A Redbud Tree for Daddy

When our daughter asked for Christmas gift ideas for her daddy, I immediately thought about his love of dogwood trees. We have been losing one or two dogwoods every year due to old age and disease. This past fall we had to remove a dogwood that had been a source of pleasure every spring for the past 35 years. When we cut it, we discovered that its trunk was hollow and filled with ants. The empty spot in our landscape was like an empty hole in my heart. For weeks I glanced across the back yard and mourned its loss.
A replacement tree would be the perfect gift. So the week before Christmas, we went to one of our locally owned garden centers to find the perfect tree. I must say that the only other tree Scott has ever shown an interest in was the native redbud tree. He bought one for the front yard several years ago, and thoughtfully asks me every year if ‘we’ have fertilized the redbud. When we came upon a cultivar of the native redbud named ‘Forest Pansy’, we both decided that this tree would be ideal to fill the empty spot in the back yard. It’s in the ground and fills the empty space left by the removal of the dogwood.
The redbud, or Cercis canadensis, is one of our most spectacular early spring flowering trees. An early spring drive up Highway 100 towards Cave Spring, will help you to really appreciate this beautiful tree. Peeking from under the roadside hardwoods along this stretch of road are hundreds of redbuds bursting with color.
In March to early early April, the redbud will burst with clusters of thousands of tiny half inch pea-shaped pink to lavender blooms along the leafless branches. The flowers are very attractive to honey bees and some of our native bees and wasps. Hummingbirds and Henry’s Elfin butterflies enjoy the nectar of the redbud blooms. The flowers are very fragrant, making this a wonderful tree for forcing blooms for an indoor bouquet in early spring. And you can graze on the blooms too! Add redbud blossoms to your salads, bread and pancakes. You can eat the young pods raw, boiled or sauteed. They have a slightly sour taste, and are high in vitamin C.
As the blooms fade, seed pods will form. These green pods will be about 2 to 4 inches long, turning brown and papery looking as they age, often remaining on the tree throughout winter. Inside will be four to ten flat brown seeds which are eaten by Bobwhite quail and songbirds.
Leaves on the redbud appear soon after the blooms start to fade. Its heart shaped leaves make the redbud one of the most easily identifiable trees in the forest. Leaves on the species plant will become dark green as they age. New cultivars now available have spectacularly colored leaves. ‘Forest Pansy’ sports dark purple leaves from spring until fall. ‘Silver Cloud’ has white variegations and may require more shade than the darker leafed redbuds. If you love yellow, then ‘Hearts of Gold’ may be your choice, with its bright yellow foliage which really stands out in the garden.
Since this tree grows to only 20-30 feet tall and wide, it can be readily used in today’s smaller yards as a specimen tree to add color around the patio or deck. It could also be used at the corner of the foundation of the home. Use a row of redbuds to line your driveway-they love the sun. Plant them along the edge of your wood line where they will put on a show underneath the hardwood canopy trees. In the wild, redbuds are understory trees found along moist stream banks, rich woods, in ravines, on bluffs and in open rocky woods. Because of its tolerance for many kinds of habitats, it will work in any landscape.
Redbuds can be grown in sun or part shade, but do not tolerate full shade and will decline over a period of years if not given adequate sunlight.
Now is a great time to plant redbuds, or any other tree, shrub or perennial. Get them in the ground when the soil is not soggy, but not frozen. The trees will take advantage of the winter rains, growing a healthy root system to help them survive the dry summer months.
You’ll enjoy many years of beautiful flowers, nice fall color, and pretty leaves with the addition of a redbud or two to your home landscape.

Learning More About Native Plants

I frequently have articles in the local paper about our beautiful native plants and their importance to the environment.  I thought I might share a few of these, for any who might be interested, but don’t get the local paper.  Here is an article I did last week on one of our native orchids.

                                              DSC_0045Yellow Fringed Orchid

                                                            Native Orchids
Seeing this plant for the first time in a dry patch of grass along a roadside was a jaw-dropping experience. I was enchanted, and so began my quest for the Yellow Fringed Orchid, or Platanthera cristata. After much searching, I finally am the proud owner of this most lovely of our native orchids.

Sometimes called the bog orchid, the plant grows best in moist environments, and can be found in bogs, swamps, marshes, thickets on stream borders or ponds, moist woods and prairies. One crop of the Yellow Finged orchid was found as far north as Massachusetts, although it is not clear if this colony is still there. Found in most of the Eastern United States, it is becoming rare in much of its northern range.

Numerous lance-shaped leaves are found at ground level. These lower leaves can be up to 12 inches long and 1 to 6 inches wide, while smaller leaves are found growing along the 12 inch stem up to the raceme of flowers.

The flowers of this plant are so pretty there is no way to describe them in mere words. While it’s called the Yellow Fringed Orchid, it can appear in many shades, even what I would call orange. Spikes of clustered flowers form at the top of the stem, each flower opening sequentially from bottom to top. With up to 80 blooms per stem, the bloom time can span several weeks.

I guess you could call this a pouty-looking flower because of its lower petal which droops down, giving it the look of a scolded child. This lower lip has numerous spurs giving it a fringed look. The spurs of the lower lip can be several inches long. It has a prominent anther and at least one nectar spur. In my yard this orchid is growing in a morning sun/afternoon shade area in a small container which I sunk into the ground and filled with peat moss to create a bog. The flowers were at their peak in July, even though much of the information available on this plant suggests its bloom time in the deep South is in September. Luckily, the Yellow Fringed Orchid is a perennial with a fleshy rhizomus root, which will spread over a period of time.

While the Platathera cristata may need some protection from slugs and snails in your garden, its greatest pest is humans. Roadsides where they were once common are mowed at just about the time this plant would be in bloom. Overharvesting has decimated many populations, and changes in hydrology (the water in the soil, underneath rocks and in the atmosphere) have played a part in their demise. Should you find this plant for sale, ask questions to be sure that the plants are nursery grown and not harvested from the wild.

To learn more about our beautiful native plants and how you can become a part of the solution for preserving this wonderful part of our heritage, visit the Georgia Native Plant Society web page at www.gnps.org and the West Georgia Chapter web page at www.wgawildflowers.org. Look us up on Facebook by typing in West Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society to follow our progress on the Buffalo Creek Nature trail restoration and to learn about upcoming meetings and workshops.

The West Georgia Chapter meets on the third Tuesday of each even numbered month, making our next meeting on October 20. We meet at the ag center in Carrollton, with meet and greet and a native plant sale at 6:30 and the program at 7:00.

But you don’t have to wait that long to get started learning more about our native plants. The WGC is hosting a workshop on native plants on Saturday, September 19 at the ag center. The doors open at 8:30 for registration. Our first presentation will be a discussion of native mushrooms and fungi. Three other sessions will focus on planting a bog garden, native ferns, and how to attract pollinators to your garden. The workshop is free. Vendors with plants, garden art and garden supplies will be on hand.




Hope and Promise

Whenever I think about my garden, I think of hope and promise.  I plant seeds or transplants and hope that I am putting them in the right place, with the right light/water/space and all those other things I know they need.  I hope they will thrive and multiply and produce flowers/fruit/seeds.

The promise I see is when the plants put on buds as a promise of blooms to come, or flowers as a promise of seeds to come.  These of course are coveted as food for my birds in the fall and winter.  There’s also that promise of the seed pods, assuring me that I will have more plants coming up next year.  Just this year, I have found butterfly weed of three different varieties, Ironweed, Penstemon, Columbine, Redbud, Wild Cherry, and Mulberry growing in places where I know the birds must have dropped seeds.  These offer me the promise that I will have plants to share with friends.

I can’t imagine my life without a garden.  I go out everyday-rain or shine-to stroll and just see what new thing is appearing-a bud on the penstemon, seeds forming on the chokeberry, green berries on the cherry tree, catkins on the mulberry-and am awed by the wonder of nature.

And so, here are a few of my offerings of hope and promise, that you, too, might find some pleasure herein.

Buds with their promise of blooms  -amsonia, baptisia, native wisteria, Heart’s a bustin’, Iris, native clematis, penstemon, Solomon’s Seal

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And the blooms that promise seeds….  Native clematis, tiarella, geranium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Native honeysuckle, native columbine, Phacelia, Viburnum, Heart’s a bustin’….

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And finally, the seeds with their promise of food for the wildlife, and more plants for next year……Bloodroot, Redbud, Hawthorn, Celandine poppies, wild cherry , chokeberry, Phacelia, Trout lily….

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What a wonderful gift God has given me, to make my world so wonderful and full of promise and hope.

And my last hope is that this will offer you that same promise and hope…..





Everything’s Coming Up Roses……

Lenten roses, that is.  My Hellebores are as pretty as I’ve ever seen them.  They are full of blooms, and swarmed by my honeybees.

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But there are also the bulbs that are up and blooming-daffodils, hyacinths, wood hyacinths, grape muscari…

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And then there are a few natives beginning to put on their show-the bloodroot and trout lilies, rue anemones and galax with its winter color….




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And the promise of things to come, with Fly Poison and Mayapples peeking out of the ground, Shooting Stars beginning to pop up, Virburnum in full bud, Bridal Veil sprirea with its dainty white blooms.  And I spotted the Black Cohosh, Green and Gold, Pussytoes, Barbara’s Buttons, tiny Iris cristata beginning to green up.  Just a few more warm days like the past two, and we’ll be sitting pretty, literally!


Circle of Life

I hope you’ll enjoy my latest article from the newspaper.  If you already read it, or don’t want o read it, that’s okay.  I write for my own enjoyment, and some people tell me they enjoy me writings. 🙂


The Circle of Life

     Whenever I see the butterflies, bees, hummers, and other pollinators flitting about in my garden from spring until fall, I just want to burst out in a chorus of The Circle of Life, theme song from The Lion King movie.  Indeed, there is a circle of life going on right there in my yard.

     Many gardeners seek to have beautiful butterflies and hummers flitting about in their flower gardens.  But in order to assure that will happen, there are some things you must keep in mind.  Butterflies have a cycle which includes the adult butterfly, the egg, the larvae (caterpillars), and the chrysalis.  If you provide an abundance of nectar plants in your landscape, you’ll get butterflies, at least for the first year or two.  But if you don’t go the extra mile in providing host plants on which the butterflies lay their eggs, your population may decrease over time.  The nectar plant sustains the adult, but the caterpillars need a totally different plant with leaves they can eat.  And then there’s the chrysallis, which needs a safe place to hang for the winter, until the adult butterfly emerges in the spring.  If we remove all the brown plant stems and rake all the leaves, we may be destroying the chrysalis that will become next year’s butterflies.

      The oak tree is vital to the survival of many butterflies, as it supports more than 500 species of native insects.  Yes, the leaves may start to look somewhat ragged after a horde of caterpillars munch on them, but the tree doesn’t suffer so long as no more than 30% of the leaves are eaten.  We just have to learn to embrace the ragged leaves as a natural part of the insect life cycle.  Other native trees and shrubs are also valuable as host plants.  So when planning your landscape, be sure to leave the oaks, add some natives such as sassafras, pawpaw, buttonbush, willows, wild cherry, New Jersey tea, blueberry, and viburnums.

      Hummers have their own circle of life that involves migration.  We provide nectar plants and shelter for them on their journeys to and from their winter/summer breeding grounds.  Without the plants they need to build up body fat, they won’t survive their long migration.

      Bees need nectar plants too, but also rely on the protein rich pollen to feed to their young.  Native mason bees and bumblebees are some of our most reliable pollinators.  These critters also need nesting sites, which might be a hole in the undisturbed ground, or inside the hollow stems of plants that are left standing for the winter.  Some, like the leaf cutter bees, will use leaves from native plants to pack inside their nesting site.  Once again, you’ll have to learn to tolerate a less pristine yard.

   Notice the number of birds visiting your feeders as spring approaches. The birds come for the food, but hang around if nesting places, fresh water, and shelter are available.  Most of our songbirds are seed and berry eaters, but 90% of them feed their babies insects.  By enticing birds to your yard, you are assuring that the caterpillar population will be kept under control.  If there are too many caterpillars, they can overgraze on the leaves and weaken the plants.  But with birds in the yard, a significant number of insects will become bird food.  Once again, there’s a circle that includes insects, native plants, and birds.    

     Since our birds and insects have coevolved over thousands of years with our native plants, they can tolerate the chemical defenses put out by the natives. They cannot do this with nonnatives, so they bypass those plants..  Putting in nonnatives will certainly assure that we have pristine plants, but it will also assure that we will have fewer of the beautiful pollinators and birds we enjoy in our yards.  The animals simply cannot get the nutrition they need from non natives.  Douglas Tallamy, in his book Bringing Nature Home, stated that ‘A plant without damage is a plant that hasn’t done its job”.

     Chickadees are one of the most delightful birds in the home landscape.  A study done by the 

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center found that chickadees will bypass non native trees and shrubs such as gingko and crape myrtle within a few hundred yards of their nests, and travel up to a city block away to find insects on a native tree.  Some non native species do support insects, but not the kind of insects our native birds prefer.  

   Perhaps the greatest impact on animal habitats is the change from mostly native to mostly non native species in our landscapes.  About 80% of suburbia is landscaped with plants from Asia, according to Dr. Tallamy.  “When nonnative plants replace natives, entire food webs are disrupted by the loss of specialized plant-eating insects-the most important food for animals ranging from other insects and spiders to reptiles and amphibians to mammals and birds.”

   To sum it up, if you want to enjoy the critters in your yard, you have to plant with them in mind.  Do some research before you plant a tree or shrub.  Ask your landscaper to start replacing nonnative plants with natives.  Make sure your flowering plants from the nursery are free of herbicides and pesticides.  If the label doesn’t say so, then ask.  If the nurseryman doesn’t know if his plants have been treated, then don’t buy them.  When you take home a plant that has been treated with pesticides, the insects that feed on the leaves will be killed.  A pesticide doesn’t discriminate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ insects.

     Enjoy your yard, embrace the chewed up leaves, and join me in a chorus of The Circle of Life.  Your singing can’t possibly scare away more critters than mine!

To learn more about the importance of native plants in our environment, join us at the next meeting of the West Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society on Tuesday, February 17 at the ag center.  The meet and greet and plant sale will be at 6:30, with the program at 7:00.  Jim Ozier will present a program on the Bald Eagle.  Guests are welcome.  Membership applications will be available.  Check out the GNPS website at www.gnps.org and the West Georgia Chapter at www.wgawildflowers.org for more information about the organizations.


Two Old Ladies on a Trip

What a great few days!  Dianne went with me on a trip to Ellijay, where I was doing a program about pollinators and native plants for the local Gilmer County Beekeeper Club.  What a great and friendly bunch of people.

We drove up Sunday night and spent the night at Leslie and Bradley’s house, so we wouldn’t have to fight the Monday morning traffic into Atlanta.  Early Monday morning we headed up I-75 to north Georgia.  We went straight to downtown and stayed there all day, with a delicious lunch at a little restaurant right off the square- the tomato basil soup was probably the best restaurant soup I’ve ever had!  And the chicken salad sandwich was nothing to sneeze at either.

We must have visited a dozen antique shops (two dozen if you count each revisit as a shop).  I found some great Christmas presents, along with a couple of things for my new home office.  Dianne bought some great pictures for her kitchen.  She just loves chicken ‘stuff’, and the shop owner said having chicken ‘stuff’ in the house would bring good luck.

After lunch we checked in to a motel.  Our first choice was closed for repairs, and the second one (which was recommended by one of the club members) looked nice, well off the main road so it was quiet.  But boy can looks be deceiving!  The phone wouldn’t work, the internet service wouldn’t work and the drink machine was out of order.  At the continental breakfast, I too a big swig of my glass of milk, only to find that it was spoiled.  Ugh!  So, needless to say, my next post will be a review of our stay.  If it hadn’t been so late, and the only other motel we knew about, we would have left this place.

At least the beds looked good, until the spring poked me in the rigs all night.  So much for looks, once again.

But we were treated to dinner at a meat and three place, which didn’t look so great, but was very clean and service was wonderful.  The food was delicious, and the company of bee keepers were a delight.

After the program, I got a basket filled with their fresh honey, some lip balm made from their wax, and some books about pollinators.  They were a very gracious audience, and I think enjoyed my program.

This morning we got up early and headed back to Cartersville, where we went on a native plant rescue in some really cold, windy weather.  But it warmed up nicely, and we got a ton of great plants for new areas of the Buffalo Creek Nature Trail, as well as our own yards.  (Check out the West Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society facebook page for the progress on the trail, as well as some timely information about gardening with natives, and for the wildlife.)

The dear folks at the Dallas Chik Fil A have come to overlook our mud spattered clothes, and our rubber wading boots, and our outrageous digging outfits, and welcome us hardily to lunch.  It’s our routine to enjoy lunch together, since we don’t do a lot of visiting on a rescue-too busy digging.

Now, I have dozens of plants to get in the ground, along with two meetings tomorrow morning.  Hopefully, I’ll get some planted on the creek bank that we specifically dug for that purpose.  Then it’s off to Dianne’s to get some of hers in the ground before the cold weather predicted for Thursday.  Too much fun to to had, too little time to have it.

So now, off to fix some cornbread and veggies for Scott, who is such a dear about not fussing about all my running off and leaving him to fend for himself.


It’s a Great Day for Singing….

….that is, if I could sing!  I sing so badly my first graders once asked me not to sing along.  But the Bible says make a joyful noise, and nothing was said about how pretty it had to sound.  So I make joyful noises!

Today was one of those days that I want to be Julie Andrews standing on that mountain singing The Hills Are Alive, because that’s exactly where I was today.  I went on a scouting trip with two fellows from the Georgia Native Plant Society, seeing if there were any plants of interest to be rescued before the bulldozers move in.

One of the scouters I greatly admire.  He’s been involved with the GNPS so long that he seems to know everything.  We hiked up and down hills, through brambles, over fallen logs, across mucky stream beds, and through some pretty rough ground.  I’ve never enjoyed myself more.  We found so many wonderful plants-thousands of Christmas ferns, Royal Ferns, Lady Ferns, Ebony Spleenwort, native azaleas, pawpaw trees, sourwoods, foamflower, ginger, whew-the list goes on and on.

We’ll start planning a rescue in the next two weeks, and I’ll be bringing a truck load of stuff for my yard, Dianne’s yard, the Buffalo Creek trail, the Native Plant Society plant sales.  This week we are rescuing a site here in Carroll County before it gets logged and turned into a cow pasture.  Next week, it’s off to Paulding to a site we haven’t dug in over a year.  Hope to find lots of Iris cristata, rue anemone, ferns, rattlesnake plantain.   Then after that, it’s off to Fayette Co. to scout a possible site there.

It breaks my heart when we enter these undisturbed wooded areas to scout and rescue, knowing that the bulldozers will be moving in soon.  But we are not in the business of trying to stop ‘progress’, just trying to save a little bit of the heaven before it’s too late.  And so, I’m creating a little piece of heaven here in my own yard, and I can sit on the deck or the patio, or out on a garden bench and enjoy what someone else so easily gave away.

I just wish everyone would take time to learn more about how important our native plants are for wildlife and to us.  No native plants= no native bees or butterflies. our main pollinators.  No pollinators= less food for us.  Scary what’s happening in our world today.

So, off my soapbox to share a few of my native plant pictures from my own little slice of heaven……


Native Phlox-no powdery mildew  IMG_0771IMG_0758IMG_0773IMG_0772IMG_0771 May 18, 2014 Uvularia_perfoliata_03-29-07_02 April 20, 2014 April 23, 2014 (2) May 26, 2014 Oct. 4, 2012Barbara's Buttons May 28, 2014 Barbara's Buttons Aug. 10, 2014  April 14, 2007 Aug. 9, 2014 March 28, 2014

I Used To….

I used to plant any plant that someone gave me or I found on sale, or that just struck my fancy.  My yard was colorful, always something in bloom.  After many years of this casual way of gardening, I discovered the native plant society.  It has opened my eyes to the really important kind of gardening-the kind that provides food and shelter for our native wildlife and helps prevent the extinction of these critters.  Most pollination is done by native pollinators. Without pollinators we can kiss about a third of our food supply goodbye.  Not to mention that fact that the native pollinators are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth.  Think butterflies hummingbirds, moths, damselflies, dragonflies, bees…………..

It’s not easy making the change.  I was so accustomed to planting my little soldiers in a row.  Now my garden looks like someone staggered through while on a binge and dropped seeds along the way.  But I do love it!

Butterflies, moths, dragonflies, damselflies, many kinds of bees and native flies, hummers, all kinds of birds, rabbits, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and even a raccoon have been visitors.  I’m not so crazy about the squirrels, deer or chipmunks because they eat my vegetable garden fruits, but the others I welcome with open arms.  And guess what!  They repay me by pollinating my flowers with many side trips to the vegetable garden.  I found that planting natives encourages the native pollinators to come a callin’.

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Gulf Fritallary caterpillar on Maypop

So, where do I get these native plants?  Well, at first, I bought many of them from the local chapter, then I started going on plant rescues where we rescue natives that are threatened by land development.  These are planted in my yard.  I now have about a hundred different species of native plants, with blooms almost year round.

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Digging me some ferns!


And one of the side benefits is that, once established, they require little maintenance.  Nobody goes out in the woods and waters, prunes or fertilizes natives!  So I’m saving money and time that I can devote to collecting more of these prized plants.

Want to learn more about natives?  We have many opportunities for learning about them.  Our local West Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society meets at the ag center on the third Tuesday of each even numbered month, with our next meeting on Oct. 21.  We meet at the ag center with a meet and greet 1t 7:00 and the program at 7:30.  We have native plant sales at all meetings.  Also upcoming is our fifth annual fall workshop on Sept. 20 at the ag center.  Registration is at 8:30 with the program from 9-12.  Native plant vendors will be on hand with a nice selection of plants for purchase.   And don’t forget that by joining the native plant society, you can go on rescues and dig plants to put in your own yard with no cost except you time and labor.  Can’t beat those prices!!!  And the people are pretty neat too!

You can also visit the web sites for the state and local organizations to learn about natives.  Go to www.gnps.org  or www.wgawildflowers.org.

Here’s a sampling of the natives I have in my yard.

Arisaema_triphyllum_05-03-04 Chrysogonum_virginianum_03-30-04 IMG_0681 IMG_0740 IMG_0741 Liatris_squarrosa_09-30-04_01 Solidago_caesia_09-18-07_03 IMG_0758 IMG_0771 IMG_0772 IMG_0773 IMG_0784 IMG_0785 IMG_0790 March 28, 2014 DSC_0003 July 23, 2014:1 IMG_0565 April 21, 2012 August 27, 2014 May 27. 2014


These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of Native Plant Society happenings.

Two weeks ago, a group of us went to Gainesville to the Kinsey Family Farm to purchase plants.  We brought home a truckload and an SUV load of native trees and shrubs to plant along the nature trail at Buffalo Creek.

Last week we had the second of our big workdays, getting the sites ready for planting.  On Tues. a group of about 20 planted 300 Trillium grandiflorum on a hillside.  There were so many people on that hillside, they looked like ants scurrying around at a picnic. And they got all 300 planted and watered in about an hour.  Those trilliums will be spectacular as we walk the trail in the spring.

On Thursday, I led a rescue at a new site here in Carroll County.  The new owners are planning to pulpwood the land to start a small family farm.  They have graciously allowed us to go into the woods and collect native plants that will be endangered by the pulpwooders and the cows.  I got some spice bush, Silverbells, trillium, Jack in the Pulpit, Rattlesnake orchids, Elephant’s Foot, Collinsonia, Itea, Royal fern, Lady Fern, Fragile Fern, green headed coneflowers….It is a treasure trove for those of us who love native plants.

I have spent all week potting the rescued plants from Thursday, and some rescued at two other rescue opportunities.  Many of these are going on the Buffalo Creek trail.

Next week, I’m putting displays in five libraries in Carroll, Heard and Haralson counties, giving information about the West Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society.  Go by the library in Bremen, Bowdon, Villa Rica, Temple, or Ephesus and check it out.  If you are interested in learning more about the importance of native plants and how to identify them, you should come to our meetings.

Last month we had Charles Seabrook, free lance writer of Georgia Wild featured in the Sat. edition of the AJC.  He did a nice job telling us all about the wonderful places to go and things to see here in Ga.  Check  Google for his list of 35 places in Georgia  everyone should see before they die.  Just type in Charles Seabrook 35 places.  You’ll find a list with lots of helpful links.  I have our list printed, and we plan to start doing all 35 things later this fall.  Some we did years ago, but now that I’m so interested in our native plants, I plan to revisit those places and see them from a different perspective.

We are having another workday on the trail on Wed. to prepare planting sites for the 100 native azaleas we’ll be planting when cooler weather gets here.  I can’t wait to see what the next spring will bring.  Hope to see lots of blooms, as most of the native trees and shrubs we bought and the azaleas all have wonderful blooms.

My life is so rich, getting to do the things I never had time for when I was working.  Wish everyone could find that special something that makes their world a brighter place.  It sure keeps me going!


What a Wonderful World…..

What a wonderful world we live in.  We in the United States are so blessed, beyond all measure.

Here in my part of the world, I’m blessed with a wonderful family and friends, a great life during retirement, and the ability to still get out and do the things I love.

This week I went on a plant rescue with my native plant friends.  I got lots of great plants, many to be donated to the Buffalo Creek Nature Trail.  Next week, I’m off to a native plant nursery to buy trees and shrubs for the nature trail.  Volunteers will be planting many new trees and shrubs along the trail this fall.  We hope it will become a destination for anyone who loves a good hike along beautiful trails filled with native trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Tomorrow, Leslie and Bradley are coming over to spend the day.  We’re looking forward to seeing them.  Even though they live only an hour and a half away, it seems they’re always busy, or we’re caught up in something that prevents us from visiting.  I think this is definitely one place our lives could use some improvement.

I went today and got my hair ‘done’.  I have been very lax in getting it cut, and have decided to let it grow a little longer than usual.  Of course, when I start working outside and sweating (or glistening as my great grandmother would say), that longer hair may become shorter hair real quickly.

I enjoyed Wednesday night at church where we have started a study of the book of Revelation.  It’s both frightening and reassuring at the same time.

And I relay all of these humdrum things in my life just to point out that today, nobody looted a store in town, nobody lobbed  a rocket into our yard, no one has forced us from our home, we haven’t been exposed to any deadly diseases today.  What a wonderful world we live in.  If only everyone could live in a world like ours……..