Monday, March 24, 2014

Wild Violets

I've often wondered why some plants are weeds and some are considered perfect plants for potting or a garden. I can understand why some weeds aren't beloved because they show up like unwelcomed guests, and you can't get rid of them. 

Those plants can be ragged and ugly and may even cause you to sneeze. Not wild violets. I must admit that I really love them even though they are considered an invasive weed.

I was trying to identify another plant and I really thought it was this pretty violet with heart shaped leaves and purple flowers. Wild violets are lacy with nice purple flowers on stems that rise up from the frilly leaves.

I was trying to remember where I had seen them and a couple days ago I went in search of the violets I had seen about a year ago in a ditch.

When I got to the ditch, I almost didn't see them for the grass. I looked more closely and was so happy to see that not only were they there, but were prettier than ever.

So I dug around in my car till I found a plastic fork and I dug some violets that are wild and invasive, but just may make a very nice plant for my yard since they obviously come back, year after year.

For me, they are not an invasive weed, but a flower that is perfect for me. Next time I will go to the ditch with a shovel and I will definitely not plant them around my nice lawn grass.

Crossroads GC Meeting

Tonight we are expecting a wonderful garden club meeting at the Barn, 3072 Hwy 154, Newnan.

Our speaker will feature Mill Creek Pond, of Brooks. The owner, Robin, will be sharing her favorite plants and has also invited us for a tour.

We have open meetings so come and share your gardening secrets with us and we will share with your. All are welcome.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

My grandmother always said she was Irish. We haven't found that to be true after looking into our family history, but she liked to think it was true. I am sure it was a possibility.

Because of this, she always loved St. Patrick's Day. She would always say, "Don't forget to wear green."

I wish you a happy and lucky day today. Just don't forget to wear green!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Celebrating spring with seedlings

Yesterday I woke up with a buster of a headache! A sure sign that spring is almost here. I wouldn't have known it by the temperature outside, because it was a prime day for the new shoots and buds outside to have a big setback. You really don't want to have things like apple blossoms on a morning when temperatures are below freezing!

But inside, it is a perfect time to plant seeds to plant outdoors when the weather improves.

Above are my cabbage plants--really they are the seed leaves or dicots (a new term I recently learned). When I looked at the photo I thought they reminded me of little shamrocks, only in shape. Aren't they cute? I think cabbage plants are perfect to grow in honor of St. Patrick's Day since the adult version of this plant goes so well with corned beef.

This was my first tray of seedlings and from left to right are two rows of cilantro, around 5 or 6 rows of Bachelor Buttons and the rest is Calendula. The Bachelor Buttons were planted because the blue flowers were so pretty on the seed package. The Calendula seeds I found at the Southeastern Flower Show last year and they are supposed to be a traditional healing flower, used for skin ailments.

Above, something new this year. I have decided to start my first squash plants in my basement and I will transplant them into the garden when the soil is warm enough.

Yes, this is another episode in the epic battle I have had with the squash vine borer. I am a bit tired of losing the battle with them so I am trying successive plantings this year and the first will be with plants that are more mature.

Next I will plant seeds in the garden and I will plant more seeds every few weeks until the middle of the summer. I will use tin foil and diatomaceous earth around the stems and if they are attacked, I will pull the plant up and hope for the best in my next planting. Maybe, I can avoid the pest a little better than in the past. I SHOULD be smarter than a worm!?! Right? So far I haven't been but there is always hope for me in a new planting season.,

And the last photo is of my Little Sweetie tomatoes. I really planted them too thick but the seeds were old and I was worried I wouldn't have anything come up.

A good start? I think so. Now I am starting peppers and more tomatoes and eggplants.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I've never seen bluebirds at my house but a couple of weeks ago, I was looking out my window at my little suet holder and I had a big shock when I saw a bluebird! I snapped a photo with my iPhone.

And it appears he saw me looking at him! I think the look says, "Hey you! What are you looking at?" Maybe it was my imagination, but the body language just spoke to me.

Though I didn't get to many photos because I didn't want to spook them, I began to see bluebirds all around--on the ground, in the bushes nearby and I was just amazed. I had never seen a bluebird around here, and now there were at least a dozen, maybe two!

After a while they seemed to disappear and I hurried to look up why so many bluebirds had congregated here at one time. Apparently, bluebirds migrate in flocks and, lucky for me, my suet tree was the place they chose that day.

They were still hanging around for part of the next day and they ate almost all the suet. Then they were gone. They left me feeling good about seeing them and experiencing their migration. Soon they will be many miles away and not in their flocks until the weather turns cold again.

I might never see another flock of bluebirds, but I was very pleased to see them this day, and to feed them berry suet on a blustery day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My new portable PVC Light Stand

I've been pretty busy lately but I know it is time for starting seeds. This year, my very nice and handy husband made something for me to use while in the basement trying to coax my seeds into nice plants for my summer garden. It is something recommended by Walter Reeves in his book, Georgia's Gardening Guide.

The pattern is also thankfully on his website and I do believe there is a nice download to help you get started. The photo below should link you right to the how-to instructions Reeves has so graciously put on his website.

Then, you can start your seeds with a DIY tool that an expert recommends.

I am beginning to see the two little leaves peeking out of my seed trays. They REALLY love that light. I will show you more photos of my new plants, grown under my new and improved lights very soon.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lately, I have taken a break to 
1) Work with my daughter on a Gluten-free Cookbook and 
2) Attend training classes to become a Master Gardener

I am still attending Master Gardener classes but my daughter and I have (finally) finished our book.

As you can see it is called, "Gluten-free with No Apologies," and we are so excited that it is finished. 

We have included gluten-free versions of southern-style recipes like biscuits, breads, pancakes, waffles, and all those things that you have to give up when you are on a gluten-free diet. We even included things like banana pudding, fried chicken and tons of southern favorites. We also added comfort foods like pizza, chicken nuggets and many of those things you crave when you CAN'T have them because of allergies or celiac disease.

This book was designed to help those with these problems and it was designed especially for those who have to eat gluten-free food while everyone else is enjoying the regular food. Our hope is that you will find these recipes so good that you won't have apologize, or even tell people that your cake, cookies, pie or comfort food dish is gluten-free.

Tell your friends, especially those who have been living in a world of wheat goodies, while having to constantly do without. Now they can have a brownie recipes all their friends and family members will love. You don't even have to tell them it is gluten-free! We no longer do. It can be our little secret. 

We hope you really enjoy this book!