Monday, October 24, 2011

Support Your Local Independent Nursery Month

Pam from Digging has declared October "Support Your Local Independent Nursery Month" so today I am featuring my go-to garden center---Louisiana Nursery. The main reason I love Louisiana Nursery is the sales! At the end of the year all tropical plants are reduced 90%. Can't beat that. They also have many stores located around Baton Rouge and one in Prairieville. I frequent the Perkins Road and Prairieville location often, but the Perkins Road nursery is my favorite and thats where these pictures were taken.

The mums were so pretty! LA Nursery has so many colors to choose from. Mums look so nice for holiday displays! Don't forget to plant your mums in a sunny spot in your garden. They are perennials so they will come back every year and bloom a few times a year too.

A huge Crotan display! Keep them in a sunny spot and the leaves will hold color; put them in shade and the leaves loose color.

This petunia was the most interesting petunia I've seen. It looks black and gold, just like the New Orleans Saints! Maybe thats why this was the last one. Around here anything that is black/gold or purple/gold goes quick!

Pansies are great cool season plants. LA Nursery has plenty of color choices but everyone was filling their cart with the purple and gold pansies! Go LSU Tigers!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Red Stick Farmer's Market

Every Saturday local farmers meet in downtown Baton Rouge to sell their produce at the farmer's market. The market is not limited to just fruits and vegetables, you can find a grandma/grandpa team selling freshly baked bread, jelly, or pies. I'm always tempted to buy bread and this time I caved in a bought an $8 loaf of chocolate bread!

When we got home, I tore a section off and microwaved it for 10 seconds. That made it so soft and gooey. I need to go back and get another loaf! The bakers of my chocolate bread are a husband and wife team who are retired and started a second career baking. They are located in Plaquemine (right across the river from me) and had a wide assortment of different breads for sell. Once I saw the chocolate bread I didn't want anything else!

Dave picked up another 2 pound jug of honey for $12. Thats a good price considering what Walmart sells honey for. He buys the River Road honey and it tastes alot better than anything you'd buy at Walmart.

The plant vendors are at the entrance to the farmer's market. I almost bought more catnip for Ginger (outside cat) but I passed it by. Looking back, I don't know why I didn't buy the catnip. It was a healthy plant at a good price.....

A table full of vegetables! I don't like any of the vegetables on the table!

The following pictures are table tops in the cafe that kids have painted. I wish I could take pictures of all the tables, but there were too many. They were all cute! The kids can paint better than me!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New plants

A few weekends ago Dave and I went to Louisiana Nursery to check out the selection of clearance plants. We found a great deal on a 3G red hibiscus that was 90% off! We only paid $1.80 for it! I picked a hibiscus that I could separate into two plants so I really got two hibiscus for $1.80. The plants were root bound and needed to be re-potted; now they are looking great! Here are some other plants I bought:

This is a Rabbit's Foot fern. It gets its name from the hairy foot like stems that grow from the soil. It is very unusual! Here is a close up of the "rabbit's foot".

This is an aloe but I don't know the name of it. Didn't come with a tag. Maybe David from Tropical Texana can identify it for me. He has lots of aloes and agaves.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Out and About

Dave and I were off work Wed-Sat and we spent time at local attractions.

Wednesday we visited the WWII museum in New Orleans. The museum has volunteer WWII veterans at the museum and we talked to an 85 year old veteran who served in the Navy and told us lots of stories about piloting boats in the Pacific. He talked to us for at least 30 minutes and even showed us a picture of him and his wife on their wedding day in 1954. They are still married today.

Thursday we went fishing at Sherburne WMA. This is a great place to see wildlife! We saw a Barred Owl, lots of rabbits and deer, and a few cardinals.

We came across this bridge but it was too high to fish off of. It was a pretty place though.

I took this picture on the bridge overlooking the bayou.

This is a sign that was by the bridge. There are several signs like this one located across the WMA and it gives you local info about the wildlife.

We saw these bushes all over the place! Its called Beautyberry and the birds love the berries!

Friday we went to Port Hudson State Historic Site. This was a Civil War battle site that the North eventually captured. The Confederate troops held off the Union for 48 days. Port Hudson was the longest siege in American military history! They have a small museum that has Civil War artifacts.

Dave loved seeing the canons that the Union and Confederate troops actually used!

This is me beside a Confederate flag that was really used in the war. It was so big!

Port Hudson has trails through the woods where battles took place. One strategy that the Confederate soldiers used was to dig deep trenches and fire upon the enemy from these trenches. They were also a way for the soldiers to move around the field without the Union troops seeing them. These ditches are called earthworks and can still be seen today!

This is one of the trails we walked on. Every now and then, we saw a sign telling about a battle that took place at that spot on the trail.

Port Hudson is a great place to visit if you like history, they even have Civil War re-enactments there in March. I've never been to one, but we're going to go next March.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday morning

My chrysanthemum is beginning its fall blooming period. I bought this last fall and it was a little plant in a 4" pot. Now its big and loaded with flowers. The color is a little faded out from the morning light, but the flowers are a dark maroon color.

This is my Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) and it has lots of flowers. The flowers are unususal because they are fuzzy. Here is a close up:

I will end with a picture of our two inside only cats. The white and black one is Kitty and the orange one is Mike. This morning it was a cool 62 degrees so I opened the back door to let in the cool air. Kitty and Mike are very curious about what goes on outside, so I put a bar stool by the door so they could see out. I snapped the picutre when they were watching our outside cat Ginger eat catfood. They also love watching the birds that try to steal Ginger's catfood.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lake Fausse Point State Park

Dave and I spent the day wandering around this state park. It was a nice day to be outside. We started off the day by renting a canoe...our 1st mistake.

We paddled around the bayous near the canoe landing and saw lots of white egret. The white egret pictured wasn't scared at all when we paddled within a few feet of it. I guess he is used to seeing people.

Dave and I have never been in a canoe before and this was an experience! We are used to travelling through the bayous in a jon boat (aluminum boat with wide belly for stability). Canoes are wobbly and the complete opposite of a jon boat. We almost tipped the canoe over trying to get out!

We returned the canoe and headed out for the wooded hiking trails.

I brought a can of OFF insect spray with us, but decided not to apply any. The last few days have been chilly (morning temps in 50's) and I thought that the cold temps had killed off any remaining 2nd mistake.

At the trail head we stopped to get trail maps so we would know how long each trail was. I see a bottle of OFF insect repellant, but choose not to apply bug 3nd mistake. I soon found out that the cold weather didn't kill off any mosquitoes! At this point we are too far from the trail head to go back and apply bug spray. I figure out that as long as I keep walking, the mosquitoes can't bite me.

The few seconds I stopped walking to snap these pictures, my legs were swarming with mosquitoes! Wish I had brought bug spray with me....

Seeing this alligator was the highlight of our day! I spotted the alligator and Dave took the picture. He was around 2 feet long and appeared to be sleeping. He didn't move at all while we observed him.

I don't know what the bumps are on this tree trunk, but it looked neat so I took a picture!

Dave and I had a great time at Lake Fausse Point State Park and plan to return in a few months when the weather is cooler and the mosquitoes are gone. We will also rent a cabin facing the bayou and fish off the boat dock.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Its Hot

Not much has been going on in my garden, mainly because its so hot and my plants aren't doing much. Day time highs in the 90's and lows in the 70's make things pretty uncomfortable. I'm waiting for October to get here!

A few plants are still going strong and one of them is my Indigo Spires Salvia. It never stops blooming no matter how hot it gets.

Another die hard plant is Gaillardia. Its a low grower but blooms all the time.

I'll write more blog posts when it cools down and we begin our camping/fishing/hiking/outdoor fun season. Can't wait until fall gets here!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Aphid Invasion

My milkweed plant is covered with yellow aphids! Looking at the plant makes my skin crawl.

Every flower cluster on every stem is swarming with yellow aphids!

I didn't want to spray the milkweed with a pesticide because its a host plant for the Monarch caterpillar. The solution had to be non-chemical......ladybugs!

Ladybugs love to eat yellow aphids. I already had a handful of ladybugs living in my garden but they were out numbered and needed help. I got online and ordered 750 ladybugs from a supplier in California. 750 ladybugs seems like a ton of bugs but its really not.....that was the smallest amount you could purchase. The largest amount was 5000!

Tuesday I ordered my ladybugs and by Thursday afternoon they were at my house. It only cost $14 for my 750 ladybugs with free priority mail shipping!

The ladybugs came in cardboard box with a small plastic tupperware container that housed the ladybugs. There was a mesh screen on top for air flow.

If you are interested in buying ladybugs, you have to store them in the refridgerator until last evening or early morning. My bugs stayed in the fridge all night until I released them at 6AM. Before releasing them, mist the shrub that you want to inhabit. They will need a drink of water before eating any insects. Open the container at the base of the plant and the ladybugs will climb up!

The plastic container had straw for the ladybugs and I dumped that out at the base of the milkweed and watched them go!

I checked the progress of the ladybugs at 9AM and they had reached the top portions of my milkweed and were eating yellow aphids! They probably feel like they are at an "all you can eat" buffet!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

On the 15th of every month gardeners take pictures of blooming plants in their garden. Since its so hot here, I don't have many flowers blooming. The die hard tough plants are blooming now--Black eyed Susans, Salvia and Gailardia.

This is Gaillardia AKA Blanket Flower and it is a tough plant! No matter how hot it gets (and its very hot/humid in south Louisiana) it keeps on blooming. Doesn't need much water either.

Butterfly Bush 'Nanho Blue' has light purple/lavender flowers all over the bush. This is my first time growing Butterfly Bush and I love it! To keep flowers coming, pinch off the spent blooms.

I love my Milkweed! It blooms alot and I love the orange color in my garden. Plus, its the only host plant for Monarchs. I had two Monarch caterpillars this year but they didn't stay in my yard too long. They flew away once they turned into butterflies.

This is my favorite salvia, Indigo Spires. The bloom stalks are at least 10 inches long and it stays covered with flowers all season long!