A friend invited me on a photo opportunity at the home of Gail Woody, a great friend from Master Gardeners. We sat in her backyard enjoying the quiet, the hummingbirds, and the butterflies. Her yard is a masterpiece with a stream and small pond, a pergola surrounded by trees and flowers. The hummingbird feeders are the focus, with literally dozens of them hanging around her backyard. The hummers were buzzing us and the other birds. Such fun to watch. Gail’s invited some of us to come over in August to help with banding the birds so they can be tracked. How do you catch a hummingbird, I wonder. I’m not fast enough to chase one down!
What’s up with all the weeds? My vegetable garden just sat there for three weeks with the dreary rain. But not those weeds. I save my potting soil bags for collecting weeds, and I filled four of them from part of just two flower beds. Tomorrow I’m adding compost and fertilizer before I mulch the heck out of those beds. Maybe the weeds will take a hint and go somewhere else. Dr. George Sanko of Perimeter Gardens says gardens are all about sex and violence. Well, sex produced those weeks, now I’m supplying the violence!
You know something is wrong when cleaning the refrigerator seems like a good job for the evening. Whew! There was stuff in the back of the shelves that would make Dr. Alexander Fleming salivate. I guess I should just go lie down for a few minutes and see if these strange urges will go away.
We enjoyed a night at the Braves game with Leslie and Bradley, with a tail gate party before the game. Despite fighting the traffic on I-75 North to pick them up, then fighting it south to get to the game, we had a really nice time. Weather was pleasant, the stadium was rocking with over 50,000 fans, and fireworks after the game.
I love it when things just seem to work out, with everything falling into place. My native plant garden is doing just that. I walked out into the yard to tackle some planting this morning, and there were holes that had just appeared right beside each pot where I had planned to plant them. Isn’t that amazing?
I now have four kinds of native ferns, three kinds of native viburnum (what we used to call snowball bushes), PawPaw trees, Big Leaf and Umbrella Magnolia, Silverbells, Merrybells, Culver’s Root, Clethra, Virginia Sweetspire, and Devil’s Walking Stick planted. This rainy weather has made the ground so easy to work, that the planting is going great. I still have dozens of rescued plants in the nursery, but I’ll probably sell many of those at our Native Plant Society meeting.
Baking a pound cake then off to see Leslie and Bradley and the Braves tonight.
I am blessed with this life I’ve been given.
It is a good thing to work at the Open Hands Christian Ministry. Really makes me appreciate the good life I have. It is heart wrenching to hear stories of lost jobs, illnesses, and other catastrophes that could happen to any one of us. It is amazing that so many of these people in need tell us to have a great day, and ask God to bless us as they leave. Everyone should do some volunteer work with the needy and we’d have a lot less greed and ‘me, me, me’ in this world.
At the end of another day, I took some time to sit and enjoy all my hard work. After putting up two new hummingbird feeders, I sat in the arbor. Within a couple of minutes, I had a visitor. Another couple of minutes, there were two of them, fighting so much that neither got to drink. I think sometimes that’s like a lot of people. Too busy trying to keep others from being happy to have the time to find their own happiness. But it did give me some real enjoyment to watch those silly little twittering birds going at it.
I don’t think I’m winning my war against the squirrels. Seems that for each one I trap and get rid of, two more move into the garden. So far today, it’s me 0 tomatoes, squirrels 6 wasted, partially eaten fruits. Tomorrow is another day, and I’m determined to outwit them. I’m putting up bird netting. It will probably take them at least 10 minutes to figure that out!
At least I have gotten some sun dried tomatoes in the freezer before the squirrels got them all. Here’s a great bruschetta recipe. The price of the sun dried tomatoes encouraged me to dry my own.
Two Tomato Bruschetta Makes 4-5 servings, 2 slices per person Prep time: 10 min. Bake time 350 degrees for 5 minutes Ingredients
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese with tomato and basil
1/3 cup dried tomatoes (not oil packed), chopped
2 Tbsp snipped fresh basil 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh Itlaian (flat leaf) parsley
2Tbsp olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 8-10 slices whole grain baguette (about 1/2 inch thick) 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine feta cheese, dried tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Set aside.
2. In another small bowl, stir together oil, garlic, and pepper. Brush oil mixture evenly over bread slices. Place bread slices on a large baking sheet. Bake about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven.
3. Top with tomato slices. Spoon feta cheese mixture on top of tomato slices.
4. Serve immediately, or broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted.
A friend gave me a native hibiscus on Monday of last week, and it rewarded me with its first bloom on Tuesday. So I returned the favor by giving him two native magnolias-a big leaf and an umbrella magnolia. It will take way more than a day for him to enjoy the blooms, but, oh, are they worth waiting for!
Even though it is cloudy outside, I have done some gardening. My squash vines have been attacked by borers, the squash fruit by squash borers, so I pulled the vines up and harvested as much as was usable. Planted more seeds for zucchini and squash, hoping they’ll have time to produce fruit before the frost, and hoping the borers will be dormant by the time they produce.
Planted several small native trees and some ferns in my woodland garden this morning. I’m turning my side yard into a native plant area, so more ferns will be going in later this week, along with some native big leaf and umbrella leaf magnolias, silverbells, Paw Paws, arrow wood viburnum. and native azaleas.
I started new cuttings of one of my prettiest purple/bluish mophead hydrangeas this morning. Hope they’ll be ready to sell at the plant sale in May. Looks more blue than purple in the picture, but it is a pretty shade of purple.
Also put some cuttings of native hydrangea arborescens in my rooting chamber. These will probably end up in my yard instead of a sale. Here’s what it should look like. My thanks to Mike Strickland for the picture of the native hydrangea.
Happy gardening, everyone!