I have a sweet and generous sister in law. We were talking about the fig tree at her Mama's and how she would make fig preserves every year. She would call and invite me over as soon as she made them. She always left some warm in the pot for us, which we would eat right away with nice hot, buttered biscuits. She made the best biscuits in the world. Then the rest she put in jars. I would always take some home with me and I remember it as one of the special times I spent with her.
I have a fig tree but birds got mine this year. Doris's husband, Larry set out to find some for me. Thank you Larry, I appreciate that. Then she made me all these lovely jars of figs. I have two, large jars of preserved, whole figs, three jars of regular fig preserves and three Strawberry, fig preserves. I have never tasted Strawberry figs before. They are absolutely delicious. I made biscuits and sat down with a jar and a big smile. Then Billy came home and finished off the pan of bisquits. We love them. Thanks Doris. (((hugs))) You are definitely on our Christmas list. : ) Does anyone else make Strawberry, fig preserves?
Japanese gardens are a big part of the Japanese culture. These gardens don't actually come from Japan, though. The idea of the garden comes from China. After China started to design gardens, Korea and Japan liked the idea, so they took the basic layout of the Chinese gardens and began creating gardens in their own countries.
The gardens use many different kinds of trees and bushes which they keep trimmed very neatly. The shapes that are made of the plants are usually rounded.
In the center of the garden, there is normally a stone. These stones are decorated in many ways, either with a design or the family crest.
One of the things you notice is that flowering plants are scarce or nonexistent in Japanese garden design. Instead you see dry gravel stream beds or sand swept into patterns and large rocks and boulders are used to tell a story. The heart of all Japanese garden design is symbolism and storytelling. This is done with plants and other elements of nature and not so much the use of colorful flowers.
Equally important to Japanese garden design are the use of water, and more specifically the use of running water, which symbolizes passing time or life.
My sister in law has been talking about something along this line for her yard. That is why I got interested in it. she is very creative so I can't wait to see what she comes up with. If you would like to know more, click on this link,,,JAPANESE GARDEN IDEAS
Recently I wrote about a plant called Yesterday-Today- Tomorrow. I found out it was poisonous and decided against putting it in my yard. I also decided to do some research on other plants I like to see how they stack up in the poison department.
There are many plants that cause an adverse reaction when they are eaten or their sap contacts skin. A partial list of common outdoor plants includes angel trumpet, oleander, poinsettia, Castor bean, autumn crocus, delphinium, bleeding heart, and lily of the valley. Some common indoor plants that are toxic are dieffenbachia, caladium and various species of philodendron.
Some of these I knew and some I didn't. I found out about Oleanders when we wanted to plant them a few years back. They are planted down the middle of one of our highways, here on the Coast and look so pretty. Billy loves them but I just thought it was too big a chance to take with little animals running all over. This was when we lived in the country and not only our little four legged babies but the wildlife could have been at risk.
The University of California provides an extensive list on their Web site.
If you look up the University in your state, you will find info for your local plants. The library of Congress also provides many booklets on this subject. Some you will have to pay for though.
Another useful Web site is one maintained by the ASPCA. ASPCA SITE
Here is a list of poisonous plants from the South.
But keep in mind that we all do plant things in our yard or garden, with some part of it being poison, like the tomato plant...the fruit are fine but the plant itself can be dangerous if ingested. So take what you can use and throw out the rest as my Mama would say. I just like to know the ones that are dangerous so I can make an educated decision on whether on not to grow them.
Plans for building the wishing well planter in the picture. I think I am goimg do this. I am looking at a few and this one seems like something I might be able to do. Can't you just see this in your favorite color, filled with plants?
I planted Cane in this pot at least ten years ago. I have never watered it, fed it or even praised it and yet it grows and grows. The pot is really small now for it's size but I figure it is doing so good, why bother it. Billy said it was cracking on the side a little, so I will just wait and let it come out when it is ready.
I have no idea what it is. I just call it cane. It starts out white in early Spring and then turns to a pretty stripe by Summer. It dies back after the first freeze and comes back every Spring. And like most of my plants, it never gets prettied up. The reason this one doesn't, has to do with the fire ants who made their bed in there. I know I should put poison and get rid of them but what if they decided to go somewhere else then. At least I know where they are and they seem happy and have hung out their "Home Sweet Home" sign. I think they keep the soil aerated. I am of the school that if it isn't broke, don't fix it, so I leave it alone. And every year,,there it is in all it's glory.
I planted blanket flowers around it and a spiller over the edge, which is long gone now, when it was a much smaller plant. It is a thriller, filler, spiller, gone hay wire. LOL
Look what I found on the Better Homes and Garden website. I know most of you probably know about this site or may even get the magazine but have you looked at the site lately. They have a lot of things to spike your interest. I love this idea in the photo. Find a wire wastebasket of preferred height at a home store. Lightly line it with peat moss, then fill the remaining area with potting soil. Top it off with your desired plants. Here, white delphiniums look great next to a doorway.
Check out these quick videos from Better Homes And Gardens too. Starting with, "make your own stepping stones"...hanging baskets, vine suupports, etc. Each one is about a minute and a half. I think you will enjoy them.
The Mayfly, first cousin to the dragonfly and damselfly. The males live one hour to a day. But if you think that is short lived, wait until I tell you how long the poor little females live.
"About 2,500 species are known worldwide, including about 630 species in North America. Common names for mayflies include "dayfly", "shadfly", "Green Bay Flies", "Canadian soldier", and "fish fly".
"The mayfly Dolania Americana in which females typically live less than five minutes is the shortest lived of these, and is therefore the insect with the shortest reproductive life (Sweeney & Vannote 1982). During this time, to reproduce, they must find a mate, copulate, and lay their eggs back into the water from which they so recently emerged".
University of Florida Book of Insect Records Chapter 37 Shortest Reproductive Life
Wow God! That is a lot to ask of one little female fly. LOL..not that I am questioning you. NO sirree.
I just found three huge cucumbers in my garden. I grow mine on a trellis and still can't spot them until they are the size of a baseball bat. I think I go blind when I go to the garden. I just found two overgrown eggplant and some peppers, that I swear were not there yesterday. I believe they hide when they see me coming. My onions are totally hidden. I can't find them anywhere. Do rabbits like onions?
I really do need to check the garden every day when it reaches this stage. Things just grow so fast and if you are not careful, they will get over ripe or just rot on the vines. So many of my tomatoes, especially the patio and grape, just died on the vine, because I didn't get around to picking them. My only excuse is the heat. It gets hot early here now and in the evening you have to fight the insects. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I will be planning my fall garden really soon now and will try to do better.
What to do with those overgrown cucumbers from Cooks.com:
RED HOT CUCUMBER PICKLES
2 gal. lg. cucumbers 2 c. pickling lime Water 1 c. vinegar 1 tbsp. alum from drugstore 1 bottle red food coloring 2 c. vinegar 5 lbs. sugar 1 lg. pkg. red hot candy 8 cinnamon sticks
Peel, quarter and seed cucumbers. Need 2 gallons of cucumbers after peeling. Cut into strips about the size of French fries. Soak 24 hours in pickling lime with enough water to cover cucumbers. Drain and wash well. Add 1 cup vinegar, alum, food coloring and enough water to cover. Simmer 2 hours and then drain well. Add 2 cups vinegar, 4 cups water, sugar, candy and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Remove from stove. Let sit 24 hours. Bring back to a boil. Remove from stove. Let sit another 24 hours. Bring to a boil. Put in hot sterilized jars. Makes 10-12 pints. This makes wonderful Christmas gifts.
Stock photo of plumes My Pampas Grass is not in full bloom right now and I wanted you to see why I keep the big green monster. When we moved here, we bought two lots that were separated by huge mounds of Pampas Grass, right down the middle and gradually we have it down to one clump in the middle, up front and one on the corner that I rescued from the middle and planted on the corner. People who plant this sometimes regret it! Clumps get extremely large and thick, blades contain sharp cutting edges, and it takes a stick of dynamite to remove it! But having said that, when you see it in bloom, it is spectacular and it will bloom for three months. So I think it is worth growing, if you have the room. It will get 12 ft high, I think ours is taller than that, and it will spread 6 to 8 ft around. Right now, ours is a big green clump, and I wonder why we keep it until I see the big creamy plumes.
I fight to keep the ones we have left. Billy hates them with a passion. They are very hard to keep neat looking because to tell you the truth, it is a painful job, so it doesn't get done too often. I gave a lot of them away to my recycle group. They came and dug it out. They were happy and I was happy! It was a good deal for both of us. I wanted the space and they wanted plants. All who came, left with several big clumps. This is very old Pampas Grass, planted in the sixties, so it should have done really well for them.
I was just wondering if any of you ever sell your flowers or plants. I love farmer's markets and I recall seeing quite a few buckets with fresh flowers in them at the stalls the last time I was there. They were mainly selling garden roses, hydrangeas, phlox, salvias and filler type flowers. One girl told me she just sells whatever is in bloom at the time and usually sells in bunches. I would think arrangements would be good for those who are all thumbs at arranging flowers. That would be me. A friend once ask me, after seeing my latest endeavor, how far back I was standing when I threw that one together. LOL I've never sold any but I have bought them, especially Sunflowers and zinnias.
I will buy plants anywhere. My confederate roses were bought at a garage sale!. I have bought at library sales, books and plants, great combination. Sometimes they have them at our local flea market. If you look in the newspaper under plants in the classified, there are usually some there. My local recycle group on the web, offers plants all the time. I'll put a link to the freecycle group at the bottom of the post, in case you are not familiar with it...just type in your town...
I have seen people selling plants and shrubs out of the back of pickup trucks. Plants are getting so expensive. Even bulbs are way up in price. But there are cheaper places to buy if we just keep our eyes open. If you know of other places I haven't thought of, please let us know. Here is a link to a place to get some free plants and do a good deed at the same time. Also the link to the freecycle site...
I was just browsing some websites today and ran across this helpful information on cuttings. I thought I would share it with you. Some of you, no doubt know this but since new gardeners are born every day, it might be useful for some. The cuttings above are sweet potato vine and a Malunggay or Moringa tree. There is a post on this tree in an earlier post.
Lovely painting is Benjamin's Garden By Kimberly Hodge We have a small plot of trees behind the house that I just let go wild for the birds and rabbits and other little animals who live there. I walked back there with the dogs when they were younger. Solo can no longer see too well, and I think he feels safer in the front where he knows his way around by the plants and buildings. I miss the walks though. My woods are full of birds right now. I seem to have a lot of red birds this year. Every time I stand on the back porch, I will see a flash of red. I hope I can get a picture of one.
Speaking of rabbit's, I love windows. Wait, I'll tie it together. In my home that was blown down by Katrina, I had this large picture window that looked out on the woods. I use to watch rabbits eat my plants from that window. I love rabbits though so I didn't mind. Until yesterday that is...Now I'm warning them, they better keep their little cotton picking mouths off my watermelon and cantaloupe. They actually are eating more than their share. Maybe they are looking for the cool juice since they have to be hot too with these temperatures. I didn't begrudge them a little, but they are just taking it too far now. There are perfectly good and juicy cukes they can have. We are no longer eating them. One or two a week is now enough for us for salads.
I think I will put a pot over a few of them. Not the rabbits, the melons. LOL Although that is a thought. Ummm rabbit stew. I'm kidding. I have heard the melons themselves, don't need the light, just the vines. It's worth a shot. We had cantaloupe for lunch today. It was decadent. We cut off the top of two of them and just ate right from nature's bowl with a spoon.
I started not to put this pic on, or you might think I never cut my grass, but this is on the backside of our property and it is always a little wet back there. I have Bamboo and cattails growing together happily. I just found out they are edible. That is good to know with prices going higher and higher for food. Who knows? They might keep us from starving some day but if they don't, they sure are great little plants to grow. I love every stage of their growth. Here is what Wiki has to say about them:
"Cattail has a wide variety of parts that are edible to humans. The rhizomes are a pleasant, nutritious and energy-rich food source, generally harvested from late Fall to early Spring. These are starchy, but also fibrous, so the starch must be scraped or sucked from the tough fibers. In addition to the rhizomes, cattails have little-known, underground, lateral stems that are quite tasty. In late spring, the bases of the leaves, while they are young and tender, can be eaten raw or cooked. As the flower spike is developing in early summer, it can be broken off and eaten, and in mid-summer, once the flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener".
So, while you are laying in those emergency supplies for hard times. why not plant these and enjoy their looks now and eat them later. : ) or you might want to use them as stuffing...no, not to eat,, for a pillow or vest or baby pack..
The disintegrating heads are used by some birds to line their nests. The downy material was also used by Native Americans as tinder for starting fires.
Native American tribes also used cattail down to line moccasins and papoose boards. An Indian name for cattail meant, “fruit for papoose’s bed”. Today some people still use cattail down to stuff clothing items and pillows.
The down has also been used to fill life vests in the same manner as kapok.
If using the cattail for pillow stuffing you may be wise to use thick batting material, as the fluff may cause a reaction similar to hives and will be very itchy.
Now how is that for a plant that earns its keep? A soft place to lay your weary head and ......A supermarket on a stick!
I had a friend whose Mother grew this evergreen shrub in her flower beds. I remember being fascinated by the name when I was a young teen and totally too romantic. The common name of Yesterday-Today-and Tomorrow comes from the quick change in the flower colors from purple to lavender to white. I've read that in partial shade the plant can reach 10 feet, but can be kept pruned to about 3 feet quite easily. Daisy Belle's Mother's plants were rather tall, and I think taller than 10 feet. Of course, I was shorter then so maybe they weren't. : )
Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow is known to contain poisonous alkaloids. The berries are especially toxic to dogs. You might know a cool plant like this would have drawbacks. I wouldn't take a chance on it around my animals but it sure is interesting. It reminds me of the Confederate Rose and how it changes from white, to pale pink to rose before the day is over. Now I have two of those but as far as I know, they are not poisonous.
I love figs more than any other fruit. Billy's Mama had a tree and every year she would put up a few jars and she always gave me one. They were wonderful with hot buttered biscuit. A big Oak tree appears to be taking over that tree now. No one there to pick them or at least no one who cares for them.
Not too long ago, Billy came home with this hopeless looking little fig tree. We planted it and waited. The birds got the first crop. I didn't know about netting and it took a few trips to find figs with holes in them to figure it out. Then I caught one, a rascal bird, pecking and grinning, on my tree. I wanted to take a shotgun to the thief but he would probably have ducked. And I've never shot a gun either, so there is that!
Now I have little babies on there again and this time, I am going to protect them. I have mulched and fed it and now I am standing here with my fork and great expectations. I like them right off the tree, but fig preserves or fig jam is great too. And stuffed figs with cream cheese and a little brown sugar, gets my attention. Chocolate dipped figs, fig-banana smoothie, fig bars, fig bread and although I have never tried it, figgy pudding is on my list of things to try.
I'll bet a lot of people have never eaten a fresh fig. They eat fig newtons and dried figs but those are to figs what canned peas are to fresh, no comparison. A fresh fig tastes like a mix of a fresh Georgia peach and a sun ripened strawberry!
Here is Emeril's recipe for fig preserves from the food network...So simple.
1 pound fresh ripe figs, washed, stemmed 1 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, mix figs and sugar together and cook on low heat, uncovered, about 30 minutes. If processing, pour hot preserves mixture into a hot, sterile 1-quart or 2 (1-pint) glass canning jars, filling jar to within 1/8-inch from top; wipe rim and seal jar with lid. Put jar in water-bath canner or on rack set in a deep kettle and cover with hot water by 1 to 2 inches. Bring to a gentle simmer (180 to 185 degrees), and process, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer jar to a rack using tongs and let cool completely. Store in a cool, dark place.
Sometime when I am looking for a nice pic from the garden, I overlook the obvious. These just looked so pretty today so I thought I would take a picture. They do not look ordinary at all when they are covered in blooms. They are quite beautiful.
History---It was well known to the old herbalists as a garden-flower and for use in cookery and medicine. Dodoens-Lyte (A New Herball, 1578) says: 'It hath pleasant, bright and shining yellow flowers, the which do close at the setting down of the sunne, and do spread and open again at the sunne rising.'
Since I am not up with the Sun, I don't know if this holds true, but I know it is always blooming when I see it. Faithful little thing. It does have a very pungent odor though so I don't use it much in arrangements. It just cheers me up to see the bright and beautiful colors of gold and orange in my veggie garden. I don't plant it for insect control, although I have heard it is good for that. I planted some of the pretty gold ones next to the purple and white eggplant this year and it was a great look. They did better than my eggplant, which was mediocre at best. They just never seem to reach their full potential.
It has been asserted that a Marigold flower, rubbed on the affected part, is an admirable remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee. A lotion made from the flowers is most useful for sprains and wounds, and a water distilled from them is good for inflamed and sore eyes. So the next time, a bee or wasp is chasing you, head in the direction of your marigolds. : )
I do not have a water feature in my yard. We have talked about it but it never gets past the planning stage. I would dearly love to have one like this but that would take more money than we can spare right now. Those who live in an area where they can just go out and pick up stones probably don't realize how lucky they are. Stones cost an arm and a leg down here on the Coast. I have though about trying to use flat pieces of concrete and covering them with plants to disguise them. I am still working on this idea. Some real stone mixed with some faux stones might work. I found a link that tells you how to make the faux ones. This might be a possibility. I'll leave it at the bottom of the post.
My brother in law made some of those stones you make from moulds once and he said it wasn't difficult. I may have to settle for a fountain instead but there are some pretty ones at one of the nurseries. I haven't given much thought to a pool. Pepper, my juvenil delinquent cat, can't be trusted around fish. I just know it!
Aren't they beautiful? I have always wanted to raise chickens for fresh eggs but then I come up against the killing part when they are no longer laying eggs. I also think it would be nice to have them eat bugs in your garden. But to be honest, I know I want kill them and would keep feeding them until they died of old age. So I guess I will just have to let this idea go.
Right after we got married, his Grandmother, who had wonderful chickens, killed one and brought it to me to clean. I tried,,I really did. I got all the feathers off and cut it open and tried to get the insides out,,but when I reached up inside and found that still warm mess,,,,well, that was that. I did not accept any more chickens. I like my chickens cold and without faces and feet, the way they come from the grocery store. I would not make a good farm wife, although the idea appeals to me immensely. I am just not cut out for killing things. Or apparently, even cleaning them after someone else does it. But if we were starving and I had to do it, I would. I am a realist. But Dear God, please don't let me have to clean a warm chicken again. I'll peel shrimp till my fingers bleed, I'll snap peas till my arm falls off, and I'll shuck corn until it cries Uncle, but please Lord, don't make me clean a warm chicken again.
They say this flower was the inspiration for the first mass produced soap, put out by the Colgate Company. It does have a pretty smell but they may have been more inspired by the flower than the fragrance. The soap is still available today but the picture looks more like a rose. Down through the years they changed it and used other flowers in thier ads.
I love this but I've been told it can become a pest. We planted some of it in an old fiberglass bathtub to contain it but we couldn't resist putting one in this old plastic light globe. These globes were used to cover those big outside lights at our Coliseum. Billy asked me if I wanted one and then he brought home fifty! He works in contruction so people are always giving him things. I think it makes a good pot for this plant. I put a hole for drainage in the bottom but the top already had a hole large enough to plant in. I like the way it looks. Anyone know what I can do with the other forty nine? LOL
As lovely as soft bits of fragile crinkled silk, These rosy blossoms, clustered thick upon the heavy drooping boughs, When shaken by a summer wind, Drop down in swirling showers, And drift awhile about the ground; Then gathered into frothy heaps beneath the hedge, They spread a frill of rosy lace around the green lawns edge. - LEDA CLEMENTS
I took my camera outside today to see if I could get a picture of something to show you. I took a picture of my Pampas Grass, my Cane, the Cashmere Bouquet, the garden, but none of it really thrilled me. Then I turned and saw my pretty Crape Myrtle and this one particular bloom, caught my eye. This tree has the prettiest color flowers. Please click on the pic to enlarge and look at those undeveloped buds of deep purple against the pink. It is so pretty. I have to keep this cut back each year because it is growing beneath a Pecan tree which give us a lot of shade and in the South, you can never have too much shade.
I covet the Purple Prairie Clover. I just love this flower. But like the other, it grows in the north central portion of the United States, not the Gulf Coast. The flowers start at the bottom and work their way up. Can you imagine this in all it's glory? I will have to repent now, for wanting this flower in my garden. To covet is a sin, even if it is just a flower,,probably. : )
And this one... TIDY TIPS...it won't grow in Mississippi. It is the neatest little flower. A short, hardy annual native to California, but can be grown as far east as Texas is what the garden site says about it.
I was messing where I should not have been messing, considering how computer illiterate I am, by trying to change the name of my URL. If you are having trouble with a link you made to me, you will have to relink by coming here again and relinking from here. The URL is still the same but for some reason, it got broken. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Have a wonderful day everyone and be careful of the fireworks!..Here is a wonderful song/poem by Johnny Cash that will make you proud to be an American. Say a prayer for our troops today. Let Freedom Ring!
I want a Basketball Plant, a weird but strangely beautiful succulent.....I've only seen these plants for order online. I've never come across them in person before at my local nurseries. It is on the expensive side at $35 a whack, but I bet your next door neighbor won't have one. LOL. It looks more like a pincushion to me than a basketball but I can see where they get that. I like the little rows of brass colored beads. And the colors look like vintage fabric. Yes, I can see this in a pincushion.
The rules are as follows: 1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on the blog. 3. Write six random things about yourself. 4. Tag six people at the end of your post. 5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. 6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
6 Random things about me:
1)I have no idea what is in my freezer! 2)I am a reader,,I love reading blogs 3)I love anything English, especially thier cottage gardens 4)I have lived and traveled in a motor home for three years 5)I am a frugul person, I can't throw plastic tubs,string, rubber bands, bubble wrap etc. away 6)I accomplish more through deperation than inspiration
Rose lovers of the world, may we present the new All American Rose Selection of 2008,,"DREAM COME TRUE" Talk about a beauty. It is awesome. I just don't have what it takes to grow roses. If it can't survive on it's own, it can't come to my house. As pretty as they are, I will admire them from afar. They are high-maintenance flowers. But, I do love seeing them in other people's yards who have more grit than I do when it comes to maintenance and upkeep.
The old seven sisters was growing in my yard, and it decided to leave me without a word of farewell. The lady that gave it to me, said it would grow anywhere for anyone. It is supposed to grow like a weed. It didn't.
I have three cats,,two boys and a girl and a little, eleven year old mixed dog named Solo. That's my little
girl, Meshe in the pic..She is much prettier than I am, so I chose her for my pic. I also have a very nice DH named Billy. He's a keeper.