Friday, April 10, 2009


Any time we dig in the yard, we find plenty of Japanese Beetle larvae. Not only are they disgusting little things, but they evolve into even worse creatures - bugs whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the plants we hold dear. Note that this is not my hand. I would never touch one of these things ungloved.

Around this time of year, the larvae are just starting to form their outer shell, so they can still be squeezed easily between a pair of gloved fingers and put out of their dirty misery. This weekend, as I was digging out a new flower bed, I squeezed a dozen or so larvae then tossed them onto the hot pavement for good measure - there's no surviving that! The larvae got their revenge on me though when I became careless while issuing the ultimate penalty and the "juice" hit me square in the face. It was so disgusting. I'm glad I was wearing sunglasses. Their justice was short-lived as I decided to just stomp them from that point forward.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Coconut Liners

Last year I was unable to find pre-molded coconut liners for my hanging baskets. The only option available locally from any retailer was that awful circular liner that you are supposed to cut to size and then cram the flat circular shape into a three dimensional basket. Not only is it impossible to cut through the material, but once you do get it hacked up, it doesn't conform to the basket but bunches up and looks awful - much like a droopy diaper.

I made an early start this year to see if local retailers would mend their ways and go back to pre-molded liners, but they are still carrying those horrible flat circles. So, I went online to find real liners, and was not disappointed.

My first stop for online shopping is always Amazon, and I was not disappointed this year. There are plenty of coconut liners to choose from in all sizes and shapes. I was able to find replacement liners for all my hanging baskets and my three-tiered iron basket, which I had no hope for using this year due to the worn out liners. $25 for 5 liners with shipping. Pretty good deal. Shipping was $11 of the cost, but it's worth paying extra for the real deal.

The package arrived in the mail today, and I held my breath opening it, fearing to find flat circles inside. I was able to breathe easy when I found the lovely pre-molded liners I had expected.

Shop early - they sell out fast. I learned that last year!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Yep, It Snowed

Last Snow Dates that I Recorded for Asheville (not too many mind you):

2008 - April 14
2007 - April 11

Two is probably not a trend, so I shouldn't really freak out worrying that the snow we are getting today on April 7th 2009 won't be the last. Trying ... Not ... To ... Freak ... Out ... AhHHHHHhhh!

Yesterday I mocked all those people at Lowe's buying petunias, basil and other tender annuals, but I must admit that I bought two ferns from Jesse Israel that probably aren't frost proof either! I covered them with some sheets. I hope they're still alive under there ... Under where you ask? I made you say underwear! Yeah, I'm in a silly mood today. I accidentally overslept, and now my eyes (and apparently my brain) aren't focusing properly. I blame the snow.

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Little Hint of Holland

The 100 tulips I planted last Fall are in bloom, and they look fantastic. I am always impressed with the bulbs I buy from Sam's Club. Yeah, I'm always a little surprised by statements like that too. I mean seriously, it's Sam's Club. They can't actually sell good bulbs, right? Wrong. Check it out.

yellow and red tulips

It's like a little Dutch field teleported to North Carolina. I took this photo on Friday, and the yellow bulbs have all opened up since then. It's really ugly and overcast today though, so I don't have an updated photo.

These tulips are growing down the sidewalk with the daisies. I swear they must be volunteers, because I have never planted yellow and red tulips out front. I do have some like this in a container in the back yard, but I doubt they sprouted legs and moved. They sure are pretty!

yellow and red tulips

We have been busy little gardeners here in Bent Creek. We've cut the grass for the first time, we have snap peas and onions growing in the garden, the roses have been pruned and cleaned up, and I have started a new perennial bed! I have 200+ seedlings growing in the spare room (AKA - the room where plants go to die) waiting for that magical May 9th planting date.

I hear it's going to snow tonight. I hope all those people who were at Lowe's this weekend buying petunias didn't plant them! I warned them not to, but they probably thought I was a crazy woman since it was in the 70's and so lovely.

In other news, we have finally been downgraded to a D1 drought! We can wash our cars again! I'm sure the guy across the street will be happy. He has only been washing ONE car per week, but now he can wash all FOUR every week! Woo-hoo for him. Note sarcasm.

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