Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Daylily Garden

The day I've been wating for is here!!!! I've finally started my new daylily garden at the new house.  Sometimes I didn't think it was ever going to happen, but after only 5 months in our new place, we have begun to carve it out.
Next step: rototill the center with a bigger machine, then bring in a load of black dirt. After that, I can start to split the daylilies that are "visiting" at my daughter's house; she gets a piece of each plant for all of her and my son-in-law's trouble.
This garden won't be nearly as large as what I've had in the past. I have plenty of room here, but I've decided to cut back a little. So the selection will be difficult.  I'll only choose my favorites and the best producers.
Of course I'll need to leave some room for a few new additions to christen the new area. Hmm, maybe it will be a little bigger than I thought. A woman has a right to change her mind, doesn't she?

 I'm so excited!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Manure Tea Giveaway

"Manure Tea?  What's that?"  Is that what you said to yourself when you read the title of my blog?  That's what I said, too, when I first discovered it. So here's the scoop.  Manure Tea is an all-natural fertilizer/soil conditioner for your garden and houseplants.


Have you shied away from using manure as a fertilizer because of having to handle it or smell it? Maybe just the thought disgusts you. or you're afraid of burning your plants. But Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea is a little different.  It's sun-dried manure packaged in an environmentally safe large tea bag. The manure is processed  from horses, cows, and alfalfa.  And it's very easy to use. No need to even use gloves, because your hands will never touch the bag if you handle it with the label string.  I filled a 5 gallon bucket with water, dropped a tea bag in, and waited three days. I chose to leave my bucket in the basement on a cement floor (didn't want to risk any drips getting on the main floor since I didn't know what I was doing at first.)  You could leave it in the garage or a storage shed/barn.  What you get in the three days time is a light brown liquid that looks like tea. Afraid of the manure odor?  No worries here. The fragrance is very light and reminded me more of the barn from my neighbor's farm.
I have to admit to taking the bucket outside to fill my watering cans, especially the smaller ones for the house. I wasn't sure of it at that point, but there was really nothing to fear at all.
I watered all of my deck plants, the fern at my front door, my zinnias along the driveway, and a few house plants. It really went a long way.
It wasn't long when everything seemed to perk up and take notice. If you saw my last post, you've already seen the zinnias; they're doing very well.  The fern at the front entrance was just hanging in there at first but not getting any larger until I used Manure Tea.  Now it's huge!
Authentic Brand Manure Tea can be used safely on all of your herbs, vegetables, gardens, and even your lawn. Authentic Haven Brand also offers an Alfalfa Tea that does wonders for roses.  Manure tea is great for composting, too, as it speeds up the process with its beneficial microbes. Use it as a foliage spray for indoor plants, or add a teaspoon of the tea to the vase of fresh cut flowers!
I have to say, I am really impressed with this cute and easy way of using manure -- and I didn't even get my hands dirty.
Did I get your curiosity up? Enter to win a 3-pack of Manure Tea of your own to try!

Here's how to enter:

If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.
1. Leave a comment after visiting the Authentic Haven Brand web site about something 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.)
3. For a third chance to win, blog, Tweet, or Facebook about this contest with a link here.
4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to the Authentic Haven Brand newsletter in the sidebar of their page.
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 residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends Saturday, August 27, 2011 at midnight at midnight ET.

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











Sunday, August 14, 2011

California Giant Zinnias

I change my mind a lot.  It's a woman's prerogative, right? I don't change it when it comes to certain flowers. Zinnias have been a long time favorite of mine, since childhood, actually. I especially love the California Giant Zinnias. In my area, I can only get these by planting seeds, and I don't mind that a bit.
This strip along the driveway was cut out by the previous owner.  They changed their minds a lot, too. First it was all pebbles, then slate chips, and then they added wooded chips.  It was quite a mess to clean out. First I pulled out all of the irises and weeds, then raked the decaying wood chips out.  Then my husband got in on the project and dug out the stones and turned over the dirt.
I planted my zinnia seeds at the end of June.  This is not the way to go if you are impatient. But look what I have now.

Next year this strip along the driveway will go all the way to the road.  I plan to put in alternating tulips and daffodils for spring and then follow up with my pals, the zinnias. They don't need staking, even after being blasted by a very strong wind yesterday.
I had the driveway re-coated.a few weeks ago and the overspray painted them with hot black tar.  They didn't mind a bit. They just kept reaching for the sky, preparing to show off their beautiful colors.
If you don't mind the wait, go back to old-fashioned seed planting for your annuals.  It's very satisfying, plus it can save you a lot of money from greenhouse prices.  Zinnias are also a very good cutting flower, producing many blooms for your indoor vases.  For spring seed planting California Giant Zinnias are your best bet, in my opinion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Herbs Gone Wild

Ever wonder what you can do with all the herbs you've been growing?  Besides culinary uses, you can make your own medicinal aids and cures. Other than the herbs in your garden that you tend for carefully, there are a host of them growing wild right in your own back yard and neighboring woods.
My very good friend, Diane Kidman from Dkmommy Spot , Carpe Libris Reviews, and now also An Uncommon Thread has a recently published new herb book which you can download on your Kindle at Amazon or Nook at Barnes and Noble for only $.99!   It's called Herbs Gone Wild: Ancient Remedies Turned Loose! It will teach you everything you need to know about how you can become your family's own herbalist in a very easy and fun to read format.. You'll receive easy to use instructions on the uses of herbs for everything from speeding along the common cold to easing your child's earache naturally.
Herbs Gone Wild will soon be available in other formats, but if you have Kindle or Nook, here's your chance to get a copy now for this very low price.
Congratulations, Diane, on your new publication!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hummingbird Wars!

It happens daily in my neighborhood - hummingbird wars! As a matter of fact, one attack took place not more than three feet from my face this morning. I was watering my petunias on the deck when this dominant male arrived to feed.  He didn't mind me one bit, just went about his business.


Then he took the same stance he does every day, protecting his territory like any good gang leader does. He sat on "his" perch for almost 5 minutes. Soon his wife came in to eat. But he was having none of it.  He slammed his body into her and they fell toward the ground, and like Harry Potter in a Quidditch match, they flew off twirling in the air.  Was it spousal abuse or was she part of another gang? The colors hadn't changed, same old red and green.

After returning to his perch, he allowed a female to come in and drink.  Ahhh, now this one must be the wife! Look how he looks at her lovingly as she sips the sweet nectar he has saved for her! He's such a good provider!


Then off she goes to take care of the kids, while he returns for another turn at the table.  Men are always hungry, aren't they?
I wish there was a way for me to mark these little guys.  I'd love to know if there is a reason to call Social Services, or is it truly a hummingbird gang war?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Yesterday I was at the local Farmer's Market. One of the booths was a gentleman who brings in perennial plants, shrubs, and trees. He had quite a variety of butterfly bushes. While I was admiring a beautiful dark purple variety, I noticed ( and heard) a buzzing much like a hummingbird. But no, it was a bee!  Or was it?  It moved like a hummingbird and sampled nectar with an antenna shaped much ike a hummingbird's beak
The nurseryman explained that it is called a hummingbird or clearwing moth .  After researching it as soon as I arrived home, I learned that it is a Holarctic genus of sphinx moth also called Hemaris. There are 17 species and 4 of those fly in North America.  Fascinating!  How did I get to be  64 years old and never have seeone of these before?  Maybe I just wasn't observant enough.  From now on I will keep a look out for the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Homeology Herbal Floor Cleaner Giveaway

What good are herbs? There's so many reasons it's difficult to put it all on one page. Besides the obvious - such as to flavoring and seasoning for foods and for use medicinally, there's a host of items that can be produced without chemicals, using herbs instead, to make your home safe, and healthy.  Gold Canyon has a selection of products that fits this bill. Homeology Floor Cleaner  is an all-natural, plant-based  cleaner infused with the oils from lavender, eucalyptus, and sweet orange. Hmm, can you smell it?
I've been a long-time user of the Homeology All Purpose Cleaner. After cleaning my kitchen with it, the fresh scent of Rosemary and Mint  makes me feel secure in knowing my family does not have to breathe harmful chemicals. I feel my spirits lift with the smell of my favorite herbs.
I eagerly gave the Homeology Floor Cleaner a try just this morning. First a vacuuming was in order after my little dog had tracked in some sand.  Then I gave a spritz of the cleaner to my floors and mopped with a flathead mop.  The scent is not overpowering, at all,  just light as the breeze, smelling of the fresh outdoors. As soon as the floor was dry, I gave it the barefoot test.  Hmmmm, nice. Homeology Floor Cleaner is safe for ceramic, tile, and hardwood floors and the large 35 oz. bottle lasts a very long time making it a smart purchase.
Are you ready to give it a try? Now for your chance to win a bottle.

Here's how to enter:

If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.

1. Leave a comment after visiting the Gold Canyon web site about something you'd love to own from any of their site pages.

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.)

3. For a third chance to win, blog, Tweet, or Facebook about this contest with a link here.

4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to the Gold Canyon Email Updates on their home page.

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 Canadian residents only, 18+.

Winners will be chosen by random.org.

Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.

This Giveaway ends on Thursday, August 11, 2011 at midnight ET.



Gold Canyon 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.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Gardening Calendar Giveaway


I have a new giveaway for you! A Gardening Calendar & Almanac.
This, folks, is not your average gardening calendar with pretty pictures of flowers and vegetables. This calendar is actually a how-to manual  chocked full of information, some of it very new to me. Opposite of the monthly page is a very informative page introducing ideas for new and old gardeners alike.
Each page of the month functions as a usual calendar with the moon cycles and holidays marked in.  But the zodiac signs are also placed on every date of the month. Part of this teaching plan is called "Planting by Signs."  It introduces the age-old concept of planting according to the cycle of the moon -- depending on if the moon is waxing or waning determines when you plant and harvest.
Some other information you can glean here is improving your soil, composting, companion planting, fall vegetable planting, and planning your garden.
If you're fairly new to vegetable gardening, this little book disguised as a calendar, is a great way to glean a lot of knowledge.
Yes, I know the year is over halfway through, but in this giveaway you will not only receive a hard copy of the 2011 calendar but also a code so you can download a 2012 copy! There's a lot to learn about Fall Planting yet this year and you could also be very well-prepared for Spring.
So here's how you can win The Gardening Calendar and Almanac for yourself!


Here's how to enter:

If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.

1. Leave a comment after visiting the Gardening Calendar web site about something you learned  after browsing their Sample Pages or tell me about your latest vegetable gardening experience.

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.)

3. For a third chance to win, blog, Tweet, or Facebook about this contest with a link back here.

4. For a fourth chance to win, sign up to Follow The Gardening Calendar on Twitter at the bottom of their page.

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 residents only, 18+.

Winners will be chosen by random.org.

Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.

This Giveaway ends on August 10, 2011 at midnight ET.



The Gardening Calendar and Almanac 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.