Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Clean Up in the Garden

One of the most exciting things in the Spring garden for me is to see which plants have sprouted from fallen seeds or sent out roots to start new plants. I love getting new plants without having to buy them. One way to do this is by dividing perennials. There are three main kinds of flowers, annuals, biennials, and perennials. An annual is a flower that completes its life span in one season. It sprouts, grows leafs, then flowers, which produces the seeds, and dies. These are the flowers we buy in the nursery each Spring to add instant color to the garden. They're great, but can be expensive because you have to replace them each year. A biennial takes two years to complete its full life span. A perennial comes back year after year and produces flowers and seeds each year. They usually die back to the ground in winter but not always and can live for many years. After about two to five years they are full size. They can spread and get larger, but they may begin to look unhealthy. They may have a dead circle in the center or their leafs and flowers are looking smaller than you remember from the year before. These are signs that it's past time to divide the plant. The best time to divide is in cool weather either early Spring or Fall. Some people prefer to divide in the fall because the plants energy is not being used to produce flowers but working more to strengthen the roots. I found a really great website with instructions on the process. If you're interested in dividing perennials I highly recommend visiting it. Click here to take a look.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flowers Everywhere!

I can't help it, I just love the look of flowers! Caryn and I saw a wreath hanging from the ceiling in a shop and I just had to try it. This is the result. I hope you can see it enough to tell what it looks like.

Flowering Quince Bush

After 3 weeks the coral flowers are in full bloom and the peach are smaller but just as pretty.

One week later these cute little leaves were growing.

Here are the pictures I promised. Three weeks ago I pruned my Flowering Quince bush and brought in some branches. I put them into some water and watched the magic begin.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yummy! Lemon Drop Cookies

I had the opportunity to make cookies for an activity and pulled out a new family favorite. This recipe was given to Jade, from a close friend Susie, thanks Sue! We all love it. Be careful if you make these, it's difficult to eat just one. Enjoy!

Lemon Drop Cookies

1 1/2 cup butter
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 T lemon zest
Cream together, then add:
2 cups sour cream
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
Combine dry ingredients then add to creamed mixture.
5 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 min.

Ice with:
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Micro Climate

Some of you have asked why I am planting seeds so early. It is early, especially since we continue to have snow storms, but on the south side of my home where the garden is against the wall, I have a Micro Climate which is close to desert conditions. The awing on the house keeps it from getting much of the moisture from the storms, (I've actually watered the places where I planted seeds), and the sun shines down on it all day. When the sprinklers are on, it gets water, but now it's quite dry and usually warm enough for seed planting. We'll see if they make it.

As you can see in these pictures, I have snow on my Hyacinth and the back of the garden is dry. The high mountain climate is a difficult climate to grow gardens in. With hail, rain, snow, and low temperatures at all different times of the year. Lauren Springer has written a very informative and beautifully illustrated book on plants that are tolerant of this type of climate. The title is "The Undaunted Garden", I highly recommend it if you're serious about creating a beautiful garden in a difficult climate. She shares her experience with indigenous plants and plants from different parts of the world with similar climates.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Spring, Happy Everything!

It's been a wonderful few days in the sun and garden. What fun! I finally got my fingers in the dirt, did some pruning, cleaned up what I didn't get to in the fall and put some seeds in the garden. Bring on the rain. "April showers bring May flowers".

After pruning my Flowering Quince bush I brought in the branches and put them in a vase of water. Within two days they are already putting forth leaves and beautiful little coral flowers will follow for a lovely Easter decoration. If you have access to any Spring blooming bushes get a few branches and bring Springtime inside. Pictures will follow as soon as the flowers appear.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ok, I'm new at this so be patient, K? I love reading blogs and decided I would like to have one of my own. With a lot of help from my daughter (she created it for me) I now have one! Yippee!
If you've read my profile or if you know me, you know that I love flowers and gardening. I hope to share ideas and information with you that might help us both to be better at gardening, cooking, crafts, or just general life improving "stuff". Thus the stuff in my blog name. I look forward to your comments and ideas. Happy Blogging!
This is the view of my back yard from the house. Agreeably beautiful, right? But enough already! I can't wait to get my fingers in the dirt. February and March you can usually find me searching through seed and plant catalogs dreaming of the perfect garden I'll create this year. Thinking of changes I'll make, additions or corrections. It's fun for me to imagine the perfect garden. The hardest part is making it happen.

Spring Snow