Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

Don't get any funny ideas!

©2016 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

My Peeps!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Guide to growing palm trees

While Palms are usually associated with warm tropical and subtropical regions of the globe, many are far more cold hardy than you'd think. It is finding the right cultivar for your area and for your landscape that ensures success in growing a Palm. No matter where you live, however, to have a Palm, there are certain things you'll need to know to keep a bit of the tropics happy in your garden.
With varying growth rates and requirements, Palms have to be chosen wisely. The first step would be to investigate the different types, growing habits, hardiness and their size at maturity. To do this properly visit http://www.justpalmtrees.com . They have over 270 cultivars. Surely one of them would be right for your landscape.

Once you have your Palm the planting is easy. Use good, rich soil amended with compost and organic matter and dig a planting hole only as deep as the root-ball and 1-2 feet wider. Center the Palm within the hole and back fill pressing the soil around firmly. If it is a big Palm, already a few years old or a transplant, staking might be necessary. Palms don't have much by way of roots to keep it firmly in place. Water it regularly and often until well established. Providing a bit of shade around the roots by way of a thick mulch wouldn't be bad either just to keep it from drying out.

Frequently spraying the Palm leaves with the hose is advisable for dislodging any wondering insects, cleaning off foliage and for providing humidity. After that you'll have nothing to do but admire your Palm. The only other maintenance they require and this is for some cultivars who may not shed their leaves cleanly, is to cut them off or trim the leaf base to keep the trunk looking neat.

If you live outside of the comfort zone of all Palms, which is very likely, you may like to have one indoors. To do this is quite easy. Cultivars more commonly available that take well to indoor living are Howea Forsterana (Paradise Palm), Rhapis Excelsa (Lady Palm), Chamaedorea Elegans ( Parlor Palm) and the dwarf Phoenix Roebelenii (Pygmy Date Palm). For temporary indoor Palms, those that will exceed ceiling heights eventually but still make nice indoor plants in the first few years, try the popular Washingtonia Filifera (California Fan Palm) and the very slow growing Chamaerops Humilis (Mediterranean Fan Palm).

Knowing all this it should be easy now for you to keep a Palm tree in your landscape or at least in the sunny "Florida" room in your home.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zebrina, guardian of the Pumpkins.

Zebrina was at one time quite the mouser, bringing to me on a good day 6 and 7 moles and/or field mice. Ah, but she did a grand job clearing the land of vermin. But that was back in the day. She is now mostly retired, the poor dear. Best she can do now is sit on the front steps and make certain no one runs off with the Sugar baby Pumpkins. She's doing a great job there, too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Flowers by Tommy


 Tommys mother calls up and asks if hell be going by Long Island at all before Christmas. He happened to have some work to do there, so yes, he would. She then asks him to take some flowers to place on his dads grave. He readily agrees and goes off to buy some artificial flowers. At this particular cemetery they only allow these kinds and in this sub-zero weather we can understand why. They would be dead and quite ugly within a few minutes.

This is what he brought home. It was a poinsettia bush but as that wasnt quite enough he grabbed more bunches of this and that and just stuck them in every which way. I asked him, almost begged, to let me fix it up a bit but he said it was fine. Not that Im a grand flower arranger but I might have been able to do a little better than this. Hes a man of many talents but flowers? Not so much. Looking at it though, its not too bad for a guy with no eye for flowers.

Flowers by Tommy. Who knew, huh?
Anyone willing to have Tommy do the flowers for your wedding?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Is there any way to understand men?

This is my kitchen, part of it anyway. Why am I showing you this? Well, my darling Tommy decided one day that I was too much of a pack rat. Took him 26 years to figure this out. Yes, well, I had gone beyond the pale it seems. I had cluttered up and stacked over these cabinets all sorts of things, glasses with Golden pathos and Philodendron cuttings to root, decorative tins, fancy jars and baskets full of dried flowers. Well, after a while it did get a tad crowded and looked a bit of a mess.

Tommy being a neat freak (you have no idea how much of a neat freak!) he had had quite enough and told me to take everything down and clean it up. So, I did it. I took all down and cleaned it up. As this was over the stove--a stove by the way, which gets used a vast deal-- everything was greasy and dusty. Oh, boy what a mess! The tins some of which I got from Tommy's grandmother, were too pretty and antique-ish for me to just toss into the dishwasher so I did those by hand. UGH! Took forever!

The glasses and other washable things were indeed tossed into the dishwasher but they didn't all come out as clean as I had hoped. More hand washing. My hands were like sandpaper after all this washing, but once they were clean and dried I didn't put them back up there. Heck no! Cleaning them once was more than enough trouble for me.

So, you'd think after all this hard work that Tommy would look up there and smile. Things, after all were much more to his Minimalist liking. Know what he said? "Wow. Whatcha gonna put up there now?"

I told him absolutely nothing. He then says, "But it's so bare now. Can't you find something nice to put up there?"

I may just strangle him. But no matter. It will remain clear of anything, now that I know how incredibly hard it is to keep everything clean. I'm cured of my pack rat ways! Yeah...maybe just for a month.

Friday, December 24, 2010

And a Merry Christmas to all!

Me in the conservatory at Longwood gardens for their Christmas spectacular
I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a most joyous holiday season full of fun and laughter, great food and good times. And may the new year bring you prosperity and peace. See you all in 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have I shown you this?

Well, if I have you're seeing it again. I crocheted this little purse because I could never find one I liked. They were either too big or too small. never the right size. I felt like Goldielocks! No, not really. No, bears were coming after me if I didn't pick one. I just made one for myself. It was free too. My mom, who has rather painful arthritis, no longer can crochet without killing her hands. So, she gave me this huge stash of yarn she had. I already made her and her housekeeper each a shawl with the yarn she gave me, and of course, this purse. What will I make next time? I'm thinking of a sweater but right now I'm working on a scarf using a loom. I'll tell you about that next time!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

9-patch-3 bar quilt on point

This is the second full size quilt I made. This one was for Brandon. It was entirely done by hand while sitting in front of the TV. No, I didn't spend 8-10 hours straight on it. Pioneer women didn't have that luxury and nor did I. One to two possibly three hours a day between the cutting, sewing and  piecing together per day. It took me about a year and a half as I recall. It was super easy. It just takes a while to do it all. I didn't rush. There was no need for it. It was a soothing, relaxing and good way to do something useful while doing something useless. Yes, I regard watching TV as pretty much the most useless thing to do but when you have something to do while watching...then my friend, it's a great time spent on the comfy couch with my Tommy.

In future I will give practical lessons on how to do some of the easier quilt blocks. This one is shown here on point which just means the strips are sewn together on the diagonal. It can be done straight too. This is how it looks.

This is the same exact quilt but shown with straight rows. My mother was the first one to show me how to piece together scrap bits of fabric to form a blanket, but it was my friend Evie, who truly showed me the entire quilting process. I owe her so much for that. She passed along her knowledge and more often than not some of her considerable fabric stash. When I ran out of a good match for a quilt, Evie was always there to let me take what I wanted.

That's the really good thing about quilting. You gain friends of like mind who often gather together with their own projects just to pass the time together chatting. Or they join forces to make a quilt together to give away to a charity or to raffle off for a good cause. I highly recommend starting on the road to quilting. It's fun and good to keep the devil at bay. You know what they say about idle hands and the devil, right? ;-)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Avatar: A nature film

Laugh if you must, but that is what I saw in the movie Avatar, a nature film. Yes, we all heard the hypeBest fricken movie EVER! But no one said anything about it being a nature film. Well, I suppose thats because no one quite sees things as I do. No harm there. Most folks were talking about the dazzling computer animation of Avatar and nothing else.

Yes, that was rather impressive but still, best film ever? Hardly. I thought it was good, but I doubt anyone even remembers much of what interested and intrigued me about Avatar. I saw a film full of magical, beautiful scenery mostly of a wonderful (albeit make-believe) world in which very agile blue people lived in harmony with plants. For this self-professed Lorax/obsessive gardener, that was one for the booksgardening books I suppose.

So, that is what I liked about the movie. Frankly, I had no intention of seeing this movie at all. I didnt think it would interest me in the slightest and all the ballahooing of it being the best ever, just confirmed that. I rarely like, let alone love, films which get excessive praise and those which win all the awards. Hollywood has gone downhill for me. They havent produced anything I wouldnt mind seeing more than once since Stranger than fiction. (You probably dont even recall this Emma Thomson/Will Farrow/Dustin Hoffman movie, but I truly liked it and Ill tell you why some other timeif you care, that is!)

But back to Avatar. Tommy brought it home and said, Lets watch it. We might be surprised and actually like it. No, neither of us truly believed this but what else was there to do on a snowy, cold night? We had long since told ourselves that if we dont have high expectations of a movie, we might not be so badly disappointed. It usually works and so we were not expecting too much.

Well, it was slow to grab me but once it did, I was prepared to like it. But then I heard the Military man in the moviedont recall his name. He was the mean one, the one that wanted to blow up the entire place, people and all. I had a choice name, but I cant say it herewell, this mean dude my military enthusiast, former marine friend Terry M. calls him Colonel No-Soul so, I think well go with that;-)--called the Avatar world, Pandora, a hellhole. Hellhole? Does this guy not know what a hellhole is? He, of all people, should. He was the one bragging about all the horrible places where he had endured wars. Obviously not!

Did any of you get passed the amazing graphics or whatever it was called to see how lovely Pandora actually was? This was no hellhole! The trees, the flowers, the luminescent mushrooms that danced and fascinated like something out of a Disney movieremember Fantasia? were gorgeous! All that was missing were fairies. In reality this movie was an almost complete rip-off of the animated film Fern Gully (circa~1995) which actually did have rain forest fairies in it and they also were trying to protect their rain forest home from greedy businessmen, much the same way as in Avatar. Gees, is nothing original in Hollywood anymore?

But I digresssorry. My point is that Pandora was simply a beautiful place, with lovely views of dense forests containing astonishingly beautiful flora and well, bizarre and rather vicious fauna. But the most amazing part is that the inhabitants of Pandorashall I dare call them Pandorians?were quite at peace in their forest home. I couldnt blame Jake, the guy in the wheelchair, for wanting to become one of them. They were living the good life, a peaceful, simple life.

At least they had been until the greedy so-and-so destroyed their home in order to get what they desperately wanted. So much for peace, huh? Well, it worked out in the end for the Pandorians anyway.sort of. Their home was destroyed but at least they ousted off their planet those greedy, menacing, hateful beasts. No, Im not talking about the animals in the forest. They were down right nice in comparison.

I digressed again, didnt I? Forgive me. Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with real plants, real gardening and real life. Well, I liked the Botany lady in the film, Grace played by Signorny Weaver. At least I did when she was shot. Jake was trying to save her by taking her to the sacred place. Well, on the way someone said something to her about a plant and what did she say?

Well, she didnt say what most people in her dire situation would have said. Something like, What the heck do I care? Im dying here! No, she didnt say anything close to that.

Ooh, I gotta get a sample of that, she said, clutching at the gaping and bleeding wound on her abdomen.

I loved that! She was dying and her plants was the only thing she was interested in.Doesnt that sound a tad like someone you know and (hopefully?) love? Yes, I thought so too. ;-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Looking for a few good garden photos

That's right, I want you to send me a few of your best garden photos with a little story behind each one.  I'd like to post a few here for all to see. It'll be like all of us visiting your garden in the dead of winter. What fun!
Me and my mom in the "back-40" perennial border

So if you are at all interested in a guest spot at Glory's Garden come January/February do send me a note or better yet email me the story and pictures right to me (Glorygarden@msn.com) with the permission to post them here.

Hey! Maybe we can have a contest for the best pictures and stories! Ooh, that would be fun! I'll work on that.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tropical girl I am, I am!

Being a tropical girl, I have the right to have a few tropical plants around me at all times. No, not the ones usually found in homes...you know...house plants. Don't get me wrong. I have your typical house plants, Dumb cane, Pathos, Snake plant, Spider plant, Clivia, Christmas Cactus, Peace lily, Mango tree, Avocado tree, Cuban oregano, Hoya and orange tree....hmmm, I don't suppose those last few are very typical at all.

You may be wondering how I got these unusual tropical plants. I planted them. Well, all except the Cuban Oregano. It came from a friend (Hello Evie!)  She gave me a tiny little plant, from an herb shop and  she thought I might like it. Heck yes! It's a lovely succulent with the most intense oregano scent you'll ever want. Yes, I cook with it all the time. (Tyler loves it too, so much so that he took one of my huge Cuban Oregano plants when he moved out. He loves cooking with it!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

I wasn't about to leave all the tomatoes to freeze out there!

Yes, that is a potted tomato plant. I grew this one in the pot  all summer for this exact purpose, to bring it into the house right before the killer frosts. I was determined to have tomatoes fresh off the vine for as long as possible. Well, I'll have you know it's doing rather well and has given me three pretty little tomatoes ripe as can be and sweet as they come. Pays to be a gardening nut!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bringing the garden inside for winter

Calisto: guardian of the Sun and the indoor garden.
You may not be able to tell by this picture but that's a Bok choy, Swiss Chard, Spearmint and Lemon Balm I brought in from the garden. I simply wasn't willing to let them die when they were doing so nicely. I already got a harvest from both the Bok Choy and the Swiss chard and they don't seem to want to quit just yet. Don't you just love an obliging plant?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hazelnut harvest 2009

I was quite proud of my hazelnut harvest of last year, 2009. As soon as they were dry-ish on the shrub I plucked off each pretty little husk which contained two nuts. I didn't quite know when the proper time was to harvest them but  it seemed to be all right. As it turned out, I should have listened to my better judgement and done this year as I did last time. Why? Well, I'm rather reluctant to show you this year's pathetic harvest but as I did take a picture, you won't need to use your imagination.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jack Frost, hear my plea!

About the second week of November I asked Justin to come out with me to cut some grass. He looked blank for a minute. I guess he was hoping I was kidding but as he could see I wasnt, he said the obvious (for him anyway).

Its not summer. Grass is brown. Its winter now. No mowing in winter.

Well, the grass was not exactly brown at that point--wishful thinking on his partand besides that, I didnt really want to cut the grass as much as I wanted to pick up all those lovely brown, orange, red and yellow leaves with just enough grass clippings to make a wonderful mulch perfect for the garden bedsa good warm blanket for their long winter sleep. Justin was having none of that. He can handle the riding mower but that has no attachment to pick up grass (Tommy insists hell get one next year if we have the moneytheyre a whopping grand!)

So, it was up to me to do it and in an odd twist of fate the Autumn Goddess gave me really nice weather in which to do much of this mower-pick-up-leaves-and-grass-mulching thingreally if any of you have a better name for this activity do let me in on the secret!--.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Hazelnut Shrub

So, I have these two beautiful hazelnut shrubs. Yes, hazelnuts grow on bushes, although they are getting rather big now and some folks might very well consider them trees before too long. They started out when I first got and planted them several years back, as tiny little things, barely 6 inched tall. I think I got them from Michigan bulb company, or Henry Fields, two of my favorite mail-order catalog places to find cheap stuff. Of course, it could have been Stark Brothers too. They sell fruit and nut trees and berry vines and bushes. That gives me the idea to write a post about my favorite mail order places. I'll work on it! But for now, my Hazelnuts.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Vegetable Gardening: How to test soil pH By Mac Pike

What is a PH level , how do we test it, and what are the implications for a productive garden?
Plants do not draw their food directly from garden soil, but rather use the water and air present in the soil and the energy derived from sunlight to manufacture their food from the nutrients the soil contains. This process is known as photosynthesis. Major nutrients include potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, but there are many other nutrients like calcium and magnesium that plants require for optimum growth.

Plants need these nutrients to be present, but even if the nutrients are present plants can only utilize them if they can free the nutrients from the soil matrix. This is where the PH scale enters into the process.
The PH scale is used to measure the acid or alkaline properties of a soil sample. It is a 14 point logarithmic scale where 7 is the neutral point. Numbers below 7 indicate acidity; numbers over 7 indicate an alkaline soil. As the scale is logarithmic, each number indicates a ten fold change from the next. A rating of PH 6.0 is 10 times more acetic than 7.0, 5.0 PH is 100 times more acetic and so on.
Of the plants most commonly grown in the home garden, most do well in a slightly acetic soil; tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, lima beans, cucumbers all thrive in a soil with a PH level between 6.0 and 7.0. This is the range when they can most readily synthesize soil nutrients into food, mainly carbohydrates, through the photosynthetic process.  As the PH varies from this optimal range less and less of the vital nutrients like calcium, potassium and phosphorus are available to the plants. Depending on how far from optimal PH a given soil may be, plants may produce poorly or not at all, at the extreme ranges they will not grow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The great peanut harvest of 2010!

Okay, so it's not that great a harvest and it's not even mine, but I was so very impressed that I had to show you this. My dear friend Julie Helms who is one busy lady--she not only runs, the Pennsylvania Curriculum Exchange, a home-school supply store and a full-fledged sheep farm--goats, chickens, dogs and cats in the mix too!-- but she manages Helium's Pets and Animals channel and she occasionally speaks about lovable giants, too!