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Cat's eyes with a black border.

The Animals SpeakWhen I was twenty-four, I took a walk through a meadow near my home. Where the meadow ended, a few small trees had cropped up here and there. Some small Dogwoods were in the mix. I thought I spotted a Trillium. As I bent over to get a better look, I braced myself by grabbing on to one of the lower branches of a nearby dogwood.

 

Low Cost Flower Bed

Low Cost Flower BedIt was getting dark when I took this picture. The strange arrangement of colors is due to the fact that the flowers weren't labeled and not in bloom when I bought them.

 

Ants feeding on a solution of boric acid.

Boric Acid For Controlling Ants In Garden And KitchenI have a fairly large piece of property. It is mostly sandy loam. Ants seem to prefer this type of soil. At any given time, there may be several thousand ant hills on my land.

 

A crazy quilt made from scraps of material.

The Most Frugal Of All, Free MemoriesWhat is your earliest memory? I will tell you three of mine as I don't know which is earliest. When I was little, the house was not heated past bed time. If the temperature was 10 degrees outside, it was 10 degrees inside, not long after we all went to bed.

 

A 15w LED lightbulb in a package with a loose one next to it.

Comparing CFL And LED LightbulbsI have three 48 inch double fluorescent lamp fixtures mounted under an upper kitchen cabinet. I use them to start seedlings during late winter. Over time, all the 40 watt lamps have dimmed. Even when new, these 6 lamps did not produce near the light my plants needed. At a cost of $30.00 to replace all lamps. I decided to go a different route.

 

Photograph Your Garden In Early Light - yellow New Day rose bud

Photograph Your Garden In Early LightI haven't had camera as long as most of you. I've just been picking up bits of information as I need it. I wouldn't know an 'f' stop from a short stop with the New York Yankees. I've always heard though about the wonders of early morning light. It is a great time to take pictures.

 

Paper seedling pots

Homemade Indoor Seedling ContainersI find that egg cartons and pudding snack containers do not provide enough space for proper root formation of indoor seedlings. I make my own containers with no more than pages from an old phone book and masking tape.

 

glass jar on shed framework

Bird's Nest In Garden ShedI noticed that each time I entered my garden shed, a house finch flew out. I was puzzled for a while. Then, I discovered just what was going on. Mother finch had built a nest in an old quart jar. After taking these pictures, I carefully repositioned the jar as I found it.

 

June Is Plant Rooting Month

June Is Plant Rooting MonthJune is the best month for rooting most plants. Now, as to the purpose of this post. It's not a tip nor a bragging post. It is to offer a word of encouragement. To those of you who would say 'I don't have a green thumb, I can't root anything', my reply is, 'Nonsense'!

 

A small seedless watermelon, cut in half.

Use Your Own Mind When Making PurchasesWhat is a 'benhad'? It's not the lowest soldier rank in Xerxes Persian army, nor is it the latest hair style craze by Lauri Pedaja. A benhad is simply a person who has been had by the system.

 

An old fashioned black and white photo of a family.

How To Appreciate Cobbler CrustThis was to be a prelude on the importance and appreciation of good, crusty Southern style biscuits, and more tips on how to make them. This 'prelude' became so lengthy, it turned into a 'story' in its own right. Read on.

 

Cleaning Mold From Vinyl Siding - arrow pointing to cleaned area

Cleaning Mold From Vinyl SidingIn another post, I mentioned having used equal parts household chlorine bleach and white vinegar to remove green mold growing on the vinyl siding facade on the north side of my home. It is quite effective. But, I've found something much better, a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.

 

Tips for Making BiscuitsHoe cakes can be made of flour or corn meal. The name derived from the early American practice of putting a small amount of dough on a very clean hoe blade and placing the blade atop hot coals or stones in the fireplace.

 

Separating egg yolks from the whites with your hands.

The Best Way To Separate EggsI am going to tell you the absolute best way to separate yolks from whites. You will become a pro at it. You will remember this technique for the rest of your life. You will want to share it with your friends.

 

Being Thrifty or Frugal: The Big Picture

Being Thrifty or Frugal: The Big PictureWhen I was a child, my family and I lived in the city. Being a nature lover, I would often take long walks in the country. At that time, the county did not have a garbage collection service. People would put their garbage in a vacant area on their property.

 

Test Seeds For Viability

Test Seeds For ViabilityAs I write this, there are still nineteen days until winter actually begins. It will be another two to three months before I can start my indoor seedlings. It's hard waiting.

 

A large argiope spider on a wood fence.

Argiope ~ The Writing SpiderWe, and most of our neighbors, had gardens. They were always home to several writing spiders. With this spider being very active during the day, it was not uncommon to encounter a few during any visit to the garden.

 

Remembering Granny Rollins

Remembering Granny RollinsWhere does frugality end and parsimoniousness or down right stinginess, begin? That may depend on who's giving the answer and what hardships and meager times they've endured in their own lives.

 

mixing tubs with drainage holes

Line Small Flower Beds With Concrete Mixing TubsBermuda migrates towards wetter soil. If flower beds are kept wetter than the surrounding lawn, Bermuda will easily invade them. Using sunken concrete mixing tubs as liners for beds can prevent this migration, underground. Keeping above ground migration at bay is much easier.

 

Taking Multiple Cuttings From A Rose Bush - trim most of the leaves off of the stems, leaving  2-3

Taking Multiple Cuttings From A Rose BushThis past spring, I bought a floribunda rose named 'Summer Romance'. A $15 rose for $3. It was 1½-2 feet tall. Since that time, it has grown to over 6 feet. It has not bloomed.

 

Black widow spider

Should You Wear Gloves While Gardening?My interest in gardening began at an early age. When I was around twelve, I bought a pack of icebox watermelon seeds from my school for a dime. I bought a small paper bag of fertilizer from the local milling company, and it was a dime.

 

A bottle of roach and ant killer and a mousetrap to keep rodents away.

Keeping Mice And Rats AwayFor many years now, I've had an annual visitor. Never the same one, but always arriving at the same time and always choosing to set up housekeeping in the same area of my home.

 

The finished lump of clarified butter.

Easy Clarified ButterThere is clarified butter, and then there is ghe or ghee. They are not the same. Clarified butter, or 'drawn butter', as it was called in times past, is the simpler to prepare of the two. It can be used many ways. Essentially, it is regular butter with the milk solids and water removed.

 

Homemade Panko Breadcrumbs

Homemade Panko BreadcrumbsI had never used panko. I bought a can out of curiosity. I thought it was OK, but I also thought I could do better. I did do better. This homemade panko made with fresh baked French bread is far better than what you buy after it sits on a shelf for who knows how long.

 

A orphaned rabbit.

My Orphaned Garden FriendI have a small area on my property shaded with old maple trees. It's my summer hangout. I try to make it more pleasant by growing flowers beneath the trees.

 

Wear Gardening Gloves For The Unexpected - pampas grass

Wear Gardening Gloves For The UnexpectedSome time back I wrote an article on the importance of wearing gloves while working in areas that might be infested with black widow spiders. One might do well to consider gloves when working in other areas, too.

 

A clean freezer with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

Clean Fridge And Freezer Interior With PeroxideFor years I've used baking soda to clean inside my refrigerator and freezer. I've found something I think I like better. Peroxide.

 

A clean and shiny cast iron pan

Thoroughly Cleaning A Cast Iron Fry PanYou can tell me not to use soap on my cast iron pans til the cows come home. I will use it, anyway. I refuse to put away a pan that has only been scraped and wiped. To me, that borders on 'nasty'.

 

gardener's hand holding tomato seeds

Heirloom vs Hybrid SeedsGardening is not an exact science and can be very complicated. Misinformation passed along from generation to generation only adds to the complication. Most people are content to plant a packet of straight neck yellow squash, follow packet instructions, and hope for the best. This is good.

 

Rooting Impatiens Cuttings

Rooting Impatiens CuttingsAfter taking the cuttings, I remove all flower buds, open flowers, seed pods and yellow leaves, from each. I also remove any leaves that would be under the soil after inserting them in the medium.

 

Testing Bargain Camellias (And Other Plants) - Camellia October Magic-Orchid

Testing Bargain Camellias (And Other Plants)The above picture is of a new variety of camellia. If I am correct, it is one of a series called 'October Magic', this particular variety being named 'Orchid'. Most camellias bloom late winter to early spring.This plant is said to bloom in fall, at a time when there is little else in bloom. I like that.

 

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