I don’t know why I do these things to myself. You’d think I’d learn. I brought a box of mail order daylilies into the house to open the box. This is the sort of thing a reasonable person would open up OUTSIDE the house because daylilies are live plants.
Nope, I take the box into the living room and plop it right there on top of the Bible on my lamp table. I proceed to cut the box open, and start pulling out the wadded up newspaper to separate the daylilies from the newspaper.
Mail order daylilies
Then I start cleaning up the mess. I noticed a twig that fell out of the box and just as I was reaching towards it with outstretched thumb and finger, that twig moved. Oh my heavenly stars, you should have heard the screaming that commenced. I think it might have been me because I was the only one in the house but I’m not sure. I was too freaked out to pay much attention to screaming when I was hyperventilating.
It was a WORM! Inside my house. Probably the kind of worm that MULTIPLIES by itself. I’m not an expert on worms but it looked suspiciously like a red wiggler and he was headed for the edge of the lamp table. If a red worm fell off the table onto my reddish-burgundy carpet, he’d be a goner. I could just add him to the list of critters that got away and are now living in this house with me.
Like that polka-dotted albino see-thru lizard that dropped in the other night when I opened the door to let Whiskey the Cat in. That episode resulted in the discontinuation of late night doorman services for cats.
There was only one thing to be done and it had to be done immediately. Somebody had to scoop up that worm into some of that wadded up newspaper before the worm went over Niagara Falls. And what did that somebody have handy? A finger! AGGGGGHHHHH, you should have heard the gagging noises. I now have one red wiggler joining all the earthworms in my flower bed but I did it, brothers and sisters. I touched that worm!
As if the worm in the box wasn’t bad enough, I went outside Sunday to plant two orders of daylilies and what do I see? A smashed-up daylily with the day’s fresh bloom torn off. Some critter with a fat butt apparently plopped down in the middle of the plant.
Squashed by fat-butted creature
Posted in Flowers, Tickle Thy Funny Bone, Critters | Tagged mail order daylilies, red wiggler worm | 4 Comments »
I was in Lowe’s the other day so I checked the Down-and-Out-but-Not-Quite-Dead table. I found a red Ixora for $2.50 and that’s about all they’re worth considering I’ve never been able to get one through the winter.
Then I wandered around looking at everything just in the outside chance that they had something cheap enough for dollars to squeak through my fingers. They did. For $4.98, I walked out of there with a tiny Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Little Tiger,’ with a yellow flower and a deep red throat. It was full of buds, too. I planted it and something went horribly wrong. It must not like my dirt. Overnight, my yellow flower turned peachy-pink:
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Little Tiger’
I stood there looking at it in all its peachy-pink glory, planted a little too close to my large Pink Hibiscus, and shook my head. I can’t even buy a hibiscus and get it right.
It lightens up somewhat as the day wears on but nothing like the yellow it was on the day I bought it. I went hunting for the tag and sure enough, “Apricot-pink blooms, dark green foliage.” So why was it yellow at Lowes?
Sigh. I try so hard to have so little success.
Posted in Flowers | Tagged Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Little Tiger | 8 Comments »
I awakened at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning coughing and shivering from cold. After piling on extra blankets, I hit Facebook and discovered Amishland Heirloom Seeds. The two websites took several hours to explore.
Around 4 a.m., I wondered what the cats were doing. The minute I opened the front door, Whiskey ran in but I noticed Big Foot’s face in the door of the cathouse Poppie built.
Big Foot in Cathouse
I painted the cathouse then Momma, a mere three weeks before she died, helped me sew a bed for it. The cathouse was presented to the cats on December 5, 2012 and placed on my porch with its door facing my front door.
This is the first time I’ve seen either cat use the cathouse and no wonder, it was 46 degrees! I was so amazed that I found myself lying down on my living room floor at 4 a.m. shooting the above photo with no more light than provided by one of those Bug Light bulbs in the front porch light fixture. Thus, the poor focusing even with auto focus.
Posted in Critters | Tagged Amishlandseeds, cathouse | 9 Comments »
I saw a photo somewhere on the web (you know how that goes) of January King Cabbage. It was so pretty I started looking for seeds. Although an heirloom, seeds were hard to find. I ended up ordering a stingy 20 seeds from Cherry Gal. It’s not that I wanted to grow 20 cabbages but 20 seeds are barely enough for reseeding due to garden, uh, accidents. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds did that to me this year with a mere 25 seeds of their Mexican Sour Gherkin cucumber. The first gherkin seeds didn’t come up and I’ve got to try again.
I didn’t grow the January King in 2011 so I must have ordered the seeds after the winter growing season and had to wait for the fall/winter 2012 garden.
January King cabbage is an open-pollinated heirloom. It dates back to Victorian England (before 1885) but the French also claim it according to both Cherry Gal and Thompson & Morgan. It grows on compact plants with flattened heads and slightly savoyed blue green outer leaves with a touch of purple. It was that reddish-purple that caught my eye in the original web photo. Cherry Gal says it is extremely cold hardy but also grows well in the summer months. Even Thompson & Morgan claimed it could be planted in early July and would hold in the garden until March. Bwahahahahahaha, can you imagine cabbage growing in Florida in the summer? With all our bugs? I know better than to try something so foolish. I had no bug problems on January King in my fall garden.
All the seedsmen agreed that the mature heads would weigh 3 to 5 pounds but I didn’t weigh mine. I had only two that survived and they were so pretty I didn’t harvest them until the very, very end of the winter season. By then, they were huge and probably every bit of 5 pounds. Interestingly, one of the two did form the flattened, dense head but the other one never formed a head. It was just a collection of beautiful leaves.
Notes On The Menu suggested roasting one’s January King cabbage. Isn’t that a wild idea?
The seeds were planted on September 8 or October 12. I keep planting records of a sort but sometimes I do something stupid like writing “planted cabbage”. Thus, the possibility of two dates. I wish I had taken photos late in the season but I was so smitten by the beauty of the cabbage that I ran out and looked at them every day but after January 27th, never took another photo. Still the photos here show the progression of cabbage growth in two different January King cabbage – one that formed a head and one that did not.
Reddish purple starts to show
Already forming a head
Photo taken 12/9/12
Head is getting bigger
Photo taken 1/6/13
Not forming a head
Photo taken 1/6/13
Never formed a head
Photo taken wrong time of day on 1/27/13
Note purple tinge on leaf edges
Posted in Fall/Winter, Seeds, Uncategorized, Veggies | Tagged baker creek heirloom seeds, Cherry Gal seeds, January King Cabbage, progression of cabbage growth, Thompson & Morgan | 10 Comments »
I saw him smirk. He carefully avoided eye contact as he trundled by on his riding mower. At least he didn’t bust out laughing. No doubt he was thinking something along the lines, “Just what does she expect to accomplish with that thing?”
I stood a little taller, lifted my chin and kept right on walking with my eco-friendly push mower in front of me. I realize it’s not up to the task of mowing our whole two acres but at least it can get inside my pergola where his big old riding mower with leaf baggers won’t fit. I haven’t used it much over the years but when I need a mower, it serves a very important function: I do not have to crank it or snatch a pull cord to get it going, all of which intimidate me.
Can I get a round of applause for my eco-friendly push mower?
Posted in Accessories, Tickle Thy Funny Bone | Tagged push mower | 13 Comments »
Listen up all you locals. Cunningham is having a Mother’s Day Open House to say thanks to all that come to her festivals and to remember all our mothers a day before Mother’s Day on Sunday. She will have plants that could not be sold at her April festival because it was too cold. Now they are available, along with some new herbs she has tried this season.
She and Sally are cooking up some finger foods for sampling, leaning toward ”Sugar and Spice” and everything nice, as that is what little girls (and big girls) are made of, plus herbal lemonade, herbal teas, dips, and more.
Cunningham hopes that whatever takes you out on Saturday, 5/11/13, that you will take the time to swing by, say hello and shop a bit for Mother. Some of the regular vendors will be there and she will have all her usual stuff – books, shirts, cards, and of course lots of plants.
Here are the particulars:
Posted in Herbs | Tagged Herbs, Linda Cunningham's Mother's Day Openhouse | Leave a Comment »