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Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

The mood here in the garden is one of happiness and hope this week…

A bonanza of citrus!

A bonanza of citrus!

Following a nearly 9-month job search; (which was sadly sidelined for 3.5 months to recuperate following the shattered ankle) this gardener is finally rejoining the world of the gainfully employed masses! The new job; an administrative position for a company here in Oakland, CA, starts Monday, May 12th. I am looking forward to getting into a steadier income stream so I can rebuild some savings, pick up the occasional addition to the patio garden, and save up for some much-needed upgrades for my bike.

Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom

Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom

Miss Gretchen should be quite happy to again have unfettered run of the house during the days while I am work. The one benefit of my unemployed stint was that she and I had plenty of time to bond with each other; a process and time which both she and I definitely needed. Miss G has been spending most of the sunshine filled days of the past week lounging out on the patio,  trying her best stealth cat impression by hiding under one of the patio chairs or tucked in behind a planter awaiting a mistake by the local fauna. I don’t have the heart to tell her that ALL of the critters KNOW that she is out there and keep their distance accordingly; which is for the best, I don’t want her hurting any of the local critters. Thankfully, she is not the super stealthy huntress that her genes would suggest; so either way, the critters are usually pretty safe regardless of where she is hiding.

Miss Gretchen Enjoying the Shade of a Patio Chair

Miss Gretchen Enjoying the Shade of a Patio Chair

Lazy days; it's good to be a cat!

Lazy days; it’s good to be a cat!

The mini heat wave we had here in the Bay Area last week were just the ticket to spur my Arkansas Traveler tomatoes first significant growth spurt! I will be thinning out the tomatoes this weekend and working on stringing together a trellis of twine for the plants to wrap themselves around and support the bounty of tomatoes in July and August!

My little seedlings will soon be reaching for support

My little seedlings will soon be reaching for support

Almost time for a second thinning of the seedlings

Almost time for a second thinning of the seedlings

Almost time for string trellis

Almost time for string trellis

My second Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom of the season tolerated the heat just dandy; however, it was the winds which followed the heat which proved to be too much for her. I went out to water the patio this morning and found that the wind gusts must have snapped her stalk!

All I can say is: Grrrrr!! Foiled Again!! Oh well; even though she only lasted about a week after flowering, it was great having such a beauty to look at while I fiddled with the patio.

My second Amaryllis flower

My second Amaryllis flower

Dueling Amaryllis

Dueling Amaryllis

Wind damage; an early end for Miss Amaryllis

OUCH!!  Wind damage; an early end for Miss Amaryllis

The Pacific Giant Blue Primrose have set out a flurry of their delicate blue/yellow flowers. There is apparently no weather which the primrose do not love and thrive in!

Pacific Giant Blue Primrose

Pacific Giant Blue Primrose

Elsewhere out on the patio; my little wandering fuchsia continues her steady crawl toward the edge of the patio table. I wonder if she knows where she is heading? I guess she will figure it out; of course, I will be there to lend a hand if need be.

My creeping fuschia

My creeping fuchsia continue to explore

My dainty little purple daisies continue to creep over the edge of the patio’s big round planter; having more than quadrupled in number over the past two-weeks. I wonder if they will follow the Snowflake’s (Bacopa) lead and self-seed themselves into a nearby planter? I suppose that time will tell…

Solitary Daisy Enjoys the Morning Haze

Solitary Daisy Enjoys the Morning Haze

Daisies continue to pour from the Calla Lily/Snowflake planter

Daisies continue to pour from the Calla Lily/Snowflake planter

Outside of the Garden; I made a somewhat radical change/upgrade to my beloved bicycle; Il Toro~Blu. I had the opportunity to pick up a new frameset for her; so yesterday I spent a few hours swapping out the heavy hi-tensile steel frame and forks for the new lightweight 55cm Specialized Langster aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork. The switch shed 8-lbs from the bike; leaving the new setup a rather svelte and lean 17.5 lbs.

Il Toro~Blu - then

Il Toro~Blu; then…

Il Toro~Nu

Il Toro~Nu; now…

I took her out for a 15-mile shakedown run this afternoon and I gotta say; climbing hills on the lighter frame was much, much easier than I remember the same hills being hauling the steel frame up them. Is there a real difference or just a psychosomatic response? I don’t know; however, the new set up definitely feels more nimble. All that is left to do is get the color scheme in order – the blend right now of blues, silvers, and blacks with slight touches of red is just a wee too busy for me. I suppose I could just paint the bike’s new frame and call it a day; or I could slowly replace parts over the coming months which follow a Silver & Black scheme and move the old blue themed parts back to the old frame as I go, which would be good as it means ending up with two bikes! Until then, Il Toro~Blu’s frameset will be a wall hanger – awaiting her rebirth.

Il Toro~Blu awaits rebirth

Il Toro~Blu awaits rebirth

Finally today; Mr. Hydrangea and his cohorts appear to be feeling a bit pinkish this season. I was hoping for blue/purple; however, pink is just fine as well.

Budding Hydrangea

Budding Hydrangea

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!!

~ Noah

 

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The title pretty much sums up my gardening mantra as of late! A couple of days of torrential downpours; then a couple of days of sunny and warm weather; only to retreat back under grey skies heavy with much-needed rainfall in our drought threatened State.

The garden; as always, takes the changes in stride.

The gardener; is learning to get used to it.

The Calla Lily have finally pushed through Snowflakes foliage

The Calla Lily have finally pushed through Snowflakes foliage

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As you may have seen online or; gasp, read in an actual paper newspaper, or maybe heard some faint mumblings during a local news broadcast; the state of California is in woeful condition when it comes to water. With nothing near the expected rainfall usually seen from New Year’s Day to February 1st, California’s reservoirs, which dot the state here to there, have seen reserve water levels continue to drop to what is now becoming an honest to goodness drought emergency situation.

At least these three will not have to worry about water

Thankfully; these three will not have to worry about droughts

Having lived in California since 1975; I have seen my fair share of droughts and let me tell you; they suck, each and every one of them, just suck. Water rationing is strictly enforced here in California; which means excess water use is strictly verboten. Excess watering usually includes routine chores we take for granted; watering the lawn and garden, washing your car, cleaning / filling swimming pools, etc., will stop being routine this year. The lawn and garden watering issue  also comes with its own potentially big problem; dry grass and dead plants that quickly turn into fresh tinder waiting to be introduced to a spark. Yep, like I said, droughts suck.

Will this hydrangea grow-up or fade away from drought?

Will this hydrangea grow-up or fade away from drought?

There will many gardens facing a very long and thirsty spring should we continue with these dismal rainfall totals. I still haven’t had the heart to break it to my garden friends yet. Today, the patio is awash with Primrose flowers opening in various planters scattered around the rectangular patio. There is also a seemingly endless fall of dainty white Snowflakes cascading down and around the three-shelve plant stand I rescued from a recycling bin last year. Seeing as all of my plants and flowers are happy and oblivious of what is coming; I have decided to wait and see what happens before I break the bad news to my patio family!

New Primrose Greet the Mid-Day Sun

This Primrose can’t be bothered with drought talk

Snowflakes continue to fall all around the patio

Snowflakes continue to fall all around the patio

Thankfully; today we received a promising sign, the start of a predicted week-long rain storm. Now, the rain that is coming down isn’t exactly a deluge of biblical proportion; and I have not yet been tempted to start gathering animals and figuring out what a ‘cubit’ translates to in modern measurements, but it is at least a good start to reducing the severity of the state’s drought woes.

I have always liked primrose when they are saturated

I have always liked primrose when they are water-logged

A soggy primrose; right now, is a happy primrose

A soggy primrose; right now, is a happy primrose

Hopefully, today’s rain will be an omen for another drought; my drought on finding gainful employment, now dragging on into its sixth month! I have reached that point where I have had to reverse where I stood on the issue of; ‘what I want to do‘ for a living vs. ‘what I need to do‘ in order to survive the next couple of months. The field of jobs is now open to anything; from office management to the old stand-by; a prep/line cook position in a local restaurant, I have bills to pay and a cat to feed!

Bright Blooming Flowers Hopefully Signal Bright Future Ahead

Snowflake continue to fill the patio with tiny white flowers

What else is going on? Well not very much actually. I put my road cycling adventures on temporary hiatus to focus squarely on searching for a job to get me through the coming months. I have signed on with five temporary staffing agencies, which even if the employment is not full-time, at least contracting will get some money back into the bank account, the creditors to stop calling, and me on the track to normal life v. 3.0.

Il Toro-Blu Waits for His Turn to Run Free Again

Il Toro-Blu Waits for His Turn to Run Free Again

The Euphorbia Prepare to Sow Her Seeds

Meanwhile; Miss Euphorbia Prepares to Sow Seeds

I had to touch on what was for me the highlight of the past week; the February 4, 2014, Evolution vs. Creationism debate pitting Bill Nye, The Science Guy, vs. Ken Ham, Founder of the Creation Museum.

Science: For the Win!

Science: For the Win!

Since first learning about the debate a month or so ago, I have read a wide array of opinions regarding the merits of this debate. The majority of the science community generally agreed that the debate was not the best use of Mr. Nye’s time and overall just a bad idea; some commented that Mr. Ham was a much more skilled debater and that debates are won more with conviction than with facts; others noted that the Science Community had nothing whatsoever to gain from this debate; and nearly every opinion thought that the idea of the debate being held at The Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, was a really bad idea.

Thankfully, The Science Guy allayed any fears with the head-to-head debate. Bill Nye methodically ripped through the ‘creationism‘ theories scientific merit easily and thoroughly. The best evidence Mr. Ham had was that “there is a book, it’s called the Bible” and if it says so in the bible, it happened. Needless to say; creationism did not pass the scientific test by any means! Thank you Science Guy!

Did the debate actually make a difference? My thought is that is probably did nothing to sway the creationism hardliners; but if just one ‘on the fence‘ family will now allow their children to understand real science then in my book it was well worth it.

A Blue Primrose Joins the Party

A blue primrose opens to reveal her magnificent yellow heart

I leave you today with a trip back to 1986; my hair was longer, my stress levels were considerably less than they are today, and I had still not realized the joys of simple things, like gardens. I dug this photo from a pile of miscellaneous paperwork as I was cleaning the house last week and decided to post the photo on my Facebook page for #Throwback Thursdays. This photo serves as a reminder to me that things turn out okay in the long run and that I am just a gardener who has played many different roles at different times in my life; however, at the end of the day I am still just as young and free as I allow myself to be.

Today is today; tomorrow is tomorrow; today I guide myself to a better tomorrow ~ Peace!
Misc_Feb06 047

Just a humble future gardener; yours truly, Age 17

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Happy Holidays from the Garden

As the year 2013 winds itself down; I reflect on what was an interesting year and one which I am going to remember for many reasons. I close the year with a few lingering uncertainties; yet, I plan to begin the New Year with a positive outlook, walking (finally) on two feet, and in general good spirits. I look forward to a great year to come.

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

Of all the happenings this year; it is the broken ankle that I think will live with me the longest amount of time. Not just the scar; which will serve as a reminder that I am not immune to injury, but just how humbling an injury like mine can be. I have always been a confident; sometimes to a fault, person and all to often ‘caution to wind’ was a recurring mantra; however, I am learning that ones journey through life should indeed be fun and free-spirited, yet the paths should be tread carefully and with more than the moment at mind.

Ouch! However, getting much better.

Ouch! However, getting much better.

I always look for silver linings in everything and from the ankle injury came the realization (or reminder) that I have a very strong and resilient personality when I set my mind firmly on a specific goal or task. This was definitely the case with my rehabilitating the ankle to regain as close as I will likely get to full range of motion following surgery on October 5, 2013. It was not without A LOT of hard work; including, exercise, maintaining a proper diet, following my doctor’s advice, and a non-stop regime of at home physical therapy and indoor cycle training as soon as I was cleared by my physician.

With hard work; rewards often follow. My reward: Getting the bike back on the road on December 15, 2013 and already putting about 70-miles behind me!

Il Toro~Blu again stretches her legs and runs!

Il Toro~Blu again stretches her legs and runs!

Dec. 23td Ride; I Am Back on the Road!

Dec. 23td Ride; I Am Back on the Road!

The garden continues her slow transitioning into a dormant land of hopes for next year’s garden. A few stubborn holdouts refuse the call to sleep and dot the patio with glints of bright color here and there. Mainly, my primrose plants continue their blooms unabated by weather and cold temperatures. The primrose must be being kept warm and happy by the lone Dragon still in residency on the patio!

Winter Primrose

Winter Primrose

Blue Primrose provide lovely dots of needed color

Blue Primrose provide lovely dots of needed color

A hardy Dragon lurks the Patio

A hardy Dragon lurks the Patio

Interestingly enough; I also have one lone strawberry that is trying her best to ripen! As far as a harvest, it might not be much to write home about; however, a tasty treat would be welcome if I can get it before Mr. Squirrel does!

Almost!

Almost!

Shutting the door on another year; I am thankful for many things: My wonderful family of course, the few good friends I am blessed with, my general good health, and of course, my sweet cat; Miss Gretchen. She has definitely made my apartment feel like home and rekindled some very needed energy that was lacking in the home.

Miss Gretchen stalks her outdoor lair!

Miss Gretchen stalks her outdoor lair!

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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The Feline Retention System (FRS) I installed this past weekend to keep my cat Gretchen contained to the safety of the patio garden here at Casa de Froio has been a rollicking success thus far! We currently have a better escape-proof track record than Alcatraz! Sadly, Miss Gretchen is not at all convinced that curtailing her movement was the best option available. Apparently; she is still in early stage denial and refuses to see the larger picture right now. Understandable.

Here is hoping her outlook will brighten soon!

Here is hoping her outlook will brighten soon!

Miss Gretchen is definitely still interested in venturing out onto the patio; however, since the FRS install she rarely ventures further than the sliding glass door. I catch her just looking up at the fence and then looking at me; as if asking where the new door to the world is. The one fact that soothes my soul during her time of turmoil is that I now know that Miss Gretchen will no longer be party to the wholesale decimation of our native wildlife.

Miss G; the Jungle Cat!

Miss G; the Jungle Cat!

In January 2013, the website The Huffington Post ran a story with the findings from an August 2012 University of Georgia study, produced in conjunction with the National Geographic Society, which estimated that free-ranging domestic cats kill about 4 billion wildlife animals annually, and of those, 500 million are native birds. During the study, researchers attached video cameras to 60 cats and monitored how free-ranging felines spend their time. What they discovered was disturbing to me to say the least. The research footage showed that one-third of a cat’s day outdoors is spent killing smaller creatures! I knew that cats were essentially just pint-sized versions of their larger wild relatives and that they hunted; I just never realized how massive the scale of their predation actually was.

The tipping point for me to make the decision that Gretchen was either going to be an indoor cat or a restricted movement indoor/outdoor cat was a report prepared by the American Bird Conservancy. The report; DOMESTIC CAT PREDATION ON BIRDS AND OTHER WILDLIFE‘. included facts and figures gathered from various studies of free-ranging domestic cat predation in the United States. One of the areas their report highlighted is literally in my backyard; the East Bay Regional Parks District; home to a vast array of unique and wonderful wildlife and it also just happens to be one of my favorite places to ride my bicycle. I definitely did not want to put the regions wildlife in danger by allowing my cat to roam free.

Following is the East Bay entry in its entirety:

‘East Bay Regional Park District, CA:
A two-year study was conducted in two parks with grassland habitat. One park had no cats, but more than 25 cats were being fed daily in the other park. There were almost twice as many birds seen in the park with no cats as in the park with cats. California Thrasher and California Quail, both ground-nesting birds, were seen during surveys in the no-cat area, whereas they were never seen in the cat area. In addition, more than 85% of the native deer mice and harvest mice trapped were in the no-cat area, whereas 79% of the house mice, an exotic pest species, were trapped in the cat area. The researchers concluded, “Cats at artificially high densities,sustained by supplemental feeding, reduce abundance of native rodent and bird populations, change the rodent species composition, and may facilitate the expansion of the house mouse into new areas.” Hawkins, C.C., W.E. Grant, and M.T. Longnecker. 1999. Effect of subsidized house cats on California birds and rodents. Transactions of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society 35:29-33)’  |  View the full PDF report here
And, the land shall repair itself

And, the land shall repair itself if we allow her to…

So Miss Gretchen; it must be that your days of roaming free to plunder and pillage like a drunken Viking on holiday vacation be permanently relegated to that of fond memories. Thankfully; I have found companion animals to be incredibly adaptable to change and I know that Gretchen will come to love the extra space the patio garden affords her to roam.
Miss Gretchen's Outdoor Domain

Miss Gretchen’s Outdoor Domain

My Muse

My Muse

Speaking of the patio garden; today is one of those seemingly rare and wonderful days that I can just sit and enjoy the garden; having done any chores necessary last week during the fence install, I can just sit and enjoy the quiet morning. The morning sun is slowly entering my garden, bathing the garden space in dappled light as the rays pass through the bamboo forest that is my fence line. It is a lovely time of day to enjoy a cup of coffee and soak in the quiet solitude this space provides; the indoor chores of the day can wait a little while.

A splash of green courtesy of one of the flowering gingers!

A splash of green courtesy of one of the flowering ginger!

Nature forms her own fence within the ginger field

Nature forms her own fence within the ginger field

I will leave you today with a trip indoors to say hello to Ms. Anthurium and Ms. Schefflera; who are spending today hanging out to enjoy the view onto the patio beyond.

Old Friends; Anthurium and Schefflera Chillin'

Old Friends; Anthurium and Schefflera Chillin’

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day with friends and family! Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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pleaded Miss Gretchen!! She presents a compelling case; with her piercing and inquisitive green eyes watching the materials being loaded onto the patio, I could tell she knew the gig was up, her escape routes were foiled! The look in her eyes was nearly enough to make this gardener, and admitted softy, cave into her wish for freedom to roam; yet, I knew the fencing had to be done and forged ahead with the cat patio escape proofing project as scheduled.

    "I do not condone this sort of thing at all!"

“I do not condone this sort of thing at all!”

Sorry sweetie-pie; the fence really is best for all concerned, including the resident feline (Miss G) and any wild visitors that she may or may not play well with if left to her own devices on a freedom stroll. Let the construction begin!

The perimeter hole

The perimeter hole #1 (upper knee wall )

Perimeter Hole (lower)

The perimeter hole #2 (lower knee wall)

Supplies in hand thanks to the good folks at my local garden/hardware center (Grand Avenue Ace Hardware); some basic fencing & screening materials which should work just dandy at keeping my dear cat safely enclosed to the confines of the patio garden.

Items procured are as follows:

  • 8′ x 18″ lattice screen
    • to be cut down and affixed atop the knee wall which measures 49-7/8″
  • 5′ x 24″ wire mesh screening
    • to be attached to the lattice frame to make climbing and escape not an option for Miss G
  • Household rain gutter cap
    • to be used to close the gap at the bottom of the knee wall
  • Pack of 100 8″ zip ties
    • for securing stuff to other stuff
  • 6 wood screws
    • for attaching wood things to other wood things
Lattice / Trellis Screen

Lattice / trellis screen, wire mesh, rain gutter cap

A plan so cunning, you could brush your teeth with it!

A plan so cunning, you could brush your teeth with it!

If there is one lesson I have learned from hours spent watching the DIY Channel, it is that one should always go into a building project with a written plan in place. So, I broke out my trusty Stanley tape measure, a blue pen, and pondered the best course for the job ahead. After some measurements, a reality check or two, I came up with the following; admittedly somewhat hastily drawn, plan which should work out just perfectly for making the patio a safe haven.

What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong?

Cat Fence v. 1.0: Time to git ‘er dun! Plan, don’t fail me now!

Cutting wire to proper size

Cutting wire to proper size; yep, tedious but necessary

Handy zip-ties bring the screen together nicely

Handy zip-ties bring the screen and frame together nicely

Rain gutter cover made the perfect lower escape hatch blocking material

The rain gutter cap was a perfect blocking material for the gap under the knee wall

Now, I just need to keep working at the screen’s frame to cut it down to the necessary width (49-7/8″); unfortunately, I find myself in a hand saw challenged position and have been attacking the frame sizing problem with a serrated kitchen knife! So far my attempt to score and snap the three horizontal frame rails to the perfect size have been slow going at best.

Pro Tip: A kitchen knife in definitely NOT the best tool for the job!!

20/20 Hindsight: Ordered a hand saw from Amazon, which sadly will not arrive until Monday. Knowing myself and my general lack of patience, I have a feeling that there is a very high probability that I may not wait for the saw to arrive and an even higher probability of my old kitchen knife getting much older.

Making a decent dent with the old knife though!

I did make a pretty decent dent with that old knife though!

Thankfully, my Dad came by today with a saw and a much-needed helping hand in cutting and installing the roam-no-more fence! My ankle injury has left my balance about as good as drunkard’s on New Year’s Day at 3:00 a.m. and maneuvering around the planters and patio tables was going to be difficult at best, dangerous at worst. About 10-minutes of final cutting and fitting, plus a couple more attaching with zip ties and screws and voila, we have a secure zone for Miss G!

The No Climbing Zone!

The No Climbing Zone!

49-7/8" x 24" of cat consternation!

49-7/8″ x 24″ of cat consternation!

It has not been all kittens and fence design here in my corner of the garden multiverse as of late. The forthcoming rainy season sent us a glimpse of things to come in the form of 2-days of heavy rain showers, followed the next night by epic winds! The local news reported wind speeds upward of 50 MPH in some parts of the Bay Area. The winds didn’t quite get that bad here at Casa de Froio; however, they sure did make quite the mess of my recently swept patio! Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to have caused any permanent damage or any downed trees in the area; sadly not all neighborhoods in Oakland were as fortunate. The patio plants appear to have been oblivious to the blustering winds and soaked in the refreshing showers. Indeed, the garden does seem much happier, looks more green, and the remaining flowers are beaming brightly to Mother Nature in thanks for the cool drink.

Euphorbia glistens with fresh rain drops

Euphorbia glistens with fresh rain drops

Mr. Big Boy Avocado

Mr. Big Boy Avocado continue his ascent skyward!

Late Season Strawberry

A Welcome Late Season Strawberry

Adieu from the Primrose

Adieu from the Primrose

Elsewhere around the garden; the Calla Lily have all died back, the flowering ginger are growing like rampant weeds hell-bent on reaching the top of the fence line, and the resident Dragons (snapdragons, to be precise) have begun their annual retreat to places unknown to we mere mortals. The garden gently hinting to me that she is ready for her winter rest; I find that I too am looking forward to Mother Nature taking over the routine watering duties for a while. Soon enough, my cat and I can enjoy the winter garden from the sidelines, bystanders to her evolution into dormancy, and planning for the Spring that seems all too distant right now.

The Patio clean again and at peace

The Patio; clean again and enjoying the remains of the day’s sunshine!

Well friends, that is about all which is fit to print from this garden this week. Next week, construction will have been tested and the results will be in on the effectiveness of the newly installed Feline Retention System!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!!

~ Noah

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So my beloved little cat; Miss Gretchen, has finally decided that she likes exploring the outdoors! However, this is not necessarily a good thing as I have found that my patio is definitely not escape proof for even the most timid of cats. This definitely has to be addressed for both the well-being of the wildlife and for Miss Gretchen’s own safety and security! She is a bright cat, who grew up feral; however, I don’t know how many of her 9-lives she has already used up!

Miss G; pining for the fjords?

Miss G; possibly pining for the fjords?

I have been looking at garden trellises and screens that are already built and ready to install for the ease and speed of getting the holes blocked. I have to say that I was absolutely shocked at how much some gardens companies are asking for simple garden trellises or lattice fences! The prices ranged from about $80.00 and went up to over $200.00! Dang, are they made of gold and install themselves?? So, being the frugal person I am I checked my local big box shop; The Home Depot, and found that they carry all of the pieces needed to build a great screening fence for under $50.00. My plan is to get a 4′ x 8′ x 2.5″ sheet of lattice screen ($26.00), two lattice rails to provide rigidity for the screen ($12.00), a pack of 8″ zip ties to secure to the chain link fence ($6.00), and a handful of wood screws for the side connecting to the house ($1.50).

Miss G is incredulous of my endeavors

Miss G appears slightly incredulous of my endeavor

I am hoping to get this project underway sometime this weekend; I just need to find some kind soul to give me a ride to pick all of these odds and ends up. My broken ankle continues its limiting effects on my self-reliance and I can’t express how much I am looking forward to getting back to 100% – or however close I eventually get to that percentage!

These are indeed exciting times in the Shire

These are indeed exciting times in the Shire

Outside of corralling kittens; the primrose continue their season ending show in lovely fashion. The profusion of pink I wrote about a couple of weeks back has now been accompanied by the blue/purple primrose which recently jumped into the fray of foliage and have put on their own season closeout display.

Bright blooms for a chilly day!

Bright blooms for a chilly day!

A second stalk of blooms rises from the planter!

A second stalk of blooms rises from the planter!

Not to be outdone by his pink cousin

Not to be outdone by his pink cousin

Blue & Yellow Primrose

Blue & Yellow Primrose

I have also noticed that one of my coleus plants has decided to make a comeback; this is Coleus v. Rustic Orange (Solenostemon scutellarioides), and she is the last of my coleus collection to have survived over the years. She is definitely a survivor; having been thought dead on at least two occasions, I set her pot outside and she has slowly grown back time and time again. I guess she likes the outdoor environment a little better than she does the sheltered indoors with the pampered plants of my collection.

coleus v

coleus v. rustic orange

Coleus blends stealthy into the patio collection

Coleus blends stealthy into the patio collection

Finally today, I  wanted to take another trip indoors as I am just falling in love with my now 3-year old Poinsettia! She was a rescue from a former colleague who received it as a Christmas present in 2010 and was going to throw the little lovely plant into the trash after the holidays. Thankfully I intervened and have been enjoying watching her grow in a natural state for the last few years into this beauty I have today. She doesn’t get enough time in total darkness to put out her signature red holiday bracts; however, I am totally okay with that as I like her in her natural state just fine.

No red bracts in store for this Christmas!

No red bracts in store for this Christmas!

She keeps growing and growing and growing!

She keeps growing and growing and growing!

For today’s parting shots; I will leave you with a nod to the winter season to come: A Snowflake!

Happy Gardening!!

Let it snow; Let it snow; Let it snow!

Now my friends, it is time for this gardener to get back to teaching himself how to walk properly again. Definitely not an easy, painless, nor fun task; however, it is for sure a necessary task if I want to get back on my bicycle next year. Wish me luck!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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