 Tablespoons into 1 gallon of water and use in a sprayer to water your plants.
  • Before setting plants into the ground, put 2 Tablespoons of Epsom Salts into the hole or sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet of  garden over the soil and work it in before planting.
Tomatoes tend to become magnesium deficient during the growing season resulting in yellowing leaves and less fruit production.  Water every 2 weeks with the Epsom Salts mixture or work 1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salts per each foot of plant into the soil around the base of the plant.

Peppers also suffer from magnesium deficiency. Treat as for tomatoes but feed twice a week.

Roses benefit from feedings of the Epsom Salts and water mixture.

Shrubs- work 1 Tablespoon per 9 sq. feet of shrub into the soil over the root zone.  Repeat every 2 weeks.

Your lawn can also benefit from spraying with the water mixture or putting Epsom Salts in a spreader.

I'll have to wait until next spring to give this a try. It seems like a no-fail way to give your plants an all-natural, low-cost boost.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wedding guest basket for reception bathrooms

My nephew is getting married soon and my sister wanted some guest baskets in the bathrooms at the reception so I volunteered to put them together.  My daughter and I had fun roaming the store aisles looking for anything that someone might need in those little "emergencies" that pop up.  
Included in the girl's basket are:
hairspray, deodorant, feminine pads and tampons, combs, static guard, band-aids, Tums, dental floss, mini disposable toothbrushes, Advil, nail file, hair scrunchies, clear nail polish, tweezers, wet wipes, and a  lint roller. The men's basket has the same items minus any "feminine" stuff.  
Each bathroom will get a can of air freshener and a box of tissues. The girl's bathroom will also get some pretty smelling soap and hand cream.

I lined the baskets with fall fabric. With the girl's basket, I cut a large circle of fabric and let it hang over the sides and glued a fall ribbon around the outside edge, finishing with a big bow.  For the men's basket, I folded under the edges of the material and hot glued it to the inside edges of the basket.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm joining A Delightsome Life's A Return to Loveliness party this week.  An early morning paddle on Nick's Lake in Old Forge, New York always brings loveliness to my life, and peacefulness, calmness, and happiness.  Although I don't like summer leaving us, a trip to the Adirondacks in the fall always makes for a joyful, restful camping trip.  This picture was taken last year. We aren't able to make it up there this year and the leaves are at peak right now.  I'll have to be content with memories of years past.
Join in on the party here - A Return to Loveliness

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Green beans - who knew?

While walking around my yard the other day, I found a green bean bush I hadn't yet pulled up. There were still beans on it in various stages of life. I picked a couple and ate them on the spot but then I picked one that had dried and turned white. I split it open and found to my wonderment - dried beans! Now, it makes sense that if you leave the beans on the bush long enough they will dry - but I've never heard of anyone cooking the dried beans - or do dried green beans go by a different name?  I don't know why this discovery surprised me, I'm an analytical thinker so I should not have been surprised by dried green beans.  Things need to make sense to me and this makes sense!  I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about them - have you ever used dried green beans or do you manage to eat all your fresh beans? Maybe they turn into magic beans and grow like Jack's beanstalk!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

tomatoes and salsa

Like everyone else, I have an abundance of tomatoes. Fortunately, the blight has not hit my plants yet this year.  How cute is this little red colander?  It was a birthday gift from my daughter. She picked up on my fondness for it when we were at T. J. Maxx.

Along with all my tomatoes, I picked a bunch of green peppers and got some huge bulbs of garlic from my Dad. I was also given a bag of onions and I had some leftover corn on the cob. Put all those together and what do you get?  SALSA!!
I cut everything up and put it in my crockpot, set it on low and let it simmer for about 4 hours.  After it cooled down, I strained off most of the juice (which I made vegetable/hamburger soup with) and froze my salsa to enjoy this winter.  For now - I will eat fresh, uncooked salsa!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A perfect moonlight garden night

Last night's full moon and warm temps made for a perfect moonlight garden night.  I wasn't able to get outside until 11pm. I wandered through my gardens in the moonlight, deadheading some flowers. I sat and listened to the multitude of crickets chirping and enjoyed the warm summer breeze brushing against me.  Unfortunately, I had to get up very early this morning otherwise I would have sat out for a much longer time.  Nights like that are what inspired me to write a children's story titled The Moonlight Garden.  Here is the very first paragraph of my story -

On warm summer nights with the moon shining bright, gardens magically come to life. There’s music and dancing, light shows and more. Come with me into the garden with its many wonders to explore.

Now if I only knew how to draw better so I could illustrate it with the images running through my brain!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A page I follow on Facebook shared this awesome Fiskars tool - I immediately added it to my Amazon wish list (Christmas is coming!)  I don't spray my lawn with any chemicals, I choose to dig up weeds by hand which is hard on my back.  This looks like a better solution. Does anyone have this tool?

Fiskars uproot lawn weeder

Sunday, August 26, 2012

my eclectic decorating

I went furniture shopping with my daughter - I rarely step into a furniture store.  The salesman was all about choosing things that matched.  Well, it's my daughter's house and she can choose what she wants but when he directed those statements to me I just shook my head. Many of the items in my house are things I've picked up at antique stores and yard sales.  I buy things because I like them, not because they match something in my house.  This little cupboard looks like someone made it for their little girl.  I didn't do anything to it as I fell in love with it just the way it is.  The red linoleum used on it reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen - maybe that's why I fell in love with it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My writing workshop group has an anthology of our writings coming out in September. One of my stories is "The Moonlight Garden."  One of our members just created a blog for our anthology - Driftwords Anthology.  I'm the first featured author - very humbling!  

Driftwords Antholgy blog

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Re-entering the blog world

Greetings all! As you can see, I've been "missing in action" for the past year.  Life became so busy I decided the one thing I could give up was my blog. I've missed it :(  I am going to attempt to get back into blogging.  This time around, I've changed the name of my blog as I will hopefully post about gardening along with other things that interest me.  I may also post some of my writing.  For now, I'll leave you with one of my recent flower pictures. This is my morning glory gone wild. It's growing through my alyssum, which has also gone crazy!