Monday, July 30, 2007

SISTERS

I received this card in the mail today from my Sister. She makes her own cards from calenders, so they always mean a little bit more that store bought ones. She knows how bad I want this property, and has dreamed along with me for years about running an herb farm. She sent it to encourage me, and let me know that she believes in me.
I am still trying to find financing. There are two other people interested in buying the land, but the owner wants us to have it, so he is waiting. The land has been in his family for 3 generations, and he doesn't want someone to come in and split it up for home sites, which is what will happen if we don't get it.
I have a Sister and a Brother that I know if they had the money to loan me, it would already be done. That means more to me than the land. To know that they would be willing to invest in my dream, if they could, is something that I will never forget, whether I get the property or not.
I still have several sources yet to try. I am trying not to go the bank route unless I have to, just because of the time it would take. I have a 21 year old Son that is in love with the place also. He said the other day that he would sell everything he has to get it. That was shocking to me, because his cars mean everything to him.
I believe that this is God's will for me, at this time in my life. I just have to trust that He will find a way to make it happen.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

SCARECROW

The scarecrow comes out in the early summer to guard the herb garden. Not that he really does any good, today I saw a hawk sitting on top his head.
I have not been blogging much, we have been really busy, and with another gathering coming up next weekend, I don't have much time to spend on the computer. My husband turns 50 on the 6th of August, so on the 5th we will be celebrating with a large cookout for family and friends.
The other reason that I haven't been on much is financial. This week I found the perfect property for the herb farm that I have always dreamed of. As I am sure a lot of you know, sometimes opportunities come along at the wrong time in life, as this one did for me. I am not prepared financially at this time, for a purchase of this size. The man selling the property is ill, and needs to sell as soon as possible. I have been scrambling all week trying to find investors. Why does everything in life always have to come down to money? I have had this dream for years, but really didn't think that the place to do it existed in my area. But this property ends up being just a few miles from my home. I have always believed that all of us have a purpose, and I believe that mine is teaching people how to use herbs, how to garden again like our Grandparents did, and how to become healthy using these means instead of doctors and drugs. I have worked in this business for 30 years, and believe it is now time to share what I have learned with others.
I have to believe that if this is what God has planned for me to do, He will find a way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CELEBRATION

After much work, we were somewhat ready for our gathering on Sunday. The patio wasn't completely finished, but it was covered in case of rain. We added a tent to the lawn area beside it, and we had enough seating for everyone.
The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. It was warm with a slight breeze, not the usual baking July sun. We had about 75 in attendance, which was about average for this kind of thing.
Those of you who are Catholic may have heard of Cursillo. It is a retreat, with it's purpose to bring us closer to Christ, and our fellow Christians. The annual picnic for the group has always been held in the same place, but these people were ready for a break, so I volunteered to have it at my house. it was a lot of work, but I think that everyone had a good time.
Before the picnic, we held our morning Mass under a tent at the back of my property. This was a huge blessing for me, to be sitting on my own lawn, with the birds and butterflies all around, celebrating Mass with my fellow Catholics. Another huge blessing was a chalice that I had purchased while in Assisi, a few years ago, was able to be used during the Mass.
In two weeks we have another big celebration..my husbands 50th birthday. I expect as many or more people for that one.
I have most of my mulching, weeding and planting done, but you know as gardeners, there is always something else. This is one of my favorite times, just maintaining and keeping the weeds down. I already have my list started for what gets moved where this fall, I am afraid it will be here before you know it.
I also had my first BLT with tomatoes from my garden, last evening. I always look forward to that.
I have also noticed that the japanese beetles are not as bad, maybe there time here is about up. I still battle rabbits and moles, which I successfully eradicate as soon as I see them working. I wish that rabbit's were as easy to get rid of.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

TOMATOES!!

I have about 20 tomato plants in my garden. I am not sure what possessed me to plant that many, except that the alternative was to throw out the ones that I was not going to use, and since I just couldn't do it, I planted them.
Then, on top of the plants that I grew myself, I was given 2 plants. I would not have taken them, but the lady that gave them to me, is an 85 year old women that I garden for every Friday morning. She was so proud of her plants, that I just could not refuse them.
Over the weekend, as I was struggling to get the tomato cages around tomato plants that should have had the cages around them weeks ago, I found my first ripening tomatoes! And guess which plants they were on. That's right, the ones that I got from my 85 year old friend.
They should be ready to eat by the weekend. She will be pleased to know that my first tomato of the season, will be from one of her plants.

PROBLEM AREA


Colleen, over at In The Garden Online has challenged us all to post our garden problems, failures, and difficult areas, or as she puts it, 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly'.
I have lived on this property for 17 years, and have pretty much worked out or eliminated all of the problem areas, except one.
This area is in the back of my house, receives morning sun, and is under a large overhang. There is a door that I hope someday to exit onto a porch, so I don't want to plant any shrubbery. I have tried hosta, and other perennials in this area, but nothing survives because it is so dry.
So, I got the bright idea to plant Houttuynia, (Chameleon Plant), in this space a few years ago. BIG MISTAKE!!!! Never, ever plant this groundcover anyplace that is not surrounded by acres of concrete. It travels by underground runners, and comes up anywhere and everywhere. Nothing phases it, even Roundup. Any piece of root left after digging it out, will sprout, and take over. The roots also smell awful, and have been known to leave a rash on your skin. The plant itself is multi-colored, and very attractive, but don't let it fool you. It is a nightmare!
This Spring it looked really bad, and I thought that it would be a perfect time to get rid of it. So, I sprayed what was left of it with Roundup. If you didn't know better, you would think that I had fertilized it! It is now heading around the air conditioner to a hosta bed. I am afraid that I am going to have to tackle this problem soon, or it will take over my whole property.
If anyone out there has every come up against this plant and has a solution, please share it with me.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

PATIO PROGRESS, BOOK SALE

The patio roof is going up! After waiting on the building permit, we are finally able to get on with the roof for the patio. We had to agree that we were not going to use the patio for business use. That was fine with me, that was never the plan.
We have already spent many evenings setting on the patio, I am sure once it is finished we will use it even more.
What I did not mention on my blog was that this coming Sunday we are having a church picnic, here, and the patio will be done, one way or another. My husband and I both work well under pressure, and you can't get much more pressure than that!
My garden is pretty much done, no three foot weeds in any of them, so we can concentrate on finishing the patio. Of course we still have to work everyday, so we will be working some late evenings to get everything ready.
Friday night was another book sale at our local library. I did pretty well, I think only because they didn't have as many gardening books as usual. I still managed to find a few nice books. It's a good thing that they only have these sales a few times a year, because I don't have any more room for books!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

DAYLILY TIME

The daylilies are in bloom! There are so many to choose from, it is hard to decide which one's to pick for your garden. I have many different varieties, some that I have lost track of their name, and some given to me, so I have no way of knowing their names. It doesn't really matter, if I like them they stay, if I don't like them, I give them away.
This particular variety is, I think, 'Black Eyed Stella'. It is a pretty large plant, and the flowers are bright and vibrant.
The beetle's don't seem to bother daylilies, so I plan to keep adding them to my garden.
An interesting note about the japanese beetle's this year. They don't seem to be bothering my roses, or the normal plants in my garden that they usually like. Instead, they have attacked my herb garden. The borage and the basil, have been ruined. I will be glad when they leave. I am grateful that they are only here for a short time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

MAIL CALL

I heard the cicada's singing this week, it is now truly summer!!
This mailbox was a cast off from a customer, and I believe that most things that people throw in the trash, can be used by someone, somewhere. It just takes a little imagination. I won't claim this use of a mailbox as my own, I am sure that I have seen it done in some gardening magazine from the past, but when I saw this one, I knew that I could make good use of it.
This particular box is the super-dupper size, so I can get lots of stuff inside. Right now it holds a pair of gloves, several garden tools, hand shears, watering accessories, some plastic bags in case someone wants a start from one of the plants in this bed, and a couple of kneely pads. The garden that this mailbox is in, is at the back of the property. It has already saved me lots of steps. I don't know how many times I was just walking through the garden and saw a weed that needed to be dug, or a flower that needed to be cut, and I wouldn't have the tool I needed.
You can also see in this picture a piece of 'art' hanging in the tree behind the mailbox. I stopped at my Mother's house one day and this object was laying outside the garage. I asked her about it and she said that someone had given it to her, and that she really didn't want it. So I told her that I would find a use for it, and took it home. I think it's kind of cool, and the birds seem to like it.
Tomorrow is a holiday, and if it doesn't rain, we hope to get the patio under roof. But if it does rain, I will take that to, we still need it.