Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Are these Daffodils MUTANTS?

My cousin and I were talking about bulbs about a month before we could even see the ground. She had some bulbs that she was nervously awaiting their first spring time blooms. She had just purchased a home and was a bit desperate to turn the bare earth into a welcoming garden. Today I received news from my cousin that her bulbs (although blooming about a month later than everyone else's) had finally begun to bloom. She was overjoyed but something was amiss. She had planted full size single bloom daffodils. So she was bewildered when she found this:Can you see that there are three blooms on each stem? She asked me if it was a type of Daffodil that she was unaware of OR if her brown thumb has now turned into a RADIOACTIVE Thumb? Need a closer look? Here's a shot of another Mutant Daffodil... I've never seen anything like it so I turn to you for HELP! Have you any idea what type of Daffodil this is?

Or do I have to start sewing my cousin a Superhero outfit? After all, Peter Parker got a neat Spideyman suit when bit by a radioactive spider. What do you think of calling her "The Bloom Booster"? I like it...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

E Day Resolutions?

Earth Day. It's the "New" New Years. I don't know about you but I stopped making New Year's resolutions a long time ago... but now everyone seems to be making Earth Day Resolutions and I can not resist. Why not try to "Go Green"

So with the assistance of my kids we have decided that we will be plastic bag free. We have about 10 of those "free" giveaway canvas totess that have never been used so we are going to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! By using the totes we will: Reduce the amount of plastic bags filling our landfills, Reuse the totes for a purpose, Recycle any remaining plastic bags in our home.

That was our Earth Day Eve resolution last night. And I'm proud to say, I've gone shopping and returned without any plastic bags! And what's more the canvas totes were so easy to carry that I didn't have to struggle to hold my daughter's hand in the parking lot! One more reason to Celebrate Earth Day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Adding More Rustic Charm

Boy, did my family need Spring Break this year. We planned on sleeping in, snoring until noon, watching movies, eating popcorn, sitting on the couch and generally giving in to the laziness we haven't had time for. But the danged weather refused to cooperate! Who can sleep in on mornings that look like this:
And who can resist temperatures in the50's at sunrise? Not me... or my children! So we were up and at 'em by no later that 7:15 every morning. We enjoyed checking to see when the daffodils would open and were very happy when they finally put on their show.

The week was thoroughly enjoyable despite realizing that the bright sunshine is yet another trigger for gardengirl's seizures. A good pair of polarized dark sun glasses were the best buy of the week.

The unusually warm weather also led to an unusually helpful hubby and since winter hit while I was in the midst of starting a rock garden I was more than happy to recruit him to help me get the project underway...again. But sadly, he is easily distracted.


Could it be?

Yes, he's finally going to build my Rustic Arbor! for my Rustic Garden! I've dreamt about having a arbor frame the entrance to the rock garden. {wipe a tear} I've waited so long... and now hubby has done all the hard work and left me plenty of space to do the twig work that I so love. This is how my new arbor looked late yesterday:

And this is how my brand new Rustic Arbor looked just seconds before my daughter ran into it will the tractor:

And After...
No damage Done.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Beauty of the First Spring Flower

Yes, I know that there have been tons of posts about the blooming of every variety of crocus but... I cannot stop myself! Finally, in my garden, is the very first blooms of spring. With all the hectic worry that has filled my life lately it was so pleasant to stop and "smell" the flowers.

I'm LATE but I'm a Winner!

I'm very late with this post but (in my defense my life has been focused on my daughter and her medical issues) I am here at last! I won a copy of Cultivating Delight by Diane Ackerman from Kylee at Our Little Acre. It's a delightful garden read that has been very entertaining to me as I wait (endlessly) in doctor's offices. It reminds me that outside those dingy gray walls there is life. There is Spring. There is Gardening... And on a rare day home (a dingy gray day) it's a perfect way to relax.
Thank You, Kylee!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Peeking Peppers in my Peat Pots

This the first year I've used peat pots or peat pellets. I've heard so much about them (both good and bad) but I have to say they are so easy and convenient that I may be hooked! I started a most of my seeds on 3/22/08 and have seen great results! And more importantly, today I...

Peeked Pepper Plants in my Peat Pots!

I'm a Happy Gardener!!! And lookee at my greenhouse:

Lots of Green!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tiny Bird Brain Gardening (Part 2)

Everyone knows that hummingbirds love red flowers but do you know why? Because although tiny, a hummingbird's brain is quite knowledgeable about where to find the most nectar. Red flowers tend to have more nectar than other colors. Does that mean a hummingbird garden should be completely red? No, hummingbirds also feed at pink, orange, purple, yellow, and even white flowers. The real attraction for hummingbirds is shape. Think "Tubular" and you'll be thinking like a hummingbird.

So what does a garden need to be successful at attracting hummingbirds?
  1. Flowers: You can choose combinations of annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, vines and even some flowering vegetables to attract hummingbirds. Remember that they prefer "hot" colors and to overlap the bloom times so the garden never runs out of nectar. Although, not every flower has to be red, a patch of red flowers will act as a "Come and Get Me" sign. Also, regional wildflowers provide more nectar per bloom than other flower varieties so if at all possible "Go Wild!"

  2. Sun & Shade: Hummingbirds prefer to spend about half their time in the sun, 1/4 of their time in partial shade, and the remainder of their time in full shade.

  3. Shrubs & Trees: Essential in providing both partial and full shade they also provide locations for perching, shelter, and roosting.

  4. Flight room. While most birds perch to feed, hummingbirds don't always have that luxury. They need room between flowers to fly and hover. A tiered flower bed works best for hummingbirds.

  5. Water. Hummingbirds love to bathe (actually to shower). And are very resourceful at finding water for bathing in. They prefer moving water such as beads of water left on leaves after a rainfall or the fine spray of a waterfall. To set up a hummingbird shower in your hummingbird garden use a nozzle that gives us a continuous fine mist.

Favorites for Hummingbirds

  • bearded iris
  • bee balm
  • bellflower
  • buttercup
  • butterfly weed
  • carnation
  • catmint
  • columbine
  • coralbells
  • daylily
  • evening primrose
  • fireweed
  • foxglove
  • impatiens
  • hummingbird's trumpet
  • hollyhock
  • larkspur
  • loosestrife
  • poppy
  • sweet william