Web easter  

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It’s Easter time and most of us picture bright sunny spring days filled with  birds chirping and flowers blooming.  Not this year in the North East. We have had gloomy skies for the past several days filled with March winds and flakes of snow whipping by.

daffodil

But all is not lost because we can get through these last days of winter weather in the spring by taking in the little things around us, like daffodils in the grocery stores to bring home and pretend I have just picked from my garden, and a few brave bulbs beginning to emerge from the cold ground. 

lauras cactus

A Christmas cactus that thinks it’s an Easter cactus and old Easter cards that I found in a box. 

 

 

kitty spring

These are what hold me over until the real thing comes along.

 

easter, spring

That and the knowledge that in a few days we will be heading to Florida to sit ocean side in muuuch warmer weather than we have here. 

 So I’ll keep on smiling because we have made it this far and the worst is behind us now

 

…it just has to be.

flower

  Happy Easter, I hope it’s spring like where you live!

 

 

 

 

 

 Gardening by the moon is an age old practice.  Since the moon controls ocean tides, it is believed that it influences the groundwater tables beneath our feet and the movement of fluids in plants.  This is why planting at a certain phase and harvesting at a certain phase is supposedly beneficial.  These photos I took of the moon by no means do it justice but they remind me just how amazing the moon is. web-moon-041

    The size of the moon when it first appears on the horizon is enormous. It appears like that because our brains perceive a low moon to be larger than one that’s high in the sky.  They actually have a name for this ~Moon Illusion. The moon also can appear warmer or reddish on the horizon.  This is caused by moonlight passing through a larger amount of atmospheric particles than when the moon is overhead, this scatters the bluish part of moonlight (which is really white light reflecting from the sun), but it lets in the red parts of the light which travel a straighter path to our eyes.web-mu

 The Harvest moon is actually the full moon closest to the fall equinox.  It usually occurs in late September or early October.  It was called that because it’s brightness made it possible for farmers to harvest after dark.

  After doing a little reading I found out the November full moon which is also referred to as the Beaver moon which lets you know it is time to set your beaver traps before the swamps freeze. This info ensures a supply of warm winter furs for a trapper. So if you are a trapper, get to work soon.  If you’re not you can do other things when the full moon is out like dance by the light of the moon, or howl at the moon, or turn into a werewolf…web-moon-058

It all sounds like lunacy to me. ;) 

web-moon-058

 

Men should take their knowledge from the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 Here are a few of the blooms happening today in my garden. 

They just happen to all be

RED!:) 

Have I mentioned that’s my favorite color?

  

 ~” ‘Tis my faith that every flower

Enjoys the air it breathes!”~William Wordsworth

 

amarylis-Amaryllis are the easiest of flowering bulbs to bloom.  It’s botanical name is Hippastrume and it is now a popular Christmas time flower that originated in South American tropical regions.  They are not winter hardy bulbs but they are fun to force in the wintertime to have holiday blooms.  They always seem like a Christmas flower to me.  It’s the red ones that I love.  web-kk-0371

 At Christmas play and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year
~Thomas Tusser

 

Visit Work of the Poet blog to see other Ruby Tuesday posts.  Happy Holidays!

Cat

 

Happy Saturday!   I swear this pretty feline is posing for me.

 I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

 

There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.  ~Tay Hohoff Visit Camera CrittersCamera Critters

web-tree-090I have very good news.  We now carry Felco Pruners for both right and left handed users as well as a smaller sized pair for those of you with smaller hands.  These pruners are awesome.  They are made to last a lifetime.  You can sharpen them or replace parts if need be. They fit your hand comfortably so you don’t tire while using them. They have ergonomic design and cushioning to protect your hands and a notch to cut wire. They also have a groove for sap if you are cutting sticky branches like your Christmas tree.  If you are tired of replacing your pruners season after season and of dull pruners that break, these are worth looking into.  Once you have a pair you will never settle for any other kind.  They make a great gift for any gardener or homeowner or for yourself. 

 Mouse over for type of pruner, then click  on the picture for the info and prices of each one from our online catalogue. 

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felco pruners

Well done is better than well said.  ~Benjamin Franklin

I have the outdoors decorated and ready …web-j-039web-j-029

 and because we love the scent and feel of a real Christmas tree, we went and cut one down, put it up and decorated it too!   

tree   We have all been given advice on the many ways to take care of  Christmas trees, so if you are like me  you will probably be surprised how many of those rules aren’t necessary, so here’s a quick list of things to do when you’re picking out and bringing your tree home.

Before buying the tree, give it a shake or grab a branch of needles and slide your hand towards yourself.  Brown needles are ok to drop, but if green needles are dropping, then the tree isn’t very fresh.

 If it has been more than 6 hours since cutting it down, or if you bought a pre-cut tree, you will need to cut one inch off the bottom of the trunk because it heals over and won’t take water.

Make the cut straight across the trunk.  Don’t cut the tree at an angle or a V shape, or whittle away the edges to fit into your stand because the outside edges draw up the water most efficiently.

If you are planning on waiting before putting it in it’s stand, put it in a bucket of  water and keep it somewhere cool until you are ready to bring it in the house.

Place the tree in a stand with adequate water capacity.  Be careful because some stands allow there to be water in the stand without the tree being submerged and the bottom of the trunk needs to always be in water to prevent healing over.

Only give the tree plain water.  There is no need for aspirin or any of the other concoctions we have been told about.  Plain water works best.  Water temperature doesn’t matter either.

Don’t put it near any kind of heat source when picking your location.

Use miniature lights that produce less heat, this helps prevent your tree from drying out.

Your tree should last 4 to 5 weeks if you keep it watered and don’t let the water level go below the trunk.my grapevine/holly wreath

Remember ~ real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource.  They are farmed like a crop so no need for guilt when deciding on a real tree.web-tree-036 

  1.  

  2. For more info about real Christmas trees, visit The national Christmas Tree Associaiton at http://www.christmastree.org/

  3. You can locate a tree recycling program by logging onto www.realchristmastrees.org

To learn many myths about real Christmas trees visit http://www.christmastree.org/myths.cfm

 

frasier fir

 

It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees.  ~Wilson Flagg

 

Click below to visit Susan at A Southern DaydreamerOutdoorWednesdaylogo545444

T’is the season… frasier fir  

The most wonderful time of the year. frasier fir   

 Except ~the weather outside is frightful

holly

and it won’t let me play in my garden.

 

 

my grapevine/holly wreath

 

 

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.  ~Norman Vincent Peale


 

Visit Lisa’s Chaos to see some great macro photos!

xmas tree forrest

Went for our Christmas tree today.  Although the weather was bleak, we had fun. xmas treesxmas trees

 This year we went to a new place. kodeys

   After scouring every field, we finally agreed on a Frasier Fir.  She is a beauty! timber!

We had it bailed and put on the car, then wandered in to the barn. My son and his wife found a beautiful tree inside.  The barn was interesting.  Mr. Kody told us it had been built in 1947 by his father without any drawings.  Just built it as he went.barn structure

  Needless to say it has stood the test of time and is still standing as well as housing these trees for sale.  It was a magnificent barn.barn

The whole day was fun filled and productive.  Family time spent well with my husband, son, and my other son and his wife, oh yes and their dog Fred.our crew 

the haul

 

grand finale

 

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.  ~Larry Wilde

Visit Scenic SundayScenic Sunday

I am planting bulbs  to prepare for the flower fix I will need by January.  So to enjoy some springtime in the winter, forcing bulbs can be a lot of fun.  It is even a great project for kids because it is so simple to do.  Pick out some paper white narcissus, they are the easiest because they require no cold period to simulate winter. t-037t-035

 Just get a pot that is at least three to four inches deep, fill it with dirt or glass marbles or gems. You can plant a few spaced throughout  the pot or next to each other if you have enough.   The more bulbs the fuller your flowers will look.  To use the gems, just set the bulbs down far enough into the stones to support them leaving a few inches below for roots.   Next fill the pot with water just to the bottom of the bulbs.  A glass container that is clear is a great one to use for this since you can see the bulb, roots and flowers.  Try to have the water barely touch the bottom of the bulb to prevent rotting.  As soon as roots develop you can keep the water below the bulb.  t-036

Another way to plant the bulbs is to place the bulbs in potting soil that covers them just to the top so the pointy end of the bulb is sticking out a bit. Either way you plant them, put them in sunshine in a cool room and wait until they are web-j-002growing.

When they start to grow a few inches, then you should move them to a bright location out of direct sunlight. That way they don’t get too tall and fall over.   Stake them if need be and step back and enjoy the show.  If they are a bit floppy you can tie a ribbon around them to keep them standing together.  This is a niweb-j-003ce touch if it’s a Christmas gift.  It usually takes anywhere from three to five weeks for flowers.  

 The future is always beginning now.  ~Mark Strand