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2/24/2015

1/20/2015

Not without my compost!

Would you move your full compost tumbler?  I worked so hard last fall to fill it up.  I actually raked leaves.  I made countless trips out my back door to unload kitchen scraps.  All that effort can't be in vain.  And my new house doesn't have an existing vegetable garden, so I could really use some compost to help build the soil.

To the outsider, I guess moving a pile of rotten, smelly kitchen scraps borders on insane.  But you hard-core gardeners out there understand, right?  I hope I'm not alone in this, anyway.  Or maybe someone needs to refer me to appear on a special episode of  "Hoarders: Garden Edition".      

1/16/2015

My New Year's Resolution Fail



My kids love to perch in the trees in our front yard.  This is scene I don't see often enough anymore.
We're often over-scheduled, bouncing from activity to activity.  But everyone needs tree-climbing time!

It's only a couple weeks into the new year, but I've broken every new year's resolution at least once already.  I've consumed artificial sweeteners, and plenty of the real stuff too.  I've chosen to take a nap instead of going on a run.  But the one I've broken most often?  My vow to take time for myself to recharge everyday.    

So it's time for renewing my resolution.  Gardening friends, this year I vow to make more time for leisure.  I will thumb through seed catalogs and wander nurseries.  I will propagate plants I don't really need more of.  I will poke around in the dirt enthusiastically and often.  Maybe I'll even climb a tree.


1/12/2015

Blank Canvas

There's one moment I really dread as a writer.  The blank page.  I get a little panicked every time I open up a new document to start a new writing project.  Ideas flow easy when I'm in the car or the shower.  But when I sit down to write, all my creative juices seem to suddenly dry up.

I have the same panicked feeling when I think about landscaping my new house.  There's next to nothing planted around the house.  Just mulch in the flower beds.  Where do I start?   

I love plants, but I have very little knowledge of design.  There are 105 plants that I want to grow, but I learned in my 20's what happens if I just plant whatever strikes my fancy without consideration of aesthetics.  Chaos!

Well at least I  made some insects and other critters very happy.  This time around, though,  I vow to not make my garden an eyesore to the rest of us.   

9/23/2014

Zinnia: All-purpose flower


I may look like the crazy flower lady, with zinnia taking up a good chunk of space in my vegetable garden.  But there are great reasons to grow zinnia as a "crop".  The butterflies love them as a nectar source.  And they make great cut flowers; I like having a bouquet of garden flowers on my desk that will last a whole week.

This is a gulf fritillary butterfly.  I grew their host plant, passion vine, at my old house and got to see their caterpillar stage.  Below is the picture I took a few years ago.