Wednesday, November 08, 2006


My Hands Are Dirty

And I love it!! I now wash my hands several times a day, knowing the dirt washed off might be back very soon, maybe within minutes of washing them, and my finger nails will need some extreme cleaning as well. This seems to happen to me many times lately, the need to get my hands dirty, and the need to clean the dirt away. Especially on a beautiful day!!! Such as noted within the picture below (BTW, this blog will have several pictures, as I am hoping they will express my words within the story I am telling!)

The country life of the deep south has made a mark upon me, and the gardening aspect of life has hit me with a bigger picture. Especially since before my move here, I really did not even believe it was important to garden. (Silly me, as I had no idea that it might actually save me money, not to mention give relief to my soul for the pure enjoyment of it all!) Things with me and my family have really changed on that attitude. Probably a good thing, and an important one, considering the move was very deep and will be remembered, at least to me as an important MILESTONE.

It is totally amazing what a move can do to one. I have read and even watched per TV a great deal on this subject, concerning a move, and it is a very personal experience, not to mention so much more that it directs on our lives in the move as well as in the long run. I understand this, as our move to our new home was extremely traumatic! While we made the move, I even questioned if I would survive it emotionally, just survive the move period, and the costs, and in the long run of the future. We had to give up so many things that at one time we thought, using the expressions of our children "ROCKED OUR WORLD!" And I understand more deeply Mark Twain's words of "7 moves equal a fire!" (And now I even have to question that, or find the book with that statement, as my Internet search is now telling me that Mark Twain said that 3 moves equal a fire. Boy, am I am trouble now!!) In my lifetime of 52 years, I have faced many fires if this statement was true of Mark Twain's just considering 7 years, but this particular move to me was tremendous, stressful, heart breaking, sacrificing so much that I was afraid of, which left me desperate, new to things I was not ready to face, plus so much more! And in the course of this move, I felt the burning of the fire~so to speak, and worried about water and such to make the fire go away! But, just for a little while, thank goodness. As while the move was so extreme, my life changed extremely, seeing good things on the way, in within the move, my life headed in new directions, and therefore, I am thankful! (Hope I can keep up with this new life experience, since I am still not sure, but some what confident!)

As it turned out, I think it might have been the most important move of my life, even with all the hell and brimstone. My entire life still continues to change while here. Especially concerning gardening. (Which is by the way, why I wrote this blog in the first place!) Since our move, and with the property available to us, I want to so much with our new surroundings express my feeling! This, at last, is one of the times I am happy with the Internet and the knowledge I can get from it! (Especially since I cannot afford, or find the time to buy all the DANG books I need to help me with this search, and thankful I can find easily on the Internet! Appears, I am not alone in my search for my desires and dreams concerning Mother Earth, and what part can I play in chords in positive ways!)

I WANT TO KNOW what is in my yard! And I want to know the names and games available for me! When we lived in Huntsville, before our move, I knew all the things growing in our yard. And they were easy to remember, GRASS and PECAN trees. Our responsibilities were to CUT the GRASS, and pick the PECANS (Most of the time, we just gave them away. What a mistake that turned out to be. Miss them now! Trust me!! Especially when you are making cookies!)

My question now with my life is how does MY garden grow. "Silver bells and cockle shells and maidens all in a row" sound real nice, but I now understand the joke of "silver bells and cockle shells and one DAMN petunia!" It seems to fit well with me, and makes me want to explore more to change this, so that this is more a joke and not a reality! In other words, I want to know how to plan and plant a successful garden! How do I take care of banana plants that are 20 feet tall in my area instead of when I look it up on the Internet, 12 feet is good! And once again here is a picture (take~Georgia skies on a beautiful day but captured the banana plants above the 5 foot pool, and over the 5 foot deck stand , as if in competition with the pine trees! Guess what I learned! The pine trees help the banana plants!)

My new way of thinking and learning is HOW do I care and make sure the elephant plants grow and survive during the winter months? What do I do about the rose bushes that have brought me sweet smelling and fresh flowers each day? I have learned much about that! My pictures prove that! For example, here is my first picture of roses placed in my house, that I picked with excitement and care and I was so proud of them!

Since I took the pictures of these flowers, even though still beautiful to me, my husband did the research, and found out when and how to prune them to place in the home, and I am so proud that he passed that knowledge my way, not to mention that it was important to him also. I did research with his directions , and cut the stems on the plants that had buds, but had not budded yet, but would do so while in the vase, and the results are below. Such a big difference!
And a big one at that! Good thing I have learning capabilities and still strive for success! Especially for the roses, as their colors and smells go a lot further doing it this way!!

What about the cactus plants, now that is a new one on me! See that tiny thing growing up among the other cactus? Well, according to what I read, this was not supposed to happen!! From what I read, this plant needed a lot of light to do well, and it got neither, yet grew in leaps and bounds! My question to myself is "do I leave it alone now, or water it? Or listen to music from Outer Limits of the sound track and make decisions from there!!! Do Do Do Do Do DOOOOOOOO

What about the morning glory that finally peeked my interest so much that I finally found it this particular plant on the Internet, even while and about it in my sleep and dreams! I even went so far to take pictures of it, which did not turn out well, as evident, and considered to delete them, and thankfully I could not delete the smell that still reaches my chair of where I sit on my back porch! And I so still love the smell!! I do know the plants above are morning glory. Bad pictures, need a new camera, but still I try and capture some resemblance. At least in the bottom picture, some of the lavender finds away to peek out in glory in the morning (which BTW, in the moring, it was taken) to give a good idea of the art I try to explain in my words, and need for a new camera.

What about the Palm trees that give personality to my front porch, and things that grow around it that I have no idea of what it is, but WANT TO Know?

For example pictures below, that I am looking for answers on, and have no idea of the names, and what they are called yesterday and now today! (BTW, any help is appreciated within my search!) Is this a weed, and something I need to weed out? Seems awful pretty to me!!! (Also, I read and researched on the Internet, about rocks and shells and how they help with gardens. I had no idea how special rocks and shells worked well with keeping plants healthy! Something I should remember!!! Are they just another weed? Or a neat plant? Personally I like then all. Pretty much explains the book I read from front cover to back cover or plants and weeds! Still not sure of what every thing is, as many are not mentioned or pictured, but has me going with curiosity, especially thinking do I pull it, or replant it?

I have so many more pictures on hand, but afraid now that I might be boring and redundant, (not to mention time is closing in to whelping puppies, and that is not a pretty picture, but a needed and loving experience), so I will end this blog, or so to speak! And at the same time, as my life goes on, I am sure I will speak about this more, and hopefully with new knowledge, and ideas.

So, yes, my life with the Internet has been a very useful and needed tool! Most of my time on the Internet has been searching for gardening questions and answered, which is on a positive note since I spend a lot of time saving them to my favorites and to my journal!! (spending less time on troll behavior, yet that is still a very important part of my life, that I do not forget!) My life has found new soul mates in silly things such as COMPOST piles, or knowledge or fertilizers, soil and soil testing, and DIRT DIGGING!!! But most of all dirt digging in relationship to experimenting! I am digging up all I can find (And some I do not want to find, such as ant bites, other bites, red marks on my body) in hopes of discovering of what it is, and to see if I can make it grow, and learning while I do if it is of significance importance!

Actually, it has turned out pretty well, in the long run, and I am happy about that! Dirty hands can be cleaned. And right now, I love the dirt and the cleaning!

This whole move has changed my way of thinking in many ways! Especially concerning Mother Earth! I now wake up each morning deciding of how I pick and chose of what I want to do today, (or this) day! And trust me, it caries it own dilemmas! Writing use to be my main goal, my personal baby, one I loved so much! And in the long run, I will not give up on that (hopefully), but will allow myself to "relax" and not make it my entire life, as I use to do! Mid, you were right in your words of the "gardening bug would hit me. It did, like the flu!! And I hope I do not get over the sickness, as it is one I really need!!!

With that, I will end this blog! My fingers are clean right now, and that will change! I need dirt! WHY, BECAUSE IT MAKES MY GARDEN GROW, AND I GET TO GROW WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!



  1. OH yes, now you know how I feel when I'm out in my garden, although I only get to enjoy it for a few short months!!'s a satisfying, wonderful experience. I'm glad you can now call yourself a gardener!

  2. Anonymous8:12 AM

    What a wonderful post, Katie! I rememeber how much I loved to garden when we lived at our old house. We had a HUGE yard (1/3 acre) and I had a massive vegetable garden out back. I'll never forget walking out there and seeing the pea plants first poking up through the soil. It was lovely.

    The amazing thing about your post is how it actually fits rather well with the NaNoWriMo piece I'm working on right now. No secrets spilled if I tell you it's called "Last Woman on Earth" and it's about survival (to boil everything plot-wise down to a simple syrup).

    This was great, but I do have a couple questions for you. Regarding the unknown plants... Do you have a bird feeder near either clump? One of them looks like it could be millet (a seed commonly found in birdseed mixes) and the other could be a fern (not found in birdseed).

    I'd leave them another year to see what they do, but make sure they don't spread and start choking out your other plants. Native grasses can be beautiful, and that might be what you have there. If you find a seedhead on it, then you'll have an idea that it might have been left there via bird poop (or other critter droppings).

    Morning Glory can be hard to control, so if it's near something you don't want smothered, you might want to move the potential victim. Out here we have a relative of the Morning Glory called Bindweed, and that stuff is NASTY! I don't know how your plant behaves, so I'd keep an eye on it (our bindweed doesn't have a smell, so there must be some difference).

    Enjoy the garden, and show us more pictures. I'm curious to know how your banana trees survive the winters, too. (They must have done fine all the years they've been there).

  3. I love getting my hands dirty in my tiny garden. I don't have anything exotic or 'different' (unless you count the shamrock my husband gave me for St. Paddy's Day last year) in my garden, but I still love seeing what's changing.


  4. Hi all,

    Yes Mid, you told me I would get the gardening bug, and it bit me hard. It sure has taken up a lot of time and I love it.

    Ms. Karen, we do not have a bird feeder, (and I want one.) Thanks for the great deal of info, and I will be looking it up (since I know what to look up with you giving me a name to go by. I have lots of unknown plants, as until I moved here, I knew nothing at all about plants.

    We have moved some things away from the Morning Glory so that they would survive. Actually, two of my plants (now in planters) are my favorite due to the move and they are doing so well. I need to give some pictures of those. I am so glad you liked the pictures. I was afraid if I showed to many it would be boring. Our land here is 3 and 1/3 acre, and we are already starting garden plots for the spring. I am so excited.

    Morrigan, I am so glad you have a garden. I wish I had known more about gardening before our move here. We are still having some problems. Appears Rabbits really like my onions. Dang rabbits. Now Jim is having to put up a different fence to keep them out. I guess living out in the country and with all the critters, you have to have good protection around the gardens. Live and learn stuff.


  5. Devrinator8:44 AM

    Your yard is AMAZING!! I LOVE those photographs. My mom's yard is a lot like that: big and lush. You're doing a wonderful job. I love the metaphorical value of this little life thing you are doing. Nice job!