Monday, April 24, 2006

Spring? Try SUMMER!!!

Sunday, the only day that Db and I have to work on our place together. We work awhile, rest our ages you have to take it slow and easy like the famous tortoise. What does it matter as long as you get the work done?

Spring in the deep south starts in February some time and by April it looks and feels like summer. I know that the next few months are spring for most of the country, but we are way past that. My Daffs are blooming in January for heavens sake!

The Lotus is up in the pots and now I have decided to see if I can find someone to trade for some Sacred Lotus seed or rhizomes. I have some young of the native species Lotus (Nelumbo) which I started from seeds this spring that are growing by leaps and bounds in the heat and humidity, and I have another cultivar that I got on a trade for an Ensete banana plant, but I will be danged if I can remember the cultivars name. Thanks to the hurricanes that came through here last year I was not able to get a bloom, but I think it is a pink variety. Before I end this article I will describe how to start Lotus from seed so anyone can have success.

I really hope that the hurricane season is a very slow and dull one. We really can't take three more clean-ups. I do thank the dear Lord for sparing our home, but the damage to plants and trees was devastating and took a long time to clean up. God bless us one and all.

The new chicks are getting bigger day by day. Soon I will be able to let them out to to free-range. I have mostly Polish with the crazy feathers on their heads. They are a small breed and look more like exotic birds than homestead type chickens. I do have some of the normal types, too.

The two pairs of geese are laying eggs on a continual basis. I took one and made a lovely jewely "box" for my son's girlfriend's birthday last week. It turned out lovely and I even made the base which most egg artists do not do. I had to use my imagination as I needed something to sit the egg on so I took an empty roll from paper towels and cut it to about two and a half inches and then covered it in my own paper mache mash. After that was dry I covered the whole thing in ceramic tile mastic inside and out and allowed that to thoroughly dry for about three days in the sun. Next I took some pink/white stained glass and broke it into tiny shards and used more mastic to mosaic the base. I didn't grout the piece as I liked the way it turned out as is. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished "jewel". I have five more eggs to blow and decorate so will take some then.

Last but not least; as promised, here are the directions for germinating and growing Lotus from seed:

1- File one side of the Lotus seed till you just start to see pale yellow to white. Do not go too deep. It only has to be a small dot of white in order for the Lotus seed to take in water.

2- Soak seed in hot water, changing daily, till a sprout appears.

3- Carefully move seed to a yogurt or similar container 1/3 filled with garden loam, heavy in clay and fill to top with warm water. The seeds will reach down and root themselves into the loam/clay mixture so don't worry about covering the seed.

4- At first the small leaves will float on the water like a water Lilly pad, but as it grows and you move it up to larger containers, it will begin to get leaves that stand above the water.

5- I start my seeds in April and move to their permanent home outside in a 30 gallon Tupperware or some other attractive pot as soon as they sprout and the weathers heat has settled in for the season.

6- Feed with some good fertilizer tabs made especially for water plants as directed on the package and you should have lot's of leaves and by next year flowers. Place your pot/pots in direct sun. Lotus require heat and bright light to do well.

Till next time...Later gator!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mosaic And Garden Junk Art

My S.O. and I are considered "out there" by most people who know us. We are both artists, seniors, and happy doing our own thing. If that means building a facsimile bomb on an authentic WW2 bomb carrier out of an old air compressor, or mosaicing our home inside and out with ceramic tile, stained glass, stones, shells, broken dishes and whatever else seems to "fit" into the theme, then so-be-it! We are who we are and we don't apologize for it.

Most folks that know us for any length of time think that we are "neat" and proud to call themselves our friends. We are fun to be around, good conversationalist, and well-read. We can speak to anyone on almost any subject with intelligence and are always willing to learn something new.

After 21 years together we know each other well and can relate to the others moods and whims. No matter what kind of project we are working on next, whether it is a collaboration or an individual work of art, it's bound to be unique and interesting. I only wish everyone could have the kind of relationship that we have. The world would be a far better place for sure. Blessings!