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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Summer Solstice and a cup of HOT Coffee!"

photo taken by suzanne * May 25, 2011

Today marks the first day of summer, I guess, for most of us.  But, here, in Texas, we have already experienced a sample of what's to come.  We've been graced with 104 degree temperatures, and no rain...until last nite.  And down it came.  I'm not sure how much we got, but I woke up at 3:30 am and walked thru the house looking out the windows and marveling at the sight and sound of it. I wasn't even mad about it, or gumping that it would only give me a bad hair day-I could suffer ONE day of spaghetti hair for the stuff that was coming down out there!   You see the pink roses in the vase above?  Well, they thanked the nite of fresh rain and bliss-now, maybe I'll get a few more of them.  And it seems as tho I will still enjoy a cup of hot coffee, even in the hot Texas summer!

One of my favorite blogmates, Susan, who hails from Australia, of 'this n that', also enjoys a great cup of coffee.  She and her husband, "MD", create their own coffee designs at 'Coffee Art'.  You will find both of her blogs on my sidebar... easy to get to! can click on her blog button that is located on my sidebard with the beautiful bird that chirps "this n that" and go directly to her blog.  Susan generously sent me a blog award the other day for my garden blog, and, I would like to give her a proper thanks!  This blog is young yet, and I have far to go, but I am grateful for the followers and readers who have stopped by.

Thank You Susan!

AND, upon receiving one of these awards, you're supposed to reveal 7? things about yourself that may not be well what, I ask?  Don't we all know enough?  OK, OK, I'll try!

1.)  You already know, I save the best for last...that means what?  It's kind of like, "Give me the bad news first!"  But one thing, is food.  I love salad, and will only eat a small portion early on.  Then I eat the rest of my meal, and treat the salad as a desert.  I think a lot of people do that, tho.  And of gift giving, I save the best gift to give for last-not unusual either...hmmm!

2.)  I like 1950's and 1960's rock n roll music...Tommy James and the Shondells, The Temptations, The Animals, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, James Brown,  Otis Redding, and any of them who could do music I could dance to.  Anyone remember the Stroll?

3.)  I go barefoot a lot, wear t-shirts and jeans, and sometimes go bra-less (shhh! too much info?) Nothing to see here!

4.)  I swear, I'm running out of things- I "swear"?  Ok, I, too, am guilty of under-my-breath cursings!  Especially when I am cut off by SOMEONE TALKING ON A CELL PHONE, WHO SWERVES TOWARD ME ON THE STREET!"  But, I have made it a habit of doing so without moving my lips until the culprit has passed and cannot READ MY LIPS!

5.)  I am lefthanded.  Does this mean I'm in my right mind?

6.)  I love to watch classic car shows and auctions on TV.  And I watch a show called "Chasing Classic Cars" where this guy will go almost anywhere to buy an old 'woody', or something unusual.  Most of the time he takes them to an auction, or actually has a client who wants purchase the auto.

7.)  And, I do like to design and print greeting cards, calendars, and other items like business cards and flyers.

Phew!  Is that over?  Thank You again, Susan!

So, without further adieu, I will move on.  I tried to put a poll on this evening, but the gadget bar would not accept my closing date, or any other date for that matter.  Never fear, I will try again later, or tomorrow.  In the meantime, I am working on a new garden story and beginning to recuperate from my ghastly cold!

Thanks to all who have stopped by...HI MOM!

"What dreadful hot weather we have!
It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
~Jane Austen

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Private Garden...or plant hoarder?

spring 2004 ~ photo by suzanne

What is all this, you ask?  This "mish-mash" of pots and plants-is SHE stock-piling, or are these castoffs?  What's in that pink pot at the back next to the tall white one with the white flowers?  A 'Kalanchoe', you say? And is that a 'Schefflera' at the back righthand corner?  What are they doing out in the yard?

Well, dear readers, you'll be glad to know that they aren't castoffs, and, yes-I have been known to be a "plant hoarder"!  These plants had been in the shed for the winter.  Some of my bedding plants get dug up as it cools down, and put in pots.  It was just a test at first, to save, and see if they would survive in the shed, thus, an economical way of getting a free early start on my gardens.  Of course, Karo fixed up a sun lamp, and we kept a small electric heater on hand, (I know that's dangerous) but we didn't have to use it much.  And the small shed has two small windows up high in it that face south and west, so there was actually sunlight coming thru.

I would keep (hoard) flats from my purchases of bedding plants at the nursery, line them with weed block paper, then spread some potting soil mixed with peat moss.  And I could take 'begonia' clippings, or 'kalanchoe' clippings, and 'coleus' and plant them in the flats.  And, then, as it warms up, we have to take the potted plants and new bedding plants outside to revive in the fresh spring air, then transport them right into their beds.  You know, some plants don't come back as readily, and these 'hoarded' ones make good filler plants.  When I first started 'saving', and time to move them out came along, I really had nowhere to put the plants before placing them where I might want them.  So, I just stuck them back along the northwest side of the yard for holding.  Well, lo and behold, it became a little more than just 'holding'!

Looking Better?
What, then...happened here?

As you can see, the plants are still there, but somewhat re-arranged, and OH!  What's that? A brick walk?  Time marches caught me-hoarding, AGAIN!  They were doing so well, and droplets of variegated, silver-striped looking jew were spreading throughout the grounds of the area, not even in pots!  And look at the 'red caladiums' and 'geraniums' at the back-they loved it!

WOW!  Time does march on!

Here are two views I put together to give you an idea of what my 'hoarding' yielded.  In order to keep things watered and alive, I had to be able to move around them without getting into a muddy mess.  I found some old brick and formed a small walkway-then painted the brick 'willy nilly' colors.  The white pot down front had a 'dahlia' blooming in it, and there are various white 'impatiens', and some pink.  Just peaking down from the upper right hand corner, the long, thin leaves are from an 'umbrella' plant.  They grow very tall and come back every year.  They do love sun and plenty of water.  And at the farthest right back are some 'elephant ears' just coming up along with some tropical plant that was given to me...I just never knew what it was, but it did put on red blooms in the fall.  We've got 'mother-in-law' tongue and 'lamb's ear' too!  The silvery-leafed 'jew' plant just spread and spread, and I think I saw it glow!  So, I dubbed this area my "Private Garden".

A little about 'Kalanchoe'

My 'kalanchoe' was this color (the above picture is not mine) and started as a teeny-tiny potted filler in a bowl garden arrangement that was given to me.  After the blooms died, I tried to keep it healthy, and it grew, but was very frail and pale.  So, I looked it up in one of my garden books, and it said, "Just take me outside and put me under a tree!"  So I did!  The plant started getting stronger with thick green leaves, and I eventually had to put it in that large pink pot.  When buds started to show, I moved it out into some sun to encourage blooms, and it REALLY BLOOMED!  As it got cold, I had to take it back into the shed, but it stayed healthy all thru the winter.  I did the same with other 'kalanchoe' of various colors.  Some, I would leave in smaller pots, and in the early spring they would bloom in the shed.  Then I could bring a small pot into the house to enjoy the blooms.  It's kind of a lot of work, but they just won't thrive in my house and I really do like them.  Sometimes 'loving' and 'learning' go hand in hand!

Well, folks, it's time to call it a nite.  I hope you've enjoyed!  Thank you so much for coming back to look, AND, I have noticed a new follower on my page, Suzane.  Welcome, and thank you for following.  Please stop by again and say hello! 

By the way, it is 11:48 pm in Texas as I write and the temperature is still at 83 degrees!
Thank you Google
Thanks to yahoo images

"Come stroll with me thru my Private Garden...
The path is small, but offers much.
Trinkets of red and white, and leaves of silver.
Hum a tune if you like...don't be afraid to touch."
...penned by 'me'  (chuckle)!