Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Last Hurrah!

The leaves have fallen and the cattails are ready to burst. We're actually past color peak here and the nights are colder. The furnace is running daily now, mostly just in the morning to warm the chilly floors and walls. We are preparing ourselves for winter.

But what's this? A walk around my garden brought a curious site. One lonely flower on each plant shown below. The garden had been completely cut back and there should have been no stems or buds left, but it seems there were a few that just refused to give up the show this year.
How many of these flowers can you name? The answer to follow in a few days. Have fun!

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Historic White Pine VIllage

This s the second part of our day trip to Ludington, Michigan. We stopped at the Historic White Pine Village run by the Mason County Historical Society. My husband and I are both history and antique nuts, so we knew this would be right up our alley. We weren't disappointed. Situated on a beautiful setting of 13 acres overlooking a valley, the village hosts 30 buildings/sites depicting the history of Mason County.
We chose to go on a weekday expecting it to be quiet. We were looking forward to soaking up all of the history. Little did we know that there would be school buses in the parking lot and over 200 kids in the village. Much to our surprise and delight they were all well supervised and well behaved. And because they were there each building had a friendly volunteer present ready to answer any questions and fill our head with tidbits of the past.
White Pine Village is a dog friendly place, as long they as leashed, and even allows the dogs to enter the buildings. Teddy received all the attention he could handle with little hands "pawing" all over him. He loved every minute.
The following are just a few of the buildings, all of which are open and filled with whatever antiques pertain to that particular business or residence, many have been moved from their site complete with their furnishings.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ludington State Park, in Michigan

We haven't taken any vacations this year, so we've decided before the summer is over to do some day trips. These are some pictured from our trip to Ludington State park, one of the most beautiful parks in Michigan. It's only about 2 hours from our house, so we took our little shih tzu, Teddy, and set out for a day outside.
These are shots of the walk along the Au Sable River. It was a perfect day, The sky had never been so blue. and the river was as smooth as glass.

A reflexion of the trees in the water.

Can you see the salmon waiting to spawn? There were hundreds of them.

What a day. Teddy walked his little legs off!

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tropical Traditions Detergent Giveaway

When I first sat down to write about one of my favorite companies, Tropical Traditions, I was a little worried. I wantto tell you about their Powdered Laundry Detergent. I know you think this has nothing to do with gardening, but as before with the Tropical Traditions Oxygen Bleach, I have used the their laundry detergent on my dirty garden clothes as well as my family's daily laundry.
I have used TT Powdered Laundry Detergent for about a month now. At first, I must say I was a little disappointed. The clothes were clean but the colors were not bright. Then it hit me what the problem might be; I have extremely hard water. Even with a water softener I have always had trouble with my laundry. So I added the Tropical Traditions Oxygen Bleach for the next few loads.
Okay, now there was the clean I was looking for. Even a few old grease stains had disappeared. Now, that was the performance I have come to know and expect from Tropical Traditions.
If you don't have hard water, I think just the detergent alone will do a great job, but if your water is like my well water with lots of iron in it, you may need to add the non-chlorine oxygen bleach. Both of these products are non-toxic and environmentally safe and they work at all temperatures.
Either way, here is your chance to try it out for yourself. Tropical Traditions is offering you a chance to win on 5 pound container of their Powdered Laundry Detergent, valued at $26.00!
Here's what to do:

1. Leave a comment after visiting the Tropical Traditions web site about something new you learned there..

2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.

3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.

4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter, then come back and tell me that you have done that.

5. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

Good Luck!!

Open to US and Canada residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Saturday, October 5, 2010 at Midnight ET

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose; nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Klaeger Sprayers

I often use different types of sprayers in the garden and in the home. There seems to be a never ending need for them. Outside, I can spray for pests, weeds, and even clean the yard furniture with them. I like to have a variety so I can keep them filled with the particular product I am using at the moment, rather than empty and wash over and over again.

I was introduced to some high quality sprayers from Klaeger Plastik, a German company.

I have to say that I expected just the average sprayer when they first arrived, but immediately noticed the quality of plastic and the craftsmanship. I received a bright yellow pressure sprayer with an extension nozzle that can be used in many different ways. It allows for ease in spraying on lower surfaces without bending over, or for difficult to reach places.

I also have a pyramid sprayer with a trigger. The unique thing about this is its square base. I like how it sits neatly on the shelf without taking up as much space as a round one would. All-in-all Klaeger isn't your average spray bottle company. I think you should give them a try!

Garden Cleanup

I haven't been as active on Thyme for Herbs this year as I have been in the past. I'll admit it. I've been involved with other things. We've been trying to sell this house -- it's been on the market for almost two years. Facebook has taken up a lot of my time; I've reconnected with quite a few old friends, and that's a good thing and it's been a joy meeting up with them again, and I also got hooked into playing quite a few of the games.

Earlier this spring, I started an online business called Tedibles which sells all-natural dog treats and shampoos, etc. So besides creating the site, I also had to create and make the product.

Then there are the car shows my husband loves to go to, a few trips to the beach to sit in the sand and read a good book while the boats cruise lazily through the channel, and of course, family picnics, a wedding, and parties.

It seems like summer has just slipped away, but when I put it down here, I guess I have been pretty busy.

It's always with a heavy heart that I must put the garden to bed. The weather has not been extremely cooperative but there have been a few good days and I grab them when I can, if I'm not too tired from work and all of my other activities. I think I'm pretty much done now in the yard. I cut back the echinacea and rudbeckias this year. Usually, I leave them up for the birds but it doesn't look too pretty for potential buyers. I've noticed that the irises are getting more difficult for me to deal with. Maybe in my next garden I won't plant any of those, but I will sorely miss them.

I still think the daylilies are the easiest to handle. I cut the scapes back as they are done blooming and then just leave the leaves to gently fall and cover the base of the plant throughout the winter. It makes a good blanket for those cold, cold months. According to the Farmer's Almanac, we will have a very cold season this year. In the spring, it's a simple matter of pulling up the then dead greenery and cleaning up around the base of the plant to allow the new growth to come forth. There's no hard pulling and it's easy on my back.

The following are a few of my before and after picturs of my garden cleanup. What kind of things do you do to take care of your garden in the Fall? I'd like to hear all about it.