Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

(click to enlarge - it's shimmery!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Audubon Park

We took a very short vacation to New Orleans Sunday-Monday for Jazz Fest (awesome). We planned to go to the botanical gardens before leaving on Monday, but it's closed on Mondays! So, we took a walk through Audubon Park instead. From a distance, we saw this tree dotted with white:
On closer inspection, it was FULL of nesting white herons (egrets?)! Can you spot the mother feeding her baby in the middle of this picture?
The young ones were playing and practicing flying. They were too cute.
Though the park is known for its trees, it boasts some beautiful plants and flowers, too (click to enlarge):
Here are some of the amazing live oaks, as well as one of many newly-planted weeping willows, and some crepe myrtles laced with Spanish moss (click to enlarge):
It was so peaceful there! We love New Orleans and hope to move there someday (hopefully soon). We'll definitely be regulars at the park!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Whodunit? The birds??

Oh no! There used to be baby strawberries at the end of these stems!
This must be the work of birds, right? Luckily only half of my plants are June-bearing and had already bloomed/fruited. In order to give the others a chance, I rushed to the store and bought some of this netting to drape over the bed: I also draped it over the blueberry bushes to be on the safe side. The netting is pretty flimsy, but it was a quick fix. Does anyone have (better) tips for keeping birds off fruit?

While draping the netting, I noticed THIS on the deck:

Sawdust? From where?

The underside of the deck railing! It's a sizable hole.
Do y'all think a bird did this? What does it want?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Easy Being Green: A Hairy Situation

Welcome to a new weekly feature at Law of the Land! Each week, I'll share an easy tip or two for green living. Sorry Kermit the Frog, but I can't agree with you - I think IT'S EASY BEING GREEN!
This week's tip:We have three indoor pets, including a long-haired cat. They have a lot of hair to shed and brush. Did you know you can compost pet hair? A few more surprising compost ingredients: hair from your brush, dust bunnies and dryer lint. What surprising things do you compost?


Congrats Kim and Victoria! Bilbo is coming to visit you! Just respond to the e-mail I sent you with your mailing address, and Bilbo will be on his merry way!
Everyone else: Thanks for playing! Please visit Kim and Victoria in a few days and see what Bilbo finds to get into in Idaho!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Where in the World is Bilbo: Jackson, Mississippi

He has just arrived from Dirt Princess' house in Satsuma, Alabama. Do you see him?
There he is! In the bean patch!
And here he is with me! Where will he be off to next? Your house? If you want a shot at being Bilbo's next host, leave a comment! The only requirements are that you must have a blog and you must follow Dirt Princess' rules below. I'll draw a name on Friday at 1:00 PM. I'll post the result here, so be sure to check back!

#1) COPY & PASTE these rules into your post on Bilbo if you receive him. The post must be titled WHERE IN THE WORLD IS BILBO: (your city). If everyone copies the rules, then the person you send it to will know what to do. If each post is titled the same, we can keep track of Bilbo and follow him on his adventure. PLEASE do not forget to copy and paste these rules into your post if you receive Bilbo.
#2) In order to participate you MUST leave a comment on the post about Bilbo with the blogger that has him. That blogger will draw names from the people who left comments on that post. Once the winner is selected Bilbo will be on his way to see your garden.
#3) When you receive Bilbo please take a photo (or photos) of him in your garden as well as a photo of yourself with Bilbo.
#4) Rules are linked to . Please leave a comment on The Dirt Princess' page so she can keep track of him and let other bloggers know where Bilbo is, and post where bloggers can see his latest travel.
#5) Please try to get Bilbo out the door as quickly as you possibly can. If at all possible please try not to keep him more than 7 days. We want to get him to as many places as we can in 6 months.
#6) Bilbo will travel for 6 months, April 21, 2009- October 21, 2009. If you have Bilbo at the end of this 6 month time frame, you will ship him back to the Dirt Princess at
#7) When Bilbo arrives back with the Dirt Princess, there will be a great post letting everyone know where Bilbo has been, when he visited as well as links to the bloggers posts that had Bilbo.
#8) There will be a list enclosed with Bilbo for each blogger to sign once they receive Bilbo. That list will be sent back to the Dirt Princess.
#9) Should anyone have any questions please contact Dirt Princess at
#10) The blogger that is has possession of Bilbo is responsible for shipping him to the next blogger. Please handle him with care. He is ceramic.
#11) Bilbo may be shipped to countries outside the United States. We want everyone to join in on the fun!
#12) If you would like to throw in a little something with Bilbo to ship the next blogger, please feel free. Add to the excitement. See what Bilbo brings you when he arrives at your door step.
Have fun and DON'T forget to copy the rules into your post when you receive Bilbo.
UPDATE: Congratulations Kim and Victoria! Bilbo will be coming to visit you in Idaho! I sent you an e-mail just now. Please respond with your address and he'll be off! EVERYONE ELSE: Thanks for playing! Please check Kim and Victoria's blog in a few days and play again!

Happy Earth Day!

Disclaimer: I am aware that not all gardeners are environmentalists. I am. If Al Gore and sentiments such as "save the whales" annoy you, you probably will not enjoy this post. That's ok: I probably don't agree with everything you believe in either, and that doesn't mean we can't be friends. I hope you'll be back to visit another time.
Happy Earth Day 2009! For Earth Day this year, we planted a pink dogwood. Scott dug the hole just as deep and twice as wide as the container the tree came in. Then we mixed in some compost with the native soil, loosened the root ball, planted and mulched the tree. We even took the grass Scott dug up to make the hole for the tree and replanted it in a bare spot in the lawn.

This is a good day to celebrate what you do that's good for the Earth, and make a list of things you would like to do better. There is a fantastic article in this month's National Wildlife Federation magazine called "How Green is Your Garden?" We all know that planting drought-tolerant, native species is good, and chemical fertilizers are bad. This article goes much further, and I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on the magazine.

Ten things we do (or don't do) that make the Earth happy:

  • We compost or recycle almost all of our "trash"

  • We mulch to conserve water

  • We use fallen limbs for plant supports

  • The only chemical I use in the yard or garden is Roundup for Poison Ivy/Oak

  • I use integrated pest management in the garden

  • We provide food, water and shelter for birds

  • We buy recycled toilet paper and paper towels

  • We unplug the toaster when it's not in use

  • I'm a vegetarian (I know the effects of meat production on the environment are controversial, and I'm not looking for a fight. My main reason for being a veg is that I love animals and don't want to eat them!)

  • We have low-flow showerheads (and they are actually awesome!)

Six (of many) things I need to work on:

  • Buying locally-grown produce/supporting local farmers

  • Easy energy conservation: installing more weather-stripping, unplugging more things that aren't being regularly used ("energy vampires")

  • Being responsible with my plant choices. Not-so-angry-redhead had a great post about responsible tree choices recently.

  • Conserving water

  • Tending my compost piles more, so I'll get more compost and have to buy fewer soil amendments

  • Generally consuming less (when it comes to gardening, but also in general). This was a big part of the NWF article. I am going to make a concerted effort to buy good quality gardening tools that won't need to be replaced as often, and use found items or other things I already have when possible.

What do you already do or plan to do that makes Earth happy?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blooming Tuesday

My other rose, just as beautiful as the red, and nearly as fragrant!
For more of Blooming Tuesday, visit Jean.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One shrub, two creepy mystery growths

Our house came with a few of these shrubs, which I thought were azaleas, but haven't bloomed the three springs I've lived here, so maybe not:

They appear to be relatively healthy, and I haven't replaced them yet because every year I think they'll bloom. Today I was inspecting one and found TWO creepy mystery growths!

Creepy Mystery Growth #1 (not my hand):
It's growing more through than on the leaf. The below picture shows it from the other side. It has a fuzzy appearance, almost like a ball of dryer lint, or cotton candy (Scott is convinced this is a cotton candy cocoon from the movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space - LOL).
Creepy Mystery Growth #2:
At first it looked like a deformed flower... but then I took a closer look:
Can you help me identify these creepy mystery growths?

Risks and rewards of the plant sale

I went to the Master Gardeners' spring plant sale on Saturday and came home with a lot of plants:

  • Four hostas, two each labeled "green early blooming" and "green late blooming"
  • Two unknown clematis
  • Mexican petunia for my mother-in-law (though she may have to grow it as an annual)
  • Three red verbena
  • Two rose campion
  • Two naked ladies
  • Two diamond frost euphorbia
  • Firecracker vine (which I had never heard of)
  • Angel trumpet (no idea what color)
  • Red flowering quince

The really awesome thing is that I got all this for $34!!! It's kind of fun having no clue what kind(s) of clematis or what color angel trumpet I now have -- but if you have a real color-coordinated kind of garden, that risk might not be worth the reward (the price)!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bwa ha ha! Victory is mine!

Y'all know I have all kinds of problems with squirrels. I always heard that red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper would keep them away, so I sprinkled red pepper flakes around some Peruvian daffodil and gladiolus bulbs I planted recently (the red straw is to remind me where things are planted! Recycled from McAlisters!):
Guess what? IT TOTALLY WORKS! In the picture below you can see the same area as above, with some glads about 3 inches tall coming up. The Peruvian daffodils are also up and pretty much undisturbed!

For what it's worth, I imagine the flakes work better than cayenne because they are bigger and will last longer.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - April 2009

Our daffodils, muscari and pansies are done for the year, but I have a few blooms to show y'all as we transition into late spring in the deep south:Ornamental sage, blooming earlier than usual.
Katherine's gerberas.
Check out more April blooms at the hub.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A tenuous connection

I try not to harp on about non-gardening subjects here at Law of the Land, but I rationalized there is some connection between gardening and this subject (eggs) - crushed eggshells make a good fertilizer, right?!

Our family has an Easter egg decorating contest every year. Here is my entry from this year:
The really dedicated egg decorators (read: me and Scott) poke a hole in each end of a real egg and blow out the contents (save the innards for scrambled eggs!). This way the decorated egg can last for years!

Here is Scott's AWESOME entry for this year: "Humpty Dumpty, before and after"
Here is my ET from about 5 years ago:
My mom is a ballroom dancer and has crazy blond hair. This is mom's autobiographical egg from a few years ago. Some people get really artistic! Here is an egg our friend Judy made at least 20 years ago that we still have. It is wrapped in embroidery thread.
Some of Scott's past eggs:
Some other past eggs (bunny cart, Jeremy; Bailey the cat, me; lamb, Penny; turtle, me):

A close-up of the lamb. This one is 15 or 20 years old. Katherine's eggs from the past couple of years. We sure missed her this year!Some people use plastic "eggs" instead. Here are one of my cousin Erin Raye's eggs and her brother Campbell's egg from this year. Campbell's is their cat, Butch:Here is Erin Raye's "Aunt on an Ant." How creative!
Here are my cousin Caleb's cute pig and dog eggs, and Penny's porcupine egg from this year.

I've never used fake eggs, but you sure couldn't do this with a real egg! Check out Dale's wiener dog! It won best overall!
Does your family have any fun Easter traditions?

UPDATE: My friends Karla and Nathan came to Easter but forgot their egg! She just e-mailed a picture of it to me after seeing this post. It's their baby, Natalia!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Perks of working for "The Man"

When I was in law school, I said I would rather not practice law than practice corporate law. A short four years into my career, I totally work for "The Man." (Insert Big Sigh Here) There are perks to this arrangement - for example, I get to stay in sweet hotels when out of town for business. Last night I was the guest, for a full ten hours, at the Marriott/Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama.
This hotel is very, very old, and has the plants to match. Check out some of the amazing trees that grow all over the lush grounds. There are even trees in the "island" in the pool (to the left; I couldn't get a very good picture as the pool was closed at 6:45 am).

I always think it's a good sign about a business' gardening practices when wildlife show up.
The beach is small, but peaceful and well-maintained. It was a little surreal to have my toes in the sand at 7 am and be back at work on the 10th floor at 1:30 pm.
This is the main lake at the center of the property. You can see the azaleas, irises, and huge trees with spanish moss that are prevalent here.

A close-up of one of the irises bordering the lake.

This hanging basket has everything from a fern to a rose crammed in it!
The many ferns around the property looked so healthy!

They call this "The Chef's Herb Garden," but it has a lot more than herbs in it.

There appeared to be peas growing up these obelisks. I'm not sure what the plants at the bottom are, but they have beautiful bright orange blooms.

I suppose these are self-explanatory...

Here is a beautiful bed outside the main lobby area:

Another bed that was at the base of a lightpost:

I had time to sit in this swing (one of many there) for about thirty minutes and enjoy the ocean breeze. It was so relaxing!