Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday..Garden Catch up Chore Day


        It is not often that I have a Sunday that I can devote to catching on chores.  We had company plus the grandsons on Saturday so the house is a war zone.  But the inside chores will wait for the afternoon storms.
        Since we are going to have rain, I decided to work in the Pollinator's Garden, which was formerly the Bee and Butterfly Garden. Now its blooms pulls in so many specimens the name had to be changed. Within this space, there are plants that need to be moved around.  So this blog is intended to keep me focused on the chores in that garden before my garden ADD kicks in and my tools and I start to wander.
        This time of year, my Pollinator Garden looks a little sad. The Bee Balm was over so I cut it down. I leave it as long as possible, but it gets very tall and the everyday rains have caused it to fall over on all the other plants as well as the cleome.  I try very hard to find season long blooming plants for the pollinators.  It is always a work in process.
   #1 Take out the compost. So much cooking yesterday so I must journey out to compost pile for a dump.


But of course ...I get sidetracked by the Japanese Anemones. These are lovely to me and the bees!! But back on track.





#2 The beautiful azaleas along the walk way, were here when we bought the house. The last couple years, they have struggled. So I am going to work on them. Fertilize, prune and hope next year they will return stronger. I know this is not the best time to prune, you may end up cutting off future blooms. But I only trimmed off the no question dead.   Then added some special fertilizer for acid loving plant. Time will tell.

#3 The Cone Flowers are still hanging in there. I will let them go until the Finches have picked all the thistle seed out of them. I love seeing the finches hanging on them as the season transitions into fall.. But I have some different varieties in out gardens that need to be moved. Since rain is in the forecast, I am going to move them today and hope. I have wanted to do this for two years and have not done it, so I am doing this today!

I moved some different varieties in to this garden. Good timing because then the rains came. So working in this garden came to an end. But now when I look out my kitchen window, I no longer see dead twigs on my azaleas and hydrangeas. 

I was not able to transplant the Hostas, they are in the sun and not happy since I lost a tree last year. They need to good to a better place. That will be another Sunday. 

So I have done all I can for this rainy day, laundry is calling!  But at least when I look out my kitchen window I see this ...better.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Here is an Article From the Kentucky Gardener I wrote on the Subject!!


Rebecca Stoner Kirts
Oh LA LA There are” Naked Ladies” in my Yard
“Only in Kentucky”
June 2014
'Kentucky Gardener'



We bought the house we currently live in 20 plus years ago in the early spring. When we moved in I was so thrilled to see all the spring bulbs popping up everywhere. There were patches of daffodils, snowdrops, and hyacinths in many different spots. Plus in the out buildings I found many empty boxes from Brecks, Springhill and more. All this gave me hope of what the spring and summer would behold. I was not disappointed  when the first bulbs appeared. Although the plantings were randomly planted, the plants were just waiting for me to move them to the right spot.
 However one bulb had me stumped. Late spring I had strap-like, greenish, gray leaves up to 12 inches long and 1 inch wide in groups all over the yard. As early summer arrived and the leaves died off, I was very tempted to dig them up and throw them out. Luckily, I ran out of time doing more pressing garden projects, and let them grow. Then in the late summer, I noticed arrow like spears shooting out of the ground. Each sheath would grow about 2 feet tall, and would open into 5 to 7 funnel shaped rose tinted pink blooms.  What a surprise!  
  After doing some research, which mainly consisted of asking garden friends, neighbors, and reading blogs, I discovered that they were Lycoris squamigera.  This is a plant with many aliases including Naked Ladies, Resurrection Lilies, Magic Lilies or Surprise Lilies. I love the variety of names. You may know them by a different name. If so please pass it on!!
Here are a couple words of advice I have learned about this very unusual plant. This may be the only bulb I know that needs a warning label.
#1) If you have an obsessed mower, like my husband, you must watch for the arrival of the stems emerging from the ground or they may be mowed down. I have slowly transplanted my” Naked Ladies” to flower beds. However, I bet if you let your husband know being careful and not mowing in certain area will result in a group of “Naked Ladies” appearing, he will greatly improve his mowing game!
#2) Be careful where you talk about your Surprise Lilies! I heard a story about a 
man who was going to his choir practice at church. He began to talk about the fact that he 
had several” Naked Ladies” in his front yard. The Music Director looked at him and said something to the effect: if this is true, then why in the heck are you here? 
#3) Practice self discipline when weeding in the spring. No one has ever needed  to warn me about this, as I have a long history of leaving “unknown” fast growing “plants” way too long only to discover I have nurtured a weed. If you get frustrated with the lack of flowers and discard the bulb, you will miss the big show.
#4) “Naked Ladies” do need to be transplanted and shared or replanted every so often. I read a blog email from a person who was complaining that he had too many  “Naked Ladies” in his front yard.  Perhaps this is why this plant was included in Steve Bender and Felder Rushing’s great book. Passalong Plants.  However, do beware, as Felder Rushing mentions Lycoris, may skip a couple years before blooming when they are messed with.  I loved his comment about the transplanting problem, “You really can’t complain about all if this. It’s just the price you pay for disturbing Naked Ladies.” (Felder Rushing Passalong Plants.

So all jokes aside, I am thrilled that one of the previous owner’s of my house, felt the urge to plant this wonderful bulb. Previous owners include a missionary/ retired author, a psychiatrist, (who is probably responsible for the cage in my attic) and an owner of a fertilizer company who was looking to build a retreat far from the big city (Louisville)  This owner had connections to the bourbon industry in Kentucky. Or perhaps they might have been planted by the owners of the original house on the property that burned. I just don’t know who is responsible for planting them.  And even if I did, would they admit to wanting hundreds of “Naked Ladies” in the yard??   




June 2014
Published in the Kentucky Gardener

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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.




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