Monday, June 30, 2008


Interest in patio vegetable gardens and edible landscapes is going through the roof. I knew this explosion was going on in Europe because of some of the garden blogs I read. I wondered if it would hit here, too. After the scare we are having with out tomatoes, lettuce and other veggies this year, it was just a matter of time. Big veggies like zucchini squash, acorn squash and Windsor pumpkins are being grown in large patio containers. Other containers, not so large, are filled with peppers, sweet ones and hot ones like Cheyenne. Although I have a garden, I also grow peppers and patio tomatoes in containers. You can grow lettuce in a bowl on your patio. Grow them in window boxes, hanging baskets, all kinds of ways to grow veggies. I mix flowers and veggies in my garden and in containers around the property.

Sales in vegetable seeds and transplants have taken off. Edible landscapes and small square-foot or intensive-type gardens like mine are gaining in popularity. Look for transplants at local garden centers as well as seeds for some quick sow-grow-and-harvest products like cilantro, that key ingredient for salsa and fajitas, ( I love fajitas) or basil for Italian pesto sauce. I am growing two types of basil this year. One I grow alongside my tomatoe plants, since it is talior made to go with tomatoes and the other I use in pork dishes. I grow it on my back porch in a container. It is stronger than the other one so it is good with pork.

There is a new eggplant out this year , SLIM JIM, that I am trying to locate... It can be used as the thriller plant (see another post for this) in a mixed container. I can also plant it in my Lantana bed with my yellow and orange flowers. I think it will be a winning combination -- plus, I will be eating eggplant parmesan which is one of my favoirte dishes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


You can not have too much blue in the garden in my opinion. I love blue. I always like the various blue salvias and, of course, the blue Wave petunias. But one little plant that is just a stand out is the "blue daze" evolvulus. This little flower reminds me so much of the Canterbury bells we had all over the place when I was a child. It thrives in hot summers like we have here on the Coast. It is in the morning glory family and is almost the same beautiuful blue as the "heavenly blue" morning glory.I have one on an earlier post. Since it is only 12 inches high,,it will look good in the front of your bed with let's say, ,the gold zinnias..Pictue this: The icy light blue flowers with olive colored leaves in front of the gold zinnias,,,oh wait..You don't have to picture it...that is what is in the picture. Now isn't that dramatic?

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Hanging basket containing a display of purple and white flowers including Diascia, Phlox, Verbena, Lobelia, Reinwardtia and ivy-leaved Pelargonium.

I love hanging baskets. I like to use a big, big basket it gets more attention and you have to water it less. Right now I don't have any planted,,they just hang there, making me feel guilty. I want to get out this weekend and see what kind of flowers I can find. I fully intended to plant a few but I got so involved with the veggie garden, I just didn't take the time.

I really like the mesh type baskets best because when you think about it, most baskets are seen from below and this way, you can poke holes and plants all around the sides. You can buy the natural mesh liners to line your pot. It looks better from below. You will have to line it with plastic to keep it from getting dry so fast, that's the only problem. With the plastic types, you won't need to do this. Insert you plants through the slits cut in both the natural liner and the plastic. Make it stiffer so it is easier to insert by wrapping in a piece of stiff paper.

When it gets dry, take it down and let it soak in a pan of water for a few hours, overnight is better. That way it will get thoroughly and evenly wet. Use slow release fertilizer in your soil. Primp them while you're at it, get rid of dead flowers, trim up the dry or dead foliage..check for disease or insects before you hang it back up. And use a strong support. Plants get really heavy when wet and need the support. I have had a few fall so I know. I messed up one of my favorites in a pot once, broke to smitherins.... And after all your hard work on them,,don't forget to enjoy them.

Friday, June 27, 2008


My sister in law gave me a piece of a Moringa tree to start and I am excited to find out about it.

"Malunggay, known as Moringa in the English name and Sabina in India and South East Asia, grows everywhere in hot tropical climate. Scientifically known as Moringa oleifera Lamk, it is one of the world's most useful plants and is available throughout the year.
The leaves, taste like spinach but a little slimy they say,,,,, leaf powder, pods, this is for me,,,they are supposed to taste like asparagus,,, seeds, flowers, roots and bark of the drought-resistant moringa are edible, even palatable. Parts of the tree can also be used for animal feed, domestic cleansers, perfume, dye, fertilizer, medicine, water clarification, rope fiber, and as an agent for tanning hides. It is miraculous that one single tree can offer so many uses for people. It has a high vitamin A content too and can help prevent blindness in countries like Africa where a lot of the people suffer from blindness due to lack of Vitamin A.

An ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges but that's not is supposed to prevent wrinkles and aging skin. That is a lot to ask of one little tree. I'll keep you posted on the results. That is posted on the results of how my tree grows,,not the wrinkle part,,,it's a little too late for that miracle. LOL

Thursday, June 26, 2008


When we returned home to Gulfport MS in early September 2005 after evacuating to Alabama in advance of Hurricane Katrina’s Aug. 29 landfall, I didn't know what to expect.

I was anxious about what we would find after learning from television news that the storm had devastated the whole Coast from Bay St. Louis to Ocean Springs for the most part.

The first thing I saw on television about Harrison County was complete devastation, nothing left on the beach side, the Bay St. Louis bridge and Highway 90 bridge both gone. But we lived a little further back from the beach so I was hopeful. Billy went back home without me to see how things were. We had lost our home but unlike a lot of people, we were still able to get a few things we needed out. We were alive and so was all the family, so all was well. We have learned by now, to leave when a Hurricane threatens so most of the family had evacuated.

They came later and picked up the pieces, memories piled in big trucks. Funny, but my thought as I watched them taking things away was, "Now, I don't have the closet, where my sweet little cat, Alley, had her kittens"...I kept all of them. We have three cats. Alley got killed by some of those same trucks, after the Hurricane. Her babies had just turned one year old. I miss her still.

Nothing could prepare you for the devastation, even though we had seen the news. It was really bad in Gulfport, Bay St. Louis and Waveland. As we drove around, there was road after road of nothing, like someone had just cleared the table. This meant all the huge Oak trees, the beautiful plants, flower gardens,,,everything gone in addition to all the homes destroyed.

But nature has a way of filling the gap and new trees and plants are springing up everywhere,,,people are replanting their gardens. There are many places that are still empty spaces, but I am sure in time, there will be trees and flowers and plants everywhere again. It will never look the same,,a lot of history got lost along the way,,,but future generations will see the Coast in bloom again. Hurricane Katrina will only be a memory but I will always miss those lovely trees we lost. It takes a long time to grow a tree.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I love window boxes and every year I always plan on having one. Then before you know it, the Summer is over and I still haven't got around to that window box. These are very pretty ones here in this slide show. I am thinking I may get around to the Christmas one, since I can't get it together the rest of the year. I am most certainly going to have a Spring one next year. Absolutely!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Is this taking garden bling bling a little far? I love it but would I want it in my yard? If you click on this and look closely, you will find this is a false front, not a shed at all. Interesting!
Yes, we all like a little garden art here and there. For instance, statues, gazing ball, maybe a fountain. But when do you know you have gone over the line and your family is going to have you committed? There is a few little tips to help you know when you have crossed the line.

Do you have more junk than plants? Can you no longer mow the lawn but need to use a weed eater on the whole yard? When you stop and pick up things like stoves, an old sink, toilet, heater, scrap lumber, or bathtub with an eye to planting something in may be over the line. When people think you are holding a garage sale and you're not, you may be over the line. When you pick up a brass bed, headboard and think it will be cute to make a "flower' bed with it...that may be the clue right there.

But take all the above with the purest of intentions. I cover bowling balls with pennies, marbles or paint them and call them garden balls and I made a huge pot-man once upon a time out of clay if it makes you happy - Seize the day, I say!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Today on my birthday
consider my luck.
I could have been born
as a pig, cow, or duck.

I could have been born
crying oink, quack, or moo.
I'm lucky I didn't
wind up in the zoo.

So that is that. I'll eat cake and go totally off that diet I have been sticking too for the most part, and feel terrible guilt tomorrow. But not today. Today I am just happy to have made it another year. And if God in his mercy allows me, I will begin that journey of another year. Every year holds good and bad surprises, disapointments, very happy moments, treasured moments, and time....time to spend with those you love. It's a pretty good deal all in all. I look forward to another year.

Friday, June 20, 2008

THRILLER,,filler, spiller....Make a beautifully arranged container plant

I read an article today that says there’s no mystery in making a scrumptious container planting as long as you follow a simple three-ingredient recipe. First and foremost use what they call a “thriller,” a centerpiece plant with star quality, something big, bold, and beautiful in the middle or center if you plan on sitting it next to a wall. Then add a few “fillers,” foliage or flowering plants that will complement but not overwhelm the main player. Finally, add, a “spiller” that just tumbles out of the pot. As long as we use each of those kinds of plants—in various proportions—and take care to balance colors and textures, we are assured we can create a pot as pretty as this. I'm going to try it as soon as I find a pot that big that does not cost an arm and a leg. I heard someone used the inside tub from an old washing machine for a cheap planter...I can see that. Oh, Billy Dear,,,I need your help!.LOL
Here is another example and this one I just love. That is fountain grass in the center,,not sure what the filler is, and the spiller is sweet potato vine. I might give this one a try for sure. Isn't it pretty?

The mulberry tree at Cambridge, under which, it is said, John Milton wrote his poetry. Since he lived from 1608-74, this has to be a very old tree. But they say it is the same one, so what do I know? I wonder if he wrote "Paradise Lost" under this tree?

I have a lovely Mulberry tree but unfortunately it is growing right on the roadside and close to the power lines, so they come by once a year and whack the tops off. This year, they didn't show up and it was loaded down with mulberries. Birds love them and deposit little purple puddles all over my yard and porches. I love the taste but they stain everything in sight a deep intense purple, so I just let the birds have them.

My first encounter with a Mulberry tree was in a cemetery. We lived in Pine Bluff Arkansas when I was in the fourth grade and just a few blocks down from us was this beautiful cemetery. We played there as children and thought nothing of it. One day we found a bucket and filled it to the brim with mulberries from this tree we were playing under. We took them home to Mama and she made us the best Mulberry cobbler. Later on she asked us where we had found them and we told her the cemetery. She asked us to show her where, so we took her to the place we had picked them. The tree was right beside this grave. Mama turned about ten shades of green and told us to never pick those again. We had no idea why not! They were so good. But adults can be odd so we just ate them and forgot about taking any more home. Now, I know why Mama turned green. LOL

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

Birds in The Garden
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
Populations of 20 Common Birds Declining is the headline
The populations of 20 common American birds--from the fence-sitting meadowlark to the whippoorwill with its haunting call--are half what they were 40 years ago, according to an analysis released Thursday. Suburban sprawl, climate change and other invasive species are largely to blame, said the study author.

This concerns me because not only do we need their beauty, but they are great for our gardens. They eat insects and just to know they are declining is a wake up call,,,some as much as 65 per cent,,,,along with the news that bees are declining,,,at the rate the bees are declining, they will gone by the year 2035. That means that our food crops will no longer be pollinated..sounds a lot like Rachel Carsons "Silent Spring" book coming true. Can you imagine a world without the sweet sounds of the birds in the Spring and Summer? A Silent Spring!


The pic is of an alfalfa butterfly on an Aster. So beautiful. The storms that just came through here the other night bent some of my Sunflowers to the ground and even broke a few. I knew I should have put stakes but by the time I realized that, they were already so tall. Next year I will remember. It was sad to see their heads bent when just the day before they were straining their little necks up to Heaven. Oh yeah, I feel guilty.

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
–Richard Le Gallienne (1866–1947)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fuzzy Cantaloupe

Fuzzy Cantaloupe
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
What surprises me is how fuzzy a new baby cantaloupe is. When they get a little bigger they lose that fuzz, rather like the first hair on the head of the baby. LOL

My Beautiful Sunflowers

My beautiful Sunflowers
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I promised you I would show you my Sunflowers when they bloomed. This is a row behind our garden I was hoping they would get tall enough to show above my trellises for the pole beans. They sure did that. They are so pretty. I will defenitely grow more next year and Lord knows I will have enough seed to save. These heads are big. Enough for the birds and for me to save seed to eat and to grow more next year.

Peppers are doing nicely

Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I forget the name of these. I think they are some type of chili pepper. My green bell peppers are doing great. I didn't have as many banana peppers as I would have liked but they are still producing. I wanted to pickle some but I like them just right out of the garden too. It is not too late, I may plant a few more. We just uprooted all the cabbage and broccoli and planted more tomatoes. We don't need them for us but Billy wants to see if he can sell some.
We had cabbage from the garden tonight with a cucumber, tomato, green onion and radish salad. It felt so good to know all of that was from our garden . : )

Cantaloupe are growing fast

Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
Here is a pic of a baby cantaloupe. I think we are going to have a lot of these and watermelon too. I hope so, I love both. I am growing organic so I have to watch closely for bugs. As long as the plant stays healthy, they will usually leave them alone.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Field of Poppies

I love Poppies so much but I have had no luck with them. The beautiful colors just cannot be duplicated in other flowers,,,they are the show offs of the flower kingdom, to me anyway. A field of Poppies just takes your breath away.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Smokey Mountain Memories

I don't know if you watched American Idol but there is this little 17 year old, angel, David Archuleta, who sings this song by Dolly Parton with so much emotion. I thought you might like to hear it. Some of you who read these blogs, and don't live in America, never got a chance to hear him sing. So here you go, enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A farmer purchased an old, run-down, abandoned farm with plans to turn it into a thriving enterprise. The fields
were grown over with weeds, the farmhouse was falling apart, and the fences were broken down. During his first
day of work, the town preacher stops by to bless the man's work, saying, "May you and God work together to make
this the farm of your dreams!" A few months later, the preacher stops by again to call on the farmer. Lo and behold,
it's a completely different place. The farm house is completely rebuilt and in excellent condition, there is plenty
of cattle and other livestock happily munching on feed in well-fenced pens, and the fields are filled with crops planted
in neat rows. "Amazing!" the preacher says. "Look what God and you have accomplished together!"
"Yes, reverend," says the farmer, "but remember what the farm was like when God was working it alone

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I love cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar or a drizzle of olive oil and a little chopped, fresh basil. . I eat these like candy. They are so good.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Purple and White eggplants

The purple ones are just above the marigold,,,and the white ones are over to the left. It won't be long now. I have a recipe for Eggplant lasagna...instead of using noodles, you use grilled eggplant..I am on a diet ( nothing new here) and I think this will save some calories. I haven't tried it yet,,,I copied it from a Victory Garden show. What can taste bad? Mozzarella cheese, eggplant and tomato sauce. You can click on picture, to see them better...

Tomatoes and more tomatoes

Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I think it is time to make a Dinner of Green Fried Tomatoes...

4 to 6 green tomatoes
salt and pepper
bacon grease or vegetable oil

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - or do as I do and make a sandwich with white bread and mayo. YUM!

A row of Sunflowers

Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I love these. They are getting so tall. I might have to stake them if they get any taller. I have them along the back of my garden.

Tomatoes, beans, yellow squash

I love the beautiful colors. Red tomatoes, yellow squash,,and green beans,,,,how pretty is that?

White Eggplant

White Eggplant
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
Doesn't this look exactly like an egg? This is the first time I have grown the white ones...It was quite a surprise just how much they look like eggs!


Basket of Tomatoes
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I have no idea what kind each one is,, I got the tags mixed up..but it is Celebrity, Creole, or Heat Wave...they are all good...we have been having a lot of tomato sandwiches,,,there is nothing better for lunch in the Summer with a glass of Iced Cold Tea..

Baby Watermelon

Baby Watermelon
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I am growing Bush Baby, so it won't be long now...I can't wait..I love cold watermelon.

Our Garden in June

The tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon and cantaloupe are growing like weeds....It won't be long before we will have the melons, eggplants and cantaloupe...we are being bombarded with tomatoes and beans right now....not that I am complaining.... : )

A field of Daffodils

A Field of Daffodils
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
In his poem “The Daffodils”, the great poet William Wordsworth writes about the attraction the sight of a garden of golden daffodil flower holds and the effect the beauty of the flowers has on a person.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Red-sided-garter snake
Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I do not like spiders and snakes,,,and Thank Goodness, in my garden I don’t run across any..we did have snakes,,baby water moccasins, in our yard one time, after it flooded. I don’t know what my DH did with them and I don’t want to know.
I had one experience with spiders in our yard a few years ago,,,I overturned a small can to pour out the water so we wouldn’t get mosquitoes and there was a black widow spider. I just put the can back down on her or him, and ran..I avoided that spot for years…LOL… The pic above is of a garter snake. Garter snakes are considered harmless, and only in extreme cases do they strike at humans. If you tread lightly and move slowly, you can literally get within inches of one for a picture.
Well, that is what they say....but if I see one in my garden,,,don't call me for me to take a picture...cause I'll be gone....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

Originally uploaded by dreamdress2
I have baby eggplants! I am so excited..One of my favorite dishes is Eggplant Parmesan. I can eat it hot or cold. I planted a white one too. They look exactly like eggs.. Here is my recipe for Eggplant Parmesan..Hope you like it..

1 eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces ricotta cheese
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups pasta sauce

Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt. Place slices in a colander, and place a dish underneath the colander to capture liquid that will sweat out of the eggplant. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix in egg and basil.
Rinse the eggplant in cold water until all salt is removed. In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Place one layer of eggplant in the pan, brown each side. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices, using additional oil if necessary.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish, evenly spread 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce. Arrange a single layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Top the eggplant with 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layering process until all the eggplant and cheese mixture is used. Pour remaining sauce on top of layers, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake 30 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbly.

Add a nice green salad and some hot, buttery garlic, bread and you are good to go. : )