...and a Moanin' and a Groanin'

Saturday, May 14, 2016

In the last post, A Weedin' and a Seedin', I talked about my exciting spurt of industriousness over the past few weeks outside in the yard. More specifically, in the flowerbeds okay, okay, more like weedbeds, around the house. Unfortunately, once you get to a certain *ahem* point in your life, overly enthusiastic productivity tends to come at a price. Well, I paid for my little weed-fest with some horrible stiffness followed by some pretty intense pain in not one, but both arms/elbows (because if you're going to mess yourself up, you should take care to do it fairly and evenly *snarl*). Since the pain was followed by increasing swelling in my upper arms (as in edema; the kind that didn't go away), I paid again for the doctor to diagnose me with acute tendinitis. Not that I thought it was cute. At all. So, I suppose that would make it more like twice the price, eh? The doctor gave me some anti-inflammatories to help with the swelling (so why don't we make that thrice the price), and tossed in a shot to jump start the process (oh, goody). I have, of course, now slowed down to the speed of sloth. That was on Friday. On Saturday, I woke up with a nasty chest cold (just because I could). Clearly, not my best week (of course it wasn't my worst, either! *grin*). I spent the next couple of days hoping I wouldn't cough up a lung (though it wasn't for lack of trying) ;oP
Photo Inset: The Dusty Miller I planted in front of the recycled garden cart (even with newspaper and/or feed bags under the mulch - which I ran out of - some grass still snuck through. ARGH!

Down, but not out. Ha. Anyhoo, back to some productivity (albeit at a much more mundane pace). One of the coolest things I learned recently was about bananas. I'd already read about planting a banana peel in the garden, but we have fire ants here. Hateful, nasty little things that multiply worse than guppies and you can just bet said bananas I am NOT going to feed those evil little beasties. Ever. BUT - somewhere on Pinterest, I found a handy fertilizer hack. Idiot-friendly, easy-peasy and all (my most favorite kind!). Eat a banana (or two), then take the peels and stick them in a mason jar. Cover with water, and let it sit for up to a week. Not only do you wind up with some nifty (not to mention thrifty!) fertilizer for your plants, you also have an uber cool science-experiment-looking concoction sitting on your shelf. Your plants will totally appreciate the potassium kick; mine sure do! I added a pinch of eggshells to mine (rinse them out first), for a calcium boost.
Photo inset: Fertilizer in the making (Dr. Frank-un-schteen, I presume. Hee ;o)

Here's another awesome idea I came across: Take some clean plastic bottles (I used juice) and poke a pinhole or two on the side at the very bottom, then bury it by your plants for underground irrigation. You can even use the cap to help regulate the flow; e.g. the tighter you make the cap, the slower the flow. I left mine loose, since these are new plants. I also added my own twist to it: I bought some el-cheapo fishing bobbers which enabled me to check the water levels from a distance. Looks like everybody but one needs a refill. See the bright orange bobber on the bottom right? Gotta love that lazy gal gardening! As soon as Hobby Lobby puts their drawer pulls back on sale, I think I'm going to get some and put them on top of the bottles. What do you think?
Photo Inset: I'm still working on this bed, but the flowers, in case anyone's interested, are Coreopsis (front and center), Echinacea/Coneflower (behind left/right), and Argeratum (the purple stuff all the way in the back).

Speaking of bottles, (and garden hacks ;o) I also learned that wine bottles work wonders as irrigators in both pots and in the ground. Although I bought one set of "plant nannies" (terra cotta spikes that fit over the bottle), I found the bottles seem to work just as well without them. Just fill, flip, and stick 'em in there. A most welcome revelation, that, since those little terra cotta boogers were quite expensive (for me, anyway). You would think that the water would just run right out, but it doesn't. Pretty cool, eh?

Looks like it'll be daylight soon, and there is plenty of work left for me to do out there. *sigh* Here are a few more pictures for you...

Just look at how the Alyssum has blossomed since that last posted photo! (here)

I planted some Bee Balm and Belleza in front of the Plumbago, which is just now beginning to bloom - though I took too long to get two of them in the ground (they look a little sad right now, but hopefully they'll bounce back soon). I can hardly wait until that Bee Balm starts to flower!

Since the Orange Mint (top of the ladder) looked a little lonely sitting by itself, I moved the Lemon Thyme into the back bed to keep him company. The thyme looks much happier there than it did where I had it on the patio. Sure do wish I had more of those fabulous clay planters though.

Have a hug and blessed week ya'll - and, as always, thanks for reading this far!


  1. I can relate to moving slow and achy parts although not to the extent that you had. I'm not quite sure I know what productivity is though. It's been quite some time since I've done much of anything that could be considered productive.

    1. Ann: Well I have definitely had (more than?) my share of slow days (about a decade's worth ;oP so I know exactly what you mean. I can tell you, though, that magnesium oil is marvelous stuff for joint pain and stiffness. Between that and the Terramin Clay every day, I've been able to ditch the Cortisone shots I was getting every six months to help me walk (Arthritis and Bursitis in both hips). It's been a game changer, that's for sure! Just a thought...

    2. Well, I'm sorry you are in such pain, but the garden looks FABULOUS! :)

    3. Lin: Thank you, ma'am! I'm sure I'll survive it (well, mostly sure anyway ;o)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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