Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nice To Be Here

Florida that is, providing I keep in line. Only family understands that part.

Let's see how these little coleus seedlings work. I've been told it's hard to get such small stuff going down here. I also brought along some Black Eyed Susan's that seem to be taking off with the heat. One shown in white pot second picture.

About the gardens. It should be an interesting year because it looks like I have a major say in this as Mom isn't up to gardening much these days.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Early Winter Retreat

Not like previous years when I waited until just before Thanksgiving to head south to Florida. It was more about seeing the fall foliage and keeping leaves off the lawn. Otherwise my lawn would be toast the following spring. That's where the neighbor kid comes in. Almost 16, he's hungry and a very good worker. Sorry no pics.

I'm kind of saddened that I will not see that huge Mexican Sunflower "bush" bloom as it has oodles of buds on it. But there are plenty of vines still going strong including this one on the porch. It's a combination Black Eyed Susan (BES) and Moonflower. A few Morning Glories in there as well.

More BES all over a young beech tree...I wonder if these vines will return next year. They are seeded from last year but the winter was warm. If they do make it through the winters here, they'll be all over in a few problem with that.

The lawn with Potato Vines (foreground) that have spread all over...

Out of here Thursday AM.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall Getting Closer

I figured I'd get some pictures up before I forget about them. At least I can organize images from around the property better than I can with other stuff. I have them broken down month to month for the last four years with individual dates.

This has to be my favorite Coleus (reddish one). I picked up one small plant in mid April and must have forty of them around here now. I'll definitely keep them going as 18 (rooted) will be going to Florida. They looks stunning in partial shade..or at least I think so.

How about this guy? It's a Mexican something. I've had them for three years now. Thew first year was very disappointing. Last year they did quite well, but this year (annuals) this thing has climbed to ten feet after cutting them back twice. hasn't shown a flower yet. It is a late bloomer anyway, but it's almost fall.

Finally some Blue Morning Glories! Hopefully I'll have some returning next year in this location. I've seen a half dozen flowers so far this year.

Ivy is progressing all over the place. I can see it getting out of control if I ever left it alone for a year. Also shown in the back ground is one of my larger elephant ears.

I had oodles of Zinnia planted up along the driveway this year, cut them back twice, but they took on some kind of disease. This is all I have out of them so far.

Another Moon flower vine on the corner of the house. Lot's of Coleus where Impatiens always had a home in past years. Coleus don't replace them in my opinion but they do fill out nicely. Notice the small flower on the Clematis? I thought I killed that plant three months ago. Potato vines again. They're all over the place as well.

Angelonia doing well all over, but hard to see in this picture. Trailing Petunias petered out. Not as I hoped. But, they make into the cooler weather. Maybe they'll surprise me yet.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer Is Almost Over

Went fast eh? I figured i'd get some late summer pics up before the autumn leave colors. Naturally I'm disappointed with the Imopatens loss and four or five Hosta; wondering if they come back next year. Chances are goo they caught the Gold standard disease being only 3-8 feet apart. Probably said that several time this summer?

A week ago I rounded up all the Coleus colors I have and rooted about 100 of them which will go to Florida and be ready for lottsa color at my mothers home. Seems she can't do much gardening anymore. How many colors? Ten that I counted.

I also have all sorts of Black Eyed Susan (BES) vine growing on the driveway. Some quite small...Florida bound as long as they don't get too large in the meantime. Seems they seed anytime much like Morning Glories. Not sure of the reason for the re-seeding but may be due to the warm winter last year.

The jungle near the porch steps. Moonies, BES, Coleus, potato vines, Cleome, etc.

Moonies up the railing. BES in baskets and climbing the porch column.

 More of the jungle going up the steps....

Down across the lawn. The Bacopia (small white flowers) really took off in this area. Almost died in two other locations. Those whatch combs....always have a hard time with that name were replacements for Impatiens. They never do well around here even in full sun. Oh, annual Vinca is the name.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Time To Act

I know most or nearly everyone will ignore this, because they're afraid it may actually happen or they just don't want to think about it. Or they think, "we're an advanced society (or some BS like that) it can never happen because we have safe guards."

I've been thinking the same for years as they talk about and have never done anything about it. If you haven't seen the documentary you can see it again on August 22. It's time to do something. It may not happen for awhile, but who knows. At least I think I'll be able to go to a local grocery store that doesn't use computers and scanners to buy groceries. They still exist here and there.

Time for some real insurance in case the largest Ponzi scheme in history rears it's corrupt head too soon. It's no wonder I hate politics so much. The entire worlds' financial system is a fraud! Unbelievable documentary.

What kind of insurance? Silver bars. Yea, I've thought the same. It's pretty "expensive" now. But what happens when money becomes worthless? Or should I say when the shit hits the fan. There will be no demand for paper money. Look back at history...see the documentary. What will money be? Something that has value. What kind of value?

Considering there will be no demand for paper money, real value (it could also be as simple as having a few heads of cattle) will sky rocket. I'm not talking about sinking all my dollars into silver. Just enough to feel safe for the short term, but that may change when things begin to stir...if I can get ahead of the crowd.

Think about it. I know few will for reasons already mentioned. It's also nice to think I have a place to hunker down when the shit does hit the fan. Let's hope it doesn't, but all the signals are there. I ask anyone with an open mind to debunk my opinions BUT you have to watch the documentary.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Garden Getting Away From Me

Lost interest being wrapped up in a new website project. Besides, after the Impatiens failure other things have gone downhill. Petunias aren't doing as well as planned, but it's a learning experience. Several Hosta have died as well. I don't even feel like writing any summary. Here are some pics.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A New Project

Considering I can't get far with my video production..for now...a new project. I stumbled across an email from an old fraternity bro. Actually he's in charge of the alumni. In recent years I've just scanned his updates but this time noticed they needed a webmaster. Frankly the current site was very boring and dated. The guy in charge knows programming very well, but is very weak on design.

So it's time to bring the fraternity site into 2012. Below is a first draft. Actually I've tinkered with so much it's probably my 20th draft. This comprehension thing of mine is gaining ground. Could it really be about what you eat?

I'm finding all sorts of gizmos to use, including this free calendar that practically anyone can update, but adding those little graphics does take some getting used to for a novice. I've looked at all the fraternity charge websites and only one looks like competition in so far as nice looking. I'm hoping these alumni can be proud of what they have once the annual convention takes place August 1.

It's an important time for the fraternity because some yahoo brothers back in the early 90's let the house and everything else go down the tubes. Now there's help being offered in building a brand new house and I wanted to be a part of it...finally.

There's gonna be all sorts of cool stuff..IF I GET WHAT I WANT, particularly pictures and information about the current members and so forth. I can even get some video up there as I have a separate page devoted to that. All someone has to do is send good  raw footage and it's almost done. We'll have a message from Andy (the president of the alumni) but his wife will have to handle nearly all of it.

I'm excited about this. Let's see..some more pics...this looks clearer..I had no idea how to embed another website into the existing. Now there's no reason to go off this site to see the main fraternity site..but it needs some tinkering to size the whole page.

Photo galleries. No clicking required. Just hover over a small image and it shows in the big box. Notice "need description." That's what it's all about to make this thing hum...I know two guys in the main pic. Time to go outdoors. I've let things go the past ten days. The lawn hasn't been mowed in three weeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Squirrel Proof Birdhouse - Feeder

I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Two years battling with their incessant appetites. I didn't see many this spring so there wasn't a problem. But the past few weeks....

Methods Tried
  • Tried greasing the pole
  • Wrapped the pole with aluminum thinking it would be too slick for them to climb
  • Wrapped barbed wire around the top of the platform
  • BB gun
  • 22 Cal gun thinking the noise would scare 'em off.
None of those methods worked.

Then an idea clicked. Place some screening over the platform. I had to take the top off to lay some wire mesh with half inch squares, thinking no squirrel can get their snout through it. Another thought was I had to make it tight so their weight would not collapse the mesh making it easy pickings again. By using some blocking supports the mesh sits about 3/4 of an inch off the platform.

Two days and those critters must be crying the blues through the woods. Hell, they have enough nuts here and there if they can think of where they buried 'em. This way it just means they have to work harder but there hasn't been a good acorn drop since 2009.

I was concerned the birds couldn't get their beaks in to get the goodies, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. I had a few dozen titmouse's out there this morning feasting. By the way, I think it's bear proof now too. I had to rebuild it with more reinforcing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Petunias On A Hill Part 4

Previous Entries

Part I
Part II
Part III

It's becoming obvious what these trailing Petunias like when watching how they grow in certain areas. The most abundant growth shows on the ledge atop a small wall along the driveway. A good potion of that soil is thick Georgian clay transported from half way up the driveway. I actually thought it would be the worst growing soil, but it was mixed in with new composted mulch. I think it has more to do with the absorption qualities of the clay.

This is also the only area where none were cut back, so they have had a chance to grow. It's also an area that has not been fertilized. The ones on the bank aren't doing so well, but they were cut back. I do have some on the other side, almost out of view that are doing better. See below.

I do have some annual Verbena and white Angelonia in the boxed areas, but it seems they are slow going. My feeling is the soil is loose and loses water too quickly. But the past three weeks all areas have received lot's of water. Two inches of rain and another two or three from the sprinkler system. As hot as it gets in this spot it does need quite a bit of attention, or so it seems.

Moving down the driveway it's much like the upper bank. Slow going after a haircut two weeks ago. Oh well, these little buggers last into November so there's still plenty of time.

Looking at the other side of the driveway, no fertilizer or cutting back except for the Angelonia that is beginning to thrive. Some folks say they like neglect  and dry conditions, but not around here. My best example of that are the two wine barrels I have with the soil always staying moist.  One shown below.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It looks More Like....

Any ideas? I watched some Aussie bake some bread on YouTube, but maybe I got liter and the actual quantity mixed up. Never did resemble dough. More like a pancake batter. Looking at other videos after this failure, one cup of water is mentioned, or just add enough to get a thick consistency. Geez, I don't know how that Aussie did it, but his turned out okay.

Oh well, first try. I can always slice it horizontally and get some bread slices out of it?

Noooo. This one is headed for the trash... Salty tasting and gooey like it hadn't been baked long enough. 375 for 30 minutes or so I thought.

What was that recipe? It was called an easy baking recipe.  Considering he baked two loaves I cut everything in half.

(1) teaspoon baking powder
(16) oz water


3 1/2 cups flour (rice--maybe that was the problem)
(1) teaspoon salt
(2) teaspoon vegetable oil

I see no yeast others mention.

I did let it "get ready" or try to rise before complete baking. Not much good.

Btw, it's almost been a week since I started this healthy eating kick, Result is loss of five pounds. I haven't starved myself, nor have I cut out all the questionable stuff out, particularly at lunch time\by eating about 400 calories of lays chips along with a sandwich. My exercise regime hasn't changed either. I may spend two to three hours out in the garden and I still hit the couch after lunch and dinner meals.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Daves Garden Round Up

I don't think I mentioned it before, but I did attend one of these things two years ago. The video explains all about a round up in general. Located in Cleveland, Georgia one Dave's garden member has been putting this on for the last three years at her summer cottage. It's a good way to get together with gardeners and trade for stuff. I took along some of the leftover trailing Petunias I had, a slew of Coleus, which few bothered to take. I also dug up some of the Caldiums that were packaged wrong.

In return I received things like Toad lilies and brugmansia. I think I had the brug mixed up with something else because it looks too tropical for this area. But it survives Lulu, Ga which is about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. Here's a pic from Bing images. Three were received; white and pinks I think.

A few Hostas found a new home and some shade plants like the Christmas Rose (forget the real name). I think there are some bleeding hearts out there too. Oh, and another was a bougainvillea. I'll have to look into that further because once again I don't think that one will make it around here. I think that came from the same woman. Love to have three or four of them around here. They have to be my favorite Florida shrub.

I can't think of the others but they are marked well. Too early in the morning to look. I still need something to replace those dead Impatiens. Probably just stick all the leftover Coleus in there. The moonflowers are beginning to take off. I'm looking forward to seeing them in a few months. Hopefully jungle like appearance.

The video. I'm getting attached to this little HD camera. It doesn't do indoors very well, but most shots were taken with bright backdrops. I couldn't even fix it with my Sony Vegas (Pro 11) edit program that has an excellent white balance and color corrector that I'm getting familiar with.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nooooo More!

For years I've always had a problem with eating the right foods. Doesn't everyone? It really got to me this spring when I couldn't stop from shaking. I've always had issues with it but got more pronounced the last few years. So I looked and researched a bit into what's in Coke Zero. Done with that. Save $20 a week.

Since, it's been the local spring water. At least now I can write a check without the struggle. Then there's constantly being  hungry and those so called good foods just add to the problem. Two really surprised me. Granola and wheat bread. They have high fructose corn syrup in them along with all the other crap in the trash basket. Ketchup contains that crap too. The Town House wheat crackers couldn't fit in the trash can.

Not only hungry, but the shakes come back from time to time, particularly in the morning. Bad blood sugar from my research. So I'm gonna eat Jap...or come close. I even bought some green tea, but am skeptical when I look in the grocery aisle and see too much of one thing. It tells me the masses are buying it and they're always wrong...just like me. Look at the yogurt aisle! Most of that stuff doesn't work to keep the weight off, unless you starve yourself.

That's what it's mostly about with me. Tired of the gut. In recent summers I've always lost 15 pounds or so by this time. No change this year. I even dumped the chips and ice cream. Instead eating salads for lunch (sandwich and wheat bread) and 60 cal pudding after dinner. Not gonna cut it. That 60 cal stuff has something in it not good for ya. Eat Jap...except for the baked potatoes (they're good for you) and I don't think they do much veggies...high cost over there? I could be wrong. Got some brown rice. Avocado too. Oatmeal for breakfast.

Bread? Rumor has it rice bread is perfect or something else called ...I forget. Imagine the confusion when I inquired about some of this stuff at the local Walmart yesterday. Folks, I live in a town that's raised on fried chicken and other fatty stuff. Once everyone, or so it seems, gets out of high school, marries, has a few kids, they're done! Not long ago I was at the Ford dealership. A mother and daughter were talking near me. High school age, she looked great. Pretty and fit. The mother on the other hand, overweight with a bad complexion. I imagine the mother looked the same when younger.

 I'll try some baking...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tinkering With New Toys

Trying to get up to speed if I want to create some professional videos for the hardwood flooring site. I've learned a huge amount the last few weeks. Trying to remember is the hardest part, but that's where notes come in. Lot's of notes! And without YouTube tutorials I don't think I could muster it. Problem is I still need some video footage. Maybe I've said it in the past, actual professionals don't understand what I'm doing or how it can benefit them.

Considering I have three older videos on YouTube dating back to 2009. Boy are they crappy looking. Yet they get traffic. I think the last count is 600,000 views for the three. That's where professionals in the trade don't see it. That's 600,000 potential customers...if I integrate their business into the video. Okay, maybe not 600,000 because I lose about 20% in the first one minute and twenty seconds of each one on average. A simple byline across each video will get some eyeballs...or maybe something like the short clip below. It's also called branding.

So many freaking possibilities. I don't think I've seen any similar ideas to the above on all the YT videos I've watched. Sure, you may have seen those annoying "annotations" YT describes them as. Red bold ugly looking things that make people click the back page. Or how about those 30 second intros? Geez, looks nice fella but I won't be around to see the rest of your video. My non intrusive effects will sell some DVD's..and who knows what else I can dream up.

And then again...going back to professionals. Many think it's already been done ...videos that is. They haven't seen anything yet. I've analyzed the paltry competition. Btw, my costs are now down to 65 cents on total production per dvd. That's buying all items in 100 lots.

Anyway, the new toy...a small camera that shoots both standard definition and HD. Problem is I may get too attached to HD and buy a big HD camera. It sure would put the icing on the cake with the "competition" But it takes up so much space. This video is 650 MEG's. I have no problems on my PC as all the components can handle it with ease. Having a DSL connection does present some problems as it took two hours to upload the video.

It's my first..and the setting was off...cloudy day would have been better too.  I didn't discover that until later. This little gizmo is so tiny and the functions are touch screen...always hard for me. Like that Iphone I'm about to dump. Contact expires soon. I'm happy with a standard phone...even Dollar General sells em.

A brief trip around the yard...I knew it wouldn't fit..Here's the link

North Georgia Mountain Garden

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Downy Mildew On Impatiens - Pictures Too

What was once my stellar performer around here may become history, at least until next year...maybe. Symptoms are identical to my mother's Impatiens that suffered earlier this year in SW Florida. Both she and I assumed it was a heavy overnight deluge. Same up here in North Georgia. There was a heavy rain in the middle of the night on May 30 with another inch and a half falling on or around June 4.

This is not the case and the problem has almost been confirmed in an email by Dr. Jean Williams-Woodward with the University of Georgia who states it "looks like downy mildew." Some of the resources available:

Where did this nasty disease come from? What can be done? How rampant will it become? Here's a story from the UK. In short it only appears during wet and cooler weather, which we did have the last two weeks. It may slow down or halt when the weather gets hot. Pretty depressing when you consider Impatiens represents a large potion of my gardens. Surprisingly some areas are still flourishing, while others look done. Can I blame it on the source? Possibly, but not enough is known. Some were purchased at Lowes in mid April while others from Quinn's Greenhouse up McCaysville, Georgia. Problem is some were mixed in with others. I would have more faith in buying disease free stuff from Quinns over Lowes. Are they capable of preventing it? It's almost an unknown at the present time. Plenty of facts and opinion at the links above.

More pictures..

And one area not affected (below)...yet. Wait. There is one white Impatiens in the image that has definitely not progressed as well as the others shown. Maybe there's a way of detecting if your Impatiens have the disease but it hasn't yet shown it's ugly face? For weeks I've been thinking none of my Impatiens are progressing as well as they did in past years. Yet during that time there were no signs of any disease. They just remained smaller. But then again I can be impatient, thinking how everything looked in mid July of previous years.

What about Impatiens that reseed?  I do have several areas that are being affected, but they too are mixed in with newer plants this year. Oh well, at least my trailing Petunias are thriving.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hydrangeas and Stuff

These guys are coming along. Endless Summer bought back in May of 2010, though I'm not happy with the odd shape. They need some hackin' Probably this fall. I did trim the larger straggler branches earlier this spring, but as I look around here and there I see some folks treat these things different. One in particular along the main drag going into town. It grows to 8 and 10 feet high in late summer, blooms like crazy and then cut almost to the roots in the spring.

Made some babies from these guys last year. Four of them to count. Coming along nicely. Here's one about 18 inches high. Others are here and there in the woods.

More being rooted on the porch, but these are called Forever & Ever Blue Haven Hydrangea. Taken from new plants I picked up a few weeks ago. Problem is the adults (one so far) is beginning to  blooming pink?? Even after using some product that is supposed to keep them blue. Have to wait on that.

Oh, a new spot for the newbies...and a few Azaleas picked up along the way. There's also one called Flowerwood Sister Theresa that is supposed to stay white...upper right..itty bitty thing with two flowers.

Unfortunately my climbing hydrangea isn't blooming this year. I hear they need to climb and spread first, but yet the first year they bloomed. Could be time for some bloom booster.

And about these things. A climbing Nasturtium. So? When does it plan on climbing?

Petunias along the lawn coming along, but for some reason one of the white Waves in the pots is dying:( I do have two backups though. No Petunias along the drive pics. You'll have to wait a month or so but they're looking good.