February 14, 2020

My Cure for the Winter Doldrums...

I am one of those people who get the blues when the weather is dreary. S.A.D. Syndrome visits me nearly every winter in spite of the florescent lights and big windows. I have the best cure for it...my greenhouse!

The following are a few pictures I took last week when I went out there to clean up and plant a few seeds. I wanted some early lettuce and a tomato or two.

Bear in mind that my greenhouse is small. It's 8 X 18 feet but that's just about all that would fit in our backyard since we have a big art studio that takes up quite a bit of the space back there. I bought it from Morton's Horticultural in McMinnville, TN. They delivered it and set it up as part of the purchase price. Here is a link to an old blog post about that here: My Greenhouse Adventure.

Anyway, last week the little sunny greenhouse was just what I needed to lift the winter doldrums and remind me that spring will be here before we know it.
Inside the greenhouse

 As you can see the Christmas and Easter Cactus, as well as other hanging baskets, are happy and in the next picture a mixed pot that otherwise would have succumbed to the frost by now. I'll refresh it a little in the spring and pop it back into the yard.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Myer Lemons are the best! I have this wonderful little Lemon tree that produces at least two crops of the biggest and juiciest lemons ever! I've already harvested the Christmas crop and as you can see, it's blooming again. I have to use an artist's paintbrush to pollinate it because I really don't want bees in the greenhouse..LOL! 

 I can never bring myself to toss the poinsettias. So the greenhouse is a good place until they totally lose all the red leaves. I usually compost them in late spring...it's less painful when all those leaves turn green. 

Sweet Bay Tree and babies

I have had this Sweet Bay tree for many years. It was in a tiny pot when I first got it. I keep it pruned to fit into this big storage tub that has drain holes drilled into the bottom. All these plants are moved outside after the danger of frost is over. I use the Bay leaves all year in many of our favorite dishes. Salmon steaks are wonderful if they are grilled on a bed of whole Bay leaves. Last year I pruned the tree and had so many branches that I gave them to my local fresh market..she passed them along for free to her customers. We made a lot of folks happy! :-) As you can see from the babies in the small pots, Bay trees are easy to root.

So if you have space and can afford a greenhouse, I highly recommend having one. If not, plan a visit to a local greenhouse and get an early spring fix! 

February 7, 2020

Tomatoes in the Greenhouse

I am writing this on February 3rd. We have had spring-like weather for several days now. I'm pretty sure we will get a freeze soon. After all, it is still winter. I've had cabin fever so I decided to plant some veggie seeds in big pots in the greenhouse.

They may not do worth a hoot but I enjoyed the day of warm sun and dirty fingernails! I planted Cherokee Purple tomato seeds in a five-gallon pot, Lettuce, and spinach in 3-gallon pots. The greenhouse is heated so it doesn't freeze at night. Honestly, I've planted seeds in February before but they were started for planting outside after the last frost. I've never actually grown tomatoes for fruit inside. See these posts: Starting Herbs and Heirloom Seeds, Winter sowing and My Greenhouse in Winter.  it works I will definitely do it again next year. Grocery store tomatoes are just not the same as homegrown. The greens will probably be fine, they like cool weather anyway.

I'll report how this turns out in a few weeks. 

February 3, 2020

A Jesus Quandary

Image result for free church  clipartWell, maybe I should call it a church quandary.  I need your help! This definitely has nothing to do with gardening.

My whole life has been a series of religious changes (for lack of a better word). My mama talked to me about Jesus from the day I was born. I accepted Him as my Savior at the age of eight. I remember after I told Mama I wanted to be baptized, she took me to talk to our preacher. He explained to me about being saved and baptized and joining the church. I came home with Jesus and a kitten. The pastor's cat had babies and I took a beautiful black and white fluffy kitten home with me. 😀

That began my journey. I have been on and off the path for years. I was a rather rebellious teen. Probably because mama was so fearful of what I might get into so I had more restrictions than most of my friends. I broke most of the rules! One day I'm going to paint the picture that I see in my mind when I think of those years. It's me about to jump off a very high cliff and Jesus is standing behind me, holding onto my hand and keeping me from falling.  No telling what I would have gotten into if I had not had a solid Biblical background.

I have been Southern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Charismatic and back to Baptist again. My Christian life has always been a series of changes. My life, in general, has always included physical change. I have lived in 3 states, moved ten times, and gone to no telling how many different churches. We won't even talk about marriage!

We have been out of church for a few months. Bill had surgery and serious health issues and we were not able to attend church for quite a while last fall and this winter. We got pretty interested in TV preachers. Our favorite is Allen Jackson at World Outreach  Church. We attended a local non-denominational church nearby before Bill had surgery.  I really liked it...Bill is noncommittal.

I don't know what to do. He sleeps through our old church, He stays awake at the church I'd like to join. Again, a spiritual change for me. I'm used to it but I married a man who hates change. I have dragged Bill kicking and screaming into many new adventures. He has always been happy once we reach our destination or have gotten settled into a new routine.

My oldest son and his girlfriend have just joined the church I would like to attend full time. This is so good ... Josh had been out of church for a while and they really like the preacher and people where we too have visited quite a bit. I think we could talk Zack (my younger son) into coming too. I am ready for this change but I'm not so sure about Bill.

I need your comments - advice...What should I do? Stay home and watch TV preachers, go back to our old church and watch Bill sleep through the sermons or follow my heart and drag Bill along with me???

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