Some days I like my tea green and my coffee black. Straight up, no fuss.
I made my first succulent garden! My mom gave me some of the succulents so long ago that they were starting to root into the paper towel on the plate. I got most of the others from Homewood Nursery.
The platter is actually a big, heavy plant saucer, 14″ in diameter. Since it was so shallow, I decided to build a little stone wall in order to build up the soil. The stones used for the wall were all gathered from my back yard. Since the edge of the saucer was curved, I had to hot-glue the stones to keep them from sliding in to the center of the plate. It only took a small amount of glue to hold them together. I planned on using a cement filler between the stones but ended up not using it.
Since the saucer has no drainage, I covered the bottom with more stones.
A layer of bonsai soil was spread over the stones. Not shown is a very thin scattering of charcoal to help with drainage.
A thicker layer of cactus/succulent soil was placed on top, with a little more bonsai soil mixed in. I also arranged and glued more rocks to make another wall on top of the soil, then built up more soil inside to give the arrangement height.
Not all the succulents got used.
I’m so happy with how this turned out since it the first time I planted succulents.
I got a container of “vase filler” from Target and sorted through to pull out all the black stones and light stones. The black stones were used on and near the elevated area in the center of the arrangement. The light stones were used everywhere else.
This dish is beautiful but I weighed it and it’s very heavy… 22 lbs! Wow! It’s definitely not a casual arrangement I will be moving often. But today, I’m really enjoying it on my dining room table.
All eyes are on succulents.
Today is a great day for #7 from the previous post. “Laughter can be The Best Medicine Ever. You’ve got to try it! Read humor, watch comedy, laugh with family and friends. Don’t just hope laughter might happen, deliberately make it happen.” – from 31 Wonderful Things Severe Pain Taught Me
I can’t count the number of friends whose lives are really complicated right now. I’m included in that number. So many troubles are weighing heavy on our hearts. But through it all, God is still there and still in charge.
This year, he gave me a little surprise again. Several weeks ago, I noticed New Dawn rose buds in the window!
Due to disability, I had to let a lot of things go, such as pruning and training the New Dawn rose bush. Just when it was getting to a good age to work with, my spine was collapsing so there were a half dozen years that disappeared.
Those were the thorn years. Lots of tangles and brambles.
Even then, good things keep growing. Never forget that… GOOD THINGS KEEP GROWING.
Yes, God is aware. He knows what we need. And all those little buds lined up in my window to say Good Things Keep Growing.
The roses are blooming now. But the weight of them is pulling the vine over.
I put three nails and a loose wire up to hold the roses up so I can see them from the kitchen again.
Roses in the window!
And how fitting that the rose is called New Dawn. Even without a window box of nourishing dirt, 20 feet from the ground, never stopping, the roses are peeking in my window to remind me Good Things Keep Growing.
And the Lord shall guide thee continually and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Is 58:11
It was a very cold winter and since the trees were over five years old, it never occurred to me that they were sensitive to cold. I’m very sad we may have lost the fig trees. We were supposed to mulch them two feet deep before the deep frosts hit.
Other disturbing news, the trees have evidence of boring insects.
There is no antidote for the ambrosia beetles. We will have to cut and burn the trees to prevent spreading. Oh oh, so sad! If you’ve read my blog before, you know how much I love the figs.
The ambrosia beetles are more likely to attack damaged, dying or dead trees so our frost-bitten trees were very susceptible.
But there is still hope. Small green leaves are emerging from canes coming up from the base of the larger fig tree. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Elsewhere in the back yard, the tire swing hangs dormant. I love the look of it but think a comfortable porch swing belongs here, where I can enjoy a quilt, a good book and a bottle of wine.
That is what the roses become when they wilt too much for a bouquet.
This rose is too far gone to revive.
All the roses in this photo are from the same bouquet. The wilted roses in the vase on the right are the original length.
The roses on the left had the stems trimmed once and fresh water. The roses in the bowl were cut off the stems right under the calyx just as they started to bend over but before they wilted. Overnight in the bowl of water, they perked up. Amazing how all these roses were from the same bouquet.
This photo was taken several years ago.
Here are my Valentine roses from this year. They were grocery store roses and weren’t fresh to begin with. But yesterday they started to droop so I cut them short and placed them in water. Today several have revived and I removed the brown outer petals from the roses that never opened.
These roses are exquisite, shaded in delicate shell and baby pink. I was surprised he remembered my favorite colors! So sweet. The Bowl Roses look beautiful on the work table.
The figs are juicy, sweet and huge this year!
We were really pleased that the netting kept the birds away.
We put the net over the tree too early though so some of the new tree growth went right through the net. We’ll have to either prune the tree or cut the net to get it off in the fall.
We haven’t hung the bug traps yet so we lost a few figs to beetles and bees.
But there are still so many green, healthy figs.
I hope the traps work for beetles. We didn’t have beetles last year.
It’s disturbing to see how they ravage a fig. But at least they stay on one fig until it is all used up without taking a single bite out of the neighboring fig.
Figs keep only a day or two and taste better at room temperature so these will sit on the counter for snacking. I cut and ate half of one immediately after picking then ate the other half several hours later. The flavor was better after the fig sat for a bit after picking. I’m not sure what caused it to be sweeter. We are still newbies at growing figs.
Honestly though, I’m not optimistic. My husband brought home a box of 20 “Strawberry Plants” from a discount store. Inside were two plastic bags of dirt and not a green leaf in sight. It took me a while to figure out the mass of mulch-looking matter actually contained some roots. I had no idea how the tangled mass was 20 plants so I just played in the dirt a bit until 20 little “pony tails” fell out.
I figured the plant end must be the part that was not the root end. I’m really a beginner at most gardening so this mass of root was new to me. ha
We’ve had the Hanging Strawberry Planter “As Seen on TV!” for several years but have never used it. I’ve never seen it on TV but bought it when it was steeply discounted in a toy catalog. Not exactly a move a seasoned gardener would make, eh?
We put dirt into the planter up to the middle of the first holes and lightly pressed it down. The directions said to press the roots of strawberry plants in through the hole, being careful not to damage the fragile leaves. But all we had was a lumpy stump so I did it opposite – I pushed the hard little stump out of the planter and spread the pony tail roots inside.
We slowly filled the planter with dirt and kept adding plants. Some plants had to share a hole.
We continued laying plants and soil until the planter was full. After the last plants were added, we filled the planter up with soil.
One of my strong sons lifted the planter up to the sturdy hook in the roof. It’s the sunniest spot on the deck and the strawberries should fare ok there.
We measured a gallon of water and poured it in.
When the soil settled, we added a bit more and then added more water. We must water once a day.
And now we wait.
I’m going to watch for leaves. I’ll give these plants a week or so before making a judgement. If they don’t make it, now that we know how to use the hanging planter, I’ll go to a garden center and get “real” strawberry plants. Since I’m still a beginning gardener, I need a back-up gardening plan like that. We suspect that more knowledgeable gardeners must spend way less money on gardening than beginners like us with multi-layered back-up plans.