"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I love walking the grounds in the early morning hours

and I love the way the garden and the woods, all around, lie in still quietness

It doesn't take long before the west Texas sun awakens the wildflowers that make a natural fence around the garden. If only I could arise so bright and cheery.............

This year I am "experimenting" with Brussels sprouts...........something I have never grown before.......and just a few months ago, found a great recipe that makes them taste delicious...............so I was hooked on them!
They are growing tall and thick, although the Texas heat has been in the 100's. I am hoping that they keep staying healthy and that by the time late fall comes, they might start producing.

And as most of you know.............I love growing Zinnias..................and pumpkins.
I love everything about pumpkin growing. From the large "elephant ear" leaves to the wonderful bright colored and odd shaped balls at harvest time. I was not able to grow pumpkins last year because we suffered the worst drought............but this year, the vines are already getting strong and leafing out.............I cannot wait until fall!!

I planted radishes in the organic soil bags, the new gardening method I have recently been posting about, and look............aren't they just beautiful?
I am really beginning to like bag gardening..........especially for vegetables like this.
How about you?
What is your garden offering up at this time of year?
How is the weather in your area?
I would love to hear!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I love to use rustic and country style things for plant containers

I have had these beautiful vintage light fixtures for years,

and since our home already has it's own vintage light fixtures, these beauties have lain in wait..........

each one has it's own style and

loveliness...........I love the color and scalloped edge on this one, especially.............

each one has little holes, or larger ones, either on the sides, or on the base, for perfect drainage.

Which makes them perfect for planting  moss rose in......

I was thinking of some other kind of flower..........

but moss rose is beautiful when it drapes over a container and it is always so cheerful when it blooms.

How about you?
What" out of the ordinary thing" do you like to use for planting?
I would love to hear!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A few weeks back I posted a photo of a native wild berry bush

called the Algerita Berry.

Now the blooms have faded and the bees have buzzed away............

and sweet berries in the vibrant color of red are hanging in clusters, waiting for the birds and what ever wildlife to come along to eat them. Yes, I pick them as I walk along with Sophie. They are full of seed just like a blackberry, but so good!

I planted a young pomegranate tree last year, in the middle of the harshest drought and hot wind ever.
It survived and is now in full bloom! I just love the way pomegranates look..........don't you?

It seems that every tree and bush is budding and blooming

and no matter how many times I see this through the years..........I simply love it!
It's as if every tree has pulled out it's favorite beaded necklace and has cast it on.

As most of you know, I love to grow large gardens of zinnias. The photo above is from 2010 garden.
Last year no zinnias could be grown because of the drought and harsh weather.

This year I have planted large zinnia gardens once again, and they are in the process of sprouting and growing! I am so looking forward to seeing their colorful blossoms. In the photo above these are zinnias I am experimenting with in the "bag gardening method." They have sprouted and are growing quickly. They are mixed with Mountain Garland...........a new flower I have not raised before.
I also am planting one area with a giant "white" zinnia this year. I used to never care for white flowers, but have found them to be so wonderful in making up the color scheme of a garden.
How about you?
Any wild berries in your area?
What colors do you prefer in your flower gardens?
I would love to hear!

Monday, May 14, 2012

If you remember, I posted about beginning to try a new method of gardening

called " bag gardening" a while back before planting season.

I prepared the beds and the bags of fertilized soil, and quickly, flower and vegetable seeds sprouted!

The sprouts quickly grew.........


got thicker.............

and produced well! Do I prefer it over regular gardening in the ground........not really. It sprouts and grows just about the same and the radishes taste the same. However, as a dear visiting friend pointed out, it is so much better for those who don't want to dig in the ground or who have small spaces. I will probably continue bag gardening in my smaller beds throughout the years and still use my wide open spaces as I normally do. Have you given this a try?

Out in the potting shed, I sprouted flowers

pumpkin, cantaloupe and zucchini. They grew well there for 6 weeks, I then hardened them off and planted them in the garden. That week, our temperature reached up to 106 and every plant burnt to a crisp................sigh. What the heat forgot to zap, the mice ate down.
However, I don't give up.

I replanted into the garden spaces. This week we have had a lot of rain and now, everything has sprouted! I guess this is the way it is in every thing that we face in life. We plant our seeds of hope and we sail on a cloud for the first few weeks, then some kind of hardship comes along and we find ourselves devastated and how it all failed. But we manage to roll up our sleeves and give it another try.
Don't we??

I also have green tomatoes! I love red............but I look forward to the green for a dish of fried green tomatoes in the making! 
How about you?
Have you planted something and are enjoying the fruits of your labor?
Or have you had a set back and are struggling to bounce back?
I would love to hear!
******visit my cooking blog for some wonderful history about Better Homes and Gardens and a vintage recipe! click on link to visit.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Tribute To Mother


"M" is for the million things she gave me,

"O" means only that she's growing old

"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,

"H" is for her heart of purest gold;

"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,

"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me
Howard Johnson.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Through the years, I have introduced you to many Texas critters.......

Some of them quite bazaar and unique.........
From the thorned Texas horned toad.........who looks like lost miniature dragons..........

to the smelly Vinegar Roan, who is completely harmless. The worst it can do is spray you with a strong vinegar smelling spray and perhaps pinch you with those claws..............

then there is the whimsical rain toad that only can be seen after a large rain..........

and these large black bugs that I call Preacher bugs because of the white collar around their necks. They can bite and give off a high pitch screeching sound when held.........I know, because I have gotten too close............yes, I laid down on a wet patio to get this thirsty bug's photo.

(click on photo for better view)
Even though we have the common Cottontail rabbit............we also have the large Jack Rabbit.
They can get as big as an ordinary house cat..........

they have enormous ears and beautiful eyes...........

and long kangaroo type legs..........

and instead of a "cotton puff tail" they have a larger, longer black tail.
They are every where on the road side in our area. Just another unique and odd looking creature on the prairie.............although those that live here are so used to seeing them, they don't look odd at all!
How about you?
Any curious or unique creatures where you live?
I would love to hear!