Container Gardening Class at Strong Family Farm in Vernon, CT

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I grew up on a farm consisting of 100 acres of land along the Scantic River in East Windsor, Connecticut – and we had cows, chickens, a horse, rabbits, beautiful cherry trees, apple trees, blueberries, along with days of fishing in ponds, rivers, and even riding a mini-bike. Yup, I would jump on a mini-bike as a young kid, and go “outback” – which is what we called my parent’s property then and still do to this day.

There’s something magical about growing up on farmland. We explored a lot as kids. One time, I found funky shaped clay formations in a crevice where water ran off on a slope. As a child, I remember collecting them and checking them out carefully. Each was soft with round patterns and curvy shapes, formed by the action of rolling waters and clay soil on a hill side.

Flash ahead to my soil science class in my late-30’s and low and behold, our professor showed us a sample of the same thing. He said they are referred to as “clay dogs” and he found it interesting that I knew what they were immediately upon seeing him hand them out in class. He let me keep one of his samples, saying I was a soil scientist at heart. I don’t know about that, but the clay dog he gave me still sits on a shelf in my home office.

Being around nature is so inspiring – especially on a farm. In the summers, as a young kid, I sat on the side of my Dad’s hay baler to make sure the twine did not break as the square bales of hay passed by me when we rolled along in a large field. The sound of the tractor, the wind passing by, or the hot day’s summer heat would lead to more fun after our day’s work – because after we baled the hay – Dad would treat us to ice creams at Dairy Delight in East Windsor (a great ice cream place which still operates today on Route 5).

Sometimes, our trip for ice cream was in the pickup truck – we would stand in the back bed as we traveled down Scantic Road – something I don’t think would be allowed today. The breeze blew off all the hay dust from our bodies as we headed down to Dairy Delight. This is one of my very vivid memories – it was a fun ride for sure, and man, was that ice cream ever good after a hot day of baling hay, especially because it was shared with Dad.

We also swam in the Scantic River from time to time. My parents didn’t have to worry as we played “outback”, and my Mom literally rang a bell to call us for dinner time. We even had a fort and stayed over night in it sometimes. One time, our cows came scratching their backs against the outer walls of the fort and we sat inside quietly laughing – and being a little scared too, but they eventually left and our fun continued at the fort for that night.

Mom and Dad under a Catalpa Tree at the Farm

Mom and Dad under a Catalpa Tree at the Farm

Picking up a blade of grass from the field to put between your fingers and blow to make sounds was a little toy on a farm as I would take the walk outback down to the river. Or collecting walnuts to eat from our big walnut tree was an experience. When you are surrounded with nature, you begin to witness life and the curiosity sets in – at least it did for me. And of course, we had a barn, a barn where we held plays as kids – setting up a stage once – and acting something out as our parents and neighbors endured our little show. The list goes on.

Cathy T teaching a class

Cathy T teaching a class

That is why being asked a second time to talk about Container Gardening at Strong Family Farm feels special to me. Strong’s farm is located in Vernon and it has been standing for 135 years, once comprising more than 50 acres on West Road and Hartford Turnpike. The farm has served as the home and workplace for more than seven generations of Strongs. Just like our family’s farm is serving generations for us too – Today my nieces and nephews enjoy the nature on the farm like we did as kids. It is fun to witness their excitement as Grandpa sits them down on the tractor seat to pretend drive – something my nephew asks for every time they visit my parent’s farm- and he even refers to my Mother as “Chicken Mom” cause he knows when he visits, he gets to go see the chickens before going on the tractor in the big barn.

Located  on 274 West Street, Vernon, CT 06066

Located on 274 West Street, Vernon, CT 06066

Strong Family Farms hosts various activities throughout the year, such as their “Adopt-A-Chick” program offered each spring. For a small fee, participants foster a spring chicken over the course of 10 weeks. During this time, class members help feed and nurture the young chickens. If you don’t have a farm of your own, this place is a way to share a farm experience.

Annual Programs

They also host movies on the farm and have a community garden. In the fall, they have a Annual Scarecrow Contest and Harvest Festival. Check out their website at http://www.StrongFamilyFarm.org for details and dates – it is a great place for kids’ activities and very family oriented.

Container Gardening Workshop

The farm has large yellow barns and this weekend’s Container Gardening Workshop/Class will be held inside the barn – which is a unique experience also, as you look up at the big beams in the ceilings and sit on bails of hay. Even the sun beaming thru cracks in the barn walls reminds me of farm life as a child. Birds fly by in their meadows and old antique farm equipment hangs on the walls, making us feel the presence of the many past years of farming held in this space.

The farm life is so beneficial to your health and well-being, as we know – when you grow your own – you grow your spirit too. So, if you still have patio pots to pot up – come join us – the fee is only $10 for non-members and $5 for members of the farm and it is a fun activity for kids too. There will be various plants available for purchase and you will learn the steps for success and other growing tips.

Date: Saturday, June 6th, 10 am to noon @ Strong Family Farm, 274 West St, Vernon.

Please remember to bring cash or checks, as credit cards are not accepted. Plants to expect: Some large tropical plants (drama to containers), herbs, annuals, and even some houseplants and perennials. All attendees receive documentation and Cathy T tips. We hope to see you there!

Cathy T in-front of her chicken coop and plants at her home in Broad Brook, CT

Cathy T in-front of her chicken coop and plants at her home in Broad Brook, CT

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NATURE INSPIRED WHIMSICAL ART – BUTTERFLIES, CHICKENS, AND DUCKS!

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Do you enjoy art inspired by nature and animals?

Are you local to the East Windsor/Broad Brook, CT area?

Then swing on by to see some wonderful art pieces by my FEATURED ARTIST on Saturday, April 25th, 1-3 pm.

Laura Sinsigallo of Time Flies by Lauralie

Laura creates mixed media paintings and hanging art. Her inspiration comes from nature and animals.

All of her pieces are whimsical and colorful – and fun.

We can’t wait to have the opportunity to see and purchase some of her wonderful pieces on Saturday following our class on Making Eclectic Wind Chimes.

***

ARTIST SHOWCASE HOURS

Saturday, April 25th, 2015
1:00 to 3:00 pm
Broad Brook, CT (text 860-977-9473 for the address)

***

This is a Great Opportunity to Shop for Mother’s Day

Hanging Art

Hanging Art

Here is a sampling of what you can expect to see.

This is oh So Cute!  I just love them all – don’t you???

Oh too cute!

Oh too cute!

This painting reminds me of an experience I had just last week while traveling – a butterfly was boppin’ around the tops of tall tropical foliage and flowers – and the music could be heard in my mind as I watched it fly around.

Butterflies!

Butterflies!

Adorable is the word I use to describe these two handcrafted whimsical dolls…

Adorable

Adorable

Hello Ducky!

Hello Ducky!

Winter may be over – but I still requested items “from every season or holiday” – It is a great time to stock up for gifts next year – or add to existing collections – of which, snowmen are my fav in winter!

For Every Season

For Every Season

Snowmen Whimsical Dolls

Snowmen Whimsical Doll

Gnome

Gnome Mixed Media Paintings

For the address to the ARTIST SHOWCASE on Saturday, April 25th, 1-3 pm:

TEXT: 860-977-9473

or email containercathy@gmail.com today!

Fun Flowers

Fun Flowers

For more about our Featured Artist, Laura Sinsigallo of Time Flies by Lauralie:

Visit Swiftwaters Artisan Cooperative in Willimantic, CT

Visit Windowbox Boutique in Stafford Springs, CT

And don’t miss the chance to visit us on Saturday in at Container Crazy CT’s in Broad Brook, CT.

Cathy Testa
(860) 977-9473 (text for address)
containercathy@gmail.com

Cathy Testa of ContainerCrazyCT Blog

Cathy Testa of ContainerCrazyCT Blog

Giving Thanks for another Great Gardening Year

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Container Garden Install

Container Garden Install

Another gardening year has passed quickly.  It was filled with lots of plant-loving activity, including garden talks for garden clubs and farmers markets, ‘walk and talk’ home tours of friends’ special gardens, and several classes hosted by guest instructors and Container Crazy Cathy T related to combining nature with art.  And along the way, I had many moments of thankfulness.

Now arrives the week of Thanksgiving.  A day approaches when we share time with our families to count our blessings – and enjoy home cooked meals. We may say a few words during these events to express our gratitude or a hug may suffice as you welcome your treasured family members and friends to your home and table.

As this fourth Thursday of the month approaches, I reflect upon many opportunities for which I am grateful.  Some may seem minor in the scheme of life, but each is something which helped me along my way and thus, here it goes, my “Give Thanks” List:

My, My – What a Beautiful Summer

We were blessed with an amazing summer where almost every weekend provided sun and comfortable temperatures.  I know this because I pay attention to the weather forecasts, especially for weekends where garden events are scheduled.  And, on every single summer weekend, the weather cooperated for my special events – how lucky am I!  Even on the only day when I had my family over for a summer picnic and pool time, well – that day was the warmest of all – it was perfect timing.

There were so many summer weekends when I looked to the skies and said, “Thank God it is beautiful out this weekend!” So, thankfulness prevails for cooperative weather. Hopefully, one more blessing will happen for good weather at my annual holiday evergreens class on December 6th to cap off the year. Please, no big snowstorms.

Supportive Gardening Friends and Family

As I look at the history of growing my small business, many times, it is friends and family members suggesting ideas to help improve processes and my classes.  And, it IS mostly friends and family members attending my gardening events. However, each new season brings new faces too – and thus, new gardening friends.  One of the best parts of working with plants is communication is almost universal in the gardening world – you don’t need to speak the same language or have the same gardening style to appreciate the beauty of nature and how to bring more of it to your surroundings. Thus, I am very grateful and thankful for all supportive people, new and old, and how they help me along the way. Each and every client is appreciated as well – and many are treasured friends and family members. Thank you for hiring me this gardening season and attending my events.

Healthy Me and Healthy Parents

This year, Thanksgiving Day falls one day before my big 50th birthday. Sure, I have more aches and pains than I did in my 30’s, but I am really thankful there have been no big health problems.  Truly a blessing – and good health becomes more important as we get older – the importance of health – not only for ourselves, but for our family members is of the utmost priority in life. And, for those who have struggled with tough health issues this year, I pray they are always getting better and feeling healthy once again. I’m thankful for when those prayers are answered.

As for my parents – gosh, they are elderly, yet both very healthy and still with us – Every single moment I spend with them, I thank God for sharing these two beautiful people with me.  And to be spending the upcoming Thanksgiving Day with them warms my heart and soul. They, along with my extended family, are a blessing for which I am grateful – and glad I can continue to have them in our lives to share special moments.

Small House with a Big Yard

The home I share with my husband (he is another blessing in of itself) may be somewhat on the small size, but it is cozy with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy. I’m so thankful for the day we were told of this home being for sale, and that we snagged it up over 20 years ago. I’m thankful for a solid roof over our heads, and a large outdoor space we enjoy with our animals, plants, and trees.  Years ago, when we stood on our former small 4 by 4 deck to toast the purchase of our new home, we knew it was what we wanted, because it had a big yard – but we had no idea how it would grow into so much pleasure as our personal daily destination – right in our backyard. When we sit to admire our space around us filled with plants and nature – we always think about how thankful we are for our own little place on earth, and how we love to share it with our friends and family.

Chicken Coop Pen at Cathy T's

Chicken Coop Pen at Cathy T’s

Thankful for Likes

One day, my niece told me how happy she was when someone liked her drawing on an artwork related social site, and, I thought to myself, “Do we give too much stock to the “likes, shares, and positive comments” of social media?” But in the end, yes – sometimes it is important.  As we share things we are proud of, often helping to inspire others, we are thankful when someone hits like or share.  For the followers, sharers, likers in my social world – thank you so much for taking the time to notice and for appreciating my efforts.

The Sun’s Rays upon My Face

Lately, I’ve been taking time to sit in the sunniest place available at my home to face the sun during the mid-afternoons before the sun sets. Especially during winter, this is a much needed therapy activity for me because the winter blues has potential to creep upon us as the days are darker and temperatures are colder.

Each time I feel the sun’s rays upon my face, I give thanks for the sun and all it offers to our world. It is such a powerful force – giving life to us, our plants, and our surroundings. Without the sun, we would have nothing, so thus I say, thank you Sun.  You are my Goddess, and I worship you.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

Cathy Testa
www.cathytesta.com
www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
(860) 977-9473 (cell)
containercathy@gmail.com

Cathy T at her home in East Windsor, CT

Cathy T at her home in East Windsor, CT

Wild Friends in My Backyard this Autumn

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A few years back, we purchased a motion sensor camera to put in the woodlands behind our house – strictly for fun.  It is amazing to see what we capture from time to time living and roaming in the wild. Turkeys, raccoons, our cats, and more.  Two recent visitors have been this fox below, and a buck.

I know foxes live out in the woods beyond our backyard, and I recognize their barking sounds.  They sound like a dog with a scratchy voice.  I’m sure my chickens are not liking their visits – I can imagine the foxes scan the coop’s pen from time to time when we don’t know it.

One year, a momma fox and her two babies hung out in our yard quite a bit.  I was sitting on my porch, quietly sipping coffee, and the momma fox came right up near me suddenly, not knowing I was there – and she had the nerve to yelp at me a little because she was startled when she saw me.  I yelped back, because I was startled too, and quickly ran back into the house.

Fox, Broad Brook, CT

Fox, Broad Brook, CT

And this buck, in the photo below, was also captured by the camera this week as he slowly walked up to the camera to investigate it – they are smarter than we think.

This shot is particularly cute with his inquisitive eyes. He is seeing the blinking red light which flickers when a photo is taken. We got many snapshots of him on the camera, but I picked this one to share this morning.

Deer use our backyard as a passage way – the Scantic River runs beyond our property and with the wetlands and many trees, they enjoy the woodland areas.

One year, a little deer in the backyard showed up, so I snuck up with a camera to take a photo, using the pool as a shield as I approached her.  I got rather close to the deer – but she didn’t run away.  My father later told me to never do that again, deer can attack, he stated.

Deer Spotted in Autumn, Broad Brook, CT

Deer Spotted in Autumn, Broad Brook, CT

People will complain about deer munching on their garden plants – but I guess because there is plenty for them to forage on in the woodlands, they don’t seem to bother my landscape plants much, but I certainly would be annoyed if they attempted to munch on my plants in my container gardens scattered around the yard.  Sometimes, in the winter, they may try to bite a bit on some holly bushes in the front landscape area of my house, but it doesn’t happen often.  Thankfully.

There are many critters around here in my backyard – raccoon, fox, and deer are common visitors.  This spring, a family of raccoons took up residence in the garage attic – How did they get in?  Through the pet door for our cats!  It was not fun eradicating the momma raccoon and her 3 babies. Afterwards, the pet door got shut off for a while until we resolved their regular visits.

I really don’t mind the wild visitors in my yard – they bring a sense of calm when you quietly witness them walking around and enjoying their surroundings – so long as they leave my six hens alone – they are welcome!  It is all part of enjoying nature, and as this autumn approaches and we witness the change of the leaves, feel the cooler breezes, and listen to the quieter evenings no longer filled with the sounds of crickets and frogs, I guess we will welcome our wild friends along with the change of seasons.

Cathy Testa

Insects in Your Container Gardens – And What You Can Do…

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Hello Everyone!

It is that time of year when we may be seeing little critters appear on some of our plants in our gardens or container gardens, and it ain’t pretty.  Fortunately, many of them do not last long due to their life cycles, stages of growth, and time of appearance, but regardless, it is best to battle them as soon as spotted on your plants.

I like to use the ‘pick and squish’ method first whenever possible, if bold enough, prior to reaching for any insecticides, or use of pesticides.  Sometimes just hand picking off or pruning, then disposing of them works.

In the photos below, you will see what I believe are eastern tent caterpillars on my honeysuckle vine (top left), aphids on the eggplant bloom (middle top photo), and mosquito larvae in the water image.  These were all spotted in late June, along with a first sighting of the infamous Japanese beetles, which emerge from the ground in early summer to feed on plants.

Yuck -- Insects on Plants

Yuck — Insects on Plants

Tent caterpillars on my trumpet honeysuckle – YUCK! That was a first – and my honeysuckle has been doing so well this year.  Obviously, I was not happy to find these buggers.  My honeysuckle plant is growing by the side of the house, and it surprised me to find tent caterpillars on it.  Fortunately, with a quick snip of the vine from which they were attached, they were easily bagged and tossed.

Honeysuckle bloom creeps into Delphinium

Honeysuckle bloom creeps into Delphinium’s blooms

TENT CATERPILLARS ON MY HONEYSUCKLE VINES

Using clean pruning shears, I cut of the portion of a vine with the nasty critters on it, put it in a plastic bag on the driveway and then stomped on the bag.  I left the bag laying on the driveway for a while.  Why? I figured the heat would fry any not crushed (oooh, gross – the things gardeners will do!).  Then, I went out for my day’s work at a client’s location.

That day, my parents dropped of some items at my door, and my mother saw the plastic bag sitting on the driveway so she included my bug bag as a hanging item on my door handle while I was not home.  I guess she figured I dropped something by mistake on the driveway.

Well, when I opened up that bag at the kitchen table – ACK.  Out to the garbage can it went – and quickly. You see, the other bags my parents often leave me are filled with fresh veggies from their home garden.  Imagine my surprise and reaction when I found bugs instead of radishes.

Prior to all this bug nonsense, I was enjoying the many orange trumpet shaped blooms growing from my honeysuckle so much all month.  At one point, a stem pushed its way through the center of a Delphinium stalk located near it – talk about stunning.

Do these two plants know they are complementary colors on the color wheel?

Opposite each other on the color wheel – are blue and orange – talk about a nice surprise nature combo in the garden! Although this Delphinium technically has more purples than blues in its blooms, the combination was breathtaking all the same – I have been enjoying it for a whole month.  I wrote about Delphiniums before on this blog, as it was a flower I selected in my wedding bouquet 24 years ago.  It probably was one of my first flower obsessions.  I find them a little difficult to keep growing in my garden, so this year, I just bought a new one and plopped it by the honeysuckle plant, and it has grown beautifully.

Honeysuckle Blooms

Honeysuckle Blooms

Honeysuckle (Lonicera) is a deciduous vine that grows quickly every year.  It is deer resistant and attracts butterflies. A trellis or arbor is needed to hold it up as it grows taller, sometimes reaching 15-20 feet.  I’ve had mine for several years in this spot with little problems – again, why I was surprised to see the tent caterpillars take a spot on it this year.

Although this vine grows quickly, I wouldn’t classify it as a invasive plant because it is easily removed if you find it over takes your space, but it can get large fast and needs to be watched.  It is included in my Troublemakers Turned Star Plants on my Pinterest page, because it can be very useful in a container garden if you find it a nuisance in the regular gardens of the ground.

It likes sun to part shade, and blooms for a long time.  The scent is intoxicating for many cultivars. This plant may be used as a thriller in a large container garden, so long as you add a nice big trellis in the container for support.

Happy Bloom on Japanese Long Eggplant

Happy Bloom on Japanese Long Eggplant Being Visited by Pest Aphids

APHIDS ON MY EGGPLANT BLOOM

If you take a close look above, you may see the little aphid bugs on my Japanese eggplant.

Aphids are very tiny pear-shaped insects with long antennae and tubes on their back-ends.  Some of the interesting tidbits about aphids are ants protect them because they enjoy their “sweet honeydew”, and they (aphids) reproduce faster than rabbits – the females do not need males to do so, and aphids vary in colors – not just green as the ones spotted on this plant.  To learn more about these little guys, see the CAES link.

Well, seeing them on my Japanese long eggplant flowers in my container garden was not pleasing. I’ve been using edibles in container gardens a great deal this season – and talking about it at garden clubs.  I am finding, however, the edible plants seem to get attacked by bugs much quicker than my tropical or annual plants.

To battle these aphids, I lightly sprayed the plant on a shady day when cool with a safe organic spray for vegetable plants (remember, don’t spray a plant when its very hot and located in full sun), and then a day later, I hosed off the leaves by using the garden hose with a watering wand at a good heavy pressure – it did the trick.  No more signs of the aphids since – and my first eggplant fruit growing right now on the plant – yeah!

I couldn’t really pick the small aphids by hand because they are too tiny, at the size of 1/8″ long.  And by the way, lady bugs are natural predators, releasing them can help if you can find the ladybugs from a garden center.

First eggplant

First eggplant

I potted up this eggplant plant along side an asparagus plant, strawberry plant, and would you believe, Brussels sprouts?! The asparagus added a nice soft texture with its fine and light foliage along side the coarse texture of the eggplant leaves, the strawberry plant is a spiller, and the Brussels sprouts – well, wow – what big texture those leaves have offered.

Eggplant with Mixed Edibles

Eggplant with Mixed Edibles

Earlier in June, I brought the container garden to the Ellington Farmers Market to show the combination during my talk about “Incorporating Decorative Edibles in Mixed Container Gardens.”  Well, low and behold, these two very interesting looking insects took their position on the red trellis in the pot – and stayed there all day during the market.  Thankfully they did not jump on me when I was driving home later that day with the container garden on my truck seat.  Not sure what they are, do you know?

Bugs on Trellis with brussel sprout Leaves behind it.

Bugs on Trellis with brussel sprout Leaves behind it.

MOSQUITO LARVAE IN MY WATER GARDEN

The other spot where I saw critters was in a water garden I have at home, which is a big galvanized feeding bin (for animals) filled with water and plants, such as elephant ears (Colocasia) or other water tolerant types, such as Cyperus papyrus (Tut). I put the plants in terracotta pots because they sink well into the water due to their weight and the clay is porous. Add some stones to the top of the soil of those pots so the soil does not escape into the water.  When submerging the pots, gently drop them into the water as to not disturb the soil too much.

Well, I should have known, tiny mosquito larvae started to grow in the water, and there were tons of them wiggling in the water one day.

To avoid this situation – you may try two things – place a mosquito dunk, which are not harmful to the plants, in the water, or just flush some of the water out occasionally with a garden hose so the water is not stagnant.  This is what I do. Later, no more larvae and no more bites.

Oh, when I was very young, I remember telling a teacher that I saw little things wiggling in a puddle at home. (Living on a farm, you tend to notice things like this – or I was just always fascinated with looking at things up close in nature.)  He told me to put them in a jar with water, cover it with plastic wrap and to bring it into class.  He set it on his desk and said, “Let’s see what happens.” A few days later, a bunch of mosquitoes were flying above the water.  A visual lesson for sure.

A PRETTIER INSECT

Fuzzy body of moth

Fuzzy body of moth

Another surprise sighting at my home this season was a Luna moth (Actias luna) on a apple tree in a pot.  As I was walking out to my garage, I saw a white substance on a leaf.  Well camouflaged, I didn’t see the wings of the moth at first.

I thought, “What the heck is that white fuzzy cocoon on my apple tree?”  (By the way, I often plant small trees in container gardens for a few years first – because I am crazy about container gardening, but it also can give a small tree some time to grow larger and stronger before I eventually transplant it to the ground when it outgrows a large pot – this way, I enjoy, learn and grow the plant first – as is the case with this apple tree.)

Insects ContainerCrazyCT_0015

To my surprise, it was a beautiful moth and not an ugly insect!  This was in the early morning and the east sun was brightly lighting up its wings.  The moth was completely motionless, and not moving at all – this gave me the wonderful opportunity to snap more photos.

Luna Moth on Apple Tree hanging on the underside of a leaf

Luna Moth on Apple Tree hanging on the underside of a leaf

I tried getting photos from every angle, which was difficult to do because it was on the backside of the plant along the garage wall.  After repeatedly taking photos, I tried moving the pot but it flew away.

Insects ContainerCrazyCT_0009

Luna Moth on Apple Tree

Luna Moth on Apple Tree

SPOTTING FIRST JAPANESE BEETLE

I also just spotted my first Japanese beetle on a plant yesterday – it happen to be a watermelon plant in a single container. Those beetles, I pick up with my hands and squish on the ground under foot.  They never scare me – even when they grab tightly onto my fingers.  I guess this is because my father would pick them from his garden plants and put them in a jar – another memory from childhood – and sometimes, I would help him collect the beetles.  I also would chase my younger sister, Louise, around in our pool, when I would find Japanese beetles in our pool too – and she would screech at the sight of them.  She told me this game as children put a fear of those beetles in her for a lifetime – oh well, the things we do when we are kids – LOL! However, she also practices the “pick and squish” method in her own vegetable garden for insects not so scary to her.

East Windsor Farmers Market

East Windsor Farmers Market

ALL BUGS ASIDE

Last week, all bugs aside, I was featured as a guest speaker at the East Windsor Farmers Market on their opening day. Their market runs from now until October, on Sundays, 11 am to 2 pm, at the Trolley Museum off Rt 140.

My niece came for a visit – she loves to help me at the markets with my plants – and I love having her there.  We were goofing around, taking silly photos, and coincidentally, had matching blue shirts on.

See the next photo – this was my building at the market – pretty cool, huh?

Nope, just kidding – it was some sort of very old structure from the Trolley Museum next to my table setup.  I never got a chance to ask them what is was about, but it was sort of cool looking.  (BTW, if you go there, go see the old trolleys and even a few other interesting vehicles, such as airport shuttle buses built, but they were never installed at Bradley airport.)

The other cool thing about going to the market at this location is kids and family can take trolley rides on antique trolley cars as part of their day.  And, I did not know this – but there is a little movie theater inside the trolley museum building too – along with old cool trolley pics and more – so if you go, be sure to go inside as well as visit all the new vendors at this growing market in a great location – picnic tables and all.

Old Structure at the Trolley Museum

Old Structure at the Trolley Museum

AFTER THE MARKET

After the weekend, one of my first priorities was to update my client’s business store front with some red-white-and blues for the holiday and put a nice mix of succulents in the container gardens.  Cactic and succulents can be a little tricky to plant if they have spines and needles.  Just be sure to wear thick gloves and handle it by the root ball – and with some practice, you won’t get pinned, stuck, or aggravated by tiny spines.  I will say this however, whomever is putting their cigarette butts in my container gardens at this location – you will find a little surprise this time (hee-hee!). Fortunately, insects tend to not bother cacti and succulents much based on my experience, so they are useful for the non-insect people.

Client Barrels Decorated for the 4th

Client Barrels Decorated for the 4th

4th of July Succulents ContainerCrazyCT_0002

Oh by the way, what are these ugly critters below?  Saw these on a weed plant, so I pulled the plant out of the ground and took it to the chicken coop for the hens to deal with.  That’s another way to deal with insects.  Recycle to the coop…

More aphids or not??

More aphids or not??

Cathy Testa

860-977-9473
http://www.cathytesta.com
ContainerCrazyCT
containercathy@gmail.com

Condensed List- What You Can Do:

  1. Pick, Squish, Toss
  2. Prune away Plant Parts with Insects and Toss
  3. Pull Plant; Feed to Chickens
  4. Hose off with Strong Spray of Water
  5. Chase your Younger Sister around with them
  6. Lightly spray with Insecticide specific for plant and insects
  7. Get natural predators, like ladybugs and release near pest insects

Happy 4th of July Weekend Everyone – Hope it is filled with food, family, fun – and not many critters!

4th Photo Courtesy of Freedigitalimages.net, by nuttakit

4th Photo Courtesy of Freedigitalimages.net, by nuttakit

Walk and Talk Home Gardens – This Saturday, Wethersfield, CT

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Have you ever walked around with a friend or family member in their yard to check out their gardens and plants?  Next thing you know, you shared a tip, something valuable you didn’t know, or a funny story about your gardening and plant adventures!

This experience of walking and talking home gardens can be rather rewarding.

In an attempt to get this “gardening conversation” going – Cathy T is kicking off a Walk and Talk Home Gardens event, featured once a month at home gardens by volunteers.

Anyone may volunteer to host an hour – and the rule is – its all informal yet informative.

You do not need a “showcase or perfect” garden.  Any small plot is of value in today’s world, and everyone’s experience with gardening always offers something to learn.

The Urban Vegetable Garden

This Saturday, June 7th at 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, the first “Walk and Talk Home Gardens” hour is scheduled at a garden in Wethersfield, CT.

We titled this one, “The Urban Vegetable Garden,” because the property is surrounded on each side by other homes and property lines, yet this homeowner, Louise, has not only a nice vegetable garden – she raises chickens and shares the eggs with her neighbors too.

Louise talking to brother in law and her Dad about the garden

Louise talking to brother in law and her Dad about the garden

When Louise told me she was going to get chickens, I thought on her small lot – what will the neighbors think?!

Her response was, she already asked them – and they were fine with it.  She built a very nice chicken wagon – you have to see it.

Her Chickens

Here’s a photo of her chickens when they were relatively new at her home.

Chickens in the Wagon

Chickens in the Chicken Wagon

Growing Her Own

Louise has an intolerance for corn syrup, a common ingredient in foods.  So she thought, I’m going to grown my own food. This was part of the reason she began her urban style vegetable garden.  Like 47 million Americans growing their own food, she wants her food to be safe for herself and her family.

Louise has a passion for organics and heirlooms.  She spends as much time as possible in her gardens. I have witnessed her expand her knowledge about vegetable growing – I feel like she fits the Master Gardener personality.

When I took the program myself, I met gardeners who loved to be “in the garden” 24 x 7.  This is Louise.  She also began sharing information with me I didn’t know myself. And she plans to share these tips on Saturday with our Walk and Talk group.

One day, I told her she better watch out – she reminds me of a Master Gardener so much that she will be squishing bugs between her fingertips soon. Her response, with a laugh, was, “I already do.”

The Magnolia Hunt

One year, a treasured and huge Magnolia tree in her front lawn got toppled over from a storm.  It was devastating to Louise because she adored the tree so much, and it was one of the reasons they bought their house.

The tree was so tall, its blooms could be seen from her bedroom window on the second floor of her house.

We searched out various sources, nurseries, and special places to find a replacement for her mature Magnolia.  It was an adventure one afternoon on a very hot sunny mid-summer day when we went to a private stock on a property.  She found her replacement and it was dug, balled and burlapped, and delivered to her home as a replacement.  To hear more about this adventure, join our walk and talk on Saturday.

A Hot Day when we Searched for a Magnolia Replacement

A Hot Day when we Searched for a Magnolia Replacement

It is Free to Attend and Registration is Not Required

We hope you will join us – registration is not required, it is free to attend, and we will even offer up some lemonade and some miscellaneous plants will be available for sale, or you can bring a plant to swap with another attendee if you wish.

Let’s get walking and talking.

Oh and by the way, Louise is my sister.  She is a professional soprano, teaches private music lessons, and more.  Maybe we will get a solo out of the day.

Address for Saturday:

23 Stillwold Drive
Wethersfield, CT 06109

Parking is on the street.  Look for Cathy T’s Sign in the front yard.

Written by Cathy Testa
http://www.cathytesta.com
ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

Goofing Around with My Camera (Predators, Coop Renovation, Blooms)

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I’ve been so busy preparing for this weekend’s class on Container Gardening with succulents, alpines, and cacti that I woke up at 2:00 am unable to sleep.  The excitement is getting to me, as it always does.  So, after tossing around in bed for another couple hours, I gave up and got up. I decided a distraction may be in order, so to continue my trend, I’m posting some general photos I took around my home, and here or there, related to gardening – and chickens – yes, have those now and we are enjoying our six hens.

Orchid Cactus

On a clear day last weekend, I took this plant outside to take some photos of its amazing bloom.  And geesh, is this not stunning?  I love the hot pink color against the clear blue sky.  Why haven’t I had one of these plants before?  I plan to research and blog about in detail later.  Do you have one or grow these?  If yes, I would love to hear from you.  The bottom photo is of two closed up blooms that finished their show.

Orchid Cactus Bloom

Orchid Cactus Bloom

Goofing w Camera_0002 Goofing w Camera_0003Take a Guess

Can you guess what this plant is?  As noted, they are tobacco plant seedlings.  Last summer, I asked a nearby grower of these if I could have one plant.  His response, well, no, I can’t give any away.  I wanted to remind him of the day his big cows came into my yard and rubbed against my Arborvitae trees many years back, and how I didn’t complain – Why? Because I grew up on a farm and have an appreciation of how cows can get free, running loose from time to time.  But his cows did major damage, so I tore the trees out without much of a word about it and moo’ed on.

Well, last winter, I happen to mention this story to a friend, and this spring, she text me to say she got me some seedlings of tobacco plants from a farmer friend of her’s, and she even dropped them off for me in this pot.  I thought, what an amazing gesture on her part.  Why, you wonder, would I want one of these?  Well, they grow fast, have large showy leaves, and I just want to experiment with it for the features.  Will let you know how it goes, it is time to prick these out and get them into individual pots.

Tobacco Plants

Tobacco Plants

Japanese Tree Peony

I finally got my first Japanese Tree Peony (Paeonis suff. ‘High Noon’) and I couldn’t be more thrilled with its show.  The yellow blooms are luxurious.  This one has an exceptional yellow flower and they are the double type which I prefer on Peony plants.

As the afternoon sun hits it, I just ooze over it.  It will grow to 48″ tall and is for Zones 4-8.  It was a little pricey, but worth it.  For those of you who do not know, these have a wood based stem and look more like a shrub when mature.

Japanese Tree Peony

Japanese Tree Peony

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Iris with Honeysuckle

I planted a tall bearded Iris with honeysuckle and chocolate mint plants, one of each type in two large container gardens for a business client.  Imagine the scents in this arrangement?  The honeysuckle is Lonicera x heckrottii ‘Gold Flame’, a perennial with a vine and shrub like habit.  It is super fragrant with deep magenta blooms appearing in late spring through early fall.  It takes sun to part shade and I think the color looks spectacular with the blue blooms of the Iris ‘Abiqua Falls’. Ironically, I stopped at a local garden center this past weekend, and one of the owners told me someone had asked her recently what was in these planters – thinking her store planted them.  (Note to self: I have to get my sign in these containers!) I don’t like the look of a sign poking out of the containers, one of the reasons I haven’t done so yet.  Oh, the Iris is an award winner, prized for its large, sky blue blossoms.  The only problem with using Irises is they toppled over a bit, but luckily the trellis helped to anchor them back up.  In the bottom right photo is a Kwanzan cherry tree’s blooms which I took a photo of while on the road the same week as stopping in to check on these two container gardens.

Iris with Honeysuckle

Iris with Honeysuckle

Goofing w Camera_0008

Fold Up Cart

Taking a break from the flowers – I also wanted to show a handy cart I ordered, which folds up super easily.  It can hold a lot of items and rolls really well too.  For years, when I would go to a Container Garden Party to do my classes or for talks at garden clubs, I lugged heavy items into the building practically by hand.  This wagon so helped me this past Monday when I did a talk at the Vernon Garden Club on incorporating edibles into container gardens.  It folds in a snap and goes right into the back bed of my truck.  Love it!

Fold Up Cart

Fold Up Cart

Bee on Polygonatum

I was trying to get a photo of this bee – but it came out a bit blurry.  This is a perennial I get CRS on every spring. I mix up the name sometimes with Polemonium which is similar but not quite.  However, I love my Polygonatums on the north side of my house in a shade area.  Their long and graceful arching stems are eloquent.  I divided up some and moved them to appear in batches in the bed and this year they look really great.  This makes a great woodland plant too and the dangling flowers are serving the bees coming by.  The foliage on this variegated one is very pretty, painted white on the edges.  This perennial prefers good moisture too.

Goofing w Camera_0011

Stone Edging for the Coop

For years, I wanted to edge the area around my chicken coop – and my friendly landscape installer connection, Chris of Outdoor Creations of Ellington, obliged my request to have it done in time for this weekend.  I am thrilled with how it came out.  I like the natural look of this type of stone, and now I can have fun fixing up my plantings and adding perennials and container gardens to this area.  Talk about spoiled chickens!  Not only is their surrounding enhanced, they were fed grubs and worms by Chris as he was working on the building of the edge and mulching the beds.  He said they were fun to watch, and I’m sure they enjoyed his company while he was here.  Sparkles, the recently named chicken, agrees.  She’s the boss of my six Rhode Island Red hens, seen in the photo below.

Goofing w Camera_0017 Goofing w Camera_0015 Goofing w Camera_0014

Kiwi Vine Feeds My Chics

Two kiwi vines, plants several years ago, a male and female plant on each side as required for pollination, are above my pen area of the coop.  One day, Sparkles was jumping up to grab some leaves.  We caught her on our motion censor camera which we move around the house to capture photos of wild life – and predators, as you will see following this photo.  Look at Sparkle’s feet – she jumped right off the ground.  My first priority was to determine if this vine could be poisonous to the chickens, and thankfully, it is not.  They get a feeding of them every day now when I go visit, tearing some leaves off to toss down for them.  And, I think this will be the year we finally get kiwi fruit from these vines. I saw tiny buds on one plant, the female plant.  It takes about five years for them to bloom and produce fruit – so we will see.  The vines require a great deal of pruning to keep in check, it can overtake anything, and grows fast.  We removed branches off a tree above the pen area last year because the vines were twining up to it, so it has to be watched.  Feeding some leaves to the chickens will help, I think.

Kiwi Vine Above Coop Pen

Kiwi Vine Above Coop Pen

Wild Predators Don’t Take Long

As I have mentioned, we attempted chicken raising here twice before, and gave up for a couple years.  The former chickens were allowed to free range, and got snatched by foxs, hawks – you name it.  But our new ones will not go beyond their protected coop and outdoor pen.  Since we have a motion censor camera, we set it up nearby to see what would lurk to investigate our new chickens.

The first week, we spotted a raccoon and coyote in the photos, and one early morning, I saw a fox running around the coop with something in its mouth.  Thankfully, it wasn’t one of my chicken.  We are sure to close their coop door every evening, and we are keeping a steady watch to make sure their pen is safe.  So far so good.  Kind of creepy to see the coyote checking it out.

Predators, first racoon, then Coyote

Predators, first raccoon, then Coyote

Goofing w Camera_0022 Goofing w Camera_0023

That’s all for goofing around with my camera.  Now, its time to get back to work.

Written by Cathy Testa
http://www.cathytesta.com
ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473

 

Goofing Around With My Camera (New Chickens, Perennials Rising, and More)

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On this windy day, I decided to post some general pictures taken as I goofed around with my camera outdoors this weekend.  I got more accomplished than I had planned on which is good news.

We got our new Rhode Island Red chickens moved into our chicken coop finally, I cleaned up some perennials, and even raked up some leaves and moved out some container gardens and pots.

This was all accomplished after I held my first garden talk of the season on ornamental edibles in Broad Brook at the Pride Fitness building.  A small group from South Windsor attended, and they were very enthusiastic. They are thinking of forming a new garden club at their church so we had lots to share about edibles and gardening on Saturday morning during my presentation.

So back to “Goofing Around with My Camera.”  Here are some photos taken as I worked and played outside during the first weekend of May 2014.

Perennials Rising

Perennials Rising

Perennials Rising

These are photos taken of perennials finally rising up from the soil and showing some initial growth. On the left is Nepeta (catmint), which is such an easy full sun perennial to grow.  The cats love rubbing against it from time to time.  It is super easy to clean up in the spring and can be pruned up or sheared anytime actually if it gets overgrown. Using sharp hand-pruners, I removed the old stems around the edges of this plant.

On the top right of this photo grouping is the leaves of an Iris with purple leaves, and then next a lamb’s ear (Stachys) perennial. Lamb’s ear always starts off slow, showing only a few leaves, but by early summer, it is much fuller and gently spreads near itself. I basically did not need to do anything to clean the remnants of last year’s lamb’s ear; it was looking fine right now and starting to grow.  On the Iris, it did not bloom, and I suspect it is because the soil is too moist there or not enough sun, or it was planted too deep, it will be moved later.

Below the photo of the lamb’s ear perennial was one where I experienced a CRS moment.  I could visualize the flowers in my head, as I looked down on the foliage coming out of the ground, but after months of dormancy for me and the plants, sometimes we have mental blocks.

When I took the photo, I was struggling to remember the name – but here it is Cornflower (Centaurea), also known as Bachelor Button to some gardeners. It grows showy violet-blue flowers in early summer (June-July), and I adore this perennial. Like its neighboring Nepeta and Lamb’s ear, it enjoys full sun conditions and can be kept on the dry side.  Butterflies and hummingbirds like the blooms too.

And on the bottom right of the photos above is a Honeysuckle vine with leaves coming out now.  I put a small garden bench near this area and kept smelling something sweet in the air when I took a break to sit.  I thought, could it be the Honeysuckle?  There are no blooms yet, but I leaned in to take a whiff and I think it was coming from the tips where the buds are beginning to form – amazing!

More Shade Loving Perennials

Ligularia, Peony, Bleeding Heart

Ligularia, Peony, Bleeding Heart

Around the corner, on the north facing side of my house are a couple Ligularia plants (top left photo).  The leaves are just beginning to come out and expand.  This plant is very showy in regards to foliage, which are round, large, and other cultivars have leaves with bronzy-green to plum colors and purple colors.  The blooms rise above in summer (around August) on tall spikes, usually showing off yellow flowers on dark stems.  It is a great shade plant, likes moisture, and is easy care.  Using my hand-pruners I cut away any old stems from last year – easypeasy cleanup.

The Peony is on the bottom left of the above photo.  They are starting to come up now, so I put my big round wire frames around them. I spray painted the wire frames first with green cause they looked a bit rusty.  I should have taken a photo of them – made by my father, they are round and fit around them well, and as soon as the foliage grows, you can’t see the wire frame which supports the blooms typically heavy and sometimes bending down from rainfall.

And of course, a bleeding heart (Dicentra spectablis) is on its way up with little flowers already appearing. Every time I witness this plant I think of the day my husband weed-whacked one down many years ago.  Let’s just say that I got him to stop when I explained accidentally cutting down a plant of mine is like if I went up and accidentally scratched his motorcycle paint.  He got it.

But he explained his fault, indicating it looked like a weed – and you know what, sometimes it can at first but once those flowers drip down heart-style, you can mistake it is a flowering perennial perfect for early spring and into May.  No cleanup was needed but later it will be cut down because it will go dormant earlier than many perennials and turn yellow.

Polygonaturm, Ferns, Thalictrum

Polygonatum, Ferns, Thalictrum

Further down the bed, under a Japanese Maple tree, are my Polygonatums (Solomon’s Seal).  I love the way the stems come out of the ground like graceful little – well, I don’t know what – they just look interesting before they grow more.  The leaves rise along the stems while little white flowers will dangle off the length of the stems, plus the stems will arch at the tops.  It makes a great woodland-like plant for part shade.  It prefers good moisture and rich soil too.  When you buy these at the nursery, sometimes the single plant doesn’t look too impressive at first – but over time, these keep rising up more plants (as seen here) and when you have a nice stand of them, they are pretty impressive.  On the top right is just a picture of some native ferns unfurling. Any nature lover gets why this is striking to look at – and I just grabbed a quick photo of that.

On the bottom right is a plant in my big cement planter around back of the house – can you guess what this is? You might think Columbine (Aquilegia) at first because its leaves are similar, but this plant is called Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Columbine Meadow Rue).  The specific epithet (2nd part of the Latin name) means columbine leaf.

Anyhow, I love this perennial because it shoots out stems that reach 2-3 feet tall!  Right now the leaves are coming out of the soil and they are tinged from the cool temperatures with some burgundy tones.  But in early summer, this plant will show off fluffy flowers in pink colors on very tall thin wiry stalks above the foliage below.  It is another woodland like plant and I love the height of it.

Hellebore Galore

Heleborus perennial

Helleborus perennial

Because I was near the chicken coop this weekend moving in the new chicks and fixing some damaged parts of the pen, etc – I took time to notice my beautiful and full flourishing Heleborus perennials.  I will have to dig through my notes to remember the cultivar name of this one, but it was flushed with blooms – all dark purple toned. Unfortunately, the blooms nod downwards, but if you gently tip one up you can see how the insides look – stunning.

I can’t say enough about Helleborus perennials.  The leaves are tough and long-lasting, semi-evergreen, and easy to snip off any left overs on the plant from last season with hand-pruners.  These plants take partial shade (and can take full sun) in a well-drained soil, but they seem to do better in shade in my yard.  They are known as Lenten Rose and if you don’t have any, I recommend you get them – the deer don’t eat them by the way which is a bonus. (Oh and I will have some for sale at my upcoming Big Container Garden Party on May 24, 2014.)

Helleborus perennial

Helleborus perennial

Here is another one I have near the coop.  Fascinating how the veins appear in the leaf petals.  Both of these stands of my Helleborus plantings are doing very well in their locations.  I had chickens in this pen before and the soil is very fertile.  In fact, when I was digging in the bed near these, worms were everywhere – a nice healthy sign of a living soil.  As I found them, I scouped the worms up to give to my new chickens.  They were ecstatic.  They really like the treatment they are getting at their new dwellings, the little Testa ranch.

New Rhode Island Reds Arrive

Newly Arrived RI Reds!

Newly Arrived RI Reds!

Here they are, we got six Rhode Island Reds.  We added a perch and four of them hopped up there right away, and I also put a box on the floor because they were hiding behind the feeder, so I realized they were a little “chicken” so I got them spots to hide by putting a box in there.

Chicken Coop Accessories

Chicken Coop Accessories

You are going to think my chickens are spoiled because I bought these perfect fit nest box pads to put in their future laying boxes. The boxes are a find of antique shipping crates and we are going to add side walls to the boxes so they have their preferred privacy when they lay eggs, expected by September.  I also got a big bail of pine shaving to put in the bottom of the coop, and have a galvanized antique chicken feeder given to us by a friend.  I put the feeder and water container on a pallet, raised off the ground, so they won’t poop in it as much as if it were level to the floor.

Soda Bottle Converter Kit

Soda Bottle Converter Kit

Soda Bottle Converter

Another nifty thing I ordered was a soda bottle converter kit which easily attaches to a bottle to drip water out for the chickens, but they have to be trained to use it.  How?  I’m not sure, but I set it up in the outdoor pen area.  They are still a bit chicken to walk outside into the pen, but they started poking their heads out to look around.  Both the nesting pads and bottle converter were purchased from My Pet Chicken online.  I also bought a galvanized hanging poultry feeder and waterer, but they were much smaller than I expected.  However will be handy and were hung outside in the pen for later use.

Incubator

Incubator

Incubator of Sorts

My brother, Jimmy, kept the baby chickens in his home-built incubator until they were large enough to move into our chicken coop.  I appreciated this very much because I did not have to setup a heat/warming place for them, and they are fine now to go without heat.  But I had to show his set-up here.  He got two shipping crates, attached them together with a door, and they had a nice warm and cozy home before coming to our house. Oh, I spotted his cat hiding behind the coop – she was probably waiting for a moment to get them, no luck my dear.  LOL.  But I guess raising chickens is in our blood.  My father had them when we were growing up and my sister also has chickens now in an urban setting no less.  She has pretty ones, with feathers on their feet and they are smaller – of course, CRS Again!  I can’t remember what they are called, the breed.  Hmmm, will come back to me.

Daffodils

Daffodils

I couldn’t help but admire my daffodils around the coop.  I prefer the type of daffs with multiple flower petals.  Again, CRS, can’t remember the exact names of these types but they are just beautiful.  The healthy organic soil there is really making them bloom a lot this year.  And they don’t get eaten by varmints, unlike tulips.  I will have to remember to add more in the fall to this area.

Spring Plants_0027Another one of my favorite daffodils is this one – name, I’ll let you know when I remember!  But I bought the bulbs at a Connecticut Horticultural Society meeting several years ago and despite the location being clay, this one puts on a show every spring.  The soil is well-drained there however because this location is on a slope, not near my chicken coop.  The blooms smell lovely too!  I let the foliage of my daffodils stay on as long as possible after the flowesr fade so it can build up energy via photosynthesis.

Poking Out Slowly

Poking Out Slowly

First Attempts to Go Outside

The chickens poked out just a little but didn’t stay out – they are still testing the area and are hesitant, and it was windy so they may have been a little chilled.  However, it will be no time before they scratch and dig in the soil there for insects.  In fact, what was so funny was the minute I set them in the coop, they pecked at tiny insects on the walls – amazing – they were literally cleaning house.

My cat, Hunter, followed me to the coop this morning.  I didn’t seem him there, but he let out one of his big MEOWS.  “Get back,” I said – these ladies are your new friends!  I still haven’t named the chickens yet – right now, I refer to them as No 1, No 2, No 3, etc.

There are six of them, so I count them when I open the door to make sure they are all there.  Even though we checked every part of the coop walls, etc., there is this fear of a predator trying to get in to snatch them.  In fact, we plan to setup our outdoor motion sensor camera to see which predator shows up first to investiage.  I am sure they can hear and smell the chickens in the coops already.

Weeping Larch (left photo)

Weeping Larch (left photo)

Weeping Larch Coming Out too

On the left of the photo grouping above is a close up of a Weeping Larch (Larix decidua ‘Pendula’) located by my house entrance. Everyone who sees this tree usually points and comments on it.  It is especially pretty just when the needles start to come out of the branches.  It has a twisted curvy trunk and will grow rather large.  It may outgrow its space but I like it there for now.  I will show more on this plant later.

And on the right of this photo grouping above are more various perennials coming out of the soil now.  I managed to get to most of them to clean up any tattered growth from the previous year, so now they are ready for a mulch refresh.

More of the Helleborus

More of the Helleborus

Here is some funky garden type art I put around my pen.  My next step is to edge all the beds with low stone walls, planned this season.  It will look much better then.

Funky Art

Funky Art

More flower photos…

Spring Plants_0018 Spring Plants_0019

Spring Plants_0020

That’s it for now for my informal photo goofing around.  Enjoy your week everyone, and enjoy the rising of your perennials too.  It is time to come out and enjoy spring.

Written by Cathy Testa
http://www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
http://www.cathytesta.com
ContainerCrazyCT@gmail.com