Saturday, May 29, 2010
I actually got to witness this momentous event, a day after catching my third rabbit! I happened to glance out the window this morning just as bunny #4 was checking out the trap. I was so annoyed - his bunny buddy on the right was sprawled out under the pine tree, acting as if she owned the place. And, I was sure bunny #4 was simply terrorizing me,
would check out the bait, but then go on his merry way. But alas, his curiosity resulted in his demise. It was very amusing - his buddy fled the scene as soon as the trap snapped shut, nervously eyeing his condition from the safety of my neighbor's yard, never venturing back to see if she could offer any comfort to her companion in his hour of need.
(Sorry about the quality of this picture, but I took it from inside the house, through the glass of my patio door - I didn't want to take the chance of thwarting a successful catch!)
I found a lovely drop off spot for him, but...
... he preferred the berm again! (I guess development bunnies don't appreciate green grass??) This time, he headed for Mount Gretna instead of my house, thank goodness!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Some empty soda cans in the bottom of your large pots will cut back on the amount of potting soil you'll need as well as making the pot lighter in weight. No need to drink any soda (bad, bad bad!!) - collect some from a neighbor's recycling bin, then use them over and over; the cans will last from year to year since they're aluminum! :)
Every time I look at this flowerbed, I have to smile to myself. I never planted the Bleeding Hearts in the background, nor the Lamb's Ear. Both plants came up on their own - the Bleeding Heart reseeded itself from another flower bed, and I have absolutely no idea where the Lamb's Ear came from since I have never even planted any Lamb's Ear in years! But the silvery foliage of the Lamb's Ear is perfect with the pale pink clematis and the white concrete bench, and the pink bleeding hearts are always a hopeful sign of spring. I never would have thought of including either plant in this particular flower bed. I had a local garden center draw up plans for my beds years ago, and tried the recommended plants numerous times, only for them to die out yet again. I've now concluded that the best plan is to go along with what He wants to grow in your garden!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
A friend introduced me to this lovely little spot for buying flowers today.
But even lovelier than the flowers was Vera, the beautiful proprietress.
Her blue eyes were prettier than any of her beloved flowers and plantings. I wish I could have snapped a photo of her, but her conservative religion wouldn't allow such vanity. However, I will always remember her simple beauty that surely flowed out of an uncluttered life that allowed her space to focus on something she loved.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
As much as I love gardening, it's often more than I can manage with ever present physical limitations. It's a love/hate relationship! I love the beauty of tidy flower beds and a manicured lawn, but dread the aches and pains that go with it, and hate feeling overwhelmed when the workload gets out of control. When I was in the midst of cancer treatment in 2007, a dear friend offered to come weed for me. What a blessing!! It was the one thing I most needed, but also the very thing that few people would enjoy doing, or would do well. I was still recuperating from surgery and needed to sit in the lawn chair and just watch most of the time, but my friend cheerfully and efficiently breezed through the task. Suddenly, the weedy flowerbeds that had felt so overwhelming and such a reminder of my limitations were now a thing of beauty and the very thing that breathed life back into my soul. Since that summer, she has come numerous times to help me, including today. I so enjoy working alongside someone who loves being outdoors and loves seeing the finished product as much as I do. And, she is even willing to help me with my compost piles! What more could I ask??!!
I LOVE composting!!!
I've been hooked ever since I started composting almost 15 years ago.
As my sister said, when I excitedly showed her my accomplishments, "You need to get a life!!"
"Hey, this is LIFE!!"
...can turn into something so beautiful, rich and beneficial,
and, without a tremendous amount of effort.
Plus, it's free!
Is this cool or what?!!!
Here's a picture of my compost bins:
Friday, May 14, 2010
The "Dirty Dozen" is the list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides when grown conventionally. You can reduce your pesticide load by as much as 90% if you stick to organic produce for these 12 items.
I had posted this list back in 2007, but it does change from time to time. This is the most recent list I've come across - kale (for those of you who eat it!) has bumped spinach off the list. Actually, I have a good recipe for kale chips - be sure to check it out!
The Dirty Dozen
(in alphabetical order)
The Dirty Dozen
(in alphabetical order)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Two rabbits gone, who knows how many more to go!! I caught my first rabbit Sunday morning, then a second one yesterday morning. This morning would have made three, but the rabbit snuck in the trap, nabbed the carrot and proceeded to chomp on it outside the trap without getting caught. :( Still, I'm feeling like quite the successful rabbit trapper! I drove Sunday's catch across the county line and released in the woods; I did NOT want to take any chances of it finding its way back to my garden! I didn't have as much time Monday morning, so I just drove it several miles away to a park; two miles is usually far enough as rabbits stay pretty close to their area of birth. I almost felt like I was the chauffeur in "Driving Miss Daisy"! :) I do have to admit, though, I did feel a bit guilty uprooting them from their happy home. Both times, the rabbit bolted out of the cage, then suddenly stopped and looked around, trying to get its bearings. He'd hop a little further, then look around again, trying to decide where to head. The one even looked back at me as if to say, "You really aren't going to leave me here, are you??" But then I reminded myself of how brazen these guys are and how much they have seemed to enjoy terrorizing me. They are so tame - they would even watch me set the trap! They also enjoy taunting the neighbors' dogs by nestling down at the end of their leash range. One of the baby bunnies lives in my strawberry patch and startles me every time I pick strawberries; it was getting to the point that every time I heard something rustle in the garden, I'd think it was a rabbit! However, when I read the facts on rabbit reproduction, I lost all sense of guilt; according to the Havahart website, "a female rabbit can produce three or four litters a year, with four to six young in each litter. Over a period of five years, a single pair of cottontails and their kin would number around 350,000." Now can you understand why I am on a mission to rid my neighborhood of these rabbits?!!!
The Havahart cage traps are pretty slick. I borrowed this trap from friends who are accomplished squirrel trappers (200 plus catches over the past 15 years!). They were kind enough to show me how to operate it and let me give it a trial run. I've found carrots seem to be the best bait; the secret is placing the trap where the rabbits like to nestle down (under the pine trees in my back yard). I can easily glance out the window and check to see if I've gotten a catch; you don't want to leave the rabbit in the trap any longer than necessary. After a catch, it's a good idea to cover the cage with a towel for transporting so it's not too traumatic for the rabbit. I went ahead and ordered a trap for myself now that I know it does the trick. Since these traps are made in Lititz, I figure I'm supporting the local economy! I'll start trapping in the early spring next year when the rabbits start in on my crocuses.
I did wonder if I should start tagging their ears to make sure I'm not catching the same rabbit over and over again, but hopefully that's not the case....
Hope your gardens are rabbit free!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Adapted from Pampered Chef
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. vegetable oil
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/8 t. Worcestershire sauce
½ pint strawberries, sliced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ small red onion, sliced
1 pkg. (10 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
For dressing, whisk all dressing ingredients in small bowl. For salad, combine all salad ingredients in salad bowl. Add dressing to salad; toss.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Friday, May 7, 2010
Anyone who is interested in heirloom herbs and plants knows about this event - people come from all over! I had never checked it out until this year - not sure where I've been all this time!