Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year in Blooms

If you read my blog on any sort of regular basis, you know I have a flower of the day section where I post a flower that has brought me joy that day.  I may not post everyday, but not a day goes by that I don't pick a flower in my head.  It brings me joy on a bad day, brightens an already sunny day and gives my soul a moment with God as I say thanks for creating such a wonderful piece of art for me to enjoy.  The following are my favorite moments with Him as He walked me in the garden.

January: Snapdragon

February: Saucer Magnolia Tree

March: Columbine

April: Butterfly Bush

May: Peonies

June: Crazy Daisy

July: Celosia

August: Porterweed

September: 'Grandpa Otts' Morning Glory

October: Confederate Rose

November: Fall Color

December: 'Belinda's Dream' Rose

Happy New Year, everyone!  
May 2010 bring you great joy and many blessings!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm Back!

The Christmas tornado has come and gone in my household just like it does every year, and I'm still exhausted from the chaos of the past two weeks!  Back tracking to Dec 22, my youngest son turned 2.  We had a small family get together for him that night.  He had a great time opening his presents and eating his cake.

I made him a Tonka cake.

Proud new owner of a police car!

I spent the next couple of days wrapping up loose ends that needed to get tied up before Christmas.  One of those loose ends was emailing out my Christmas card to family and friends since it didn't get in the snail mail on time!

Christmas Eve marked the beginning of the whirl wind of hustle and bustle that always engulfs the holiday.  We enjoyed six Christmas celebrations between my family and my husband's family.  We left Houston around 4:00 p.m. on Christmas day for my father-in-law's house in Arlington, TX where we got to visit with my husbands brother's and sister who were down from South Dakota.  I also finally got to meet my new nephew Trevin!  We enjoyed the last of their white Christmas with a snowball fight when we got there!

My new nephew Trevin...lil' Cutie-Pie!

I am very thankful that my boys had a great Christmas.  After my husband went 9 1/2 months without a job this year, I am relieved that the year has ended on a good note.  We were able to buy everyone a little something, and not break the bank.  I think I learned a little about budgeting properly!

On Saturday, I decided to go to Grapevine, TX and visit the Gaylord Hotel which has a beautiful atrium of Texas plants.  I want to work there SO bad!  It's like walking into a small piece of heaven!  My brother and sister-in-law went with me just to get out of the house, but were very impressed with the decor and plants in their atrium.

Gaylord Hotel: Looking at the front from the parking garage.

Inside the Atrium: 
This tree is HUGE! ...and it spins around in beautiful glory!

The train sets went rolling along through the plants.

Amber and Ryan

Ryan and Me

Serine ponds

Bird of Paradise

Agave Garden

Beautiful Xeriscape garden

GORGEOUS Poinsettia tree 

Variegated Rubber tree (I regret not taking a cutting!) ;o)


Beautiful tree with Snake plant and Dracena under it

Snow around the Cyclamen outside

Outside the Hotel

We left the hotel and came back home to fajitas and a fun game of Apples to Apples with the rest of the family.  We left Arlington the next morning and came home to the fun of un-wiring all the Christmas toys from their packaging...Do they really need that many wires and screws to hold a tiny toy in place?  It's a bit ridiculous!

So the Christmas season is over, and I am most looking forward to the new year.  I have never been more happy to see a year end than 2009.  It's been rough, but I have learned a lot.  I am most looking forward to 2010 and what it has to offer that 2009 lacked.  I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

I am taking a break from the blog-o-sphere until after Christmas (unless something miraculously moves me to write!)  There's so much to do with so little time!  'Til then, I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas with family and friends and all your hearts desires!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Could Use Some Advice!

I could use some gardening advice from all my blotanical friends.  I have two Orchids that I have kept alive for almost a year now...a miracle, considering I have killed every one I've touched before that!  I wrote a blog post a  couple months ago on how I acquired these Orchids and how I take care of them. I've grown very attached to these plants, and would be pretty upset if something went wrong with them.  About a month ago I noticed that one of them started putting off leaves from the flower shoots.  Soon after that, roots started forming from those leaves.  So, my question is, do I leave them on the plant and have a really cool looking Orchid, or do  I cut them off and start three new orchids (which would be kinda neat to say I did!)? Again, I don't want to harm them, and I'm a little out of my plant element with these plants since I've never gotten this far with any other Orchid!

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Coupon Madness!

This post has nothing to do with gardening, and everything to do with coupons!  I was so intrigued, that I'm compelled to share a story that happened to me yesterday.  I had the day off from work, so I took advantage of the free time and went Christmas shopping for my boys at Target.  I had a whole cart full of toys and was standing in the check out lane when my almost two-year-old started eying the candy.  The lady in front of me said she had a small candy cane and asked if she could give it to him.  I said sure, and we quickly started up a conversation about our kids and what they wanted for Christmas.

She happened to notice that I had a Star Wars Lego set in my buggy and asked me if I had noticed the manufacturer's $5.00 off coupon for that item online.  I said no, and she started digging through her purse to find one since she had an extra from her kids.  I said, "Wow! Thanks!"  She then goes into a spill about coupons and how she hardly ever pays full price for anything.  By this time, it was her turn to check out, and she says, "Watch this!"  She had a cart full of little goodies for teacher gifts, and after the cashier rings everything up the total came to $55.something.

She hands him a "thick" stack of coupons, and by the time he got done scanning them all, he handed her $1.10 back in change.  I was shocked!  I was more than shocked, I was in awe!  I mean I had always heard of people doing this, but to actually see it happen is very eye opening!  I always had visions of spending hours cutting out coupons from the paper, but instead she goes online to and prints them out.  I can handle that! I mean, they paid her to take things from the store! How cool is that?!  I'm on the coupon bandwagon now.  I think she created a mad woman! (or was I already mad?)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Rose!

It snowed in Houston yesterday, and while my yard didn't look anything like Janie's, who is a bit further south than me, we did get flakes coming down almost all day.  It was beautiful to see, but I was far from excited about the weather like most others were.  First of all, my day started out in the freezing cold weather covering plants at the nursery I work at.  I am a heat lover, so I really wasn't very happy about working in the snow, sleet, rain or whatever it was falling from the sky!  Second, all I could think about was how long I have to wait until Spring arrives when everything looks pretty again.  I really don't know how people in the north survive!

The snow coming down.

Snow accumulating on the Cabbage

And a little bit on the planter box fence at work.

I don't think the Ginger is going to be very happy!

The snow melted right away which left us with icy conditions as the temps continued to drop into the low 20's.  This is what I woke up to this morning...Jack Frost blanketing everything.

Red Crane Cabbage


Butterfly Weed

Belinda's Dream Rose:  She looks so sad!

Double Knockout Rose

Blue Porterweed

Sweet Potato Vine

'Anne Marie' Lantana

I've heard it's going to be a hard winter here. Seeing how we normally don't get a hard freeze like this until January, I think they might be right!  I can't wait until Spring when everything returns to its full glory, and the butterflies come back to play!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spring Propagating Has Begun!

Its been a very slow day at the nursery today.  The weather brought a cold front with rain in two nights ago which scared away the landscapers.  I do enjoy days like this every once in awhile though because it gives me a chance to re-group, catch up on paperwork, and since it's nearing the end of the season, look forward to Spring growing.  We've been researching new plants for the Spring season and the propagators in the back have been cutting stock plants all day for our Spring crop.

We've increased inventory items like this awesome Cuphea:

The bees have LOVED this plant all Summer!

And this AWESOME 'Mona Lavender' Plectranthus. We couldn't keep these in stock this season!

Beautiful Neon Purple blooms with purple foliage!

Golden Thryalis is a no-brainer for bright summer color!

LOVE this shrub!

Creeping Jenny is a top seller ground cover for us: Lysimachia aurea

I Love this one in between stepping stones!

This is another great groundcover we'll have in the Spring- Pink Buttons - Polygonum capitatum

The little buttons are too cute!

Euryops is a great showstopper constantly blooming since Spring!

Bush Daisy: Euryops

This one just started blooming a couple weeks ago, and will bloom all winter for us: Panama Rose

The scent at night is heavenly!

Salvia greggii loves our heat in the summer.

This is one of my favorite Salvias

Of course we are propagating many more plants, but these are just a few of my favorites.  I've been flipping through seed catalogs and books looking for more Spring ideas.  I'm focusing on warmer days ahead since our first freeze is coming this Friday night.  Have I mentioned I hate cold weather? Because I really do!

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