Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Caged Plants or Gnomes or Critters?

Can you see the caged plants? Specifically white peonies? No, of course not. There are only little red buds down under the mulch in the center of these cages. But soon enough, the cages will disappear in and among all the foliage of these peonies.

So many love peonies. I also love them tremendously. I don't love them much when their beautiful faces are lying on the ground after a heavy rain or a windy day though. That is why all of my peonies are caged.

Mr. Fix-it purchased a huge roll of old concrete reinforcing wire many, many years ago. I believe he purchased it at the metal place on College Street. The price he paid was very low. This wire has saved hundreds of dollars! I use it to cage all sorts of critters-oops-plants. Plants like: tomatoes, peonies, sedums, and mums. I also use it on trellises for growing gourds and cucumbers. It works super and is virtually indestructible.

I designed these peony cages to my specifications exactly, and it has taken me a while to figure out what would work best. Either the cage was too big or not too high. My design has exactly two full six inch squares in height, and about nine squares around. I leave the bottom edge unfinished so I will have stakes to push into the ground for stabilization.

The cages are not the most attractive thing when the peonies are sleeping such as now, but they sure serve a function and I find them to be unobtrusive in the garden. They not only hold up the peonies beautiful blooms, but they remind the gardener (me) not to dig in that spot. This is a big help in my hard working garden.

Skeeter went and got herself a cute little gnome. She hasn't told the Saint as of yet and plans to let him find it on his own. I think he is going to like the little fella. We can see this guy is a gnome of leisure. Maybe he is reading a gardening book and wondering if those peony cages will hinder him in any way.

in the garden....being cagey.


  1. dawn with peachesMarch 18, 2008 at 8:03 AM

    How cute is that?
    Nice idea on the peonies, keeps my dog from breaking and bending them over.
    We had irish wedding soup for supper last night, true to cause, my kids were apauled. We hedged bets on will they want it or will they not. One ate it in order to get a late night snack but the older one did not?!?! Thought we put frog eggs in it. Ha! Hope everyone had a good st patty day.
    Going food shopping, be back later. I'm NOT stopping at wally world like yesterday, won't be able to resist poking change in the claw machine to get the Elvis eyeglasses case. Gee wiz lost 20 buck-a-roos on it.

  2. The cages are a good idea even if they aren't especially attractive right now, they will just disappear later. You could try making something out of bamboo or wood but they would decompose at some point. But why change what works! :)

  3. I only have one peony caged. it has big beautiful fragrant pink blooms. Usually, I cut the flowers for display and I don't need cages!

    Are you getting the rain, we have the wind so far?


  4. Good Morning to all.

    Cute Gnome Skeeter.

    Dawn what is it about you and Elvis? Since I always get you at least one Elvis thing for Christmas
    you must have quite a collection by now without throwing $20.00 in a claw machine. Can't believe that since you are good with your money and getting good deals. Funny!

  5. Another Elvis collector! You and the Saint can talk about your riches sometime! LOL. We have an Elvis collection that started out as a pure joke. Since I am from TN, the Saint assumes we (my family) all just LOVE Elvis. Not sure how this all got started but Saint said something on the lines of my mom loving Elvis and from there she got him an Elvis trinket and since then it has been war! They pass tacky Elvis trinkets to each other for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, etc. The latest item to the Saint was a nice Pez Dispenser trio! Actually really nice... Mom was lucky enough to get a custom made tree skirt for Christmas; it was placed under the tree the day I decorated it for her! She about died when she saw it. She also got a custom made huge stocking which hung on the closet door! We have Velvet painted Elvis, and a life size standing cardboard Elvis and the list goes on..... When mom and dad come to visit us, I make sure all the Elvis stuff is nicely displayed in the bed room for them to enjoy! My dad says he was not in the middle of this game therefore; he should not have to endure the Elvis stuff in the room... LOL...

    I am not sure yet where the gnome will go. I will just slip it into the yard somewhere and see how long it takes the Saint to discover it! Tee hee... Was a steal at only $8.00....

  6. Dawn and all
    Just have to share this w/you...One of my West Coast, friends since the 1960's, has always been an Elvis fan. Before she met her georgeous husband, she had a life sized poster of the King on the ceiling above her bed and an Elvis Bobble Head collection on the dash board of her work truck! When she found out that I was moving to KY/TN she went balistic! For the past 8 years she has been planning to meet me at Graceland. One of these days....
    Btw, this lady grows artichokes for sale on her 200 acres. She also grows loads of other vegs and has not eatten anything with eyes since about 1970.
    I have a, not so happy, memory of helping her capture goats in the artichoke field after it had been sprayed with a foamy, soapy, bug killer. I broke out in a nasty rash that landed me in the emergency room with my eyes swollen shut. My husband says I was also drooling like a rabid dog!
    I itch just thinking about it. Ugh. But, those artichoke flower/thistles are sure pretty.

  7. Ginger that is funny but sorry you got such a nasty rash. When Dawn was in high school we went to Graceland and it was so nice. It was before the estate had been settled and the area around graceland had not been built up There was a tacky shop across from the gate to graceland and a sand parking lot. You park and walked in thru the gate. No crowds, just a handfull of people there. You could walk anywhere on the grounds and all it cost was what you wanted to put in the tin can on the front doorsteps. So we saw the pool and the graves and all. Only problem was you could not go in the house. Years later when Tina was in Clarksville on a trip down she took me down to Graceland and what a shock! You had to park quite a ways away and walk forever or take a shuttle bus and then pay for everything!!! I can honestly say my first vist was much better.
    My memories of the first trip are GREAT!!!! Have NO fond memories of the second visit. One piece of infor....if Elvis had died less than 24 hours later than he did, he would have been in Maine. The people that had tickets for that concert got to go to a memorial service at the Civic Center instead of a concert. I was a teenager in the 50's so Elvis was a big part of my life but now I look and think of what a wasted life and waste of talent that probably will never be matched in the music world. Very sad. I have a large pen and ink drawing of Elvis that Christy (Tina's daughter) had done for me in Germany and last year Brian (Tina's son) and his wife gave me an Elvis Anniversary Clock for Christmas.

  8. dawn with peaches, what is Irish wedding soup? must be a traditional st. pat's day food? cages definitely keep waundering dogs off from peonies. what color do you have? lost $20 on an arcade machine...what were you thinking?

    hi dave, i really like the cages. they are practical, though i may have to add some cross members to hold up all the flowers (i hope i do:))

    gail, what kind of cage do you use around your peony? is it made of metal too? these are indestructible but you do need bolt cutters and good gloves to work with the metal.

    mom, i'm with you $20 bucks and no certainty of winning the prize. dawn with peaches and the jimster would get along great. i guess if it is important enough. did not know dawn with peaches collect elvis stuff. i remember exactly when elvis died and where we were living. it was so HOT that summer and no air moved, even close to the ocean. it was tragic. and i think people remember where they were when they heard elvis died, or kennedy was shot, or man landed on the moon, or two airplanes run into the towers. vivid memories and history talked about forever.

    skeeter, my mother loves elvis too. who doesn't? have you and the saint visited graceland. very expensive tourist trap-oops attraction.

    ginger, i can see a life sized poster over a few women's beds. that is funny. my full sized poster would have to be mel gibson. next hubby, but elvis is running in there somewhere.

    what kind of soapy bug killer would cause you to break out in a rash-or was it the artichokes? ouch.

  9. Oh ginger sorry about that nasty rash! Yuck-O...

    Yep, been to Graceland twice. Once the week he died with my moms friend. He was not buried at the house then but in a Cemetery down the street. Hordes of people all over the place crying and writing on the wall and fences surrounding the place. I thought it was neat to see his horse's...

    The Saint and I went to Graceland with my mom and dad over Christmas one time. Maybe 1999 or 2000 Cant remember… It was nice to see the place decorated for Christmas and that Lisa Marie had the same vanity set under the Christmas tree like the one my grandmother gave me one Christmas! I thought the airplanes were neat to see inside of too. Considering how rich he was at the time, (richer today) he lived fairly simple compared to rich people today… Different time, I guess…

  10. Hi Tina, I still have to get back for another blueberry bush or two. Maybe later when the girl model gets back from school. She did really well at the spelling bee. She by no means won but she won in our eyes --she is a 1st grader and was competing against alot of bigger/older children. She got out on the word specific. I am so happy she made it that far --top three out of all the first graders is great for this mom:) Sorry I had to brag -I was shocked she came this far. And, Dawn with peaches I had no idea that birch tree branches acted like a pain reliever -wow --no wonder I was a relatively healthy kid, hahaha. I couldn't feel the pain when I fell out of those trees since I was chewing on a pain reliever all the time, lol. Wow, is it windy --there is a wind advisory here until midnight --how about by you Tina? I walked around looking in the garden --took the ducks out for a walk and ran but no yard work --the wind is something else. The ducks are so cute --they don't want to be outside in the wind --they keep running up and hiding in the bushes. The boys are home doing homework --a few more days and we have spring break --a nice 10 days off counting weekends. Hi Jean --my mom LOVED Elvis --she cried when he died --we were just little kids but she got so choked up -I still remember wondering why she was crying --I guess all the girls loved him. My mom graduated in the late 50's. Hi Skeeter --that little gnome is cute --I'm sure I could pass off a few garden trinkets without hubby noticing --just have to strategically place them:) I have to check on the homework crew --ciao!

  11. skeeter, i agree he seemed to live a simple life even with all that money. if i had lots of money all i would need would be a log cabin in the wild with lots of plants. and a garage for hubby and his cars near by but not too close. simple too in my eyes. who needs more than quality of life and tons of extravagance?

    anonymous, congrats on the girl model! she will be a county spelling bee contender soon enough. i was totally in shock when jimmy won for his school last year and placed sixth in the county. i know your pride! i saw the boys names in the paper again today! how proud are you?! i cut it out for you and will drop it off soon. tried to today but running short of time. no jury duty this morning but i have to check again tonight for tomorrow. same deal for the next two weeks. i am glad spring break is almost here too.

    i am sure my mother cried when elvis died just like yours. my husband just about cried when dale earnhart died. i had the unpleasant task of informing of the death. i really didn't know how much he loved earnhart. we were in europe at the time so news was delayed or early or something. he didn't hear it. hope he doesn't mind me saying this. i totally understand grief as public deaths that are untimely hit people very hard.

  12. I also adore Elvis, and remember the day he died vividly. I was at my 10th birthday party!!! Seriously. Completely ruined the party and my birthday. I have always felt so linked since he died on my birthday. I was always a huge Elvis fan. Something about that voice and those eyes. Sigh....

    I still love Elvis. There are certain songs that his voice is so velvet and sensual. I have several CD's saved in my music on my computer and like to play them and sing along when I'm alone!! I never missed an Elvis movie rerun on TV growing up. Never.

    In fact, me and the Dragon are off to northern Mississippi (just south of Memphis) for a long weekend and I mentioned to him that I want to go to Graceland again. It has been years since we've gone, and I was reading on the web site that they have some new stuff on exhibit right now. That is why I like to go back to Graceland, because they rotate the collection of "stuff" that is shown to the public. Yes, it costs an arm and a leg, but these days--what doesn't? Anything you like, you're willing to pay for it, right?

  13. dawn with peachesMarch 18, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    Jack of all trades spent the money. It's the newest claw machine, the one with gravel on the bottom and nice trinkets inside? I was looking at the machine on my way out and spied the case, a nice one, hard with the hinges. Young pic of Elvis and afew phases from his songs, autograph on back (or I should say signature in glitter), pink and beige background. We were having a mini good time, a young guy came in talking on his cell--he got lured into it! Jack of all trade picked the whole thing up and then it bounced when the claw stopped at the top. AAAAAhhh, all 3 of us said, then the poor guy on the other end of the phone wanted to meet my hubby! Innocent bystanders they were! When I went to the bank part of wally world to get change for a 5 the guy on the phone tried it and told hubby he would give it to him! Wasn't successful though. After that hubby picked it up by the taped on loop. Too heavy. I got too many stares when I went for change as he was there with a 10$. So we called it quites.

    Notice I haven't forgotten about it........

  14. Anonymous, you must be so proud of your little princess! All I can say about spelling B's is... I am sure thankful for spell check on the computer!

    Tina, you should be proud also! Did not know your Jimster was famous! Lets hope he stays on track, he is approaching the crazy years of life ya know… LOL

    Stacey, you are an Elvis fan? If I had known then I would re-gift some things to you slowly without my mom knowing of course. Hope my mom don’t see this. LOL Mom, do you still read Tina’s Blog? Guess I will find out soon enough on that one….

    Tina, you will not believe what I saw as we drove down the road a few minutes ago….. A BOTTLE TREE! Not one but two side by side. I started to laugh and the Saint thought I was loosing my mind. I made sure we drove that route back home so he could see them and he did agree with me that it was two bottle trees. Or they are drying out there Wine bottles getting ready for the ending of Lent to refill them! I wonder what the people at the church nearby think of the bottle trees? LOL

  15. Great idea about the cages. I say whatever works don't mess around with it. I need to figure out how to make something to fit over my containers so the pesky squirrels won't dig up my seeds & plants. If it's not the squirrels it's the neighbors cats looking for a place to poop. Hate that.

    I like this little guy. Big toss up between him & the one holding the book. Will have to ponder that.

    Too sad about Elvis. I've been to his home, before his Aunt died. Now that part is open from what I hear. I didn't care for the green shag carpet on the walls & ceiling. The planes were nice. I liked the horses. I would have thought the house would have been larger. He built on the back part. He did it for his Mom. He sure loved his Mom. Real sad that Lisa Marie has sold 80% of her interest in all that. Guess she needed money. It's just a money maker now. Expensive at that.

    Warm here today. Just cleaned a couple pots out. Leg really hurts. Hate it. Hope to get the other rose set out tomorrow. Young'un will be home so maybe he will help me. Did get some of the stuff out of my asparagus bed. It's putting up new shoots already. I like to just snap them off & eat right there. Nothing better.

  16. Lola, hope you feel better tomorrow! Put Young'un to work for you while you sit back and bark orders. I plan to do that next week when I am recuperating! Well, I will probably do more pointing then barking! LWIC (that means Laugh While I Can)...

    I know what you mean about the cats pooping in the yard. The neighbors (the ones we like) cat comes into the garden and loves to use the soft sandy dirt and pine straw as his personal litter box! I used that expensive spray from Tractor Supply and it works. He has hardly used the garden at all since. I will still have to be on my toes when digging without gloves one. Yuck, nothing like finding a cat gobbling in the dirt when digging without your gloves. Argggg...

    I was so excited about telling yall about the bottle tree that I forgot to tell you this. I was just reminded when on The Home Garden with Dave.... the Saint and I went into a new housing development to check out the progress. They had tons of unearthed rocks large enough to use as border rocks! He would not let me pick any up! We were in the truck too! He lost his Saint status with me tonight and is on my poop list. I am thinking of making him go to the tree-house to sleep with the bugs and deer! Those rocks will end up in the land field or some other smart gardener’s yard!

  17. dawn with peachesMarch 18, 2008 at 7:45 PM

    All of ya are too funny, Skeeter you let him stop you? It would be me running behind the truck with boulders attempting to chuck them into the bed of the truck.
    Tina, irish wedding soup is basicly chicken soup with meatballs, 'cept the noodles are little round matzo pasta, thus the frog eggs. He ate several large biscuits. Didn't go hungry.
    I hope your feeling better Lola, its so annoying to have that bone ache for so long.
    Good for the little model anonymous! It is great to brag about your kids, one year my son did a trivia game with the elem. school in assembly forum and got hometown hero! I had no clue what that was but I liked it.
    Elvis-what can I say about him, I think everyone has fondness for what he was, even people born after his death. Good sounding, good looking, good music, and, and good things he did do.
    Alright, I admit it, glass case was on ebay for a buy it now, $12.95 with $4.95 shipping. Guess I'll go that way, shoulda known to check the worlds largest yard sale first.

  18. Hi Tina, you can bring the paper clipping whenever you come by --thanks for letting me know it was in the paper. Now, I know how proud you must've felt when the Jimster went to County for the spelling bee --it is so exciting. I hope in a few years that the girl model can make it that far:) I'm sorry you have that jury duty lingering -must be hard to plan not knowing. But, I know you'll be in the garden when they don't need you:0)
    Hi Skeeter, thanks for the compliments on the girl model for her recent spelling accomplishment. It sounds like those bottle trees are really catching on with everyone. I still haven't "tried" to make one yet. Hubby wouldn't allow it --just yet. I had to beg for him to put the birdhouse where he put it:) I guess it's all about his view of how he can see things. Hey, I'm working on him --pretty soon I'll take those big steps to rearrange things in the yard --I've done that with the house --hahaha.
    Hi Lola, I'm sorry that your leg is bothering you so bad. My mom takes some glucosamine tablets daily and she said they really help with the leg and joint pains. She had a severe break in three spots many years ago --she said her leg lets her know when it's going to rain/snow etc. I have a nice friend I met in Texas --she is 85 years old --takes no medicines -really impresses me with what she does --she swears by WD40 on her sore joints. She too took a fall a few years back and hurt her arm --and now rubs it with the WD40. I'm sure the smell is different but she said it helps her out. All you young gals would get a kick out of her --she mows her own yard, trims her trees --quite the lady. I can only hope I will be able to do that stuff at that age.
    Howdy Dawn with Peaches --are you sure Jack of all trades isn't a long lost relative of my hubby? My hubby is magnetized to those coin sucking/dollar bill grabbing machines. I steer clear of those babies --he loves them, hahaha. I must admit he has won the kids some cute stuffed toys over the years but I just can't get into them myself. I wash my car when it rains, hahaha --ask Tina. I back it out of the garage --get it wet and bring it back in to wipe it clean --:) Okay, in the summer I use the garden hose but since the fall it's all about the rain and cleaning it for FREE. Well, I'm sorry for the almost novel length on this --kids are asleep:) So, I can naturally talk up a storm --okay well tap away on the keys. Nighty night!

  19. hey all. long day today. no jury duty today or tomorrow, but i am tired. i will say hello to stacey, who hasn't commented in a real long time. welcome! you and hubby (not sure if you want me to use his screen name on here) have a great trip to mississippi. i hope you plan to do a bit of gambling while there as i think tunica is in that area. have fun at graceland too! btw-you are a leo? so am i! i am a few years older and our birthdays can't be the same, but also leo. strong as a lion. just ask my hubby!

    talk to you all in the morning. i have a life post tomorrow about a special person to this community and the newspaper. that is why it is my wednesday post, for the hardcopy paper.

  20. Tina,

    Wish you had been at the PPS meeting last night! There was a great talk and plants for sale. I bought a few heuchera, very pretty colors and my favorite daylily Hyperion.

    If I had the time I would sign up for the trip to Huntsville...I might have to try to talk DH into a day trip to the nursery.

    Thanks for the plant!


  21. Your are right Tina about where one was or what one was doing when certain people died or events happened. I know (or pretty sure) you and Dawn know where you were when they landed on the moon as I have taken some kidding about that night. You were not happy with me at that time. For you other folks out there reading this Tina and Dawn were very young when the historic moon landing happend and it was in the middle of the night and on TV. I made them get outta bed a watch the fuzzy landing on TV. They were to young to realize what was going on and just wanted to go back to bed. But for all you folks that have been brought up in ths high tec world you have no idea how big that night was. It was and probably still is the biggest event that had ever happened and I wanted my kids to be able to say they saw the history making event happen. My "baby" was only a couple of months old and I even held her in front of the TV! Every time a big death or event happened I always got on the phone and called Nana. I remember when Bobby Kennedy got killed I called every 2 mintues as she was not home and had to tell her. I was not and am not a fan of the Kennedys but when JFK got killed I was living in Columbus, GA and the people there HATED him and were dancing in the streets. I will never get over that. It was the worst thing I ever saw in my life. Even if you were not a fan he was the leader of out country.

    On a better note, great about the girl model Anonymous. What on this earth can make you swell with pride more than your children?!!!

    Stacey I hope you and Dragon have a great trip and do get to go to Graceland.

    Lola I sure hope your leg is better today. I took Glucosamine for about 3 years and it did nothing for me but a lotta people swear by it. I had an aunt that used to use the WD40 and loved it but I never quite could bring myself to try it.

    As so often....long and winded.

  22. mom, i always treasure that memory. you slapping your knee laughing and crying at the same time-hysterically if i can recall correctly. i remember as though it were yesterday. i don't remember my sibling being out there, though they may have gone to bed by the time you got so excited? raining here so i have to stay in and do taxes. urgh!

  23. Tina your sisters were all there to the end as I MADE everyone stay and watch it and I can tell you no one treasured it at the time, except your father and I.