This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

At a loss...........................

The weather this year has been strange. It seems we have had so much rain and yet the garden is dry. I can't afford to put mulch down on the garden as well as the walking areas. That would hold some moisture in, maybe next year but its really not practical. That would basically mean the whole yard would be under mulch. I cut back on grass because it's hard to maintain. Out the back the dogs pretty much wreck the grass. The front is turning into moss and bald spots. I have no answer because I have no money.
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I need to finish the fence on that one side out front, just a few more pieces.
The flowers now are finishing up, there are daisies out at the moment but everything is straggly and so much needs pulling. Will I get it done before the snow flies? I am finding it more difficult every year to tolerate any kind of heat and especially humidity. It kills me.
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We will probably stay in this house a few more years God willing, that means getting the garden in some shape in those years so when we sell the house it looks presentable. I tried putting in shrubs this year but at least 3 didn't thrive. I will try something else next year maybe. Even the Hosta this year did not do well, something was eating on them, some bug or other.
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My vegetable garden was a flop. I hardly think it worth the effort really. It is expensive to plant and for what I got back it made things very expensive, even though they taste so good.
Once again, the zucchini was a flop. The Tomatoes didn't do well even though I put down Dairy Doo. The ones in pots were a job to keep watered but did as well as those in the ground. Only one was a strong plant.
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My herbs did well though. I need to cut those back soon and try them in the house for winter.
Maybe next year if Gerry is not working I can get some help out there, it's getting to much to do on my own. I am getting old and I fotget that fact. I suppose in some ways it's good that I don't actually feel old, but I am. Kneeling is painful, getting back up is difficult and I can't see. My eye is getting worse. The eye doctor doesn't want to fix the cataracts because only having one good eye, he doesn't want to risk loosing the other one. Not likely but still. I am beginning to think it worth the risk.I would not have to wear glasses if I had my eye fixed.
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Anyway.............maybe next years garden I will just put in more annuals and let it go. Then Spring comes and I am enthusiastic again. Still it is a big yard front and back. Maybe I should go find some more ivy and really go to town with ground covers. That would cut back on the garden part at least. The Ivy I have potted wont over winter in the house so I will plant that.
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I have to go get supplies in for the birds. I look forwards to that. Seeing birds again. They have not been around all summer, thanks in part to the cats. They have kept the Chipmunks away but done nothing to scare the squirrels.
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I certainly believe the climate is changing and it looks like we may be in for a hard winter this year. We have not had one in awhile. Some things are cyclical but even so, things have changed.
Right now in Texas they have the terrible floods from the hurricane Harvey. Nothing like that seen before and in places not normally flooded.Well it could happen here. We are not far from the Bay and if we got that much rain, you just never know. We are never more than 5 miles from water anywhere around here so it's a possibility. I don't think we carry flood insurance. Not sure I would want to live on a lake as nice as it would be, I would not want to deal with that.
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I dread having to bring in the plants for the winter but it is certainly a cost saver. The Geraniums I brought in did really well this year outside. So I will bring those back in and pamper them/ The Ivy I will put in the ground because I know that wont live. The herbs, well I would love for those the survive so I can use them. Just the Rosemary and Basil. I will try those in the kitchen window maybe and the Lavender. The one in the small pot did well but the one I planted out front in a container died. I never have luck with Lavender
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I think getting up at 5 am is causing my lack of enthusiasm. I am too tired for anything. I need to at least trim the Basil down and the Sage. The sage has done well. I also put in Dill, even though it didn't do great it has seeds on it. SO maybe next year it will come back and do well. I will try to save the heads of Dill. I bought a machine that seals bags for the feezer and I will be picking the herbs and freezing them.
Just a few days of babysitting left and I can get on a better schedule. Maybe that will help.
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This is my 2nd year of having a veggie garden and I can see what is and what is not worth while. Tomatoes and Peppers didn't do well but they could so will plant those again. I did put in a pot of onions, that was a waste of time. Peas and green beans did not do a thing.......not enough sun I suspect, so I don't think I will try that again. Zucchini, I don't understand, lots of flowers but no fruit, well 4 so far. Again, maybe more sun? Radishes, forget it. I got those in then it got so wet I never thinned them out and they just took up space. Never used the Spinach or Kale. Easier to buy that stuff. The idea of container gardens seemed nice but, nope, not worth it.
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The Roses all did well in the Spring but none have blossomed since. Till now, and I had a couple more blooms. Just not a good year for the garden. Not at all good.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Around and about....................

Nothing going on in the garden. Nothing at all. When we went down to Twin Lakes the other day I took some pictures of the Golden Rod. I used my regular camera instead of the cell phone. I can zoom in on that.
So hiding in the Golden Rod were some little critters
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This pretty was also down at Twin lakes
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Meanwhile back at home. The Robins are stripping the Mountain Ash.
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Loaded with berries this year does this mean a bad winter?
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The Chickadee was thinking about trying one
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Bessie has taken to sleeping in the garden. She still goes for a walk about but not as often and far as she used to
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The girls are not inclined to spend time out in the heat any more than I do.
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Bodi does not like the heat at all.
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There were tiny bees on the flowers that came back when it cooled down and rained.
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Just about everything is dying back and I can't get out to clean up and weed. I hate this weather. I just can not wait for Fall.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Robins are busy...........................

I have hardly seen birds all summer. I have kept the feeders full to entice the birds in but all I got was Squirrels. My Mountain Ash is loaded with berries. That means the Robins will be busy...........sure enough, they are in today and busy as little bees.
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That one is moulting, needs nourishment I think. LOL.
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Bottoms up.............
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That Robin comes often now and fills up on the berries. Pretty soon the word will be out and that tree will be stripped in no time.
Meanwhile, while I was snapping pictures of that one there was a mum and two babies in the other tree. Made some nice pictures they did. Only one ended up sitting for a picture though.
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They were not a bit concerned as I stood under them taking pictures.
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A tatty Blue Jay showed up.
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I got a nice picture of a Mourning Dove. She was at the feeder.
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Not a lot going on in the birdy kingdom just yet, hope for more soon.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cats in the garden and ........................

I am not at all happy with my cats.
Here is the "Murder moggy" napping on the deck........
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......and miss "Nasty Knickers" plotting on the lawn.
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I can't remember if I told this already, but Bessie is being a really really bad puddy tat..........this I do not like about cats, killing for fun. She is not hungry, its just not justified. That is their instinct, yes I know all that but do not have to like it. So one day last week (I think) she brought in a baby bunny, still alive but just about gone. I took it from her and made it as comfortable as I could and buried it in my garden. I was sad.
Then this past week I ran after her and took a bird away from her. That I was able to revive and was set free when it recovered. I hope it has a long and healthy life. A little purple finch.
Today it was a chipmunk left on the door step. Not sure who did that one, could be either one. This winter I will try to keep them inside and retrain them. It's hard to do that because they go out when the dogs go out. They were both outside cats when I rescued them. My previous cats stayed in the house and that created other problems.
Well, still no activity in the garden, too hot, too humid or too wet.
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The Mountain Ash is full of berries, see the sneaky Robin taste testing? That's what Boots AKA Nasty Knickers is watching.
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Here she is greating Bodi as she strolls back into the house
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The Blue Jay was cautious but wanted some food so took the chance with Bessie the murdering moggy snoozing on the chair.
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Here are a few garden pictures from today.
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The yellow daisies are out and have spread a little, that's good. I will have to let them spread and pull other stuff, I like it when something flourishes.
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Tiger Lilies on the other hand will be pulled from the garden and allowed on the outside edges.
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I have taken this into the house every year the past 3 years. It does well when its wintered over. It had about died back last year and I thought it was done for
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Most of the summer flowers are done now, they need either cutting down or pulling. I see some buds on the Mums. I may pick up a couple more seeing as how the ones I have now have survived. The other Fall staple is the Michaelmas Daisy, Asters. I have a job keeping those and they have thrived in just a couple of places so, I might pick up a couple more. I don't know, I really don't want to put too much more into the garden.
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I will for sure take in the Geraniums again. They did better than the ones I bought this year. So much more in the way of flowers. I will try to Winter over a few things I had about given up on that idea. I sure want to try to save the Basil and Rosemary. I have used both of those a lot. While my veggie garden has not done that well, the tomatoes are giving me a few now and then. Everything else was not worth the effort. In fact they did better last year. I will have to rethink it all next year. I have no idea why my bloody Zucchini is not growing veggies, who can't grow Zucchini????? everyone grows it. Mine decided not to pollinate and so far I have ONE zucchini from it.
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Another quandary was my Hydrangea, the new ones I bought all died. My ones I already had did Ok. I don't know what killed them. So all in all I did loose a few things that I really cant afford to loose. Maybe this Fall I can replace them if there are some good sales. Meanwhile.............on kitty patrol making sure they behave themselves best I can.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A certain nip is in the air.................

The mornings are darker, the evenings are shorter. There is a change in the air.
This summer has been hot and wet. Humid and horrible. I can not wait for Autumn but that sets us on a downward spiral to you know what.
The garden looks tired. I feel tired. We have hardly gone out this summer. I have not wanted to be outside, maybe that's always the case when it's hot and humid and why the garden never gets finished. This year I want to be sure to get cleaned up for Spring so that I don't have the mess come Spring. Another year checking out.
I had some nice Day Lilies come out this week.
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Arn't they nice? Then there is a beautiful deep red one out back.
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They never fail me. If I were buying more plants this year I would get more Day Lilies or any other kind of Lily for that matter.
However, no more spending on the garden this year. I may indulge in a couple more fence pieces to finish off the corner but that would be it. I would like to get some more dairy doo that would help the front garden somewhat. The old fashioned Lilies are very pretty when you look at them.
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The Bee Balm is pretty but not as thick as other years. We have had a lot of rain. One would think that would help. I wish the red ones would do better.
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The Poodles are enjoying the Poodle paths on the days it's not raining
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It was worth taking the Geraniums inside last winter after all. They are outdoing the ones I bought.
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The Gooseberry Bush has a lot of very tiny fruits on it. Hmmmm I wonder if they will get bigger as the bush ages?
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Autumn is time for the daisies to come, the yellow ones are just starting and have spread. One of the few things that has so far. The Fox Gloves did not do well this year. Just one stumpy one. Sigh!
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None of the daisies lasted long my garden is always a disappointment it just has to be the light and soil, but I can't keep putting money into it.
The vegetable garden was promising but has not really bore much fruit. The tomatoes are OK but not prolific. The Squash is a no go. One rather nice Zucchini and that's it. Apparently the male flowers are not doing their job by pollinating the females and I aint doing it for them. So next year, not sure I will bother. What I have enjoyed is the Basil. That now has been awesome. I have been really enjoying that using fresh herbs. I am wondering about taking some in the house for winter. One thing I do know if we do get a new house eventually I want lots of light.
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Well, I hope next week is cooler. I would like to get some work done out there but now I am baby sitting it will be difficult to get outside. Never mind it will wait for me the weeds wont run away and I still have to place my stones on the side. Next week...............right, next week. I will do it next week