Sow What…..and other ramblings.

a journal of a garden and whatever crosses my mind


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If I Stay Really, Really still……You Can’t See Me!

Well, I guess I know who has been eating my echinacea and gazania leaves, and creating a few other holes in garden plants. I spotted him out the window today and figured he would be long gone before I could get my camera and go outside. I managed to get pretty close because instead of hopping away at first, he froze–trying to become invisible, I suppose.

bunny1Tonight he was just munching on weeds. He can have all of the violets and clover that he pleases, but I was more than a bit annoyed when I discovered that the gazanias that I planted in the herb garden to add some color had been mowed to the ground. I plan on making a rabbit-deterring concoction this weekend to spray on the good plants that he finds so tasty.

So far, the tomatoes and peppers are looking good, and yet untouched by rabbits. Hopefully, they will stay that way. All of the garden is looking great.

We have been enjoying some good bird watching too. The hummingbirds are hit or miss. We have seen them, and then they disappear. I read that they often are absent in May because they are feeding insects to their babies, so I am hoping to see more of them later this month.

We have had plenty of colorful birds on the feeder lately. We even had an indigo bunting for a while, but he moved on. The towhee and American goldfinch have been frequent visitors, along with the other regulars. I tried to peek into the bird house tonight to see if the wrens had babies yet, but I couldn’t see. Unfortunately, I discovered that the other bird houses contains bees. I will be staying away from that one! Towheefinch3

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Dirt Under Fingernails

We had a productive weekend filled with weeding, planting, trimming and brush removal. Hopefully we managed to avoid the poison ivy.

I planted all of the native plants that I got at the Reflection Riding Arboretum in the backyard in what the real estate listing for this house referred to as a butterfly garden. In reality, it was a large garden area that hadn’t been maintained in quite some time, but it contained a lot of butterfly bushes. I trimmed them way back this year, and have been slowly adding natives back into the area.

I planted several perennial varieties that I am hoping will spread over the next few years, and I also planted some butterfly weed, parsley, dill and fennel from seed to be host plants. So, hopefully, I will have tons of butterflies when all of the plants start flowering. So far, I have only seen one Tiger Swallowtail. We are also anxiously watching for our hummingbirds to return. They are in our area now, but not at our house yet.

The pink, red and white azaleas and wisteria all popped into full bloom this week, so of course, the bees are having a big time.

Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015 Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015

I followed the coolest dragonfly through the garden today and finally managed to get a photo. We usually don’t see many dragonflies in our yard. I also startled a rabbit, but only got a quick look at his fuzzy white behind as he hopped away. Three out of four of our birdhouses have nests, and I could barely see the eye and beak of what appears to be a little wren in one of them. I have no idea who the other nests belong to, but we are hoping for a spring full of babies.

Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015

Of course, the other favored wildlife around here includes the chipmunks. I know they dig way too many holes, but they make up for it by being so adorable. I need to buy some peanuts for them and make them really happy.

Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015 Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015

Until next time, happy gardening!


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The Third Day of Spring / My First Anniversary

It has been a year since I exchanged vows with the man I love in front of family and friends. I was beyond nervous. We didn’t rehearse, and had only halfway planned the way things would go when it came time for me and my girls to come out and join the men folk. The thought of saying vows and being the center of attention was not something I relished. I didn’t trip and fall, I repeated my vows correctly, and I didn’t spill anything on my dress. Yes, it was a successful and happy wedding day.

We just got back from celebrating our first anniversary at Mountain Harbor Inn, in Dandridge, Tennessee. We stayed in the Forever Yours suite, which for some reason, I couldn’t remember, so I spent the weekend calling it the Yours Truly suite. They provided a breakfast buffet in mornings, but the really special thing was the desserts. Those desserts about wrecked months of just recently successful dieting.

Dandridge, Tennessee Mountain Harbor Inn First Anniversary, March 20-22, 2015

While there, we visited the Bush’s Baked Beans visitor center. The museum relays the history of the Bush canning business. Douglas Dam was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1942-43 to create power and control flooding downstream, and the lake is a big part of the area. According to the video we watched at the center, the original Bush family farm was flooded by the creation of the reservoir.

Back at the inn, we got to go on a pontoon boat tour of the lake. The lake levels are controlled by TVA, and were way down from summer levels. It is a beautiful place, and we hope to go back another time when the levels are up.

Dandridge, Tennessee Mountain Harbor Inn First Anniversary, March 20-22, 2015

We got back home just as the rain started, but we managed to quickly plant our new azalea bush before it got too wet. I spent the next hour painting concrete stepping stones, which you will probably see here later, and picking daffodils. Many of them are growing so far from the house that we can’t enjoy them outside, so I brought some in. The only problem with that is Simon. Simon is a seven-year-old orange and white indoor cat who doesn’t always know what is food and what isn’t. To him, flowers are food. Twigs are food. Paper is food. Because of Simon, I know that if a cat eats a daylily, it costs $900 at the emergency clinic to save him from probably kidney failure.

Because of Simon, the flowers are now safely behind a glass cabinet door.

Dandridge, TennesseeMountain Harbor InnFirst Anniversary, March 20-22, 2015

Return to the garden.

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Return to the garden.

I haven’t been here in a while. I got married. I moved. I relocated my two cats to the new home. There was lots of stress and no blogging. I’m back, and the wisteria is blooming. The sweet smell is accompanied by the buzzing of bees.

We got the vegetable garden planted this weekend. Seven tomato plants, two squash, some green beans, and so far, only two pepper plants. There will be more pepper plants. We don’t always make good use of the peppers, but it is kind of like a sport for me. The more varieties, the better, and I throw down the challenge to myself every year to use the peppers. Maybe this will be the year. Yes, I know it will.

totally distracted……

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fig2totally distracted......

I took the camera out to take pictures of figs and got carried away instead with the setting sun through the lamp. But the news is, we have figs! We got a tiny fig tree last year at the Crabtree Farms plant sale and I never imagined it would produce fruit so quickly, but it has. Hoping they stay on the tree long enough to mature. I’m not really even sure that we like figs, but if we don’t, we will learn to like them!

Yesterday I cut all of the dead and dying parts off of the tomatoes after all of the rain caused so much damage and rot. They are still trying to produce, so I threw some fertilizer on and will hope for the best. The beans and squash are doing great, and I think I have enough basil to make pesto for an army.

Treasure hunt

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Treasure hunt

There is nothing like seven days at the beach to relax you…and then hit you upside the head with all of the things you need to do when you get back. It was wonderful, and as usual, I enjoyed looking for shells. I was especially happy to grab the weathered conch shell, left, and pristine sea snail. Waves slammed shells to the shore, only leaving a split second to spot a prize and grab it before it was taken back into the ocean. As the shells washed by, I wondered what kind of creatures had lived in each one. Fortunately, both of my favorites were unoccupied! I brought back three small bags of goodies, including some more broken shells to edge the herb garden.
It was a big surprise to see how much the garden had grown during the week we were away. A friend watered it, but we also had a big rain so everything had a huge growth spurt. I picked a big handful of green beans and a few peppers. The basil that I planted so long ago has finally matured into harvestable plants. The tomato plants have spilled out of their cages and are filled with flowers and fruit. Shouldn’t be too much longer before we are making fresh salsa!