here) I highly recommend it. So very, very encouraging! We had a church bible study that I couldn't make, but my friend Lori loaned me her set of CDs to listen to in the car. It was so good I turned around and bought the set for my parents at Christmas. Actually, it's on my list of thing to get for myself as well (I'm pretty sure I need to listen to it at least once a month; maybe more ;o)
Photo: One of the Mini-Mums in the feed room flowerbed (I erased the background in Photoshop).
this post). One day? One day I will actually learn this. Clearly, using the phrase "before it gets too hot" in a recent post was an egregious error on my part. I don't think we've broken any records for high temperatures thus far, but we've gotten pretty darn close around here. It's been absolutely awful outside (blech). Is it hot at your house? Now 88° is not a big deal around here, but it's usually straight up temps at the beginning of June. What caught me off guard was the "Real Feel" 104° heat index off to the right there (and small wonder I was sweating so
I had some close supervision by a Mourning Dove going on while I worked on the back beds. I got a kick out of the "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" look (apparently there was concern I might mess it up ;o) I love what the morning sun and dew did to the grass in the background.
The Sweet Potato Vine is (obviously) quite happy and fabulously trailing away:
The Nasturtium that I started from seed (and was oh-so-happy over in this post) was decimated in short order by a horde of hungry cabbage moth caterpillars (aka Wretched Evil Beasties). They also almost killed off my lunchbox Alyssum (though it's on the mend, I think). I found some yellow Portulaca on the clearance cart at Lowe's for .50¢ each - and whoop! ;o) so we've started all over again in the wheelbarrow. Happily the Gerbra Daisy is doing well:
Had some additional trouble with another evil beastie in the front bed; a totally different kind of caterpillar that burrowed in the dirt at the base of the Coneflower. Look at the difference between the two plants. He'd almost polished the poor plant on the left completely off before I finally saw him and took him out (AHA! Gotcha, you little cretin! Mwa-ha-ha-ha ;o) In case anyone else needs to know, I found an organic 3-in-1 spray (this stuff) that should prevent future invasions/infestations. Hope springs eternal!
I've been blown away by the sheer volume of plants I've found on clearance carts (in a really, really good way ;o) The bulk of my plants have ranged from .17¢ to a whopping $3.00 with the majority costing $1.00. Exciting stuff when you're on a no-budget budget. *laugh* I ordered a few plants online, which I've never done before. Shipping is rather expensive, so the school nurse and I went in "halvsies" on an order from the Grower's Exchange (here) right before the end of school. I ordered a few more from Bluestone Perennials (here), and I have to say their plants arrived in much better condition (they also offered a much bigger selection). I will definitely order from them again if I can swing it.
The bird bath was given to us by an elderly neighbor who is moving away (and downsizing). This is the bed I'm going to call the "Recycling Plant" (haha). It's mostly done, though I do need to fill one more planter and finish the lugging of the lumber. Right now it only has a back side. The container painting was a pain, but I liked the monochromatic shades of brown on the [garbage] cans and [yard] carts; they provide a nice muted backdrop for the plants. I mixed in some terra cotta pots (because they're the cheapest), and even painted two wastebaskets (which were even cheaper) the same shade. I can hardly wait for everything to fill in. *squeeee* I'll have some additional interesting details for you next week (at least I think I will!)
I was tickled to find Cedric the Toad looking quite content in his new digs by the African Iris. I painted it years (and years) ago, and moved it from the front bed yesterday just for him. For those of you who do not follow us on Instagram (here), I found Sir Cedric lounging about in the tea kettle with my Purslane earlier this week; he had a definite air of superiority about him. I figured his interest in tea time must make him an import from "across the pond". Since I decided to bestow him with a "title", *snicker* I thought we'd just go the whole nine yards with it. Can you see him tucked away in there? I tried to get a closeup for you, but it was rather awkward:
If I had my druthers, (and for those of you scratching your heads, click here) I'd really prefer to get everything from local nurseries. It's a lot easier to get help for one thing, they actually know things about gardening in general, plus they are a lot more up front about native plants. More expensive, though. Lowe's has a nasty habit of selling really pretty things that don't grow here. WalMart does it, too. I found this cool two-toned Ixora on the clearance cart last time; but it isn't a perennial for our zone (a fact I forgot to double check before I snatched it up since it didn't have the informational tag on it and I was in a hurry - big V-8 to the forehead smack for Jen - Grr). Since it was another clearance special, I won't cry if it dies though I will be quite disappointed ('cause it's neat ;o)
I'll leave you with a couple of shots of Herman the Hedgehog. He was one of those boot cleaner thingies, but all of his "prickles" fell off due to old age. I took him apart and decided to give him a coat of paint and a new lease on life as a plant stand. Herman is sporting some "Spicy Globe Basil" in a sparkly painted pot. I loved the vivid green leaves, and the mounding habit of the basil should be a fun look for him when it fills out. It's an annual though, so Herman will need a new wardrobe again next year.
Thank you for reading this far; because this post got really long! *wince* Have a wonderful weekend and a beautifully blessed week!