Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gardening at Night (Cabbage)

Looked in on the cabbage this time and it's doing pretty well. It will hopefully take off again this winter and make a good harvest. I pulled off most of the leaves and left a stub to grow. Not bad for a plant that usually gets pulled up after the harvest. Coleslaw anyone?

I've more or less left it alone since June.

I also did a little planting of seeds for the plant swap today. Hopefully everything will sprout.

Gardening at Night (Lamb's Ear)

Still doing a little gardening at night. This time I've been checking on how the lamb's ear has been doing. These lamb's ears don't seem to be having any problems with any infestations. It took a few times sowing seed and transplanting into this bed but we finally got them to grow where we wanted them. The trick now is to keep them from spreading like wild fire.

I found an interesting tid bit about what to do with lamb's ear. The usual is to use it like a bandage, but I have also found that it works in tea and tastes very light and almost minty.

Don't worry. I've tried it and it's really pretty good.

I made the tea by steeping a partially dried torn up leaf in a cup of hot water for three minutes.

Gardening at Night

Suffice to say I'm probably working way too much this week. This has made me take what time I have left, after dark, to do a little gardening.
Several of the plants seem to look better at night. I don't know if it is because they perk up in cooler weather or if I just can't see the problems in the dark as well. Either way it seems the plants are doing much better.
I need to make some cold boxes soon before it gets too cold to do anything about it. Granted that is still a few months away but I'm a procrastinator. It's a miracle I get around to blogging sometimes.
Currently I'm sitting up with my sick wife watching Lilo and Stitch wishing we could go back to Maui and wander around on foot. Maybe even see a mongoos again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baby Bells

I'm pretty sure these are small bell pepers. I can't gurantee it since I really don't remember what all was planted in this bed (they were all peppers). The overall shape and color sure seem to agree with me though.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Garden Snake

While doing a little work, like that's uncommon or something, I ran across this little guy snuggled under some bark. I have run across over a dozen of these over the seasons. They seem to be getting bigger each time I find one.
I believe that is a good sign because where there's snakes there's bugs and critters and such and they wouldn't be there if it wasn't a pleasant place to hang out. The probably feed mostly on rolly pollies. For every snake I've found I've found hundreds of rolly pollies.

Don't mind the mess. One day this will be a greenhouse with actual plants everywhere instead of wood and stuff. Oooh look! You can see some small pots on the bottom left by the light! It's proof...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Office Space

There is a lot of room in our office but not a lot of dirt. For instance there are lemon sprouts in some of the pots that have dracaena canes in them since there is still a good bit of dirt room.

This summer I rescued a little plant from the dirt outside of the office and put it in a slightly crowded pot. Can you spot it?

Tagetes Lucida (Mexican Mint)

When I got into the office this morning, only 1 minute late, I found a plant had been left on my desk by one of my coworkers. We had been talking about plants and she decided that I needed another plant. She was right! I always need another plant.

She said the leaves can be used in teas. I creshed a leaf and it smelled like mint and licorice.

I know right where I want to plant it too. We had a gas leak near the street and the gas guys dug up one of our butterfly bushes. It's supposed to get 2-3 feet high which should do well in the front.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vegetation Inspiration

Man has always looked to nature for new ideas and, dispite his most valient efforts, falls very short of making anything nearly as effieient as nature.

I was looking closely at a citrus leaf and the entire leaf was laid out so that every part of the leaf was the right size to channel everythying to where it needs to go. A leaf that can fit in the palm of my hand would have made any public works director thrilled if that were his infrastructure.

If you imagine each light spot is a building and the lines are the water and sewer, there would be plenty of redundency and the pipes are perfectly sized.

Below is a closeup picture of a citrus leaf and actual sewer and water maps for a city (available to the public online). I must admit that the sewer lines look more like a leaf but the water lines have the loops.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I have been putting it off for way too long. There are more weeds in the flower beads and garden than I have plants that I want. I finally took action and pulled for a few hours.
The center bed, the round one, is now weed free and fortunately most of the plants that I have put in there are doing fine. The mint for instance has taken off and is in about a third of the bed.
At first I thought the lavender in the top section was dead but it apparently only had a few dead leaves. Our first lavender died from overwatering, a flood really.
The brick area was not too bad but had a lot of grass growing over the top. I should probably raise the brick border a little to keep more of the grass runners out but alas I don't have any more bricks.
The new mower is fortunately working great and the grass is trimmed neatly and looking great.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hanging Out

Bugs aren't my usual thing but while I was at work today a coworker pointed out a very large bug hanging outside her window. It looked like a large grasshopper with a leaf attached to it's back.
I didn't know what it was but was pretty sure it was in the same family of bugs.
Fortunately we have a bug book in the survey department in case the surveyors come across any really nasty ones, mostly stinging types, and there it was six pages into the sub catagory where the grasshoppers were, the broad winged katydid.

"You can't see me. I'm hiding on the side of this smooth tree."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GBBD Lament

I unfortunately do not have anything that is really blooming at the moment unless you consider weeds to be blooming. Well, I guess they are. But the flowers aren't what you would call showy or even pretty in a delicate sort of way. They're just weedy and annoying.

On the topic of bulbs though I do have a few notes to comment on and ponder over.

I noticed a post about green onions and which types grow where and how to use them etc. In my backyard I just let them grow near the house. There is always some sticking up somewhere and I haven't had to worry about it in years. I know, I did buy some for my gumbo last week but that was different. They looked neat!
There are a lot of bulbs that I just leave in the ground. Lillies, iris, hyacinth, and a couple I don't remember up near the street. They come back every year without fail.

In the DFW metroplex my peppers also come back occasionally from the year before. In fact one of them has lasted three years, a little jalapeno.

The last flower in the yard that I can recall was the rock rose a few days ago. It seems to bloom whenever it wants without any pattern I can see.

It's Alive! (Well, most of it)

Well at least most of it is alive, my gardens that is.
Things that have died:
1. Large Squash plants
2. A few Key Lime Sprouts
3. Sunflowers
4. Purple Cabbage
5. Elephant Ears
6. Lettuce
7. A small portion of the strawberry plants

As far as I can tell everything else is still alive and kicking.
Most of the strawberry plants are doing great as well as a number of runners. I believe cats have damaged and killed the plants that are gone using the box for their own relieving purposes.

The pepper plants in the back are perking up and fruiting. The ginger in the back, not inside, is shooting off more shoots.

The canteloupe in the back near the big crepe myrtle is still spreading out, probably because it was protected from the sun.

The cucumber plant isn't thriving but it is still trying to flower and make fruit.

Those are the highlights. Hopefully the rains will keep everything well watered for a while still. I have been slacking a little too much.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well, I've put it off for long enough.
So far Blotanical has been one of the best resources for finding great gardening blogs. Just today I ran across a blog and though, "Hey, I shlould tell them about blotanical." Someone had beaten me to the punch and there on the right was a Blotanical logo.

The forum could be a little more active but where it lacks in the boards is more than made up for in the private posts to the users. These posts are open for anyone to see so if you want to follow a conversation and see what the outcome was it's really not that hard.

One of the great things is that your posts show up on the site. One of the hardest things when you have a blog is getting people to see what you've posted. On Blotanical that isn't a problem. People see your posts and often leave comments letting you know what people like and dislike. Also where you've made typos...

For all of you who haven't been yet and found this blog in a search, just follow the link under the links box on the right there.

Happy gardening!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


This either describes the soil I have to contend with or what I'm having for supper today. Amber, my wife, is sick and needs some comfort food. It's also spicy and will open up her sinuses.

I bought something at the store called small bulb green onions. I did no research on them but decided they would do just as good as regular green onions in the gumbo I was about to make.

So far it's an emphatic YES! Tastes pretty good and there's the extra added onionness, if that's a word, to the taste.

I fully intend to plant some of them in the yard for even more green onion plants. They seem to stay pretty well especially in the coming winter. I didn' t have to buy them but just couldn't help myself...
Side note. I've added my wife's Etsy page to the list of links on the right side of my blog under her sites/blogs section. Let me know what you think.


I have recently gotten a new favorite indoor plant, tumeric. If you know what it is you probably wonder why it's so good and where you can get it.
It's a great indoor plant because it's not eaten by my cats. Ok, so they nibbled on it at first but they really don't like the taste. It sits on the window sill easily within reach and where they know plants like to grow. Other plants they have eaten there include, ivy, ginger, mint, beets, basil, and who knows what I've forgotten.
You can get it at any ethnic store such as an asian market or Fiesta. Just look in the fresh produce section and look for fresh root.

Thanks to Gururaj for pointing out the correct spelling. I'm southernized and so I don't always spell things the way they should be. Everyone down here says "tumeric" instead of "turmeric".

Also here's a pic. The turmeric is the big one and the ginger is the one the cats devour.

Friday, September 11, 2009

2009 Plant Swap Items

There are a few things I will definitely be bringing to the plant swap this fall.

1. Key lime plants started from seed. I don't know if these will actually produce true from seed but I know for a fact that they are citrus and have distinct lime characteristics.

2. Cookies! Once again my wife and I will be making the lemon thyme cookies for trade.

3. Candy Lilly sprouts. Just this week I received a few dozen seeds from a coworker. I plan to plant them in peat pots and hope they sprout within a month. For anyone wanting to trade, be advised that these will not necessicarily make it but I'm going to try.

4. Other plants may include the following: oxalis, strawberry, grape (muskadine / champagne / mix of the two), jujube seeds (possibly sprouted).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fort Worth Autumn Plant Swap 2009

It's that time of year again! Time to pull out the plants you thought you wanted, stick them in pots and water them to make sure they're going to live until the swap. There's always food (for a trade) and plenty of plant minded people to mill about with. There's usually something different here or there that you realize you just have to have.

It will be at Trinity Park in Fort Worth across from the Botanical Gardens north of I-30 at or near the big pavilion starting at 9:00 am on October 24, 2009. So bring your family, bring your pets, but don't forget to bring your plants.

No reservations necessary.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cowboy's Stadium

You're probably thinking what this could possibly have to do with gardening, but YES there is a little bit of greenery in the massively concrete and fake grass complex. I found it just outside of the front doors.

This is not the garden. this is very lush and healthy plastic grown in tiny chipped up pieces of rubber.

Ok, it wasn't much but what do you expect of football people. If it's green then it's either guacamole or a shirt. Way more money and time was spent on figuring out how much to charge people for watching, or more likely not watching and instead chatting about what company you just bought, a game in a private suite where you can't even cook your own food in the kitchen that's just four feet away from you.

Maybe that sounds a little jaded...

All I can say is that it at least looks neat.
I could so play Mario on that screen.


It's amazing how territorial hummingbirds get. They weigh just a few ounces and yet they fight like there's nothing to loose. I got a picture of this little guy after he fought off several other hummingbirds. At first he didn't even take a sip of the feeder. He just sat there and waited for them to dare come into his territory again.

I hid in the shadows of the house with the lights off so I wouldn't scare him off. I assume him because I always assume him unless it's obvious otherwise. It just makes thinking about things easier. Cars and boats are of course her. Everyone knows that and I dare not dispute the fact.

Champagne and Truffles

So it's been a while since my last post but I can't think of a better 100th post than one of my 13th anniversary.

We were supposed to have champagne and truffles at midnight but got caught up watching a movie and crocheting a hat... The odd things that come up.

Anyway, I've been married to my lovely wife, who's blogs are linked to the right there for a wonderful thirteen years and counting. I got a wonderful gift bag, Hoops and Yoyo! If you don't know who they are then you should be ashamed of yourself for not knowing and visit the online halmark store of cards and send one. I also got some glass lampworking stuff, desperately needed.

For those of you who can't afford champagne, I can't either I got the generic stuff, then you might try making it yourself. I had a trip down to Mom's house where she grows Champagne grapes as well as Muskadine and a corssbreed of the two or something possibly in the area.

I have several seeds, not cuttings like a smart person would do, maybe next visit, and I plan to plant them. And for what you have all been missing for a while now, I have picutres. I'm on the right in one of them but you can't see my face, not intentional. Wouldn't you rather see my adorable nephew, Nicholas?
That day we picked 13 gallons of grapes and afterwards I couldn't tell we had even been out there. Maybe I should have stayed longer to get some for taking home.