Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So Long Sandy Dog

It has been a very rough four weeks. Our eleven year old dog Sandy had become ill, and I mean very ill, and no matter what we tried or the vet tried, it never relieved her issues. So last night, I had to take the old girl down and have her put to sleep. I am exhausted from cleaning up after her, being woke up several times a night cause she had to get out, and general worry about what the answer was for her.

Yesterday, when the vet suggested euthanization, I knew it was time. Time to let go. So she is gone and we are all a little sad. Thankfully Q took it well with the promise of another dog someday. The tears did not last too long. Today we have had lots of lying around and a big breakfast of French toast to lick our wounds, it seemed oddly quiet. The tension of the sick dog was gone.

I explained in this post what a handful this dog had been but she was a faithful guard dog and in the last year, my youngest's constant companion. I was so dreading that loss for her. I hope it will not be too big a loss. Instead of siblings, she always had her dog at her side willing to run around as long as needed. So long Sandy girl.

Friday, April 4, 2014

From the Farm Blog Hop

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It's another happy Friday and we are all together again, sharing and chattering about our favorite things!
We have a long weekend of gardening and some home repairs planned. So while we're working, I hope you have a good weekend.

Congratulations! Please feel free to grab our button and display it proudly on your blog!  photo ftffavorite.jpg Keep scrolling to enter this week’s party!
Now, on to this week's party: 1. Link up to three of your best gardening or homesteading tips, farm-themed posts, recipes, homemaking and simple/frugal living tips, decorating ideas, DIY projects, craft ideas, thrifty makeovers or repurposed items, healthy and sustainable living tips, and giveaways. 2. Link back to my blog (using the rel="nofollow" tag), or put the link party button anywhere on your blog or post to share the love. 3. Make sure to check out some of the other links before leaving.
 photo ftfhopbutton.jpg   We can't wait to see what you share with us! Note: Linking up to this party will automatically sign you up for an invite to next week's party via email. To unsubscribe, please reply to any email you receive and you will be removed. Linking up also allows us permission to publish one of your photos on our blogs, Facebook, and/or Pinterest pages.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easy Flower Gardening - Growing Dutch Iris

Easy flower gardening. How to grow Dutch Iris.

If you are looking for an easy flower bulb to plant, Dutch Iris is for you. I have purple and yellow throughout my garden and they make such a beautiful spring display.
easy flower bulbs to grow

Here are some tips from

  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Dutch irises perform best in soil that provides good drainage.
  2. Site your Dutch irises where they will receive full sun.
  3. Dig holes and plant the irises 4" deep and 3" apart. The bulbs look like small pointed onions. Plant with the pointed end facing upwards.
  4. After planting, water well, gently soaking the soil to settle it around the bulbs. In warmer climates foliage will form in the autumn, winter will bring taller growth and flowers will develop in the spring. In colder regions foliage and flowers will wait until winter's cold has passed and will develop in the spring.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut iris flowers for spring bouquets. This will not hurt the plants.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  7. During the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your Dutch irises will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
I'll tell you what though, I have planted them too shallow, in semi-shade and in soil without amending and they always bloom. You can even grow them in containers. The one important thing is to let the old plant feed the bulb for next year. To keep the garden neat, just trim them down to about a foot long and once yet cut them to the ground.

Folks will love you to pieces if you hand them a bouquet of iris. They are gorgeous and one of the easiest bulbs ever to grow. I have dug them up into buckets and moved them from house to house. Mine are old early marriage stalk.

In the fall feel free to dig up the bulbs to divide and plant elsewhere. Friends will love you for sharing your bulbs for their gardens. The Dutch Iris plants love to be divided and given more room and will come back beautifully the next year.
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