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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oh no! you can't be serious!

This is what I said to myself, when some elderly friends of mine said they were going to throw the Azalea in the trash.

Instead I said " really, but it is still looking so good" they then asked me if I would like it. " I sure would " I replied.
So here it is, all potted up in a nice
new large pot, with the required amount of Azalea fertilizer added to the potting mix. It should now be a happy little plant.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturdays gardening

Once again my timing was right on. Yesterday was so warm outdoors, that I took advantage and planted more starts in the garden. As I was going about the business of planting, I noticed that the spinach, lettuce, yellow wax beans, and swiss chard seed planted 3/1/2010 and 3/4/2010 are up and doing well.
Today, Sunday, is cool, overcast with a good chance of rain in the forecast. I guess I will have to stay indoors and catch up on housework Sighhhh!

Swiss chard - bright lights and marigolds in front of the lettuce, which was planted last weekend.

Kale-Redbor, Chinese cabbage - "mei qing choi' and more marigolds.The marigolds I have dispersed throughout the three beds are, Bonanza yellow, Bonanza orange, and Bonanza bee. I am not sure if it has been proved, that the marigolds actually do keep destructive insects away, but I believe it won't hurt, and they do add color to the garden

Friday, March 26, 2010

Perfect timing

Last night we had a good soaking downpour, which watered the onions and leeks I planted yesterday.

These too are happy to get a drink.

The columbine is not complaining.

Neither are these tulips.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Learning all the time

In my exuberance to get started on planting vegetables, I had these few lettuce starts in the bed before I remembered that I was going to do a soil test before planting anything. I thought the vegetables I grew last year, could have done a whole lot better. Even though I had added a fair bit of compost and some veggie fertilizer to the new beds, I still thought there was possibly something missing.

This is a basic inexpensive soil test kit which works just fine, except this one had been sitting around the house for years, and did not work very well, so I purchased a new one so I would have accurate readings.
My analysis showed:
pH level (acidity/alkalinity) was very slightly acidic.
Phosphorus - a surplus
Potash - sufficient
Nitrogen - deficient
The kit has a very good insert which shows what kinds of fertilizers you can use and the amount per 100 square feet of garden.
According to the information provided with the kit, I need to add Blood meal or Nitrate of soda to correct the nitrogen deficiency.I decided to save money and use the blood meal I already had on hand
I think I am getting this vegetable growing figured out at last.

As soon as I have amended the raised beds, the romaine lettuce, Borrettana Cipollini onions, and the Lancelot leeks can be planted.
Well off I go to get the blood meal worked into the beds, and perhaps get some of the onions, leeks and lettuce in the ground before it rains again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A bounty of blooms

There are loads of gorgeous Camellia flowers this year.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Little Red"

"Little Red" a Rufous hummingbird, has decided to stake out the feeder outside my kitchen window as his own.

He is a feisty little guy, showing off his brightly colored gorget (throat feathers) whenever another bird comes near.

"Little Red", was rather nervous that I was so close by, even though we had the window glass between us.

He did stay still long enough so I could snap a few pictures..

I hope to see this handsome little guy often, throughout the summer.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday this 'n' that

I checked the sprinkler system for any broken parts or blockages, and found a couple of the sprinkler heads need to be replaced. Add these to my shopping list for tomorrow.

The tulips have opened up in todays warm sunshine.

Tossed a couple of last years cabbages to the rabbits who don't care that the cabbage is past it's prime.

So lovely to see the tulips on this first day of Spring.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I rather like this color combination

All the pot needs now is a trailing plant to hang over the side.
The plant with the red foliage is a purple Wood spurge, Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea', the one on the left, is Veronica 'Christy' and three little violas fill in the front.

I have placed the pot on top of a piece of granite in front of a bamboo, in a garden in front of our house. This year I plan on placing more pots in and around the flower gardens.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

A few weeks ago this pot was planted with an ornamental kale which had grown very tall and was going to seed. I have replaced the kale with a Heavenly Bamboo.

I love the bronze orange of the new leaves, and the blue green of the older leaves.

The variegated Moor grass, which was planted last fall, is just starting to make an appearance behind the little rock.

I have added a little interest to the pot by placing a couple of seashells, a small Oriental statue and a piece of coral on top of the pine needle mulch.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Memories of childhood nursery rhymes

Daffy-down-dilly is a daffodil flower. Richardson, who created the illustration above, got it right by drawing the lady's dress like a daffodil.


Has come to town
With a yellow petticoat
And a pretty green gown.

Whenever I see the first daffodils of the season, this little nursery rhyme pops into my head.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I have made a start

I am thankful I made the decision to put pea gravel on the walkways between the beds in the garden, as it is so easy to pull the weeds. Before spreading out the gravel, I placed layers of newspapers over the ground, so the weeds from underneath could not sprout. Now all I have to contend with are the weeds from wind blown, and bird introduced seeds which have taken root.

The strawberries in the tires were going to be moved but I have decided to leave them for one more season. Last fall I pinned the runners into planting mix in small pots so I would have a fresh batch of strawberry plants to put in a permanent bed.
Yesterday I cleaned up all the old dry leaves and debris from around the strawberries, uncovering lots of new growth.

So far I have sown parsley, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, pea and bean seeds.

Friday, March 05, 2010

It has started

My car has started veering into the garden center all on it's own *chuckle* which happened on my way home from work yesterday. I took my usual leisurely stroll around to see what has turned up. I had already decided to invest in more herbs and as I looked at what had come in, I discovered the lemon verbena.

As I crushed a leaf between my fingers, the most intense delightful lemon aroma was released.
Being mostly a coffee drinker,and on occasion a tea drinker, I do like a slice of lemon in a cup of tea, and find sometimes a lemon will spoil before I get to use all of it. I am solving that problem by placing a sprig of lemon verbena in my tea.
Not only will I save money, it will be more convenient to just go out to my garden and pluck a sprig of verbena for my tea. I am sure I will find more uses for this delightful herb.

I think the verbena will look splendid in the brown pot.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

First day of spring is March 20th

Spring has arrived early in my garden, and how wonderful it feels. I sure hope the weather holds and we don't get a cold snap.

Monday, March 01, 2010

I am holding my breath

Why am I holding my breath? I am because I think the pink primroses and tulips will be fabulous together in the blue pot when they are blooming at the same time.

A dear elderly friend of mine, asked me if I wanted the package of 8 pink tulips as she said " I don't know why I bought them, I don't plan on planting them" I was only too happy to take them off her hands.