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!

©2018 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

My Peeps!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sewing 101: Thread, needles and scissors

This is Sewing 101, a sewing class for beginners.

This marks the beginning of a series of how-to guides for those wishing to be a bit more self reliant. Why I'm doing this is a long story which I'll state thus: It seems to me that I did not do a great job being a mother--a mother who teaches her kids what they need to know in order to be self reliant. I'll fix that here and now, starting with a sewing lesson. If you follow my Thursday posts over at Self Reliance Works you'll be familiar already with some of my lessons in frugal needle crafts. This is just a continuation of that.

This is mostly directed at my own kids, but if any of you could use a re-fresher or simply never learned this sort of thing from your own mother or grandmother-- I'm dismayed to say I know quite a few people who fall into this category-- then by all means do stick around and learn. It most certainly won't kill you to know this and it may actually come in handy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Look what I got in the mail!

It's a common thing for Brandon to get the mail each day and for me to ask, "Did I get anything?"

Brandon's usual reply is, "Sorry, Mom, nobody loves you today."
What is this?

So, imagine my surprise when he says, "Mom, somebody loves you today. Look! you got a package!"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Justin's quilt is fixed

You may recall the time I showed you the horrible state of Justin's quilt. It had quite a bit of damage and I needed to repair it. He blamed it on the cat, you know. Didn't know a cat could be so selective about clawing bits of fraying fabric, but that's a story for another time...a fairy tale time, I'm thinking.
Anyway, I did manage to finally finished with the repair and I must say it looks pretty darn good.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aprium and pluots

I said I would explain precisely what an aprium is, but I thought Id tell you about pluots, too. You may have already guessed that they are a cross between two fruits. This is true. They are crosses between apricots and plums, but the trick is knowing how they were crossed.

Through genetic magic, hybridizers of the fruit tree industry created these two odd-ball varieties, among others. These are just the only two we currently have growing in our orchard. 
Tommy picking Apriums

Aprium is 75% apricot-25% plum. Pluot is the exact opposite, 75% plum and 25% apricot.I'd like to tell you what the difference between the two fruit but as we've only had the apriums, that's just not to be. Sorry! 

I do know and can say I'm highly impressed by the apriums. I never much liked apricots and have always loved plums but I must say I like the apriums even better than your run-of-the-mill plum. They are so incredibly sweet... tiny, yes, but sweet as can be.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Work trip with Tommy

Tommy had work out on the IslandLong Island, that is, for those of you not from the New York area. We left the house at 4:30am to beat the traffic and to get to Huntington in time to meet the man from Seakeepers for a leak test on a malfunctioning Gryoscopes. Gyroscopes are used for stabilizing yachts out at sea.
Tommy and his toy on the yacht

This place was quite beautiful. Very nice homes surrounded West Side Marina and the boats themselves lining the meticulously kept docks were quite a sight,too. Right across the bay was Teddy Roosevelts house in Sagamore Hills and the lovely Planters arboretum. I could see the pier from where I was. I stayed in Toms truck writingreally was that a surprise to you?
What 2.5 million dollars looks like

After Tom was finished with the leak test, the captain of the boatexcuse me, I should say yacht. When a boat costs 2.5 million dollars you better call it a yacht!brought pizzas for us. Yes, they even included me although I didnt fix anything! So, there we were having pizzafine New York pizza too. If youve never had NY pizza, youll never understandon a 2.5 million dollar yacht. WOW!
The gyroscope with Tommy's leak detector

The 74 foot yacht was brand new and was having several upgrades done to it while we were there, but it was gosh-darn nice as is. Can you imagine having so much money that you could buy this thing and still put more money into it to improve and personalize it and still have enough left over to have a home, presumably one of the super nice ones around the bay, and to hire a captain full time, whether you use the yacht or not? No, neither could we!
Off to work Tommy goes. Some work, huh?

Us having pizza on that fancy-scmancy thingthats as close as were getting, but thats much closer than some ever will.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All shook up!

There I was writing a story on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, having just finished up with Tommys invoices and packing lists, when I get all shook up literally!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What happens when you have too much of a good thing

Such is the way of the world when you have too much of a good thing...all at once, that is. It's either feast or famine for the self reliant person unless you have a plan. When you have tons of fruit ripening quicker than you can eat them, you better do something to keep them or you lose them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If they could only listen...

Kids just about kill me. If they would only listen then maybe things wouldn't go so screwy for them.
No, she never listened, not even at this age

Case in point: My darling daughter calls up and asks what she can do with the rest of her cilantro. She made salsa but, "What else is it good for?"

 Hello! Has this kid ever eaten at my house??? I tell her she can add them to anything Mexican and/or Dominican. Then she asks how to make Dominican beans, but "make it quick, Mom, I don't have much time."

This is when I sigh and just tell her to go to Glory's Garden in the kitchen. She'll find the recipe there. "Oh, okay. Thanks, Mom," she says and off she goes. I can only imagine what disaster she will create on her own. She once blew up a pot just boiling water for spaghetti. OY!
Sports was an useful endeavor

Now, this wouldn't have happened, this complete inexperience in the kitchen if she had only watched me one of a few thousand times while I was cooking. I had asked several dozen times for her to join me in the hope she would learn, after all. She might have already known what cilantro was used in and even how to make my delicious beans and rice which she used to LOVE. But no, she had better things to do... like...uh...I couldn't tell you. My daughter used to spend a lot of time doing things like watching TV, painting her nails and flipping endlessly through useless magazines.

My Aunt Thelma with Alexis
I never quite understood this. How could you stand yourself doing nothing all day?

Perhaps I should say NOT doing useful things... like learning how to cook because---this may come as a shock to some of you, so hold on to your seats (I'm sure it came to a shock to Alexis)-- you may have to, one day, eventually go out on your own and actually feed yourself. DUH!

If only they would listen...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Woe be the too-short fruit picker!

Too short to pick fruit! That is what I am. Go figure! Tom and I specifically bought semi-dwarf trees and still...grumble-grumble! So, I had to get Tommy to stop his work for a bit to help me. He's such a sweet hunny-bunny! He didn't even complain. Then again, why would he? Picking your own homegrown fruit is far more enjoyable than playing with a particularly persnickety Helium Mas-spectrometer.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guest post #2 by Conny Manero

Another guest post by Conny Manero. Last time if you will recall, she gave us a glimpse of her balcony garden proving you can garden anywhere. This time she gives us a truly lovely tale which illustrates my stance that all the world is a garden and we'd be so much better off if we realized this and stayed there even if it is ten stories up on a balcony!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The false CUKE vine

Several years ago, a strange vine popped up in my yard, which I eventually dubbed the false cuke vine. As I am a curious sort, I left it to grow just to see what it would do. Well, it was rather pretty. Really, is there a plant out there which I would find ugly? I've yet to see it! But I digress. This vine had almost star-shaped, pointy leaves, tiny sprays of creamy white flowers and adorable curly-kues.
Those curly-kues have a real name of course; tendrils. I just like calling them curly-kues. Tendril have a purpose for being other than do please me. The false cuke vine tends to sprout up wherever it pleases and climbs up trees and shrubs with the use of the tendrils. They wrap around stems and leaves which helps them "stand up", get vertical and cling to the outer branches of trees and shrubs. They like full sun, you see and this is the best way to do it. Smart as a whip, this plants, (all plants really) I'm telling you!

Later in the season fruits developed which look to me like tiny round cucumbers, hence the name I bestowed upon the little darling. The fruits eventually dry and become seed pods. The seeds are brownish black speckled and if you allow a vine to stay put, expect several dozen vines to pop up the next year. Yes, they are annuals but their seeds survive the cold Pocono winter. How lovely...not!

If you haven't guessed yet, they can become and are in essences a weed. You may be wondering why I'm telling you about a weed vine, but if you've been here before, to Glory's garden, you ought not be too surprised.

I have a hard time yanking the many false cuke vines I see growing in my various garden beds and up trees and into bushes. Oh, it's not that they don't give way easily enough. They do not have the strongest roots system, but they do cling ferociously to whatever they choose as their climbing vehicle. If you are tenacious and equally gentle and quick with the wrist action--I wonder if a fly fisherman would be good at this?-- you can get the vines, most of it anyway, down off the trees.

It would behoove you to do so, even if they are rather attractive. If you leave a tiny piece of the vine up a tree, even if it's separated from its roots, and it is late enough in the season, those fruits may still be able to quicken the ripening of the seeds and you'll be in for it the next year!

If anyone knows the true name of this, please do let me know. It grows all over my Pocono region, but i haven't seen it elsewhere. In the meantime I will continue to call it the false cuke vine and I'll allow one or two to grow just cuz I'm a glutton for punishment...very pretty punishment I dare say!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Collecting seeds, Zebrina style

You may already know Zebrina, the great and former mouser supreme. She had another talent I never told you about. She used to collect seeds like a pro...well, sort of.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hummingbird in flight

As those of you who follow me on Facebook know...What! You don't follow me on Facebook??? But...but...but I'm so cute! Well, Tommy thinks so anyway. I suppose you don't follow me on Twitter either. Ah, well. Life goes on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There be bears in the woods!

Well, don't you know, there are bears in the woods and some people, if they are lucky, can see them without the bear seeing them.

Okay, so this isn't the best picture, but the next one is a bit better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Virginia creeper

I thought I'd show you the Virginia Creeper which is trying its best to be a total pest of a plant, but like often happens in Glory's garden, it gets to be a welcome plant and when I remember, a blog post!

Virginia Creeper goes by the AKA of Woodbine...and no, it's not really a bine at all. You do recall my telling you the difference between a vine and a bine, right? Please tell you do even if you don't. It'll make me feel better.

While I usually rip this baby down almost everywhere I see it, I decided to leave it here on this post. Don't ask me why. I still haven't figured out why I left it nor if it's a good decision. I'll think about it.

What I really wanted to show you, however, is the manner in which this particular vine climbs. It's rather fascinating. Thin curling tendrils emerge along with the foliage and curl around stems in order to lift itself up off the ground.

Some times these tendrils need to cling to thing which are not easily wrapped around, such as this wide thick post. So, here the tendril will sprout tiny suction cup-like protrusions which actually attached themselves to walls, trunks, stone, wooden posts and maybe even you if you stood still long enough! It doesn't get any nourishment from trees, plants or posts it decided to climb on, but the vine can be destructive just the same. Vines can creep into crack on foundations and allow water to get in which causes more damage. Those Ivy covered buildings on college campuses may be a delight to behold, but they're just asking for trouble allowing vines to cling to them.

The Virginia Creeper truly is a pretty plant but woe be the tree on which it grows! I've seen entire trees--entire forests along the highways going south, too!--consumed by this vine, totally covered which eventually leads to the tree's death. Why would it cause the tree to die? Lack of sun. If the tree and its leaves can't get life-sustaining nourishment from the sun, it cannot survive.

Ah, well. We go back to survival of the fittest and like I say over and over vines are the most super-duper fittest of all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chasing baby deer

So, there I was washing dishes when I chance to look up and see a deer up on the sand mound, just beyond the back yard. Closely following the deer was her baby! Off I go and so did they! I grab my camera and chase the deer hoping for a good picture. Don't you know, it ain't so easy chasing deer, especially when they are on to you.

I went around the pole barn and spotted them...well, more like they spotted me and they took off again. So I went around the other way hoping to catch them as they would enter Tom's side yard arboretum. They saw me there too and they took off. Now they were in the front arboretum and there's no seeing them in there. Those trees are so big now their branches are touching, so it looks like one big forest. Perfect for the deer to hide in, yes, but not so good when I want a picture of them.

So, I gave up and a few days later, when I tell Tommy I want a picture of a fawn that keeps walking around our yard with his mom, he decides to do it for me. But the deer that Tommy saw had twins! He got the picture no problem. Why weren't the deer afraid of him?

He had a better camera which got the zoom in much better than mine could and he didn't have to get off the porch! They would, however, be very afraid of a mad gardener chasing them around. Of course, I usually chase them to stop them from eating all my plants, not to catch them on photo. I guess they know me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rainy day...rainy week

So, it rained the other day...and rained and rained and rained. For almost two weeks now.

The backyard which is prone to flooding a bit, was puddling.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Arizona Gardening: Guest post by M. J. Joachim

As a native Californian, it took some adjustment to get used to Arizona gardening seasons and landscaping techniques. The charm of the desert was not lost on me, however, and I soon realized that despite a very intense learning curve, I could enjoy gardening in Arizona, as much as I had when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The orchard

I'm going to do something I rarely do...I'm going to talk about my orchard.

I don't much like talking about my orchard. Often times I pretend I don't even have one. Why? Because I have yet to get much of anything from it...well, in the way of fruit. I've gotten loads of frustration and aggravation... don't suppose those count though.

So, imagine my shock and excitement when I go there--the orchard is in a forgotten sort of spot in the yard which no one bothers with much-- and the place is full of fruit!

The apple trees have apples!

The Aprium tree has apriums!

Loads and loads of them!

The hazelnut shrubs--which are dangerously close to being trees now-- are full of leafy nut clusters!

Last year I waited too long and the deer got all but two pathetic little nuts. I'm determined not to allow that to happen again.

The peach trees actually have peaches!

All four or five of them! I lost count.

And by-gosh-by-golly, the plum tree has a bunch of baby sized plums. They looked like overgrown cherries, but I'm not complaining. At least they have something!

You may be wondering why I haven't gotten fruit before this year. The unruly, unpredictable and unmerciful Pocono springs. No, oddly enough, it wasn't the winter. The trees managed to survive those fine...when the rabbits didn't do them in, that is. It was the spring time with those horrible killer late spring frosts and freezes which do the blossoming trees no good at all.

It's quite awful really. The trees bloom pretty as can be, but the weather--guided by that rascal Jack Frost--A pox on him!-- turns and death comes to any chance of my trees getting pollinated and giving forth fruit. How evil t'is the fate of the Pocono fruit tree when Jack comes to town!

But this year, he stayed away! Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! Oh, fruit for me! Which reminds me...I better go pick some before the deer get at them!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The power of flowers

Brandon came up to me and casually says, "Do you know a flower called Hibiscus?"

Hibiscus in bloom. Not a good cut flower.
"Yes, intimately," I reply. "Know the huge plants along the walkway in the front of the house? Those are Hibiscus."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An anatomy lesson in Daylilies

Again with the Daylilies? Yes, again. I couldn't help it. The last few Daylilies were just poking out of the spent ones on the hill as if telling me, "Don't ignore me. I'm still here!", so I had to photograph them. Then I thought I would give you a little lesson in daylily anatomy, just to make things interesting.

This was an oddball stuck with all the other common daylilies. Haven't a clue how it got there. For all I know it could be a naturalized hybrid. Never can tell.

So, here's the lesson. Listen up. There will be a test afterward. Okay maybe not, but you should still listen. Never hurts to learn something new, you know. Notice how the flower above has two distinct sets of petals forming triangles?  Three orange with a yellow stripe and three behind the others are slightly slimmer and all yellow. Know why that is? The orange ones are the petals, but the yellow ones are actually sepals. Put them together and the two sets are called tepals, even when they do contrast so radically. Nifty huh? Well, I think so.

It's more noticeable in certain daylilies, but here it's also obvious if you look carefully. The three upper most petals are slightly wider and have a bit of a ruffle to the edge. The sepals are narrow by comparison and lay just behind the others.

With this one you can see the same effect. The bright yellow petals have a contracting maroon splash of color with a prominent center vein or midrib while the sepals are just yellow and smaller.

The center of the Daylily is called a throat, probably because it goes know, like deep throat. Anyway, the throat is often, though not always, a different color than the rest of the flower. In the pale peach colored flower above, you can see the throat is yellow. From the throat come the stamens, usually six of them and each of them have two pronged anthers. This is where you'll find the pollen.

When the flower is pollinated, it may form seeds. Unlike what I've been saying--I usually call them seed pods-- they are actually called capsules.

 Now if you find a Daylily with more than the usual two sets of three, you have a polymerous Daylily. For practical purposes gardeners just call them double or triple daylilies but they can have more than five times the usual six. Pretty amazing, I'd say.

 Well, I could tell you about the tetraploids, diploids and triploids, but I don't want to overburden you with too much Daylily information. It really is only good to know about that sort of stuff if you plan on hybridizing some Daylilies on your own.

 Hope you liked this little Daylily anatomy lesson. I know I did!