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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Update on our featured seniors 

Good news! Little Margie has found a home. She was adopted on Sunday by a wonderful couple with two little Bichons. How great for her and what a fantastic life she can look forward to.

Little Tasha is still available, as are Pepper and Adrian, and here's her picture. What a sweetie pie and she sure could use a good home. Please contact our friends at Lost Angels to find out more about this little gal. Happy Gardening.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Seniors need love too 

So you're taking a break from working in the garden. You have your feet up and a cold drink in your hand, but what's missing? A loving little companion, that's what. Dogs enjoy our gardens just as much as we do. I can attest to that based on the shenanigans of our 5 little buggers. Lizard hunting, fish watching, and lying in a pile of just pulled weeds are the favorite pasttimes of our 3 littlest guys. Vali, our shepherd, loves to roll in the grass while Beau, our interior designer wannabe, lays around catching the breeze.

Our favorite animal rescue group here in Florida does some great work. They are a no kill shelter with volunteers who work tirelessly to find good, loving dogs a good, loving home. Here's the rub. Everyone wants the cute younger ones, but the older dogs are still waiting for someone to call their own. My friend Kelly has 4 little dogs ready for adoption. Three are 8 years of age and one is 9 and all really need a home. Let me share with you her own words:

Pepper, an adorable shih tzu, is approximately 8 years old. I think he is younger. Very cute and very playful. We had to have his teeth pulled due to an old fracture of the jaw. They think he might have been kicked and then teeth rotted. He is a wonderful pup.

Margie, a chihuahua, is a very spunky little lady. Full of herself. Loves to go for car rides. Begs with her front paws. Loves to be carried and held. BONUS she weighs only 4 pounds and 8 years old. I think she too might be younger.

Adrian, a chihuahua, is also a wonderful little guy. He is little and loves attention. He weighs 8 pounds. Very sweet and a little quiet and shy. Nice kid.

Last but not least Tasha. She is a 5 pound Maltese who has 3 teeth. She is approx 9. She is full of life and very spunky. Possible liver disease, running tests now, we are hoping someone will still take her and let her live out her life as peacefully and happily as possible. I know it is a lot to ask but someone might enjoy her for many years to come. I do know she feels a lot better now than she did on the shelter floor. I would be willing to work out her adoption fee - Most important to find her place to enjoy her life. She is not a sickly little thing at all! She's bright and a little goof ball. Very spunky. BONUS she only weighs 5 pounds. OWNER SURRENDER Can you imagine that? She goes to all the doors every once and a while looking for her family. It is very obvious that she loved them a lot.

Our home is a living, breathing example of what fun it can be living with seniors. Vali, Beau and Duncan are 15 years old. Yes there's a little arthritis with two of them and yes there's a cataract problem with one, but the love they give us is boundless. And the fact that they have a yard to play in and can still roll around in the grass when they want to tells me every day that we did the right thing. Our 2 other guys are younger - 2 1/2 years old - and they were also rescues, one from Kelly's group. They also jazz things up a bit around here and keep the older guys moving a bit more than they might. We really love our boys and don't know what our lives would have been like without them.

So, as you're sitting back and taking a breather from all that gardening work please find it in your heart to bring a little senior or two into your life. You won't regret it and our friends at Lost Angels Animal Rescue will thank you as will I. Oh - if you're interested in meeting Tasha we'll be adding her pic within the next couple of days. Stay tuned. Happy Gardening.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Did you hear the one about... 

the 2,000 year old seed? For real - I'm not making this up. Apparently Israel doctors and scientists have actually germinated a date seed that they estimate to be about 2,000 years old. The story behind the seed is that it was highly praised in the Bible and Koran for its qualities and no longer existed. Three seeds were found in Masada during an excavation and one has actually sprouted.

Even though only one is growing, that's still pretty exciting considering its age. According to the scientist who is running the project, dates need to grow 30 years to reach maturity and it's the female that bears fruit and is considered holy. So the upshot is the scientist has no way of knowing if it's male or female and it will be years before she finds out.

But you know what I say? Heck - who cares? The fact that the seed still had the stamina to sprout is one for the history books. And with that kind of determination I'm guessing it's female. Wouldn't you? Happy Gardening.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Acorns predict the weather 

As Louisiana residents prepare for a possible hit from Hurricane Dennis, reporters are speaking with as many folks as they can. One older gentleman was in his backyard as a reporter approached and asked if he thought they would bear the brunt of the storm. The old-timer responded, "If there's acorns on the tree there's no hurricane. If there's no acorns there is a hurricane." The reporter asked the inevitable question and the answer was "there's only leaves, no acorns."

Is it an old-wives tale or is it an accurate way to predict weather? We've all heard about squirrels stocking up in autumn in prep for a hard winter. But this is summer so one of my husband's first questions was were there acorns on oaks at this time of year. I learned that black oaks do have acorns throughout the year because they take two years to ripen before falling. White oaks apparently take upwards of 50 years before they even form acorns.

But how do acorns alert us to upcoming storms? It's not so much that the acorns don't form or they fall prematurely, they have a little help from our animal friends. According to an article in the Taiwan News Online, animals have an early warning system for bad weather. The author cites several examples from tornadoes to the recent tsunami. So what of the acorns? Squirrels apparently gather them up saving for bad weather whether it be rain or snow. My guess then is that the old gentleman's acorns are stored somewhere while the squirrels watch the weather and wait. Oh, this article also answered a question I had last year about where the butterflies go as hurricanes approach -- they head for trees and sheltered rocky areas. Our thoughts are with our Gulf neighbors and their animal friends as Dennis approaches and we pray you remain safe. Happy Gardening.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Did I read that correctly? 

Gardening has been around since who knows when. Folks have always worked in their yards. It's a relaxing pasttime and very satisfying when you step back and view the results. Apparently gardening items are now the rage in antiques.

According to a recent newspaper article, the mid-1800s saw the introduction of lawn mowers and various garden statuary. Many gardeners owned wheelbarrows and sprinklers as well as shovels and shears. Gardening was in such fashion that flowers such as bleeding heart were introduced and pictured on dinner plates and rugs.

Well, here's your antiques update for the day. Trowels and small tools more than 25 years old are now collectible. I don't know about you, but I still have many of my gardening tools that just happen to be older than that. Of course like the TV ad I'm only 29 but somehow I got my hands on those old diggers and the like. So the question is, do I treat these things like antiques and squirrel them away somewhere for display? Or do I pretty much go about my business and enjoy gardening secure in the knowledge that my tools may be worth zillions some day? Happy Gardening and be sure to take a second look at those old rusty hand shovels sitting around in the garage. You might be sitting on a gold mine!

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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