Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
|This 'Mahonia' my grandmother dug from her woods is supposed to have buds. Honeybees visit it when it flowers on days its warm enough for them to fly during February.|
|My natural-looking crape myrtle. Would you rather look at it all winter, or would you rather see|
|these poor trees?|
Pruning the tree this way is supposed to promote more blossoms than allowing it to grow naturally, but my trees have abundant blossoms and are attractive all year. I prune mine by cutting off branches that cross or are diseased or broken, but I leave the long graceful form of the branches alone. I also thin the tree by cutting off branches at the trunk. Thinning the tree allows air to circulate and helps prevent mold.
Monday, January 20, 2014
I love honeybees, and I miss them during the winter, when it's too cold for them to fly. When temperatures reach about 60 degrees F outside, they leave the hive to search for a midwinter snack. On lovely days, such as today, I check my Mahonia, and I usually find bees. It blooms in winter with a sweet fragrance that attracts the bees. Whenever I see it, I remember my great-aunt, who brought the original plant to my grandmother from her home in Oregon, and I cherish the memory of digging the baby plant from my grandmother's woods a couple of years before she died. Honey bees visited the original plant at my grandmother's home, pollinated the flowers on some lovely winter day, and the plant produced its fruit, the "Oregon grape," which, transported by a bird or animal, fell to the ground and sprouted, and then transformed into my baby plant.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I realized that I can use a string trimmer to trim back dead plants rapidly. Below is the pre-trimmed flower bed.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Perhaps you have seen the photos going around on Facebook of people freezing bubbles. I don’t know who had the insane idea to blow bubbles on a cold day, but after I saw the pictures I had to try. It did work, provided I was able to keep the children away from the bubbles long enough for them to freeze!
It was 12 degrees F here this morning, which is the coldest temperature I remember experiencing in SC in several years. And it’s still below freezing in midafternoon. I know many of you may scoff at my complaints, but I’m not used to this crazy cold, and I don’t want to become used to it either.
Last night I tucked my chickens into their chicken tractor, gave them extra feed, and covered the entire thing with plastic. This morning I put on my warmest clothes (I don’t have many of them!) and put on the only hat and gloves I could find, and went outside to give them more food and water. They came through the cold night fine, and, thank God, we’ll return to our more normal January temperatures of highs in the 50s and 60s by the end of the week.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
On this dreary January day, I thought you’d like to see these brave yellow flowers of the winter Jasmine that bloom throughout the coldest months of the year and remind us that spring will come. Camellias and Mahonia are or are will soon bloom, adding more color and fragrance to the garden. Ignore the dreary skies and visit the garden.