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

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's freezing outside and the hard wind's a blowing
The trees are a swaying  and it's lightly snowing,
But tomorrow the sun will be shining,.......... you'll see,
And all of this bad weather will be just a memory.
That's Texas weather..........we are all used to..........
We stay snuggled in, one day, nothing  to do,
But by the next morning, we're out for a while,
With the warm sun shining, making us smile!
If you are freezing today............
hope tomorrow, the sun will shine and warm you up!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now. ~Chinese Proverb

The old mesquite tree in our backyard..............no matter how weathered and tattered it may look...........I love it!
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer,
 "Trees," 1914

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is a lovely Oriental Gazer Lily

that was given to me on Valentine's Day. I love the speckled pink petals and the pollen filled anthers in the middle...........looking at them in indoor light you would expect them to be a dark.........purplish color............don't you think?

However, when brought out into the light, you can see the vibrant orange color that anthers possess and the purple of the stigma! The pink color of the petals is even more vibrant.
This "light" revelation always reminds me of how differently we can look at our circumstances...............
when they seem their darkest
Even the dry and silent brown death of the prairie plants seem to radiate a beauty when the light strikes them . I sometimes think that God uses nature in this way to speak to us  ................

Especially when storm clouds gather and darken our spirit.
If we can just remember the  comfort of the warmth that comes to us from our heavenly Father during our darkest moments, and having faith that He will be with us through it all, the light will soon break through that cloud of doubt and we will see the brighter side of things.
I wish for you a brighter day when storm clouds gather over you! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

A splash of bright cheery yellow grows among

the brown and gray stillness of the grounds,
and catches my attention each time I walk about.
The Italian Jasmine is now in full bloom and full of buzzing honey bees.

I love this heirloom plant and how it gracefully drapes over the stone yard wall..

The wind blows it's cheery petals all along the walk way.

I hope some day to meet God, because I want to thank Him for the flowers.
 ~Robert Brault
I always think upon this quote when I see cheery flowers like this.
How about you?
Are you underneath snow?
Or is a blanket of flowers showing themselves to you?
I would love to hear!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whether or not the groundhog

saw it's shadow.............
spring will arrive in just a matter of a few weeks.
There are a few tips for things to do in this month of February...........
that I will share with you, along with some photos of what is growing in my greenhouse.
I was cautioned as I purchased this Camellia, that it is a very picky plant to grow. It does not like cold and it cannot tolerate alkaline water...........which is the kind of water in my area.
However............look at how it is blooming!..........in February..............
I keep it warm in the greenhouse...............

and I gather rain water............when it rains........... to water it with.............I store rain water in milk and liquid detergent jugs..........that have been washed out.
Look at this bud!

I am hoping that this will grow to be a very large shrub!
 So anytime, you can get a good rain..............grab a bucket..........or a barrel of it............just one good rain can give  quite a few jugs of water to store up.
You might be under a blanket of snow..............place a bucket or barrel where the snow melts and drips off............it's the same as gathering fresh rain water for your plants!

my Geranium is so vibrant at this time!
You still have time to transplant young trees from one area to another area as long as they are not showing signs of budding
It's time to deep feed existing trees by punching a series of 1-2 inch holes two feet apart around the base of the tree where you water, and fill with an appropriate food. A mulch of well composted manure is also an excellent treat for your tree.
Mid to late February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens. Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs. If you use dry type fertilizers, be sure to water it in thoroughly.
Prune your summer flowering shrubs that have not started budding yet. Pruning to improve the shape of the plant, as well as to open up the center of the plant to good air circulation and sun exposure. Always start your pruning by removing all dead, decayed or broken branches.
Trim back any branches that were damaged by the ravages of winter.

Plant day lilies, bleeding hearts, and plantain lilies this month
Vines such as honeysuckle should be pruned and shaped.
Most perennials may be divided and moved up until they begin to show new growth.
Thin last years tangled growth on your climbing roses, fruit trees and vegetables.
Water all bulbs during times of growth and especially during foliage and bloom development. Irrigate summer-flowering bulbs during dry weather.
Fertilize tulips as foliage appears and make another application after flowering. Fertilize all other spring-flowering bulbs after flowering. Apply 2 pounds of 5-10-10 or 6-12-12 per 100 square feet. Daffodils and tulips should be fertilized again in early to mid-August.
If you heavily mulched marginally hardy bulbs to survive winter, pull back the mulch toward the end of winter. This prevents premature growth as the sun warms the soil.

The Aloe Vera is blooming as well!
I have tomatoes growing and blooming in the greenhouse!
Rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus and artichokes can be planted this month.
Kiwis and grapes must be pruned by Valentines Day to prevent sap 'bleeding'.
Strawberries can be planted as soon as they become available.
Cane fruits (raspberries and blackberries), with the exception of ever bearers should have all the canes that produced fruit last year removed.
The vegetable garden should get its first tilling (if weather permits) to allow the weather to aid you in breaking up the dirt clods. Exposed weeds and seeds hopefully will perish

You can begin feeding houseplants
Don't forget to put feed out for the many birds that will be visiting.
Prepare your garden tools. Get your mower back in shape as well.
Turn the compost pile.

a cactus that was only about 6 inches high when I purchased it a few years ago, has now grown to almost 6 foot!
February Home Maintenance Projects

Trim branches around the roof line to keep squirrels, roof rats and other pesky animals off the roof.
Inspect all vents, repair as needed, and remove any debris blocking air flow.
 Clean condenser coils or fins beneath or behind refrigerator according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Make certain there is adequate air flow around the appliance.
 Using binoculars, inspect roof from the ground (walking on a damp or wet roof can be very dangerous), looking for loose, missing or damaged roofing materials. Repair any damage. If you have access to the underside of the roof, check during a heavy rain for leaks.
 How about you?
Are you looking forward to spring's arrival?
What are your tips during this month?
I would love to hear!