Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This and That and Seed Discount

Hometown seeds is offering all of my readers a discount on seeds of 10% on your total order. They are offering this due to the number of hits from my blog. I just want to say I think their prices are very reasonable. I am not receiving anything at all for posting this. I just think you would be very pleased. Use the coupon code: thanks

One of my recent yard sale finds. The set was originally a 50$ set and I picked it up for 6.00. The pump did not work so I filled it with artificial flowers. It looks OK sitting on my bathroom sink. (This is not a photo of my bathroom)

I have to say I am very proud of myself. I accomplished a lot this weekend. I finished raking and began to cut some unwanted annoying bushes out of some of my gardenia bush and I just kept on cutting all over the yard. I cleared enough on trees and unwanted bushes to amount to 3 waist high piles of limbs. After clearing so much from the yard I was tired but I had to keep going since it wasn't even dark yet. So I commenced to dig out a new garden along the front porch. When I moved into this place 3 years ago there were no gardens and I began to dig last year. So far I have put in 3 gardens and am adding 4-5 new gardens and garden areas.

I have been blessed with many seeds from fellow bloggers and I have also ordered more seeds from Hometown seeds. (I did not get a discount) I will have the best gardens I have ever had.

You can see that I had to go back to make it larger.

My heavy duty yard gloves. I use these for raking and shoveling and they are so fantastic. I hate to get blisters from raking and these gloves have prevented any problems on my hands except soreness and ooohhh the arthritis.

I won the gloves over at Ginger's blog, Law of the Land. Visit Ginger at: http://lawoftheland.blogspot.com. Ginger is such a sweetheart. And I love to read her blog. She has some beautiful gardens. I am so excited about these gloves. I have another pair just like them and they are the best gloves I have ever seen for gardening. The grip on the inside of them is tuff and aids in pulling weeds. Oh and she also sent me a bonus of yellow four o'clock seeds.

Look what my mom has passed on to me. This belonged to my grandmother and I am not sure just how old it is. Anyway I must get some fabric and stuff to try it out. I use to sew everything when my kids were small. So I'll be glad to pick it up again. I want to learn to quilt.

Sunday was a day of playoffs. Geaux Saints. I am so proud of the New Orleans Saints. We have longed for this day when our favorite team goes to the Super Bowl playoffs. I sure hope they beat the Colts. What a party that would bring. PS-I am not a partier.

Haiti - what a horrible disaster. It's hard to imagine living conditions such as what they experienced before and now after this devasting disaster. We all will continue to pray for them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Planning Stage

I have spent most of January perusing garden magazines and books and making a Garden Plan For 2010. I think I have it down now if I can just keep this up. This is the first time I have actually spent much time in planning and I think it will certainly pay off in the end.

The first things I did was to make many lists. I made list of what I wanted to do and things I could do on my own and things I will have to hire some one to help. I made lists of plants that I already have and seeds I will be sowing for spring. I made lists of my gardens and their particular conditions.

The following is the results and I will tell you what I did. First I had to have a list of what I would be working with and all the particulars. I don't think I did very well placing my photos but here it is.

This is the plan for the first 4 months "2010 Garden/Landscape Planner". I placed the weeks going down and month across. This way I can see exactly how I can fit the projects in and at a glance determine what I need to do next. This planner I will write on and change as time passes making note of the completed chores.

I had to have more room and more specific information for implementing these goals. Here I created a page that I write a lot of notes and additional plans. This is to help me to be accountable and reach my goals. "Monthly Goals/Things To Do"

I have photos from 2009 gardens and I printed the photo and jotted down info about that particular garden - the conditions such as amount of sun, site problems and maybe how to remedy a problem. I also write down goals for this particular garden.

I made me a calender off of Word and this is where I note plantings and weather conditions.

Here I determine a theme or whatever and determine which seeds to plant where based on sun requirements.

I have a list of seeds I will be working with. I went to specific blogs whom I received seeds from and looked at the plants in their garden or to plant websites to obtain plant specifics. Two columns for notes about a specific plant. Columns for plant color, sun, plant height and spacing.

The last thing I have done is to prepare a time line. This is a seed start schedule and planting schedule for the baby plants. Across the top are in weeks with the date. I started with the first week I plan to start seeds which is Feb 13 and worked my way out to the week of April 24.

I am a planner for sure. Implementing my plans are something else. I think I will be able to work this plan pretty easy. Now comes the labor hours and hard work.
I can't wait to see all these pretties blooming this year. I must be patient for those perennials that bloom on the second year.
I hope that this may help someone else devise a plan. If you already do this each year pass on your tips to everyone.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gorgeous Sky

While driving yesterday I saw a beautiful cloud formation. I couldn't resist the clouds dancing across the sky like pieces of lace. Oh and the blue of the sky is for real. It was a beautiful day with temps around 55 degrees.

A new addition to my plants. A succulent. I am wanting some hens and chicks for my container garden this spring. I will place the succulents on the ground in with the stones I plan to add. I think it will add interesting texture and color to a container garden covered with rock or stone.

My seedlings are reaching for the window so hard. I thinned them out last night - but I was thinking and ya'll help me out here - if I leave a good number of lettuce seedlings that the clumps of lettuce would be better than thinning too much. I had to find something that would work for me till I could do better to get these seedlings to grow straight up - I used a file folder and covered it will foil facing the window. I'll be able to tell this evening if this is going to work.

You can see in this photo the seedlings reaching for the light in the window. And this is after I thinned them.

He hangs around very close when I have the camera in hand.

I'll catch you guys later today on your blogs. Have a great day and stay warm and think green. It'll be here soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This and That

It's thrilling this time of year to see something pop out of the dirt even if it is a controlled environment. As you can see they are coming up real good - germinated in 7 days. Again as you can see I stumped my toe when it came to dropping the seeds in the tiny holes. The seeds are so small you can't just drop 1 or 2 seeds.

I was reading last night about seed starting - and the article stated that when the seeds are so small - use a pencil eraser slightly moistened to place the seed.

The containers are in a south window and receive a good bit of direct sun but not really adequate since they require 8-10 hrs. Well I can't get that much. One way to enhance the amount of light they do receive by wrapping one side of a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and place on the inside of the seedlings so that the light will reflect off of the foil. This is on my task of things this afternoon.

They need to be thinned badly. I was thinking I should do this ASAP to allow the better seedlings to grow efficiently.

This is the Lettuce Gourmet Mix and the other one is Broccoli Waltham.

I don't have but a couple of house plants. I use open gas heater - you know the kind, the old timey ones you light with a match - and this affects the growth and healthiness of the plant. So I grow all of my stuff inside my bedroom windows. Let's see - how many plants/seeds I can get in front of the twowindows? I don't know but I've got to move the bed and get some cheap shelving units to place in the windows.

I have to keep an aloe plant around. This is truly a miracle plant and has so many uses. Try rubbing all over your hands and wait 3 minutes and then wash them. Use it on cuts, abrasions, insect bites, mosquito bites and the most popular use is for burns. Anytime I burn my hands or arm in the kitchen quickly apply the plant juices and there is no blistering and relieves the pain. I haven't tried it on arthritis but I think I'll try that and see how good it works. This flower pot is one that Ben, my grandchild made for me 5-6 years ago. I love my little pot.

I bought me 50 daffodils - I know it's late and they may or may not make it but they only cost $5. so I have to try.
I put Buddy on the chain and went to get my gloves and digger and came back to find this. My white dog was black. There was a container that froze in the corner and sat in the rich black dirt and just like a kid he had to get down and dirty in the mud. Do you think he was trying to make mud pies. Anyhow - back the utility room went the gloves and out came the dog shampoo. I can't stand for Buddy to be dirty so I wasted no time in cleaning him up. (Can't believe how dismal this color photo appears - of course the grass is dead).

And now he looks much better. Aaahhh a white dog.

I am still in my garden books and notebook in hand planning my spring flair. I am having a good time putting my plans on paper and logging a timeline for completion of my projects.
Gardening is the best therapy. I can get out and begin digging and sometimes I feel like a kid or I am reminiscing(sp?) about when I was small playing in the mud. While I am gardening I hear the birds singing a peaceful tune and I know all is well. When I feel down - if I can muster up the gumption to get outside in my gardens I forget what had me feeling bad.
Hope you find therapy in the yard or gardens this week. If you can't get outside go get you some seeds and some dirt and go to town. It just feels good.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This and That

My garden Buddy. He loves digging as you can see.

I am so ready for some gardening. I started some seeds for lettuce and broccili. OK guys I know you aren't gonna believe me but I have never started seeds inside for planting outside before. This year there will be a lot of that considering I have an abundance of seeds this year thanks to blogging friends.

These are the seeds I will be working with this year:
From Tatyana at My Secret Garden I received Red Melon Poppy's and foxglove.

These are seeds I received from Catherine at A Gardner in Progress: Yellow Columbine, Verbena Bonariensis, Larkspur 'shades of blue' and Red Breadseed Poppies.

These are seeds I received from Raingardener at Gardening by Trial and Error:
Sweet William 'sooty', white columbine, malva zebrina, lupines, silver dollar/money plant, hardy geranium, snapdragons and columbine rose.

These are seeds I received from Hometown Seeds:
snapdragon, Alaska shasta daisy, wildflower mix and four o'clocks-Marvel of Peru.
Plus some veggies: broccoli, cilantro,tomato,lettuce,carrot and melons. There will be more veggies as they become available this year.

So this weekend I was ready for something to plant so I planted my lettuce and broccoli seeds. I used this starter mix.

I purchased these foil pans with lids and poked holes in the plastic cover for drainage. The clear cover will hold the seeds and foil pan is for excess water to drain.
The starter mix was purchased last year and each pan soaked up 3 cups of water before planting. I added water and mixed and let it sit for a half hour before checking it for moisture and added more water so that the soil is good moist all over and is the perfect consistency for planting seeds. I did 12 holes for each pan. I am planning on planting these at the end of Jan in the flower beds since they are so dismal right now.

I found a little color in the yard this weekend. This volunteer flower just showed up. Don't know what it is but there were 3 flowers.

You see the briars in my flower bed. This is the hardest thing to get rid of. It is such a pest and so hard to get out of the ground and still you never get the roots. I have some plans for those thorny weeds - I'll get em.

Can't believe this azalea is still holding on and producing new flowers. I wonder if it is going to keep blooming into spring.

I visited my favorite gift shop that I mentioned was going out of business. Another hit by the economy. Just before the final closing of the doors I scraped up these pots and iron bird feeder. I stole the pots for $10 for the pair and believe me they are heavy and thick. I picked up the heavy iron bird feeder for $7. I so love a bargain.

Well that's about all I've got for today. I have been writing and planning and more writing and more planning for spring and summer. I know it's a ways off but I'm dreaming of pretty colors and warmer temperatures.
I am starting something new for me on my sidebar. I needed to make a plan for the year ahead - something I failed to do last year. I put up my goals for Jan which are certainly slim considering how cold it is and is going to be. I have been journaling and making lists and lists of lists. Are you a list maker too? Anyway I'll be sharing some of my gardening goals for 2010.
I know you all are just as excited as I am.