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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Battle of wills.

This is not a gardening post, but rather a critter post. Some of you may remember, the story about the baby rabbit which we found injured last August. This little bundle of fur is now full grown and has become 'Miss Personality Plus'

After she was well again we did not think she would survive in the great outdoors, so she became our house bunny. She very quickly became litter trained, much to our delight, then she decided, no, I am going to sleep in the litter box, so we gave her another box she could use for her business. Nope, she was going to sleep in this one as well. For her hard rabbit munchies, we gave her the small dish you see lower center. All was well with that idea, until Bun decided to use it as a toilet. OK so she is a smart rabbit, it is just fine that she will use the dish and make it easy for us to empty it every day, we will provide another dish for her munchies.

Who me, I would never do that!!!

All went well with Bun ( she is a big girl now and Bun Bun is a kids name) using the round dish as a toilet up until about a week ago. Are you getting the picture? I thought so, She decided in her, ummm! wisdom, to pick up the dish in her teeth, (gotta see it to believe it) and pull it away from the corner it sat in, and do her business in the corner.
Mr C and I are now in a "battle of wills' with her. We clean up the corner then place the potty dish back there, and as soon as we turn our backs, Bun pulls it away and does her business,
Who do you think is going to win this battle? (laughing)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cheap room for rent - wrens only need apply

I have a collection of dollar store birdhouses decorating the front of our carport.

Last year, a little wren decided to make this one her home to raise a family. We were a little nervous that the chicks would dislodge the house from the nail it was hanging on, so we screwed in a hook on each side, then tied some string across the front of the house, thereby making it more secure..
I saw a wren investigating the house today. I wonder if we will have new renters. The rent is cheap, just keep the insect population down, and we will call it good.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Create mini green houses with 2 items

Recycle your empty one gallon milk jugs and use them in your garden.

All you need for this project, are your empty milk jugs and some metal plant support stakes, as you see in the photo. Start by cutting out the bottom of the milk jug, careful now, we don't want any cut fingers.

Place bottomless milk jug over plant, and looking through the top of the milk jug, so you won't stab your plant, push the metal plant support down into the soil so it rests on the rim of the jug.

You will now have happy little plants (like my eggplants) in their mini-greenhouses which won't blow away in the wind, because you have them secured in place, with a plant support. cool eh?

See, there is a happy little eggplant in it's new home, nourished in rich soil and watered by the condensation running down the sides of the jug. So instead of taking all your empty jugs to the recycle center, use some of them in your garden to protect your new starts from the cold, ( I don't mean bone chilling kind of cold, I mean
early -mid Spring kind of cold) until it is warm enough to unveil the plants.
Also watch that the plants do not out grow the mini-houses or their leaves touch the wet wall and start to rot, at this time you could create larger enclosures
( for heat loving plants like peppers and eggplant ) using wooden stakes and sheet plastic, as I will be doing. (upcoming post)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My fenced deer proof vegetable garden

My sweetheart built this fabulous 20 x 20 foot, fenced garden for me March 2008. The deer and rabbits can now only dream about the luscious veggies growing inside.
I am still continually learning how to grow vegetables and think this year will be my best yet. I have spent countless hours on the Internet, reading other gardening blogs and books, on the best way to grow vegetables, what fertilizers and soil requirements are needed for the various vegetables and how to deal with insect damage.

There are tomatoes in the 'wall of water' cones. (in white planter box on the right)

I have roses growing on the outside of the fence. Bell peppers, which like it warm, are in these 'wall of water' cones.

Romaine & Patio blend Lettuce, Cauliflower, Swiss Chard.

The center squares (left) have Gladioli and Marigolds in them.

The strawberries already have many small berries, and promise to be abundant this year.

I also have pots of flowers. Here are vintage white & rose Stock surrounding a Dracaena.

Borrettana Cipollini onions are doing better than last year,
as are the Lancelot leeks.

Redbor Kale and Chinese cabbage
are growing like crazy. I am
very pleased with my efforts
this year.

On the outside of the garden fence, I have created a small bed to grow three ornamental gourds. As they grow they will be able to climb the fence. I use old panti-hose to support the heavy gourds as they ripen.

Today I planted six burpless Cucumbers, and surrounded them with a tent of protective row cover to keep them warm until they are established.
Tomorrow I will find a place for three Eggplant, and fertilize the other vegetables.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I wasn't too sure if I would like these pink tulips, but I must admit, they do look quite stunning sharing the blue pot with pink primroses, and a grass.

The Royal Horticultural Society, introduced 'Innuendo' for the 2009 season.

The flowers have nice strong stems and they last a long time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Walls O Water

For those of you who asked for more information on Wall O Water plant protectors.

The Reusable. 18" diam. x 18" high Wall O Water plant protector, absorbs heat from the sun during the day and releases it at night. This provides an even greater benefit than simple frost-protection covers that do not store heat.
You fill the tubes of these self-standing plant protectors with water, and they provide additional heat, allowing you to plant earlier and harvest later.

Should the weather drop to freezing temperatures, the wall o water becomes even more effective. Acting as an igloo around the plant, the frozen Season Starter releases even more heat, which protects the plants down to 16°F and even melts snow.

On hot summer days, the wall o water, is just as powerful in protecting your plants. It absorbs solar heat and moderates the temperatures inside, keeping plants cooler and protecting them from overheating.

I have found that Walls of Water are useful for extending the growing season for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and other warm-season vegetables.

I bought mine at Ace Hardware, and I am sure you will be able to find them at your local hardware store or garden center.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Snug as a bug in a.........................

not exactly like a 'bug in a rug,' instead, toasty warm in a 'Wall of water'

Today it was tomato planting time in Keewee's Garden.
I half filled the 'walls with water' (henceforth known as w.o.w) before lifting them into place. Once I had them situated to my satisfaction I planted the tomatoes in the center of each one, and gave them a drink.

I only had room in this bed for 5 w.o.w and I had 7 tomato plants The Sungold cherry came in a four pack, but there were two plants in one cell, so I panted three within the w.o.w and tucked the other two in between two of the w.o.w. The other two w.o.w house a Better Boy and a Stupice heirloom tomato, which are both new to my garden.

After the tomatoes were planted and watered, I part way close the tops of the w.o.w using a clothespin. I want to keep the plants toasty, as it isn't really warm enough for them without protection just yet. I did this last year and had a wonderful head start on my tomatoes. In the spaces between the w.o.w I sprinkled sweet Basil seed.

These were also added to my front garden.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hooked on Tulips

April 11th 2007 a friend and I drove up to LaConnor Washington to view the tulip fields. I was so taken with all the beauty, that when I arrived home, I immediately got on the internet, and ordered a few 160 bulbs for my gardens. ( I can't believe they have been in the ground all these years, where did the time go?)
These pictures are of some of the tulips in the front garden, the tulips planted in the garden around the carport are not in bloom yet, and I am excited to see that some of the double tulips I thought had died out are coming up.


Scarlet Pimpernel

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Green Primrose

The plant tag said NEW! "rare and unusual" I knew I had to have Primula 'Francesca'

From label: This unique selection unusual ruffled or frilled flowers of lime green with a yellow eye. Unlike other varieties, the blooms remain attractive for many weeks or even months. Sure to be a conversation piece.

Here is a collage of just a few of the primroses in my collection.

As I wandered the herb and vegetable aisle at the garden center, I came across Elettaria Cardamom. The label said Ornamental and Culinary Uses.
I had been looking for a plant which grew tall and could stand some shade. As I read about the plant, on back of the label, I thought it may work for me.

From label: Tender perennial herb. Native to forest canopies of southern India: long, fragrant leaves. In sub-tropical conditions, loose flower panicles are followed by 3/4" fruit containing 14-20 edible seeds each. Grows 5-8 ' tall.

Yesterday, I was carrying a hummingbird feeder into the house to clean and fill it with fresh juice, when a Rufous hummingbird flew right up to me and proceeded to sip from the feeder I was holding in my hands. I was so startled I nearly dropped the feeder, but quickly got it together, and watched in awe as the little guy drank his fill. Where is someone with a camera when you need them?