He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Recited while plucking the petals from a flower (usually a daisy):

He loves me,
He loves me not.
He loves me,
He loves me not.
He loves me,
He loves me not…

The couplet is repeated until the all of the petals are discarded; the line spoken when the final petal is plucked divines the truer statement.

He loves me, he loves me not...
He loves me, he loves me not…

While the rhyme can be directed towards anyone, it is traditionally the ritual of an adolescent girl and her first love on the playground.

Flowers and their symbolic  ties to human affections are deeply engrained in our culture, spawning a mythology and language of their own.  Daisies represent innocence, youth and vitality, appropriate to the carefree folly of early love the rhyme invokes.  The tradition of daisy-divination  is noted in Goethe’s Faust part one of which was completed in 1806:

Malcolm Jones (in his book The Secret Middle Ages) dates the first printing of the “The Daisy Oracle” 1471, when  Augsburg nun and scribe  Clara Hätzlerin included it in her Liederhandschrift (songbook), making this the oldest rhyme we’ve tackled so far. The rhyme is still sung in Germany (liebt mich, liebt mich nicht).

“The Daisy Oracle” is thought to be French in origin but all the evidence  is anecdotal. I’ll be looking further into this, so check back for updates.

It is always fun to research sayings and today I was intrigued by the ‘Origins Of The Daisy Oracle’. When was the last time you played this game?

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Tips For Growing Carrots

Carrots have always been a hit or miss with me. This season I want to increase my odds. What did I do? I googled it of course. I found there were as many ways to do it than I really wanted to know.

Instead of reading every article, (they certainly cannot grow from the seed packet) I asked myself what solutions I needed for my particular problems.

Problems I Have With Carrots

Carrot seeds are so tiny that it makes it difficult to plant them evenly. Rows are very spotty and what do grow are grown in clumps.

What I Have Learned With Carrots

The soil must be amended and as fine and loose as one can have. I happen to have some clay in my soil making it challenging. Think of how long a carrot can average in length. That is how deep the soil needs to be fine and loose. After tilling my garden I took my potato fork and dug deeper. Then I used my mini tiller to make the soil as fine as possible.

The seeds are so small and need to be planted very shallow that the next challenge occurs. Seed blowing away or birds finding them.

This year what I plan to do is plant my carrots as shallow as I can. Then I am going to use up my seed starting potting soil to cover them.

I am also going to take it one step farther and use landscape fabric to cover the rows keeping them damp until I see the first sprout. This will help with the germination period.

Last But Not Least…

Carrots need lots of water. Therefore, this season I am going to plant them at the lowest end of my garden where I know water will set from my soaker hose.

Will This Work?

Time will tell. There really isn’t that much science to this. There can be if you want it to be. I choose learning a few new points that I didn’t know before, mixing it with water, tilling to keep the soil loose along the row, sunshine and some love to top it off.

Follow me along this season and watch how my garden progresses. Sign up to receive my post through your email for your convenience.

Happy Gardening!

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Learn How To Avoid Transplant Shock In Plants

Transplant shock in plants is almost unavoidable. Plants were not designed to be moved from place to place. When we do this to them, problems can arise.

There are a few things to know about how to avoid transplant shock and cure plant transplant shock after it has occurred. Let’s look at them.

4 Things To Avoid Transplant Shock

  1. Avoid disturbing the roots as much as possible – Do as little as possible to the root ball. This means not shaking the dirt off the roots. This is the only dirt the plant is familiar with and has depended on as it grows. 
  2. Bring as much of the roots as possible – When digging up a plant the more roots that come with the plant, the less likely transplant shock in you plants will set in.
  3. Make sure the root ball stays moist during the entire transplanting process – This is an important factor in transplant shock.  If the root ball dries out at all, the roots in the dry area will get damaged.
  4. Water thoroughly after transplanting – This is your best defense in avoiding transplant shock. Give your plant plenty of water in its new home.

Now that you know a little more about how to avoid transplant shock, you know with a little plant preparation, preventing shock will be an easier task.

If you have any questions on this topic, please share and I will be happy to answer them!

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Always Fun To Go To The Local Greenhouse!

Going to the greenhouse is like Christmas in May! I am usually one of the last of Bloomquist Greenhouse customers. I have been putting my vegetable garden in always around the last week in May.

It  helps that I stopped by a few weeks ago and Deloris Bloomquist took my order for flowers that I wanted. I usually buy them at the same time I get my vegetables.

This year’s visit was a special treat. Jasper their cat welcomed me making me feel right at home by jumping up on the table to visit. While Deloris was off to get my order of flowers she kept back for me, I was supposed to be picking out my vegetables. It didn’t happen.

Jasper was way too entertaining as I pulled out my money for the flowers and vegetables. He wanted to see all of my money out of my billfold so I took it out and emptied it. Jasper got right in there and started first by smelling the money. Then he counted it and showed me how much change I could keep.  He would take everything else!

First Jasper smells the money.
First Jasper smells the money.
Then Jasper starts counting the money.
Then Jasper starts counting the money.
Keepthechangejaspergreenhouse
Finally Jasper was done and let me keep some of my change.

Soon Deloris came back with my flower order and saw we hadn’t gotten very far. Here comes Nelson Bloomquist and saw what was going on. He knew I wouldn’t get very far choosing my vegetables with Jasper around so Nelson picked up Jasper and off they went.

Deloris and I selected the usual vegetables with some new additional ones that she started carrying this season. Next was loading them up and taking the plants home to begin to plant today.

Picked out the vegetables and Deloris adding up the amount I would have to pay.
Picked out the vegetables and Deloris adding up the amount I would have to pay.
Selection of flowers and vegetables at Bloomquist Greenhouse.
Selection of flowers and vegetables at Bloomquist Greenhouse.

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It is always a treat to shop at Bloomquist Greenhouse each year. Stop by and see what they have on hand. This year they plan to stay open until June 15th and then they begin doing the Farmers Market for the rest of the season.

If you enjoyed what you read, please share!

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The Fragrance Of Lilacs

Towards the end of this past week an aroma of lilac blooms permeated their fragrance throughout my yard. I have several lilac bushes of white and lavender on my property.  Some of the lilacs were planted by my brother and sister-in-law when they lived here.

I moved here in 1998. A few years later my mom suggested planting lilacs on the east side of my property to line up with the other bushes. In time it would provide privacy and also filter the dust from the gravel road. Today they are beautiful bushes loaded with lavender flowers.

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Can you just smell their fragrance?

Lilacs are a very versatile  bush that is very forgiving to the young gardeners starting out. This season I made a decision to plant some what they call suckers that grow from the root and also some larger seedlings.  I have some old trees on the north side of my property that are dead. It was time to get something growing in that area again.

I took it a step farther and planted more along the property line. In no time they will be mature bushes that will be loaded with lilac flowers smelling as sweet as the more mature bushes in my yard.

If you are looking for a great privacy feature around your property, lilac bushes are ones that are hardy, forgiving and very affordable. After the blooms have ended, the lilac bush leaves are a pretty color green that will be great accents to your yard for the season.

If you like what you read, please share. Thank you for stopping by.

Marilyn

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April Ends May Begins

Did the month of April go by fast for you? It sure did for me. Activities that have been keeping me busy are my Facebook Pages and groups, teaching myself the technical aspects of blogging, (I swear I was born in the wrong generation when it comes to technology.) and gearing up for the gardening season.

When the technical aspect of designing my page  throws me a curve ball, I take a break and head outside making plans and switching perennial plants around in my gardens to create a new look.  This gives me the opportunity to allow new information that is foreign to me sink in.

I am determined to create a page that is enjoyable to visit. I hope you stay with me in this journey. In the meantime I have written almost 5 years of articles that I feel have great content. You can click on the menu that will take you to other blogs I have started and am working on having all of the posts available to you here.

For those who have been following me I thank you for your dedication to learn along with me finding your own way with the help of Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System’s 9 habits that help you free yourself, your family and your home from clutter and CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and allow you to enjoy your life as it should be.

Stay tuned! Gardening photos are on the way! I will also be writing about how I am able to garden and take care of myself, my family and my home by simply decluttering 15 minutes a day. [contact-form subject='[Marilyn%26#039;s Way’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Spring In South Dakota

We are getting spoiled with temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s this past week and the coming. It was like magic watching the snow melt away as the sun was letting us know it is closer to the earth these days, at least on this side of the equator.

Winter always seems to come sooner than I can get my flower beds from the past season cleaned up. I did do better this past season than most so I am gaining.

I made a run through picking up branches that had fallen due to winter winds and putting them in the pile where I burn. I noticed Robins for the first time this season. I decided to document the first day I did see them.

I went inside to get my camera. While I was near the house I thought I would check out the flower beds under the evergreen trees. Yes! Signs of life are emerging.

Signs of life.
Signs of life.
Chamomile
Chamomile

I walk to the back of my property where I had spotted the robins earlier. I did get up close to them. Of course that was when I didn’t have my camera. I did my best to capture a couple photos.

Robin high in my Maple Tree.
Robin high in my Maple Tree.

I am sure I will get better photos in the coming days. I have the rest of this new season to try. I will also be documenting my plants as they grow. Most of this is exciting to gardeners. It says new beginnings, clean slate, possibilities, and future experiences.

My plans are to redesign my back garden and to build a ‘Rainbow Bridge’ where my beloved pets rest in peace. AND that reminds me, I have a shopping cart with heirloom seeds I want to order. My goal is to attract more butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

What are your gardening goals for the coming season? I would love to hear from you!

Let the 2015 Gardening Season Begin!
Marilyn

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After The Freeze

One thing we can’t control is Mother Nature. Last night was the first freeze of the 2014 vegetable season. I thought about dragging all of my sheets and blankets out to cover the garden and extend the season. Then I thought, ‘Who am I kidding?’

The season is coming to a close. All the plants have matured and grown the most they will. The inevitable is coming. Winter. Oh how I wish I enjoyed winter to make it easier on myself. I just don’t. In fact I spent 10 years in the south before I moved back to South Dakota. Instead, winter will be time for decluttering, detailed cleaning and any so called ‘Winter Projects’. The following are photos of the result of the freeze we had last night. The lows reached to 26 degrees.

afterthefreeze 001 My tomatoes and peppers are no more.

afterthefreeze 003 My arbor looks bare. My neighbor boys filled in.

afterthefreeze 004 I really wanted these 4 O’Clocks to mature because of the multi colored blooms. I hope I find more like this for next season.

afterthefreeze 005 The back view of the vegetable garden. The green beans are done. The root crops are fine. I have beets and carrots.

afterthefreeze 007 My showy orange cosmos like flowers’ leaves have wilted.

afterthefreeze 008 My Spaghetti Squash.

afterthefreeze 009 On the south side of my house the majority of the flowers were spared.

afterthefreeze 010 Now I will be able to get the rest of the side of the house painted once it warms up.

afterthefreeze 011 Cosmos are done for sure and most of my zinnias.

afterthefreeze 013 My petunias, hostas, and ground cover made it.

afterthefreeze 014 The foliage and impatiens didn’t make it.

afterthefreeze 015 The mums are hearty. I bought them last year and was happy they came up.

afterthefreeze 016Only some of the impatiens froze.

And so the season is coming to an end. Some plants I will over winter for next year. Others will have to be bought again.

Don’t get me wrong. I do love the fall colors of the leaves on the trees. Fall is also a time for church suppers where it is wonderful to gather and meet old friends.

There will be some warmer days ahead and I plan to be outside cleaning up beds where this season’s vegetables were. For now I will enjoy the ones that made it through the first freeze of the season.

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If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at www.facebook.com/marilynkayfoster and I will add you to the group!

 

 

Canning Green Beans

I have been fortunate to have a high yield with my green beans from the garden. I did plant a second crop thinking the first one would be gone but it still kept producing.

Time to pull out the pressure cooker again and see how many pints I can process. But first I must prepare the green beans. I start by snapping the ends off.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 011 Wash them in the sink.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 014 Cut the green beans up approximately half inch each and place into the jar.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 021 Scald the lids to ensure a proper seal to the jar.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 023Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and hot water. Fill to half inch from top. Place scalded lid on jar.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 024 Screw the ring on and tighten.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 025 Place the jars in heated hot water. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to keep the jars clean on the outside.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 027 Place the lid on.

flowers lily and trixie canning green beans 028Lock the lid and place the weight where it says 10 pounds pressure. Begin timing when the weight begins to jiggle. Allow 20 minutes to pressure cook.

pressure cooker 001Remove from burner and allow to cool 30 – 45 minutes before removing the weight and opening the lid.

baking 009Remove the jars from the pressure cooker and allow to cool. Date them if you like. These green beans are going to taste mighty good in the depths of the coming winter. The greatest part is no jars cracked and nothing exploded! These are things that a perfectionist will be afraid of and procrastinate canning the green beans at all. I am glad I have learned Progress is more important than Perfection.

mwtoorganizationforhomeandgarden3

If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at www.facebook.com/marilynkayfoster and I will add you to the group!

 

Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup

I love this time of year when I can throw together a fresh vegetable soup that come right out of my garden. I really don’t have a recipe. I just start chopping!

There is one thing I do different. In order to enhance the flavor of the soup, I like to dice up onions, peppers, garlic and celery and then saute them first in olive oil.

soup and trixie 001 Saute the onions, peppers, garlic and celery in olive oil.

soup and trixie 002 Blanch the fresh tomatoes until the skin cracks and then immerse them in cold water to make the skins easy to peel.

soup and trixie 003 Pour 2 boxes of chicken broth plus 2 water. Add seasoning of your choice.soup and trixie 006It is so fun to just walk outside to my garden to pick the ingredients for this great tasting and filling soup!

vegetable soup 002Let it simmer until done.

mwtoorganizationforhomeandgarden3

If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at www.facebook.com/marilynkayfoster and I will add you to the group!