Bottle trees are the funnest. Here is a close up of mine. It is in a visible location from the house and I love looking at it all times of the day. A few folks think bottle trees are the best-no watering required!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Bottle trees are the funnest. Here is a close up of mine. It is in a visible location from the house and I love looking at it all times of the day. A few folks think bottle trees are the best-no watering required!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Okay, okay, probably everyone has heard enough about bowling balls from me, but I just can't seem to stop. If you don't like reading about them-stop right now.
My friend Geri is an excellent gardener and also likes crafts. She doesn't have any bowling balls lining her gardens or on poles suspended in the air, but she does have some bowling balls. Where are they you ask? Why in the garden of course! I just saw them yesterday and they are looking good!
I shared a few of my many bowling balls with her so she could make these beautiful treasures. In return, I insisted she let me post about them. They are so beautiful! The picture really does not do them justice. These bowling balls are covered with glass gems and absolutely sparkle! She made two, and Clare (her daughter) made two. It was one of their craft projects over a long weekend. Here are the directions Geri and Clare used to make their cool bowling ball art courtesy of Backyard Living, Lynne Hansen, Nov/Dec 07.
1. Fill finger holes with silicone caulk
2. Spread tile adhesive on the ball and add the accouterments to it. Leave about 1/2 inch of space between decorations for grout application. If you are going to set the ball on a stand, leave the bottom clear. Let dry for 24 hours.
3. Mix grout to the consistency of cake batter. Adding a grout additive instead of water will help it weather better.
4. Apply grout with a sponge, wiping off excess as you go along. Let dry.
5. I am planning seal mine, though the directions don't say to do so.
6. Now enjoy!
Today is my sister Dawn's birthday. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!! I won't say the age though I am still older even though we are the same age now.
in the garden....
Monday, July 28, 2008
A few bloggers have emailed me asking about my little group. Many know Skeeter and Lola. These two comment on a ton of blogs and are great commenters. Some know my mother, Jean. She comments on a few blogs she established a relationship with early on in my blogging 'career'. My mother reads more than she comments on. Dawn, my sister, is a loyal and funny commenter ever since my mother and I let her know how to comment. She now has her own blog and is very busy still talking here and blogging in the craft blog community. Anonymous and Nina, well you will have to read their stories below.
The commenters are not listed in any certain order. I have stuck to the original six NOT to slight anyone else who comments on here. Especially my wonderful oldest daughter (Christine) who comments occasionally. I have stuck with these six simply because they were with me when I blogged through an FTP site and were with me religiously. All kept me going and it was like having a conversation with each daily. I have met all, except Lola. Lola lives in Florida and it would difficult for us to meet. We have all traded emails, addresses and phone numbers. We have become friends through this blog and enjoy talking. Blogging buddies or not, you develop a relationship blogging and I think sometimes it is MUCH easier than developing relationships in person. At least you know the person you are speaking to has the same interest (gardening). I don't know about you all out there in cyberland, but as soon as I start talking gardening to others their eyes are liable to roll back in their heads and they are just not all interested (big surprise to me). Big hurdle when you try to establish something in common with someone else. Not so on here as everyone who visits usually likes to garden.
None of my commenters had their own blogs when we began talking. My sister Dawn started hers much later due to the great amount of fun she had on my blog. Skeeter was a member of another blog and was familiar with blogging, but does not have her own blog. She and I share pretty well on here.
I am not including commenters like Dave, Frances and Gail, who all have their own blogs and were also early commenters in this posting. They would need their own posting. I do appreciate every one who takes the time to comment on here, especially other bloggers. I have also been fortunate to meet a few other bloggers; which was super great! But Dave, Frances and Gail and I all kind of found each other through the blogging community; whereas these original six found my blog through a different community, one published via an FTP.
This FTP was a whole new ballpark for bloggers. I would never recommend blogging through an FTP to anyone who truly WANTS to blog and relate to others, but it did bring into my life some really nice people I might not ever have met except through the FTP. (One can never be sure though) Those are: Skeeter, Nina, and Lola. I already knew Anonymous, and obviously I know my mother and sister.
Now, on to the commenters. Since this is a garden blog, and since you all know how corny I am at times (okay-maybe like all the time!), I chose pictures of flowers to represent my commenters. Also, I want to say I refer to these guys as my commenters, but really they aren't! They can read and comment anywhere! The good thing about the computer and cyberland is that commenters are not limited to a certain blog. There are SO many blogs that readers and commenters can be picky and choosy. At the same time, there is no way commenters can ever possibly comment on all blogs they read and like. It is NEVER personal, and I know all folks understand this. Commenters, bloggers, and even readers who never comment, need to find their niche and they have to have something in common with the blogger in order to return. So, onto my flowers....oops! commenters!
This picture of lilacs represents Anonymous. Lilacs are her favorite flower. She is from Pennsylvania and remembers their sweet fragrance from the north. It is great she can grow them down here. She chooses to remain anonymous and I will always respect her privacy. Anonymous lives locally and she and I have been friends for more than five years, though we had lost contact for a few years. When my new blog (published through an FTP) was to begin, there was some publicity about it in the newspaper. Anonymous's Number #2 son saw my picture and told his mom. She began reading the blog from nearly day one way back in September of 2007. I never knew! Anonymous would never comment. I ran into her one day at the Wal-Mart and we began talking. I was quite shocked she knew all about me, my grandson and the Jimster and so on! I don't know why I would be surprised, I mean duh, the info is out there for anyone to read. I guess the shocking part was not knowing who was reading, and not knowing she was reading. Very shocking indeed in this small community.
Anonymous has contributed many photos to this blog and is an excellent photographer. She took the picture of the lilacs posted above.
After a time, we began talking on here. Slowly and hesitantly at first. Commenting in cyberworld can be a daunting thing. Truly. And I do think you have to be careful about it all. Anonymous did the right thing by moving slowly. Now thanks to the blog, Anonymous and I have a daily relationship that has grown and grown. We all love to hear her talk about Sidekick chasing lizards, or catching snakes, Girl Model decorating her room, Boy #2's baseball antics, and Boy #1's activities as well. Not to mention her 'Red Beauty' and the ritual of cutting the grass (with a weedwhacker?!). I always enjoy her comments and we visit in person as well. This friendship has been going strong for awhile and will continue for life.
My mother is handicapped and has an awful hard time getting around. She has not gardened in years, but I grew up with a garden everywhere we lived due to her love for gardens. The one thing my mother can do is to use a computer. She doesn't know a single thing about the technical machines but sure does love the Internet. Along came a little blog called, In the Garden authored by her oldest daughter, and now my mother had a new outlet on the Internet that led to two very important things. The first is that she and I can talk not only each and every day, but she can also see what is going on in my life and my garden. She can see pictures of my family real time and we can talk about it all. The second thing is that she has been motivated to begin her own gardening endeavors. Her gardens have helped her to be able to move around a bit more and also have helped to bring our far flung family together in the common goal of working Mother Earth. It has been great fun talking with my mother each day.
My mother visits a few other blogs here in Tennessee. She doesn't always comments but reads and really takes an interest in the people behind the blogs.
Dawn is a gardener, a collector and a crafter. I am also all three of these but my first love is gardening. Dawn's first love is crafting. She used to read this blog occasionally, then was schooled on how to comment. She has been on here ever since. Oftentimes my commenters would send me pictures that they wanted to share. I used to do the posts but once I switched to blogger, I chose to invite my commenters to share their own pictures in their own words. Dawn took the plunge and began sharing gardening related posts from Maine. I always enjoy her posts and her comments, especially Oy Vey! A few of my favorite posts from Dawn are: Dwarf Dogwood and Fiddleheads and Sensation.
Dawn and her husband have been building their dream house for about four years now. She has finally completed the house and is getting settled. Once that hurdle was no more she was able to focus on her crafting. Dawn started her own blog called C & G Designs. She posts daily and has made many contacts of her own. She has agreed to continue to post on here occasionally, and we have decided the first Saturday of each month is her posting day. It has worked well and I enjoy being able to share this blog with the commenters and readers. I appreciate the break too!
I can't remember what Nina first commented on, but I have a funny story to share about it. She would comment each night on the same post after I had already gone to bed. I would get up in the morning and check the posts and find she had commented. I would always start my reply with "Good morning." Do you know I probably had about 6 or 7 "Good mornings" on that one post to Nina? After a while it probably looked pretty silly to viewers. Sigh. Yes, we were all kind of new to blogging. Now I feel like I am an old experienced blogger but never do I miss those early days. No sirreee! Now I will say good morning just once on each post.
Nina and I continued to talk for some time. We talked of gardening, of her father and of plants. After a while some of the commenters began talking to each other. Nina and my mother had a great deal in common, though all commenters at the time started conversations with one another. There were some days I did not even need to comment because they would talk amongst themselves. Those days when the commenters talk with one another are always my proudest days as a blogger. I loved seeing the community develop among the commenters. A relationship began developing. Plans were made to meet and carried through. Nina, Anonymous, Sidekick and I had a delightful lunch at the Front Page Deli one bleary winter day. The next meeting was an invite to lunch at Nina and Jean's place south of Clarksville. It was delightful! I got to see her gardens and beautiful home, meet her husband, and just hang out and talk gardening. Since then we have met a few more times. Plants and gifts were exchanged (thanks Nina!) and we have gotten to know each other. I am so glad to have met Nina and look forward to exchanging many more gardening stories.
Nina is also the person who introduced me to those famous 'Yucca Tulips'.She even made her own and sent me a picture. I have a feeling it will be an annual tradition here at In the Garden. Nina is also a bottle tree lover and has one of her own as well as many of my friends.
The daylily above can only be my one and only commenter, Lola. It is yellow, (my favorite color in the garden), strong and reliable. It is a mainstay in all of our gardens, as is Lola here at In the Garden. Lola is one of the most faithful and smartest commenters on here. I met Lola through the FTP website. The relationship began with emails then progressed onto talking on the blog. We still do email frequently. Since day one Lola has talked with each and every person on here. I always, always love how she makes a point to respond to each person.
Lola lives in Florida but is originally from close to me here in Tennessee. It is unlikely she will travel much so if we are to meet, I think it will have to be in Florida. One of my sisters lives in Florida, as does my uncle, so we may just meet one day. Even if we don't, my mother has talked of meeting up with Lola in Florida, and I have many pictures of her and her family. I know Lola has a few 'Young Uns', and some very cute great grandkids living near her. She loves to garden and is a brilliant gardener, coming up with some very innovative methods of solving problems.
Lola has collaborated with me on several postings, to include: Poke Me a Salat, Arbors (though some of the pictures were lost in the switchover from the FTP), Tuberroses, Tip Day, Poinsettias, Raised Beds, and most likely a few others as well. It is getting hard for me to remember with nearly 400 posts in 10 months. Please forgive me Lola. And keep up the super conversation and sharing of your vast knowledge.
I wish I could say Skeeter was my very first commenter, but someone else beat her to the punch. No matter, Skeeter has been the longest and most faithful and regular commenter on this blog. Out of 342 posts (not counting this one), only six posts don't have a comment. This is solely due to Skeeter commenting every single day no matter what! Skeeter-what is up with those six??? Just kidding. Some posts would only have two comments, mine and hers, or even just one comment, hers. I was so discouraged those first few months that I considered giving up this blog. She encouraged me and kept the faith and held on. Somehow she just knew the blog would pick up and more people would begin commenting. I have to say, that this was during a time when this blog was published through an FTP website. I had no idea how many readers were reading (if any) and was discouraged about the whole situation. The FTP people were not much help, Skeeter was the biggest help through it all. I only tell you this because most bloggers have the ability to track their stats, I did not. So not getting comments (except from Skeeter) and not knowing my readership was a bit discouraging. Now of course I track my own stats and get comments regularly. Comments are-how did one blogger put it? Annie in Austin put it best when she says, "A comment from you is like chocolate- maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it." Skeeter is just one of the many commenters who put the fun in this blog, but she should get an award just for doing this so regularly and so faithfully that I am so impressed! Okay! Enough on the comments.
Skeeter is an avid gardener and pet lover. She will tell you her pets always come first, and they do! But running right alongside the two black-as-night kitties (Sheba and Cheetah?) is her love for gardening. She is an excellent gardener and has shared many, many photos and topics with me over the past ten months. Too many to link or address, but I will mention just a few. The very first post Skeeter helped me out with was Lantana. In fact, she brought me a huge lantana plant from her garden. I am happy to say it is doing well in blooming in yellow in my garden. This post was on October 2, 2007 and was posted within one week of my beginning the blog! Skeeter was there from the start and it has been so great!!!!!!!!!!!!! She was also my 'partner in crime' in taking pictures of some Butchered Crepe Myrtles. I never could've done this post without her help. From the beginning Skeeter has helped me out.
Once I switched my blog to blogger from the FTP site, I realized there was no need of her or any of the commenters helping me out anymore. Now I could easily add them in as contributors to In the Garden and they could post on their own about things they found important in their areas. This plan never would've worked had it not been for the relationship we all developed on this blog over the time it has been in existence. We have a unique blog in that we can do this here at In the Garden, and I can say it has been a painless process and one that I am ever so happy to have put into place! You see, early on in the beginning I was nervous and hesitant to really venture into blogging while posting on the FTP site. Skeeter gave me some great advice that has stuck to this day-even while I was on vacation last week! Skeeter's advice was this: (in a comment no less!)
"Tina, you have to post daily, try and post only once a day, and try to keep the posts short and not so technical."
This has been good advice and I have tried to follow it religiously. I think readers AND commenters like the regularity of the posts (maybe not always the length) and I try to keep them going daily. Subject matter is never an issue for me, time is the issue. That is why adding Skeeter, Dawn, and other occasional guests, (like my daughter Christine) is such a good idea for me and this blog. I get a break, they get to have fun and talk and share, and the blog goes on. Now onto my vacation and the advice. I contemplated not posting while I was out of the net, but Skeeter encouraged me to continue to do so and said she would fill in for me. What a pal! Recently Skeeter agreed to try out posting on Saturday and Sunday (with the exception of the first Saturday of the month which is still Dawn's day to post). I am hoping she enjoys it as much as I do on the other days of the week thanks to all of the commenters and readers. Thanks Skeeter and all of my commenters for being there and being a part of
In the Garden....
P.S. One more thing about In the Garden, the contributors have carried on my little closing on all my posts as a sort of homage to me and I want to say I appreciate this! It was totally their doing with no input from me.
Disclaimer: Most of the commenters knew I was preparing this post-but not all. So if you are one of them I hope you don't mind.:)
In closing FINALLY! I do want to say thanks to anyone and everyone who has ever commented on here or on ANY blog. Most bloggers love comments and they do mean alot to the blogger-so keep them coming! Even one single comment is important-so get your typing fingers warmed up!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Just what every gardener wants to see in their yard right? NOT! This big old ugly gas tank provides us with wonderful heat during the winter months. Heat is good during the winter but the tank is not something I care to see on a daily basis.
What is a gardener to do? Well, use their imagination and create a solution to hide the big Silver Bullet.
See that little banana tree in the middle Tina?
In time, I will dig out saplings and plant them along the chain link fence behind the tank to cover the neighbors privacy fence. That task will take place once we are out of drought conditions. I have enough to water now!
I see Trumpet Vine growing along the banks of the lake as well as the roadside here in Georgia. It loves full sun and does not seem to mind the drought conditions we have been having the past few years.
I believe I chose a perfect solution to my GAS WOE, in the garden...
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Here is a White Fly on a Trumpet Vine in my garden. If the picture will enlarge, you can get a better view.
White fly control is difficult as they rapidly gain resistance to chemical pesticides. Various companion plants will repel or trap white flies. Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Mint and Basil has a reputation for repelling them.
The Preying Mantis is a natural enemy to the white fly so if you see a Preying mantis in your garden, leave it be to do its job of eradicating your garden from White flies.I have marigolds planted in the garden but they do not seem to be keeping the flies off my Trumpet Vine! Look at the white powdery mold growing on the stem.
White flies have been really bad in my garden here in Georgia this year. I wonder if our lack of rain fall has anything to do with that? Humm...
When I spot them, I usually just take my fingers and run them along the stem to remove the mold and fly. I also squash the fly in the process, that is, if it does not jump away. This particular type of white fly is a quick jumper. I am usually watering at the same time so as to remove the sticky mess from my fingers and the plant stem. Kind of gross but does the job without pesticides.
An Ivy plant on my front porch was infested with the little buggers also.
It looks as though powder has been poured onto wet stems. Can you spot the little liquid sucking culprit in this close up picture of the ivy leaf?
I welcome certain bugs into my garden such as the Lady bug but this WHITE FLY is one bug I do not welcome, In the Garden...
Friday, July 25, 2008
in the garden....
Thursday, July 24, 2008
My grandmother initially planted this hydrangea many years ago. At that time the now vegetable garden was strictly an ornamental garden. And this garden has an ideal spot on the east side of my mother's home over the septic field. It is in a bed surrounded by natural stone and somewhat raised. The raised elevation could have something to do with my mother hauling in 7 yards of loam; which went a long way to get the vegetable garden on its way.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
My non-gardening sister "I can't see why ANYONE would ever garden!" works in the town office of her and my mother's small town. I NEVER thought I would see the day our family was kind of involved in politics at its best-the small town type. She told us the garden in front of the town office and a historical building in town were maintained by the local garden club. We had to check it out and were delighted with the neatness and color of it all. Mr. Fix-it loved the cones of the above small tree. I am not sure what kind it is, but I bet it won't grow here in Tennessee. Isn't it textural?
Here is a larger view of the garden in front of the town hall. You can just see the pine cones in the left of the picture. These are from the same tree I posted above this picture. My sister tells me the town allots exactly $100 per year for the maintenance of this garden. It doesn't sound like much but evidently it does the job. There are a few perennials, but mostly annuals. The garden is changed to reflect the seasons and I hear the fall display is excellent.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The famous coast of Maine is known as the "Rocky Coast". Can you guess why? Here is the Jimster playing with a snail which bit him on the leg. What a surprise that was to him! The rocky outcropping he is sitting on is called a ledge. The tide was out at this particular beach. When the tide is in this ledge is the perfect jump off point to go swimming.
Mr. Fix-it was busy picking up sea glass from this beach. Sea glass is merely broken glass which has been washed up on the beach. It is usually very soft and worn from its time in the ocean. When I was a kid sea glass was a simple thing to find. Now a days it is rare. I think the recycling movement has cut down on the amount of glass that winds up in the ocean, plus, summer is the peak tourist season in Maine and many other beach combers were busy searching for sea glass as well. I am happy to say we did find enough to give to our special friend who watched our house and animals while we were gone.
I will leave you all with a picture of my only grandchild. He is the sweetest little boy you will every meet and rarely do you see him without a smile on his face. Here he is a bit befuddled by an acorn he found outside. His auburn curls are so cute and he was a joy to be around during our visit. We only wish we could've visited longer. Anonymous, remember this baby? One of my first posts?
in the garden....
Monday, July 21, 2008
Lastly, an update on Compost the kitten. Compost made the 22 hour drive to Maine with us. Maine has no kill shelters and is much kinder to stray animals than the state of Tennessee. My daughter Christine is currently fostering her and looking for a good home for this sweet little kitten. Christine just called me yesterday to say she thinks she has found a forever home with a dear friend of hers, and I hope it works out soon!
in the garden....updating.