Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Monday, March 30, 2009

Newsday Tuesday

Top story of the day: they survived the severe winter.


Columbine ~ Chocolate Soldier

Acidanthera ~ is on the label, but I believe this a primrose.
I will have to wait until it blooms.

I did it, and it hasn't fallen down!

Keewee's Gee Whiz
The first chore I tackled today was to work on the stacked pots creation. I am so glad I came across this idea, as it was a fun project to work on. One thing I found was, that it is easier to plant the bottom pot before sliding the second on in place, as there is not a whole lot of space between the two pots. I have used Primroses with white trailing Lobelia, planted so that as it grows, it will trail over the edges of the pots, creating a waterfall effect. At least, that is the plan.
Peggy, of Organic Growing Pains has her version of Tumbling pots. Go on over and take a look.

So far I have three pouches planted with violas, succulents, and the third with petunias. The pouch which has not yet been planted , is going to be an experiment. I have the mix well watered and have pushed a couple of nasturtium seeds through each of the slits in the pouch. My reasoning is, that seeds have to push their way up through the soil to reach the light, so why not up through a slit in plastic. We will see what happens. I am going to place the plastic tray holding the pouch on top of a rack used for cooling cookies, then place it all over a heat duct in the house. (don't want to spend money on one of those fancy schmancy heat pads for plants) I told you this is an experiment. I will let you know the results.

The new shoots of the poor agapanthus are looking quite sickly. There are not many drainage holes in the bottom of the galvanized tub, so I thought perhaps it was too wet for the plant. I wanted to move it anyhow, so it now has a new home.

Here is the agapanthus replanted on the outside of the fence surrounding my vegetable plot. We have many of those long eared, hungry, wabbity wabbits, who love to nibble on everything, so I have to surround almost all my plants with chicken wire.

It took me me about 15 minutes to wrestle this fern out of the very old wooden pot it was growing in, before replanting it into the tub. I hope it is happier in there than the agapanthus seemed to be.

I bought 12 petunias, 5 went into the Gee Whiz creation, these three red and one purple in this bed and I still have 3 more to plant. perhaps tomorrow as my back is telling me "time out" and this time I am going to listen and quit gardening for today, before I hurt too much to enjoy playing outside tomorrow.

Weather permitting

I am going to be spending my day out doors, taking care of some chores fun stuff.

First of all, create a stacked pot centerpiece for my front garden, something along the lines of this one. I bought 12 primroses from Walmart at 50 cents each, a deal I could not pass up. You know me and Primroses. if not, look HERE
Picture from

Second, there is fertilizer to spread on the gardens as well as many other small chores around the yard
Then if we get time, by we, I mean, with the help of my honey, there are four frames to be constructed using PVC pipe which will be used to support peas and beans.
I plan of doing the FUN stuff first.

Quote of the day
I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden. ~John Erskine

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Peter Black Conservatory

November 2007 found me in Palmerston North New Zealand. I was there to visit my family, and to look around the city visiting all my favorite places. Peter Black conservatory, which is in Victoria Gardens, was one of my favorite places to spend an hour or so, looking at all the beautiful and unusual plants and flowers.

To view more photos, please visit Keewee's Corner

Plans Cancelled

Yesterday I had so many plans for today, but all was changed this morning, the moment I heard the rain beating on our roof. It has rained non stop and looks as though it will continue for the rest of the day.

Well , at least this little plant is enjoying the soaking, as are the potatoes, celery, lettuce, and marigolds I have planted over the past few days.

Quote of the day

God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown

I guess I will do the housework, instead of gardening sighhhhh!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Primrose Passion

Often times I stop and ask myself why I do things a certain way, or why I like particular flowers and plants. I dawned on me sometime ago, that I follow my Mothers likes, especially when it comes to garden plants. My Mum always had an abundance of what she called Polyanthus, (a hybrid primrose, Primula polyantha. ) I wish she could see all the beautiful primroses which are available now. Anyhow, last evening I was checking out the gardens, and had not looked at the little front garden for a week or so, and was delighted to find one of my new primroses in full bloom.

A mound of gorgeous double white flowers of an English double. Isn't she a beauty?
None of my other Primroses have an abundance of flowers like this one.

And the dainty little vibrant purple/blue flowers on long stems of Primabella.

I went back through my photos from last year to show you a few more from my collection.
I think I can safely say I am passionate about collecting primroses.
Sorry about the quality of the collage, but when I resize it to fit, it gets fuzzy

Quote of the day

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Planted on March 25th

Here is the first flower pouch (I was calling them grow bags) filled with violas. Dang it was a heck of a fiddly job pushing the roots of the Violas through the slits in the bag, without doing too much damage to the plants. I am not sure if I want to attempt filling the other eleven bags or not.
The bag now has to lay flat for a week or so, until the plants settle in. I have a bunch of hen & chicks looking for a home, perhaps I will see how they do in one of these pouches.

I bought a four pack of celery and managed to gently tease the roots apart on some which were obviously planted two seeds to a hole, to end up with six healthy looking plants, plus one little wimpy plant, which may or may not make it.

Also bought a six pack of bib lettuce and ended up with eleven plants. In my square foot plans I had allowed just four spots for the initial planting of lettuce, so all the lovely bonus plants are now in the tires where tomatoes will go when the time is right. Notice the orange and blue of the tomato cages I bought last year. I like to have lots of a little bit of color in the vegetable garden.

7am Thurdsay 26th

This morning I have a lovely crop of frosted flowerpots. Last evening, after I had my plants in the ground and as I was putting away my gardening tools, my gut feeling told me it was going to frost, even though it was not in the forecast.

This newbie veggie gardener is learning to pay attention.
I am so happy I listened to my intuition, something I was inclined to ignore in the past.
Not any more, from here on out, the smart thing to do is to I cover all my tender plants, just in case there is a frost.

I looked around for something to use in a hurry as it was late, and I had to get inside and fix dinner. My eye fell on all these flowerpots I had stacked in a corner, I had one of those ah ha! moments, and the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Quote of the day
Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise.

~Michael P. Garafalo,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hooked on plants

Last night as I sat in front of the TV, I used a label making machine to print out 30 names of various veggies and stuck them to some plastic markers.

Tonight, on my way home from work, I stopped by the store and bought another 30 markers, to replace some of the old markers, which have become brittle over the past few years.
I would like to replace the plastic markers with those nice rust resistant metal ones, a cost of about $30 for 100, whereas the plastic kind were 10 for $1. Perhaps next season I will treat myself to some nice new copper markers.

Yesterday I decided where I would put my estate sale find. Quan Yin is now sitting on a nice whitish colored rock, in the middle of the back fence, of my vegetable garden, facing the gate. I have created a little garden on the outside of the fence behind her, planted with sweet peas, and am hoping in the near future, it will be a very pleasing sight to stand at the entrance of my garden and see the statue surrounded by the beauty of the sweet peas as they climb the fence behind her.
When I gaze upon Quan Yin I see contentment and gentleness. When I am working in my garden, I feel a sense of contentment and well being, so what better place for Quan Yin than there with me, as I lose myself in my tasks.

Outside the garden fence, along one side and either side of the gate, I have grown starts of Bearded Irises given to me by a friend. I really was kidding myself, if I thought the puny little fence would keep the rabbits out, but so far, they seem to be indifferent to the Irises. I sure hope it stays that way.

I thought I may as well take a picture of this fern while I was wandering around the garden. It is growing towards the back of the garden in kind of dark area, and the light green of the fern really stands out and draws your eye in. Just to the right of the fern is a dark purple Hellebore, another plant I scored from a friend.

Another stop I made on my way home this evening was to buy lettuce for the veggie garden and Violas I am going to plant in a hanging grow bag. This will be my first attempt at using this method of growing plants, so it is going to be an interesting experiment. The first of 24 Nasturtiums I have in peat pots, on my kitchen table, have begun to sprout, these also will be grown in a couple of the grow bags.
Yes I am a plant junkie, always on the lookout for something new to plant, and different ways to display them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Advise on cold frames please

We have this PVC frame lying around the yard, surplus from another project. I have been thinking about building a cold frame for quite a while, and when I came across the frame, I wondered if it could be utilized as a cold frame.
If so, the big question is how to attach a heavy duty plastic to the PVC. Anyone have some ideas, or am I biting off more than I can chew?

Quote of the day

Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.
~Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897

Thank you to all who left comments. I am working on a plan and will post on results in the future.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy as a bee in a pasture of clover

There are a couple of very good reasons why I did not write anything on Keewee's Garden yesterday. First of all, I was scheduled to work two shifts during the day, second, I just had to go to an estate sale early in the morning before my first shift. The estate sale was of the possessions of one of my former clients, and I was hoping to buy a lovely statue for my garden.

Here she is, Quan Yin She now belongs to me, along with some other wonderful treasures I could not leave behind.
Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

I also noticed, still sitting on the front deck, these two planters. I asked the person who was running the estate sale if they were for sale. She said she had overlooked them, so I asked her what she would sell them to me for, she replied $10. They are now mine too.

I think I told you once before, that my car has a tendency to pull into the garden center car park, all on it's own, and by golly, it did just that. I was compelled to buy flowers, herbs and heathers to fill these two pots.

I ran out of steam last night, so bright and early this morning I planted the flowers.

In this pot are, Mariposa, peach shades of Pansies, Kramers Rote, a Heather with vibrant magenta flowers, and Helichrysum, a dwarf Curry plant.

Here are, pink shades of pansies, Spring Torch, a Heather with Magenta flowers, and another curry plant. The curry plant has lovely silvery-white foliage, the fragrance and flavor of curry, and the yellow flowers of this plant dry well, so I will have some pretty dried flowers to work with during the cold winter months.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First day of Spring

You wouldn't think so if you spent very long outside today. The thermometer reads 51 degrees, but the cold gusty wind makes it feel like it is in the low 40's. Grumbling to myself, just a little bit, I dressed warmly and went out to the vegetable garden, to plant the six spinach seedlings I bought yesterday. Once the spinach was in the ground, and I stood there admiring the green of the plants against the dark color of the soil, I told myself, I am already cold, so why don't I just go ahead and plant sugar snap peas, and also some sweet peas, for picking to fragrance our home. Soon I forgot how cold I was, as I became engrossed in the task of planting the seeds, placing in the name markers and admiring my handy work. I can't help but feel excited, at the thought of all the vegetables and flowers I am going to have in my 20 x 20 foot garden plot.

This photo of my first attempt at growing vegetables in my brand new plot, was taken last year. This year it will look a whole lot different, as I will be trying the square foot method of gardening.

Quote of the day

Take thy plastic spade,
It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are thy colours.
~William Mason, The English Garden, 1782

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Geraniums and lightbulbs

You are probably asking, "Keewee, what on earth are you talking about?"
Well, it's like this. Recently, I have read several posts about Geraniums and at the time, it did not register with me that I had some of my own down in the basement. At the end of last season, a friend, (the one who gets reject plants from the garden center she works at) asked if I was interested in over wintering some Geraniums. I said I would give it a try, and retrieved the plants from her, put them down stairs and promptly forgot all about them, that is, until I was reading a particular post on these plants, and had one of those "light bulb moments"
Yep! I'm getting old, and my memory is not what is was a few years ago. I guess I had better start writing reminder notes to myself, and posting them in a conspicuous place. *smile*

Some of the Geraniums have put forth new growth, a few aren't looking as happy. But with a little TLC perhaps they will grow.

After a haircut, and a nice soak in tepid water they are ready to show me what they are capable of. It is going to be a while before they all start to show some sign of life, at least the ones which have not shriveled up and died. I will keep you posted on their progress. I will probably need a reminder to do so. *chuckle*

Quote of the day

Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There's a spring in my step,

now Spring is showing up in my garden. I suppose if I was in the habit of shouting Whoo hoo! I would. Oh what the heck, WHOO HOO!!

A little warmth from the sun, and I finally see the beautiful face of my first Daffodil of the season. It is just in time to celebrate the first day of Spring, tomorrow.

Poor sad wee primrose, all chewed up by the slugs. The slugs now have their own food, in the form of nice little pellets. Of course, the pellets are the kind which do no harm to the birds and critters.

This daffodil is one I eagerly wait for each year. Not only are the buds of Texas a pleasing shape, but the flowers are gorgeous.

Just when I thought I had lost these Violas to a hard frost, they proved me wrong.

Quote of the day

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Ale

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Irish gardener's favorite shade of green.

I favor all shades of green, as well as the size, shape and the texture of leaves.

Happy Saint Patrick's day

May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A dollar saved, is a dollar to spend on more seeds.

This year I have tried to cut corners and save a dollar here and there, and one way I decided to do this, is to use something a little less expensive than the plastic trays from the hardware/garden center to place the peat pots in.The dollars stores are a great place to start, in that they sell aluminium pans, usually 2 for $1 and wooden clothes pins.

I came up with this easy way to label a whole pan of pots of the same kind of plant, using a simple wooden clothes pin. Use a permanent marker for the name of the plants and date the seed was planted, and squeeze the lip of the pan so it lays flat, and the clothes pin will stand upright. Couldn't be easier, and you can reuse the pan and named clothes pin again next season, (that is if you grow the same kind of plants). I suppose you could paint or use whiteout over the label on the clothes pin and reuse it to.