Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cedar Waxwings

My friend from the "Eastern Shore" of Mobile Bay sent this picture of Cedar Waxwing birds flocking to her yard. I haven't had any come here as far as I remember. I'm on the upper west side of Mobile Bay at the mouth of the river.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Starter Plants

Ed has his starter plants growing in the greenhouse... here are some.
Banana Peppers
Butternut squash & Tomatoes

Bell Peppers

The Camellias are starting to bloom
Pink Camellia

Red Camellia

White Camellia

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Today Ed picked collards. His collards are so beautiful, and tasty! Later, he cooked a huge "industrial size" pot full. From those he will put several bags (ready to eat) into the freezer. We'll have collards to eat all this summer. There are still nice plants producing in the garden. Anyone want a mess?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Keep Saraland Beautiful Garden Workshop

Ed and I were asked to speak at the KSB Garden Workshop today. It was held in Saraland's Library and the meeting room was filled. Other speakers were:

Rodney Smith, Smith's Hardware, Saraland, AL
Thomas Daugherty, Alabama Extension Service Agent
Marie Waltman, Member & Master Gardener

Topics covered were: Ornamental edibles, sound purchase and care of bedding plants and seeds, how to prepare your garden space for planting, companion planting, challenges of gardening organically and options for organic pesticides and many others.
There were many questions and answers and everyone had a great time.

Thanks go out to Jaunita Chandler, President of KSB, and to Ty Chandler who organized it all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting ready for Spring

I'm soooo ready for Spring. So is Ed. He's been in the garden today planting Strawberry plants.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The largest flower in the world was blossoming in Blanco
Veracruz , Mexico .
2 meters high and weighing 75 kilos, it has the peculiarity of
blooming only
during three days every 40 years.
You'd only see it once or twice in a lifetime!
Shouldn't this qualify as the "8th Wonder of the World"?
Amorphophallus titanum (Araceae), also called "cadaverous flower"
has the peculiarity of blooming only during three days every 40
years, a privilege that Mother Nature bestowed on this town in Veracruz

Raising the Garden

For a lot of us, we need to raise our garden to make it more accessible. If you can get railroad ties/landscape ties to make raised beds about four feet wide and as long as you like, it makes working the beds and harvesting the fruits of your labor so much easier. Make your outline and start with filling it with compost and adding those things I mentioned in the previous post. It might take a while, but the benefit is worth the effort.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Starter Garden

As cold as it is, it is time to think about your Spring garden.

Here is an idea for a starter garden:

1. Parsley
2. Tomatoes
3. Basil
4. Pole Beans
5. Sweet Peppers
6. Hot Peppers
7. Broccoli
8. Summer Squash
9. Cucumbers or Sugar Snap Peas
10. Butter Beans or Swiss Chard
11. Beets
12. Early Carrots then Lettuce
13. Scallions
14. Lettuce then Fall Carrots
15. Strawberries/Alpine Strawberries

What should you grow?
Start with what you love to eat. Shop around for seed packets to get started. Since you won't need all the seeds in the packets, and most stay fresh for at least three years, the yearly cost is very small. You could grow as much as $500-600 worth of food, and today we need it.
Remember that tall plants such as pole beans should go on the north side, to avoid shading the others. The strawberries are kid magnets. The children/grandchildren are excited to pick a strawberry to eat and it generates an interest in the garden. They learn that growing food brings joy and that dividend is priceless.
It's all about the Soil -- The very best garden investment is a healthy, fertile soil that's the consistency of crumbly chocolate cake. It should be alive with worms, plant-nourishing bacteria, and other tiny microbes that help crops grow. Create soil like this by adding plenty of organic matter; the best is your compost pile of dried leaves, grass clippings, and veggie scraps from the kitchen. It takes time for these to break down into nature's "black gold," so you might need to buy some organic matter to improve fertility. A couple of 40lb bags of manure (and a bit of lime if your soil is acidic).
You can get your soil tested through your local Agricultural Services for a small fee.
In Alabama go to for more information or email .

Monday, February 8, 2010

Playlist | irisloverB4 Account

Playlist irisloverB4 Account

Coral Ardisia

I was so proud of my Coral Ardisia plant. It sits there by the fence-line looking festive with it's red berries. Now, I read on "Dave's Garden" where they are extremely invasive!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's Say Thanks - Thank You

Here is a way to thank our troops. Send a free card to a soldier. Click below.

Let's Say Thanks - Thank You

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one.

Or, If you go to the web site at you can pick out a thank you card and the Xerox Corporation will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. It is FREE and it only takes a second.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

Feel Free to Pass this E-mail on! I did!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Cherry Tree

I had busy visitors in the Cherry tree today. Looking in the Audubon field guide it looks like they are Purple Finch. Very colorful!

They were working like crazy pecking the centers of the flowers and they had to be creative to get to the flower center as it hangs downward.

The first white camellia to bloom. It has just a little streak of red/pink.