Archive for the 'Gardening' Category

Making compost

Compost: An Old Secret for New Life

 Is there anything you want?”… “Do you want toys, books, dolls?” “Might I Have a Bit of Earth?”   In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to say. Mr. Craven looked quite startled. “Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?” “To plant seeds in—to
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Our Compost Sandwich / Vegetable Garden Experiment

Our daughter has a 12 x 12 area where we have been growing veggies.   The first year, it did great.  We grew about 50 spaghetti squash, some zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, flowers and herbs. The second year was disappointing. We were plagued by poor, clay-filled soil and invasive grass. I knew we needed to fix the soil in order to achieve
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What To Do About Freeze Damage?

Many plants in Tucson and surrounding areas suffered damage from below freezing temps, recently.  We recommend patience when dealing with the aftermath, but in some cases there is no doubt about what to do.  Below is a severely damaged impatiens plant that was happily growing and blooming in a pot on our patio. In it’s shady spot on the north
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hello 2013 button size

New Beginnings Were Invented for Gardeners!

Here are some of my garden inspirations for 2013: First, I must finish reading the book, Vertical Vegetable Gardening, by Chris McLaughlin. Paperback: 288 pages Publisher: ALPHA (December 31, 2012) ISBN: 978-1615641833 Better yet: I must read the book all year, and keep it handy, because it is full of easy to follow, easy to understand instructions and ideas for growing upwards, growing smart,
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Street garden

A Gallery of September Blessings

Our homegrown butterfly is released back to the garden.  Our Cape Plumbago reaches 4 feet, with its faithful sky-blue show of flowers. …providing tasty treats to our little flock.  …who then “scramble” for prime nesting spots.  … laying our biggest egg so far. Our mini street garden offers beauty to passers-by, and water to neighborhood birds. I write a letter
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Unfurling wings

Our Giant Swallowtail Story

About a month ago I plucked a gooey Orange Dog Caterpillar from  one of our baby Clementine orange trees. Kinda gross, huh?   Yeah, before I touched it with a stick to make it poke out its tiny orange horns, it looked like a bird dropping.  This ugly masquerade is to fool birds so they don’t decide to have caterpillar for
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Spice container recycle 3

Consider Your Options; Old Things Can Become New

Today began as usual — a blessed morning filled with possibilities.  While cleaning up breakfast — Jim’s yummy blend of fresh eggs from the backyard, potato, peppers, green onion, garlic and cheese — I noticed that our spice cabinet looked like it needed some attention. The lazy Susan’s were jumbled and be-specked, and upon investigation, I found that a few jars
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Snake at the Sonoran Desert Museum

Residents Visitors and Invaders

The natural world is a wild place.  Many of us do not notice how wild, because we have built our habitats to keep ourselves safe and comfortable, insulating our lives from its wild elements.  I’m happy to report that in our 36 years gardening in Tucson’s suburbs in the Sonoran desert, I’ve never seen a rattlesnake, bobcat or Gila Monster in my
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Pick a Pepper, Beck

After a few months of Arizona sunshine and daily water, our veggies are ready to eat.  For the past several mornings Jim has been treating us to his special scrambled egg concoctions, and…well…every day has been different.Yesterday’s entree was my favorite, so far. ( I say, so far because today’s breakfast is still in production.) Yesterday we had leftover steak,
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GS in the lawn

A New Cast of Characters

When our backyard weather station registered 101, I knew I would have to say goodbye to some of my favorite garden characters. The happy face pansies, sweet alyssum and snapdragons that have brightened the garden stage with color since last October, will take their last bow in a few weeks.  Our leading actor –winter lawn — will stagger under the
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