Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ramses III of Egypt and Early Flower Pots

Originally uploaded by dalbera

La tombe du Prince Khaemouaset (VdR 44) dans la Vallée des Reines (Thèbes ouest, Egypte)

Wow, I just learned that flower pots are documented back to the time of Ramses III, Pharoah of Egypt, as long ago as 1230 B.C. Scholars call Ramses III creative and an innovator, and the last of the great Pharoahs.
Born in 1198 B.C. when Egypt enjoyed security, Ramses built many temples and palaces, including the famed architecture at the much visited and admired Abu Simbel. He used earthenware flower pots in the 514 semi-public gardens that he established.
His gardeners filled the pots with colorful flowers and shrubs, and with papyrus plants, which was a break in tradition with Egypt's formal gardens.
Ramses III had the pots set along walkways in temples and gardens, which makes me think that he had a bit of the gardener's soul in him.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Peruvian Lilies are great for bouquets

Originally uploaded by that.girl

Peruvian lilies last a very long time in bouquets, especially when picked from your garden.
I admired my friend's Peruvian lilies, and bought a plant a year ago, and last month a friend dug up her lilies to move them and gave me a nice big clump, so I feel very rich indeed.
They come in many colors, often with a yellow or pink tone and with speckles, and there are also red and bronze varieties.
I keep replacing the roses in the vase of flowers on my kitchen table but the Peruvian lilies persevere, bless them.
These perennials (Alstroemeria) grow from one to four feet tall, with most growing to two feet in height. Plant the roots 6 to 8 inches deep. Recommended for zones 7 to 10, they are winter hardy if planted at the proper depth and mulched. Give them partial shade in hot summer areas and more sun in cooler areas, and plenty of water in spring and summer.

Some gardeners say these plants are invasive, even spreading into lawns, so keep that in mind. One of my two clumps is planted in a HUGE container, so that may be a good way to grow them, especially in mild climates.
I predict you will enjoy these flowers.
If you have any Peruvian lily stories or tips to share with us, please leave a comment.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot June is Time for Planting More Seeds

Originally uploaded by kimberlyfaye

Now that the soil and air temperature is hot, many seeds will thrive if you plant in June and July. You may fear it is too late for seeds, but it is an ideal time to plant for second crops.
Zinnias, marigolds, nasturtiums, cosmos and sunflowers can be planted in June and July.
For second vegetable crops plant beans, summer squash, beets, Japanese mustard, and carrots from seed.
Basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and sage will also do well now, so go ahead and plant this week. More power to you, my gardening friends.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My summer treat is Dreyers Coconut frozen bars

Dreyers ice-cream delivery truck
Originally uploaded by jitze

In the interest of good health, I avoid an excess of sugar, and have discovered something delicious that has only 15 g of sugar per serving. That isn't too much sugar when I am careful the rest of the day.

My recent discovery is Dreyer's frozen fruit bars in the Creamy Coconut flavor.
It has tiny flakes of coconut in the bars.
My husband and I enjoy this treat, and one of our cats always asks for a taste, when we are done.
Well, Big Boy the cat asks immediately but he has to wait a few minutes till we are done.

I see that each bar has 120 calories. There are other flavors including lime and strawberry but it is coconut as the winner at our house.

What is your favorite summer treat? Please share it here so we can all be intrigued and tempted to make a purchase, make a smoothie in the blender, or create a cobbler.
Do tempt us all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Winner of Night Watchman and my review of Horse Heaven

Trees and Gold
Originally uploaded by mikeyqnn

The winner of The Night Watchman is "Kim and Victoria" and I mailed them their copy Monday. I enjoyed this mystery and admire the author's writing and plotting skills and hope they do too.

Have you ever fallen in love with a book? This is so rare, and it happened to me a week ago. I bought a copy of "Horse Heaven" by Jane Smiley, and walked right in to the world of horses and horse racing, trainers, owners and jockeys. This novel is so well crafted that it is a pleasure to read, and I am almost sorry I finished reading it.

This is a rather long book that does not seem long and its chapters are very short and self contained so you can read one chapter and put it down and easily pick up where you were. However, what happened to me as a reader is that I would read a chapter, then just one more, and 10 chapters later would finally put the book down.

Jane Smiley has somehow successfully gotten inside the head of horses, and conveys to us how each horse perceives the world, and thoughts that it has. She is obviously a student of horses, and does own a few race horses.

The horses' names and lineages are fascinating. Who wouldn't love Justa Bob, Limitless, and Mr. T, especially since we get insights from them as they view the world. Look for Elizabeth who calls herself an animal communicator and who reads the minds of horses.
Many owners are ultra rich and Smiley provides us fascinating glimpses into their worlds, motivations, and marriages.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Garden stepping stones created by friends

Friends of mine secretly met and created 6 masterpieces of pique assiette, 5 garden stepping stones and 1 lovely flower pot with a ceramic parrakeet on it.
This photo shows the five stepping stones and in the upper right the gorgeous pot with the yellow bird perched upon it.

Pique assiette is that method of using broken pieces of pottery and plates, embedding them in cement, to create a garden step stone or pot or bird bath. That has always sounded like fun to do, creative and therapeutic at the same time, as you break pretty plates to create the broken pottery pieces to embed in the cement.

Now my husband and I are planning a way to set all the 5 step stones in our garden, right at the edge of our patio where they will shine in all their glory.

We decided to lay down two layers of a tough fabric and a softer fabric, which will stop weeds from growing through and allow water to filter through.
We bought 21 red cement paving stones, 12 inches square, to set next to the artistic stepping stones, on each side and between them.

The red pavers are less thick than the handmade stepping stones, so we will set them on a bed on large redwood chips, to lift them to the same height. This is our plan.
When completed I will share a photo on this blog for all my readers and friends to see.