Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I thought it would pass us by, but we got hit with the ice storm! At 10:00 last night it was still just rain with temps around 33, but overnight look what happened!
When my clock radio came on this morning at 5:45 the first thing I heard was "and Garland schools are closed." What? I went to look out the window and this is what I saw!
There could have been a little bit of snow, but this is mainly ice.
And the tempera-
ture was 21 degrees! The street in front of my houses looks like it contains
"black ice" which I think is the most dangerous. Hopefully folks will stay home if they can until it starts to melt.
I refilled the bird feeders and it wasn't long before my little friends stopped by for breakfast.
It's now 8:00 and the sun is coming out. The ice should start to melt around noon. So, day off for me. What shall I do??? Think I'll sit by the fire, drink another cup of coffee..and later I'll make gingerbread!
Stay warm everyone!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Colors of Winter

It is a cold, wet, gloomy Monday! They have colder weather plus ice in the forecast. When I got home from work, I walked around outside for just a minute and found some beauty on this dreary day.
I love the way the trees look against the sky on a cold rainy day. It is so quiet and so peaceful as I walk around the back yard. Even the birds are not out on this wet day.

I saw more beauty in the winter color of the grasses...

..even in the brown of the fern. I know that is where my little bird friends find shelter on a cold winter day.
But look what else I find with all the winter colors, I find some green! Hyacinths are peaking through the candytuff--both watching for spring.
The wonderful, fragrant jonquils are already up waiting for bloom time..
..daffodils are up and very close to blooming..

..and the tulips are poking through the ground wondering if it is time for them.

I look so forward to seeing these sure signs of spring, especially on a cold wet day. I will continue to check the bulbs constantly now that they are starting to come up, until one day I'll go out and find the first bloom. In Texas we may have terrible summers, but we are so blessed with our early springs!

"She who loves a garden learns the lessons of the seasons and how life itself adheres to nature's plan---that from every winter sleep there comes a wonderful awakening holding promise as it has since time began"
from Mary Englebreit's She Who Loves A Garden

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January Joy

Several years ago (5 to be exact) my oldest son was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is bad enough to hear news of this terrible disease striking anyone, but to hear one of your children has it is devastating. But my son was ready to fight this head on. We were so blessed that it was caught early, but because this was an aggressive cancer the treatment was aggressive. Instead of going every other week for a four hour chemo treatment, he went every other week for a 5 day treatment. He wore a backpack that had the chemo in it and dispensed it through my son's port. Every month for 6 months he went in and got a terrible, painful shot in his spine so the cancer would not spread to his brain. Because of what he does for a living, he was able to work from home..and I don't think he ever missed a day of work except for the 2 times he was in the hospital. Every time I called to check on him and asked how he was doing he always said, "I'm OK!" Along with his sweet and caring wife, he fought hard. We are always so proud of good grades and home runs, but the pride I felt watching my son endure this illness and fight this battle was incredible.
So here we are, 5 years down the road. His latest PET scan was all clear, so now we go from using "in remission" to "cured!" He will still have to visit the doctor once a year-for the rest of his life-and be watchful as we all do, but he is a SURVIVOR!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tagging Fun

Susie from Digging in the Dirt has tagged me! Here are the rules to this tag: open a document or file folder, click on the fifth folder and then the fifth photo. Post the photo and describe it.

Here is what I found! This was taken at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin last spring. Don't these cute turtles look like they are having a pretty good day just laying out in the sun!

I am suppose to tag other bloggers, but I know not everyone likes to participate in these so please do not feel obligated:

Liz from jenningsjunk
Joy from Gardenjoy4Me
Cindee from Cindee's Garden

Hope you find a surprise checking that 5th folder like I did!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Garden Journals

Long before I had this garden blog, I had a garden journal. In fact, I have several journals. I love to write in a journal. I can share my thoughts, my feelings, my frustrations and my wishes. My memory is not as good as it once was,
so writing in a journal is a great way to document what worked, what didn't, and what I should have done.
This is my current garden journal. I like something easy to write in and pretty to look at.

As you can see, I add pictures...
I add foliage so I can remember what a certain seedling looks like..
I add seed packets and notes as to when the seeds were planted and when they started to come up...
And I sometimes add a souvenir from other places in my journal.
This was my first garden journal. My son and daughter-in-law gave it to me for Mother's Day many years ago. They knew I like to jot down notes about my gardening experiences and came up with the perfect gift for me.
I would sit out on the patio early Saturday mornings with coffee and write in my journal. I took scissors, 2 sided tape and all my garden pictures and spent an hour enjoying the garden and putting my gardening adventures in this book.
This is another garden journal I have. I use this one to jot down notes on plants, what I want to buy, what NOT to buy and anything else I might think of.
This is the book I take with me to garden centers and nurseries or on garden tours.

This is the journal I take when I take garden classes.
It's very easy to write in and I like the notebook style.

This is the journal my best friend gave me for Christmas last year. Isn't it beautiful. The quote on front says:
"Life begins the day you start a garden."

The pages are empty in this journal. I will fill up my current book before I move on to this one. Although it remains empty for now, I envision lots of notes and lots of pictures of flowers yet to be planted.
I hope you have a way you save your garden experiences. These books while probably only meaningful to me, hold special precious memories of gardens past and gardens yet to come.

"The trouble with that is does not remain an avocation. It becomes an obsession!"
Phyllis McGinley

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

They are starting to bloom!!

The first of every December I buy Paper White (Narcissus tazetta) bulbs to force inside. Unlike other narcissus, paper whites don’t require a chilling period, so forcing them is as easy as putting the bulbs in soil and waiting. The fragrant flowers bloom within about 3 weeks of planting, for almost instant gratification.
It is really fun to watch them as they grow. I just add potting soil to a pot and sit the bulbs on top and water them. You can even grow them in pebbles as long as you keep them watered.The bulbs don't need light at this point. When you start to see roots develop, you can move them to a sunny window. One afternoon I came home from work, and before I even saw the bloom I smelled the sweet fragrance.
You can see this one starting to bloom, with more buds standing tall and waiting for their turn to open up.
I have 2 pots: one in the breakfast room window,

and one on an end table in the family room.
The only problem with paper whites is that they start to fall over when all the blooms appear. I have heard of many things to do to prevent this, but I just tie a ribbon or piece of twine around them and I'm good to go!

It is so exciting to have something to watch grow then bloom this time of year!
What bulbs have you forced inside this year?

Friday, January 2, 2009

The first new plant for 2009

Day 2 of the new year and I bought a new plant! I went to Lowe's with hubby this morning, and I just happen to walk into the nursery section (which is pretty void of plants right now) and saw this beautiful Tuscan Blue Rosemary. I knew it was perfect for the flagstone patio.
Because the sun is shinning in this picture, you probably can't tell, but the foliage is a dark, bluish green. The spires are thicker than the other 2 rosemary's I have. I came home and looked this type up on the Internet and this is what I found on the Magnolia site about this type of rosemary:
"Tuscan Blue' is a large evergreen, upright Rosemary with a good flavor making it an excellent culinary herb, or a landscaping shrub. Flowers are larger than other varieties .
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Tuscan Blue' is part of our Plants For Texas® Program, meaning it was Texas Grown, Tested in Texas to perform outstanding for Texas Gardens."
I think this is a keeper..and doesn't it look great beside the old red chair?
I hope you had a wonderful day today!