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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Do you have a green thumb?

What do you say, do you have a green thumb?

My mom has always said I could get anything to grow. Well here's an interesting example. Last year my garden club friends and I made Hydrangea wreaths. This spring I took one out of my house and hung it on the shed. It quickly lost it's beautiful shades of blue and green but I still left it there.

One day I walked by only to notice that the straw wreath I used as a base was now sprouting. I just know my mom would say "see, you can even get a dry straw wreath to grow".

Today my oldest daughter is off to school again...time to be a mom...

By the way, one of these days I'll take some photos of how to make a Hydrangea wreath. Kim, I'll need your help!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Outta my Gourd

This past spring I did a post on some of the women in my garden club making newspaper pots and planting heritage seeds. One of the types of seeds we planted was for birdhouse gourds.

You can see the package here on the left of this photo. I don't know the botanical name for these gourds.

There was a left over plant which I put into a large tree pot. As it began to grow I didn't quite know what to do with it but suddenly I had an inspiring thought. Behind my shed was this old metal arch that I had bought at Michael's Arts and Crafts store for a whopping $12 (using a coupon).

As you can see in this close up, the arch was just the right amount of support for these gourds. There are three big ones growing on it and lots of little ones. The little ones seem to rot out and fall off before they get as long as a finger so I don't know if there's a maximum amount of large gourds a single plant can sustain.

Before I left for Germany I noticed some new foliage growing out front in my perennial borders. I knew it was something unusual so I let it grow. Two weeks ago some friends were here and one of them pointed out that some type of gourd was growing at the base of one of the flowers.

Looking closely inside the foliage you can see what is growing there. It looks like the little white pumpkin called 'Baby Boo'. Last year I had bought a sack of assorted gourds and decorated my house with them. After Thanksgiving, I threw them on my compost heap. Looks like the seeds came through the winter!

By the way, those black specks aren't insects, the sprinklers were just on and they're just bits of soil.

Across the driveway in another perennial border is yet another compost gourd. This one has selected a nice location between some pretty Rudbeckia fulgida (Black eyed susans).

Looking inside this foliage you can see what is growing here too. There's a second one of these gourds but not located where I can photograph it well. It appears to be more rounded than the 'Baby Boo's' so I'm not sure yet what it will become.

Isn't this exciting?

I wonder if all gourds start out white and then turn colors?

This is the first time I've ever grown something like this and I feel like a kid with a new toy :-)

Off to water the garden,


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dear Friends...

Dear Friends,

What can I say? It seems I've hit the writer's block wall, I just didn't have any desire to sit here and blog.

Blogging has been a wonderful way for me to share the passion and joy in my garden. Maybe, that's why my lack of blogging reflected my lack of gardening. Getting ready for my trip to Germany I began to ignore the garden and once I returned, it only got worse.

My husband Don did a monumental job of keeping the garden beds watered while I was gone. It figures that the hottest, driest spell of the summer was during those two weeks. Since I've been home I've rarely had to turn on the sprinklers although today would be a good day to do so.

Tuesday a strange feeling came over me. I was so sick and tired of the mass of weeds along my driveway that I decided to pull a few of them out. Two hours later I had filled many bucket loads but the garden didn't look any different. Yesterday I went on the attack and spent 6 hours weeding and hauling bucket after bucket load to the woods. Note, I use large tree planting pots when I weed as they are very light and if I stop working and it rains the water runs out of the holes in the bottom.

This morning I woke up with the urge to take some photos and share them with you but Don took my camera to work so that will have to wait. I've discovered some new delights in the garden, the secret of Lunaria and most amazingly, gourds!

I can hear you now, "she must be out of her gourd" but I just find this so cool. Last year when it was time to decorate for Christmas, I threw the decorative autumn gourds on my compost heap.
In June I noticed some strange foliage in my garden in three different locations. I couldn't figure out what it was but decided not to weed them out. This week I've discovered that I've got gourds growing in my garden. They look like little white pumpkins, I think they're called 'Baby Boo' and I'm so excited about them! To top it all off, my birdhouse gourds are growing like crazy and I've got three big gourds plus tons of babies coming along.

Hopefully I'll get some photos posted here tomorrow. Thanks for sticking with me through this spell and thanks for all the comments. My mom is back in Florida and doing well (although getting soaked with Fran right now). Last night was my first Board of Education meeting (Hi Gail!) today my youngest daughter returns from band camp, and this weekend my older daughter heads back to college in Pennsylvania.

Time to get my fingernails dirty again,