Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
No gardening yesterday as I spent the day in Little Rock at a Taekwondo World Competition. My sister-in-law's granddaughter, Laura, was competing in two events. I do not know enough about the sport to know the names of the events that she was in, but I do know that she came in 5th in the first event and 4th in the second. It was heartbreaking because she tied for 3rd in the second event and then had to have a play off and during her second performance, she dropped her weapon. It was so sad. But she was a great sport and bowed to her opponent and then shook her hand and gave her a hug. She is a very good sport. But we all could tell she was very disappointed in herself, even though we told her over and over again how good her performance was.
It was nice to spend the day with my sister-in-law, and her daughter and her granddaughter. And we had the most yummy lunch at a little deli near the convention center - a cold cut sandwich on a croissant with rasberry dressing and cucumber and tomato - oh it was so yummy. It makes my mouth water thinking about it.
But when I got home I found that my wonderful hubby had watered all my plants for me - he's so sweet. I didn't even ask him to do that, he just did it on his own initiative. What a sweetie - I think I'll keep him.
Since I've been here in Texarkana, I just buy my plants and seeds at Lowes or WalMart because I'm not familiar with the territory yet and I don't know of any nurseries. But my friend Ann, told me about this little nursery just down the street from me and it has some Crape Myrtles on sale for $4.44 - WOW - I have always wanted some crape myrtles. So I stopped in to take a look. Well these were not lovely little bushy crape myrtles like I see at Lowes. These were tall, leggy sticks with a little foliage at the top. And I mean they were tall, taller than I am and I'm 5'2", so they were about 6' tall at least. So I passed on them. But then I strolled around the rest of her little nursery and oh wow! She had all kinds of plants that I want. I love flowering shrubs and she had the kind of selection that I don't see at Lowes and WalMart: Rose of Sharon, a wonderful Spirea, this beautiful, beautiful hibiscus - the great big huge ones - and oh others I can't remember right at the moment. I told my hubby I needed a piece of paper to write them all down cause my memory is so bad - I just knew I "wanted, wanted, wanted"!!!!!
And then she had this lovely Lantana in a hanging basket that I just have to have, but I'll have to go back for it - not enough money in the pocketbook right now.
And I talked to my friend Ann about the Crape Myrtle and she said I should buy it - that with good pruning it will bush out at the top and be beautiful - just like the ones in the median along the highways. Well I always admire those along the highway, so maybe this novice crape myrtle gardner may go back and get one of those crape myrtles and give it a go . . .
My landlord called me today with a question about bluebirds. He calls me the bird lady. But really this is my first experience with bluebirds, I've never had bluebirds in my yard before. But I told him I'd help him if I could. It seems that his baby bluebirds disappeard and the mama (or papa) bird was found dead near the nest box. My first guess was a snake, just off the top of my head (he lives on lakefront property), but after searching on the internet, it sounds more like a cat or a raccoon got them. In fact it sounds exactly like how a cat attack was described on several sites on the internet, attacking the mother/father bird as they leave the nest - leaving the dead parent bird behind and taking the babies off or another predator getting the babies. His nest is on a pole, so he needs to get a predator baffle of some kind. He was pretty upset, it's his first time trying to raise bluebirds and he had just checked them the day before and they were fine, but were not even ready to fly, they were devoid of feathers--very sad. We are on our second set of baby bluebirds here in two separate nest boxes, so I feel lucky that we haven't had any predation. And that is pure luck because I really have never had bluebird boxes before - this is my first try at it.
I can't remember who warned me about the cows might eat my sunflowers that I planted along the chain link fence that separates me from the cow pasture. Well doggone it, one of those darn cows did it - ate the top right off one of my sunfowers! I couldn't believe it. It was only a bud, not a big huge flower or anything, but still, it would never have occured to me that a cow would eat a sunflower. Lesson learned, I guess! No more sunflowers along the chain link fence along the pasture!
Yesterday hubby and I trimmed one of the pecan trees that had gotten unruly. It appears that at one time, the original tree was cut down and now all these suckers grow up from the stump. It looks very untidy. There is one main trunk that looks fine, but the rest are just suckers, so we cut them all down. It looks so much better now. I like things nice and tidy. The birds seemed to like it, too. After we trimmed it, the birds were all over it. Or maybe they were just checking it out.
Everyone told me that June would be hot and it was certainly that today. Whew! I don't know exactly how hot, but I think it was 97 here in Texarkana and with 87 percent humidity. We drove my sister-in-law to the airport in Little Rock for her trip home to Savannah, GA - thank goodness for a/c. We left at 7:00 am and I didn't get home til 4:30 pm - first thing I had to do was water some of my container plants - they were drooping - poor things. All is well now though.
I can't get used to how fast the water evaporates in my bird bath. I have to fill it up a couple of times a day. I never had to do that back home in Seattle. It is actually kind of funny - I can tell when the water gets low, I will see a bird trying really hard to take a bath and he's splashing away, but there's no water splashing aound him. That's my clue to go out and fill up the bird bath once again.
Even the cows in the pasture next door seek out whatever bit of shade they can during the day - and that is usually shade from the pecan trees in my yard that overhang the pasture. It is just plain hot here - I hope I can adjust to this after the cool, mild summers I am used back in the PNW.
Gosh, haven't had time to do more than water my plants and do a little tidying up for the past few days. With my sister-in-law (Lawana) here it seems like we are on the go all the time. It's been fun, but tiring. She like to shop, shop, shop. She has bought so many new clothes, I don't know how she will get them all home. She gave me a couple pairs of shoes and a pair of size 4 capri pants. Now there is no way I am a size 4 - a size 14 yes, but not a size 4 - these HAVE to be mis-sized, but it sounds cool to say I'm wearing a size 4, I've never worn a size 4 in my life - oh, maybe when I was 4 years old. But they are cute, they are pink plaid and I LOVE them. Pink is like my favorite color in the whole wide world.
Lawana has been checking out my plants and asking me what everything is. She really liked my Gold Star Esperanza, but when she asked me what it was, for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name. I hate it when that happens, the name just went right out of my head and I knew very well what it was. So about 4 hours later, when I remembered, I called her and just said "Gold Star Esperanza" - nothing else. She knew what I was talking about. I told her it is a tropical plant, so I have to take it indoors in the winter here, but I don't know about where she lives in Savannah, GA.
She told me that I should get some sago palms - that I would like those - I haven't grown any palms since I lived in Puerto Rico 30 some years ago. And I don't know if they would grown here, but I do see palms in some yards around town, so they must. I'm not sure what a sago palm is - I will have to look it up.
Today my husband and his sisters visited a very, very old friend of their family - she is 90 years old and was a close personal friend of their mother. Their mother has passed away several years ago and they just found out that this woman is living right here in town, so they all went to see her. And when they came back, they had a present for me from her - a start of some cactus or I guess you'd say cacti - she called them hens and chickens, but they look very spiny and much like cactus to me. I will investigate them better after all my company has gone, but I'm so excited - I love new plants! ! !
Haven't written for a few days. My crazy sister-in-law from Georgia is here for two weeks for a visit. It's been a non-stop whirlwind of activities since she got here. Thank goodness she's staying with her sister (my other sister-in-law) and not me! I need a couple of days rest after one whole day of shopping on Friday, one whole day of garage sales and flea markets on Saturday and a BBQ with family and friends on Sunday. Whew! And now I have orders to go back to the flea market and buy this quilt that she wants - I don't know how in the world she will get that back to Georgia - but I guess I'll head down to the flea market tomorrow and get it!
Today I had to tend to my poor neglected garden plants. Everything seems to be doing fine, everything needed water, though. The baby wrens fledged so I could finally water the mum properly. I have changed some of my bird feeders around. One of the squirrels kept getting into one of the feeders, so I moved it to where he can't get it. But now te birds do NOT like it. So I am going to have to move it back and put this cage on it that I bought at Wild Birds Unlimited. I just don't like to do that because it keeps the larger birds out also. But I can't afford to feed squirrels. I like them, they just are not invited to the feeders - they can have what's on the ground, but that's all.
I also moved some of my potted plants around and the birds don't like that either. They are too close to the birdbath and they are now kind of scared to land and will flutter around and around and then fly away. I trimmed one of the plants and that helped some, they did cautiously use the birdbath some today, but not like before, so the plants have to move. I love my plants, but I love the birds, too. Got to have harmony in the garden.
The other day I noticed a sickly looking Northern Cardinal at one of my feeders. This is not a good sign. It doesn't necessarily mean he got sick at one of my feeders, but I don't like to take any chances, so today was birdfeeder cleaning day. I clean them on a daily basis as I fill them, but this was an all-out cleaning. Take them apart and clean all the cracks and crevices and put them back together kind of thing. It took me all day, but I feel so much better about my little birdies. I don't want any more of them getting sick. I haven't seen any other sickly birds, though, so hopefully it wasn't at my feeders and all is well now.
Yesterday I moved all my container plants from the back patio to the front yard so that I can see them from my office. The back patio has no cover at all and is a southern exposure so it got direct sunlight all day long and just wasn't doing my plants any good at all. So I moved them all to the front yard where it's mostly shaded all day. I like being able to see them out my window whenever I look outside. And the birds seem to like them, too. This one little wren spent all day today investigating every single container. It was so cute.
Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.