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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Have I mentioned the Southern Blogs ring? 

I'm pretty sure I have. I belong and am actually co-ringmaster, if you will, with my husband. We've had some folks want to link up who have that "southern" state of mind. What is that exactly? Well, it's for all those bloggers who take pride in the rich heritage of their southernness: the south side, south of France, south of the border, southpaws, South Bend, or just plain south of center. I fit in by being a southpaw and pretty south of center but that's a whole 'nother post.

My husband has been taking care of the ring so I decided to visit the ring member sites today. Here's one that makes me chuckle - A Wacky Southern Housewife. She tells it like it is with a little twist of humor. Her post about her Dad in the closet is a riot. We've just gone through all the trying pre-arrangements for my Dad and Mom. Mom wants the coffin and the whole schmeer - Dad wants to be cremated and doesn't really care where his ashes wind up. Her remembrance of her mother's ashes being scattered and her Dad's wishes are too funny. You've got to go read this and all of Scarlett's other entries. It's not about gardening, but who cares. You'll get a few chuckles for sure. Happy Gardening.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Wanna see my garden cart? 

I am so proud! I put together my garden cart today. It was not too difficult and I only had to ask for help twice - once in the midst of assembly when I was instructed to "turn it over on its wheels carefully". The other was when I connected the side rail backward. Otherwise, I did an awesome job if I do say so myself. So what, you may ask, is a garden cart. It's somewhat like a little red wagon only a bit bigger, yellow and with mesh floor and sides. Ok - not like a little red wagon at all but you get the idea.

I've been gardening for a number of years and always moving things around the yard by hook or by crook. I've carried my shovels and rakes out of the garage while trying to balance a garbage can and my hand tools. I have hauled more bags of mulch than I can count not to mention the number of plants brought home from the garden center just waiting to be planted. As an old friend of ours says - ai yi yi yi yi.

My husband came up with the idea of getting me a garden cart for my birthday. It was quite a pleasant surprise but of course needed to be assembled. So it sat in the garage for two months until I decided this was the weekend to accomplish the task.

The weather was gorgeous - mid 70s and sunny with just the slightest breeze. The gardening bug bit and it bit hard. After mowing and trimming the lawn I said to myself, "Self - it's time to put together the cart" so I did. Now I'm ready. I've got the cart all set to go, all my tools in one place and the weather is cooperating. We're even supposed to get some long needed rain in the next few days. All I need now are some plants and some bags of mulch, then more plants and more bags of mulch and so on and so on. Happy Gardening.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Office gardens 

I don't know about you, but there was a time I was working in a luxurious 6 foot by 6 foot cubicle. You're probably scoffing and thinking "luxurious"? Well, yes. The alternative was a 4 foot by 6 foot cubicle and I just happened to be high enough on the totem pole that I earned the 6 by 6 size. Anyway, cubicles and the cubicle environment work well for a business but not necessarily for the folks who have to work there. So it's kind of nice when there is an opportunity to view some greenery and not just through the occasional window.

I received an email the other day from the HGTV website talking about cubicle gardens, which took me on the mind journey I mention above. Luckily I no longer work in a cubicle environment but I do remember having a plant or two around to brighten the area up and make it seem more homey. The HGTV newsletter recommends low light plants such as "pothos, aluminum plant (Pilea cadierei), jade plant (Crassula argentea), kentia palm (Howeia forsteriana), snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), peace lily (although it won't flower in low light) and possibly two of the most tolerant of low-light conditions, the Chinese evergreen, or Aglaonema modestum (10 foot-candles), and cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)."

Here's something I knew intuitively that was confirmed by the newsletter - most indoor plants don't die from neglect. The culprit is overwatering. We worry so much about taking proper care of the plants that we wind up killing them with kindness, literally. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid overwatering. One is to use a moisture meter - they are available in all garden stores and let you know when the plant is thirsty. The other way to test the soil - use your finger. Put your finger in the soil below the surface. If it feels dry add some water. If it feels moist don't. Ah, the magic of fingers. The newsletter also recommends providing humidity. Most office conditions are pretty darn dry, so you'll need to keep a mister nearby. Spritz the leaves a few times a week. You'll have a happy plant and a happier environment in which to work. Happy Gardening.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

At long last 

All of my mastheads are finished! It has been a long time coming, but every masthead on every page has now been changed. I hope the new page designs reflect just a little more of the awe and beauty of the garden. All but two were designed around photographs from Andrew Stenning, and I want to extend my sincere thanks for his generosity in allowing me to use them. Of all of Andrew's photos displayed on my pages, the bee is the one I enjoy most. The bee is three dimensional - he's so real he looks as though he is coming right out of the picture. So can you guess which ones are mine? I'll give you a hint - one is the century plant. The other is the laughing froggie man, without a doubt one of my favorite pals in the landscape. He is obviously having as much fun with the plants as I do. Every time I see him I smile and I hope you will too. Happy Gardening.

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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