Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dragon-Leaf Begonias

A few months ago, I got a few clippings of dragon-leaf begonias from a fellow gardener. While cutting them, a stray leaf would fall and be cast away. Curious about whether or not the leaves would root, I set one up in water on the kitchen counter.

Well, it took significantly longer than the cuttings, but by George the leaf took root! [Insert mad scientist laugh here!!!]

Raised Beds Photos

I've been so busy the last few weeks, I haven't had a chance to update you on my progress. Well, two beds have been lined with plastic (to prevent chemicals from the pressure-treated wood leaching into the soil) and filled with soil. In one, I planted broccoli, asparagus and garlic chives, and in the other, there's garlic, onions, rosemary and parsley. And for the finishing touch, the pathways have been mulched. So far everything is doing well and this freaky yo-yo weather hasn't hurt them a bit.

One bed is waiting to be filled and the other is being used as a temporary compost pile for kitchen scraps.

Go On...Humor Me

Yesterday at the library, I ran into a fan of this blog. Really! When I asked her how she heard about it, we figured out our three degrees of separation. She went on to tell me which posts she particularly enjoyed, which pleased me to no end. However, when I asked her why she didn't leave a comment, she just shrugged, like it didn't matter.

Well, it matters to me! As much as I enjoy receiving e-mails from you about whichever gardening tidbit floats your boat, I love seeing my followers grow and comments even more. So please, take the time to do so. Give me the encouragement I sometimes need to keep posting.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Raised Beds Tour

I really enjoy touring with the Master Gardeners of Pike County. On Wednesday, we braved the low 40's temperatures and visited Ellis Bush Jr.'s raised bed farm in Brundidge.

Bush has approximately 200 acres. Near his house, he has about eight large raised beds made from cedar, which he hired a portable sawmill to cut from his property. (For $300, he yields $3,000-$4,000 worth of lumber.) Some were just a few inches tall, while others exceeded two feet tall. Like mine, they are lined with plastic. But, I lined to stop chemicals from the pressure-treated wood leaching into the soil, Bush lined to prevent moisute rotting the wood. Using organic practices, he rotates his crops, and for the winter, we saw broccoli, radishes, turnips and collards, just to name a few.

Also on the property was a very impressive barn, also made from wood from his property, a recycled window green house where Bush gets his seeds started, and several beautiful hand made cedar swings which he gives away. (Hey Ellis, next time you're looking for someone to give a swing to...)

We wrapped up after an hour, with handfuls of freshly picked radishes which were delicious. Hopefully we'll get a chance to go back in the spring and see the crop plants (e.g. corn, peas, etc.) in action.

I'm leaving you with a few pictures from our adventure:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pot Lid Butterfly Feeder

As a Master Gardener, I am trained to look at discarded items with an eye to repurpose them. A few months ago, I swapped out my old teflon-coated pots for stainless steel ones, but kept the perfectly good lids in case I ever needed them. After watching a short-story commerical about decluttering your life, where they specifically instructed the viewers to toss those old pot lids that do not match the new pots, I was at a crossroad. But, a recent conversation about a butterfly garden gave me an idea!

I used the lids to make a butterfly feeder:

Butterflies need shallow watering trays from which to drink. Even bird baths are too deep. Now I just need to find the right spot in one of my flower beds, where we can enjoy watching our flying friends.