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Monday, July 23, 2012

Fairy Finds Fabulous Foliage!

Photo by Suzanne * July 21, 2012

Even tho the temps have risen here  in the Lone Star state, I've managed to keep certain treasures alive and well.  With the help of my little fairy friend, my potato vines are still among us!

I 've planted potato vines only a couple of times, and with not much luck.  This time I took better care, and, I did plant two different potato plants together.  Early on, I kept them in the back yard with shade and filtered light from the tree.

This is what they looked like on June 4, 2012
They were about 1 month old, and growing fiercely!

Here I have a 'Marguerite' potato vine that sports heart-shaped, chartreuse leaves.  And, on your left is the potato plant known simply as 'Blackie', with large deep purple-to black leaves. 
 What a great color combination!

So you see my 'fine faery friend', (it's ok, faery is a word), finally found her station on my property, and in my life, after 2 years of just being stuck here and there!  Oh, there were days that she leaned a bit...especially if 'SOMEONE' got a little too nozzle-happy while watering, and, once, she disappeared 'down under'  beneath the damp soil.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided this plant deserved a better location, with more exposure to the outside, and admiring eyes.  So it was moved to our front porch, where it is the first thing I see as I leave for work in the mornings.  Karo keeps an eye on it throughout the day, and moves it back if the sun gets too bright on the porch. 

I thought I'd share a few tips that might help you be successful
with your  Sweet Potato Vine

1.  Depending on your climate, the potato vine can be grown in full sun to partial shade.  I've seen these plants flourish en masse in front of apartment complexes, gas stations, and banks, in the hot blaring sun. Since they have a tendancy to wilt during the hottest part of the day, we push our plant back into some shade during those hours.

2.  Try to keep your potato vines moist....oh, not drowning, just regularly moist.

3.  Cut it back whenever you want to keep it under control.  Cutting back some also encourages the plant to become fuller, thus, prolonging it's life.

4.  And if you do cut it back, put your cuttings in water to root for propagation.  You can root potato vine just like you would an ivy plant.

photo by Suzanne * July 21, 2012

I hope this finds you all staying as cool as you can, and doing well.  Thank  you so much for stopping by to see my 'Potato Vines', and their sweet little caretaker.  Please have a wonderful summer, and, be safe.
I would like to express my sorrow and heart-felt sympathies to the victims and families that were affected by the tragedy in Colorado.  What can we say?  I'm trying to quit asking why, and, focus on prayers and best wishes for the innocent families involved.

My Gratitude goes out to:
Karo...who, celebrated his Birthday on July 21st
hi Mom
thank you my little 'foliage fairy'

July's Fairy is the Larkspur Fairy

'A Flower Fairy from the mountains
reminds us to keep an open heart'

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My 'Favorite' Gardner Turns 86!!!

'My Mom...turns 86 years old July 8, 2012

This is my mother, Alma.  She is decorating her table for the Mother's Day Tea her Senior's club hosted last year.  This is one of her favorite pasttimes...decorating tables for her Senior's club luncheons.  She always has a theme, and co-ordinates floral arrangements around her table settings.  Mom is celebrating her 86th Birthday on July 8, 2012, and, can STILL chase me down!

Mom is a very active 86 year old, participating in many community functions and clubs...she even helps pack meals for 'Meals on Wheels'!   She is the Vice President and Senior Advisor for the Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group.  She helps organize luncheons, and reservations for the various field trips and programs sponsored by the club.  And, mom helps plant and maintain the herb and floral garden for the club that is planted at the club's site within Loose Park in Kansas City.  She also is a member of a weekly reading group, and knitting club...WOW!  That was a mouthfull!!!  I'm telling you, she can still dance around me!

Anyway, I'm here to celebrate Mom and her accomplishments.  I have learned much about gardening from her.  Oh...she didn't sit me down with a book-I just COPIED her methods, and listened without letting her know!  Mom's best piece of advice to all is:
"Start small, and grow what you know"
Now, that's a broad statement, isn't it?  What do you think it means?  Well, I think, from my own experience that you should try to stay within the boundaries of what appears to thrive best in your climate and area.  I know, I know-it's fun to try new and exotic plants and flowers...and, I think you should!  I have!!!  And, sometimes you find that you can 'master' the beautiful orchids, or raise your own carnations.  Trial and error is the best way...
...that's how we discover what works best for us, n'est-ce pas?♫

Here we go!  I decided to post a few photos of some of my mom's garden work in honor of her Birthday! 
Mom's patriotic gazing balls highlight this garden of plants in her
front yard.  There's a lot of color on display here!
Photo by Suzanne on July 7, 2009

And, the Crane overlooks what?  We'll find out soon!
photo by Suzanne * July 2009

Here she is, working around her pond, checking the lily pads
and, other water plants!
How do you like the elephant fountain?  I think the Crane is on
the other side looking on...and, marveling!

And, this is one of my favorite places in Mom's back yard.
It faces the pond, and, is a shady and relaxing spot.
I took this photo, and, loaned it to Susan at
The KardKorner (haha!) to make invitations and thank you notes from.

***  OK...just one more photo!
Remember my little 'floral confidante' Chloe?
Chloe assisted me with a post last August on container gardening.
Well, here she is engrossed in the beauty of Great Grandma's
big shade tree! Chloe enjoys water features, as do all children.
I think she's about to make a wish in the (I think the water is for the birds) bowl!
You can see the English Ivy and a hosta behind her.  This is a wonderful large tree with a lot of goodies surrounding it.  I love to walk around it when we visit and look at all of the different plants and trinkets. 
Mom, you've created a wonderland for all ages! 

My mother loves all of the plants and flowers we enjoy in Texas, like the Oleander...she's the reason I took an interest in them.  Oleanders are all over my neighborhood in colors of red and pink.  I have a white one, and, it is truly a beauty.  But in Kansas City, mom has to take hers inside for the winter, which can be a chore in a large pot.  In my neighborhood, they stay in the ground all winter, and, for the most part, are evergreen.  Sometimes the leaves will get frost bitten and you have to trim them off in the spring.  And, mom sends zinnia seeds our way every year-you've seen what we've reaped so far...they're bursting with color and make beautiful floral arrangements.

Well, I could go on and on, but, it's time for the finale!
Mom's Birthday video shot by Karo on July 4th!
You'll like this one mom...Happy Birthday!

MOM, if you're reading this from your e-mail, you'll have to go to the bottom of the e-mail and click on MyTexasGardens, coming to my blog so you can see this video!

Video shot by Karo, July 4, 2012
Edited and produced by Susan from KardKorner headquarters
A quick Thanks to:
You Tube

and a BIG Thank You to all of my wonderful readers, near and far (and, of that certain age, lol!) hope you all are feeling well, and having a pleasant weekend-rain or shine!
I wish you joy, laughter, and music!♫

"The caterpillar does all of the work,
but the butterfly gets all the publicity."
~attributed to George Carlin