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!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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

Get out there and enjoy!!
Thanks for stopping by.
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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