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Category Archives: gardening

Garden Party Hat on Black Friday

This morning before work I took a walk through my garden not expecting to find any color but surprised to find some blue. Even in the summer when I have a lot of flowers blooming I rarely have blue in the garden.

This photo is what is left of my Echinacea plants. The seeds have blown off the plant leaving only the stem and a few seeds. I love the beautiful blue color around the edges and the few seeds on top giving the look of a birthday party hat.

I love the texture where the seeds attached to the plant. It looks like a basket weave to me.

This morning I went out to take some pictures of an eagle perched in a tree down on our shore.Before I got to the lake the crows chased the eagle out of the tree. The eagle headed east back to the nest area from earlier this summer. It was fun to see the eagle still around the lake.

It was overcast but springlike weather this morning. I was hoping to maybe get a little flying time but the weather didn’t clear enough for safe VFR flying. I wasn’t tired this morning like so many others because I didn’t partake in the Black Friday madness. We came home yesterday after spending time with family on both sides of the family. Three out of four of our kids came back home last evening and spent the evening just visiting.

Much better than shopping any day of the week in my book.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography

 

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Why I Don’t Deadhead

Yesterday morning everything was frosted in our yard. We got our first snow on Saturday. The morning was overcast and foggy, no sun peeking through.

I started my morning with sitting in my recliner reading some books before work watching the birds come and go from the feeder when I noticed even the birds were frosted. Now that is cold.

Later when I left for work I noticed that the Butterfly Weed plant was also frosted along with the remaining dead heads of my Echinacea plant. Each year I have great intentions of deadheading my plants in my garden but never quite get around to it. Perhaps the chance at another view of the same plant in a different way is what keeps me from deadheading. Nope, just lack of time or interest in doing it at the time I should.

The Echinacea has a different look to it with the snow in the background. It makes the Echinacea in the background look as though they are shadows of the ones in the foreground

I love that there are still a few petals from the flower clinging to the bottom of one of the Echinacea. When I first showed my husband the picture he thought is was a picture of bacteria or something like it.

This morning as I look out over the lake I noticed that it is almost covered in ice. I don’t think we will be walking on ice on Thanksgiving Day this year like we have in past years but it won’t be long.

 

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography

 

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Dance of the Hummingbirds

This morning I was reading a daily devotional of the Proverbs 31 website.

http://devotions.proverbs31.org/2011/09/beauty-and-meaning-in-unlikely-places.html

It was talking about taking time to notice the ordinary in the midst of our busyness. This afternoon as my husband and I were heading off for a motorcycle ride I glanced over at my garden.

These days there doesn’t seem much new or special about my garden. There aren’t any new flowers blooming and a lot of the flowers that have bloomed profusely have all but stopped. Flowers are fading with our cooler night temperatures as fall approaches.

I saw something move above my garden that caught my eye. I had my camera in my hand but didn’t have my preferred lens on it. As I focused my camera on the movement I noticed not one but two hummingbirds flying around the Phlox in my garden.

It was a brief visit from the hummingbirds but an exciting one as they danced around the Phlox. As quickly as they appeared they were gone.

Even when everyday things seem ordinary they often deserve a second look……

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in gardening, Inspiration, Nature, Photography, Reflections

 

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Sticks and Stones

Tonight after work I was outside taking clothes in off the line when my daughter and grandson got home. He stayed outside with me while she unloaded her car. While we were outside he found a stick and walked around in the yard poking the ground and everything with his stick until he broke it in two.

No tears were shed when he broke it. He just picked up the other half and walked around to the side of the yard where the steps come down off the porch. He started using his sticks like drumsticks on the bottom step.

After drumming for a while he put his sticks down and headed to my garden. When he got there he was distracted by something up above.

When I looked up to see what he was pointing at I saw a flock of birds flying overhead. I’m not sure what kind they are but this was just a small portion of what flew overhead.

After the birds passed by Jack picked up some small stones from my garden and promptly trotted down to the lake. When he got to the shore he threw one stone in and then the other. He turned around and headed straight back to my garden for a second and later a third set of stones to throw in the lake until the mosquitoes drove us inside for the rest of the evening.

Who needs fancy store-bought toys when you’ve got sticks and stones?

 

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Three Kinds of Sweet

Each year in my garden I wait for the milkweed plants to start blooming. I love to watch the butterflies and bees that come for the sweet nectar.

This year in my yard I have three different kinds of milkweed plants. Only one of the plants I purchased and planted as a perennial. The other two have grown wild in my yard.

I purchased this plant a few years ago to attract butterflies. I wanted Monarch butterflies to come and lay eggs and then collect the caterpillars for my classroom to show them how they formed the chrysalis and then hatched into butterflies which we later released.

Last year I found Common Milkweed growing in my garden on it’s own and I decided not to pull it up like I would have done many years ago before I discovered Monarchs. I let it grow and go to seed. Now I have several plants to attract the Monarchs.

The last milkweed plant is the same kind of milkweed plant as the first only it is one that I found along our lakeshore this past weekend. It grew there naturally. It is a Swamp Milkweed.

This plant is in it’s happy place and I was excited to see it growing naturally. This past weekend I saw my first Monarch flying around the garden. I wasn’t able to get a shot of it with it’s wings open but only hanging on to the higher branches of our pine tree.

I’ve planted a lot of flowers over the years to attract butterflies, especially the Monarchs. These three plants along with my Butterfly Bush that isn’t blooming yet are sure to attract the Monarchs. The butterflies also like my Echineacea plants,Phlox and Monarda or Bee Balm as it is sometimes called. It’s been a treat to see the butterflies visit the garden each year.

Hopefully some butterfly pictures to follow over the next few weeks.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography, Wildflowers

 

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I’m Getting the Itch..

Last evening I was cleaning up the kitchen and opened the drawer that holds my leftover seeds from last year’s garden.

I pulled them out and started looking at the different envelopes. The watermelon looked delicious and the package of snap peas made me long for the days of standing in the garden, picking a snap pea and eating it where I stood.

When I think of gardening one person comes to mind, my husband’s grandma. She loved gardening. When Grandma was living gardening was her whole life. She was legally blind from macular degeneration and a widow since 1961. Her hands and feet were twisted from arthritis but she loved to garden.

 She would plan out her garden on pieces of paper. Her writing because of her poor eyesight was large and childlike printing. Each year she would pull out her plans from the last year and plan where she would plant this year’s crop. She would decide what seeds she needed to order and my mother-in-law would help her order. In the later years the garden became more of a joint project. I can still see her handwriting on paper if I close my eyes.

She would spend hours crawling on her hands and knees tending to her garden. This was no small garden but measured about 20′ by 30′. Each year there was always talk of making it a little smaller but it hasn’t happened yet. My husband said that he had his taste first salsa in his grandma’s kitchen long before it ever hit the grocery store shelves. She made her own in her little kitchen with ingredients fresh from her garden.

She was born in 1899 and live to be 90 years old. She worked in her garden until two years before her death she had a stroke and could no longer work the garden. She lived a frugal life. She lived in a small log cabin with a couple of additions on it. She ate what she raised in her garden with a few other items from the grocery store. After her stroke she longer to sit in a chair next to the garden with her sun hat on while my mother-in-law continued their tradition of gardening.

Last evening I found the above photo that I took in my garden of the bee on the sunflower and it brought back the memories of the warm days of summer wandering around in Grandma’s garden to check out the progress of everything growing.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Family, gardening, Nature, Reflections

 

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