I Will Grow Them, Sam I Am!

As I write this post, I am reminded of the treasured childrens’ book by Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs And Ham. If you are like most Americans, you will catch this reference immediately.  If you have never read this classic American literary work, take yourself forthwith to the nearest library and check it out as you have missed a critical rite of passage in growing up in America.  If you did not grow up in America, check it out anyway, it’s a good read.

The way this is relevant to this discussion is that I had previously posted an entry on growing Hollyhocks: https://gardenlifedesigns.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/old-fashioned-hollyhocks-not-lovin-them/ in which I expressed a less-than-successful trial of growing these old fashioned beauties listing the pest and disease problems they are prone to during the three years I have tried to grow them.  As they were forming buds to finally flower, I predicted that the resulting blooms would not be spectacular enough to warrant the trouble to grow them.  Boy was I wrong!  Check out these babies:

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So I will grow them with the pests,

And I will grow them with the rust,

I will grow them here and there,

Heck, I will grow them anywhere!

I’m in love with them, I AM I AM

I do love Hollyhocks in the end.

Happy gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

Happy Birthday to Winken, Blinken, and Nod

April 24 was the birthday of three very special babies.  The three eggs in our Robin’s nest hatched! (see https://gardenlifedesigns.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/rockin-robins-a-closeup-on-the-domestic-life-of-nesting-parents/ )   I have been watching them closely from my kitchen window and I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Robin flying back and forth to the nest with mouthfuls of tasty worms.  My binoculars showed little yellow mouths opening above the edge of the nest every time a parent flew in for a delivery so between visits I ran out to take a few pics.  Bad photography notwithstanding, are they not the cutest little things ever?!  Winken is strongest, Blinken is right there in the fray competing for choice morsels but I am a little worried about Nod.  He doesn’t seem very strong and I never saw three little mouths open at the same time.  We’ll see if he can make it in the days and weeks to come.  I searched the ground beneath the nest for the pretty blue egg shells but our wily parents seemed to have spirited them away so as not to alert predators.  I have included previous pics of the eggs cause they’re so cute! Here they are:

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Happy birding and remember to “bee” positive!

Spring Comes to The Garden

Okay, I admit that I have been remiss in posting to this blog.  That is not to say that there has not been anything to write about.  Just the opposite in fact.  Too much to do.  But I have been itching to post for a couple days now because of the new residents in my shade garden.  I have, in previous posts, described my desire to attract birds to my garden and my efforts in doing so; a small pond with running water and a shelf to allow the birds to bathe, choosing seed and berry bearing plants to feed them, and planting shrubs and low growing plants under the three live oaks for cover and low perches.  I am also adamant about organic garden practices.  No pesticides especially.

Well I am pleased to say that this year we have a nest of robins.  They built their nest in a very open space on the top of a metal frame I use to train the pyracantha (fire thorn) bush.  It is about 8 feet above the ground near the exterior fence.  Mrs. Robin is very cautious sitting most often on the nest and always putting 3-4 foot distance between her and the nest before taking wing chattering loudly to draw the attention away from her little ones.

Mr. Robin is quite handsome with a broader chest and a rakish tuft on top of his head which tilts a little to the right.  He is quite a looker and very attentive taking his turn usually in the morning sitting on the eggs.

Today Mrs. Robin took a little break in the middle of the warm afternoon to stretch her legs and take a quick bath in the pond.  I grabbed the opportunity to snap some pics of the nest.  They are not crystal clear as Mr. and Mrs. Robin objected quite forcefully to my papparazzi intrusion and I had to hold my phone above my head to get a view of the eggs.  Here are the little cuties and I could not be prouder.  Talk about your Robins’ egg blue!

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In future I will be more scrupulous about frequent posting and will keep you up to date on the little family.  Happy Spring and remember to keep gardening and “bee” positive!

A Gardener’s Tale

Whoever said the simplest things bring the greatest pleasure
was on to something.  Take today.  In the middle of the afternoon, I took a long  soak in a bubble bath, washed my hair, put on my pajamas and took a 2 hour nap.  The nap was not the extraordinary part of my experience.  It was the bubble bath.  You see, it’s the first bath or shower or even a good handwash that I have partaken of since Saturday night.

Here’s how this happened. Saturday I was at a craft fair selling my art pieces and when I got home I took a quick shower, ate dinner, and went to bed.  Sunday I started experimenting with some new  designs and was using enamel paint.  This
sticks to your nails like nail polish since that’s kinda what it is and I didn’t
want to use acetone to get it off since my cuticles have been very dry and it
would be a whole lotta hurt I wasn’t up for.  The best way is a long soak in hot water and rubbing it off gently.  So I went to bed promising myself I would do that in the morning and while I was at it, I could get in some much needed weeding beforehand as I don’t like to wear gloves and the dirt gets under your nails and everyone knows the best way to clean your nails is to do the dishes or wash your hair.
So I added weeding to the chore list and washing my hair to the grooming
list.

So it rained Monday and like a big couch potato I laid around and read a book and listened to the rain and it seemed logical while I was curled up on the couch to not take a bath since I couldn’t weed in the rain and so therefore had to postpone washing my hair and so why get my nails clean anyway – and well you get the picture.  My
to-do list and the time management manipulations I had planned into the order
of tasks was holding me hostage.

Tuesday, this morning, I awoke to sunshine and a brisk wind following a 4 hour thunderstorm the night before.  Perfect. So, I got up, threw on some old clothes, weeded my grubby hands off until about 2:30 this afternoon, then came in, rinsed off, and soaked in the tub for about 45 minutes washing both my tender cuticles and lackluster hair; dried off, put on a clean pair of pajamas and took a two hour nap.  I am no longer a slave to a well laid plan but mistress of my own destiny once again!

In the days to come I will be regaling you with my weeding experiences and even have a ssssss-urprise guest to introduce.  But today’s lesson is that planning is for chumps!  So enjoy the moments of your life, don’t take yourself too seriously, and never, ever, let your well laid plans get the best of you!

Extemporaneous Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!