Saturday, June 24, 2017

Elephant Onion

Would you like to see some more of my garden? Let's do it. First, let me tell you how much I am enjoying all the bumblebees, hummingbirds, butterflies and birds that have been visiting me in my garden.
Now, what is this? It is a fun plant that I have told you about in the past. This is something that I picked up at a local farmer's market several years ago. It is called Egyptian Walking Onion. These perennials are interesting in that they produce clusters of reddish hazelnut-sized bulblets that form at the top of each seed stalk. The name 'walking onion' comes from the fact that if left untended, the onion stalks will bend down to the ground and take root all by themselves. The bulbs at the base of the plant can be used in cooking and the bulblets can be replanted.

Several weeks ago this is how it looked. You can see all the little new onions along side of the mother plant and the bulblets forming at the top of the stalks.
And now it is showing it's artistic and entertaining curly tops loaded with new bulblets!
 Isn't nature wonderful?  It's just another fun conversation piece. Kind of like my curly Dragon Lady plant in the next photo that I have previously blogged about !

Well Now - - - After eight consecutive days with temperatures over three digits I am very hopeful that cooler temperatures will prevail.
It is hard on the garden when the weather gets this hot. I have had to cover my gladiolas with shade cloth because the new blooms were shrivelling from the heat on the tender new growth. I hope they survive!

It's been a lot easier to keep up with blogging when it is too hot to be in the garden. Priorities - priorities!

Please stay cool and well and enjoy the weekend. OK.

Mary

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What Happened To The Gomphrena "Fireworks" Plants

Well, last fall when I was working on the Front Flower Beds and revitalizing the Iris by dividing the creeping old rhizomes of the large variety of different colors and  species I ordered some perennials through mail order for the opposite side of the garden pathway.
Wow, such great healthy looking plants.
Because the soil in the flower bed had to be reconditioned before planting, I eventually had to transplant the new plants into larger pots.

Long story short - with all my fussing about - they were planted very late in the season and I trimmed them way back to give energy/strength to the roots!

Today, ONE of the six plants are showing promise. My tenaciousness persists and I am hopeful the others will catch up.
Each plant shows some hope - but, it looks like it is going to be slow going.  And, with the intense heat spell that we are in, frequent watering is a must.
There is so much to look at in the garden these days. This morning the Dayliles made their first appearance and that is always fun. There are a lot of varieties in my garden that are getting ready to "show us their stuff"!  Fun,  Fun, Fun.


Next time I try to take some photos I will take one of the Fig Tree. It has grown so large. Looks like double the size of last year.  And  -  it has just started to set fruit! I am just having loads of FUN.

With this day after day of intense heat it is very difficult to get much done in the house or outside except for hand watering.
This is what the thermometer at my front and back doors say most of the time and sometimes higher. I hope everyone is staying safe and continues to be mindful of the dangers of excessive elevated temperatures.

I think it is a good time to make some Iced Tea. Wish you could join me for "a little sit down".

Mary

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Heat Wave Is On It's Way And A Garden Visitor

The next few days are reported to be the hottest this year. By hot, I mean over 100 degrees. Everything in the garden continues to grow nicely. It is taking some additional watering but that is OK. I have been doing some nasty dirty yard work and filling lots of yard waste barrels. My property is bordered on the outside of my fence with Red Oleander Shrubs that are blooming and growing vigorously. I planted the Oleander shortly after I moved here 20 plus years ago and they have needed some cleaning up at their base. You know, weeds and a some trimming. This photo was taken by Google Mapping a few years ago. The Oleander has given nice privacy and a deer deterrent.
The Hydrangea plant is starting to bloom.
They are nestled in front of the Star Jasmine that covers the fence. On the left the Gladiolas are getting ready to bloom. And, some Rosemary herbs are nearby.

That little Hydrangea Plant has come a long way since last year.
So seldom do I mention anything about Mother Nature's "Bambi", THE DEER coming into my garden looking for their dinner plate.

Well, I just noticed that I referenced deer deterrent in my first paragraph of this post that I started yesterday.   How funny is that?  Because, last evening I walked outside to be surprised by a fellow who looked similar to the next photo having dinner at the flower bed (buffet table) outside my living room window. I was so surprised and wondered how he got in. Then I remembered that the wire fence opening down by the seasonal creek was still open after the heavy rains. Sure enough, that is where he went to exit my garden by bending down to get through the opening.  And, then he had the nerve to stand on the other side and stare at me while I talked to him.  I guess my garden was just too much to resist!
Recently, I had noticed what I thought I was seeing in my garden as tell-tale signs of deer nibbling on many of my plants, especially the roses, along the one side of my garden. Sooooooooooo! Now I know why ! ! !

There really are a lot of deer that wander around my neighborhood every day, especially in the early evening. And, I still tend to get a little excited when I see them. I think they are so beautiful with their graceful gliding movements and their curiosity.

The Oleander are in full force!
And, the Pink Alstroemeria are starting to bloom. They are so delicate and the markings are exquisite.

That's all for today. Have a Good Weekend.

Mary

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fun With Something New In The Garden

This is something new for me. Never have I tried to grow outdoor garden Amaryllis. Last year I planted this bulb and look what I have this year.
A few days ago I was nicely surprised to notice this healthy looking blossom about to burst open!
Certainly worth the $2 .98 that I paid. Maybe, I should have bought more? It sure looks happy where it is planted so maybe it will spread and produce more flowers in the future.

So fun to watch it grow. Yes, that's the way we gardeners roll!
And, look at those Dusty Miller plants. I have never seen them grow that tall in the past.

WOW.  WOW.  WOW.  It opened so fast today.  There will be two blooms and they are lovely. Just like the picture. About six inches across.
It has been a nice Saturday Surprise.

I continue to try and work play in my garden about two hours a day. I so much enjoy it but I am having a lot more pain in my back and down my leg. And, unfortunately, there isn't much else that doesn't hurt as well.    Knees, shoulders, ankles, fingers, neck - you names it. OK here is my faithful saying - - - It is what it is!

Wishing a Wonderful Weekend to all. I am linking up today with Dishing It and Digging It  .

Life and Linda
Mary

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

You Do What You Gotta Do

Sometimes my life has me feeling  just like this - JUST HANGING ON .
There are so many things that need my attention and they involve a lot of deep thoughtfulness . 

Little Warning --- This is a very long post today --- Really, really Long!

Recently, I visited with the caretaker of the local Cemetery where I have had a six foot by six foot burial plot for many years. Since I am in possession of the cremains of  My Special Man (at his request and have been, since his passing in December 2014) I am working with the professionals to prepare for interment. Basically, when a plot is purchased it is simply only the ground. This cemetery requires that a Two Foot Tall border (usually cement with steel rebar) is built to surround the plot. There are many variables in selection and prices. Because I live on a "Pile of Rocks" -  NOT a pile of money, I have decided to have the top surface of the border topped with rock from my garden which will save me some money, as well as provide some symbolism of my love of gardens.  In addition, since I have many sizable rock boulders on my property, one of them will be used for the headstone. Something kind of like the next photo.
 
This is a google image of my cemetery. It gives you an idea of what I'm writing about. The boulder grave marker would sit where the headstone is. Some words that I will have engraved on the grave marker along with names and dates, will be   -    THE GREATEST GIFT IN LIFE IS LOVE.         Remember, this was a "late in life love" and I chose not to marry.   My Furbabies (Pixie, Puff and Lily) cremains will also rest nearby with us.      I think all of this will add some nice personalization to this special project and lifetime event.   And, YES, these decisions can save me a bundle of money ! ! Headstones can be and usually are quite expensive !

Since, I have a strong sense of responsibility, I feel that there are several activities that I must take care of before My Last Act ends. Unfortunately, I am, (what is called by some) a Senior Orphan meaning that I do not have available family (or others) who can assist with end of life responsibilities. Soo many, too many of my dear friends have passed on.    My thought is quite simply      "You Do What You Gotta Do".
Two weeks ago I started to see a Psychologist for the purpose of making a concentrated effort to re-establish a family relationship with my two adult children before it is too late.  Yah, you know what I mean.  There are many understandable (but disappointing)  life experiences and decisions that have occurred through the years that have been "out of my hands".  But, I have always tried my very best to live by the Golden Rule of "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You".  Being human means we all make mistakes and we must live with those decisions.  I have spent many years in psychotherapy with the strong desire to break the cycle of great heartache and disfunction (in my family of origin) or at least learn to live the best life I can live. Most of the time it has been a very lonely and tough road for me. But, it only takes a nano-second for me to realize all the many blessing I have had and am grateful for. 

I was about to read the book  'Done With The Crying' ---  Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children by S McGregor when I thought, Wait a minute - I'm not giving up on this!

My Precious Granddaughter and family are enjoying a fulfilling life. The Great Grandbabies are growing so fast. Wish I could see them more often and enjoy the wonders of growing up with them!
January - First day of pre-school. Daddy always seems to make it to all the special events. They are fabulous parents. The LOVE really shows!
Another activity that is taking a lot of thought these days is whether or not it would be best to obtain a Reverse Mortgage on my home. My limited finances are becoming unbearable. And, I am facing some heavy financial expenditures for a while.  Sometimes it seems to me that for most of my life I have been living on a very tightly stretched budget.  Among other things, single parenting can be financially challenging.  As some of you know, I have learned to do many many things myself instead of trying to hire assistance. Many of these tasks are associated with maintaining my own home.   The day has come when I question how long I can continue to do things like installing my own garbage disposal, repair my electric range, power wash my house. The list goes on and on of tasks that I have been able to do for myself out of necessity. However, there always is a list and at the present it is getting longer.  The bathroom toilet needs attention and window washing is long overdue. I need to hire out some jobs like repair of my car air conditioning, propane heating stove repair and maintenance and outside house painting. 

I basically need some additional funds to continue living in my current minimalistic style.  I would be thrilled if I could (for once in a long time) start delegating the work without heavy financial burden and indebtedness. I feel very grateful that I have been able to keep my house, especially through the recent years of universal financial strain.

I have briefly given thought to selling my house, but, WHERE WOULD I GO WHERE I COULD LIVE,  THAT WOULD BE LESS EXPENSIVE AND ACCEPTABLE?    And, then there is THIS!
I need to find a way to get rid of lots of stuff. I am almost ashamed of the way things are looking around here. I no longer can physically handle the work of cleaning out and having a yard sale!  My last sale, years ago, brought me $3000.00. And, that was wonderful even though it almost killed me!

Call me CRAZY but I do not want pictures taken of my house and garage the way it looks at this time by appraisers if I sell or reverse mortgage the house. Yes, there is a big job ahead of me!

I think I could write a book about avoiding Cash in the Trash. I have learned how to stretch or make a penny in unbelievable ways.  HAVE YOU EVER RENTED OUT A CLOSET for someone's storage? I have for one and a half years!

I have always done my best in maintaining financial responsibility. For many years my credit score has consistently been over 800. And, it hasn't been easy. But, with sensibility and thoughtful decisions it is possible. My annual income (no government assistance here) has remained the same for many many years since my back injury/disability. And, the amount (Social Security Retirement Benefit) is based on the amount I was earning prior to age 52. That means the amount is considerably less than it would have been if I had been able to work until age 62. Yes, I had a Workers' Compensation Case. Trust me, NO ONE who is honest makes money on WC. You are lucky if you break even. I have "lived on both sides" with knowledge inside the system  as an employee and as a injured worker/client!  And, talk about stress, it took 10 years to arrive at a settlement which allowed me to break even. OH, it is such a horrendous system! And, very corrupt on both sides in many cases!

OK, there is another possible income generator that I have considered but really do not want to do. And, that is to sell my Premium Diamond Ring that  was gifted me by My Special Friend when he wanted to marry me. 

I think it is best for me to stop on that note as I think that gives you an idea of what life has been like for me lately.         It is not all bad.        It is Just What It Is.

Well, How about this?
I like that idea!

         That's it for Today. I think I need a nap.

Mary

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Slowly But Surely

More and more flowers are coming into bloom and thriving. It is so nice to see good results from all the hard work.

Rock Orange

 Some Dusty Miller with Peppermint.
 New Dawn Climbing Rose.
Profuse Bloomer
Centhranthus Ruber 'Albus', commonly called Red Valerian or Jupiter's Beard.
 Dianthus - Ideal White
 Peony - Double White
 John F. Kennedy Hybrid Tea Rose
Garden Amaryllis White

My White Garden has been so much fun for me with such a large variety of White Flowers.

Not shown in this post are 'Arrow White' Snapdragons,    White Azalea,    Star Jasmine,    'White Holly' Penstemon,    'Gourmet Popcorn' Miniature White Rose,    Chrysanthemum,    Tulips,    Iris, Tulips,    Daffodils,    'Camelot' Foxglove,    'Sweet Autumn' Clematis,    Oriental Lilies,    'Radicans' Gardenia,    'Vanhouttei' Spiraea,    Paperwhite Narcissus,    'Flevo Eyes' Gladiolus,    'Icicle' Hollyhock,    Gaura,    'Rose of Sharon' Hibiscus Syriacus,   White Geraniums,   Gerbera Daisy,    Hydrangea,    Pansy, 'Carpet of Snow' Alyssum,    Daylily,    'Fairy Lily' Zephyranthes,    Campanula,    and Dahlia.

Goodness, that is quite a variety. I had no idea! No wonder it has been so much fun. Something's always blooming.

Front Garden Doing Well and Healthy
Garden Angel

Working On My Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is behind this mound of rock and surround of  large Photinia plants.
These stepping stones that look like Tree Slices are actually made of cement. I brought these years ago from my previous home. Aren't they cool lookin'.
This Vintage Cement Bench was sitting on the property when I moved here 24 years ago.

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom
Did I do Something Wrong?