Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shopping Spree

My aunt Carol gave me a generous Home Depot gift card encouraging more plants for my garden dream. So today I went on a shopping spree.

I added my other Cana Lily in front of the fountain. Oh, how pretty it will be when it grows tall and shoots out another bloom. What a view from the dining room it will be. Behind the Cana Lily, I planted a Big Leaf Philodendron. This will add to the tropical garden theme. Scott decided the Tree Fern (far right) would be too big for the far corner I put it in, so he moved it forward, so it will have more space to spread as it grows taller.

In the dream garden I added a Cape Honeysuckle. I was not able to find too much about it, but said it had fragrant flowers, so sounded nice, plus it was inexpensive :-)

To finish off the tour, I added another Star Jasmine, at the suggestion of mom. Behind the Polka Dot plant, I will train it to vine around the new gate Scott built for the garden. The day after I was laid off from my job, my friend Mildred showed up with these beautiful burgandy Mum's. I finally got them planted next to the Corrie Girls. Now there will be a fun story with this. As I stated in the previous blog, Mildred and Corrie used to be roomates, until Dred married, and now Corrie is a missionary in Italy. So, they may be seperated by an ocean now, but their namesakes are roommates again. Meet Dred's Mum's (Dred is a mommy too- how appropriate)Thank you Carol & Dred!

More Updates

It is hard to see, but I planted an Umbrella plant, between the Gardenia bush and the new fountain. I am hoping to pick up another Cana lily to plant in this area too. In the corner of this area, I planted a Tree Fern. We are looking forwar to seeing how this grows, as we would love to have more in our yard, near the "someday" pond (now a big hole!).
I bought some Narcissus bulbs for the fun of it. I have had such good luck with the Amarillis, that I wanted to try these this year. Keeping on the back porch until they go through their first year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A stroll through my garden

Scott put up a gate for me. What an inviting entrance to the garden.Come on in and lets see what is growing.The Lobelia has started spreading and covering more ground. It looks so lush and pretty. The newest addition, the Canna Lilly has just gone crazy. It is now over 4' tall and surprised me with the most beautiful bloom.
Today I have added a Lace Fern, where the Blue Star Creeper never made it. I am looking forward to seeing how this Fern fares in this spot next to the bird bath.Across from the Canna Lily, I planted an Umbrella Plant (almost lower Rt side of the picture above). I grew up with these plants in our backyard. I remember fondling pulling one out of the bush and walking around with my Parasol.

I love to look back and see the transformation of this hidden area that had such an ugly start.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Wasnt there a movie, where kids were sent to a camp to dig holes all day long, then start again the next day? Scott may not be working for an underground construction company anymore, however, he still likes to dig.

Since the grass is still not doing well, he might as well start digging the pond in the back part of the yard.

He is planning a little island in the middle of the pond.

From the back corner of the yard will be a little stream/waterfall that will feed into the pond. He digs, then he reads. He reads, then he digs. He has admitted this is his therapy.

Monday, August 11, 2008


For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; Plans to prosper you, not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

I painted this window rather amaturish a couple years ago and hung outside the Master Bedroom window. Since the rest of that area was never too appealing, I didnt really enjoy it as I had planned. This weekend, while admiring the process of the garden, I realized this verse, which was the first one that ever spoke to me personally, applies to my garden too. How appropriate.

This weekend we poured out small bark on the path. I wasnt sure what to expect but am rather pleased at how it turned out. Also, more plants were added. Between the surviving Gardenia, 2 small ornamental Pepper plants were placed. At the front left side of the garden, I rescued a Jasmine Vine that was dwindling in the farthest north-east side of the yard. I am praying for life to come back to this vine, for a very scented garden.

Also added to the garden is a Canna Lilly. I fell in love with this plant at the nursery and have been admiring them everywhere I go. Dragging poor Scott back this weekend, was the highlight of my garden finds. Several more small flower plants were placed along the border.

The little rose bush has produced another bud. This is the most it has had in one season ever!

And finally, this will give you the laugh of the day.... Proof that this is MY garden, worked with own hands. Or should I say FEET!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


After no success with the replanted Ivy or ground covering, I splurged and bought some more plants. There are now 2 Mexican Heather which is considered a shrub. After buying I went on line to research and found this: "Mexican heather looks dainty and delicate, but this sturdy little shrub is actually tough as nails. It grows in densely branched, two-foot-tall mounds of slender stems clad in masses of small, oblong to lance-shaped, bright green leaves that are evergreen in frost-free areas. Clusters of tiny flowers—usually in shades of purple, but sometimes in pink or white—bloom all along the stems from spring to fall, or even year-round in mild climates" And even more promising: "Compact, long-blooming and practically problem-free, Mexican heather is truly a treasure for busy gardeners, especially in the hot, humid conditions that can quickly stress fussier flowers." Perfect for this impatient gardner.

The other plants is a HOSTA aka 'Golden Tiara'. For those of you who know me, I LOVE Tiara's and own a couple. The outer leaves are oval to heart shaped, while the inner ones are heart shaped to almost round. Researching this one I found "It literally grows like wildfire (although it doesn't spread like wildfire)." Once again....Promising.

I have decided to go on faith and start adding decorations to the garden. Her is a frog that wiggles with the wind. It is part of my FROG PRINCE collection.

Monday, August 4, 2008


One of our dreams came true. We finally got a fountain for the back yard. I am just thrilled. And it has the Pineapple I wanted. I got a great deal on this, so it stays within my frugalness. It was placed right outside the porch Scott built outside the french doors. It creates a serene setting in the dining room if the doors remain open. We dined on the patio thisweekend and it was so relaxing. I am looking forward to enjoying some wine and appetizers while just chilling down from a rough week.

The sad Gardenia plant is slowly coming back to life. Scott pruned off all the dead branches and leaves. I pulled it up and planted it deeper to spread out the roots. Lets see what happens now.

Corrie girl is going crazy. Just in the last 4 days her blooms have come up bright like the sun. I hope this is a sign of how her days are going in Italy. We pray for Corrie's language studies and ask God to continue to bless her with the Italian language understanding.


Thursday, July 24, 2008


Scott planted in ground sprinklers and watering tubes under the walkway, to water all the plants. They are now being watered each morning during the dogs walk (my reminder to turn on and off).
I am so excited to see some GREEN peaking out of the Gardenia plant that I thought was gone. I am going to give it another week to see if more green appears, before giving it a burial on Lowes.

The Japenese Ariela (sp?) is still hanging in there. At a recent market night I met a nursery owner who shared this info. The first year the leaves may burn if it gets morning sun, however it will flurish during the following years. So I am going to be patient with this little guy!

Speaking of patience. My Aunt, who gave me the advise to scratch the brown branches or stems of a plant to see if there is green under it, thus proving life.... She told me about a book called the impatient gardner. I need to find this book. Either it will give me patience, or teach me about faster growing gardens! HAH!

While I was gone last weekend, Scott added some more detail to the now abundant grass area. He curved out a nice little garden, featuring the original Gardenia plant, shadowed by the female Sago Palm we have. Do you notice her leaves upright. She is just about to drop new leaves. Just under the Gardenia is a little fern that has hung in there since we bought the house. Scott has also planted an underground soaker head near these too.

The space between the Gardenia and back porch is now reserved for a water fountain that I am currently hunting for. This is a gift from my Pampered Chef business. Happy Gardening-- Mindy

Thursday, July 10, 2008


As I stated in my first blog, since I have moved to Redlands, I have had the WORST luck with roses, even trying Miracle Grow. I am happy to report quite a few of our roses are starting to spring to life and a few buds have appeared.
Above and below is the one of the 2 roses planted on the east side of the house. Since we hardly used to visit this area, the poor babies dwindled. Plus they were always attacked by aphids and some other bug that eats the leaves. One finally died this year. This one has hung in there, and this morning I found the first bloom in over 2 years. Maybe all the water it has received revived it? Isnt this bloom just a beauty?!

The above and below rose were planted in front of the house (facing south). They replaced the Hibiscus bush that started dying after we moved in (see? BROWN thumb!). Again, they dwindled away and seemed to be dying. They had very weak blooms. Last weekend Scott put some left over compost over this bed, and look at the beautiful blooms that sprang up this week! The red is a MISTER LINCOLN. I think the lavender is a Silverado.
The below is BEWITCHED! The plant itself has hung in there since we moved in 3 1/2 years ago, but the blooms have been puny and far between. This is the 2nd bloom in a week. The other is in a vase on my desk at work. So pretty!

And look at CORRIE GIRL!! Another daisy has popped up ready to bloom. It is funny, they always face the frog statue. He is the symbol of the FROG PRINCE I married. Maybe he is chatting some encouragement to CORRIE GIRL?
I have to share more about my friend Corrie. When Scott and I were dating, he introduced me to Corrie and her roomate, Dred (short for Mildred). Dred went on to meet and marry Cory. So when talking about Cory or Corrie, we always had to say Boy Cory or Girl Corrie. I prefer CORRIE GIRL! I will now be able to say "HI!" to CORRIE GIRL each morning I leave the house.
HAppy Day-- Mindy

Monday, July 7, 2008


Going through some old shirts this weekend, I found the one that is my "theme" shirt for this garden! My aunt designed the logo. Little did she know I would live up to this name.

The new garden is looking a bit wilty. On Saturday, I went back and added some BLUE STAR CREPPER, which looks like dicondra to me, which is why I decided to try it. Today I read on line about it: "Pratia angulata, also known as blue star creeper, is a semi-evergreen (it may lose some leaves in cold winters), ground-hugging plant that is covered with small, light blue 'star' flowers in late spring to early summer. Plant blue star creeper around stepping stones and along pathways, where it will form a carpet. " I guess I planned that right. I planted these back near the birdbath and fern.
I also planted some BABY'S TEARS to try to get some more green and cooler looking spots. I grew these in my first garden and am hoping the shade will be enough to keep it cool. I really liked how it made the soil very rich too.
The for something a little different and to add some color, I also added some LOBELIA/ SKY BLUE. The internet states: Cascades of dainty sky-blue blooms with tiny white eyes, cover mounded plants trailing to 6-8". Most charming under cool conditions, or shaded in hot areas. Start indoors 8-12 weeks before last frost. Perfect as fillers and edgings, in beds or baskets, from summer to fall." They were spread out all along the narrow edges of the path.

In front of the otherside of the A/C, I added a leafy pink colored plant. I dont recall the name, but am hoping it will grow enough to cover the A/C unit.
Then I went and pulled some more ground cover from our front yard and added it around the tree stump log. The Ivy that was pulled from the yard last week looks like it isnt making it, so going to try another trimming. After planting everything, Scott suggested I drench the whole area, as I had noticed it was pretty sandy under the top layer when I was digging holes. So I set out a sprinkler and saturated each section for 40 minutes. The plants are looking better already.

Last but not least.... I have a good friend who is now a missionary in Milan, Italy. I have heard her mention that she loves GERBER DAISY's. When we first moved into our house, we had a pretty yellow daisy bush, that I mistook for a Gerber. I nicknamed it Corrie's Daisy. Then I really found out what a Gerber was. Last spring at our church's Womens Tea, they let us take home the Gerber Daisy decorations. I ended up with 2, which started to wilt within the first week. About a month ago, I planted the wilted, not much hope of a plant in our front planter. This weekend I have noticed flowers, STRONG flowers peeking out. I am so excited. These are officially now Corrie's daisy! Each time they bloom, I will be praying for Corrie and her work in Italy!
Blessings-- Mindy

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Last fall, Scott tore up the entire back yard. He used CAUTION tape to keep the dogs out of all but one small section left for them to do their "thing". He relaid all the sprinklers, composted the yard, then planted new grass seed.

Slowly the yard started to sprout over the winter. The dogs were anxious to get to the yard, but Scott was very very protective of his yard. No one dared step "human" or "dog" feet on HIS area.

Finally, after a long winter, and many mis-haps of the dog's having to be taken to the local park to do their "thing", the yard was ready to be opened. We had a ribbon cutting, wrapping the ribbon around the dogs, and letting them run free! How beautiful the long grass looked. Our backyard quickly looked like a feild of WILD GRASS, until it's first mowing.

Unfortunatly, within a few months of spring/summer days arrival, the grass started to slowly disappear in patches. At first we thought it was due to the dogs "stuff", but it was too spread out. Scott had planned on planting a SUMMER grass, but I argued for the dogs to not be banned from the yard again. We agreed to start again, this time only fencing off a third of the yard at a time. Scott put up a nicer green fencing this time. No more crime scene for us!! YEH!!

Copying my garden idea, I pulled Mulberry branches from the scrap yard to make a path to my new garden, and Scott tilled around the path and planted a WINTER/SUMMER grass seed, reccomended by the local University of Redlands landscapers. Even torn up, the yard is already looking better.

A week later, we are rejoicing as we see little blades of grass appearing!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


After coveting all the gardens in Sunset Magazine, I have finally decided to jump in feet first and create a garden of my own, at our first house. I am presuming there is a tiny bit of green "finger" left in me from my real "first" garden. When I was single and living in an apartment with a tiny patio and dirt space off the living room, I actually was able to get some green thriving. Starting with some clearance rose bushes, I ended up with about 6 full blown rose bushes, with many colors. Between the roses, I was actually able to plant and maintain some baby tears for a pretty lush green look, along with a few stepping stones to the water spout. I was heartbroken the first time I had to really prune my bush, but after seeing how nice it came back, I pruned with ZEAL the next couple seasons. It was with hope that I replanted the bushes into pots, to take with me to my new married life and town. Sadly I watched the bushes wilt and eventually pass away.

After moving into our first house, I tried to plant again, and once again, met with sadness over the wilted and very spindly vines never thriving again. Did I lose my green thumb? Do I at least have a green finger? I am now determined to start fresh and NOT give up. After all, a house is always changing, right? Isnt a garden to do the same? My encouragers have said "just plant and see what takes", so that is my plan. Being very frugal, I refuse to spend too much money on something that may die. So I have started my plan with a few inexpensive plants.

I have choose the east side of the house, which has approximatly 2 hours of direct sunlight. I even timed it one day and checked every 1/2 hour to confirm. Scott was a great help, but breaking up the soil for me one day, and then bringing a load of manure, covering the yard about 1/2 foot deep. Our poor neighbors! The husband came over to make sure something didnt die in our backyard. HAH! After Scott covered the dirt, I took a shovel and turned it all. The ground is now ready!

June 28, 2008- First planting

My husband has created an ugly arsenal of junk behind our back easement. In my typical frugal manner, I decided to scout threw his piles to use what I could. While trying to decide how and where to lay out a path through my garden, I chose Mulberry branches, from our spring trimmings. They created a nice "natural" path. This helped me decide where to place my 2 Gardenia plants, dozen pink leaved coleus plants and 1 Japanese Aralia. I already knew I wanted the Japenese Aralia to help hide the A/C unit, and the Gardenia's near both the bedroom windows for the blossoms to drift into the rooms. I chose to plant the coleus against the narrow sections outside the path, near the wall or fence.

This got the creative juices flowing. What else can I bring into the garden, staying frugal of course? So I went searching around our yard. I dug up some Ivy, grabbing a couple rootballs. Then I was able to get some fern that grows crazy on the west side of our house, with hardly any water. What the heck, right? Planted the fern against the back of the garden, which gets hardly any sun than the rest of the garden. At this point, I had the bright idea of pulling in the old Bird Bath we inherited with the house, but had to put in hiding, so the dogs wouldnt drink the stale green water. Flashing a sweet smile and flirty eye's (never mind the dirt and mud smeared on me and my face) I coerced Scott into dragging in to the back of the garden for me. It was all I could do to not whine, as he messed up my neatly laid out path :-) After I figured out where to plant the ivy, another creative thought floated up. Back to the junk pile. I found a log, that looked like an old tree stump. Brought it over to the front corner of the garden, and then planted the ivy around it. I am already envisioning this "stump" covered in ivy someday.

Next weekend, I am going to plant some baby's tears back near the fern and bird bath. Plus I want to get another plant to place on the south side of the A/C unit. Now, just water and watch!