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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

And the Yard Goes From Winter To Spring

In 3 weeks my son is having his wedding reception in the backyard so we are repairing the damage from winter. It will be much like last years celebration for my daughter's wedding.

 With winter just a few weeks behind us we have lots of work to be ready for March 5.  We do this every spring but now we are in "hyper repair". We have had some warm days and the grass is getting green, the fruit trees are budding but it still looks very desolate.


Above and to the left is the Lanai, It's where I propagate plants - my hobby. Most of the plants are "starts" from other plants. The Yucca in the picture to the left is all over the place. Several places in the house and outside. I just started this one, two 2 clean cuts and put it in the dirt - just that easy. This picture below is a sweet potato. I  put a sweet potato from the grocery in the pot. It grows from this beautiful plant to an even lovelier vine, for about 90 cents. Right now everything needs to be pruned, repotted and cleaned.

All of our Ficus trees spend the winter in the garage. They love the heat, die in the cold, so we put them in the garage in December and bring them back out around Valentine's Day. First thing is wash them down and fertilize. Ficus trees respond to food the same way I do...really well.

 I have to import color in hanging baskets and pots. These plants will only last until it gets hot, but for a couple of months they are great color. The bricks all have to be scrubbed down and that is a lot less fun than you might think.

The Roses have to be trimmed and fertilized by Cupids day...Easy to remember. The Climbing roses have to be trimmed and tucked in also. I love the wild look they get through the summer, but they start out trimmed back. And of course, they need their food too. Both of their flower beds are where we grow the herbs and I try to throw some seeds in there for now. But the sage is from last year and so is the lemon thyme. I usually have basil come back...The grape vines you see on the right won't start getting leaves for another month.

Empty flower beds, we haven't decided what to do with them yet. Below is our rock garden, which has lots of drought tolerant plants. In another week I will know how much winter damage there was.

 More propagating. This is a Charlie, one of my all time favorites, It is so easy to cut and put in water, wait for roots and then transplant. They look great alone or at the bottom of larger plants. I love to mix plants, but don't make the mistake like I did at first putting plants together that don't have the same watering needs, disaster!

I have had the incredible blessing of working with 2 horticulturists because of our wetlands. They always said when I asked if a plant would work, "I don't know, try it." So that's what I work from...just try it. It may not work the first time, but you learn something every time you try. We learn  far more from trial and error than anything else. My yard is not what most people would like, it is a wild eclectic mess of drought tolerant in the ground and experimental fussy plants in pots, but every plant has a story to tell.

I will keep you updated, just 3 weeks to go.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Are you nervous? Or Excited?

My brilliant daughter just sent this to me. We share ways to stay "up". To look for the happy, the turn the tides on the typical, "if it can go wrong it will" and instead expect great things to occur. None of know what will happen even one minute from now so the "what if's" in life are pointless.

We were working in the yard today because my son is having his wedding reception there in 3 weeks. She asked me if I was nervous about the wedding. I stopped and thought, wow, I haven't even been thinking about it. We have had a great deal to do going from winter to wedding and that has been my focus.
So I took a moment to take my pulse on it all. Then she stopped me and said, "I heard the greatest thing, it was something Tracy Morgan said. (We just love him) someone asked him if he was nervous about something and this is what he said.....

Isn't that grand? I adopted it immediately. I'm not nervous, I'm excited, because I can't wait for it to start! Isn't this the greatest reminder? Tracy Morgan our favorite philosopher reminding me if I start to get nervous I will change my thinking.

I'm the mother of the groom and I'm Excited!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Super Bowl Thought

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was named most valuable player of the year. The way it has been described to me is to ask if that player were to be missing from the roster what would the team be like? The Panthers are a good solid team, but with Cam Newton they are a super bowl team. He is the most valuable player and today will be the first of many championships for Mr. Newton. He has grown up and continues to grow into his role as the predominate quarterback in the NFL.
But something else happens today that qualifies for lightening in a bottle. Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time at the end of his career against Cam Newton the most valuable player this season at the beginning of his career. Super Bowls rarely have such a dramatic story to tell. Peyton Manning has intimated this might be his "last rodeo". To witness what might be the final game of someone who has played with the intensity of Peyton on a stage as large as the super bowl is a rare opportunity. Because it is the super bowl and our attention is directed to the typical distractions of bean dip, commercials and office pools, I am glad we won't be concentrating on whether this is his last pass or touchdown. As much as I love Derek Jeter his last year became exhausting. But bean dip not withstanding I am going to watch a little closer as a symbolic baton is passed. When Cam Newton found out he was playing Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl he said, "We're playing the Sheriff?" No one has worked harder in his career than Peyton Manning, he is an example to all players in all sports. If the baton is passed today as I suspect, I hope Cam Newton takes very good care of it until he passes it on. Very good care indeed.