Friday, November 7, 2014

What’s Growing in Your Cottage Garden?

Summer has finally exhaled its final breathe and with it came a mildly cool wind heralding in the lazy days of Autumn.  Living in the arid desert climate most of the year, fall is our glorious time for planting and enjoying the cottage garden to the full.  I planted five new roses, I always have room for a few more roses. I took the chance and planted  sunny daffodils and about 30 pink tulips for the spring. Cleaning the garden for the winter planting took time, as the gallardias and free seeded marigolds have taken over the garden. Last but not least I finished a new bed with a new concrete water feature with a nice gurgling waterfall. I call it my Memory Garden.

Princess de Monaco

This is the Princess de Monaco Rose. I have admired it for many years and when my local nursery had it on sale this past week I decided to splurge and pay the $7 for it. It is a very beautiful rose.

gingersnap rose

This perky rose is Gingersnap a floribunda. Who can resist this color. It added a bright smooth to a new bed I added.

Barbara Striensand rose

This lovely specimen is the Barbara Striesand rose. I normally do not plant many Hybrid Teas, but this darling was an exception to the rule. Very fragrant too.

Ebb Tide

Purple in my garden is a passion of mine and this purple rose is an exceptional color and floriferous bloomer to boot.

angel face

What cottage garden could be without this lovely Angel Face rose. It flowers freely, is fragrant and very hardy.

nasturum          Nasturums

In the desert garden Nasturtium bloom freely. I always buy a nice packet of trailing multi colored variety. This group is already blooming.

petunia petunias

Petunias do well in the winter months when the weather is cooler. The scorching hot sun burns the leaves and flowers in the heat of the Desert Sun.

snapdragons stock

Snapdragons and stock round off the blooming flowers in my winter garden. What is blooming in your cottage garden?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Are you Growing Marijuana in Your Garden?

More and more states are legalizing the sale of marijuana and this makes it a lucrative endeavor to say the least. But the growing of marijuana is a strictly controlled enterprise, with stiff penalties for the illegal entrepreneur. In Las Vegas where I live and garden, it is a daily news worthy event when marijuana grow farms either inside or outside are found, and confiscated.  Yet the high price of marijuana still makes it worthwhile risk for many people.  Now, back to the topic of this blog. I noticed several weeks ago an odd looking green plant growing out of my hanging planter. As it started to grow larger than the planter, I decided to transplant it into its own pot. Once I did it really took off and started to get big. It was still a mystery to me what the plant was.  This week a gardening friend dropped by and I eagerly showed her my “new” plant and ask her if she knew what it was.  After her shock, then laughter she informed me I was growing marijuana.  We laughed and laughed over this ridiculous “found plant” me for my naivet├ęs!  I will show some pictures of this plant, as perhaps it will help someone else identify this “illegal” plant.  Alas, it will go into the compost bin tomorrow.

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My hardy marijuana plant. It is a shame to have to throw it away, as it is so hard to find good sturdy and hardy plants that will survive this intolerable heat.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Me and My Tea Roses

DSC02852 Joseph Swartz tea rose
I love roses of all types and classifications, but I do admit the antique Tea roses are my favorite. Maybe it is because it is the flower of my childhood. I grew up in Alabama and 1 in 3 homes had a variety of carefree teas growing in the yard. Teas love warm weather and they excelled in the southern climate. When I moved to Las Vegas I was apprehensive to plant my cherished teas but my wants overrode my common sense.  In the two years I have lived in Vegas with my cherished tea roses, they have thrived and outperformed beyond my expectations.  Roses seem to want to grow even in the worst of soil, climate and other perverse conditions. Antique Tea roses are not your average hybrid Tea, they grow bushy and spread and bloom freely and smell divine. They can grow to 6 f or 8 ft. depending on your variety. I have taken some pictures of a few of the teas blooming right now, the temperatures are finally in the manageable 90’s with cooler weather on the way.
Lady Hillingdon Tea rose
Lady Hillingdon Climbing Tea Rose
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Safrano Tea Rose 
 
General Schblinski
General Schablikine tea rose
 
Lady Caroline Testout
Lady Caroline Testout Climbing Rose 
 
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Garden Shed That Craigslist Built

Many people use Craigslist to find and buy remarkable items for low prices. I used Craigslist for “free” stuff and actually was able to build my garden shed with very little monetary outlay.  For those who are not familiar with Craigslist, it is a website where people can post items for sale or free items for individuals to pick up off the curb, locally. They are listed in all major cities in the US. It is a great place to find bargains. For me the “free” stuff and cheap stuff helped me tremendously in building my garden shed.   I also used the tutorials on YouTube to learn how to build a window and to make a door.  If I can do this, you certainly can too.

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When I first laid out the post it was for a an eight by ten building. I figured I needed the extra room.  In hindsight it would have been easier and cheaper if I had used an eight by eight plan. But since the plan was in my head, that explains a lot!


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Initially we had to buy the 4x4x8 post to get started. I found the paver stones in the “free” section of Craigslist and we had enough to do the whole backyard, that was a great find! Plywood was also in the “free” section.  We did not pour a foundation but instead used the post as our anchor.
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When we found enough plywood (osb board) we put the sides on.  I used scrap wood and a pane of glass bought at Home Depot for $6 and watched a YouTube video and made the windows. We used scrap from a trellis to make the porch.  The side window I found a really good quality window 3x5 slider for only $20 on Craigslist.

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Home Depot has a section in the lumber area where you can buy some 1x6x14 scraps or inferior planks, for only $5.43 but if you  carefully examine the pieces you can get some really good ones and this is what we used for the doors and the trim and any other areas we needed them. Also.  Home Depot will cut the wood for free.   We used scrap leftover wood to make a porch roof.  We used a lot of furring strips these also were bought cheap for under a dollar.

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This is the finished product for the front, minus a few shingles short on the roof. I will add some trim around the door later.


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For the porch roof,  we laid shade cloth across and then added furring strips, as I have a climbing rose on the side to eventually cover the roof.  We did have to buy the shingles,  Lowes has an excellent price on them, less than $30 a bundle. The whole roof took 4 bundles.  Watch Craigslist for shingles as they will have them from time to time.


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The purple chair I found along with a desk, couch, mattress and dining table all "free" on Craigslist.
I found tables and desk on Crigslist for "free" The desk is supporting the wood for the desk and the ladder to climb into the attic storage area.  The local thrift store provided the curtains and glass bottles, very cheap when you shop on the discount days. The Tin Watering cans at a local garage sale.
The flowering pots were free, for thoses I found them in the gardening section on Craigslist, and some in the "free" section.   The local goodwill had the larger planting containers and for these I paid $5 for one and #3 for the others.  The mesquite tree was another freebie on Craigslist.  I was in need of a tree but could not afford to get one so I ran an ad on Craigslist that said "Wanted small Shade tree 2-3 ft. tall willing to dig"   A lady called and had a thornless mesquite she grew herself and it was in a pot, ha no digging!

Park Seeds

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