Garden Creature

This creature of the vine wants to eat you!

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Be very careful when going out into the night, he may be waiting in the shadows to jump out and steal you for his own amusement.

Crane Meadows Grade-A Best

Yesterday, I had the wonderful pleasure of celebrating my youngest grandchild’s sixth birthday. He is a beautiful child who lives on a farm with horses. In fact he and his older brother have a unique pet named Buddy. Buddy is a pony. How cool is that?

This is the simplest way I can describe the process of making compost. Buddy has three friends in the barn with him. Together they form the foundation for an amazing process that turns hay into rich organic compost. The brown machine has a little help from farmers who harvest the grass and make it into hay. At the end, they get more help from the farmer who completes the process by aerating and aging the raw material that forms the basic ingredient of compost.

These photos best describe how Crane Meadows Farm produces Grade-A organic compost that every gardener covets.

Crane Meadows Farm begins with rich green alfalfa; harvested, dried, and baled.

Kitty, the barn cat, zealously guards the raw material headed for the compost process.

Buddy and friends eagerly grind the hay to begin the process.

What we don't want to be.

The brown machine digests the hay and exhausts raw pellets ready for the next step.

Pellets stacked and ready for the next step.

The raw pellets move to bin-one for three months of aging.

The pellet mash transfers to bin-two for aeration, and another three months of aging.

The mash moves to bin-three. Note the color and texture change after nine months.

Farmer Steve tests the one year old shovel ready Crane Meadow’s Grade-A Product.

Farmer Steve loads Grade-A into transport modules.

Grade-A packaged and ready for shipment via long distance carrier.

Transport modules loaded on the Death Star for the long haul.

Horticultural material nourished with Crane Meadow’s Grade-A compost.

The

End

 

Happy Father’s Day

Share with me!

Attack Cobra for Grumpa Joe's Garden by Benjamin age seven

This card is very inventive. The cobra pops out when the card is opened. Ben is also the lad who sorrowfully asked Grumpa Joe not to harm the Wabbit. He has seen the error of his ways, however, by offering a carniverous reptile to help reduce the Wabbit population.

Love from Grumpa Joe's Oldest- notice the Wabbit lurking in the corner waiting for the Lobelia to bloom.

Love from Grumpa Joe's artist Jenna Rose age seven

Wabbit Wars and Mosquito Terrorism

Lobelia erinus

Image via Wikipedia

I just stepped outside with a glass of Shiraz in hand after finishing a beautiful plate of Tilapia and wheat rotini to admire the 2011 Monet Vision. I looked forward to wandering about  the yard sipping the sumptuous full-bodied red while admiring the perennials at sunset. Within nano-seconds, a swarm of Mosquitos attacked. Caught by surprise, I flailed about vigorously swatting with the Shiraz swishing dangerously close to sloshing over the lip of the glass. I fled to the safety of the house without spilling a drop of the mellow red, but now I itch all over. Without a doubt the Mosquitos are a formidable enemy, and put the Wabbits to shame. The Wabbits confine themselves to eating flowers, the Mosquitos attack people. That is not fair.

Thank God, the new air conditioner is working well. I can hide within the Man-Cave in comfort and admire the Vision from behind the safety of glass.

It will be painful to watch the Wabbits accost the Lobelia and be too afraid to leave the safety of the house to chase them away.

A new ally will be visible tonight. The Fire Flies have arrived. I look forward to watching their showy aerobatics around the darkest corners of the yard. The Fire Fly Air Force of 2011 will enhance the 2011 Monet Vision to add a moving light show, and night-time splendor.

A side benefit, the Fire Flies eat mosquitos.

Fire Fly Air Force 2011 Arrives Just in Time To Save Grumpa Joe

Nature is cruel at times.

Baby Bugs Takes Out the Lobelia

Fictional characters on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Image via Wikipedia

On Mother’s Day Grumpa Joe’s grandkids spotted a big fat wabbit building a nest under the dwarf pine tree. Grumpa Joe’s grandson Ben looked into his eyes and asked him not to harm the bunny. As tempting as it is to trap the little ba____d, Grumpa can not do it. A promise to a grandson is like a marriage oath. It is not taken lightly.

About two weeks after the wabbit spotting, Grumpa Joe spent a day pulling weeds. He yanked a big one from the base of the dwarf pine. A furry little creäture with long ears jumped out of a small hole, and ran for his life.

Since then, Baby Bugs hops around the garden to different places, always chomping on some greenery. This week, however, Baby Bugs found the Lobelia flowers. His ancestors took out the Lobelia last year in a blatant act of terrorism not seen before in the garden. Is it a wabbit thing, or does Lobelia taste like chicken’?

Today, Grumpa Joe spent a couple of hours building a new wabbit barrier that will be more effective than the 2010 experiment.

The 2011 Monet Vision will not become reality without a streak of royal blue accenting the pond. If this barrier fails, Grumpa will use more drastic measures to convince Baby Bugs to leave the yard.

“Don’t worry Ben, Grumpa won’t hurt him, . . . YET.”

Lobelia, a Basic Color in the 2011 Monet Vision is a favorite of Wabbits

The New Wabbit Barrier Dome

Eighteen Feet of Royal Blue Lobelia Highlights the Pond

The 2011 “Monet Vision”

The 2011 version of the Monet Vision is beginning to take shape. The recent spell of high temperatures combined with the rain has made the garden “pop.”

Last year, I let the perennials do all the work. I didn’t spend a nickel on annuals. This year is the opposite, I am planting purchased material in colors I want to see, and spreading seed to fill in. Here are a few photos from which you may form an impression.

Looking toward the waterfall. as Garden Angel watches.

The first bloom of water lilies.

Several varieties of Heuchera blend with hostas

The Clematis is barely showing.

This show is to continue all summer long.

Wabbit Wars-Sneak Attack

“Look at the big Wabbit!” exclaimed the chorus of grand children from the sun room.

” He has a mouth full of grass.”

Grumpa Joe observed the Wabbit make several trips to the neighbor’s yard, returning with a mouthful of grass each time.

“Oh no, she is building a nest under my miniature evergreen, I have to get rid of her.”

“Is she going to have babies?”

“I have to chase her away,” he grumbled. Best to wait until later, he thought to himself.

A few minutes later Grumpa Joe’s grandson Ben came to him cradling a stuffed bunny and made his pitch.

Looking up, directly into Grumpa’s eyes with the saddest expression a little boy can muster  he said, “are you going to shoot the Wabbit? Please don’t kill her.”

Grumpa Joe was speechless. How and when did the Wabbits infiltrate the family to brainwash his grandson?

“I won’t hurt the Wabbits,” he told Ben while thinking of  his next move after the kids were gone.

The following day, it rained and the Wabbit activity was invisible.  She’s probably sitting on her nest, he thought.

Finally, the rain stopped and Grumpa Joe worked  in the garden. He snuck up on the pine tree and inspected the base. Sure enough, he found a hole next to the trunk.

That hole is too small for that big rabbit he told himself. Meanwhile, he saw no further activity.

I wonder if she abandoned the nest? Great, now I’ll get the blame for getting rid of the Wabbit, and I didn’t do anything. This is a secret Wabbit strategy  to take over the yard, and decapitate the tulips and the lilies.

Grumpa Joe returned to the house for lunch. Afterwards, he tried taking a nap but had trouble falling sleep. Visions of  Wabbits invading the house  and crawling all over him with tulips in their mouths flowed through his mind. He visioned Wabbits sitting everywhere, on the counter tops, the coffee tables, the kitchen table. Wabbits covered the floor making it impossible to walk. He opened the refrigerator, the Wabbits sat inside eating lettuce and carrots.

“Yikes,” he shouted.

“What’s wrong?” asked Grandma Peggy.

“I had a daymare.”

“What is that?”

“That’s the same as a nightmare, except it happens in the daytime.

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