MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm joining Nature Notes and Our World Tuesday . Got our first winter snow yesterday night (December 28). But, it was not even an inch thick; just a mild dusting. But, still snow is/was here. This is our deck this morning

Harvested some Jerusalem Artichoke from the garden. There are still many, many more left in the garden. This is a fabulous native plant. The flowers look like sunflowers, and when it blooms the whole plant gets covered with such sunflower-like flowers. Bees and butterflies love those flowers, and the plants with such yellow flowers is a scene to behold. Each and every person walking down our street or our neighbors stop, admire and compliment for creating such a beautiful scene. But once the flowers/plant dies, you can harvest all these tuberous roots from underneath to eat raw or cooked. The tubers are full of inulin, one of the most beneficial substance one can take to improve blood sugar, bowel movement, constipation, blood pressure and high cholesterol. The only drawback with this native plant is that it is quite invasive; a tiniest amount of root left in the ground will produce lots and lots of such tuberous root and each tuber will give rise to a beautiful plant and more tubers.

Went to the beach with my babies, and here are some random shots. It was a very cloudy and warm (temperature about 65 F) day.

A sad-looking rose, rose-hips, asparagus-berries and calendula from our garden this week. I'm surprised at those calendula plants. It's supposedly a warm-climate plant but going strong even when temperature dropping to twenty-seven or thirty degree Fahrenheit!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

I saw this beauty on a tree in the backyard. I wonder what it was eating. It took quite a while to eat that -- whatever it was holding in between its paws. I'm linking with Nature Notes and Our World Tuesday.

And then this thief. She or He is an expert acrobat, swings upside-down to grab sunflower-seeds from the bird-feeder and eat. It's sad to see how hard they work to get all their food; and, all we do is destroy whatever little food-source they might have.

I first saw this poem in Michelle's Blog. It resonates with me so much that I decided to steal it from her blog and put in my blog as well. With this poem, I wish all of you a Happy Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year. May the forces of this wide universe, inspiring nature, majestic animals and calming gardens be with all of us.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
By Poet and Environmentalist Wendell Berry

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Wrap of 2015

Another year is coming to an end, and I'm growing one more year younger and wiser. Don't you think that's a much wiser attitude to have instead of lamenting for growing one year older? Anyway, time and age are all relative; in some planets, our earthly years would be equivalent to thousands of years; in another, it will be only couple of days. I'm actually excited that the year is coming to an end as that means that I can start looking forward to spring. But, alas winter didn't come this year; rather an eternal spring is here since October. I hope I get to see this bad anomaly for the first and last time this year. Winter snows fill up our reservoirs and groundwater which not only nourishes us but also all the plants and trees and nature; winter snow kills all the bad invasive bugs. But this year there has not only been no snows but temperature has not also gone down to freezing. It's hovering between 40 and 50 degree Fahrenheit. Such spring-like atmosphere has thrown everything into chaos. Now and then, I see bees buzzing; roses are putting out new growth and blooming; there are still quite a few flowers here and there; everything is still green; some trees which shed all their leaves during winter have not yet shed them. Here are roses, saffron-crocus, honeysuckle and calendula blooming in the middle of December!!!

Here are some blooms that were still blooming till the end of November. It's incredible as being in zone 6 things usually die down by the end of October. I also managed to harvest the last eggplant on November 26 along with many tomatoes!!!

These were some of the many blooms in October. This is a first time in my garden that so many flowers were still blooming throughout the October. Many different kinds of bees are out until the end of October, and my garden was able to provide food for them.
All the blooms due to the fact that I went overboard this year in ordering and planting newer plants. I bought and planted so many perennials that I have lost track of all the things that I've brought. So, here is a partial list:
  • Territorial Seed Company: Golden Jubilee Anise Hyssop, Grosso Lavender, Violet Intrigue Lavender, Provence Lavender, Arp Rosemary, Irene Rosemary
  • Monticello: Black Cohosh, Maltese Cross, Spiny Bear's Breeches
  • Holland Bulb Farm: Blue Eddy Allium, Russel Hybrid Lupine, Mixed Gladiolus
  • Breck's: Baby Joe Mist, Fire King Crocosmia, Fragrant Fire Hosta, Hosta Mixture (10 plants)
  • Burpee: begonia picotee mix, Coreopsis Heaven's Gate, Gaura Rosy Jane, Veronica Charlotte, Sedum Forsterianum Oracle, Sedum Sunsparkler Lime, Sedum Sunsparkler Cherry Tart, Echinacea Sombrero Flamenco Orange, tea-plant
  • Henry's Field: Red Penstemon, Great Blue Cardinal
  • Gurney's: Russian Sage, Spiderwort Mix, Painted Daisy, Hansen's Bush Cherry, Tall Phlox Mix, Astilbe Mix, Hardy Carnation Mix, Helleborus Winter Thrillers
  • Streambank Gardens: Bergenia Winter Glow, Lobelia Fan Salmon, Veronica Incana Silbersee, Lavender Phenomenal, Lobelia Siphilitica Great Blue, Knautia Macedonia Great Knight, Eupatorium Rugosm Chocolate, Agastache Raspberry Daiquiri, Agastache Apricot Sprite
  • Tulip World: Autumn Joy Sedum
  • Prairie Nursery: Smooth Penstemon, Sweet Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Subtomentosa -- now this one is different from just Black Eyed Susan; Black Eyed Susans are biennial; they seems perennial because they re-seed themselves a lot; whereas this Rudbeckia is a perennial and as a matured plant, it will be like 4 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide), Cupplant, Queen of the Prairie, Royal Catchfly, Prairie Smoke
  • Select Seeds: Heliotrope White, Night Phlox Midnight Candy, Tobacco Cranberry Isles, Sea Holly Big Blue, Primrose Cowslip, Cosmos Chocamocha, Verbena Blue Princess, Tansy Isla Gold

I've also planted three more different kinds of roses. The Floribunda Orchid Romance, one of the roses, has other-worldly fragrance -- cinnamon, spices, citrus, lavender -- all beautiful fragrance combined together in this one rose. I've also grown calendula and sweet-pea, from seeds, for the first time. Who knew sweet pea can have such beautiful fragrance and the flowers look so pretty and dainty. I harvested the calendula flowers, and used them in making salve and body oil. And, of course lots of sunflowers were planted that I grew from seeds. I love sunflowers. Also planted tuberose bulbs. Tuberose have beautiful fragrant; the white spikes of flowers look elegant. And the bulbs multiply fast. One bulb will produce at least 3-4 bigger bulbs and numerous smaller bulbs. The only problem is you need to dig out the bulbs in the winter. They will not survive the winter here. Also, I planted out 12 Russian Compfrey. The Russian Comfrey, unlike the other compfrey, will not become invasive. The leaves of the compfrey will be used to make fertilizer. And, I also bought tuberous grafted begonia. The flowers not only look beautiful but they also have similarly beautiful fragrance. And, the plant is perennial as long as you remember to bring it inside the house during winter.
I have also planted more than two hundred bulbs. So, here is the list of bulbs:
  • Blue Star Hyacinth, Aiolos Hyacinth, Andorra Fragrant Hyacinth, Gipsy Princess Hyacinth, Gipsy Queen Hyacinth, Splendid Cornelia Hyacinth, Pink Pearl Hyacinth, Yellow Queen Hyacinth, Mixed Checkered Lily Fritillaria, Persia Purple Fritillaria, Giant Mixed Crocus, Crocus Sativus (they have become my own source of saffron), King Alfred Daffodil, Spring Larkspur, Fire Cracker in the Sky Mixture, Winter Aconite, Woodstock Hyacinth, Mountain Bells Mixture, Carnegie Hyacinth (I hope you are getting the idea that I love hyacinths), quail daffodil, Chopin Crown Imperial, Blue Melody Camassia, Poppy Anemone Burgundy, Free Stargazer Lily, Red Dynasty Tulip and I hope that I've not missed any

Here are pictures of some of the many blooms of 2015. I have not put up pictures of all the blooms as there were just too many to choose from. Many of them were planted this year only. Their gorgeousness will be revealed in coming years, and I'm eagerly looking forward to them. I will put up more posts as they mature over the years. So, please stay tuned to that. I am now growing winter vegetables and enjoying this mild weather. Planning for 2016 will start as the Christmas vacation commences, and I can hardly wait. But it is the season of happiness and rejoicing, spending time with friends and families. I have not only been spending time quality with my friends from all over the world but also spending time thinking about the garden of 2015 -- all the fragrance that I smelled; beautiful blooms that I behold; and enjoyed watching all the critters, animals and birds that came in for food, nectar and nest materials. This is also the season of reflection and quite thoughts. I am joining the Seasonal Celebration hosted by Garden Eye's View and Nature Notes hosted by Rambling Woods.