Tag Archives: plants

The Toughest Fern Out There

I forgot to water this poor fern – not once – but TWICE!  But since it didn’t turn brown or feel crispy, I put it in the dog dish to water it and see what might survive.

It took 3 days the first time and 2 days the second time, but this little fern survived my neglect.

Say hello to the Heart Fern (hemionitis arifolia). This cute little fern is a native to southeast Asia.  It grows both in the soil AND on trees!  Hemionitis arifolia needs moist, well draining soil and high humidity. Heart Fern is a tiny beauty at only 6 – 8 inches tall.  AND, of course, can handle a little neglect! 😀

Time for me to pick a pot and get this sweetie in a proper home!

My First Spring Flowers

As you may have noted from my last posting, the weather this winter has been erratic to say the least.  My crabapple bush tried to bloom last month, two months early, and the buds got frozen out.  So that bush is a bust.  And the wild raspberries in my yard are trying to go for it too.  So there will be a lot less flowers and fruit this year and probably some dead plants as well. If it doesn’t get cold enough to put them to sleep they either freeze to death or use up their food stores and starve to death before spring is properly sprung.

I’m happy to say that it appears my bulbs have weathered this nonsense well (no pun intended) and are beginning their annual show. (Except for the daffys, which are early.)

Peaking through the leaves I haven’t raked off yet.

A purple crocus peaking as well.

My mini irises.

Even if they’re early, I still love my daffys!

My first ‘bouquet’ of daffys! I love their smell. It’s the scent of spring.

 

Frosted Moss (A Brief Moment In Time)

As I was outside with the energizer bunny (Ryder), the sky darkened and small wee bits of snow swirled in the wind. It lasted only 5 minutes, but that was long enough to coat the moss in our yard in waves of white frosting.

Notice the little wavy pattern of the snow.

Notice the little wavy pattern of the snow and how it’s stuck to just one side of the moss.

Unfortunately, it came in 5 minutes and then left in 5 minutes.  The temperature was exactly 32 degrees farenheit and the sun was peeking off and on through the clouds just enough to melt everything it touched.

You can see some of the droplets beginning to form from the snow.  It was beautiful while it lasted.

 

Amaryllis Blossoms

Three of my Amaryllis bulbs were big enough to bloom for me last month.  Enjoy!

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Can’t wait till next year!

Spring Is Working Its Way Forward

We were somewhat concerned about whether any plants would survive this winter.  Not because it was too cold, but because it was too warm.  The plants were fooled into thinking it was April in December.  My crabapple bush even bloomed.  And my daffodils were up waaay too early.  I still don’t know the fate of my shrubs and perennials, but my bulbs survived!  Unfortunately, before I could get pics of my crocus and small iris a rain storm blew through and flattened them. Fortunately I have pics from last year that never got posted! 😀  Enjoy the beginning of spring!

Lone crocus survivor from this year.

Lone crocus survivor from this year.

Small bulbous iris.

Small bulbous iris.

Bulbous iris colony.

Bulbous iris colony.

Beautiful crocus!

Beautiful crocus!

Beautiful white!

Beautiful white!

Hope your spring is treating you well!

So Sad For My Plants

The weather here has been sooo screwy.  Temperatures in the 50’s one week then down to the twenties the next week for months.  It was like this to a lesser degree last year and I lost 1/3 of my plants.  They never got to sleep properly.  But with the extremes this year, the plants are thinking it’s spring already.

This was what I was looking at for three weeks through Christmas.

This was what I was looking at for three weeks through Christmas.  My crabapple bush in bloom.  In December.  It’s not supposed to bloom till April / May.

My daffodils are coming up.

My daffodils are coming up. In December instead of March.

We just dropped down into the twenties and teens this week. No more crab

We just dropped down into the twenties and teens this week. No more crabapple blooms.  And maybe no more crabapple bush.  And, yes, that is a dusting of snow on the ground.

The daffys so far are okay looking, but I don’t know how they are going to fair with low temps for the next two months.  Assuming, that is, that they stay low for the next two months.  How many more of my plants are going to die this winter? Snivel. 😦

(And, oh, did I mention that my yard is a mud pit? I’m not sure if I’m going to have any grass next spring either.)

Random Round-up

I was putting photos into my Blog folder and looking down at the bottom of the screen I found I had over 250 pictures in the folder.  Holy crap.  So while I haven’t been posting like I used to, I hadn’t totally stopped thinking about it.  Of course, some of these pix are old, unused photos because I never got around to  writing the post I was thinking about, but there are a ton of animal and flower pictures as well.

I’ve decided to start cleaning out the folder and posting the pics that have no special post attached to them.  Ten at a time seems comfortable to me.  Enjoy!

Our rhododendron bush 2 stories high.  It no longer exists as it was torn out to put in sewage lines.

Our rhododendron bush 2 stories high. It no longer exists as it was torn out to put in sewage lines.

I love butterfly bushes. If you want something that will guarantee you lovely winged visitors, put in a butterfly bush.  I have four.  Don't be intimidated by their size.  You can cut them down to 18" inches every spring.  One year for fun, I cut off all the branches below 2 1/2 feet and any branches pointing down.  They looked like giant candleabras when they bloomed.

I love butterfly bushes. If you want something that will guarantee you lovely winged visitors, put in a butterfly bush. I have four. Don’t be intimidated by their size. You can cut them down to 18″ inches every spring. One year for fun, I cut off all the branches below 2 1/2 feet and any branches pointing down. They looked like giant candelabras when they bloomed!

Blurry but still beautiful, an Indigo Bunting.  We occasionally get these coming through in early summer.  They are so lovely, but also very shy.  I took this picture from the kitchen and he still spotted me and took off.

Blurry but still beautiful, an Indigo Bunting. We occasionally get these coming through in early summer. They are so lovely, but also very shy. I took this picture from the kitchen and he still spotted me and took off.

These are the nests of the Organ-pipe (or pipe organ) mud dauber.  Yes, that's on my house and I left them there.  They originally started this nest at face level outside my front door.  Since I experience lingering pain with wasp stings, I was not impressed.  But it totally ignored me when I opened the door which surprised me and made me curious.  In looking up this wasp I found they are non-aggressive and won't sting unless hurt. But face level at the door wasn't going to work with the rest of the family, so I scrapped off the nest and sprayed lemon pledge on the brick.  They then moved the nest up into the corner and I let it be.  Did you know they hunt spiders to put in the nest for the young to eat?  Go here to find out more about this remarkable wasp.

These are the nests of the Organ-pipe (or pipe organ) mud dauber. Yes, that’s on my house and I left them there. They originally started this nest at face level outside my front door. Since I experience lingering pain with wasp stings, I was not impressed. But it totally ignored me when I opened the door which surprised me and made me curious. In looking up this wasp I found they are non-aggressive and won’t sting unless hurt. But face level at the door wasn’t going to work with the rest of the family, so I scrapped off the nest and sprayed lemon pledge on the brick. They then moved the nest up into the corner and I let it be. Did you know they hunt spiders to put in the nest for the young to eat? The adults drink nectar from flowers.  Go here to find out more about this remarkable wasp.

I've had this cactus for an untold number of years and two years ago it finally bloomed.

I’ve had this cactus for an untold number of years and two years ago it finally bloomed.

Judging not by the throw behind me, I can have Christmas out till February, this is the week after Christmas.  How do I know?  My BFF makes pfefferneuse cookies for us every Christmas and they generally don't make it to New Year's!

Me working on the couch.  Judging not by the throw behind me – I can have Christmas out till February – this is the week after Christmas. How do I know? Check out the plate of cookies.  My BFF makes pfeffernusse cookies for us every Christmas and they generally don’t make it to New Year’s!

 

Hermit crab on the prowl.  Love these little guys!

Hermit crab on the prowl. Love these little guys!

Phalanopsis orchid from a couple of winters ago.

Phalaenopsis orchid from a couple of winters ago.

And another.

And another.

A small succulent that bloomed even before I put it in a proper pot.  Unfortunately, it was one of over 20 plants that did not make it through this winter.

A small succulent that bloomed even before I put it in a proper pot. Unfortunately, it was one of over 20 plants that did not make it through this winter.

That’s it for now!

Little Gratitudes

This lovely lady was so busy she let me get up close and personal.  I absolutely adore bumble bees!

This lovely lady was so busy she let me get up close and personal. I absolutely adore bumble bees!

Another neglected Amaryllis gave me flowers! Amazing after what I 'didn't' do for them.

Another neglected Amaryllis gave me flowers! Amazing after what I ‘didn’t’ do for them!

Mystic Illusion Dahlia.  This was an impulse purchase.  I wish I had impusled more than one.  When I went back to get more they were already sold out. This is one dahlia I'll definitely be trying to overwinter.  Sooo pretty!

Isn’t that a stunner?  It’s a Mystic Illusion Dahlia. And the picture doesn’t do this justice at all.  It’s so much better in person.  This was an impulse purchase. I wish I had ‘impusled’ more than one. When I went back to get more they were already sold out. This is one dahlia I’ll definitely be trying to overwinter. Sooo pretty!

Ta Da! I finally finished the tissue box cover that Ryder was 'helping' with!

Ta Da! I finally finished the tissue box cover that Ryder was ‘helping’ with!

And now I’m going to indulge myself in a handful of Good & Plenty candy!

Some Quick Smiles From Out In The Yard

The first smile was a snake!  I’ve been hoping they would make it back to our yard and there is at least one.  The Husband, who is scared to death of snakes, is the one who found it.  (Tee hee hee)  It was a little garter snake. Yay! They’re bug eaters.  Sorry, no picture. It was gone by the time I got the camera and ran outside.

Remember the baby bunny?

He decided to stick around and is seen in our front yard eating clover.  He's a little bigger now.

He decided to stick around and is regularly seen in our front yard eating clover. He’s a little bigger now.

We had a really wonky winter.  Warm, cold, warm, cold, really, really cold, warm, cold, – get the picture?  I lost a LOT of plants.  But one eventually came up and treated me to loveliness.

My Graham Thomas  put forth one lone stalk and a handful of flowers.

My Graham Thomas put forth one lone stalk and a handful of flowers.  Hopefully he’ll grow enough this summer to make it through the next winter.

And then there are the Amaryllis bulbs I threw in the basement last fall and forgot.  Again. But some of the bulbs not only survived the neglect, they are going to give me a flower or two.  Here’s the first:

This was one of those Christmas cheapos and was just supposed to be a single white.  Surprise! A double!

This was one of those Christmas cheapos and was just supposed to be a single white. Surprise! A double! With a blush!

Finally, we always have at least one, sometimes two, broods of wrens in the bird house on our porch.  I was hoping to be home when they fledged, it’s hilarious watching them explore the porch.  But I only got to get in on the very end where mom and dad are yelling at the kids to get it in gear and come with them.  As I was walking up to the porch there were little ones flying (sort of) around my feet and as high as my waist.  How sweet!  When they all got into the bushes I went up on the porch and there right next to the door on top of a walking stick was one more. I very carefully opened the door and grabbed the camera and came back out only to find out he had left.  But then I heard him call and spotted him in the young maple off our porch.

He very nicely sat for his picture.  He looks like he is twice as heavy as his poor skinny parents!

He very nicely sat for his picture. He looks like he is twice as heavy as his poor skinny parents!

Hope you enjoyed the fun!  It’s quite relaxing and enjoyable to take time to notice the little things going on around you.

Surprise Crop – Mushroom Mini Farm (Back To The Roots)

After we harvested the crop of mushrooms in March, I put the kit in a back room with a ziplock bag dropped on top to hold in moisture. I had fully intended to deliberately go for another crop.  Life went to hell and I forgot all about it.

A couple of weeks ago back in May, I was rooting around in the room where I had put the mushroom kit and noticed the ziplock bag was tented somewhat.  I lifted it and found a second crop of mushrooms had tried to grow without any help at all from me.  Because of the ziplock bag the carbon dioxide levels were too high and half the mushrooms were dead already.  The others I sprayed down with water, shrugged my shoulders because they were so sad, and walked away.  Two days later I was smiling.

Aren't they beautiful?  Can you see the little dead ones? So sad.  But these were twice the size of the first crop.

Aren’t they beautiful? Can you see the little dead ones? So sad. But the live ones were twice the size of the first crop.

And they grew...

And they grew…

And they grew...

And they grew…

And then it was time to pick them.

And then it was time to pick them.

So I picked them and washed them.

So I picked them and washed them.  (See the wrinkles on the edges and how they are starting to split?  I waited a day too long to pick them.)

So I sliced them and sauteed them with some butter and a dash of sea salt.

So I sliced them and sautéed them with some butter and a dash of sea salt.

Time to eat them.  Mmm, mmm good!!!

Time to eat them. Mmm, Mmm good!!!