Monday, July 26, 2010


July is winding down. As August approaches I can’t help but wonder if it will surpass July in the number of super hot days.

We have had some real hot ones here lately, as has most of the country. The heat has taken its toll on me and on the gardens.

My single remaining hibiscus has started blooming. I told hubby yesterday that I will be ordering more seeds and starting more this winter. I lost the others due to my neglect, I won’t do that again.

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The cannas experiment (putting them in the front flower bed) has been successful. they seem to like it there.

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They should be blooming soon. I can’t wait!

Earlier I wrote about my Rose of Sharon that bloomed from seed. It only had one white flower. I am happy to say that more of the seed-grown Rose of Sharon's are loaded with buds and soon will be in bloom. I’ll be sure to post when they do, with photos. I am anxious to see just what colors I may have.

The container plants are finally filling in and looking better.

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I was worried, it seemed to take them forever to get going.

Have a beautiful end of July. Next time I’ll tell you about my frog encounter.

Blessed Be.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finally: Rain

I knew that sooner or later one of those hit-or-miss thunder storms would have to pass over Shady Hollow. The law of averages had to kick in. I was beginning to wonder though.

Yesterday we had a string of storms pass over and another storm today. The grand total in our rain gauge was about 2.2 inches.

A quick check of the veggie patch this evening showed me that there will be bean picking to do in the morning. And provided I have taken enough measures to prevent blight, we may soon have some home grown tomatoes.

The flowers all look extremely happy to have had plenty of rain.

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I’m just glad to see everything greening up again and not looking so wilted. No amount of watering can do as much for the plants as a good rain.

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Watering Woes

Every time it gets hot and dry like it is now, I have to wonder to myself, why did I plant so much stuff?

I hate to go outside, all the plants from the oaks to the container plants are crying for water. Of course I can’t water everything. My budget isn’t set up for a water bill that large.

So the veggie patch gets a drink, the container plants and a few other plantings as well. That still leaves shrubs and daylilies thirsting for a drink.

On a walk around the gardens yesterday I noticed the ground has cracked and in areas looks like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Monday I drug out a soaker hose and placed it around the tomatoes and cucumbers in the veggie patch. That helped for the plants it reached. I didn’t have enough hose, dang it! So, yesterday morning I watered the remaining plants with the garden hose and hoped for the best.

I saved my shower water and watered the cannas, shrubs, and various annuals in the front bed. I was careful not to let it get on their foliage, so that should help them out a little. I watered the container plants.

I don’t mind watering the container plants. I expect to. Carrying water to some of the others is getting hard on my back since the arthritis has taken hold. But, hey, a gardener has to do what they have to do. Right?

We may get some rain over the weekend. I think we have a 60 percent chance of a shower stopping by. I hope its a big, long shower and everything can get a good drink of water.

Until then the hoses and watering cans are getting a good workout, as is the gardener.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Watering, Cooking and Miscellaneous Stuff

I am on my last day of vacation. It has been wonderful to be at home with my husband, our little dog and the kitties.

Yesterday I had to water the gardens. From the looks of the weather forecast, I’ll be doing more of that in the next week or two. The debate now is how much recycled water to carry in buckets and how much fresh water to use (running the meter at full blast while I do)

I learned during our last drought that I could remove the washing machine hose from the drain and use rinse water to water my gardens without any ill effects. I also would close the drain in the tub and use recycled shower water to water the plants. As long as you pour the gray water on the ground and not on the foliage it works just fine.

But I am a few years older now and the prospect of carrying those heavy buckets of water is not very appealing.

Other than worrying about watering plants I’ve had some fun in the kitchen.

My sweet husband bought me a pressure cooker. I am in my late 50’s and have never had a pressure cooker before. My mom used one all the time and I loved the food she prepared with it. I’ve just always been a little afraid of them.

Saturday I cooked my first whole chicken in my new pressure cooker and was amazed at how easy it was. (Yes, even for a fumble-fingered, easily distracted person like me).

It didn’t take but 20 minutes and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender.

I could start liking this, especially when I want to cook something before heading off to work. Yes, this could be a good thing!

Yesterday, I tried a new recipe for cooking ribs on the grill. There is more oven time than grill time with this recipe, but that works well for me too.

Cook ribs (I used boneless beef ribs) in a covered pan with 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup liquid smoke at 350 degrees for 3 hours. Remove and place on grill at medium heat, coat with your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook for a few minutes, turn over and coat this side with sauce. Cook a very few more minutes, remove from grill and enjoy. Don’t leave on the grill too long. They are already done, and too long will dry them out. These ribs are melt in your mouth tender.

Between the chicken and ribs, there is plenty of good food at the cottage right now.

Today is my last day of vacation. I am thinking about doing the necessary chores and then settling down with a good book or two. I have so many I have started reading and left unfinished due to work and chores It would be a good day to catch up.

Yep, that sounds like a plan.

Be Blessed!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Grown From Seed - First Blooms

One of my grown-from-seed Rose of Sharon bushes bloomed this week. It had one blossom, but at least now I know what color it is.

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A grown-from-seed cannas is also in bloom.

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I love collecting seed and propagating plants. It is a way to be frugal and still have a beautiful garden. Although I sometimes embarrass my husband when in seed collecting mode.

The Rose Of Sharon seeds were collected on a cold February day in 2008 while on a shopping trip. We had parked beside a store’s landscaped border and I couldn’t resist collecting a few seed pods.

In the end I had 11 plants which were planted around Shady Hollow last Spring. 

Cannas seedlings from last years seed collecting are growing now. I didn’t expect this many to germinate!

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When I save and grow seed from plants such as the cannas and Rose of Sharon I have no idea what the blooms will look like.

I also save and grow daylily seed. A grown from seed daylily takes three years to bloom, minimum. That’s a long time to wait, but sometimes the results can be spectacular.


Sometimes the bloom color is disappointing, especially with open pollinated seed. For me, and my goal of flowers everywhere I can possibly put them, it’s not a big problem.

I haven’t thrown away a single one.