If you are looking for a way to grow plants that’s easy on the eyes and the budget, consider container gardening.

  It is a great way to accent plants in your yard, deck, porch or garden. It also makes it possible to garden in small places or urban settings.

Containers are a great to  keep herbs in or near your kitchen.  You can even keep lettuce growing in a pot so it is always accessible when it’s time to make dinner.

Choose containers that have enough space for the plants you plan to put in them.

  There are many websites to visit that give  “recipes” for containers. Or you can visit a garden center and use your own taste to choose plants that look good when you put them together.  Be sure to check heights of plants, sun and watering requirements so that they like the same conditions, then place them where you can enjoy their beauty.

“I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself.  And I find sufficient purpose for my day.”  ~Robert Brault

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This plant has such interesting texture when you get really  close.

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It is actually an interesting plant when it is full size too.web-l-0051

It is a Haworthia which is a succulent plant from South Africa. 

 ~The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.  ~Mark Twain

macro monday

 

Garden Shoes Online is having a  $200 Signs of Spring give away.  click here or see my side bar for a link to get all the details.   

 

  When we look at flowers, we see their colors and shape and enjoy their beauty. amaryllis

We are also taken with their fragrance.  They are pretty to look at and nice to have around.  But if we look closer, they are more than just a pretty face. 

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We would like to think that they are here purely for our enjoyment but the truth is they are brightly colored and fragrant to attract bees and birds to pollinate them, not just to make us happy.  That is a  just a amaryllisfringe benefit. 

 Simplisticly, the reproductive cycle takes place here in the stamen and the pistil.  In these photos you are able to clearly see the stamen (male part) which consist of the filaments, or the thread-like  stems that hold the anthers where the pollen is. dahlia with bee

Birds, bees and wind carry the pollen to the pistil (female part) which is the longer stem, made up of the style, a tube that holds the  sticky end which is called  the stamen.  It catches the pollen which is then carried down the style to the ovary and ovules that will produce the seed. amaryllis

Not all plants reproduce this way, but a good majority of them do. This happens right before our very eyes and most people don’t even know it’s happening.

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 Those busy bees aren’t just making honey, they are also helping the plant to make seeds.  It is just nature’s way of reproducing those pretty flowers we so enjoy.

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~By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.
~Rabindranath Tagore


 

  

snow covered berries

 

The first (real) snow inspired a walk where I found these berries looking all festive. I am not sure what kind of bush this is because it was covered in snow and belonged to a neighbor.  I had never noticed it before but it jumped out at me with those pretty red berries covered in fluffy white snow. I hope your monday is going well!

out the front window

 Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Visit Lisa’s Chaos for more macro monday photos.macro monday

 

 

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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.  ~T.S. Eliot

 

Visit Lisa’s Chaos     

campanula

 Canadian goose

If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.  ~Cavett Robert

Visit Lisa’s Chaos

There is still a bit of growing going on here.  web-s-016

The rose bush surprised me with a couple of new buds, even though I thought I had seen the last flower last week.

The daisies are still making up for lost time, web-s-008

my hibiscus gave me one last bloom before I brought her insideweb-s-011  

and the little pink flowers must like the cool temperatures.web-s-0181 

My geraniums are still flowering as well.web-k-0311

  And the morning glories seem to go on endlessly in the cooler temperatures.web-k-0151

 

I am happy that the colder weather hasn’t taken them all away

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Yet!

  Visit tootsietime to see the flaunting of flowers in other gardens.

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Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.  ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

web-saturday-011While looking over my yard yesterday, I discovered that my arborvitae are looking a bit ragged.  They are tuning brown on the inside, all of them.  I was worried since there is a row of 12 of them in front of our side yard fence.They are such pretty trees with their soft shape that looks good year round.  I especially like them at Christmas when I cover the 3 nearest to the house with lights of red and green.  They seem to sparkle when the wind sways them.  I referred back to photos from only a month ago and they were lush and green so I was so bummed. I thought that maybe the neighbor’s trees being cut down had made it too sunny for them this summer.  Or the huge amounts of rain and cool temperatures stressed them too much.  After researching it a bit on the web, I found out it is perfectly normal this time of year for the insides to turn brown and shed while the outsides stay green.  Whew!  So if you have an arborvitae that is looking a bit worse for the wear with lush green on the outside and turning brown on the inside, don’t worry, it is most likely just what it should be doing this time of year.   web-saturday-018

dahlia

 

We can learn a lot from trees:  they’re always grounded but never stop reaching heavenward.  ~Everett Mámor

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Last Wednesday was a day like any other day.  About 4:30 my friend, Linda and my dog, Thunder  and I went for a walk.  It is our effort~  so as to be able to eat what we want~ to take a walk every day.  It is also a way to purge about what ever is bothering us, talk about our families, gardening, and more gardening.  Well, another thing we love about our walks is that on Wednesday evening it is trash night.  You know where I am going with this.  

There were so many treasures just waiting to be had by unsuspecting treasure pickers.  That’s us.   First off we saw a mission rocker in need of some love.  Hey what are husbands for?  That’s right, fixing curbside antiques that need an arm repaired.  rocker before

There was also a cupboard on the same pile.  Very old, in need of some TLC but hey, why not?  Another keeper.web-rock-028

So I called my son who was so happy to leave his friends and come to haul these finds back to our house in my jeep.  I mean, we were walking, you couldn’t expect us to carry all that stuff! 

Moving on we encountered another great find.  This one is for the garden.  I have wanted a pair of these but never seemed to find the right ones when I had some money to use on frivolous things.   But there they were, just  happily waiting along thweb-rock-030e side of the road for me to spy them.  Yes, a pair of adironcdack chairs in not so bad condition. 

 Okay one is missing an arm but otherwise they look sturdy enough, well, after some glue and some scraping and painting…remember what I said about husbands?  He was thrilled to drive over and cart these back home.  In fact, I am sure that he and my son literally argued over who would come and pick up the stuff this time.  He said he didn’t even mind getting his car dirty…  I am sure he can’t wait to get started working on them. 

 Our walk continued pretty much uneventfully after that until we were just around the corner from my house, at the end of the walk, lo and behold, more great stuff!  We found two old wooden crates and a tin ceiling square that had been left outside long enough to get the perfect patina.  The paint is peeling and chipped which of course makes me even happier to have it. web-o-012

It will look great leaned up against the fence with flowers blooming in front of it.   How Linda saw that amongst the stuff on top of it, I am not sure ~ the girl is a professional. 

All in all a pretty bountiful walk.  Trudging up the hill to my house with the large tin square, two crates, an old canister and my dog was not easy but trudge we did. Notice that I thoughtfully didn’t call for a pick up this time.  

Let’s face it, we are just conscientious recyclers and gardening season is winding down, these are just the kind of projects I love.  Besides, my husband just cleaned out the garage.  Now~HE is a keeper!

So now, a week later, these are the end results, so far.  The rocker is a looker now that I repaired the arm, refinished it and, recovered the springs with new foam and fabric.  Notice I said I. I really do this stuff myself. Although I often need a bit of help. web-oo-002

 Same with the cupboard.  I repaired the door and the back wall, painted, distressed and now it’s a beauty. web-o-004

 The adirondack chairs are still in progress.  I had to prime because the paint wouldn’t go on well to the places that I scraped off the old paint.  I repaired the back and arm of one and have it half painted. web-o-008

 The other will definitely need a bit more love.  I think I know just the guy for the job! 

Go on over to [vtt.jpg]Colorado Lady

and see what others have for Vintage Thingies Thursday

 

                   daisy          

Just living is not enough.  One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.  ~Hans Christian Anderson 

 

This is the front of our house. web-t-101

The sidewalk leading up to the front porch has heaved because of the roots of the huge pine that sits way too close to our porch. It is a terrible trip hazard. 

This tree is magnificent so we would never part with it.web-thater-018

  It surrounds our upstairs porch and screens us from the street wires. I like to pretend they are palm tree branches (hey a girl can dream can’t she?) It gives us privacy and sounds really great when it swishes in the breeze.  web-thater-317

 Back to the point of the story ~ the sidewalk. 

 

Since we bought this house 2 1/2 years ago, we have wanted to do something about that sidewalk but we weren’t sure what to do.  We had estimates but concrete contractors weren’t interested in such a small job.  We thought of having it jack hammered out but I was not keen on new concrete next to old concrete.  

 So, we tried prying it to lift it up to one side so we could eliminate the parts of the roots that make it rise up.  web-steps-019colin,

 

 

Hours of trying to cut those roots while the sidewalk loomed over the work area was fruitless. web-steps-020

 It made it better, but not good enough. We just didn’t have the room to work under the square of concrete that we needed.

Our friend, Al, after hearing of our plight, offered to bring his boom truck over and lift it up for us.  web-rock-098

What a great guy!  Talk about turning a very difficult job into an easy job. web-rock-0961

With a remote control he was able to raise and lower the boom and he had that 5 x 5 square of concrete that is 6 inches deep, raised up and out of the way in no time. 

 

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 Then he, Ron(another friend), and Col (hubby) used a chain saw and an ax to cut away the roots. web-rock-121

My son and 4 of his friends were there to help if need be.  There is nothing like strong young men to put to work and save the old guy’s backs.  They all dug and axed also. 

web-rock-109After dulling the chain saw and tiring out plenty of arms they were ready to lay down the stone. web-rock-106

 After a few minor adjustments… web-rock-130

the square laid down perfectly as if it had just been poured. web-rock-141    web-rock-1431

We feel so lucky to have good friends that are willing to give up a Saturday morning and help us out in such a big way.  We couldn’t be more grateful for those friends.   

 

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 Friendship is a sheltering tree.  ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

 

 Visit Susan over at Southern DaydreamerOutdoorWednesdaylogo4 for all the entries in Outdoor Wednesday