Posted in flower of the day

Flower of the Day: May 3, 2019. Billy Balls Yellow Flower

On an afternoon walk yesterday, Ellis and I had to stop and inspect these whimsical yellow balls. They were perfectly round flowers, so perfectly intact that it almost looked artificial.

The owner of the house must’ve seen us looking at them, because she came out to tell us more about them. This type of flower is called Craspedia (Billy Ball Yellow Flowers). They are easy to care for, hardy, and grows prolifically: criteria met for a black thumb like me.

The lady was nice enough to give Ellis 3 stems to take home. I’m tempted to plant them in one of our containers: wonder if they will propagate. But I know my limits.

I can’t juggle plants/ flowers and keep alive 3 Neon Tetra fish, 1 Betta fish, and 5 snails (imperative to keep them alive after the loss of 3 fish and 2 frogs earlier this year). So the yellow ping pong balls are housed next to our faux green stems for now.

Posted in Container Gardening, Uncategorized

Another attempt at summer container- gardening for this Black Thumb Gardener

For us, summer requires some sort of gardening.

This will be our fourth annual attempt, and I dearly hope our plants will survive – maybe into early autumn. What I lack in skill is made up in perseverance and enthusiasm.

My kids and I started this project shopping for basic gardening supplies, planters, and vegetable seeds, as well as 2 kid-sized shovels that Ellis refused to part with at the store. When we started filling the planters with dirt, Elliot asked me about the instructions on the seed packets. I nonchalantly told him we’ll do it “mommy’s way.” He sighed loudly saying “NOT AGAIN! They’ll die.”

I admit my response did not model a good learner’s attitude, so we compromised: finish up potting as quickly as possible (I could feel my muscle aches kicking in) and we’ll research together on the computer and munch on afternoon treats.

I knew gardening was not a simple endeavor, but the amount of information and how to’s take it to a whole new level: gardening is science and art intertwined.

Through a field trip to a local nursery and online research, we made some interesting discoveries: nurseries sell live jarfuls of ladybugs and earthworms; we started pretty late in the season for planting seeds; planters need holes for draining and don’t leave plants to sit in full saucer of water; terra cotta planters are heavy and expensive; plastic planters are lighter and cheaper; morning glory seeds, if ingested in large amounts, have hallucinogenic effects; Orchard Supply Hardware will plant your flower for free if you buy a plant and planter at the store.

It’s been one week since we planted our seeds, and yesterday we were surprised to discover little sprouts peeking out of the dirt.

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Look closely and you’ll see tiny green sprouts. The plant was watered right after taking the picture.

We’ll see what happens to the rest of our planted seeds: green pepper, small pumpkin, and basil. To perk up our gardening moods, kids chose one kind of potted flower from OSH to water as their own.

If we are lucky enough to taste our homegrown vegetables this summer and/or save seeds for next time, we will celebrate our mini harvest (another excuse to eat cake). Even if we don’t, I’m happy we tried again.

In any case, my black thumb may become a thing of the past soon.