TGIF – for some

TGIF – for some people.  Since I work in retail, eh, not so much.

Decisions are in progress, I guess.  I believe that I will be continuing with my education and I will be going on to get a Masters Degree in Business with a concentration in Entrepreurship.  Exciting and very scary but I’ve had some great support in making the decision to keep going and considering I may never have another opportunity like this I’m going for it.

Decision number two – for now, we are not moving anywhere.  We are planning a trip to Arizona in the near future.  Our family is in WI, the kids like it here and honestly… so do we.  An idea we have is to possibly spend time there in the lovely winter months.  That will be somewhere in the future though.  For now, school, kids, work, building my business, life, love and all that good stuff.

Plant and seed catalogs have starting arriving and I have been dreaming and drooling over all the pretties.  I may do a bit of winter sowing to start with but I also have about 3 other projects around the house to finish.  A woman’s work is never done.  🙂

For now… a look back at previous gardens to give us something to look forward to.

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New Camera – Oh What Fun!

Finally decided to purchase a new camera.  My old one is great  – don’t get me wrong.  I love it dearly but I was never able to zoom in on far away objects…. especially birds.  Now, hubby and I have really gotten into bird watching around our house.  We enjoy waking up every morning and seeing all the activity at the feeders and I love sneaking outside onto the porch steps and snapping photos of them all. Especially this year.  We’ve had so many new birdie arrivals!  I’ll contribute it to the fact that we’re now feeding strictly sunflower seeds except for the suet for the woodpeckers.  Anyway….  I always took my photos with my trusty Fujifilm FinePixA500.  Great little camera for point and shoot and for taking some interesting macro shots of the flowers in the garden.  I was going to upgrade to a Fujifulm camera with stronger optical zoom but when I stopped at the store that was supposed to carry it… there were none.  So, I settled on another camera with the same bells and whistles that I was looking for in the Fujifilm and I’m glad I did.  Went with a Samsung WB1000 and I just love it!  Although it’s not the best or most expensive camera out there, for my budget, it has exceeded all my expectations so far and I’m still trying to learn how to use it.  I just discovered ‘super macro’ the other day and wow – you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Here are a couple of photos using the camera.  Keep in mind, I’m still learning.  But, from this amateur photographer’s point of view… these are perty good.   The ‘super macro’ shots make me feel like I’m Tom Thumb wandering through the garden!  And the optical zoom … well, I feel like I could almost reach out and touch the birds.   😉

GrapeHycinths562013 WildViolet562013 Bluebird552013h Chickadee3202013

Other than the photography, I’m so thankful to be back out in the garden.  I has been an extremely long and strange winter here.  Never thought the snow would leave my little neck of the woods but it finally did.   And now the temps have me wondering what’s going on again…  up into the 80’s today.  But, it is Wisconsin.  Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change.

Thanks so much for reading.

Summer Garden Walk – What Happening In My Yard

A little garden walk.  Actually, I walk around the yard every morning to see what’s new and take photos.  It’s my “me time”. 

I also have White Currant and Coyote tomatoes that I need to photograph.  I like them both …. the Coyote is a very robust, flavor packed tomato…  I normally like them a little milder but it’s still good.
 
Morning Glories and other pretty blooms….
 
 
 

What zone are you REALLY in?

I have a “thing” about gardening zones and pushing the limits of what you can and  cannot grow.  According to Garden Web and other reliable  online sources, I am in USDA zone 4b.  Close to zone 5 but not close enough to slip under the radar.  The “thing” that bothers me the most is retailers telling me that I am in zone 5 (used to be. moved. not there any more)  I recently got a catalog from an online plant and seed retailer which lists me at zone 5.    Now, I find this horribly deceiving becuase the beginning gardener who does not know what their zone is will end up purchasing a bunch of plants that might or might not survive the winter.  Even local garden centers will set out perennials with zone 5 tags in a zone 4 location which leads consumers to believe that those plants will be just fine all through the winter.  Sure…they might.  But if you get a super cold season, chances are those 5’s are NOT going to make it in a 4.

There are ways to baby a plant through a colder zone but this requires research and a little extra work.  Or, you might have a mild winter ….  or there’s always prayer.  😉

I’ll admit.  I have some seeds that I’m trying to winter sow that would be better suited to zone 5.  I also have some plants that I brought with me that may not survive this colder zone.  The difference is that I KNOW this and I’m not trying to fool anyone…. it’s my own decision and there’s no garden center or online plant supplier involved.  Ah well…

Got 34 more containers of seeds finished yesterday for wintersowing.  Again, some are “iffy” and might be better suited to a warmer zone but I’m giving it a try anyway.

Black-eye-susan 1

Mexican Hat Coneflower 2

Poppy (NOID) 3

Gloriosa Daisy 3

Northern Sea Oats Grass 2

Rudbeckia – Irish Eyes 2

Hibiscus “Kopper King” 2

Hibiscus “Luna White” 2

Rose of Sharon – white 2

Spearmint 2

Gaillardia (from a trade) 1

Bachelor Buttons – older commercial seeds 2

Cleome – white 2

Cleome – pink 2

Rudbeckia “Goldilocks” 3

Columbine (NOID) 3