Don’t worry, be happy !!

One Sweet Potato Vine

Two Sweet Potato Vines

Over 100 degrees

Two "hanging" & two in the box.

This afternoon I was “baking” while transplanting Sweet Potato Vines.  I could not keep enough water on the plants–in hanging baskets–so I’ve planned this project for a couple of weeks.  First, I needed new planters (and I’ve shopped at several stores).  On Monday, I found a reasonably priced item for a large planter.  That large white plastic box is a Little Tyke toy chest–and Goodwill was asking ninety-nine cents.  How could I refuse??  PLANTERS ARE SO EXPENSIVE!!!!!

It was 90 degrees (by my thermometer) while I prepared the first transplant (2:30 PM).  Due to extreme heat, I retreated to the apartment until five o’clock when I completed the second transplant.  Look at the temperature on my thermometer.  I didn’t stay out very long after placing the plant, soaking with water, and taking a quick picture.

Fourth picture shows “two in the box” and two Sweet Potato Vines in their original hanging baskets.  Soon they, too, will be transplanted.

Lorraine at new Chik-fil-A

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”: Remember that catchy tune, and words??  For some strange reason, I find myself singing that song while I work in “my other garden.”  I’m receiving lots of compliments about the attractive area–and all at a minimum of expense.  Mostly just lots of exercise, water, fertilizer and words of affection expressed to the curious collection of plants I inherited.

After my trip to the chiropractor this morning, I visited the grand opening of a Chick-fil-A. That isn’t a cardboard poster; it’s a warm-blooded mild-mannered bovine.

“Pandora’s Garden”

My other garden

My other garden

Pandora's GardenActually Sunday, June 2nd, 2013. I wanted the pictures to follow details in earlier blogs.   I affectionately call this “Pandora’s Garden.”  Truthfully, I don’t know some of the plants (and haven’t been able to learn from the garden departments at Home Depot, Lowe’s and/or from the Internet).  After they bloom (?), I’ll be able to decide what they are and whether they should remain.  Weren’t the contents of Pandora’s Box a mystery?

Naughty, naughty !!


Hole in birdseed container.

Duct tape repair.Is nothing safe?? The squirrels don’t understand my admonition when I tell them the bird feeders–and seed containers–are off-limits!!  I reinforced the bottom of the heavy-duty plastic container, and patched the bag with duct tape.

Search and rescue !!

Frequently I quote an old saying: “Too soon old, too late smart.”  Over two weeks ago I bought ten plants in hanging baskets.  Beautiful plants!! However (with hindsight) they were (are) root-bound and require LOTS of water. Yesterday (after visiting the chiropractor) I visited Garden Ridge. The variety of planters is endless!!  I was searching for “just the right” planter for a Fuchsia plant. After work, I transplanted it into the white five-gallon pail–with lots of room for root growth.  The white pail will be inserted in the large brown planter.  Repeat: “Too soon old, too late smart.”  The Fuchsia plant cost $7.; the planter cost $50.; white pail $5.; organic soil over $10.  ** Not a wise plant purchase!!**  ~~  I’ve searched the web for information about Fuchsia and discovered my $7. purchase was destined for an early death if it continued to hang in “my other garden.”  For one thing, too much sun!!  I’m uncertain how well the plant will grow so put it in the white pail rather than directly into the large planter.  White pail fits inside the large planter.  Can you believe that big plant came out of the small hanging basket (in the foreground of first picture)??  Hopefully the Fuchsia will thrive on the back patio with morning sun and afternoon shade. When it blooms, the Hummingbirds will love it!!  ~~ At Garden Ridge, I couldn’t decide between planters so brought both home.  I like the way the square planter compliments the plant stand but face the question “What will I plant in it?”.

Fuchsia plant

New planter

Fuchsia in new planter

Another planter

Postscript, Wednesday, May 29, 2013: I returned the square planter to Garden Ridge.  I just could not justify the $40. planter!!  Believe it or not, at Goodwill (en route home), I bought a Little Tyke white, large, heavy-duty plastic toy box for 99 cents.  Yes, ninety-nine cents!!  It is larger than two planters!!  I won’t have it on that plant stand BUT envision it in “my other garden” with all four transplanted Sweet Potato Vines trailing down the sides.

Kudzu bugs

I laughingly told my next door neighbor I was “overworked and underpaid” when he inquired “how are you?”.  I’ve added pest control to the long list of things I do in the garden.  Last year I had an infestation of Kudzu bugs.  I hoped they would not return–but they have.  I was just on-line (Bing) searching for the answer to “how to kill the kudzu bug.”  There are lots of web sites and this message is brand-new (date-wise).  Kudzu bugs are on my Scarlet Runner Bean (in the back yard) and Sweet Potato Vine (in the front yard).  There are no Kudzu vines in the vicinity to my knowledge.  Yesterday I sprayed an Ortho chemical.  Late this afternoon, I repeated the process. From web info, I may not master this problem.  I’m really sensitive to odors and–as you might imagine–the Ortho chemical smells very bad.  Naturally I got some spray on me, and my clothes, so I’m sitting here inhaling stinky fumes.  If I can’t eradicate the bugs I’ll have to destroy my plants.  I love Scarlet Runner Bean because it grows fast and has lots of beautiful red flowers enjoyed by the Hummingbirds.  I like the Sweet Potato Vine (hanging baskets) because very attractive plant.  (I bought four two weeks ago.)

I’ve spent almost the entire weekend doing projects in and for the garden.  AND, I prepared a couple of blog messages after downloading pictures from my camera–and editing the pictures.  I’m definitely getting a lot of exercise!!  (Exercise in the garden; nothing strenuous about sitting at a computer.)

Scarlet Runner Bean growing at the end of the patio.

Scarlet Runner Bean in planter.The Scarlet Runner Bean is growing from plastic container at far end of my patio.  With the exception of the Honeysuckle Vine, my backyard garden is  confined to “containers.”

Addendum: It has only been an hour (or one-and-one-half hours) since I sprayed.  My skin is itching and burning!!  Frankly as an individual that practices “holistic health,” I did not want to buy and use a chemical.  Bye, bye Ortho!!  Now I’m heading for the shower.

Shame, shame Lorraine !!

Naughty, naughty !!

Naughty !!

A banquet !!

Hey, don't blame me!!

Chewed container lid.

Gnawed the top of the container.

Gnawed the bottom of the container.Because I have “too many irons in the fire”?!?!   While my back was turned, my furry friends got into (in a manner of speaking) “the cookie jar.”  On Friday I bought two more bags of bird seed, parked them on the patio BUT did not put them in their container.  Shame, shame Lorraine!!  Absent minded old lady!! Over the last two years, the squirrels have gnawed through the lids, the edge of the container, and the bottom of the container in an attempt to get to the seed.  They even get into “squirrel proof” bird feeders!!  ~~  Friday afternoon, and all day Saturday, I was concentrating on transplanting plants.  Two Saturdays ago, I bought ten hanging baskets from a fund-raising event for our JAARS youth.  They were spectacularly beautiful plants but wilted within one day; they needed constant watering.  In order to “save my investment” I bought more Miracle Gro planter soil, and more planters.  I separated the plant and transplanted into two pots.  That… plus watering “my other garden” filled the day–and the bird seed was forgotten.

Here’s an excerpt from my earlier blog titled Singing in the Rain.”

Yesterday the youth here at JAARS had their annual plant sale.  They raise money for their mission trip to Haiti.   A nursery donates a hundred, or more, hanging baskets that the youth sell for $7. each or three for $20.  I took a lot of garden things–as a donation–and people could buy and the money went to the youth.  After I delivered… I hauled three hanging baskets home.  The plants are three times larger than those I have purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  I’ve paid $15. and $20. for smaller… at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  ~~  I returned at noon to pick up my things that did not sell.  I bought three more hanging baskets.  Although the sale was over (at noon), because there were still people arriving… I did not take my things.  I went back about 2:00… and the remaining hanging baskets were outside, on the porch, and a donation was all they asked.  I picked up four more baskets–for the (newly acquired) Shepherd’s hooks in the community garden area–and the Carolina Jasmine.

Transplanted from hanging basket.Looks rather pathetic doesn’t it? (A shadow of the former beautiful display.) Better a “transplant” rather than slow root-bound death in a hanging basket!!

Camera mounted in the Bluebird house !!

hawk-eye300My last night project after yesterday afternoon purchase.  Here is the description from a web site.

Tiny infrared video camera for inside a birdhouse! This is always one of most popular holiday gift items. It makes a wonderful gift for the bird lover.

This tiny Hawk Eye Nature Cam is designed for low-light, outdoor situations such as in a birdhouse.

Mounted inside your birdhouse, it will show everything in the birdhouse in focus. Watch the secret life of your bluebirds and other cavity-nesting birds.

Plug the cord into your TV or computer screen and sit back and watch the show. Or plug it into your VCR and record the action.

Comes with an built-in microphone and 100 feet of cable. (Extensions available.)

The Hawk Eye Nature Cam is easy to use. Audio, video, and power run between camera and your TV or computer. Simply mount the camera, run the cord into your house, and plug it into the TV. See complete instructions, with each unit.

You can also mount it in the open near your bird feeders, and enjoy colorful, close-up views of hummingbirds and other birds feeding.

Watch a demo video.

A year (or more) ago I looked longingly at Bluebird houses with a camera mounted in them.  But, frankly, I wasn’t going to pay almost $200.  As you know (if you have been reading my blog), I have a deluxe Bluebird house that cost about $80.  I’ve considered adding a camera and, suddenly, May 17th was the day to make my purchase ($50.00).  Then, after dark, on my patio, I worked gently with the birdhouse and installed the camera.  It wasn’t “difficult” but I spent time attaching and making adjustments.  I’m eager for “Mama Blue” to lay eggs.


Postscript, Friday, May 24th, 2013: I haven’t been able to properly focus the lens of the tiny camera.  I’ve worked patiently… to no avail (all I have is a blur on my TV screen).  I’ll have to work “under cover of darkness” and I must be extremely careful because last night there were three little eggs in the nest.  I did not “see” the eggs; I explored the bottom of the nest with my curious right hand.


The blurred image on the TV screen.Postscript, Monday, May 27th, 2013: I still haven’t been able to properly focus the lens of the tiny camera!!  Give me an “E” for effort!!  ~~  Now there are four eggs in the nest.


Mama Blue on the nest.Postscript, Tuesday, May 28th, 2013: “Mama Blue” on the nest.  You’ll have to take my word for it because a blur.

Obsession with Bluebirds !!

My view

The Bluebird family

1) May 18, 2013

2) May 18, 2013

3) May 18, 2013

4) May 18, 2013

5) May 18, 2013

6) May 18, 2013

7) May 18, 2013

8) May 18, 2013

One, two, three, four, five

9) May 18, 2013

10) May 18, 2013

11) May 18, 2013

12) May 18, 2013

13) May 18, 2013

14) May 18, 2013

15) May 18, 2013













My camera is always convenient. These were taken through the patio door glass from inside the apartment (over a period of time, some seconds apart, some minutes or hours apart). Within the software program, Picasa, I cropped each original. It was a thrill to see Papa Blue and Mama Blue with their four recently fledged babies.  All are enjoying mealworms in the blue feeder. (Click each picture to enlarge for better viewing.)