Monday, May 22, 2017

Balcony Blooms

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.
(Liberty Hyde Bailey)

Aptenia cordifolia a/k/a heartleaf iceplant or baby sun rose.
... great ground cover, easy to propagate, tolerates infrequent watering.
The Hibiscus flowers best in temperatures between 60-90 F ... since we are already at 100 F during the day, and by next week will reach 115, I am going to have definitely move my plant to another location.  Last years's red hibiscus did not survive the extreme summer heat.
Moss Rose, native to South America. flowers in early summer and is able to survive in areas of heat and drought.
Thai Basil is left to flower and used as ornamental plants in the garden.  The bees love them and the best thing is they self-seed.  I have volunteer basil popping up all over the place which makes me very happy.
Another very good self-seeder is Vinca Catharanthus Roseus a/k/a Madagascar Periwinkle.  Human impact on the forests of Madagascar has caused dire consequences, yet the periwinkle has been able to survive.
Tradescantia Pallida, Purple Heart ... sold here as an outdoor plant which is where I've always had it.  Turns out it is great as an indoor plant, too.
Bougainvillea, a thorny flowering vine that is a native of South America so does very well in warm climates.  The leaves change colors and are the bracts that surround the actual flowers which are white, usually three clustered together.
  Being involved with The Secret Garden these past couple of years has sparked my interest in getting to know my plants.
I even grabbed this colorful child's board book from the pediatric playroom (they are constantly weeding out the donations they receive and this book made me smile).

"May flowers bloom in all corners of your world,"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Potted Plants

I've never joined in on Michael's Scribble Picnic before, but follow Wanda and Serena who participate weekly.
Today when A Lil' Blog on a Dotty Hill Somewhere popped up in my sidebar, I thought it ironic that the theme is potted plant, since yesterday I doodled that very thing.
I always say I will doodle every day, but never seems to happen.
Since we are on the theme of potted plants, I took some pictures around the house.  Above is a ZZ plant (Zamioculcas Zamifolia).  
I have a diary where I do write down notes from my day, anything new I learn, or quotes and inspiration.
 
Dracaena Fragrans a/k/a a Corn Plant.
A view of some of my potted plants on the outside and avocado leaves on the inside reaching for the sun.

The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence.
The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence.
Silence gives us new perspective.
Mother Theresa

Currently listening to the soothing music of Ani Choying Drolma.
Have a peaceful day.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Interactions and Affirmation

A garden is a public service and having one a public duty.  It is a man's contribution to the community.
-  Richardson Wright, Truly Rural, 1922 - 

Today I went to The Secret Garden to see how things are faring since we were there on Saturday.
Are you sick of garbage yet?
Yeh, me, too.  Unfortunately, it is a part of my life anytime I step outside the house.
The good news is I only had to pick up a grocery bag's worth.
It's easy sometimes to get discouraged when gardening in a public space.  My friend, Rene, made these beautiful hanging decorations for the shed that we hung up a couple of months ago.
Unfortunately, those dangling decorations became too much for someone's hands to resist.
And more recently, one of the crocheted bench backs was burned off by boys who smoke.
But I have to admit, that almost every single time I am at the garden, I have a positive encounter with a stranger.  Someone who comes over and asks questions because they are curious about what I'm doing.  Today two separate ladies stopped to talk with me.  We had great conversations and they were very grateful and encouraging.  It is those types of interactions that affirm my belief that we truly are making a difference out there, little by little.

The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world.
-  Charles Dudley Warner -

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Beach Walk

Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something.
Sylvia A. Earle

Yesterday I took a walk along the beach just up the road from where we live.
There's been a big outcry from the community in the past week and a half after large amounts of dead catfish and rotting seaweed washed ashore.
Sadly, there's still signs of the disaster.
The controversy continues as to why and how it happened.  So much so that the government has scheduled an open meeting for tomorrow so that citizens, who are blaming pollution as the cause, can ask questions and hopefully get some answers.
There are trash cans all along the boardwalk yet irresponsible individuals still choose to leave their plastic litter everywhere along the beach; and that, along with styrofoam, has become an environmental nightmare all over the world.
Of course, litter isn't the cause for the huge fish kill.  However, Kuwait has no natural source of potable water so it relies on costly sea water desalination to provide water to the country and, sadly, I see that water frivolously wasted every single day.  Conservation and recycling efforts in the past weren't successful, but at some point, change is going to have to happen.
For each of us, then, the challenge and opportunity is to cherish all life as the gift it is, envision it whole, seek to know it truly, and undertake - with our minds, hearts, and hands - to restore its abundance. It is said that where there's life there's hope, and so no place can inspire us with more hopefulness than that great, life-making sea - that singular, wondrous ocean covering the blue planet.

(Carl Safina)

Hoping your Monday is a good one.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Season's End

Yesterday was our official last day of the season at The Secret Garden.
The first job at hand is always picking up garbage.
From an aesthetic point of view, it sure makes a difference when litter is in its place.
We cleared some of the beds of plants, like these peppers, and potted them up for volunteers to take home.
Sunflowers were planted late and are just now blooming.
We left the eggplant.
And for the first time have watermelon growing so will see how it fares the summer.
A large sign is being made for the compost pile to encourage the community to bring their scraps in. We are hoping to have some nice compost ready for the next garden season.
Even though gardening is over, our group still plans to check on things over the summer, making sure trees and plants are getting enough water.  And since I (unfortunately) won't be traveling to the States this year, I'll be one of those people.

Sunday blessings,

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cactus Revival

The photo below was taken last year, April 22, 2016.
A big, beautiful prickly pear that I would always pass on my walks around the neighborhood.  And every Spring, I looked forward to the time when its yellow blossoms would appear.  The bees liked them, too.
However, this year I noticed that the cactus was surrounded by lots of garbage that no one was ever clearing out.  Then one day, much to my dismay, I found that the whole thing had been pulled up and thrown into a heap.
Amazingly, after a couple of months, despite being uprooted, discarded and neglected, I discovered that new pads had started to form.
And some of the old parts that were near the ground had started to root themselves.
Each time I walk now, I bring a piece home.  The one above I left in my bathroom on the shelf over the sink and was surprised to find that it had sprouted a new little pad, too.
One of the bigger pieces I brought home had two buds on it and just this past week, I was blessed with one beautiful yellow blossom.  It only lasted for a day and I'm still waiting to see what the second bud will do. 
Fortunately I always have my crochet version that will forever bloom.
Pattern can be found at Paper & Landscapes

Have a fabulous Friday!

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