Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bloom of the Day


                                               Dinner Plate Hibiscus is in full bloom....

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bee More Careful

This summer has been an adventure with my expanding bee population.  I have painfully learned so very much. My bee mentor, brother is coming the first of august to help me.  Here are a few of the tips I have learned. 
#1 When bringing the caged bees home from to place in the new hive, do not lean the box up against your chest to open the jeep back hatch. #OUCH

#2 Read the directions on putting the bees in the hives very carefully. The Dadant Catalogue has excellent step by step directions. Which I read over and over. I opened the wrong end of the Queen cage. Big mistake 
#3 Make sure the smoker is going strong, and I always need a good helper. I tried to do the first one alone and the smoker ran out.  The Bees rushed out and it panicked me. Thus the excuse for opening the wrong end. 
#4 I did have the queens marked but struggle to locate her.  Last time I checked the hives were very active. They were making honey. I have more supers to add. 
#5 Have extra hives, I thought I was so smart and had my hives all set up for the new bees and a swarm came and took up residency.  Quick trip over to Frankfort for another hive. 

I love watching which flowers the bees prefer..... very interesting. Cone Flowers are very popular.

 The Bees are all over the Cleome. They love it........

 In addition, the experts recommend that you feed the bees with a sugar feeder for about a week, after they are fresh in the hive. However, I left an hour later for a vacation in Santa Fe. Not a great idea. Came home to find out my Hummingbird Feeder had turn into a Hummingbee Feeder....

Lastly, make sure your mask is pulled tight. I gave my husband the total bee suit two weeks ago when we were going in to check the hives.  He was fine, I as you can see I was not. The bees got up in my mask.

I am fine now.......Here are a few more scenes from my adventure. I will keep you  updated. Hopefully some sweet honey for my efforts. 

Here are my new bees waiting for a new home....

Hives set up and waiting.... but wait ....visitors already occupying one hive

Getting the bees into the hive for a challenge for me!

Monday, July 18, 2016

To be a Squash or Not to Be?

Do as I say not what I do is the moral of this blog.  I have been watching this squash grow in my vegetable garden with wonder?  After several different options about what it is....I harvested the squash and cut it open.  Definitely squash, that resembled spaghetti squash.  Then I remembered that I had picked up a package of different squash seeds. That being Stripetti Squash,   I decided to bake it as I do spaghetti squash.

I cut the squash into manageable pieces.  I remove the seeds, this picture is before that step. I put cut side down and bake in about 2 inches of water. It usually bake this at 350 fro about 30 to 40 minutes or until the flesh is tender.

At this point I shredded it out of the shell added some seasoning and butter and it was yummy.  A good side with my grilled flat iron steak. I have more coming in the garden, I will probably let them go a bit longer..... But this is a great addition to the garden. Easy to grow and tasty!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Grilling from the Garden

So tonight I fired up the Green Egg....just to grill veggies.  I am sautéing scallops for the protein course. But I have so many great veggies in the garden, I am trying to fix a meal using them.  So here is my idea....

Cauliflower....freshly picked will be roasted about an hour on the Green egg. It will be tender and can be used for future meals.

Fresh Romaine Lettuce will be nicely grilled and then used as a bed for the scallops( with a nice citrus dressing)

Scallops are going to be lightly sautéed for a few minutes in butter....  I have used the Green Egg to smoke but not much to grill. So I am excited to experiment.   I will let you all know.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Catching up....

I always have such great intentions of blogging at least twice a week.  Some day soon I will stick to that but this last month has been a whirlwind of trying to garden (when it was not raining ) and travel.

I have lots of exciting topics to catch up on but....first things first.

I hope everyone had a tremendous Mothers Day.  My Mom moved on to a better place over two years ago.  She was my number one supporter of my writing and gardening.  I miss her deeply but feel her presence guiding me as I work in my gardens.

She loved all the spring flowers so every time I would go visit her I would take fresh bouquets from my garden. Her joy was heartwarming.

A co-worker asked me if she could possibly come over and pick a few flowers to take to her Mother for Mothers Day. So even though we were leaving the next day I said sure.

The result was a magnificent collection of spring flowers from Lilacs to Peonies all from my garden. It was 100%  Mom worthy. It made me so happy inside and I believe Mom was smiling at me from above.

Dava said her Mom loved it. So that was time well spent.  Happy Belated Mothers Day!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Perfuming the Air

I know that Spring is on the way, when my Saucer Magnolia start to bloom. Magnolia x soulangeana fills the air with an awesome fragrance. I have two very large ones that I am sure have been there for many years. One has pink blossoms and the other has white.  They are both showstoppers in the garden. However if their parade gets rained on they are gone. The blossoms are very fragile and litter the ground as soon as the wind blows hard. All that being said they are among the most popular blooming trees.

Another wonderful combination of color in my yard early on is the addition of the Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) and Dogwoods( Cornus florida)I have just white dogwoods but I love the pink as well.  The redbuds prefer to be an understory tree, and will bloom much better if on the edge of a grove. A perfect combination with White Dogwood that prefers the same growing situation.

Now is still a good time to plant these trees for a spectacular show next Spring. After gray skies who among us would not be thrilled to see these pink and white beauties.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Just a reminder!!

I have already hit on the value of spring bulbs for early color  but just in case you have forgotten here is a reminder. There are so many different bulbs that allow for early spring pop in many different colors. I try to plant new ones every year........


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