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Butterfly Garden

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

i had a couple of queries about the butterfly-hummingbird garden from other sparkers. It excites me to be able to share any knowledge i may have! Let me say first that I am a semi-retired foodie. I only have the knowledge that has applied to me and whatever project I was doing - truly acquired through blood, sweat and dirt! (My Disclaimer - lol!)

We had a hill in the back of the old house that wasn't good for much so my SO put in a butterfly & hummingbird garden. I've been to other folks homes who had the feeders up, but this was my first experience with planning a specific plant area for them. It was very successful and was a joy to sit outside in the evenings with a glass of wine and watch the hummingbirds come and feed from the plants.

This year - "new" house on the water, but I still saw folks putting out their red feeders. We planted a large tub with pineapple sage, milk weed, Scottish thistle, Cardinal plants and several others. It kinda got out of hand quickly. Decided to make a formal spot, near the lawn furniture so we could enjoy it as well. We had bought several other plants to add to the mix - lavenders, different salvias, Mexican Firebush (also known as butterfly bush) and Sunflower. I am sure I am missing one or five! We selected the space and decided to add several herbs, since they flower so beautifully - African Blue Basil, Variegated, Purple and Silver Sages, Lemon Thyme... some plants for them, some for us! Most will bush out or grow taller and flower with primarily red and purple flowers. I'm not the greatest photographer, but here's what it looks like now.

I encourage you to visit your LOCAL garden centers and nurseries to find out what grows best in your area and what attracts the butterflies and hummingbirds. Even if they don't show up, you'll have something beautiful to enjoy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 6/26/2010 9:01PM

    Two of my favorite additions to our garden: butterflies and hummingbirds! Isn't it fun! Great to see ideas from others to attract even more of these lovely creatures!

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KAATII 6/22/2010 7:29AM

    We planted a hummingbird/butterfly garden this weekend and put in a butterfly bush, a couple of Bonnie Bluebell bushes, a chaste tree, more lavender and sage bushes and lots of herbs including 3 rosemary shrubs that I hope will overwinter here in the heat zone. I already had a mandavilla vine with gorgeous fuscia flowers that the hummingbirds love. All this is surrounding the small pond with the 6 mini goldfish and the gazillion tadpoles that we discovered when we got back from vacation. Ahhhh! I love NC........But I still do miss the Jersey shore!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ICEMONKEY 6/17/2010 8:55PM

    Makes sense what a butterfly garden is now that you've explained it. I didn't know there were certain plants that attracted butterflies. For a second, I think I've imagined a butterfly habitat or something which would be kind of cool as well. That is a very exotic and awesome assortment of herbs and plants. The picture looks beautiful! emoticon

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KEMGRIA 6/17/2010 8:55AM

    This makes me want a garden - it would be amazing to have butterflies and hummingbirds come by to visit :) (and side question - what is pineapple sage?). Looks absolutely beautiful - I get to vicariously relax and enjoy a butterfly garden emoticon

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PHEBESS 6/17/2010 8:47AM

    I went to our local butterfly garden to find out what plants our local butterflies like - turns out that the hummingbirds like the same things, so now our garden is full of both!

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/16/2010 10:15PM

    I too have a hummingbird butterfly garden but as we are zone 3 (extreme cold !) We have different plants in ours I will take some photos in the summer when it is in bloom and our resident hummingbirds are out (it will be likely another week or two before they join us ).I went for perennials in the hummingbird garden .My father in law has a remarkable hummingbird garden but they live in Quebec in a much southern zone from here .I am really self taught for this climate !

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PAMNANGEL 6/16/2010 9:27PM

    I've been planning for some time on putting in a butterfly/hummingbird garden when I finally get my own house. I love seeing what others are doing. Gives me ideas.

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Personal insight

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When I was growing up, we had no money in our huge family.
When I was married, we had money.
When I divorced, I had no money.
I worked hard and earned my own money.

I went from a size 7/9 in college, to way overweight after having three kids quickly, to getting back in shape (pre-divorce), to weight gain through menopause. I hit a nasty high at 200.6 pounds and said enough is enough.

I guess you could say - I've been up and I've been down.

The important thing is this:
I am happier than I've ever been in a relationship.
My kids love me and want to "hang" with me and even (gasp!) solicit my advice.
I'm losing weight slowly with the love and support of my SO, kids and friends.

I am earning the weight loss by hard work, the same way I worked hard to earn my own money to live on. If I want to lose faster, harder work is in order.

I can say I'll do anything, but the proof is in the way my clothes fit and on the scale.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 6/18/2010 3:36AM

    They say that the things we work the hardest for as the sweetest. And in this case, that is true! Keep up the great work! The sweet part is ALL ALONG THE WAY!

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JULESELLEN 6/16/2010 7:36AM

    Great blog! Good for you and the life that is yours!

I'm trying to work on the way my "clothes" fit more so than making than "darn" scale move. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/16/2010 7:36:45 AM

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/15/2010 10:10AM

    Kudos to you ! I always say that success is just hard work!You will get there ! You have the spirit it takes to exceed your goals!

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Yet another good day and good meals!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We finished the butterfly garden today. I spent a good amount of time on my knees filling in spaces between plants with more plants and then mulching. It looks pretty darn good. I want to wait about a week before I post a pic only to give them time to fill out. We had moved some plants out of the planter originally planned for the garden, so at least had some fairly established plants to transfer. Filled in with Salvia and herbs and... NICE!

Leftover from dinner at Surf Rider, one of the best crabcakes I've ever put in my mouth. I only ordered one, Himself ordered two. We ended up splitting the one and half we brought home. Placed atop a spinach salad with cucumber dressing - oh yeah!

Walked the beach for an hour. Studied until I am cross-eyed, then (my favorite part!) dinner! Picked the first Zucchini from the garden. You'd think I was a kid in the candy store! I also picked the first bell pepper and some Rosemary and Lemon thyme.

Marinated chicken breast with rosemary, orange juice, salt and pepper for two hours. Mashed thyme with olive oil, a touch of lemon juice and sea salt, then brushed on Zucchini, Yellow squash and Vidalia onion skewers. Grilled them both... Fresh corn on the cob and I was set! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICALGAL 6/14/2010 11:20PM

    sounds like a perfect and balanced day topped with tasty and healthy eats! simplicity can be soooo beautiful! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/13/2010 10:41PM

    My mouth is watering and the thought of walking on the beach has me swooning . Planting kohrahbi and celery and redonions was exciting but somehow it doesn't match your day.I did beat True to the first strawberry though , you have to understand the dog and I have a race for the first berry of the year every year , she got the asparagus again this year !

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Garden update pics

Friday, June 11, 2010

So, I'm not, um, obsessed with my garden at all! Really! Just because I take lots of pics. Hey, that's documenting what went right and what I can do better next year, right???

So, if you remember, this is what it looked like in the beginning, dated May 15-20, 2010:

I shot a whole roll (yes, old school film) and the date of the pics doesn't match. So I went back to my blog entries on May 15-16 for clarification!

This is two days ago, June 9, 2010:

I don't know what was in this Amish Mercury Mix compost, but I do know I'm buying it again next year!

While I was doing other garden and yard bits, my SO put in the beginning of our Butterfly and Hummingbird garden. We had it in a large pot, but he dug out a nasty bush near the house and this is what the "finished" product looks like. It'll be no time till this is filled out!

So no food news today... all garden!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINE4GIRL 6/12/2010 9:45PM

    My apologies for my confusion. I know I got glasses for some insane reason - oh yeah, to SEE! emoticon

Things grow quickly here, but not quite THAT quickly. Hot steamy days and this Amish wonder mulch makes for a great combination. Tomatoes, anyone?

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/12/2010 2:58AM

    Wow I am impressed that is beautiful.Things don't grow that quickly here ,mind you I do have some impressive rhubarb!!! Of course it has been brr cold here too.Maybe I need to get me some of that Amish wonder mix LOL!

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ICEMONKEY 6/12/2010 2:21AM

    Wow! That garden has come along way... in 2 weeks? That's crazy. You must have an awesome green thumb! The pictures look great. That must feel great to see that it is coming along so well. emoticon

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CAMOTLEY 6/11/2010 10:03PM

  I wish I could talk my hubby into doing a garden for us. I'm not physically able but I remember fondly all the tastes of a fresh garden as well as canning tomatoes, veg soup etc with my mom & granny. I sooooo miss that!! Thanks for a reminder of the past.

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Bundt Chicken

Friday, June 11, 2010

Not a typical post, but since a lot of us "older" gals have bundt pans just hanging around the kitchen, I couldn't resist. This is the link to the recipe posted below - it's awesome...

Bundt Pan Vertical Chicken
serves 4-6

3 to 4 pound chicken
Salt, pepper and spices to season
Potatoes, hard fruits, onions to prop

If using seasonings on the chicken, rub them into the skin. If you have time, let them penetrate for an hour or more in the refrigerator. Otherwise, get right down to business.

Place an oven rack low enough to accommodate the bundt pan plus an extra few inches. For me, this means using the bottom rung. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Scatter a layer of propping fruits and/or vegetables on the bottom of the pan. Turn the chicken upright (legs on the bottom, wings on the top) and plunge the body onto the bundt pan's central spike. Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet to catch any dripping grease from the inside of the bird.

Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and roast another 40-45 minutes, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the breast registers 155°F. Turn the oven back up to 450°F and roast another five minutes, or until thermometer registers 160°F.

Relieve the chicken of its bundt-y intrusion by carefully lifting it off with tongs. Set it on its back to rest on a plate. Check the roasted vegetables for done-ness. They should be tender but not mushy. If under-cooked, return them in the pan to the oven until done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMOTLEY 6/11/2010 10:13PM

  I always wondered what those pans were good for cuz I never got round to a bundt cake. Good usage of the tools ya already have.

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ICEMONKEY 6/11/2010 6:26PM

    Mmmm... That sounds really good. Quite an unusual way to roast a chicken. And too funny. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/11/2010 6:25PM

    I love it !People keep telling me about beercan chicken but I have more bundt pans around (not a beer drinker think of the calories LOL! ) Got to try this out!

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PICKIE98 6/11/2010 3:46PM

    I had to laugh: I make what I call, "Up-yer-butt chicken on the grill. I brush it with Italian salad dressing, put it on the special pan that looks almost like a bundt pan, cover the whole shebang by closing the BBQ grill lid, until done,, been grilling it like that for about 20 years!! Cannot find my Upyerbutt form, will have to haul out one of my BUTT, er, Bundt pans thanks!!!

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TIBURONA 6/11/2010 3:44PM

    Does it taste a good as cake? I went out and got a vertical rack for roasting a chicken...but there is no room for veggies on it. Could have saved some money.

Thanks for the recipe/tip. I'm going to try it, just got a whole roaster on sale.


Comment edited on: 6/11/2010 3:49:12 PM

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