Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New in the Mama's Garden

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
Those white blossoms may one day produce Asian pears for us. The tree had quite a lot of blossoms this year, but then we had a couple days of rain. The rain was wonderful for us, since we're in a drought, but not so much for the blossoms. So we shall see.

Look in the background and you can see some clusters of buds of the avocado tree. If they all wake and do their thing, we're going to have a huge crop this year.

What else is new in the Mama's garden?

This past week, she planted long beans and some other kinds of beans, which I can't recall. She says that sometime soon she'll plant green beans. Yup. We like our fresh beans.


Seeds that the mama dropped into the soil a few weeks ago have popped up. These are parda plants. I have no idea what the English word is for parda. Not even sure if I'm spelling the Ilocano word correctly. It's a kind of bean that looks like a huge, slightly hair pea. The young ones taste good mixed in with sliced tomatoes and red onions. Yum.


Irises are such unassuming creatures. I've been watering them for weeks, wondering when they were going to start sprouting. Then, Pow! Without noticing them going through their in-between stages, these gals greeted me in full glory. They hang out with the pink rose bush, so I wonder if that may be why their color is slowly turning into soft pastel hues. Or, maybe the Mama planted a mix of white and purple irises.


The Mama's garden is springing right along.

Today is ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and now headed by Roger Green and his helpers. Click here to read posts around today's letter N. 

If you've come from the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, my M post is over here.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Miracle Tree

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
This crazy looking tree is the Miracle Tree. That's not its real name.  The Mama calls it the passion tree, but it's not. I looked it up and the tree doesn't resemble the passion tree from Australia.  Once-upon-a-time I knew the name of this tree.  Doesn't matter if I don't ever know it again. I like calling it the Miracle Tree.

I may have told this story before, so if you heard it, that's okay, you can wander over to another post.

About 25 or so years ago, the First Husband gave the Mama a packet of seeds that he got in the mail from a Native American tribe. He nor I had any idea what kind of plant the seeds were. The Mama, being the Mama,  planted them in the backyard to see what they may become.

It was shortly after the First Husband died that I noticed the tree. "What kind of tree is that?" I asked.

"I don't know," said the Mama.

"Where did you get it?"

"Frank gave me the seeds. He said they came from Indians. I call it a miracle tree," said the Mama. "There were only four seeds in the envelope."

So, the Miracle Tree is what I call it. Every fall, we prune it back, and every spring, its branches start spreading out so that by summer, it's full again, providing shade over the Mama's favorite resting spot.


It's ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and headed today by Roger Green and his helpers. Click here to read posts around today's letter M. 

If you've come from the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, my G post is over here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Knocking Our Heads

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
Last week I was transplanting iris under the lemon tree for the Mama, and I kept knocking my head on the same lemon branch. You'd think I would remember after the first collision. Or, the second time. Or, even the third time. . . . Once I harvest the lemon off this particular branch, it's getting pruned.

I love the Mama's backyard. So does the Husband. The one problem we have is that when all the trees and vegetables have completely bursted forth with their leaves and fruit, we can't walk around the yard without knocking our heads on the low branches, bumping into bushes and vines, and stubbing our toes along the narrow pathways. It's not too bad for me since I'm short, but the Husband, uh-uh. There are a couple places he can walk around at full height and without him grumbling, "This place is too small!"


It goes without saying, but I will anyway, that everything about the yard is perfect for the Mama. (And Molly the Cat, who wants you to know that she is in the second photo in case you don't see her.) But, then the Mama created the backyard of a vegetable garden and mini fruit orchard. She charmed the trees to be at the perfect height for her to harvest many of the fruits.

Mischievous her though has been allowing the chayote vines to climb up a couple of the trees, which means that we often have to wait until the wind blows them down. So far, none of them have knocked anyone's head off.

Here's the Mama shuffling gracefully in her backyard of a jungle in the Summer of 2012:


It's ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and headed today by Roger Green and his helpers. Click here to read posts around today's letter K.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Just a Jumble of Joy!

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers

It's Spring! Quite a lot of joyful things are going on in a happy organized higgledy-piggledy manner in the Mama's backyard. And, it's all the work of the Mama.

Colorful flowers greet the Mama each morning.

The Mama nods at the rosebuds that say hello
to banana leaves as they unfurl around the roses.

An abundant of tomato seedlings surprised the Mama, who
is now transplanting them all over the yard.

The persimmon and other fruit trees dance in their new dress
of leaves, giving the Mama shade as she happily works beneath. 


It's time for ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and headed today by Roger Green and his helpers. Click here to read posts around today's letter J.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Grow, Milkweed!


Ha! It only took me a month to purchase milkweed seeds and then another month to plant them. I'm on my way to helping save the monarch butterflies. The butterflies in our region have started their way back to Canada, but maybe the milkweed will be in bloom when they return in the fall.

Rather than planting the milkweed seeds in the ground, I sowed the seeds into egg shells and little pots. Yup, I actually saved eggshells the last time I made scrambled eggs. Remembering the shells this morning was my incentive to plant the seeds today.  It's a good thing the Mama was busy in another part of the yard. I can imagine her shuddering at my haphazard way of sprinkling the seeds into the soil rather than the orderly fashion that she would do. I did talk to the seeds and wished them well, as the Mama does.

When the seedlings get big enough, I'll either transplant them to the ground or bigger pots. Maybe by then I can get the Mama to let me have some space in the front yard. The plants are supposed to grow three feet high in full sun. I don't know how she's going to feel about that. If the flowers are very pretty, the monarchs will have food for years to come.

Are you interested in growing milkweed to help save the monarch butterflies? There are different types of milkweed, so it's important you plant the milkweed that suits your area. If you live in Central Coast California, check out Douglas–Michel Butterfly Plants. For other areas, check out the milkweed seed finder page at The Xerces Society website.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Hands

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers
Long ago, the Only and Older Bionic Brother and I talked about the Mama's future and what if she were to move into an apartment. It was a very short discussion.


"She'd go crazy," the Only and Older Bionic Brother said.


The Mama may be content staying home, but she needs and wants space to roam in the outdoors.  Her gardens are the perfect place and size for keeping her hands happy year-round.


I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger. Today is the letter H. Click here to read other H posts.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Growing!

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers


And just like that the Mama's trees in the backyard are bursting with life.

Gee, when did the leaves start sprouting on the miracle tree?


Golly, the young apricot tree has a lot of buds this year. 


Gosh, the banana leaves have begun unfurling.

 

I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger. Today is the letter G. Click here to read other G posts.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Mellow Lemon Yellow


When the Mama bought her lemon tree, she lucked out big time. Not only does it bear Meyer lemons, but it also gives forth citrons. Someone had grafted a couple of citron branches to the lemon tree, unbeknownst to her and possibly the nursery from which she bought the tree. 

Some of the citron are Buddah's hands. They're the ones that are oddly shaped, generally looking like fingers. Buddah's hands can get truly creepy looking.

Today I'm hooking up with Monday Mellow Yellows, hosted by Gemma Wiseman. Click here to see other yellow-colored interpretations of the world.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Endless Energy

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers

In the late 1990s, when the Mama was in her mid 70s, her doctor prescribed her one and only medication -- a pill for low thyroid. The doctor started her with .05 mg, a very low dosage. But, in the Mama, woooo-weee! It made her run the marathon, jump over the moon, and lift several 100-pound bags of soil every day.

Essentially, taking the medicine made her tired. And, of course, after awhile she stopped taking it.

A few months went by before I discovered she was not taking her medication. While visiting her one weekend, I noticed she was looking very tired so I checked her bottle. She was very good at not refilling prescriptions.  The bottle was the one I had ordered months ago and it was still full. The Mama admitted that she stopped taking it. Sigh. 

"Why?" I asked. She shrugged. Her usual answer to questions to which she was not ever going to respond.

"That's why you're feeling tired," I said. "The doctor prescribed this medicine so you can have the energy to do your work."

After more nagging from me, the Mama reluctantly took it.

That day, I watched her run a marathon, jump over the moon, and lift several 100-pound bags of soil. I was tired keeping up with her. The following Monday, I called her doctor and told him what happened. He mumbled that he would cut the dosage in half. All was good. She was back to just running a 10K, jumping over the roof, and lifting 50 pound bags of soil.

Last year, the Mama's thyroid levels had decreased, so the doctor doubled the dosage to the original .05 mg. I worried that she would start running around like crazy and hurt herself. Nothing happened. Hurrah!

All is good, as you can tell. The Mama no longer runs, jumps, and lifts like she used to, but she slowly and surely moves around her gardens, front and back, happily tending to their needs.


Today is the letter E at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme created by Denise Nesbitt 16 rounds ago. Currently it is being administered by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger, with the help of his ABC Wednesday crew.  Please click here to read other ABC posts.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Mama's Daisies

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers

The Mama loves her daisies, but she complains that they're a pain to deadhead. She does it anyway so that they continue to bloom. And, bloom, they do throughout the year. I've taken to snapping off old and spent daisies off the plants in the front yard while Molly the Cat wanders about. When I started, it was to be a good assistant to the Mama. Now, I do it more for me. It helps me find zen.

One of these days, I'd like to get her some regular white daisies. Check out what colors and types she has now.


Today is the letter D at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly blog hop created by Denise Nesbitt 16 rounds ago. Currently it is being administered by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger, with the help of his ABC Wednesday friends.  Please click here to read other ABC posts.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cut the Stems, Then Plant Them

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers
Clip. Clip. Clip. 

That's what the Mama has been doing among her geraniums lately. Pruning off old and decaying branches so that new growth will take place by spring. Just doing her magic among the geraniums, both in the front and back yards. 


Always the recycler, the Mama doesn't throw out all of the pruned branches. No, sir-eeee, Bob. She snips off the geranium stems to plant in bare spots in the yard, front and back. They take root, then several weeks later. . .Voila! Flowers!

Which stems have a chance of rooting, you may ask? Because, I surely do. Shrugging is her answer. So, I watch her choose the stems to plant. Her selection is based partly from her many years of gardening and horticulture experience. Part is from a feeling, an instinct. And, part is from the geraniums telling her.  At least, that's what I like to think.

The Mama is humble. She is surprised as everyone else when plants under her guidance burst forth with abundant flowers and fruits. Just because she plants something, she realizes they may not grow.  She does her best to help them along, as well as hopes and prays.


I'm hooking up with ABC Wednesday today. It's the letter C. Click here to read other C posts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bag It for Next Week

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers

The Mama saves the empty plastic bags in which potting mix, garden soil, and wild bird seed come. I'm not talking about small plastic bags. They are bags that once held 1.5 or 2 cubic feet of dirt or 40 pounds of bird seed.  Once upon a time, I threw the bags away only to learn that the Mama fished the bags out of the garbage can and hid them in the garden shed. "I can use them for something," she said,  when I found the bags.

Yup. The tiny, 90+, always-resourceful lady did find a use for the bags for her garden work. When she's in cleaning mode, which is pretty much every day, she carries a bag in which to throw leaves, twigs, weeds, and other green waste. When the bag gets too heavy, she leaves it for me to pick up and empty into the green waste recycling can. 

Some weeks, the green recycling can gets filled within two days because we've been pruning trees or pulling out vines or such. Then, the Mama tells us to bag any green remains to put into the recycle can next week.

Today, these huge plastic bags are stored in their own container next to the recycle cans. We have about 20 empty bags. Yesterday, the Mama wanted the Husband to rake the leaves off the front lawn, but he couldn't because there were no more bags. She sighed.

Ah, but this morning, she found a bag behind the shed. "Here," she said, throwing the bag at me. "Go rake the leaves."


I'm hooking up with ABC Wednesday today. It's the letter B. Click here to read other posts.




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mama Was Up the Ladder. Again.


Sawing. Clipping. Raking. Sweeping. Pushing dried limbs, branches, vines, leaves, and seed pods into plastic bags. That's how I spent most of my afternoon.

It wasn't what I had planned. When the Husband and I left this morning to do the errands, the Mama was reading the newspaper in the living room. Ninety minutes later, I looked out the back door to see a high limb on the miracle tree precariously hanging above the Mama, who sat beside the tall ladder, stripping dried leaves from skinny branches into her bucket.

I was furious. One, the Mama had been up the ladder. And, two, I had asked her the other day, after cutting back her banana trees, if she'd like me to prune the rest of the miracle tree. "No," she said. "The green (recycle) can is already full." Good, I thought, I'd prune the tree next Thursday.  Ha!

"You know we don't like you on the ladder," I growled, throwing my purse on the ground, and hurriedly climbing the ladder to saw off the limb. I proceeded to cut away at whatever else I could reach. Knowing that I was annoyed, the Mama toddled into the house when I asked her to take her medicine. Peace finally reached my head and I went into the house to put some groceries away and change my clothes.

About ten minutes after I was back on the ladder, the Husband came out to help. He took over pruning the tree, while I stripped the branches of seed pods and cut them into pieces that would eventually fit the green can.

"Why did you do this?" I asked the Mama, after reminding her that she didn't want me to finish pruning the tree yet.

"I didn't want you to work so hard," the 93-year-old woman said.

Sigh.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Don't Take My Picture!


Lately, I've been helping the Mama pick up the leaves in the backyard. Even when it's about to rain or when the wind is being blustery. Why? Because the Mama is out there. And, she'll stay out there until she is a) satisfied that she has picked up as many leaves as she could before more fall from the trees,  or b) tired and has begun ranting about the next door neighbor's dirty tree that sheds lots and lots of clusters of red berries and skinny hard leaves, which are quite difficult to pick up.

After years of calling out the back window, "Come in, Mama, it's too cold!" Or,  "It's windy! Just wait until the wind stops." Or, "It's raining!" I now step outside, followed happily by Molly the Cat who has been cooped inside because the Mama decided it's too cold, windy, and/or rainy for her to be outdoors.   I usually head to the other side of the yard  with my favorite rake. The sooner the leaves are picked up, the sooner the Mama -- and Molly the Cat -- will come indoors.


Some days I bring my camera with me. Between building piles, I click away. Both the Mama and Molly the Cat dislike my taking photos of them. Today was no different. "Don't take my picture," the Mama said, bending to pick up another stray leaf.  Molly didn't say anything. She merely walked away or turned her back to me.

So, fine. I took a photo of my shadow. It reminded me of Peter Pan. By the way, notice Molly the Cat's tail in the picture?



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Things to Do Today


The first, okay, maybe it was the fourth, thing I did this morning before breakfast was write that To Do list.

I did finish the mystery I've been reading at breakfast. I diligently stuck with the story although I didn't care for the protagonist who was too much of an insecure whiner. But once I learned who the suspect was, I skimmed through the final scenes. I closed the book and purposely went to complete something else.

For about the next two hours, I topped off the Mama's outdoor potted plants with potting soil. It was something I had been thinking about doing for the last two summers. The other week, while the Mama was watering her plants, she mentioned that they needed more soil.

"Uh-huh," I said, glancing at them and thinking I need to do that before she got to it. Fortunately, for me, a few days ago, the Husband and I bought three huge bags of potting soil. The Mama requested one, but I bought two extra bags. Not because I was going to add soil to the potted plants but because I have plans on building a planter box to replace the broken-down one full of roses. And, I would need those bags for the new planter box.

Yup. You got it. I used up those two extra bags topping off the Mama's potted plants, and I didn't even get to all the pots. They will have to wait for another day and maybe it won't be in the distant future. 

The items on today's written To Do list? We shall see.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How's the Mama?


The Mama, as some of you dear readers know, is in her nineties. The tiny, fragile, slow-stepping Mama is doing well, thank you very much for asking. She's as fit and magnificent as the flowers and vegetables that she grows. The only medication she takes is for her thyroid. I can only hope that I haven't screwed up the genes she gave me too awful much.

This morning, I found a poem that I wrote about the Mama two years ago when she was rushed to the hospital. The Mama is amazing.


The Sleeping Mama
Slipped into her ER room.
She was fast asleep,
Hooked up to the IV, heart monitor, and oxygen.

In one moment,
she could not move
no matter how hard she tried.
And, she tried, and kept trying, to stand up.

"Walking pneumonia," the doctor said.
"Dehydration."

What did she say? 
"This is going to cost me a lot."
© 2014 Su-sieee! Mac


I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.