Catching Up on Garden Stuff

Its so hot here. Day after day its 95-100 degrees. Its not humid, its just hot and dry. I don’t really like working in the garden when its like this. So I just go out every morning and/or evening to sprinkle the Japanese maples and to check the pot plants and water them as needed.

Here is just a shot of part of the garden. You can see the hose that is always present, and also the weeds that I just haven’t gotten to.


Remember when I had a FOREST of these fairy impatiens? I was pretty relentless in removing them from the garden. But I was glad when one showed up here. This is a place that I have a hard time growing anything.


A really pretty begonia grew back from last year’s bulb.


I planted a “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomato. So far I’ve harvested 6 little tomatoes. But there are quite a few more growing on there. Β The other little plant is basil. It kept wanting to go to seed, so I chopped it down and gave a bunch of basil to my neighbors, and that worked. It is coming back again!


Lilies! Daylilies and Oriental lilies. They all did very well this year. But does anybody ever want to do this? I just want to tear everything out of this particular bed and re-do the whole thing. If the feeling doesn’t pass, that might be on the agenda for late fall.



This lily was hanging over into the mandevilla vine, which isn’t doing that well this year.


And I have decided that this is the best way to enjoy Gerbera Daisies. Buy a bunch at the grocery store for $3.99. They lasted two weeks in my house!


Well, that’s the garden report for this week. In other news, bears have made a large appearance in the area. Five of my neighbors have had their garbage cans (and one bee hive) attacked by bears. I stopped taking walks for now, and I look around very carefully every time I go outside of my fence. I put my garbage in my little outdoor studio room, and maybe its because Noah spends so much time outside, but so far I haven’t seen any bears at my house.


Senior Dogs

Recently I was at a Weaver’s Convention, and there was a beautiful picture book there called “Senior Dogs Across America.” Of course, I didn’t buy it then. I came home and looked for a nice used copy on Amazon and sent for it. As I looked through it at all these wonderful senior dogs, I came across a dog in Baltimore called Cecelia. She looked very familiar. She looked like the wonderful dog of an old blog buddy of mine. I wondered about it, and if you can believe it, the next night I couldn’t sleep so I was looking at Facebook. And there was my blogger friend posting, so I wrote her a note asking if that was her Cecelia. And sure enough, it was! That was so fun!

Anyway, as I looked through the book, I realized that four out of my five dogs were senior dogs. So I set out to take some nice pictures of all of them.

Here’s Zoey. Zoey recently had an allergic reaction and scratched almost all of her hair out before I could get her to the vet. Her ear hair truly reached all the way to the ground, but I had to cut it off. It was a very sad day for me. Anyway, she is a doll. I didn’t adopt her until she was nine years old. She will be 12 in November. I hope she lives a long time. Except for her allergies, she is very healthy and spry.



And Zoey sleeping on the book!


Next in age is Miss Sophie, or The Queen, as she prefers to be called. She turned 11 years old in March. She has a lot of white hair now. And she always uses the little ramp that we built for Mr. Monk for the one step in the house.


Sophie is always right next to me when I am out in the yard.


Miss Bess is next. I know the shelter guessed at her age when I got her, and I think they underestimated how old she was. So on her birthday, I have “nine or 12 years old.” She is still very feisty, but she is the most frail. She has some stiffness in her hind legs. And her nose is very short, so we watch her diet carefully so she is never overweight. Miss Bess is not the most photogenic of dogs, but she has beautiful big eyes.


I love it when she looks at me and wags her little tail.


And then there’s the big man. I don’t know why, but I call him my Fuzzy Monkey. Anyway, Noah is quite famous. Here he is–I was trying to get him napping, but he saw me and got up to patrol the yard.


This picture is a little fuzzy, but this is where he loves to take a drink–out of my mini bird bath! So I keep it filled up every day, and fortunately, the birds still get to use it in the early evening.


This is where Noah spends 90% of his time. I highly recommend these sling beds. It is comfortable and cool for him.


Noah will be nine years old in October!

I really like having senior dogs. They are for the most part very well behaved. So loving and kind, and willing to take turns getting lap time from me.


The Garden and Other Stuff

Kefir. Does anybody know about this stuff? A friend gave me some “kefir grains.” They look like gel bubbles. You just put them in milk and set it on the counter for 24 hours. Magic–kefir! It is easier than making yogurt. But the thing is, you have to keep feeding those darn kefir grains. Its too much for one person! It makes absolutely great smoothies. I think I like it better than my yogurt smoothies. Here’s a website with more than you ever wanted to know about kefir.

Here’s some of the things that are happening in the garden this week.Some yellow petunias and blue lobelia. This is the most success I have had with the lobelia.


A second bloom on my new rose bush. I really love the color and the smell of this rose.


The day lilies are having a good year! Maybe they like the watering system.


The daisies are leaning over. It looks like they are the blooms on my little azalea.


A close-up:


The hydrangeas are finally starting to bloom. It seems like they are later than usual this year. They are HUGE!


Close ups of the two types of blooms:



Did you know these common little begonias will come back year after year? I didn’t know that. Free flowers are always so fun πŸ™‚


And here’s something I do every single night–I wash all the eggs that I’ve gathered for that day. One of the fun things about having chickens is finding the occasional unusual egg. See that giant oblong egg? Yeah, that’s going into my quiche tonight πŸ™‚ And that tiny little one? I’m giving that to my friend who does the Pysanky eggs.Β 


And that’s it for another week, friends. Hope all is well with you.

Garden Events

Let’s get the unpleasantness over right away. Thursday night Noah was barking. Nothing new, right? But I went outside to hush him up, and then Chloe started barking and staring at something. YES. Another rattlesnake in my yard :(( Β The third rattlesnake in three summers. I rounded up the dogs and shut them in the house. But this time it was pretty close to the front door and the front gate. So I just stood there staring at it so it wouldn’t move. And I called my neighbors WHO ARE ALWAYS HOME and they weren’t home!! So I just kept standing there and calling them over and over, and then I called Kevin (MLG) to see if he had any good ideas about what to do. And then I thought of another friend to call to see if they could come over to shoot it. And then I thought I heard a car and hoping it was my good neighbors, I called them again, and they were home!! (they live about a mile away from me.) Anyway, Tom came over and shot that stupid snake, and I thanked him profusely, and he said it made him feel like Crocodile Dundee πŸ™‚ I must have stood out there having a stand off with that snake for over half an hour! It was a little un-nerving, and I freely admit that I had an ice cream sandwich after that. And stayed up extra late and then took TWO melatonin before I went to bed.


Alright, now to the fun stuff. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the garden this week. The weeds are growing like crazy, plus I’ve bought a few plants that needed to get into the ground. Its no good leaving little six-packs to bake in 95 degree weather.

This is another little succulent I got a while ago. Its a tiny variegated jade plant.


I’ve been collecting decorative pots, and today I replanted some of my little trees that were still in plastic containers.


I’m trying this little tree in the shade garden.


Finally having some luck with a heuchera. Aren’t the colors pretty?


And that little rose bush is going great guns!


I bought a yellow gaillardia to go with the pretty blue salvia. The dahlias are doing very well. I think I might add more of those next year!


Okay, the plant people must know that if they name something with a food name, I am immediately attracted to it. This was a Peachy lantana.


And I’ve already forgotten what this common little flower is called. But I noticed that they are producing more and more colors in this plant this year.


The roses have done well. Most of them are done, and I am waiting for them to put out a second bloom.


My honeysuckle!! I absolutely love the scent of this in the garden.


When its this hot, Noah gives up his beloved sling bed and lays in the gravel next to the house.


And a short chicken report. You can see the chickens bald spots in these pictures. So irritating. Some of them are finally growing some new feathers back. They are always moving. Going into their house or coming out. Checking out the second yard, and of course running to the gate if they think I’m bringing a treat.



This rooster is such a gentleman. Just the way roosters are supposed to be. When I give them treats, he just points out the delicacies to the girls and lets them have first chance at the food. That flat comb he has is called a rose comb. I didn’t use to like them, but I think it makes him look dignified πŸ™‚DSCN6187

And that’s it for this week’s events. I have another busy week next week. MLG will be here, so I’m sure I’ll have some new things to show you.



A Visit to Cambria

I love going to Cambria Pines Lodge for my rug hooking retreat! They have beautiful gardens surrounding the lodge. I didn’t take too many pictures, but here are a few. This beautiful arrangement was actually a garbage can topper!


My mom loves succulents so I took a couple pictures for her:


I really liked the way these were arranged into the stone wall.


And the bird houses! I took these pictures because I’m hoping I can find someone who will build a couple of bird houses like this for me πŸ™‚



When I taught my quilting class in San Luis Obispo, I met a really nice young woman there. This is the second time she has come up to Cambria to visit with me. This is her almost finished quilt from the class.


I absolutely love this saying. I know you will too!


We went out for lunch, and I had a piece of Key Lime Pie that was almost as good as Love Pies when I was visiting Shelley in Texas πŸ™‚


My rug hooking friend Mary Lynn, on the last day getting her last look at the ocean before she returned to Illinois.


When I returned home, there were an overwhelming number of eggs that had been gathered in the week I was gone!


There is a wonderful nursery across from the Lodge, and I usually pick out a few succulents for my mom. But this time, I liked them so well (and she literally has HUNDREDS of them) I kept them for myself. I just potted them up today. Fingers crossed that I can keep them alive.


Next up: a garden and chicken report πŸ™‚

A Garden Anniversary

Well, I’m cheating. In May my 10 year anniversary of blogging happened. But I am just adding that note on to this week’s garden report. Can’t hardly believe I’ve been writing here for ten years. A lot has happened and changed in my life since I started. I’ve been to Africa and Haiti, and I’m retired from my work as a NICU nurse. I turned into an art quilter, and a part time rug hooker. But let’s not forget–the main reason I started my blog was because I lost weight and wanted to talk about all things related to that. Weight maintenance is so much different than weight loss. ITS FOREVER. I am still maintaining 60 pounds loss. And most importantly, I believe I have a much healthier life than before. My diet has gone from being meat and sweets-centric, to being really a vegetable and fruit-centric diet. With some dairy and eggs thrown in πŸ™‚ Its not that I don’t eat meat–I do. Its just not as important to me as it used to be. Sweets are still important to me, but they are GREATLY moderated compared to my former life. And exercise is a hugely important part of my life. I exercise 6 days a week–3 at the gym and 3 at home. Recently I started a couple of new exercises that I am enjoying. I do “tabata intervals” on my walk, which really gets me huffing and puffing. And I finally tried out the elliptical at the gym. It uses different muscles, so I am working up slowly on it, but I do enjoy it.

And now on to the garden!

I had more tree work done. My original idea was to just get some branches trimmed up. But when I asked Kevin (MLG) what he would do, he suggested getting rid of a few trees. Eight to be exact! Here is Logan way up in the tree, working on getting it down without damaging any of my garden plants. Which, amazingly, he was able to do!


There was a nest of baby birds on one of the branches! They moved the nest over here, but we’re pretty sure the babies flew away. They had feather.


My new part time neighbors planted some veggies. I told them I would water them while they were gone. I treated myself to some of their amazing roses.


Are these called Button flowers? Anyway, its taken a while but I finally have two clumps of them that are blooming consistently. I really like them.


My pink rose.


I decided to try some dahlias this year. And you can see I have a couple of salvia plants over there too. And yay! some more room for planting something or other πŸ™‚



The columbines have been amazing this year. They usually self-sow, so I hope that is happening.


Trying this delphinium again. Its more of a bush-type. Its such a great blue color.


I love these little flowers. They look like they have no centers. Its a slow growing perennial. I do hope it will make it and grow. I would like to have it everywhere in my yard !


And this big yellow flower. Can’t remember the name. I had one last year at the end of summer. It did not make it with some of the transplanting we did. Its planted next to the pink rosebush in the next picture.


Can you see all the buds on this bush? They are simple little roses, but so fun to see it doing so well.


And I’ll end with this. I’m going to rug camp again (LOL, its not really camp because its held at a luxury resort,) and this is my finished rug from a previous year that I will bring to share in the rug show that they have. Camp is down in Cambria which is right next to the ocean. I love going there.



Garden Report

This is the year of the columbine! These are some old columbines that self-seeded behind one of the Japanese maples.


These are some columbines that I planted last year.


And one more columbine, right next to the new rose bush I bought last week! I’ll get it planted tomorrow.


A lone foxglove. Remember, last fall I complained that the foxgloves were blooming then, instead of waiting until spring?


Did I tell you I built this trellis myself? This is a wild rose, and it needed some support. I saw these stakes at the nursery and decided I could build my own trellis.


Snapdragons and the Gerbera daisy.


And the lupines in full bloom.


I forgot the name of this plant. Its a perennial that grows well in the shade, with lime green leaves and beautiful violet flowers.


Thought I’d throw in a few pictures of the chickens. They all run over to the fence when they see me coming. Because usually I am bringing them some sort of treat. You might be able to see that many of them are missing feathers. I am not happy about this at all. I think it started because I was leaving the lights on during winter to keep them laying. They were bored, and so they started plucking each other. I weaned the lights off, and I’m hoping that when they eventually molt, that will be the end of their feather plucking.



This is one sitting in the nest box. You can see that they all have a favorite nest box. Most of them lay their eggs in the first and the last box. I don’t know why. All the boxes are equal. I even put a little runway up so they could walk back and forth and choose any box they wanted.


And that’s the report for this week. We have a week of predicted 70 degree weather–perfect for working in the garden. I’m hoping to get some more planting and weeding done this week.