Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly In Gardening

Obsessed? Probably just a little, ummm maybe a little more. I
worry about every little ant, grasshopper, beetle, leaf damage,
fungus, on and on. There are pests, there are garden diseases.
If you have flowers, grow vegetables, then you're going to have
these problems.

We need to be educated…to know our bugs. Are they all bad?
No. Inspect your garden regularly… you want to detect
problems early on. Once you've identified your pest, the easier
it will be to manage. There are chemical methods and organic
earth-friendly methods. I leave that up to you.

There are beneficial insects that play a role in your garden.
They may also be a predator to the bad bugs. The trick is to
understand the difference. Visit the internet, lots of pictures,
advice and suggestions. Plant a variety of things that will 
attract the goods bugs. They will need food like nectar and
pollen. Plant wisely. Some suggestions: Shasta daisies, asters,
cone flowers, fennel, and dill.

If we were to wipe out insects alone on
this planet, the rest of life and humanity
with it would mostly disappear from the
land. Within a few months.  -E.O. Wilson

Word of the day: Blossom-End Rot
Noun. A disease caused by a deficiency of calcium particularly in
tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant. The plant is
unable to absorb enough calcium from the soil. If you see a dark
rotting spot on the bottom of your tomato, that's blossom-end rot.
The tissues of the fruit are breaking down. Also water 
fluctuations, stress, too much fertilizer can also be the cause. 
You can purchase a calcium solution to help. Seems to work 
better on tomatoes than on other vegetables, but ask your garden 
center for help.

Now for the ugly, see that picture……...
Yep, guess what returned to our lower backyard!!! "Who you
gonna call?" Jack from on board
as I type this. More to come next week. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Stop by for a new recipe!

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why Do I Garden

I've talked about the beauty of flowers, about my love for
gardening and growing herbs and vegetables. (See the post
Gardening Is My Thing.) I wanted to expand on that thought
and just share my personal thoughts on why I garden. 

Just find Mother Nature's address and
come and get your happiness.
                                                               -Shirley Temple

Yes, gardening is a great relaxer, it's exercise, it offers 
satisfaction and gives rewards. Who doesn't appreciate 
picking a fresh tomato or cutting a bouquet of zinnias
and daisies. Gardening is my own personal therapy,
it calms me, offers solitude and keeps me distracted 
from the stresses of life when I need it to.

I like to think I have a relationship with Mother Nature.
I have to be outside. I like the sun shining, but I also love
a cloudy day and a good thunderstorm. I've been known
to work my yard and garden in the rain, yes love it.

Our planet's precious soil nourishes
the roots of people as well as plants.
                                      -Katherine Robertson-Pilling 

It makes me so happy to know my daughter Shakira
finds satisfaction in working in her yard and creating
her flower beds. When she said she was interested in
possibly, maybe growing some herbs, I was so excited.
Maybe I passed along my love of gardening gene!!

Thanks for stopping by,
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Friday, August 5, 2016

It's August, Flower Thyme

Good riddance July. Please take all your heat and humidity with
you. Officially August has been forecasted to give us less intense
heat days and temperatures falling into the 80's. The rain outlook
for our region however, doesn't look so good. Ok we'll take what
we can get and be happy. It's still summer, lots of time to be out-
doors and enjoy all those warm weather activities. Our summer 
flowers are just beautiful and putting on a show right now. 
Remember watering is a must for our flowers, grass, and 
Enjoy my summer beauties….

Flowers will always give you a show…

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.
                                                 -Gerard de Nerval

The earth laughs in flowers

Flowers don't worry about how they're going
to bloom. They just open up and turn toward
the light and that makes them beautiful.
                                                    -Jim Carrey

Let your flowers speak to you

Give someone flowers, it will feel so good

Visit me on Instagram, dianarn2627

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gardening Is My Thing

I like to think I've inherited a "garden gene," my love of
gardening,  from my dad. I'll qualify this by saying I'm by no
means an expert, a master gardener, a garden guru, garden
author, or any other title attached to someone who has expertise
in gardening. I'm simply one of mllions of people who garden.

My garden spaces are small but I have several areas that I grow
flowers, herbs, and vegetables. I've learned over the years that
growing in small defined areas works for me. I like to decorate
my yard. I like yard art, vintage farm tools, rusty metal signs
depicting expressions from the garden, I like potting tables, 
old chairs, watering cans, bee skeps and scarecrows. I think 
you get my point. It's visually appealing and lets me be creative.

I am a gardener. Although my gardening is a hobby, an activity
if you will that started as one for exercise and relaxation, my 
participation has grown 100%. I begin, weather permitting, in
late March and finish in late September. And while I grow some
vegetables, like carrots, radishes, and tomatoes, my goal is not
to supplement the family food supply but to provide us with 
some of our favorite foods. I've grown lettuce, peas, green  
peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini, green onions, and green  
beans, and been successful. I've tried corn, blueberries, garlic,  
potatoes, and been unsuccessful. So I grow what I know, what  
pleases me. Herbs are another favorite thing I grow. Except for  
my large lavender and chive beds, I use strawberry jars for my  
herbs and keep them right on the patio.


The glory of gardening: 
hands in the dirt, 
head in the sun,
heart with nature.
To nurture a garden is to feed
not just the body, but the soul. 
                               -Alfred Austin  

I don't know anyone that doesn't enjoy flowers. Adding the
beauty of flowers will brighten and enhance any landscape.  
My favorites flowers are the ones that attract butterflies and
hummingbirds. I also enjoy cutting the flowers for bouquets
and indoor displays. My current summer flower favorite is
the Zinnia. 

While gardening is my thing, it's not my husband's favorite
activity. But he steps in to help whenever I ask. He paints,
puts up the birdhouses, etc. etc. He also creates some of my
yard art, building something I just have to have. He's also
my biggest fan and loves the decorated yard and garden.
Thanks Ron!! Note, (I try and make sure he has golf and
basketball time.) Now Sam (the Pug) is my yard buddy, 
my inspiration for pictures and ideas, and my go-to for
conversation. When he visits, he's my garden sidekick.
I can't wait to introduce my grandson Ethan to gardening.
We're going to have a blast!!!
I hope I've given you a little bit of info about me and my
"garden thing."Grow something, it can feel so good!

  Visit me on Instagram… dianarn2627

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It's July, It's Hot, Hey It's Summer

Get out there and enjoy!!
Thanks for stopping by.
Visit me on Instagram dianarn2627

Friday, July 15, 2016

Butterflies, Ethan and Sam

Went to visit a favorite local garden center when I heard they had 
a new butterfly habitat area. I was excited to share. It would be a 
very interesting place to take children, but I learned some things 
as well. See for hours etc. So here's a short 
science lesson.

See the tiny white dot in the picture above? That's an egg. This
begins the life-cycle of the Monarch butterfly. (umm no not going
there with which comes first, the chicken or the egg..ha-ha) Ok,
The female attaches the egg to the leaves or stems near a food source.

The egg develops into the caterpillar (larva), and it's long but
I think has a beautiful pattern to it. This is its feeding and
growing stage. I found my first one on my herb Dill. I was
so excited. The employee at Meadowview said the larva will
shed its skin 4 times to enclose its body.

The chrysalis (pupa) is the transformation stage. In this sack, the
tissues are broken down and new ones form (a butterfly's body.) 
Takes about 10-15 days.

The chrysalis tends to blend into the surroundings. Note the sack
and the end of the caterpillar. This pupa is on a parsley stem.

The Monarch emerges as an adult. Very distinctive, beautiful. This
is the life stage involving mating, migration and flying, and
colonizing habitates. We then find ourselves back to the egg. The
Monarch is a large butterfly with a wingspan from 3 to 4 inches.

Butterflies are pollinators. As such, they contribute to our food
supply. It is important to help the butterflies and the bees do
their job. Creating a habitat is our job. Providing colorful,
nectar-rich flowers, lots of them is easy and enjoyable. 
Remember a water source and for fun, how about a butterfly house.

Here's a short list of flowers that attract butterflies.
Butterfly bush, Aster, Bee Balm, Globe Thistle, Lavender,
Milkweed, Purple Coneflower, Zinnia. The herbs Dill, Fennel,
and Parsley can also be added to this list. Visit Meadowview
Garden Center to learn more. It's a great place.
Fun facts: 
*Butterflies taste with their feet. Their "tongue"
 is used for sucking nectar from the flowers.
*A group of butterflies is called a "flutter"

Our grand pup Sam (the Pug) has arrived. Adventures to
And oh by-the-way….grandson Ethan is on his way to the 
beach. Of course 2 months not so much adventure, but I
expect lots of pictures. Here's the first

Cool Dude!

Visit for new recipe from Jan
See me on Instagram dianarn2627

To those in Nice, our heartfelt prayers  go out to the families
of those who lost loved ones in this senseless tragedy.

Thanks for stopping by,Diana

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's July Already

Our second summer month has arrived. We begin with a
celebration, a birthday if you will of America's independence.
There were parades, bands playing, fireworks and some
mighty good eating happening across our country. I hope
you all enjoyed your day.

July also shows off its colors and lush blooms.

The gardens are coming alive, harvesting of our favorite
summertime crops will be happening soon. 

There's nothing better than fresh from the garden…

I hope you're finding your garden pleasure…

And at the end of the day, you will be 

But happy

Thanks for stopping by!

Visit for 2 new
recipes from Madison
Stop by instagram, dianarn2627