Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wrong Shade of Green

When I said I wanted a garden that was green and growing, 
this was not what I meant...

Lots of green aphids on a now almost dead plant in container

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tools of Inspiration

In my quest of understanding the natural world around me and using that to create a garden haven, there are two main tools that I use.  Sometimes they answer questions I have, and they usually inspire me to learn more.  Means of revelations and insight, they have become the tools of inspiration for how I garden and how I see the world around me.

The first main tool of inspiration for me is my camera.
Carolina anole lizard
The camera lets me see details that I would not normally pick up.  It is a window to a world I don't normally see.

It lets me see and document the small stories that are going on around me, and thus I have become so much more aware of nature and the small lives that are around me.  I now feel party responsible for these wild creatures in my garden - how I garden can directly affect their lives.

They also provide good fodder for the blog.

Don't mind me, I'm just hanging around...
I have a terrible memory, and the camera lets me document things to remember later.   Through pictures I have a record of when plants flower, what my garden looks like throughout the seasons, and plants and combinations that I like in other gardens.  These pictures provide me inspiration for shaping my own garden haven.

Love this plant combination of my neighbor's - Loropetalum chinensis, Clematis armandii 'Snowdrift', and an old urn
Mr. Red House, who love all things technology, had to talk me into letting him buy a fancy camera.  Now he laughs, since I have pretty much claimed the camera, and he can barely get the chance to use it!  At least it gets used, right?

The second tool that provide me so much inspiration is...
the computer.

I have a love/hate relationship with the computer.  Mr. Red House says that there isn't a computer I can't break, and that I should work for a computer company doing testing.   Back in college, I actually took several computer programming classes.  For one assignment, I accidentally managed to write a compiler virus instead of whatever it was that I was supposed to make the program do.  You would think I would get extra credit for creating a homework assignment that could eat itself, but no...

Uh oh.. I broke the computer yet again..
(On that note, I have been having several issues with Blogger, the site that runs my blog, specifically with some of its widgets.  So if you tried to follow my site by e-mail, sorry if that didn't really work so well...)

But the computer is a wonderful tool as well.  I love living in the information age, where I can find answers to my questions at the click of a button.  

Why are my rose leaves crinkling up and turning white, and what can I do to stop that?  Well, let me just google that...

Hardly a day goes by where I am not researching what conditions a plant likes, what a particular critter is, or how to fix some sort of garden issue.  It inevitably inspires me to ask even more questions and delve further into learning about the world we live in.

Random factoid:  fossils show that the largest flying insect species are related to and looked like present-day dragonflies - they had wingspans of over 2 feet.
I can read about how the plants and animals in my own backyard are connected with the ecosystem as a whole.  Gardeners around the world inspire me with their own stories and garden havens.  The computer has been such a wonderful tool for inspiration in so many ways and continues to be so.   As long as I don't break it, anyway...

For more on what inspires gardeners around the world, visit Garden Walk, Garden Talk.

And thank you so much to Holley of Roses and Other Gardening Joys and Jane of Tidy Gardens by Jane for deeming me worthy of the Sunshine Award!  I am glad to bring a little sunshine to some other fellow gardeners - these two ladies and their garden blogs are a source of cheer and inspiration to me as well!

In winning this award, I am supposed to answer some very random questions about myself:

1.  What is your favorite color?      Blue

2.  What is your favorite animal?      Cats - I have two, one of which is usually 'helping' me blog.

3.  What is your favorite number?      3.14159... We'll just go with pi.   It was a toss up between that and i, but I went with the real answer..

4.   What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?   Hot chocolate

5.   Which is your favorite - Facebook or Twitter?   Pinterest!

6.    What is your passion?  You can probably guess..
7.    Do you prefer giving or receiving presents?  Both

8.    What is your favorite pattern?   Plaid.  All kinds of plaid.  Grunge plaids, country plaids, Scottish plaids, they're all pretty awesome, especially in flannel.

9.    What is your favorite day of the week?     Friday or Saturday, both good!

10.   What is your favorite flower?     Clematis and daisies

I am also supposed to pick other blogs that deserve this award, but for that I defer to my list of blogs that I read.  They all have their own unique brand of sunshine.

Happy Gardening!

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