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Archive for September, 2008

While we were away this past weekend I received my garlic delivery and also my gourd books … I love coming home and having packages waiting for me!

I laid out the 4 different garlic for comparison and will be planting these all within the next week or so … it rained all day yesterday so I kept busy inside.  I received 2 bulbs of each of these garlics.

I did visit the swans last week and they are almost 4 months old now – you can see the adult swan compared to the baby swan here AND the picture of the 2 headed Swan!  Now that’s a picture of luck – if I was trying to take that picture on purpose I would never have been able!

 Adult and 4 month baby

 Another alien being??

I was able to capture this fantastic sunset … makes ya just want to go Ah!

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All week I have been out trying to clean up the gardens and yard and DANG those mosquitoes are obnoxious!!  Seems they are all out for their last meal and find those exact spots to bite that will annoy me for days … Ugh!  So I did spend some time in the kitchen canning up some Jalapeno peppers and making some Oatmeal cookies ……

   How’s that for a Combo – spicy and hot and sweet and chewy !!  I did grow some Red Mini Peppers again this year and I think they are cute being so tiny, but I am not sure they are worth the space.  Right now I am undecided if they grow again next year.

I bought a smaller pumpkin this year (who knows I may still buy more) AND this bushel gourd … the dude is Huge and heavy!  I plan to create a bowl or something when he dries but that may take a year from what I read.  I do have my mini gourds to practice on – no idea when they will dry and be ready to craft on.  The creation behind the gourd is just a vase of corn stalks and grass for decoration – nothing attached to the gourd.

    The Autumn Sedum Joy is looking Great!

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Happy Fall ya’ll … the summer was wonderful, hot and rainy and then cool and dry – never predictable, but always Summer!  Now Fall is upon us and what will it bring?  Beautiful colors I am sure and fun material to craft with ..

 

Although I wasn’t very successful with gourds this year, I will be dedicating a whole field down south to them next year.  I also have a few new gourd books on order and plan to do some fun crafting with them.  I did pick up some miniature gourds to practice on –

  I am organizing my seed saving and will be making some gifts of seeds along with a dried version of the flower for the holidays!

 Anise Hyssop

 Marigold seed

 Zinnia seed

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   Birdseed!!  This year I left the seed that had fallen from the birdfeeder alone and watched it grow into lovely plants.  Usually I pull the sprouts as they appear.   Just recently I cut the seed stalks and let them dry – I believe I have some millet and broom corn.  They are very sturdy and will work great for crafts!

Birdseed growing ….

I was working on some crafts last night and I came up with a great use for the Luffa Sponge (which I have to report is growing very well down south).

 I was worried with the lack of rain down there, but we received some rain and they took off!  I used luffa from last year as a base for dried flowers.  Instead of using glue and/or foam to secure the flowers in place, I used the Luffa and it worked perfectly!

 This is the start of the project.  You can see the completed arrangement at The Crafty Garden along with a few other finished pieces.  You will see three items which I purchased on Clearance at the local craft store.  I check for clearance bargains whenever I shop and find some great material … the straw hat I purchased for a dime each (I bought six), the little wooden birdhouse was a dollar each (I bought five) and the teak birdhouse was a bit over 2 dollars each (I bought three) – it’s a beautiful piece!  Make sure to check those Clearance aisles especially now with the change in season!

                     

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The trip home yesterday was quite the experience – 3 hours of downpouring heavy rain that nearly lifted us from the road and swept us away.  We are extremely happy to be alive and well and seeing all the flooded areas, it is quite clear we missed some heavy rains all weekend.  I believe the Chicagoland area broke records and it is said to be the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  I can only image the winds and rains they had and pray for their well being.  While down south I did make a unique discovery and I am not sure what it is!

 Polka dotted seedpod?  At first we thought it was a little rubber ball, but where would it have come from? So we cut it open to investigate further…

 Looks very alien to me.  I tried searching on the internet but came up with no clue.  I will have to watch for more and hope the home doesn’t get invaded while we are gone!

Something else which I found rather interesting was … a Tomato Hornworm eating our Alma Paprika Peppers which at this stage are very, very hot!  When they are yellow (the initial stage) they are raging spicy hot, then they turn orange and mellow out a bit.  Finally, when they are red they are sweet hot.

These guys are so big and nasty looking!

 

I did find some very cool mushrooms and snapped a few shots!

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 The baby swans are up front and getting almost as big as the parent.  The 2 birds in the background are ducks.

Now this next guy is not as huge as the swans but he sure has some great color – a yellow canary came visiting the bird feeder!

Some great color from the garden too!  I harvested my first Marconi Peppers and made stuffed peppers to bring down south this weekend .. looking forward to trying them out!

More tigger melons .. I have to admit there is more seed than melon to these guys.  I have saved seed for growing next year and will plant if space permits, but they are not high on my priority list – I am still looking for the “sweetness” taste.  They may do well selling at a farmer’s market since they are so unique.

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This is the time of year when we have plenty of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and whatever else we grew and it did well (how could I forget cucumbers!)  So besides canning and freezing the overload I decided to use the Excalibur dehydrator.  I purchased the dehydrator last year and have used it ALOT – all year long.  There have been plenty times when something is just about ready to be tossed into the compost since no one is eating it or I have purchased produce on sale and I dehydrated!  I have utmost praise for my dehydrator!

   

 Dried tomatoes which are just like sun-dried tomatoes you buy in the grocery store, not a bad snack!   Odd double tomato – twins!

Hey, the blue corn finally turned blue and my fall crop of peas I planted have emerged …

Work on my new website is going well – I am enjoying it!

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