Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Plant Swap Moved!

It was just one of those days. I left a little late to start with but then the world decided to step in and see how much later I could be.

I already had somewhere to be afterward and I didn't want to be lat to it too so by the time I made it to the park there was less than two hours to do anything.

Unfortunately for me, when I got there the park was closed off to traffic due to a walk for diabetes. I have nothing against these sorts of things but no one there knew of this supposed plant swap.By the time we figured out that it wasn't anywhere in the park there was just enough time left to have lunch and go on to the next event.

After we got home that evening my ife looked on the board to see what might have happened. Apparently 4 days before the event was to take place the location was changed and since I wasn't glued to the boards I missed it.

Suffice to say there will be no pictures this time around.

There is one person who was expecting me to show up and they're still going to drop by to swap some flowering plants for a few key lime trees.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mexican Mint

I still need to plant the mexican mint in the ground even though it seems to like it on the widnow sill. It's even putting out some nice little yellow flowers.
As far as where to plant it, I have been told that it looks really good next to purple flowers so I think I'll find a spot near the lavendar bushes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Candy Lily Sprouts, Fort Wroth Fall Plant Swap

I have great news! The candy lillies have sprouted! Well, at least 5 out of 6 have sprouted. I plan on planting some more of the seeds soon in some more pots for propogation and I have to remember to bring one of them to work as a thank you for the seeds in the first place, maybe get her a nice pot to boot.
Anyhow there are now at least 4 candy lilly plant sprouts to trade come Saturday.

Right now they look like little blades of grass but I believe she said they were relate to the iris.
Ok, after taking the picture the flash has revealed that the 6th pot has indeed sprouted. You can also see the basil and the coleus at the edge of the picture.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spice of a tree

There are many herbs and veggies out there that get tons of attention. We all know about parsley, mint, onion, beets, carrots, rosemary, thyme and a whole slew of others. One of the often left out of the delicious seasonings comes from a tree. You're probably thinking about cinnamon or cloves, maybe even cocoa.
When I was little I was camping with my family and my mom foud some of this wonderful bit of the plant family and made some tea. It was one of the oddest taste and yet familiar. It was sassafras tea, ok so not really a tea but see my other blog about that.
It was once the main flavoring of rootbeer but is now illegal to put in there since it is a very mild narcotic. I guess some narcotic is too much for the FDA. Amazing how some things still get through... Anyhow that wasn't the wierdest part. We probably know various plants that make pretty good flavoring from the root but this tree has another use. An entirely different seasioning comes from it's leaves and you can buy this in the store, at least down here in Texas. If you've ever heard much cajun music you are bound to have heard of the "filé gumbo." Pronounced fee-lay it is the dried leaf of the sassafras tree. I have found a local sassafras tree on a nearby street and as soon as I muster up a little more boldness I'm going to ask if I can rake the yard for this wonderful spice. Ok, maybe not rake the yard but at least pick up a few leaves for drying so I can have fresh filé.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Seedy little plants

I went outside today and looked over the front garden and saw tiny little plants growing in the gravel walkway. I knew there were some weeds creeping in and trying to make it a weed bed but I was a little surprised to find some other plants sprouting up there. Mainly, besides the weeds, there was cilantro. I really like cilantro, as long as there's not too much of it at a time, but now there are dozens of little plants along the edge of the gravel and I'm afraid I will have to uproot them and toss them to the side like the rest of the plants. They have journeyed to the realm of weeds since, as we all know, weeds are merely plants that are growing where you don't want them to.
Another newcomer to the weed family, in my case the plants that are growing in my gravel walkway, is fennel. There are only two fennel plants sprouting where they shouldn't but that's still too many. It's hard enough to keep the grass out.
I wouldn't have this problem if they weren't so reproductive. Both plants produce many seeds every year and have no problem dropping them where they shouldn't. Ok, so it's partly my fault for trying to harvest some of the seeds for cooking but I don't want to complain about myself...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rosemary for Rememberance

Rosemary is such a wonderfully armoatic plant. I wasn't sure I would like it when we planted it at the end of the walkway up to the front door but it's still one of the best things when I come home. As I brush against it walking by it fills the air with its scent.
It's also one of the hardest plants to kill. I rarely water it and, even in the hot July months of Texas, it just doesn't care and keeps on growing. if all plants did this there would be no such thing as a desert.
You also can't cook with all plants so I guess it evens out in the end. It keeps growing and I keep eating it. Well, not by itself but on pork or chicken or in a cream sauce over noodles. Any of these options will do.
It's also good for sachets!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Glade Tin

Ok, so this isn't about gardening but ther is a flower on it.
Check out the glade design a tin contest and have a little fun, and uh vote for me.

Here's the link to mine as well as a snap of the tin.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Citrus Family Health

Ok, I know I've been needing pictures so here they are.

As you can see the lemon tree has gotten a lot bigger since spring. It might even intimidate the cats. I've had a time with the caterpillars though.

Next is the kaffir lime tree in all of it's glory. I had to pick off quite a few rolly pollies beore taking this picture though. I didn't know they would like it.

The key lime sprouts, and yes they're still sprouts, are mostly doing ok. They are still in order with 1 at the bottom left and 12 at the top right. 6 is, as you can see, dead. I will keep it in the pot just in case it comes back from the root but I'm not holding my breath or anything.

First frost is still some time away and they won't come in until then and hopefully most of the key lime sprouts will have new homes by then.

Kaffir Lime Tree

I believe I will finally start calling it a tree. It's still not very big but it has to face some big problems. Winter is coming and the cats can smell the dirt about to be brought into their domain. Even outside though it has had to face caterpillars eating it's leaves and outside cats knocking it's pot over.
For it's resiliance in the face of these obsticlesI believe it has earned the right to be called a tree.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Steady Rain

We're fianlly getting steady rain. The heavy downpours of water are great for filling the lakes back up but do very little to help my garden.
It's rained on and off for at least five days now and all of my plants are loving it. The strawberry plants are perking up well and even the new offshoots are getting big. The pepper plants are getting along fine and producing at a good rate. Even some of the pepper plants that haven't really done anything this year in the front are starting to get big. Hopefully I'll be able to get some peppers off of them before the freeze comes this year. Last year I didn't get to some if the peppers in time and they froze on the plants. All I had to do at that point was pick them, cut them up and put them in a sealable bag to be tossed in the freezer for later use in the winter.
Sometime next year I'm planning on digging up some of the sweet potato bed to see if there is anything there next fall to give it time to produce well and to weed out any less hardy parts of the plant. I also hope to see flowers next year and gather some seed (genetic engineering at it's finest).

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Gardening is about growth. It's a thrill to plant a seed and watch it grow. Most people seem to want results fairly quickly so they grow things that will mature anywhere from weeks to months. Some others of us like to see a much longer progression and may plant things that take years or decades to reach maturity. Some plants even outlive the planter and possibly even their grandchildren.

Blogs are a lot like planting. Sometimes a blog can grow to a point where the blogger thinks it has matured and is now reaping the reward of his hard work. Other times a blog fizzles and is uprooted and tossed aside for a more productive venture.

One thing about gardeners is they like variety. I don't know anyone who just plants roses for instance. Sure roses may be their main plant but there are always other plants in the yard that are cared for and maintained. Vegetable gardeners are likewise very diverse in their plantings.

In the gardening spirit I have decided to keep up with this blog but start yet another plant in my blog garden. It is not a gardening blog but may at times have garden related posts in it. It is a general blog in the line of a roughly 500 word format on whatever topic comes up that day.

Please feel free to stop in and see what is being covered that day.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fort Worth Autumn Plant Swap 2009 Starters

I have planted some seeds for starter plants for the plant swap.

Included are the candy lilies that I got seeds for recently, basil that I have had for some time now which is actually sprouting, jujube but only four of them since I haven't gotten back to the tree to get more seeds, grape from my mom's grapevines of which I still have most of the seeds from, and let's not forget the key lime trees which it seems that all but one is still alive.

The only definite plants so far are the basil and key lime trees since they are the only ones that have actually sprouted so far. I hope the grapes will sprout soon since the seeds are smaller and usually denotes a shorter germination.

For those of you who don't know a little basil goes a long way. From the two plants we had last year we made some pesto. We froze most of it into cubes and put it in the deepfreeze. One cube makes an entire meal for pasta and thaws quickly which makes me think, pesto chicken linguini for dinner tomorrow?

Just in case you are interested in attending we will probably also have the much talked about lemon thyme cookies again this swap.

Hopefully coming soon will be my want list. I still have to discuss it with the misses. Included will most definitely be bushes of some sort for the front.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


We have a little skullcap plant in the front but I really had no idea what to do with it. At first I thought it looked a little scraggly but it turns out that it's supposed to look that way. No wonder most people don't like planting it. It's not a showy plant or even lush. If I didn't know better I would have pulled it up and tossed it into the weeds.

I may be making a tea out of it soon to see if it helps my wife sleep, I still need to do a little more research just to make sure there are no calamitous side effects. So far as I can tell an overdose may lead to confusion, giddiness, and possible liver damage over a long time, then again so do a LOT of things. I love those commercials that end in the disclosure, "Side effects vary and may include, nose bleeds, liver damage, eyes bleeding, skin peeling off and possibly death." Ok, so I exaggerate, but everything has a side effect that's usually why something is taken.

Skullcap is also listed in a tea for arthritis which includes rue, angelica, black cohosh, colombo, valerian root, and gentain root.

Rue is another thing I don't currently have much of an idea of what to do with but that will be another day and probably after I get another plant of it, the last one died, I think....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Growing Herbs

It's amazing how much money growing a few herbs can save you. In the last week we probably saved twenty or so dollars by not having to buy the herbs we're growing.
Among the recently used herbs and plants were, parsley, sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, lamb's ear, mint and chives. On top of that we had beets, peppers, onions and green onion.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rain Day at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

We were actually there to take pictures of hats and scarves and such ( can't help the shameless promotion of my sweetie) but really, who would miss taking a few pics of the scenery?

The oddest thing was the bumble bee that just sat there. It wasn't dead but more seemed intent on getting every last bit out of his flower.

We took most of the pictures in the rose garden where there were also wedding pictures being taken. They were an early 20's couple and by the huge smiles didn't mind the light sprinkles falling on them. There were rose blooms everywhere and it smelled wonderful.

When I got home I noticed the creeping rosemary blooming. The regular rosemary has never bloomed and has been there for a much longer time, but whatever.

I also checked in on the blue agave and noticed a new resident looking back at me with his beady little eyes.