Archive for May, 2009

Lathan’s Graduation

Posted: May 21, 2009 in family and friends

One of the cutest parts of Lathan’s preK graduation: Lathan walks across the stage in the quiet church and stops to have his tassel moved from left to right… and from the silence you hear a childs voice scream at the top of his lungs, “YAY BUBBA!”

At some point, I’m going to have to let him grow up! *sniff *tear

Echinacea purpurea – ‘Magnus’: 1998 perennial plant of the year… and probably my new favorite in the garden. It attracts so many butterflies and it has become so beautiful! It was a stubbly little thing when I bought it, without any blooms, but look at it now! In no time it has come into it’s own.

Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana’: They are the bright yellow flowers in the front and one in the back. The flowers spike out on long stems from the base of rounded leaves, sometimes called ‘Mouse Eared Tickseed’ because of the shape of the leaves. This is another of my all time favorites, because they are yellow (my favorite color) and they attract just as many butterflies as the Echinacea.

My ‘Mont Blanc’ Nierembergia scoparia (pronounced: near-im-BERG-ee-ah) seems much happier planted in the ground instead of that small hanging basket it was in before. Also sometimes called ‘Whitecup’ or ‘Cup Flower’.

Tulbaghia violacea variegata – ‘Variegated Society Garlic’ or ‘Silver Lace Garlic’: this plant is SO cool! When it blossoms it will have a lovely branch of purple flowers on each stem. It smells nasty when you mess with it, but it is said to keep almost all insects away from it and any surrounding plants because of the odor. You can mulch the yellowing leaves and sprinkle them around the base of your plants… or if you eat what you grow, (I have not gotten to that point in my gardening yet) the leaves can be used in salads or for cooking, and the ‘garlic bulb’ lies under ground and can be used when your plant has propegated. It’s called ‘Society Garlic’ because back a jillion years ago people thought it smelled less bad than traditional garlic, hence less bad breath, hence the polite ‘society’ garlic was named.

Delphinium grandiflorum – ‘Summer Nights’: I try and make it a point not to buy poisonous plants or I would have two giant pink oleander bushes on either side of my house… but this one snuck in! I had no idea until I googled the scientific name today that it is poisonous. btw, have you ever thought about poisonous plants? I think it’s crazy that some can kill you like a poisonous spider or snake. They used to use poison Hemlock in ancient Greece to execute people… Socrates was believed to have died from Hemlock. Isn’t that crazy?

This is not a new addition, and somehow, I knew what this plant was yesterday and today… I don’t. Maybe I can find it again… but I read that it dies after 15-20 years if it creates a flower stalk. You can cut it off to keep it from producing certian hormones that causes it to die.

Sedum is the little tiny plant down in front, not sure what kind.

Boltinia asteroides – ‘Jim Crockett’ or ‘Bolton’s Aster’

Pretty Pentas

Portulaca/Purslane (pronounced: por-chew-LAC-ah) Not sure which variety… many are common. I know it is not Moss Rose, probably Portulaca grandiflora. It’s very pretty and the blossoms close up at night.

Earthquake in Euless

Posted: May 16, 2009 in nature, texas

So today at work… I felt an earthquake. A baby earthquake (3.3,) but I FELT IT!

I immediately stood up and said, “Did y’all feel that? What was that?”

It was sort of like a rattling at first and then I heard a louder bang sound and the ground shook. Someone in Cali reading this is probably rolling about the fact that I am freaked out over a baby quake like that… but I’m just an ol’ Texas girl. My main weather concern is heatstroke and occasionally hail. Oh, but let me not forget the tornado that hit Fort Worth. I wasn’t really scared for myself, I was scared for people that I knew. For some reason I always thought hunkering down in a tiny interior room crawlspace with your family and pets with only candles and cell phones was kinda fun. Hey, that’s just me. But poor Riley has become terrified of thunderstorms. He has never liked loud sounds like toilets flushing or loud clapping, and one night we were coming home from dinner and a huge bolt of lightning came crashing down with an instantaneous crack of thunder right behind our house…just as we were walking towards the door. Riley took off screaming into the garage and wedged himself down under Peter’s car. I had to pull him off the ground screaming and crying.

After this episode, it has become commonplace to be jolted from sleep by a crying Riley at the end of our bed. I don’t really mind because we have a ‘kids not allowed in our bed’ rule… unless there are extenuating circumstances (IE: fever, nightmares.) But with this rainy season so far it has turned into a recurring theme. Poor little guy.

Oh wait, I’m off track. I felt an earthquake today! I’m still extremely weirded out. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with that all the time. Which reminds me of the hardships chronicled in Disney’s ‘Earth.’

I took the boys to see it in the theater, and they lasted about 30 minutes before they started begging to leave. That means Lathan and Riley give the movie two big thumbs down because they LOVE going to the movies. I couldn’t even bribe them to stay with popcorn and candy. It’s too bad because mommy was enjoying it. It was a little all over the place as far as nature shows go. I would have preferred they stuck with one story line at a time instead of stop starting three different stories at random and uneven times. It made the whole film seem dissonant and inharmonious… but I didn’t get to see the ending so maybe I’m wrong. AND I could say the same thing about this blog… I’m all over the place with this one!
It’s the earthquake! It knocked the mojo out of me!

Once Bitten

Posted: May 14, 2009 in nature, texas

The gardening blogs continue…
I have been bitten by the gardening bug and, I fear, it has left a permanent mark! lol
I spent 4 hours in the yard today planting all of the wonderful things I purchased as my Mothers’ Day present from the boys. The best bang for the buck?… maybe only for a short period of time, was the annual/house plants that I bought at WalMart for less than $20!

Consists of:
Ipomoea batatas ‘Black Heart’
Class: Annual – House plant
Growth habit: Climbing or trailing vine
Max height: 6″
Spread: 24″ – 36″
Cultivation: “Sweet Potato Vine” is in the same family as “Morning Glories”… both a climbing vine. Although the foliage is not as interesting as ‘Blackie’… ‘Black Heart’ is a bit easier to grow. The plant is some times called “Ace of Spades”.
Plant Ipomoea Black Heart in full sun to light shade in fertile well drained soil. Feed monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Once established ‘Black Heart’ is a vigorous grower that is well suited to containers or hanging baskets. Try growing one on a trellis and moving it indoors to a sunny window for the winter

New Guinea Impatiens
Colors – Apricot, burgundy, blue, orange, pink, red, rose, salmon,scarlet, violet, white, purple, lavender, deep pink and mix.
Flowering period – Mid June to mid October.
Height – Grows 12″ to 24″ tall (30 – 61 cm).
How to grow – Plant in sun or part sun.
Features – Large flowers on upright plants, variegated or dark foliage.
Soil – Fertile, sandy soil, rich in organic matter.
Spacing – Plant 15″ apart (38 cm).
Tips – Poor frost tolerance. Low maintenance flower. Do not plant in a hot, dry location. Requires frequent watering.
Uses – Use in beds, pots or containers.

Croton petras
Tropical house plant that will probably not be happy about sharing it’s space with a bunch of flowers and vines… does well indoors and grows to a height of up to 5 feet (if it has some room… unlike mine!)

The Hibiscus flower will also not do well with the crowding, but hey I was thinking small time, IE: one season. (I am assuming you now what a Hibiscus flower looks like, therefore no pic)

Variegated Vinca
Has a lot in common with the regular Common Periwinkle. Both are excellent forms of ground cover, offering support and moisture for flowerbeds as well as adding stability for the surrounding soil. Both versions are low-growing evergreen vines, rarely topping 12 inches in height but spreading out much wider.

It’s only been three days since my last post full of garden pictures… I guess that tells you I have an exhaustively enthusiastic personality. But just look at all of my lovely new arrangements that I devised Wednesday. I guess I would rather think about gardening than the swine flu. Is anyone else freaked out? My Aunt’s school district CLOSED. Mayfest was cancelled. They have a full on decontamination when I drop the kids off at daycare. I’m trying to tell myself not to be scared because 48,000 people die from the “regular” flu in the USA every year… and that Mexico doesn’t have the same resources or situations as us… but now that I have kids I’m a total wuss. I don’t want anything to happen to them. I would DIE.

As cheesy as this is, the way my feeble mind works, a child’s movie put things in perspective, again. (Don’t get me started on Spiderman 3.)

There is a very poignant line from the movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’ that just happens to sum up my feelings lately: “One often meets his destiny on the path he takes to avoid it.”

I kept the kids out of school today, and I am not taking them tomorrow, and now we will not be going to Mayfest. Why? Because I am scared. That’s pretty sad. So watching this kids movie today helped me realize that anything can happen… at any given moment, so be thankful. Enjoy every moment. Live your life.
My favorite picture of the garden so far! I love the way the blue/purple of the Royal Candles (Veronica spicata) look with the red Salvia, red Dianthus, and the white ‘Mont Blanc’ Nierembergia.

I planted the Veronica Candles, in the back, Wednesday.

So scared that my finicky Grace Ward is going to hate it’s new spot out of it’s cute planter it was so used to.
I also installed some creeping Rosemary to the right… smells SO GOOD, and I pulled up that holly and planted some more Salvia in the back.

I just can’t help taking more pictures of my beautiful Verbena!!!

Hummingbird Collection

Posted: May 1, 2009 in favorites, nature, texas

It’s a little peculiar that I have been surrounding myself with hummingbirds these last few weeks, like painting a mural on my friends wall with a hummingbird, wearing a hummingbird charm that my Aunt gave me, and buying two hummingbird cards the day of my craft show… All this and then last Sunday Peter, the kids, and I were gardening in the front yard and I hear Peter calling to me from the garage.

“Sara! Sara! Come here! LOOK! It’s a baby hummingbird!”

I ran into the garage to see a hummingbird ramming itself into the garage window trying desperately to get out.

I said, “Peter, that’s not a baby… that’s just how big they get.”

Then I tried to tell everyone to walk back out of the garage so I could scare it away from the window so it would fly back out. But as I put my hand near it, the poor little thing only exacerbated it’s efforts to fly through the paned glass window.

I needed a new plan, and I tried to think what my parents would do in the same situation. And I immediately heard my mom’s voice in my head saying, “LICE!” And my dad’s voice saying, “wear gloves so your scent will not get on it.”

Killing two birds with one stone (pardon the expression) I thought, gardening gloves! I’ll just have to catch the poor little dear and take it outside the garage. I immediately grabbed my gloves and put one hand to the left of the hummingbird so it would concentrate on it, and then gently placed my other hand over the top of it. It landed in the center divider of the window and I scooped it up into my hands.

I called for the boys to hurry up and come watch as I let it go, but, to my surprise, it was so worked up be nearly having a hummingbird heart attack trying to fly through the window, that when I moved my hand to let it go it just sat there… it’s little chest panting. It sat, and sat, and sat. Long enough for Peter to run inside and grab my camera, then run back inside after he realized the batteries were out, dig through 2 junk drawers for new batteries, erase pictures after he saw that my memory card was full…. and long enough for Lathan to run inside for his Fischer Price camera. After around 5-8 minutes it finally flew to a tree in our yard and rested another 5 minutes and then took off as quickly as he could.

Really though… what a coincidence. Pretty cool!!!

Part of Samantha’s mural.

The cards I bought at the craft show.

Me without makeup! Ahhhhh!

My Hummingbird! 🙂