Monday, December 31, 2007

Circle of Bricks

Here's todays progress. Sore or not, I just had to get out and get some of the path done. I left my kneeler in the spot I started from, so you could see how much I got done. I worked for about four hours, and still didn't do as good a job as I usually do. I didn't get them as level as I usually do, but the pile of bricks is about a hundred feet from here, and the method of transportion was a wheelbarrow (I simply got too tired). We have a trailor that hooks onto the lawnmower, but the lawnmower battery is 'deader than a doorknob'.

To Brick or Not to Brick

I know it is a little blury, but I was in a hurry and didn't take the time to check it real good before we hurried off to church. These beautiful creatures are my younger five children. They are left to right Tyler, almost 10, Abigail, 11, Emily, almost 2, Tiffany almost 10, and Timothy, 8 in two weeks. I say almost on some because all of them here but Abby have birthdays in January and February. Good thing about that is we can buy most of their birthday presents off the Christmas clearance rack.
Guess what I did yesterday? I was told I could have these, I just had to move them from there to here. My Mom came yesterday and brought her truck, so I moved them. Abby, Tyler, Tiffany, and Timothy helped, and it took four trips to get them all. Yes, I am a bit sore today. But they were free, YEAH, and I will have enough to get a lot of the paths done.
I wanted to show you the mulch pile while I was out there. This is a pile I got free, from the electric companies tree trimmers that were working in town. I told them to stop and drop off anytime, I would definitly use it all. Say hello to Cece, our little black dog sniffing the bricks.
One of these came from a tree we cut down in our yard, but the other three were from a house down the street, they were piled with a lot of other firewood by the curb, and I stopped and asked if I could have them. You should have seen his face when he said 'well, sure'. Yes, sir, I have lost my mind. Can you just see them set in the flower beds, filled with soil and planted with flowers? I thought I'd put a couple by the kids playhouse, and one even has a hole in the side, which I can plant another plant hanging out. What do you think?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I finally got one!

I rescued this beautiful plant from a horrible demise- the trash can. My in-laws were going to throw it out if I didn't want it. Of COURSE I do!! I'm thrilled, I haven't had one in years, and really wanted one this year.
Here is the updated map of the back yard. The green is the flower beds already there, with the red brick sidewalks and stone paths. The seperate green bed in the upper left hand corner has my currants, gooseberries, blueberries, and strawberries in it. The pink lines are what I would like add on next spring. Ther pink line on the far left will probably end up being further to the left (East). I have to leave the grass under the clothesline, because I happen to use it every season but winter. Other than that, I have free range. Notice the picture next to it, the one with the woman in her pantry. It's my very favorite, by John Slobodnik, and I cut this copy from a magazine. I've checked on line, and I can't seem to find anywhere that sells a print of it.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here is a picture of my African Violets, the one on the front-right needs divided, the sad part is it has been so long since it bloomed that I have no idea what color it is. The pink one has purple spots on it, and the light purple one my grandmother gave me years ago. Two of the other ones in back are starts off that one. I used to have more, a white one, red one, dark purple one, light pink one, but the last two times I've moved have been in February. Somehow they didn't appreciate the extreemly cold weather we were having. I'm not moving anymore, so I may have to look into replacing them.
This is a picture of my favorite indoor plant right now. It's always happy. It never complains about the cold, the heat, the lack of water in the summer, just the perfect little plant. You can just barely see my veregated airplane plant, I have a plain green one in the bathroom, it's much happier than this one. Theres only one small window in there, but it likes all the steam from the shower.
It's supposed to snow again tonight. I was hoping for a sunny day to go outside and get pictures of the greenhouse, I might have to wait until Saturday.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Gardening Notebook

This is my Gardening Notebook. Yes, I am a geek, I guess. I am one of those people who make lists, and this was my solution to all my gardening lists. It is a 3-ring binder, the ones that have the see-through pockets on the front, side, and back, so you can slide a piece of paper in, and still see it. The paper in front simply states 'Flowers & More. I would love to make a prettier, more creative one, when I get the time. In the front inside pocket I have a packet of pictures of the garden in progress, shipping lists, generally stuff that needs to be filed in the binder. There are sections labeled for perennials, annuals, bushes, roses, herbs, trees, vegetable garden, gardening maps, shipping papers, and empty paper.

Here is a page from my perennial section. Each page represents a letter in the alphabet, and I clip apart and glue my seed packets down (I use the common names, it's easier for me). That way when I save seeds, I can always be able to tell someone exactly what I am giving them. Here is a page from the rose section, I have glued all the labels from the pots in here, not necessarily in order this time.
This is the page I slip into the back of the notebook, it is a drawing of my garden, with sections numbered. I did this so I could make notes as to what needs to be moved next year, what needs to be added, I just put the bed number on the paper.
What do you think? Yes, I am such a garden freak. Next I will post a picture of this drawing, with lines to show where I will be adding flower beds next year. Hope you enjoyed seeing this, I'll let you know that I have never shown this to anyone, (maybe for fear they would consider me insane). But I do so enjoy doing it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pictures of My Seedlings

I actually got it to work!! It wasn't easy, and I am so proud of myself! This is a close-up of the second set of seeds I started, the Lupines in the upper right hand corner are the ones that need repotted into their big-plant pots, the little 4 ounce cups I buy and put a hole in with a knife.

This a picture of the entire shelf of seedlings. The picture above is the one on the far end. In the lower left corner is two more sets of lupines, and they will need to be repotted next, I'm afraid. The Lupines are growing faster than any other seedling I have. Here is a picture of my grow shelf. There is another shelf under the one with lights, the same distance apart, that will hold my seedlings after I repot them. The upper shelf has a container of soil (it kinda looks like foil with the flash), container of seeds, watering can, and a container of mini cups. On the other end is some of the geraniums, the two mandivillas, and one lone aleo vera plant I got from the library not too long ago.
Next I'll take pictures of the rest of my indoor plants, and maybe some of the greenhouse.

Merry Christmas!

Did you all miss me? It's been a crazy time for me, as I know it has for you. My hubby got me the coolest thing, a digital camera, it was under $50, and I wanted one so bad. I can't wait to start taking pictures to post on here. I already have a list of things I want to take pictures of.
I have a bunch of Lupines that need to be repotted, but I can't until I get a new shop light for the second shelf. I tried the one from last year, and one side won't work. Going to Wal-Mart tomorrow is not high on my list of things I want to do, so it might have to wait til later in the week. I almost can't stand it, I want to play in the dirt so bad. I got some money for Christmas from in-laws, guess what I am going to buy? Darn, how did you guess I was going to get seeds?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Last Day of Fall

It is officially the last day of fall, I heard the guy on the radio say tomorrow is the first day of winter. The weather is beautiful, it's sunny and 60 degrees. I weeded a little bit, and dug a little bit. Our sewer clean out is right in the middle of one of my flower beds, and is buried a ways down. We've only had to dig it out once, and at the time it was on the edge of the flower bed, so I didn't mark it. Now it's in the middle, and I need to mark it, so if we should need to use it, I don't have to dig up an entire bed to locate it. Easier said than done, I have dug a huge hole, and can't seem to find it. At the moment the plan is to wait til hubby gets home, maybe he can remember better where it was. Maybe even help me dig the hole. (cross fingers)
Tomorrow I have to take my oldest to the airport in Kansas City (four hour drive) so he can fly to Indiana to visit his Dad over Christmas. I actually lived in Gas City and Kokomo, Indiana for five years, when I was in my twenties. I was actually dreading the trip a bit, not the trip there so much, but the lonely trip back. But then I saw everyone else's gardening ornaments, and now I want to go look for some!

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Mental List

I sat down briefly today and started making a mental list of all the things I would like to get done this spring before gardening season hits full-swing. My sewing room has a set of sliding glass doors that face south, and when we moved in it didn't have any steps or anything, just a two foot drop down. So am in the process of making a rock patio, it's about four by ten feet, a cement block base covered in rock. I have located a place to get more free rock, but I will have to buy the cement blocks and cement. I need to find some more brick to finish my pathways (I'm hoping to find a bunch someone doesn't want, you know, free). And it would be great if it would dry out enough at some point so that I could till up the new areas I want for new flower beds. A couple of monthes ago my middle daughter, 9, and I were walking around the backyard, through the paths when SHE said, 'Mom, we need a flower bed right here!', pointing to an unused spot. I couldn't POSSIBLY let her down, could I? LOL She loves to garden, too. Loves to help me, outside and in the kitchen, too.

The above paragraph I started on Monday, but didn't have time to finish it, and I thought I would finish it yesterday. Well, I won't share the details, but I was sick all day yesterday. It's amazing how plans get changed, isn't it? I'm just here long enough to post the above, and tell you I have growth in 14 out of the 19 packets of seeds I have started. Yeah! Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go back and do something I normally don't do, sit. Two days in a row, wow a record!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wintersown

As of today, I have 19 different kinds of seeds started, and ten have germinated, and are growing. Four from the first six, four from the second six, and the last batch I started seven different types and two are already growing. It is SO exciting, well, at least to me it is.
Gina from My Skinny Garden listed a site called wintersown.org, that will send you six packets of seeds free if you send them a SASE. I thought- free? I have GOT to try this. I sent my envelope out, and got it back in record time. ! I got:
Sweet Fennel
Lettuce 'Color Salad Blend'
Early White Vienna Kohlrabi
Aguilegia sp. Blend
Yellow Iris
Blanket Flower
Black-Eyed Susan
Spider Flower
Scabiosa 'Ebony and Ivory'
Tomato Blend
Today I was at my Moms, and helped make an envelope out for her, I can't wait to hear what she gets. Included in the envelope I got was a card explaining how anyone can send them extra seed, for them to distribute. I really must try to do this next year. That is, unless, I can find SOMEONE out there who would want seeds. LOL

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Greenhouse Woes

The cats located a small hole in the side of the greenhouse, and made it into a huge hole so they could go in and out. Wonderful. I guess they figured out how warm it stays in there. I nailed up a blanket in the doorway to the sewing nook, and found an electric heater to put in there to warm the place up. It doesn't look 'house beautiful', but you gotta do what you gotta do. Hopefully I won't lose any more lavender seedlings.
Tonight is my husbands company Christmas party. It's always a blast, and I really can't wait. It's one of the few times a year that just the two of us go out. Jeff's Dad and siblings (high schoolers) are coming over to watch the troop. It has snowed and snowed all day. You know the song- It's beginning to look a whole lot like a blizzard, everywhere I look.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow, snow, snow!

It is supposed to do just that the next two to three days. It's supposed to start this afternoon, and go through Sunday. What's that you asked? Oh yes, my seedings are doing fine. I have had a few casualties, due to damping-off. The sewing room got a little cool there for a few days, and I think that was the cause. Last year I gave a lot of seedlings away, and last night my Mom offered to give me a little bit of money to buy seeds, in anticipation of getting plants later. I realize I could turn quite a profit if I sold all the extras, but I have so much fun giving my plants to people and watching their face light up. But if I still have some extras next year when I have my garage sale, I just might set a tray or two out. Who knows?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Evening Primrose is Here!

I can add 12 Evening Primrose to the count, and there are now 17 Lupines. I have never had any Evening Primrose, but the picture looked SO pretty, and it stated that they spread a bit, even better! No, I haven't gone out to my greenhouse for more seed starters. Only because it is way too cold today, maybe tomorrow, we're supposed to have a heat wave- 43 degrees! I am so jealous of those of you who are telling stories of visiting greenhouses. I may have to do that tomorrow, too. There is one family owned nursery on the edge of town, and they have a sign out advertising poinsettias. I haven't had one of those in years, hhmmm....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Plant Counts for Today

And the counts are:
Lavender- pink: 48
Lavender- lady?: 9
Lavender- true?: 4
Luping- tutti fuitty: 12
I do wish the rest would hurry! The sooner they all emerge and grow a little, the sooner I can start transplanting them, and start more seeds in the section of the propagator they're in. I'm trying to refrain from going to the greenhouse and getting another starter, so the second shelf can be for transplants only. The first shelf is already full with three starters. Do you think I will be able to wait? No, I agree, I probably won't.

Blog Stealing

I have seen several mentions lately about this blog stealing. I have no problem with the using of my material, but I should be ASKED FIRST. Period. I was raised in a house that please, thank you, excuse me, can I please? were the base. When did manners become so non-existant? If a newspaper was to republish someone else's work, they would give the author's name first, and never, ever try to publish it as their own. I guess that's the problem I have with the blog stealing. I tried to get onto 'the' website and look around, but you have to be a member, and I don't want to do that. But from what I've heard, they are not giving proper credit to the authors. And a newspaper or magazine would PAY someone when they publish an authors material. HHHhhhmmmm......

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Look

How do you like the new look? I would love to have one of those counter things, too, but have no idea how to do that. Yesterday we didn't go to church because of the ice, and so I never left the house. The kids are out of school today, so by four o'clock this afternoon, when Jeff gets home, the I'm going to the greenhouse for a little while. I don't care how cold it is in there. lol Except with the weather the way it is, he's liable to be very late.
I guess I did go out to the greenhouse yesterday, just long enough to get another seed starter. I started:
St. John's Wort
Foxgove- Giant Shirley
Foxglove
Balloon Flower- white and blue, both double
Shasta Daisy- Alaska
Lupine- Russell Hybrids Mix
Lupine- Lulu
I noticed last night the Lupines I started on the 4th are starting to emerge. I think I counted five already. I have both the True and Lady Lavender coming up, I sure wish I was certain which was which. That is so going to bug me.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pink Lavender Count

The Pink Lavender Seedling count is up to 44 now. I count it several times a day, it is always so exciting to see yet another sprout. My oldest ,16, is on the varsity basketball team and my 15 yo step son is on the freshman team, so as the gypsy would say, I have a lot of basketball games in my future. This week I attended two each an hours drive away, and two on Sat. about twenty-five minutes away. I even missed one on Friday! I had company, and that hours drive just didn't happen. I did, however, send him with a bag full of homemade rice krispie treats, and some homemade bread. That makes up for it, doesn't it?
Our 'front ' finally came through. We have ice, a nice, thick, shiny layer of ice. I would have preferred snow. I am, however, going to slide out to the greenhouse later today. I just MUST get some more seed starters.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Log Benches

When Jeff was taking down trees last weekend, he saved me two four foot lengths of logs, to which he split in two. Now, all we have to do is add four legs on each one, varnish them, and ta-da! Benches. Won't they fit so well into my cottage garden?
In other news, I now have 31 little pink lavender seedlings. Of the first six packages of seeds, the pink lavender was the only one that was bought recently. The rest are leftovers from last spring. I left them on the hot back porch all summer, so I'm beginning to doubt that the rest will sprout. I do have one true lavender seedling, I think. The lady lavender and true lavender markers were the two Emily pulled out. I'm not completely certain I got them put back in the right places. LOL. Gotta have a sense of humor when you have children.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Snow?

We are expecting snow/sleet today. That's okay, I will sit beside my little plant babies, and watch it through the sliding doors. I took the four 'middle' kids for 4H last night. I was never involved in it, but my Mom was, and a lady I buy eggs from invited us to join. Last night they had a meeting, and we signed up. When I got home (after getting everyone to bed) I HAD to go check the plants, and low and behold, there was a perfect paw print in the middle of my pink lavender section. I was rather upset, to say the least. Between the toddler and the dog, I'm in for it. This morning I moved both of the seed starters to the second shelf, and moved the baby gate to in front of the 'door'. The dog can probably jump over, but hopefully won't be inclined to jump onto the second shelf. As I was sulking last night, and I added up that it will only cost $10 to replace the pink lavender and astilbe seeds. I guess I can handle that. As of this morning, I have 11 pink lavender seedlings, but I wanted to put them all along the path that goes from the back door out to the greenhouse, and I'm not sure there will be enough sprouting. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Seedlings!

Remember the seeds I started last week? I looked this morning, and I have two little pink lavender babies. Yeah! Yesterday it was beautiful here, something like 63-65 degrees. I managed to get outside and weed half of the flower beds, but it was a little windy. It was so nice to be outside, working amongst the flowers, well, half-hibernating flowers. And before I came inside I grabbed another strophone propagation thing and I started six more packets inside in the warm sewing nook. The bright winter sun dips down far enough that it shines right into the room through the sliding glass doors. On sunny days thats the warmest place in the house, information the dog just figured out yesterday, too. CeCe was all layed out, right in the middle of the floor, asleep. Anyway, this is a list of the six I started yesterday:

yellow coneflower
lupine-tutti fruitty
evening primrose
butterfly weed- cinderella
butterfly weed- gay butterflies
astilbe

I probably won't get too many astilbe, I managed to dump the packet on the floor. I tried to find the seeds, but they are very, very tiny. I am soso sad, I started them last year, with no luck, and I was hoping this year to get a couple. I guess I will have to go buy some this year. BooHoo.
No, being outside in the wind did not help my cold very much, a price to which I am paying for today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pinetree Garden Seeds

Last Thursday I made my order to Pinetree, and I can't wait to get my seeds. I am sososo a garden geek. I poor over each catalog I receive for hour and hours, make a list of what I would like to have. I spend two or three days revising my list, then I can't wait to get the seeds in. I have ordered seeds through the mail for years now, but just the last two I have discoved the joy of doing so online. And no, I don't order from every single catalog that I receive. Some companies charge too much for shipping and handling, and some just don't have enough of what I'm looking for. Right now I'm in to ordering perennial seeds, I love to find new ones, ones that I don't have. I just can't justify paying $8-$15 for a plant when I can grow 50 of them for under $5. (seeds, pots, soil) This year my list is quite long (no big surprise there, huh?). I will try to start posting pictures of the 'babies' when they emerge.
Timmy had the flu Friday, Tyler had it Saturday. I seems as though were done for this round. Wow. EVERYONE didn't get it. Over the weekend Jeff (hubby) went out and took down a couple more trees, several areas had three or four trees growing right together, and we chose which one to keep, and took down the rest. Anyway, I saved a pile of branches to make a trellis for sweet peas and morning glories. When I get over this cold I will get going on it. I DO plan to spend a little while outside today weeding in the flower beds, it's supposed to be 65, and I just can't help myself.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pictures!!!!

If you walk around the left side of my house and walk about 30 feet, this is where you would be. I'm trying to get more brick, and the pathway in front of you will be brick. There is a small brick pathway in the lower right hand corner that goes to the covered porch. Our property goes all the way to the back street and to a line just behind the evergreens on the left side of the picture.Can you tell I have kids? There is a pathway of rock and mulch that leads to the little house. This picture was taken standing just off the porch (on the left), and the rest of the house and garage would be behind you.
Here is a picture standing in front of my greenhouse, which is at the end of the garage. The brick pathway will eventually go all the way around the circle bed and back to the front. I have several rock pathways that intersect the brick.
The structure above has a climbing rose planted at each corner, my husband, oldest son, and I made this early last year, and so the roses haven't grown much yet. I put the stumps under the rose pergolla to use as tables, in warmer weather I have chairs that sit out there with them. On the left you can see the end of the trellis I made out of branches, that goes along the side of the garage about twenty feet. I have three climbing roses planted there, with flowers in front of them. I still have so much to do, I hope it will be fun to watch my progress. When we moved in here there was nothing here, not even one flower.
I had a terrible time getting these pictures posted, it took me four tries! But I won't let that persuade me not to try it again. Next time I need to get a picture of the front, to get everyones opinion of my 'problem spot'.