January 19, 2020

Changes, Challenges and Chances...

Image result for free clip artJust like my garden, my life has been a series of changes, challenges, and chances. I know it's been months since I posted here. There are good excuses....Bill had an emergency surgery that turned into a nightmare of health issues. It nearly killed us both! He is finally on the road to total recovery and maybe our lives will get back to some form of normal now.

My mom will turn ninety-five this year and still lives at home alone. My dear sweet younger brother lost his battle with cancer nine months ago. It nearly killed us all. I now am the sole caregiver for Nana (mom's nickname) she is sharp as a tack but can't get out much because of advanced neuropathy.

I have returned to my old job after nine years of retirement. I offered to fill a part-time position in marketing at Nashville Wraps. I worked there for many years before I retired. It's family...literally and figuratively. Besides, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. 😊

Mimi's Greenhouse will close after a couple of spring sales this year. I had made that decision before the job opportunity came along. I'm too old to drag around five-gallon pots of soil and plants. I want to garden for myself and not worry whether someone else will like it or buy it. Selfish I know but it is what it is. I will miss all my customers but you know my phone number and where I live so come and visit.

I will still blog. Sometimes about plants and gardening, after all, it's in my DNA, but I'll also post some of my serious thoughts, stories, and spiritual musings. I will probably post bi-weekly instead of weekly for the near future.

As most of you know, I've written several books and I will continue to write in my spare time. I wrote a little bool last fall called the Robby Stories. It is a tribute to my brother. It's not available publically but I may add to it and publish one day soon. I wrote it for family and friends.

Keep me on your list of blogs to read and PLEASE leave your comments now and in the future. I love reading them and so do others.

October 25, 2019

Native Bamboo

I have loved this plant for years. I first saw this species of Bamboo when I lived out in the country in Robertson County. Our neighbor down the road had it growing in her yard. I loved it! She shared it with me. It grew into a lovely round clump of bamboo that bloomed beautiful rust-colored tassels late in the summer. It danced in the wind and made me happy!

When I moved from the country into the city of White House, I took many plants with me, including a new start off that native bamboo. It is growing in my shady yard still and is not quite as big as it was in my sunny front yard in the country but it blooms and is still one of my favorites.

I know it's some sort of Japanese Knotweed. All the images I could find were white flowering but the one I have blooms redish orange.  I see it in ditches beside the road occasionally here in Middle Tennessee.

I used to love to sit on my porch in the country and watch the bamboo. On a breezy day, it would literally dance in the wind!

It's canes dry in the late fall and are easy to pull out. They are too weak to use as stakes or other things that actual bamboo is good for.  I usually burn them in our burn barrel or haul them to the street for our limb truck to pick up. The limb truck is one of the perks of living in the city limits! Of course, our city taxes pay for that...might be cheaper to carry them off ourselves, LOL!

If you don't want invasive bamboo check this out
Don't Forget to check out my Gardening Book  on Amazon

October 18, 2019

My Heirloom Plants

These are plants that I have gotten over the years from friends, relatives or moved them with me when I have moved from place to place. Some are even invasive - I don't care, I love them anyway and deal with them as needed. By that I mean I dig them as they get too big or spread too far and destroy the excess.

Here are my favorites starting with the house plants. I take most of these outside in the summer and bring them into the house or greenhouse to winterover. I have no idea where I got my start of the Wandering Jew. I've had them as long as I can remember. I have both a "fuzzy" Jew and Purple Queen. They are both in the same plant family.

Fuzzy Wandering Jew 
Purple Queen
African Violet from my friend Cyndi

The violet stays inside... the sun is too much for them outside.  I have several Violets that have come from friends and relatives.

This Tiger Lily came from my Great Grandmother's farm. I have had it for many years and have moved it with me several times. These bloom and multiply happily every year.

Oxlysis from my mother's garden
My Jade Plant is huge and over 25 years old
Its start came from my dad's accountant years ago. 
Heirlooms are usually more likely to survive than many of our fickle "Hybreds"  that we get in the big box stores.

October 11, 2019

How to Stop Your Dog From Getting On The Furniture

JoJo on the loveseat
Our dog JoJo has become an only child since our sweet Pookie Bear died earlier this spring. JoJo is a hundred pound Lab/Chow mix but he thinks he is a lap dog!

Not only is he as big as a cow but he is afraid of storms! Oh, he has a nice big doghouse in our fenced in backyard but don't think for one minute he will go in there. Ever since his littermate Annie died about 3 years ago, the only way he will go into the dog house is if we shut him up in that part of the yard and it rains.

Yes, we are too lenient but we feel sorry for him and he is such a sweet dog. When he is inside he picks a spot near wherever we are and lays between us and the door.  It's only at night that he will sneak onto the leather couch or loveseat. If he didn't shed so badly, I wouldn't mind but I could make yarn if I had a spindle from all the hair he sheds the floor! 

At my wit's end, I went searching for something to deter him from getting on the furniture. I found this recipe and it works! He won't go near the place where spray it! I do have to respray each day but he stays on the floor. Here is the recipe:

Homemade Dog Off

1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
20 drops essential oil (orange or citrus-scented)

Mix all in a spray and spray where you don't want to dog to be.

I also found this one but not sure what the alcohol would do to my leather furniture.  Mix water and lemon juice with alcohol (equal parts) and spray furniture. 

I know this works too. It's from Amazon - I've used it.

October 4, 2019

Ivy: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

Mixed Ivy Container
I must confess I have a love/hate relationship with ivy. I love the various color combinations and leaf shapes that ivy has. I have several colors and types in containers in my garden.
  Now there is where the "hate" part comes into play. Do not turn ivy loose in your yard unless you want it to eat your house! Don't even let it touch the ground when it's planted as an accent in a container.
  Seriously, I have seen old homes in my town that are totally covered in ivy. If left to run rampant it can hold moisture against whatever surface it grows on. Ivy also takes root on almost any surface and can weaken or cause wood to rot.
This Basket Is On Our Studio Porch

BUT....I love it in hanging baskets, either alone or as an accent (see my post on Chrysanthemums) I think my favorite Ivy is the green and white one  I'm sure it has a proper name but I probably couldn't spell it if I knew what it was.  Here are a few pictures of Ivies I have and that are for sale each spring at Mimi's Greenhouse. 

Bird Foot Ivy
Mixed Ivies In a Flowering Container