Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book Suggestion....I Just Want You To Know

Post # 7
I don't have cable tv and I have never seen "Jon and Kate Plus 8" but when I read Multiple Blessings a couple of years ago I respected Kate as a person and a mother.  She has a new book out... I Just Want You To Know: Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith and Family. I have even more respect for this woman. She is hard on herself about some of her behavior but she doesn't say one bad thing about Jon. In each letter she mentions how the changes in their life recently have made their home different but she only expresses love and assurance to those kids. I wish every child ever born who didn't get one could have had a mother as loving as Kate.

How Does My Garden Grow?

Post # 6    Slowly, for an impatient person! The little bit of marble size hail last week beat holes in leaves (these photos were taken before the hail). My veggie bedding plants have been in the ground 25 days and everything seems to be alive, but just sitting there. Oh, that's not true. The cauliflower plants are about 3 times as big as when I planted them and onions have sprouted like crazy. We have tiny strawberries. The tomatoes are covered in blooms and/or tomatoes but I don't think the plants have grown any. Last time I had a real garden was about 25 yrs ago so I don't remember how fast things grow. On the squarefootgardening website people have photos posted of tomatoes growing up trellises and huge squash vines so I think mine should be too. In a month maybe mine will be. AARRGGHHH! And today ...while I let the dogs in the garden with me while I planted flowers--one of the dogs plucked my biggest green tomato about five minutes after I watered and admired it and they spit it out after chewing on it. I guess a very green tomato is pretty yucky. Hhmmm, let's see, Max--- most perfect dog in the world, Gracie--not really a chewer, Zoe--has chewed on 3 pair of glasses, 3 cell phones, a new recliner, 2 pair of new jogging shoes, chews up coke cans, plastic dog dishes, pens & pencils, a lilac bush, A/C unit pipe, garden hose, a calculator, entire checkbook, multiple dog beds, the kitchen rug ... my money is on Zoe for getting my tomato....but Gracie can be a little sneaky. Maybe they thought it looked like one of their little balls. In the whole scheme of things one green tomato is nothing to get upset over, later in the summer I thing I will be covered up in tomatos but still, all dogs are now banned from the garden. why do I still have Zoe you say? Because she loves me unconditionally and I her, she is still a puppy & she is learning, when I am in the depression hell hole she can make me smile, and she is teaching us to either put things where they belong or hide them. By the way, I've decided she needs a middle name, I think Marley is a good fit.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Botanical Garden

Because I have anxiety and depression issues at the moment I only want to do two things....stay in my house and putter in my garden. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for my garden. It has been a lifesaver, otherwise I would just want to stay in my house. My therapist says I need to leave home and visit the real world every day so my 4 kids (they are adults) take me on 'outings' ---sometimes also called 'dragging me out of the house'. Heaven to Betsy, I sound like a pathetic old woman. Really I'm not, I am a young 56 yr old, chronically tired but for the most part upbeat happy woman. Normally no one on earth would believe I suffer with depression but I have for decades. I just hide it well and try to be the pleasantest person at work and as David Hartman use to say at the end of every GMA "go out and MAKE it a good day." For anyone not in the baby boomer age bracket he was the first host of Good Morning America. A very good friend used to remind me all the time what Mr. Hartman said. Some things---like mental illness--- are not a choice, but the way I react to my experiences always is a choice (but sometimes not with a mental illness) Anyway, this week my son and I went to the Botanical Gardens for a 'get out of my house trip.' Through the end of June admission is free so I should go at least one more time. OK, 4 more times. I need color in my life, I mean I really need color, it cheers me up, and nothing is like the pure color of flowers. We had a wonderful time. Practically no one else was there so my anxiety wasn't a problem and the flowers and ponds fed my soul. Here are some photos of the flowers we saw that day at the Botanical Gardens...uh, well, they got posted up there at the top somehow...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Post #4

Well, yes and no. A couple of months ago, like March, I went to a $4 rose sale and purchased a bunch of rose bushes...some Knock Out Roses and then some hybrid tea roses, climbers and a floribunda or two. I kept all these roses, seems like I have 27, in the tub in my bathroom. (the plan was to line the chain link fence with roses so the dogs couldn't see all the cats taunting them causing my dogs to bark their heads off. Was that purchase a manic moment? probably but that's another story) Anyway, the bathroom just has a little frosted window but no real light. Those roses looked wonderful, at least 5 of them bloomed during their 2 month stay in the bathtub! These roses that need at least 6 hours of daylight. Bloomed in the bathtub! They were covered in beautiful green leaves, buds, good looking roses for two months. (Why didn't I plant them? We were still having freezing temperatures at night) Well, it warms up to mid 60's so my son and my daughter plant them for me. These roses now have sun. They have water. They have had rose food. They have had rain. Most of them have lost all their leaves, don't look like they could produce a bud if they had to, and look like dead sticks. About 5 look like they are trying to rally and pull through. These pink roses pictured here are my pride & joy and are from a *Knock Out Rose we planted when we moved in late last fall. It looked dead all winter but WOW! That $4 rosebush has performed great! The yellow rose I previously posted is also a $4 bush. The yellow bud grew while it was in the bathtub and opened a couple of days after it was planted before it dropped all it's leaves. ('s putting on leaves!) You just can't beat Knock Out Roses (and nobody even pays me to say this!) I think my rose bushes will use this summer to develope a root system --and-- just wait and see what they do next year! That's my story anyway.
*Knock Out Roses developed to grow in just about any kind of soil, be pest, heat & disease resistent, require little care and to bloom abundantly spring through fall. Currently the most sold rose in North America according to their website.

My first garden sculpture

Post #3
In this photo it looks like the pots are attached to the fence but they aren't. It is actually about 2 feet from the fence in the middle of what will be a 12' flower bed in a few days. I learned how to do this from another square foot gardener who had one in his garden and posted it on the website (thanks, Josh). First you hammer a 5' length of rebar in the ground about a foot. Fill your pots with potting soil then run the pots down the rebar through the drainage hole, angling the pots. Repeat and then plant. I planted moss rose in each of my pots because I really like it, because some summers it has been the only flower I have been able to keep alive, and it reseeds itself. This will be beautiful when the moss rose is covered in blooms but I just finished making it and couldn't wait to post the photo. I was pretty proud of myself for accomplishing something. :)

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day

Post #2
The first thing to bloom in my yard this month was this Knock Out Rose. I was so happy to see it! Yellow is one of my favorite colors because yellow can't be anything but happy, can it? When I saw the beautiful color of this rose I thought of the line from the Temptation's song My Girl "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day..." I love that song, and it reminds me of some very happy memories. I have been going through some cloudy days, literally and mostly mentally, so this yellow rose is exactly what I needed.

Square Foot Gardening

Post #1
My first post! One of the reasons I wanted to buy a house...and willing to live in a manufactured home (i.e.trailer house, what I could afford) in tornado alley was so I could start with a blank lot and chose the most perfect location for a garden. I have wanted a garden for a long time and grew as many things as I could on my apartment patio. Once I came home with some kind of plant and my son commented "well there goes the last square inch on the patio." Now I have a fenced in 20' x 30' garden! I have read Mel Bartholomew's book All New Square Foot Gardening at least three times and May 2nd became the proud owner of four 4' x 4' square foot garden boxes. Let me tell you...this type of gardening is addictive! Last night my son and my daughter unloaded lumber for me to create 4 more boxes ... a 4' x 4', a 4' x 12', and two boxes 2' x 12'. I have tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, onions, carrots, okra, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, turnips and green beans planted in my first 4 boxes. I am impatiently waiting for them to grow into big, lush plants loaded with veggies!