Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Farmer's Market - Garden Therapy

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

How is everyone today? Well, I hope. 

Some days I have to drag myself outside, overwhelmed and unmotivated. 
Some days it hurts to move, let alone tackle the maintenance of even an "adaptive" garden.

But I keep trying, and I believe wholeheartedly that each day that I make it outside helps keep my future just a little bit brighter than it might be otherwise.

But the cherry on the top is your appreciation the end results.

Thank you for your support.

Now, here is this week's round up of my Garden Therapy results: 

This is my favorite sight in the garden. 
The California Poppies look especially delicate and airy mixed in among the Lavender spikes. 
The Bees seem to agree, and signal their agreement daily by frequenting the bed en mass.

The single best pest control I've established in my garden has been feeding the birds.

"Come for the seed. Stay for the bugs."

With just one feeder containing seed and one containing nectar, the whole garden was transformed to a joyful, song filled place.

It has, however, gotten to the point where the crowd can easily decimate the feeder, and the larger birds also tip the hanging feeder.

Well . . . I had seen home made feeders somewhere in the interwebs and set about making something similar from Dollar Store ceramics and some odds and ends we actually had on hand.

The hardest part was drilling the holes in the plates and bowls, and that wasn't hard (for my husband).

By the next morning the word was out and I had lots of happy birds singing, bathing, and eating heartily.

I have to get a telephoto lens for my camera.

The camera takes great pictures, but I can't convince the birds to pose as I get closer.

Now I know how the paparazzi feel!


I read somewhere that Bees will drown in regular water sources such as ponds and bird baths. 
Since they still need to drink it is suggested that you put out a shallow dish, like a pie tin or planter saucer, and fill it with marbles. This gives them solid footing to reach the water.

I have two kinds of Praying Mantis in the garden, the familiar green one I already pictured, and this one.

S/he is a mottled brown like old leaves and branches, and tends to be larger.

With all the wisdom of the interwebs at my fingertips I could easily do the research needed to find out all the particulars on these little guys, but I won't.

I just like their company and what they do for my plants.

I wish I could keep Bees; I think the honey would be delicious. 
But when you live in the center of town, some of your choices are limited.



This one has a smiley face. Can you see it?


They are all bowing their heads and the smallest one broke and fell over.

I put the heads under the Crepe Myrtle and as they dry, the birds will start to eat them.

This plant is about as high as my chin, and each flower is about the size of a luncheon plate.

This cute little 'shroom was not there one day and there the next.


. . . and this is what I saw the next day.

The White Grandiflora Rose is still blooming. 
Each perfect flower is about the size of a fifty cent piece.


I finally pulled up the Onions.

They're now hanging in bunches upstairs.

Our spare bedroom is sewing room, library (one of them), and drying room.

It will soon be full of Lavender as well.

The Pansies are still hanging on.

The Pomegranates are still doing fine . . .

  . . . and so are the Tomatoes . . .

. . . but not so the Lilac.

The leaves are turning color, curling, and have brown spots.

I'm pretty sure their next trick will be to fall off.

More research to do!

- Walt Whitman
                    from: Leaves of Grass

Warble me now for joy of lilac-time, (returning in reminiscence,)
Sort me O tongue and lips for Nature’s sake, souvenirs of earliest summer,
Gather the welcome signs, (as children with pebbles or stringing shells,)
Put in April and May, the hylas croaking in the ponds, the elastic air,
Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes,
Blue-bird and darting swallow, nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings,
The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke, the vapor,
Shimmer of waters with fish in them, the cerulean above,
All that is jocund and sparkling, the brooks running,
The maple woods, the crisp February days and the sugar-making,
The robin where he hops, bright-eyed, brown-breasted,
With musical clear call at sunrise, and again at sunset,
Or flitting among the trees of the apple-orchard, building the nest of his mate,
The melted snow of March, the willow sending forth its yellow-green sprouts,
For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it?
Thou, soul, unloosen’d—the restlessness after I know not what;
Come, let us lag here no longer, let us be up and away!
O if one could but fly like a bird!
O to escape, to sail forth as in a ship!
To glide with thee O soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters;
Gathering these hints, the preludes, the blue sky, the grass, the morning drops of dew,
The lilac-scent, the bushes with dark green heart-shaped leaves,
Wood-violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence,
Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere,
To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds,
A warble for joy of lilac-time, returning in reminiscence.


  1. Do you have problems with mosquitoes, from putting out water for the bees? or do you tip the water out and replace often, to keep the larvae from growing? I used to have awful mosquitoes in my old yard, was going to put up a bat house... how do you keep the squirrels out of the birdfeeders? Nice onions.

    1. Hi Jeanne. This was my first year growing onions and they surprised me. They're not large but they are nice and sweet.

      I used to have a terrible problem with mosquitoes, even before I put out the water. I found that feeding the birds has gone a long way toward eliminating them. The more birds I attracted to the garden, the fewer bugs of any kind I had. (Feeders: 4 seed, 1 thistle, 1 suet, 2 nectar) I now have bee water, a bird bath, a bowl under the roses that I keep filled for any thirsty critters that happen by, and hardly any mosquitoes. (lots of lovely singing and chattering too) Because of the summer heat here I water my pots every other day, and I hit all my water containers with the hose too. But during cooler weather I don't refresh the water until the level is low.

      Our feeders are on galvanized poles from the plumbing department - not as pretty as wood might be, but the squirrels can't climb them. I plan to paint them some day so they'll fit in better, but until then ...

  2. I always worried that having a backyard pond would get more mosquitoes, but I'd rather attract birds and bats for control like you do. I have problems with squirrels climbing onto my balcony and digging into potted plants to bury their peanuts (or look for them again) but I've found that putting coffee grounds out deters them- from the scent. I just put out a shallow dish w/my grounds in it each day- to dry before I dump them in the worm bin- and it seems to keep the squirrels out as well!