Gem Corn

I have been following a wonderful blog since I first started my own blog.  Jane’s blog:  My Food and Flowers  is full of beautiful pictures of every type of flower and plant that you can imagine.  Not only does she share her talent and love of landscaping, but she shares her advice and information on how to grow most of the plants she features. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have learned from her blog.

Recently she asked me if I would like to receive some of her Gem Corn to plant here.  I could barely type the word YES because it was such a generous offer that I almost felt not worthy of trying to grow these plants.  If you do not know the history of Gem Corn, you can find it here:  GEM CORN.

As you can see from the article, the offer to share her bit of heirloom seeds is truly a special gift.

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The envelope arrived and inside was this beautiful handmade card containing the seeds.  True to form she included a bit of information about these special seeds.

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They are colorful just by themselves and grow into the most beautiful ears of corn.

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Tonight we planted them and they are settled in the indoor greenhouse to hopefully begin their sprouting process.  If I am lucky, these beautiful seeds will offer a new heirloom seed to my collection, and I can only hope to be able to share them with some of my special gardening friends.

Take the time to stop by Jane’s blog.  You will be hooked just as I am!

Thank you Jane (My Food and Flowers),  we will do our best to carry on the Gem Corn legacy you have started with your seeds!

Garden Whimsy

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I think a garden/landscaping looks homey and fun with a few whimsical items placed all around.

I should have posted these pictures when my gardens were in full bloom as I am now collecting these to store them away for the winter.

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I love these little wooden clogs I picked up at our church rummage sale for $2.00.  They add a festive flare to a door we rarely use.

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And apparently the tween likes them also as she seems to have them on her feet quite often throughout the summer.

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This little boy and girl were a gift from my mother and her friend.  He welcomes all our visitors near our main door.  His cute sister sits proudly on her snail watching over the front of the house and the birds that visit the feeder near her.

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This crazy horse planter features pretty impatients and has a wagging tail that blows in the wind

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This knight is a happy guard by the front door to watch who enters his kingdom

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Just across the walkway on the other side of the front porch momma hen and her chicks feel safe with the knight so close by

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The little strawberry pitcher is usually spilling forth a hanging vine but it has since died and the pitcher will now take it’s place nestled in the garage for the winter along with our sweet lamb and her mums!!

 

 

Hibiscus

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I planted a hibiscus plant in the corner of my garden.  When all the vegetables are starting to fizzle out, this beauty opens her huge blooms and shares a wonderful touch of red to the garden area.

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I think what makes it even more special as it was given to us by the man of the house’s mother.  She has beautiful gardens which should be featured in a magazine.  However, she is getting older and gardening is harder and harder for her.  This plant reminds me of her beautiful gardens and I know she loves to look at it when visiting our home. 

It’s a touch of “Grandma Ruth” in the garden!!

 

Japanese Lanterns

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If you are a gardener and you do not have Japanese lanterns planted in your garden, think twice before adding them.  These plants produce beautiful green leaves and in time produce the most beautiful orange “lantern”.  However the roots are trailers and will take over any where you plant them.  I wish the person who had given me some had shared this tidbit with me as I planted them in my wildflower garden. 

The whole purpose of a wild flower garden was to plant all perennial plants so I did not have to weed and would only thin plants out as needed.  I weed the new Japanese lantern plants more than any other weeding in my yard.  I have tried digging them out.  I have tried spraying the new plants with weed killer.  We have even tilled the entire garden down to the clay base and restarted but these things must be in the clay and all the way through the earth to the other side as they always come back.

So while I do enjoy harvesting that beautiful stem with the lanterns, bunching and displaying them all over in vases with some other fall flowers, I do not enjoy having to weed them continuously.  Heed my warning if you dare to plant these 🙂

Fairy Garden

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Back on our property (the same property I grew up on) we have a memorial garden set up where we scattered my father’s ashes.  It’s a very tranquil spot and my mother planted some very beautiful plants all around that bloom at different times. 

It’s been a very rainy season this summer and this morning I found these huge mushrooms growing near the garden.  They are so unique looking.  It gave me a chuckle also as mushrooms were one of the foods my father detested.  I remember him saying anytime he saw people eating them “yuck who wants to eat fungus”.  I always laughed when he said it.

I am going to run to the store later and buy a few “fairy” items and let the kids create a fairy garden around these.  I think they would enjoy that and I know their Grandpa looking down on them will also.

Friend or Foe??

Queen Anne’s Lace is a weed….or is it?  If you do not know what it is, read about it here.  It is considered a wild carrot.  I personally have never eaten one but it is considered a wild food source.

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This is after 24 hours in the dye. It’s actually a light pink, darker purple, and blue hue

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when picked it’s this pretty white color

We have quite a bit of this around our area and by quite a bit I mean it’s everywhere.  If you are a gardener and this weed is in your garden, it is quite a chore to get rid of it.  I never looked at it as a problem plant (like my Japanese Lanterns that I wish I had never planted) because it is pretty when it’s growing.

A fellow blogger who has a wonderfully talented way of sharing things and a very interesting blog you can find here: (Cynthia Reyes) recently shared a very funny quip of this fine weed.  Read it here.  This reminded me of something my sister had done with her children and taught my children.  If you snip this pretty flower and place it in a cup with water and food coloring, the plant will drink the dye and the top of the flower will take on a pale shade of the food coloring. After 2 days you spray the top of the flower with hair spray to keep it from shedding out its pretty lace and display it in a vase for a few days.  Cheap and very pretty table decoration.

I decided to show a quick breakdown of how to do this for anyone else who has this weed, flower, free table centerpiece growing in their yards or gardens.  Unfortunately I only had a little of the regular food coloring which works the best.  I used gel color which is great for frostings but not as good for flower dying!!  Give it a try with your kids or for your next flower arrangement!!

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Outdoor Shower

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This side faces the house and the rest is covered in nature for privacy

When you live on a farm it pays to have an outdoor shower.  Ok, I admit we installed it after seeing the first Sex in the City movie where the neighbor had a beautiful……..outdoor shower!!  I forced the man of the house a few years back to see the movie with me and this is what came of it.  He installed a shower within the week.

This truly has been a saving grace during the spring/summer/fall with the kids.  They come in from playing in the woods, the frog pond, riding 4 wheelers and so on and they are covered in mud.  They know before they can step foot in the house they have to shower off.  Most of the time clothes and all!!

The adults in the house enjoy it under the moonlight.  There’s something to be said about taking an outdoor shower under the beautiful dark night sky with fireflies lighting up all around you and the beautiful stars overhead.

The sign has become a neighborhood saying.  A friend found this sign for us and hung it while we were gone.  It says Showers $1.00 To Watch $2.00  It still makes me laugh every year when I hang it up.  I purchased some beautiful tropical looking vines and bushes so even during the day it is private to the world only open facing the house.

We purchased a beautiful wooden arbor but it’s starting to peel now and next year we will have to replace it but it will be worth the work!! 

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Showers $1.00 To Watch $2.00

Blueberries

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We planted 3 blueberry bushes in early spring. I decided to check on them to see if they were healthy and growing and much to my surprise they have blueberries on them!!  We have had such extreme weather with temperatures in the 50’s at night, tons of rain and now major heat for the past 3 days that I worry about our new plantings.  No need to worry about these!!

Wildflower Garden

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My wildflower garden is in bloom finally!!!  I love checking everyday to see what new is blooming in there.  I let this garden grow crazy instead of keeping it in nice organized condition.  THIS IS VERY HARD FOR ME with my personality but the man of the house enjoys this crazy look so I try to appease him.  There are orange lillies in there but they are hard to see.  Pretty landscaping adds charm to a house I think.