Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
So, when I write how you can go to my "other" blog for links I have mentioned in these blog entries here, you can go straight to the gardening one instead of having to sort through my "other/family related" thoughts etc. It will be strictly garden related stuff. I will be posting the garden posts here, in my family related blog, and the garden blog (~The Gardening Mommy~), so either way you won't miss out.
Today in my garden:
I had a wonderful day outside today with my daughter. I played in the garden and together we went worm hunting to add worms to my worm poop bucket. She really doesn't like many bugs, but wiggly squiggly worms don't seem to bother her one bit!I "upgraded" my worm poop bucket into a "worm apartment" (one of a few steps towards the final project - "The Worm Mansion") ...lol! The reason I want worm poop is because it is so full of wonderful things that plants love.
3.) I added another layer of cut up coffee filters, old coffee grinds, then more organic matter in repeated layers. I also added some dry chunks of bread (the heal) since the article said that worms love the decomposing bread (and since it decomposes fastest it's perfect worm food) and lettuce scraps for "worm dessert". After the repeated layers, I added the previous "Worm Slum House" dirt and worms on top of the new, more spacious, "Worm Apartment".
I have no idea how I am supposed to "check" if they are happy or if I have killed them by all these "upgrades", so we will have to see in a few weeks. IT'S ALL AN EXPERIMENT!!
Some other worm "food" that the article suggested was grain based foods at first, then used coffee grounds (even the filters, I doubt that they have to be cut up like I did mine, but I think it would help them decompose faster). The one thing it did say was that if your feeding your worms your "kitchen waste, wait until the buried food disappears to add more", that means that my method wouldn't be effective way of total composting, but it would be efficient at getting the wonderful worm poop.
I could go on and on about how interesting this article was! I am going to try a few more of their suggestions to get more worms into my garden area and I will write about them as I go. The whole thing with worms is definitely not a rushed endeavor since most suggestions take a month or longer to potentially see the full results. I can't wait to try these ideas and tell you about them!
Because it was such a pretty day out, I brought out all my plants to soak up the rays! Below is a picture of my Zucchini and Cucumbers. Yeah, I know they're leggy, but they are still healthy and happy. I like to think of them as "tall" guys. The Cucumbers are starting to vine and I think even putting out flower buds (not positive, but I thought I saw a few).
Below is a "bugs eye view" of one of my flower beds....I just thought I would throw that in.....
My daughter playing in the dirt, she LOVES dirt. This is her area that we dug a hole and filled it with water to create a "lake" for her. She had a blast today (it was definitely a sunblock day today! After I took this picture we went in and put sunblock on and put a cap on her!!)
Above: My "Veggie Patch", I finally got all the rocks placed around the perimeter, so all I have to do now (and I say all like it's nothing, but really I have a ton to do) is amend the soil more, and more, and more! But I really need to get my seeds planted in there A.S.A.P otherwise I will run out of time!
Above: Another picture of a male Rufous Hummingbird feeding at dusk (it looks pitch black, but it was really just getting dark. I think it was because of the flash that it looks so dark.)
At the beginning of the this entry is a picture of my orange tulip that opened up today. Oh-so pretty! I love it! I just wish my red ones had come up properly. I wonder how people get their tulips grow perfectly....hum...maybe next year....
Well, I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend! I will post more tomorrow.... the theme - Wildflowers.
Today I got to watch/photograph a baby Hummingbird learn how to feed from a feeder. It was one of the coolest nature bits I have seen this spring!!
My Mother-In-Law had mentioned that she thought she may have seen a baby hummingbird yesterday feeding from her feeder and a male Rufous hummingbird guarding it and running off other hummingbirds that tried to get at it. She said that the little hummingbird was colored just like the female Rufous Hummingbird, but was noticeably smaller. She also said that it was as if the hummingbird was kind of "dopey" like baby birds seem to be when they first get out of the nest. I told her I didn't know if male hummingbirds played any roll in raising the young hummingbirds, but that it could have been the case.
So, today I was lucky enough to be sitting at my Mother-In-Laws patio listening to the hummingbirds "cheep-squawking" (I mean how do you describe the sounds those little things make when they're squabbling over feeders?) when I saw a tiny little hummingbird colored like a female Rufous Hummingbird land on the feeder. I remembered how my Mother-In-Law had said the day before how she had thought she saw a baby hummingbird and I figured that had to be the one she was talking about. After a second or two a male hummingbird ("The Guardian") came and landed on the other side of the feeder. He sat there drinking out of the feeder and keeping an eye out for other male hummers that would try to run off the baby. The baby hummingbird just sat there sitting on the feeder. After another few seconds, the male flew over to the same side the baby was on and showed it how to feed out of the feeder. Unfortunately that was cut short by a rival male hummer zooming in, so "The Guardian" male hummingbird flew off chasing it away. The baby hummingbird stuck around for me to take some more pictures, but was run off in the end as well.
I don't know if I am "allowed" to link to facebook or not, but I will include the facebook link to my Hummingbirds 2009 Photo Album. In that photo album there is the whole series of hummingbird pictures that I took today.
If that is not "allowed" I am going to include a picture or two below as well.
Above: The dominant Male Rufous Hummingbird. He tends to sit on top of that hook and keep a look out. This picture captured his landing. He is a larger male compared to most we've seen visit the feeders.
Above: The smaller Male Rufous Hummingbird and the baby hummingbird he brought with him. You can see how the little one (the baby) on the right seems to just look "dopey".
Above: You can see the Male Rufous hummingbird "The Guardian" showing the baby how to use the hummingbird feeder. The baby is holding it's head towards the male with it's beak open waiting for food rather than watching "The Guardian" hummingbird's lesson on how to use the hummingbird feeder. This makes me more certain that this is indeed a baby and father hummingbird.
Above: "The Guardian" hummingbird in mid flight. I can tell it's him because he has either messy/damaged feathers on his neck or he has a small growth causing his feathers to stick out a bit on his left side (the picture's right side).
I was so thrilled to take these pictures knowing that I was going to get to share them! What an awesome sight! I need to find out if this is normal for a male hummingbird to play such an important roll in the raising of their young. I will have to do that tomorrow (it's 12:30 a.m).
Gardening Bits -
I was VERY productive in my garden today, but I crammed all the action into a period of about 2-3 hours - I am so sore!! I am so happy with my changes that I made since yesterdays post. I wrote yesterday about how antsy and irritated I was with the way my garden has ended up over the years. With certain plants in places I don't necessarily want them to be anymore, and plants that don't do well in other spots. Soooo.......
Today I took a shovel to my garden!
I am happy with the way it is going so far....
I dug out and moved:
~ 2 Day Lily bundles
~ 1 Lavender
~ 1 small Columbine bit
~ 3 Iris bulbs
~ 1 group of Tulip bulbs
I re-planted the Lavender, Columbine bit, Day Lilly bundles (split one little piece off as an experiment), Iris Bulbs. I split the Tulip bulbs into various places in my garden to make more "spring" flower areas. Once the other sed of Tulip bulbs flowers I will do the same.
I planted some Black Eyed Susan's in my stump planters (I have 3 stump planters total). Earlier in the spring I planted the rest of my chives I had from last year, and some sweet pea seeds. The chives are doing well (although not very full bunches yet, but I hope they will over the years). There are 3-4 sweet peas coming up in two of the stump planters, and what seems to be quite a bit of sunflowers coming up in one of the stump planters (from last years seed I flaked into the soil this spring).
I also hauled 2 wheel-barrow loads full of more horse manure to add to my soil in the various areas that desperately need amendments. It was fast and furious digging, hauling and dumping (I was doing all this while Hannah was taking a nap).
While I was over there by the manure pile, I remembered that there were tons of wild roses in that area and decided today was a good day to dig some up. I dug between 6-8 wild rose roots/clumps to transplant. I have decided to fill in the whole back area with them this year. In the past I had only one layer of them, but it just isn't thick enough (well, not to my liking). I amended the soil with horse manure and mixed in some pine needles to help lighten the clay soil. While I planted the roses, Hannah filled a bucket full of water so I could water in the transplants. She's such a helpful little girl (well.....sometimes....LOL!).
I will post some pictures of my re-vamped garden in the next few days. I still have a ton of work to do, but feel good about the progress I made today in the 2-3 hours I was out there speed gardening.
I hope you have enjoyed my pictures as much as I enjoyed seeing that wonderful hummingbird sighting!!
Have a great week and Happy Gardening!!
P.S. - I forgot to mention that I received 2 huge bundles of Daisies today. I will take pictures of them tomorrow to show a before and after pictures of when/how I "DIVIDE" them and where I plant them. Speaking of "DIVIDING", a BIG thank you to my friends for reminding me of the word I couldn't quite put my thumb on last night - DIVIDE! THANKS.... LOL!!
Well, we've had two wonderful days in a row. Maybe spring is beginning to turn into summer.
Above was one of the little visitors that I saw today in my garden. He was only about 6 feet away from me just watching me water the garden. He had ran closer, but was startled when he noticed that someone was in the garden too. He turned and ran back to that rock and watched until I stepped back a bit for him to run by me. What a cute little guy.....
I accidentally left my plants out overnight and they looked perfect in the morning which means that last night must have been warm enough. I decided to leave them out again, but brought them closer to the house so if it does get nippy it shouldn't be too bad. I put my plants that I had started from seed outside to get some sun. You could tell that they really enjoyed the sun, it was as if they put their hands in the air and yelled "finally, the direct sun!!" I don't have any grow lights for those seeds that I start indoors so they tend to be leggy and wanting more direct sun. I really need to get my stuff together and have a proper starting set-up for next year. I don't like starting seeds and having them fall over and die (some of the seeds I start each year tend to do that, so it's trial and error).
My Zucchini and Cucumber do fine, and my Beans are doing pretty well, but they are in the window with the most sunlight. I started some Morning Glories 3 days ago and they are doing well, but I am a little concerned at how leggy they are. I hope they do alright since they are one of my favorite annuals. I really enjoy seeing them grown and climb. I have more Morning Glory seeds so that I can put them directly into the soil when it warms up and no danger of frost.
I watered my flower garden today and found that I have 3 sweet peas coming up (two of them are coming up close to where I planted the seeds, but one is way off so it could be a re-seed from last years). I think that I also have sunflowers coming up from seeds that I flaked out of a sunflower that was in the stump flower pots last year. The sunflower really didn't get to be it's full potential due to my lack of watering that area, and I had doubted the seeds were good, but I thought what could it hurt? If that is the case I am extreamly thrilled!! I will have between 10 and 20 sunflowers started in there that I will "try" to transplant when I have to thin them out. The area in the stump is only 1 foot across, so to have 10-20 sunflowers in there wouldn't work too well.
My Hyacinth has bloomed. It is not quite the same color/shape as what it was originally, but it's still pretty and smells delicious! I just love them! See below:
I also was able to take some pictures of hummingbirds this afternoon. They really have picked up their activity in the past few days. The male that had claimed the one feeder in my garden was so busy shoe-ing off competetitors. He is a very posessive male. It was really neat watching and hearing them flying around while Hannah and I played together. While I was out there watching the hummingbirds, one male hummingbird landed and began drinking out of the feeder. Another male came down and began drinking out of the other side. The first male stood perfectly still on the left side of the feeder while the other male on the right drank. I think that the first male was trying to "hide" so the second male wouldn't chase him away. Once the second male began to drink, he decided it was okay to do so himself, but that was when the second male noticed him and then chased him off. It was neat seeing two males drinking out of the same feeders though.
and I spent some time outside playing "Mommy Dragon" and "Baby Dragon" which included me chasing her around the yard pretending to be a dragon. She would yell "STOP" and I would freeze, and then she would say "Sheesh, that is close" and fling her hand like she was wiping her forehead (but in her two year old coordination it wasn't quite that...lol) She was so funny, running and stopping, running and stopping.
Another cute thing she has started recently is "jumpin' over creeks". She will walking along then stop and say "jumpin' over creeks Mommy", and then jump as if she was jumping over something. It is so funny to watch. It's added atleast another 5 minutes to our already lengthy toddler doddler walk up to the Mother-In-Laws. It is just great, watching a toddler grow, watching them develope and pretend. I just love it!
More in the next few days, depending on the weather...lol! I hope that everyone is doing well, enjoying the spring weather, and able to get out there in the fresh air and "play". Happy Gardening ALL!!
We had a pretty good day today.
First thing this morning I woke up, looked out my bedroom window down at my garden and what do you think that the first things I saw?
Two hummingbirds feeding at separate feeders. One was a female Rufous Hummingbird, and the other was a male Rufous Hummingbird. I tried to take a picture, but the window was pretty dusty/dirty on the outside so it didn't turn out well (plus I was quite a distance away).
Above: The female Rufous Humming bird is on the right side of the hummingbird feeder, she almost blends in with the haze of the dirty window/flash. I really like the female's colors best I think. The males are flashy, but the female's colors are so multicolored/iridescent.
What a wonderful "good morning" from Mother Nature!!
Hannah and I spent quite a long time outside playing.
I had to re-pot my 3 "Campanula (Poscharskyana) Serbian Bellflower" (perennial) that I bought 2 weeks ago. When I bought them they were already root bound and growing out the bottom, but they looked really nice on top. I just now got around to re-potting them since the weather hasn't been too great. They look very happy now in their newer temporary home!
I discovered that I have one Sweet Pea coming up in my hallowed out stump planters. I planted the seeds over 3 weeks ago and not much has happened, but I hadn't kept the seeds "moist" because I was counting on Mother Nature. I am happy that at least one seed is coming out. Maybe more will now that I have hooked up the hose and am going to start my regular watering.
Hannah played with the hose and the new hose sprayer that I got. I am really happy with it since it has a special nob to easily control the flow. My old one would blast my established plants and it was horrible on my seeds that were trying to grow. I was always fighting with the flow trying not to destroy my garden, so this has made me incredibly happy that it works so well. It was an impulse buy because I alread had the one and I felt it worked well enough to keep (because I hate wasting $$. If I don't have to replace it, I won't buy a new one until it's totally broken and beyond repair.)
Needless to say, I am very excited by a hose nozzle! HAHAHA, the little things that excite a gardner...LOL!
Hannah had a blast "washing" out my old flower containers and watering the little grass area. It was really cute, she was proud to be my little helper, plus it kept her out of my way while I re-potted the Bellflowers mentioned above. She was good, but she got tired and I had to cut my flower playing short.
I went outside this evening while Hannah was napping because I had to shut off the hose I left on. I decided to check out my garden and see if I could catch any hummingbirds at the feeders. Well as I was browsing through the different areas in my garden I happened to walk within 3 feet of one of the hummingbird feeders. Just as I was doing that, a male hummingbird came flying straight at me, zooming past "warning" me to stay way from "his" feeder. The little stinker was challenging me! It was crazy how close he came to my head. I decided to try and get some pictures of him if he was going to visit frequently. Well, would the little bugger come to the feeder? NO! He just kept buzzing around everytime I moved in the garden "warning" me to stay away. What a dominant male, to challenge me! I was able to get two pictures of him at the feeder (but not as close as I had hoped), and some in the trees where he would roost, then fly off and buzz me.
Above: Male Rufous Hummingbird (I am pretty sure it's the same one that was there first thing this morning due to his protectivness of the feeder). Pretty neat!
Above: The Male Rufous Hummingbird watching me, making sure I won't steal "his" feeder. He's hard to see, but you can see the red in the middle of the picture sitting there watching me...
I took a few pictures of some of the little birds that hang out where I put birdseed. They are so cute. I especially like these little ones that have a whitemohawk stripe down the top of his head, then black stripes on his cheeks, then another white set of stripes below the black. It's really cute and I don't remember seeing them last year, but who knows.
So, there are some pictures from a day in my garden....I enjoyed my outdoor day very much!!
Have a great week! Happy Gardening!
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