Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rome Italy (My Daughter's Photos)

My middle kid recently went to Rome. Here's just a few of her fantastic photos ... (It's been raining way too much this past week in the greater Seattle area to post images from here).

Is it me ... or does the rock in this first photo not look a bit like the inferior aspect of a man's genitals? Do you think what would be the phallus hiding inside of the archway means anything? 

Judging by the expression on this mother's face (see next photo) do you think she just learned that here in America ... the republicans have TWICE voted down a bill that would make big oil rigging companies take responsibility for polluting Earth with their horrific oil screw up?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Flower Vase Fey

I'm often inspired by artwork that I find on the Internet ...

Here's a faerie we're not likely to find in our vegetable gardens, but perhaps she'll take pleasure inhaling the aroma from the home grown roses that we place in a crystal vase!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rainy Day In My Back Yard

I wish I had thought to pull out my camera even earlier this morning. It was such a stormy (dreadfully monsoon-sort of heavy rain day). Photos do NOT show how heavily the rain was coming down. I kept marveling to see so many different birds at our feeders in spite of it all ... woodpeckers, gold finches and more common breeds (such as robins) scattered about the yard.

Here's one photo that shows two finches feeding in the rain. (Left-click any photo to make it much larger).

Then along comes the dominant starling who acts like a schoolyard bully and chases EVERYBODY else away!
Inside the backyard coup/aviary things remained very dry. Here's "Baby" (hatchling from Bonnie who I bought at auction years ago. Bonnie is still alive and well and she looks exactly like her Ring Neck dove daughter except she's missing one toe).
Oh look! The chickens are hiding their eggs! I found no dove eggs this morning, but here in the corner of the nesting boxes I found two chicken eggs!

Here's Ruby. I have never seen the chickens fighting but she always seems to be missing feathers from the left side of her top hat. (She's easy to tell apart from her sisters because of this). I like the fact that I can look her in the eye, thanks to missing feathers!)
Another hen who I have not named yet. I keep waiting for some sort of unique personality feature to come out that will help me to label this black and white Polish hen. Like Ruby, she is also missing feathers from her headdress (only on her RIGHT side). Perhaps I shall call her "Cruella Deville" since she's colored like a dalmation and acts rather comically like the cartoon!

[If you are reading this post on FaceBook, SunTiger's garden blog is located at]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oyster Flowers

I finally captured a photo of my oyster plant flowers when they are fully open (see bottom two photos). This delicate purple flower only stays open for a few hours every day and every time I've tried to show them to Doug they've been closed (so the plant just looks like decorative grass).

While I had my camera out, I snapped a few other photos. It wasn't the best time of day for photography (too bright) but you can at least get an idea about what's in bloom here in western Washington, USA, right now.

I think Columbine are one of my favorite flowers (see below)
My little Hawthorn tree is now in bloom with its purplish/pink blossoms.
Unbelievably, my very first rose has already opened. I'd have waited until later in the day to take the photo ... but, like I said, I really needed to capture the Oyster plant when its blooms were wide open.
My yellow rose is just now forming its buds ...
And here's the exciting photos I've been waiting to post! OYSTER PLANT! The grassy leaves are edible as a salad and the roots are the luxurious treat (steam them like potatoes ... they taste extraordinary).
Here I've zoomed out so you can see how tall the Oyster plant gets. These particular plants are now two years old. They stand about 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Marigolds Or Slugs?

Slugs have always been the bane of my gardening success. Slugs love eating attractive marigolds . . . those yellow or orange flowers that keep aphids away. Slugs don't just eat the buds. They consume the marigold's pinnate leaves and even consume the softer part of their stems so all that's left are the marigold's nubs/killing the plant.

I have no problem pouring salt on a slug to kill it. In fact, I often lift my potted plants to pour salt on the many slugs that hide beneath them. Meanwhile, I recently learned my grown children have always regarded this practice of mine as rather cruel and unusually insane.

After taking my daughter-in-law to a movie to celebrate her birthday, I also gave her a variety of plants from my gardens (since she also loves to work the soil and wanted some strawberry plants as well as chocolate mint). We had passed the potted plants from my trunk to hers when I suddenly realized, quite sadly, that one of the gifts I handed to her had a tiny slug clinging to it. (That's what happens when you put things in pots and wait more than a week, in Western Washington's soggy spring weather, to pass them onward).

Horrified that I had given her a slug, I brushed the little creature off and it landed on the pavement where we stood at the mall parking lot. My own offspring (her husband along with his oldest sister) felt sorry for the slug, however. They picked it up and horror of horrors put it in the mall's flower bed.

We actually dialogued about it. My grown children said they wanted the slug to live while I said it was a "killer" and would only destroy the mall plants. My offspring shrugged and said: "You mean they're killers just like us!"

{{Hmph}} . . . there are a million ways of looking at this whole slug-eat-marigold world. I am sure that slugs help recycle organic matter on some level. Even still, slugs are not NATIVE to Washington state and since they compete with marigolds, which are much more highly beneficial to this planet in my opinion, the slugs still must go!

NOTE: The only way I've managed to grow marigolds and keep them growing (safe from slugs) was to raise them in window boxes or hanging baskets as pictured!