Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Humming bird feeder

Quite a while back, like mid summer, I took the kids out to spend some gift cards and their allowance. Now, most of the money was gift cards that I had held onto since Christmas for a "Special treat" day. I like the kids to have a day to just go out and browse without too much pressure so spending their money is fun and its a great way to cure the mid-summer "I'm bored."

On this day, Pooka had been asking for a humming bird feeder. I refused to buy one because she had a garden. I figured what did we need with another thing to maintain and that she would forget about. Boy was I wrong.
Pooka's hummingbird feeder
Pooka is nothing if not determined. She wanted a hummingbird feeder, and asked if she could use her money.  I told her it was her money, she could do what she wanted with it, but I had veto power. I wouldn't veto this. Pooka bought this little hummingbird feeder with her gift cards. I made the food from a recipe online. I figured it couldn't be that hard to make. We filled the feeder and hung it by some of the tomato plants.
Her humming bird feeder in place
Yet again, I was wrong. The clear food didn't work as well, since it was still there a couple of weeks later. I will admit when I am wrong so we broke down and bought a bottle of the concentrate. That was gone in a couple of days. It worked like a charm and there were so many things that ate from it. I know I saw a few butterflies and some bees, and it helped Pooka finally see her hummingbird. Hopefully Pooka learned from this that sometimes things are better when you buy them than when they are given to you. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunflowers down, sunflowers down.

This is a little story about how you should be careful what you think about. A few weeks ago I was thinking random thoughts while doing something else, and I said to myself, "Gee, maybe planting the sunflower seeds straight in the ground is the way to go. We have not had a single sunflower fall over this year."

A few days later, another one of windy, blustery storms came through. The next day I walked outside to collect some Chinese 5 color peppers and I saw this outside. 
And everyone hit the ground
As usual, none of the stems broke. One small set of roots pulled slightly out, but not by much, and with the fact the ground was so saturated with water, we were pretty sure we could just push it back down and it would be fine. 
Hi fence, how are you
Some of the sunflowers were laying on the neighbor's fence. Fortunately, they are very nice people and were understanding. They had a few of their own plants go falling over in the storm. The sunflowers themselves seemed in decent shape, even if they were a bit droopy. A day or 2 later (after we bought some more poles) we were able to stand most of them back up. In a day or two I will post the 1st of the month pictures for October, and you can see how we supported them for what little remains of the growing season.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Visitor to the Pollinator garden

Pooka was outside one morning with me waiting for Brother's bus to come. I will say I am still not digging the whole bus thing, but that is not the important part of the story. While I am watching a corner full of kids, Pooka yells "Mommy, Mommy look what I found." Once all the kids are on the bus, I came up and took a look. I didn't see it at first, but Pooka saw something on her milkweed. 

Do you see what Pooka sees?
Well, once I was convinced to get closer and I saw our little friend and went for the camera. Turns out she had a little monarch caterpillar hanging out on the milk weed. I did kneel in the wet grass to take this picture, but Pooka had a new friend in her pollinator garden.  Pooka was so happy her pollinator garden was attracting some new friends. Pooka kept tails on this little guy for a couple of days before he wandered off. She did tell me she saw a hummingbird a few days ago, but it was gone before I got the camera. Hopefully for her this is a sign that more "friends" have found her little garden and are content.
Hello Caterpillar.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Paging Dr. Pooka

I mentioned recently in our monthly pictures that Pooka seems to have developed her own tomato. I don't remember planting a Roma on that said of the deck, and I know I didn't plant anything beyond a standard Roma, so where our purple/black Roma came from, I have no idea. I guess I have a little geneticist as well as botanist in Pooka.
This is a Pooka tomato
 I don't know if you can tell from the picture above how dark the Pooka tomatoes seem to be. These tomatoes are completely ripe and are very tasty, but they are certaintly different looking. I will also say the vine they came off of is very prolific, so we are getting quite a few of them.
Traditional Romas and Pooka
The Pooka roma is a much smaller tomato, but I am wondering if that is due to being on the shadier side of the deck. I will say I do see more Pooka tomatoes on the vine then the regular romas. I will admit I made a point to grab some great examples of the tomatoes to work with.
Traditional Roma Vs Pooka Roma
 You can definitely see the difference in color between a Pooka tomato and a regular roma as well as the size difference. They are both very meaty little tomatoes, which is great for canning. The Pooka plant also seems rather sturdy since it has decided to grow THROUGH our patio table.
Let's see if we can do it again
I will say that I wondered how viable the seeds are. In fact, I am wondering if we can get a tomato that really likes our yard and does well everywhere. Pooka likes the fun colors of them, so Daddy, Pooka and I talked and then I did some research. We decided to try saving the seeds from it and see if we can reproduce our "oops." I will admit we have never saved tomato seeds because frankly the idea of doing it is a bit daunting. You have to put the seeds in water until they ferment and get nasty, then you rinse them and then you dry them and frankly, I didn't know if we could do it, but I can't go buy more Pooka seeds, so we are going to try it. I have 2 different sets of seeds (From 2 different harvests) to see if these work. Now to get to the nasty part then wash them. Only time will tell I guess. Wish Pooka luck on her "Pooka tomato." Who knows, maybe in the future Pooka will be giving away "Pooka Tomato" seeds to family and friends.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lemon, lemon, lime

We got a lemon off our lemon tree. It only took 6 months to ripen, but I guess good things are worth the wait. We ended up using the lemon in a homemade apple pie that we took to a pot luck. Pooka loved telling people she grew the lemon in the pie.
Homegrown lemon
Our lemon tree, Cave, has a couple more lemons that are almost ready to harvest, as well as flowers and some smaller lemons that might be ready by christmas. 
Lots of lemons
Caroline even has a few limes on her that may get to a real size. I would love to be able to say "the lime in dinner came off our tree." We still have not gotten a lime off it in the first year we have had it, but I wonder if that had anything to do with the pot being too small. Now that Caroline has been transplanted into something larger, she is covered in limes. This is even after I pulled a few off in hopes they would get larger. 

I do wonder if Caroline and Cave may need larger pots next year. I think it may depend on how the look after the winter.  That is a decision that needs made another day. For now, Pooka is just enjoying her citrus trees.

Caroline in her pot

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Begining of September pictures

 I will fully admit we have been a bit busy. In fact, we have been swamped with real life. I completely forgot the first of the month pictures for August. This just means that there will be more of a noticeable difference in the garden. That's it, I wanted to show more of a difference.

Pooka's pollinator garden
Pooka's polinator garden is filling out. The plant I left there not knowing if it was a weed or a plant was actully milkweed, so its a good thing I left it. I will admit I need to weed it bit, but its filled out on one side. A few of the last plants we put in didn't seem to do well, so we will wait till next spring and if they do not come back (Since everything in there is a perennial) then we will replace them. Pooka and her friend K go play in her little flower bed daily and pick flowers for butterflies or the birds. Even if it adds more work, its been worth it to see the girls have so much fun.

Garlic bed
The garlic was pulled in July and we replaced it with annual herbs and veggies again this year. We have dill (that is going to seed) celery, parsley and Pooka's black eyed susan sitting in the corner. The living chair has done much better in this spot, however, I think I will need to get another pot of mint to really fill it out for next year. However, in a few weeks we will rip out all of these plants and plant next years garlic. Keeping other plants in this bed after the garlic has been pulled also keeps the weeds down.

Front bed
 The explosion that is the herb bed is out of hand. I dry and I dry herbs, and I cannot keep up. The tarrogon will be divided next spring and sent to new homes, and I will probably get rid of all but one thyme plant. With all the wet weather this year we didn't water as much, and I noticed the top tier was dying from lack of water. This means next year it either needs to be hardier OR I need to remember to water it even when its been raining. One or the other.

Peppers and basil

All of the basil plants are quite happy having flowered completely. Its gotten to the point you can't pull the flowers off. Pooka and I did not put as much energy into that this year and you can tell. The plants still did well, but they are a bit spindly and starting to die back a bit. At least we got our basil jelly this year. More on that another day. The chinese 5 color peppers AKA Death peppers are very happy in their spot. We had to stake them up so they didn't fall over with all their bounty. Daddy is a very happy man as we are drying our own hot pepper flakes and hes begun his talk of siracha-cha again.

The sunflowers are doing very well. We did have a couple that fell over due to being too big, but for the most part, they do not seem to mind having been started straight into the ground. However, not all of the seeds seemed to start, and the plants themselves do seem to be much further behind in producing seeds. This was our last year of using store bought seeds so I am hoping they will produce enough seeds to continue for next year. I do still have some seeds from last year, but I know Pooka loves being able to save her seeds and have Pooka sunflowers. The leaves on the first sunflower are bigger than not only mine or Pooka's hands, but Daddy's as well. Hopefully we can continue saving at least a few seeds.

Corner of nothing
 This is a very sad picture. It had been raining so I pulled everything off the corner stand and put them on the table to get watered. As you can see, the musculin lettuce bolted horrible and our squash in this pot is still fairly small. It doesn't seem to be doing well. The rainbow char just needed a good water. As pretty as char is, we don't seem to eat it, so it will probably be pulled from the garden never to be seen again. We don't plant for pretty around here. Pooka's humming bird hanger is doing well. The flowers just keep getting bigger, however, the cold weather is causing it some issues since it does not have any ground to keep it warm. The lemon tree has a few more lemons about to finish riping and some new ones starting. Although it may need a bigger pot next year.

Long view of the messy deck
Oh the mess that is my back deck. We have lettuce and spinach that has bolted, the tomatoes on the end of the deck by the table have decided to eat the chairs. No one can say I only show the pretty shots. The blueberry bushes and lilac are doing well in their little pots, Although Audrey the morning glory never did do well this year. We got a couple of flowers, but for the most part it has just been a few leaves. I will admit this area looks better today then when I took these pictures at the begining of the month because I started to clear out most of the dead/dying plants for fall. You can't really see from this view, but the lime tree actually has limes that are getting bigger on it, so now I wait and see if we have fresh limes at Christmas.

Onion bed
 As you can tell, 99% of our onions have been harvested. I should of planted something here, but there are a few bulbs we missed. I just recently heard of a variety of onion I can plant in the fall. Our onion crop is generally fairly small onions and we need to expand this crop. I am hoping the fall variety (once I order them) will help with that. These guys will be put in the same bed for 2 years just so I can see if it works and how well. This is where Pooka yells "FOR SCIENCE" . We admit we are learning new things and experimenting on what works.

Brandywine, Rainbow cherry and fireball tomatoes
Tomatoes and more tomatoes. These are the brandywine, fireball and rainbow cherry tomatoes. I swear you should start calling Pooka Dr. Mendel. Somehow in this section grows what we are calling the Pooka tomato which is a purple/black roma. I didn't plant anything like that in the entire yard, so I have no idea where it is coming from. Also, we have fallen in love with the Brandywine tomato. Its a nice meaty tomato but we have pulled some off the plant that are a lb a piece. While it is more a paste tomato, we have used it as slicer, and are considering getting rid of all the Beefsteaks once we run out of seeds.

Tomatoes, Basil, Carnival, long sweets and cubanelle peppers
The tomatoes are rather imposing and eating my deck. The pea plants were eaten by the tomatoes and pulled fairly early. The basil has held its own, but is still fairly small. We still cannot grow a bell pepper to save our lives. I don't know what it is, but they never seem to produce. The long sweets are loving this spot, as are the cubanelle peppers. But the bell peppers we may just give up on for our friendly peppers. The purple peas are very dead in this picture, and should of been ripped out by now. They did not restart when I reseeded them.

Beefsteak, Roma and Blueberry tomatoes with pots
The rest of the tomato jungle. I have had a couple of tomato leaves get singed by the grill, but all in all the tomatoes like this spot. I don't think this is the tomatoes favorite spot, but it works. The beefsteak and romas are doing well but the blueberry tomatoes are exploding, and Pooka loves all the colors they come in. I guess its another time to call her Dr. Mendel since they have grown to multiple colors. We have 2 little watermelons growing in the pots and the raspberries are doing well.

Another year, another failure with corn. It seemed to be doing well in the pot and then a windstorm came through and it was done. I think next year we will try this in a small section of the yard. But unless something changes, I will not be buying more seeds of it. So we have until this packet of seeds dies to figure out what we are doing wrong. Where we live, you go a couple miles in almost any direction and all you see is corn. Really makes you wonder what we are doing wrong we can't grow it around here.

 The tomatillos are doing wonderfully. We are getting a ton to cook with. However, the purple ones only turn purple when they are left on the plant after they split their lantern. They don't seem to last on the plant long enough to do so. This is another plant that will be sticking around, and we may increase what we are planting of it. We will have to see how much room is in the garden next year.

Hot Peppers and Eggplant

The hot peppers and eggplants are doing well. After they got big enough to hold off mr. Bunny. Daddy loves this variety of jalapeno since it grows a large amount very quickly. However, they have been very mild this year (As well as the poblanos). Hot peppers do require hot dry weather to get hotter peppers that we just haven't had. The poblanos make a good substitute for green peppers in most of our dishes, so they will be sticking around for a long time.

Broccoli and Cucumbers
The broccolli has done well. The geometric broccoli is still not producing (So much for that one) but the standard broccoli has done well, even if every single broccoli plant has decided to fall over. I should stake them up, but for now they are okay where they are at. The cucumbers had done okay. They did loads better than last year but not as well as the first year. This location they get some sort of pest that ate just the skin off the cucumbers, but if you peeled them they were fine and maybe some squash beetles because the plant is suddenly dying back. But in the end, we got our cucumbers for lunches and salads and some pickles so we are happy.

Like every year, we have some successes and some failures. But that is what happens in science. Not everything works the way you think, so you keep trying until you figure out what does work.

Friday, September 12, 2014


This is just a sampling of the colors we find in Pooka's rainbow cherry and blueberry tomatoes. I think it is safe to say we eat plenty of different colors here, even if they all come from the same plants.
Colors and more colors
Supposedly the blueberry tomatoes are suppose to be purple/black where the sun hits them and red on the other. But I think we are getting some crossing between the rainbows (which tend to be yellow) and the pink brandywine tomatoes. Either way, it makes for very pretty salads and even prettier pickled cherry tomatoes. And they are all very prolific. These were just the ones we picked for pickling.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Harvest time

This is the time of year I love. The time of year where I finally see where all that effort and money and time went and I get results of our labor. Now generally, we should of been rolling in produce since July, but with the weird weather this year, its taken a bit of time to get things really progressing. In the last 2 weeks, I have been able to walk away saying 'Yep, The garden is producing."

Anyone hungry?
This is the sight that greeted us two weekends ago. That is 15 lbs of tomatoes, over a lb of basil for basil jelly, cucumbers, squash and peppers, oh my. We canned almost all of it in a canning session that took 6 hours, and set off the carbon monoxide detector as well as the smoke alarm. Nothing bad happened, we just were canning with the air on since it was a very hot weekend. Turns out, we put too much humidity in the air and freaked out the detectors. Lesson of the day, can with the windows open. Pooka loves her basil jelly and asked if we could try purple basil jelly as well, so we did. More on that another day. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the finished products, but I will be updating the harvest page and the canning page hopefully when I am done here.

Then last weekend, I wish I had taken pictures. We had 22 lbs of tomatoes and 2 lbs of tomatillos come in since the previous canning, not to mention peppers and things. We were in such a rush to deal with it all because we had a busy weekend and we knew it wouldn't keep another week. Pooka had a trip to a farm that day for girl scouts, so once we got back, it was straight to canning. She had no problem getting in there and handing us jars and lids out of the warm water so so she could do her part. She loves helping us, I only wish our kitchen was slightly bigger so we had room for her.

In the end, Pooka has already taken basil jelly sandwiches to school for 4 days since we made her the jelly. She loves being able to say she made the jelly and grew the basil, and I am happy to have made it with her.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Purple Tomatillo

Pooka finally got her purple tomatillo. It was one of many we harvested over the weekend. 2 lbs of tomatillos that we in turned processed into salsa verde. In fact, we made 5 half pints got were processed so we can have a bit of summer all winter. Pooka was just so excited to see that it was purple, however the salsa still came out green instead of purple. Turns out these little guys only turn purple where the sun hits them.
Purple Tomatillo

In other news, I do have the first of the month pictures that I am hoping to get up this week. The back to school rush as well as the garden finally really producing has made things a bit busier then I expected. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Still here

I promise that we are still here. The science garden is moving along. To be honest, we had left for a vacation, and we returned in a rush to begin school routines and school. We have one whole week under of belt of early mornings, lots of kids and stuff to do , and coming home to the quiet of garden. 

A message from great grandma
As a result, I will be trying to get back to updating everyone here. One thing that has been rather odd  this year is that Audrey the Morning Glory has not exploded as she has in years past. This year, we have only a few tendrils and even fewer flowers so when Pooka got a purple morning glory the morning she started school, we told her it was her great grandmother telling her to have a great first day. She looked at the flower and said "I will have a great day. I love you." before running inside to finish getting ready.

Hopefully things can settle into a routine and I will be getting back to the blog more regularly.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Pooka found something hiding in her watermelon plant. a tiny little watermelon that is getting bigger each day. She is so excited to finally be getting a melon. Now to see how big it will get. This is off Pooka's watermelon plant that we only agreed to since it said it lives in an 18" pot. Otherwise the rule is we don't have space for a melon plant. Good to see it is doing something. Now to keep watching and see if we get anymore.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Making the bed

This year we tried to start most of Pooka's pollinator bed by seed. It didn't work. Either I pulled them all thinking they were weeds, or they didn't come up through the mulch. Either way, her bed was looking a bit empty.
I took Pooka, Brother and her friend E to the nursery one day. I told her I would buy her a couple of plants and she could buy herself a couple of plants for the bed. Pooka rushed to get her money so she could buy what she wanted. We ended up getting quite a few plants. One of the nursery staff asked if we needed a cart, and I said no thank you since the rule is we have to carry what we take out. This prevents anyone from getting too ahead of themselves. Pooka bought herself a hollyhock and a daisy (since she is in daisies after all Mom.)  I then bought another chamomile for the herb garden, as well as a Dragon's head and Carpathian bell plant. 
Nursery run haul
Pooka and I planted them the next day when it was just the two of us. She loved getting to lay them in her garden and dig holes. I will say that can be a challenge since their are some tree roots under her bed from a nearby tree. In the end, she was rather happy with it, and made sure that each plant would attract either hummingbirds and/or butterflies. She will be so upset if she doesn't see a hummingbird this year.
All in

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Three days of harvest gave to Pooka

In the last few days, we have finally seen the garden start to produce. On the first day, it started with a jalapeno, a yellow cherry tomato and a sweet pepper, Pooka swears she has never had the sweet peppers before. I told her it is the same variety we have every year. These peppers like our yard as compared to bell peppers which no matter how many tricks we have, it never seems to do well. I may or may not of eaten the cherry tomato seconds after this picture was taken.
first day
The next day, we came in with peppers. Lost of peppers. We have one poblano and a ton of jalapeno. Daddy says they are not too hot, but they are great for us. I will say jalapeno poppers are in our future, but it was nice to be able to be able to say "I think we need a bigger boat" or bowl in this case. Pooka has grown up with Daddy and I repeating the line from JAWS when it comes to the garden.
second day
The third day of harvest gave to me, 4 cherry tomatoes and a ripe fireball tomato. We were so excited to finally start getting tomatoes. Luckily, I had tacos on the menu, so we were so excited that for dinner that night we were able to use the a garlic bulb (more on that later),  an onion, tomatoes and hot and sweet peppers all in the tacos. It was a very good dinner and the kids love tacos, so they were quite happy to have it.
Third day
Hopefully soon, I can really feel like the garden is giving us it's bounty. It just feels like all of this is so much later then usual. I don't know if it is the cooler weather, or that I may of been a bit late starting some things *cough cucumber cough*, but I will be so happy when I can skip the produce department at the grocery store for at least a few days.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Berries everywhere

Berries have been coming in almost daily. We get our choice of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. While we may not get enough to make jam out of, it has been great seeing Pooka and Brother sharing berries for lunch everyday. Sadly, I think we are just about out of raspberries and blueberries for the season, but at least we got a good snack out of them.  Maybe next year we will get even more.
A small harvest one day of berries and peas. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Plants bought in at the fairy tea

While we where already at the nursery for the fairy tea,  I couldn't help but to make a quick run through the veggie and herbs section. I did have a purpose, we had some sugar peas killing off a pepper plant, and I wanted to drop a basil plant in between to fix the problem. While we were there, this cute little orange pepper jumped into my arms. Because, lets face it, carrying a fairy garden, I didn't have enough to carry. Pooka just loved being able to bring another color into the garden because as she told her friend "Normal food colors are boring."
Sweet basil and orange pepper

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hard days

I try to be honest with whoever reads this and live isn't always full harvests and pretty pictures and memories. Somedays, the memories are good but make you miss the one they are about. This is so very true today. Out of nowhere last night, Pooka asked me to read to her the book "The Next Place." It is a book we got for her when her Great Grandmother died. Then she cuddled up to me and told me she missed her.

I would love to say, I had some wonderful way to make her feel better, but I didn't. Truth is, I miss her too and my being home has reminded me of that. It use to be days like today, Pooka and I would have taken her to run errands, or gone over to visit her and have me sneak chores in. I mean, Pooka spent probably the first 5 years of her life helping to take care of her, calling her so she didn't get lonely, and making sure Great Grandma had her cane.

I woke up this morning missing her as well. The morning phone calls just to chat and give her someone to talk to, and all the little things that drove me crazy when she was alive. That woman taught me patience if nothing else. I went outside this morning to water the new rosebush. We had finally put her sign up, a sign I will be keeping for us, but out of nowhere, we had roses. Lots of roses. Maybe, just maybe someone knows we are thinking of her, or maybe the rosebush is happy, but it put a great smile on Pooka's face, which was something she needed. It was also a lovely color of yellow that I know she would love.
Roses on a rough day

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fairy Garden

A few weeks ago, Daddy and I embarked on a huge project for the house. New floors in the downstairs. This was one of those rare projects that just fights us at every turn and Pooka and Brother were real troopers for the whole thing. They behaved and didn't complain about not getting to do much outside or having to eat out for almost every meal. Brother hates dust and chaos, and this had both, and Pooka was in there trying to help where she was allowed. We were so proud we gave them both something special on a Sunday. Brother went with Daddy for guy time and I surprised Pooka by taking her to the Fairy Tea and Garden Party our favorite nursery was hosting that weekend. 

Pooka had no idea what was going on when we got there, and actually looked at me and said "You could of asked me if I wanted to come." I told her we could leave, and she said "No, I want to be here, but can you please ask next time so I am ready for it." Fair enough my dear. 

A fairy headband
They had a fair amount of girls, and they had pink tea (Pooka had hoped for purple) and fruit and veggies. Pooka even asked the fairy that came to tea, Fairy Kirsten if she knew Green Thumb. Fairy Kirsten did know Green Thumb, but not very well, she admitted. But after Pooka taught the fairy about all the kinds of basil and herbs she grew, Fairy Kirsten told her she would have to call Green Thumb as soon as she got back to her fairy house and get Pooka's address to come visit. Fairy Kirsten even gave each girl their own little fairy headband. Pooka was just happy her butterfly wasn't pink. I am sure she could of swapped if that was the case. 

After the girls had eaten, they did a small craft on making butterflies and they even found some glitter for them. I will admit I cringed at the glitter since I really didn't want it, but Pooka was in a "shiny moment" and was all over it. Once the butterflies were made, they told Pooka if it was okay with me she could make a fairy garden. I had brought a clearance pot just for that, and I let her go to town. The nursery was wonderful and gave us dirt and sand and pebbles and moss, but we did have to pay for the plants and anything else (and gave us a discount as well). Pooka had picked out a cute little fairy holding a basket and a butterfly. She was being a Pooka and was more interested in getting more plants. I swear she couldn't of squished anymore plants in that pot if she had tried. Then Fairy Kirsten came over and asked if Pooka wanted more "Fairy dust" for her garden, and Pooka asked her to fill up the basket the fairy was holding. Pooka was so excited and wanted to carry her garden out. After having seen a couple of fairies not make it to the parking lot, I carried her home safely and Pooka asked to put it on a bakers rack in the kitchen where it is her job to water it. Pooka then asked if we could go back and get a little bunny and an owl for her fairy garden (which I gave into when we went on 50% off weekend). 
Pooka's fairy garden
Pooka had a wonderful time, even if she was shy at first. She has since started making a point to go say hi to all the staff when she is there, since they made it so fun. It is always good to see her learn its okay to talk to people and have a bit of a "girls" moment, and it was a great way for me to say "Thank you for putting up with everything" at the same time.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Replacing the rose bush

Sometimes, things just do not work out. No matter how much love and hope and emotion is in them.  When Aunt S and I went and collected a rosebush from my grandmothers, we had to fight to get the bush. The bush was too happy where my grandmother had planted it and we didn't have enough of a root system. I had feared it wouldn't make it, and when our nursery was doing a 50% off sale, I knew it was time to accept that the bush didn't want to be here without my grandmother. I think I took this news harder than either child. Pooka loved its yellow and pink roses that spoke highly of my grandmother's love of flair. Brother really hadn't invested in it because it was not what he needed. Me well, I hurt worst because in a way I felt I had not only failed her in my inability to keep it alive, but I had failed the children in trying to give them their own little place to remember her. I wanted to give them something to remember her by. 
This is the bush
I finally had to admit defeat when the entire bush would break when it was bent. When I went to remove the bush, I grabbed the base and just yanked. The entire thing just came right out and when I looked at the roots, no new ones had even started. It wasn't going to make it even if I had given it another year.
the new rose
The nursery was doing a 50% off sale, and I took the kids to pick out their new great grandma rose. Pooka wanted something very bright and colorful for great grandma. Brother didn't want to be involved. He has handled this whole situation in his own way and having a rose didn't matter to him. He did love the name of a "Yellow brick rose". He thought great grandma would like that since she had always love children's movies. I liked the fact it was yellow and spoke to her love of COLOR and flair (I sometimes think this is where Pooka got her sense of style).
Proof the rose never took
This is the hole after I yanked the old bush out. I didn't remember planting garlic over there, but apparently I had. You can see how the dirt is barely disturbed from where I pulled the old plant out. As I dug out a new hole, Pooka did wonder if I would find her letter to great grandma. I said that I didn't want to find it since it had been given to her and we shouldn't take it back. She understood that but it did tell me she was handling this like a kid and that she was doing okay with everything.
Bonus garlic
I did take the chance to remove the bonus garlic. The more I thought about it the more I almost remember planting some test garlic on this side just to see what it would do. Apparently they didn't do much since the bulbs were a bit small. But now its bonus garlic to go to our haul of garlic.
The new Great grandma rose
With only a small amount of work, and transplanting one of great grandma's stars, we got the new rosebush in its home. It has done well here and is getting ready to start blooming. Maybe having a rosebush with stars will be enough to remind all of us of great grandma. I know she would love that we are doing something small for her and so her Pooka and Brother can say goodbye.