Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just Letting You Know...

I just wanted to let you all know that I probably will not be posting much over the next couple of weeks. I just found out today that my daddy has cancer. I'm making arrangements to go to Alabama to be with my parents to help them out during this difficult time. I'll have my laptop with me, so hopefully I will be able to check in periodically to read your blogs and hopefully update later with news regarding my dad.

To be honest, right now I'm scared. My precious daddy has been a smoker since he was a teenager. He recently began having severe pain behind his shoulder blade. He went to the doctor last week, they did a chest x-ray and found a spot on his lungs. This morning he had a CT scan and the doctor called my mother this afternoon with the news that there is a mass in the shoulder blade area. He told her that he was very concerned about my dad. He referred them to the cancer doctor and he will be calling them tomorrow to let them know the next step. On top of that, my mother has a long history of heart issues and she is experiencing chest pains. Please pray for my family during this very difficult time.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Uninvited Guests!

I found this cute birdhouse at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago. My son and I finally got it up yesterday evening. It didn't take long for the starlings to discover it, and they were quite busy this morning with nesting activity. I really should have covered the large holes with something to make the openings smaller. I really don't want to be a contributor to the starling population. Oh well, if it wasn't starlings, it would probably be house sparrows, both are uninvited guests!

I'm loving this collage thing, it makes uploading pictures to Blogger so easy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

RSS Feed Trouble

Several people have mentioned to me that my RSS feeds are not updating, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I had to update my feed for Blotanical and I think that is when my troubles started. I don't want to choose between Blotanical and my friends and others who follow my blog. Does anyone know how I can fix this problem?

I'm still getting the feeds from other Blotanical people who also had to change their feeds, so I think I've just done something incorrectly. Please help!

I've been playing with my photography some today. I bought several display foam boards at Hobby Lobby to use for my background. It was cloudy and I couldn't get the lighting right so the flash was too bright, but I like the colors! I have the hardest time photographing daffodils. I definitely need more practice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

It is definitely beginning to look like spring here at Robin's Nesting Place! I was so excited to see the flower buds on the lilacs! It won't be long and I will be enjoying those delightful blooms!

Does it Really Matter? Apparently Not

Earlier this month I posted about my experience last year with using cheap potting soil for my seed sowing. I had pampered a stinging nettle for months without realizing it until I went to plant it. I had never seen one before and had no clue what it was until I gripped it and felt a terrible burning and stinging on my hand. It was so painful!

This year I was more careful with my sowing medium, because I didn't want to nurture weeds. For some of my seeds I used a sterile soil mix and for others I used the little pellets. I had planted impatiens seeds and was excited to see them germinate and begin to grow. One of them was growing faster than the others. Today when I was watering, I realized that it wasn't impatiens after all. It is another stinging nettle! How did that happen? Believe me, this one is being handled very carefully...I won't make that mistake twice!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oasis Garden

Yesterday after the Flower and Patio show, I stopped at Sam's Club to pick up a few items. I saw this cedar raised bed garden. It's pretty cool, with an automatic irrigation system, trellis and pest proof gate and ONLY $799! Actually, if money were no object, I just might consider this.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Flower Collage

Flower pictures from the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crash Landing

We often have hot air balloons near our home. They are a beautiful sight to behold...

from the ground!

This one seemed to be having trouble getting enough lift.

It soon became apparent that this one was in trouble. I was concerned about the power lines.
It just couldn't make it back up and ended up in a field. Can you see how close it was to the power lines?

Thankfully everyone was safe!

I went to the Flower and Patio show today. My weekend is pretty full, but I'm hoping to get a post done in the next few days about it. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beautiful Ducky Day

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day! It was sunny and got up to 70 degrees! I spent most of the day outside cleaning up in my own flower beds and doing some cleaning up and pruning at the neighborhood entrance.

We have a small island at our entrance with a cluster of seven burning bushes at each end. They were way too tall and desperately needed to be cut back and thinned out. I volunteered to do the job. I just hope they survive the massive pruning, but if they don't, we had talked of pulling them all out anyway. This was just a cost saving measure to see if we could keep them where they are for the time being. I can't imagine why anyone planted so many of them in such a small space to begin with. I clipped each branch individually to make sure that I got them all even. My hands have blisters and I am so sore, but it felt so wonderful to work outside. I loved every minute of it!

These flower pictures are not from the archives! No, they are blooming in my yard right now! I couldn't believe it when I went out today to look around. I thought I might have daffodils blooming by the weekend, but I was surprised to find so many already in bloom and many more are about to open. The cluster of little purple irises are so pretty. They were a delightful surprise today too!

Last year I had ducks coming to the bird feeder for several weeks. They would come right up to the patio door too. Today two of them showed up in the back yard to eat sunflower seeds. I wonder if it's the same couple.

I'm hoping that they do like they did last year, and find someplace else to nest. Between the possum (which is still making visits), the rabbits and now ducks, Lilly goes crazy when we let her out.

I hope all of my Midwestern friends had a chance to enjoy this lovely spring day too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Butterfly Collage for Anna

Anna, from Flowergardengirl, said she'd like to see more theme collages. Here is a butterfly collage for you, Anna. These really are fun to do! I think I'm trying to cram too many pictures into one though. I think I need more practice...off to play a little more in between loads and loads of laundry.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Playing with Picasa 3- First Collage

~~~~~~PEONIES 2008~~~~~~

Just doing a bit of creative play today with Picasa 3. I've done collages using Adobe Photoshop Elements, but I prefer the look of the collages done with Picasa3. It is a free download and pretty easy to learn.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Seed Sowing Time and a Crocus!

This time of year things can change quickly in the garden, especially after a couple of warm and sunny days. I didn't think I had anything blooming yet. Just a few days ago I had walked around looking at the gardens and didn't see anything even close to a bloom and today just before running an errand I looked at one of the flowerbeds on the side of the house and saw this beautiful purple crocus. I wish I'd had more time to play with the camera, but I was in a hurry and just took a few quick shots.

It won't be long and Ill have daffodils blooming too! It really is amazing how quickly things have grown!

Trying to learn from past mistakes, I was determined not to sow my seeds too early this year, so I have patiently waited. Today was the big day! I sowed dill, fennel, parsley, Rose milkweed, butterfly weed, (all for the butterflies), pink and purple wave petunias, impatiens, coleus, Rose Pinwheel zinnia, cilantro, Iceland poppy, and lavender.

This is a picture from last year of my indoor growing system. I have this in the upstairs loft area. It works well and I've had pretty good success so far with this system. As you can see from the picture I sometimes have to get creative with my containers. Last year I also overwintered several gerbera daisies, African daisy and the sweet potato vines . This past autumn I was not feeling well and nothing was brought in to overwinter.

The birds have been singing even louder these last few days and they are starting to get frisky with each other. Ahh... spring is in the air! I'll definitely be keeping a closer eye out on the gardens now, I don't want to miss a single thing.

Friday, March 6, 2009


First of all, thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes. Can you believe that my husband and I have the exact same birth date? We both had a very good 47th birthday. We are so thankful for our health and another year to celebrate together!

We had a little taste of spring today! It was cloudy and windy but it was warm. At 6:00 PM it was still 65 degrees, (F)! I did some cleaning in the flowerbeds this morning before work. I cut back the echinacea seed heads that had been left for the goldfinches. I cut back a few more of the
grasses and trimmed back the Jackmanii clematis. I skipped trimming it back last year and it wasn't very pretty and didn't have as many blooms.

I planted two really small weeping, red Japanese maples several years ago. They aren't so little anymore and probably not in ideal locations. They are beautiful and very healthy and I dare not move them, so I had to prune them a bit to keep them from encroaching on the sidewalk and driveway.

While I was cleaning in one of the front yard flower beds I noticed two ladybugs on the lambs ear. Yes, it is almost spring! Not only that, but I am seeing some of the perennials and a few daffodils starting to emerge from the earth.

It was so wonderful to be outside playing in the dirt. I didn't even mind that the wind was blowing all in my face as I shook it loose from last years annuals.

I usually buy some type of camera equipment with our credit card reward points, but this year I'm thinking about the garden. I ordered my first pair of Felco pruners today and I got a few gift cards that can be used for some things in the garden.

I'm so thankful for this little taste of spring, I just wish it was here to stay.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Does it Really Matter?

Using an organic sterile medium is recommended for seed starting, but is it really necessary to do so? Take it from me, yes, it is necessary! I usually do this, but last year I had so many seeds to start, I thought I'd be frugal and save money by just using a cheap potting soil from a big box store. Big mistake!

For three months I pampered, nurtured and babied my precious seedlings...

some of which were weeds!!! I had quite a few stinging nettle that I had spent the winter pampering, only to discover that little fact when I went to plant it. There is a very good reason for its name. Wow, was that ever painful!

This year I have the proper medium, and hopefully there will be only desirable seedlings that I spend my time nurturing.

No Longer Number One

Two years ago, during winter, I discovered garden blogs. I was fascinated to read about the personal gardening activities of so many people and the pictures were a feast for my winter weary eyes. It was better than any gardening magazine I had ever seen. I was soon hooked. It was in April, 2007 that I reluctantly decided to start my own blog. I'm so glad I did because it has been such a delightful experience.

Blogging became even more fun when Stuart, from Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas created a wonderful gardening website called Blotanical. It has been a wonderful way to connect with gardeners from all over the world. I was amazed as Robin's Nesting Place rose in the ranks and eventually became the number one "Most Favourited Garden Blog". I was so honored by this, but at the same time I was actually a little bit embarrassed and felt a sense of pressure that took away some of the joy of blogging. I didn't feel that I deserved to have this rank because there were so many other blogs far more deserving than Robin's Nesting Place, and other garden bloggers far more interesting and knowledgeable than me. In the last few days two of those deserving bloggers have passed me in the ranks: Jodi from Bloomingwriter and Frances from Faire Garden. They are obviously neck and neck because they keep changing positions. Congratulations to you both! I'm very glad to see you both at the top!

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you who have added Robin's Nesting Place as a favorite on Blotanical and to those who follow me on Blogger. I appreciate it more than you could ever know.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I've been a very patient gardener so far this winter. Last year I wasn't patient and started some seeds as early as February 5th which was way too early for my zone 5 garden. I'm getting antsy to start sowing and will probably begin in the next few days.

Just out of curiosity, I counted my seed packets tonight and so far there are 52, including the ones I collected from my own flower garden. I'm sure I'll be buying more when I go to the Indy Flower and Patio show in a few days. Most of them are zinnias, cosmos and sunflower seeds which will be directly sown in the ground. I can't have too many of those in the garden.

Of course Libby had to get right in the middle of things.

She plopped down on the seeds and began to play with the string on my pajamas. Silly cat!

I had to change my RSS feeds due to the changes with Feedburner and Blotanical. This stuff confuses me and I almost have to do it with my eyes closed because I'm so afraid I'll mess something up. I hope it doesn't cause problems with anyone. Please let me know if something isn't working right.