Spring Blooms and Grumpy Turtles

May 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

We had an amazing weekend; the shop was busy-busy with everyone snapping up last minute Mother’s Day gifts. I finished up the mini-series Top of the Lake on Netflix (anyone else watching – oh my, that WAS good)  Of course, I really just wanted to play outside the whole time, which by Monday (my day off) I finally did!. Most of my time was spent weeding…are there any natural remedies…that work…for weed prevention? Anywho, take a look at my gorgeous flowers! My day lilies are super impressive right now – I actually forgot about the one pictured; what a nice surprise! The rose shown has also been a surprise. I bought it several years ago as Rina Hugo – an intensely pink tea rose. Life happened and my care for it faltered and this delicate antique pink rose popped up in its place. I suspect it may be the root stock. Rina Hugo is a French Rose and this looks like Maidens Blush – also a French rose known for its hardiness. (I actually much prefer this rose than the previous). And what gardening adventure would be complete without a little wildlife. I saved this turtle going to the street; as you can tell – he seems overwhelmed with gratitude!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Spring Forward

March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I guess I’ve been inside listening to news too much about the Snowquester or Snowmaggedon…whatever you Northerners are calling this unbearable white stuff these days; anyway, I completely missed that Spring has already sprung here.  Normally, I am totally delighted but ugh…the weeds have sprung right along with it.  I knew it was a bad sign when Saturday, a customer – a new customer, at the shop came in and said “Wow! the inside sure looks a lot different than the outside.”  And I knew exactly what she meant…the weeds have just  taken over.  I wanted to give her my sad story about how I can’t really can’t garden since my cancer treatment…but really, I just hate weeding like most every person on the planet.  So, I just kept my mouth shut and vowed to weed it this week…at some point…I’m pretty sure, eventually…I’ll get to it.

Anywho, stuff I didn’t plant is coming up just beautifully at the house.  I wandered thru and found wild violets and strawberries; azaleas already popping out and even a few camellias hanging on until temps get a bit warmer (any day now).  I even made this adorable toad-friend; though he (maybe she – how do you tell) has a death wish and keeps choosing to hop around the driveway.  And unfortunately, after a long day at the shop, toad-friend is the last thing on my mind…hop swift my friend.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Humming Along…

September 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s Labor Day in the States today; C went in and opened the shop tho many, many of our customers surrounding the shop are dealing with extensive wind and flood clean up in Hurricane Isaac’s wake.  We were so fortunate this time and with each passing storm I learn new things about the resiliency of people and nature.

A day or so after the storm passed I saw a madding number of hummingbirds coming to the windows of the house looking in; a friend had posted on Facebook that they are hungry right now with most of their food source being temporarily damaged.  It took some time to locate a feeder with our limited resources in town; I ended up at Big Lots of all places and got one for $12…best. money. ever. spent.  Within 20 minutes of putting it out a feeding frenzy began.  Every few minutes one passes and takes a sip.  All of us, cats and dogs included, are loving our new feathered friends.  I did a little research and it turns out this is a particularly important time for these tiny birds; they will migrate on a non-stop trip across the Gulf of Mexico soon and are desperate to feed in preparation.

So, today I have a great seat catching all the action as I finish up stitching my new Downton Abbey Alphabet Pattern.  I hope to frame both of my patterns soon; plus I need to get going on a few new ideas before I forget them!  One in development will be for the Christmas holidays…wish I was as quick as my hummer friends!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Bee Minus: The Backyard Bee Count

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Do you remember my previous post about the Backyard Bee Count as I mentioned here.  I planted Lemon Queen, an exquisite pale lemon sunflower and one of my favorites.  Last year it was a bee magnet; this year, I’m sad to report that I’ve not had ONE bee visit.  20 feet away on my cucumber flowers, I’ve seen one or two carpenter bees…but that’s it!  Sad for sure and the rest of my garden is suffering…few tomatoes and no squash.  I may try to plant another crop of sunflowers and see if our bee comes a little later in the season.

Luckily for us, though, someone’s having a lot of luck with their garden!  Marie brought me a ton of canned goods after she left the farmers’ market this weekend.  Blueberry Ginger Jam, Squash Pickles, and Blackberry Spiced Jam (my favorite!).  I can’t believe she had any left from the market, it’s now at the shop unless I consume it all…which, sorry…is possible!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Plan Bee: The Backyard Bee Count

May 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

I just love sunflowers and every year I try a new variety in my garden for a little height and a pop of color.  Last year I picked up some Lemon Queen seed by chance and ended up finding my favorite variety.  Not only was it a sweet pale yellow but I noted that bees were all a buzz over it!  So, as I am reading this month’s issue of Organic Gardening on Sunflowers (its in the print edition – not the web) they just happen to list Lemon Queen and mention that bees love it so much that it was selected as the test flower for the Backyard Bee Count.  Curious, I searched for it and found a really neat project that began in 2008 involving a nation of backyard gardeners.  Developed to better understand where the bees are as many have fallen ill, the project uses Lemon Queen sunflowers (and a few other bee attractors like bees balm).  Amateur gardeners study the growth of their blooms and track how many bees visit a bloom during 15 minute intervals, then input this online to be complied with other gardens.  Lemon Queen is a great choice for this project because it has so much pollen (some varieties were developed for the floral trade and do not produce pollen) also, by everyone using the same plant, its easier to compare apples to apples.  I immediately signed up as I had, by chance, planted my seeds 2 weeks earlier; I think I might get a few more packs and rotate them through the summer as they have a quick cycle.   I’ll post my numbers in a few weeks when I get my first blooms!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Easter Greetings From My Nest

April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today brought the promise of so much more!  Blackberries to pick, caterpillars to butterflies, flowers to fruit!  Today also made it officially a year since my last radiation treatment in Houston.  Whew, what a difference a year makes…a year ago I was so tired, burnt, and I couldn’t taste anything; today I was picking blackberries in my yard and could taste every drop of sunshine!  Happy Easter!

  • Next year I have to try natural dyed eggs; It seemed all everyone was talking about…anyone actually do it?
  • This year I’ve got to do something with ALL these blackberries…I think this will help.
  • Which brings me to the point that its really time I learned how to can…this book was recommended.
  • This is random but I really need a case for my hooks and needles…think I’m going to try this pattern.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Garden Report: Spring Fling

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s not even officially Spring and it feels as if it is already fleeting down South.  We are nearing temperatures in the 80’s and the pretty delicate spring blossoms are beginning to wither already.  I snapped these images last week when the wisteria was in full bloom.  We do not have lilacs this far south but wisteria in full bloom makes up for this…and it smells heavenly too; even the bees agree.  We also have our “banana plant” tree in bloom; it is actually a type of magnolia and what is considered a heritage plant.  We are lucky to have one and quite a huge one at that; in the evening it perfumes the entire yard with a banana-y scent, hence the name.  This year, to my surprise, both of my citrus trees are in bloom…it would be awesome if they actually would bear fruit.  I think the last time I saw fruit was when I bought them six years ago!  *fingers crossed*

So, Mother Nature has put quite a show on which means I really need to get my yard in order.  If I do not get some vegetables and herbs started I will be one unhappy girl this summer.  Also, we’ve been planning a wine bottle border around our large garden.  And sadly, the only “gardening” I’ve been doing is emptying the bottles.  Hopefully, next weekend we will begin and we better hurry as it’s only going to get hotter!

Via Pinterest

–Lisa LeBlanc

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