What kind of containers do you have planted in your garden?
Today was spent driving from Wisconsin, over the Mississippi River into southeastern Minnesota.
|Bridge over the Mississippi River toward Minnesota. *Cell phone + dirty windshield = grainy photo.|
|Another grainy cell phone photo taken through the windshield.|
Last week was a busy one for me. I had several appointments scheduled, and then I got the ‘mother’ of all colds.
I don’t get sick colds very often. So, that is probably why when I do get them every few years – I get a severe one.
|My constant companions the past week.|
Some of you who are birdwatchers may have heard of the term ‘life list’, which refers to the list of birds that they hope to see within their lifetime.
|My two youngest kids and I on a recent visit to the Tucson desert.|
|Heavily cropped photo of a saguaro blossom.|
Have you ever wondered how sustainable your landscape is?
When you envision a drought-tolerant landscape, does a landscape covered in colored gravel with a cactus or two come to mind?
Fall is here and nurseries are stocked with all sorts of cool-season annual flowers.
|An old bicycle basket finds new purpose as a planter in Noblesville, Indiana.|
|Marigolds planted in an old wheelbarrow along Route 66 in Williams, Arizona.|
|Old pots and bowls used to plant miniature gardens in an antique store in upstate New York.|
|Old chairs transformed into planters in the historic downtown of Noblesville, Indiana.|
|A ‘bed’ of flowering bulbs in Amish country in Shipshewana, Indiana.
An old bathtub serves as a large planter in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
|Galvanized metal bucket containers at an Amish swap meet.|
Do you like spending hours pruning and fertilizing your plants? Or maybe you are tired of having to spend money on monthly visits from your landscaper.
|Gulf Muhly ‘Regal Mist’|
|Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)|
|Baja Fairy Duster
Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) has truly unique flowers that are shaped like small feather dusters. The red flowers appear spring through fall and occasionally in winter.
Maintenance: Prune back by 1/2 in late winter, removing any frost damage. Avoid pruning into ’round’ shapes. Baja Fairy Duster has a lovely vase-shape when allowed to grow into its natural shape.
Hardy to 20 degrees.
Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis formerly, Hymenoxys acaulis) is a little powerhouse in the garden. Bright yellow flowers appear throughout the entire year.
Maintenance: Clip off the spent flowers every 3 months.
Hardy to -20 degrees.
Plant in full sun in groups of 3 around boulders. Pair with Firecracker Penstemon for color contrast. Thrives along walkways in narrow areas that receive full, reflected sun.
So, I will be heading to the television studio early Tuesday morning with my sister, who will help me set up and take photos of the whole experience. I promise to share the video link for those of you who would like to watch it 🙂
**For more of my favorite ‘fuss free’ plants, check out my latest post.
Well, tomato hornworms grow up into moths who in turn, lay eggs on the underside of tomato leaves. The eggs hatch in about a week and the newly emerged caterpillars start eating non-stop for 4 – 6 weeks.
As if that weren’t enough bad news, as the caterpillars grow larger, they eat more. After about a month on gorging themselves, they drop into the soil where they form a cocoon and transform into a moth who will start the cycle again by laying eggs.
How can you do to get rid of them?
Well, there are a few ways to get rid of them and even help to prevent them in the future.
– The easiest way to get rid of a current infestation of tomato hornworms is to simply pick them off and dunk them into soapy water, which kills them.
– If pulling off large, green caterpillars isn’t your thing, then you can spray them with a product that contains Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), which infects the stomach of the hornworm, killing it. Bt is safe for animals and plants.
– There are some wasps that will act as parasites to the caterpillars and lay their eggs directly onto them. The eggs hatch and the larvae eat the caterpillar.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have to deal with tomato hornworms at all. So, I am all about prevention.
– In the fall, till the soil around your tomato plants. This will unearth any cocoons that are attempting to overwinter in the soil, which kills them. Do this again in spring, before planting new tomato plants. This is usually 90% effective in getting rid of tomato hornworm cocoons before the moth emerges.
Okay, so back to the chicken, caterpillar face-off…
|My sister’s chicken Francie is a ‘naked-neck’ chicken and yes, she is supposed to look that way 😉|
It turns out that the chickens were a little put off by the large size of the caterpillars. So, they wouldn’t touch them.
That is until… the caterpillars were cut up into smaller pieces. Then the chickens couldn’t eat them fast enough. (I know, kind of gross, isn’t it?)
**I want to thank my sister, Grace, for her fabulous pictures. You can find out more about her photography, here.
Earlier this week, I stepped outside to receive a delivery and was quite surprised at the sight that greeted me…