Category Archives: Uncategorized

POLAR VORTEX !!!

The last two days have been lovely sunny winter days.

But…

They tell us the “Polar Vortex” is on it’s way.

Now granted we have weather people who get

Shall we say a little excited.

But from the looks of the forcast

Things are really about to change.

So I’ve spent a little time

Making sure things in my garden

Will be OK.

I’ve cut and given away as much Arugula

As I can pawn off on people.

It’s really big and really hot

But who can turn down fresh Arugula

In February!

There’s plenty more

If you want some.

I’ve also got a pot of surviving cabbage and pansies.

Which will get covered by the end of the weekend.

Watering cans for all the baby plants in the garden house

Are full

So I won’t be running around getting water

During the weather event.

And thing are watered in

Perhaps the most important thing of all

Filling in those air pockets around the roots.

When people walk into my summer garden

They often comment on how much work

It must be.

I don’t see it as work.

For me it’s play.

So I’m thankful to have a little reason

For play

On a sunny winter day.

We are now a year into this pandemic.

Even those of us lucky enough to be vaccinated

Are still staying close to home

Trying to protect those who have protected us.

With this cold weather coming

We will be doing more of that.

For some of us it’s getting harder.

Here’s a link to my most read post ever.

Not about gardening

But about my depression.

Please take care of yourself

And seek help if you even once think you need it.

https://inmygardentalesfromdeepinmysoil.com/2018/06/10/no-words/

Take care and hold on

Spring and vaccinations will come.

Gail

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HOLD ON

Just when I think

The darkness

May overcome me

This!

Hold on

Spring’s coming.

Take care of yourself and stay safe,

Gail

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Filed under Hellebores, spring, Uncategorized, Winter Garden

BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING

Over the course of my gardening years

I have tried to start plants from seed inside.

I’ve really kind of just piddled at it

Only once before have I really worked at it.

Yet, I wasn’t all that great.

I have decided during this COVID winter

I’m getting serious.

So I’ve been reading this

And recording what I’m doing in this.

Which has led to this…so far

I’m armed with a giant grow light

Which I’m sure is making the neighbors

Wonder what I’m up to!

I also have these nifty heat pads

To get seeds in a growing mood quickly.

And a trusty fan

To gently move air around them

Thus strengthening their stems.

I started with Basil back in December

Because…well…I had a package of Basil seeds.

Then around the first of the year

I planted 3 kinds of Cabbage

And 4 kinds of Broccoli

Hoping to supply Faith Farm

With healthy plants for our mission.

Yesterday I planted Lisianthus.

A flower I’ve never really grown

But ever since I saw it at Longwood Gardens

I’ve been dreaming about it.

Photo Credit Debra Mitchell

I’ve learned so much.

For instance Lisianthus seeds need light to germinate.

So you don’t cover them with soil.

The same is true of poppies

Which explains why it’s best to sprinkle them

On the snow of winter

And let them melt into the ground.

I could go on forever about

All that I am learning.

But what I really need to do is apologize to my father.

As a child growing up on a wheat farm.

He would almost daily

Go to “check on the wheat”.

Now in our part of the world wheat is planted in the fall

And grows all winter

For an early summer harvest.

So “checking on the wheat” was literally

Watching it grow.

Something we used to tease him about

Incessantly

Because really

How interesting is it to watch something grow.

Sorry Daddy…I get it now.

Stay safe everyone,

Gail

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

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THE HAND OFF

There are some days

I just really want to talk to my parents.

This summer it will be 20 years since my mother died

And 11 since my dad.

That’s a long time.

I’ve accumulated many questions

In those decades.

I seemed to have hit an age

Or stage

Where I want to draw on their wisdom.

It goes something like this…

Many of the things in my life,

Things that have been staples,

Seem to be changing

Radically.

Institutions that have been the foundation

Of our culture

No longer have the same importance.

It’s definitely time to hand the responsibility

Off to the next generation.

But do they want it?

Did we want it

When it was our turn

To take the lead?

I don’t remember even asking myself that question.

And if we let go

We can be guaranteed

There will be change.

That word that so many dread.

So how do we graciously

Begin to step aside

Providing help and sharing wisdom

At the same time embracing their changes.

How do we hold on

And let go

At the same time?

Live with the paradox.

It’s a delicate balancing act

For both generations.

I have a great example of this

In my life

As chair of the Nurture Committee

At my church.

Five smart, talented, wise and committed

Young women join me on the committee.

We constantly seek ways to nurture our congregation

And our community.

Reaching out to young families

With new ideas and activities

And working to support the foundation

That so many have known for so long.

So how do we keep all the balls in the air?

How do we keep what matters

And still make room for innovation?

How do we decide what is important

Enough to keep

And what to let go of?

How does one generation

Graciously encourage the next?

Pondering,

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Generations, Timing, Uncategorized

WAITING

In the cold and snow of winter,

There’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until it’s season,

Something God alone can see.

Natalie Sleeth

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Filed under Hellebores, Oklahoma Gardening, Perennials, Uncategorized, Winter Garden

THANKS FOR GIVING

Gardeners are known

To be generous people.

We like to share plants

And seeds

And plans

And tomatoes.

It’s just in our nature

To spread our joy around.

I have to admit though

That I do covet

My time in my garden

Time is something

We just can’t grow

No matter what zone we live in.

That’s why I’m so grateful

For the generous gardeners

Who help at Faith Farm.

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Every Monday and Wednesday

Throughout the growing season

This crew shows up

And works hard.

We start in February

Planting onions

And carrot seeds

And ended just a week ago

Prepping the the beds

For their winter’s nap.

They have planted

Harvested

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Washed

And loaded

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Thousands of pounds

Of fresh organic vegetables

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That we grow

For our hungry neighbors

Who come to Loaves & Fishes

For help in feeding their families.

All of them are either Master Gardeners

Or related to a Master Gardener.

 

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They come on the crisp mornings of spring

The glorious days of fall

And all that heat and humidity

In between.

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We’ve had a great season

Getting to know each other better

As we’ve spent hours

Picking and weeding

And trying to figure out

Why all that spring rain

Made the cucumbers

So unhappy.

We learn a little

Share a little

And give a lot.

Thank you Martha, Dennis, Kay, Janelle,

Clayton, Diane, Jenny, Linda & Michael.

You have made a difference

To so many.

Gail

P.S.  This is where I planned to place a great picture I took of all the crew.  Unfortunately, I can’t find it AYWHERE.  So just imagine these generous souls, or better still imagine yourself in this group or others around the country…gardening and giving.

 

 

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Filed under Carrots, Community Garden, End of Season Rituals, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hunger, late summer garden, Master Gardeners, Onion, Uncategorized, Vegetables

A LEGACY OF LOVE…AND A WHOLE LOTTA NUTS!

My father loved pecans

And pecan trees

And my mother’s pecan pie.

I remember in college

Coming home for Thanksgiving

Going to the creek to pick up pecans.

There was always a bowl

To crack and pick

As we sat by the fire

In the winter.

Pecans even found their way

Into campaign brochures.

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Daddy planted a pecan grove

Rather late in life

We celebrated that fact

On his 85th birthday

With family

And former staff members.

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Now if you don’t know

You don’t just plant a pecan tree

And reap the harvest.

It takes at least 7 years

To produce.

So daddy must have known

That he would not live to see

The trees grow to maturity.

That someone would have to take up the mantle

And love it like he did.

And he did love it.

He loved, nurtured and respected

The land

And the life of a farmer.

But passing that to the next generation

Can be tricky…at best.

Thankfully, when the farms were divided

Among the three of us

My little sister Ann

Got the pecan grove.

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She has worked hard over the last nine year

To improve the pecan grove

To prune, mow and fertilize it.

Like daddy she has loved, nurtured and respected

The land.

She has gotten a good crop

About every other year.

Then came the rains last spring.

I mean RAIN.

Over 30 inches in a month.

Resulting in a bumper crop.

Over 7,000 pounds of pecans!

She’s been harvesting and processing pecans

Continuously for over a month.

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This week she’s coming to town to spread the love around.

Friends have pre-ordered hundreds of pounds

Of pecans

That will be turned into all kinds of treats

Over the holidays

And beyond.

Daddy & Mother would love what she has done.

And so do I.

Gail

PS

When Daddy was in office pecans were the standard gift for visiting dignitaries and Mother’s pecan pie was served at more dinners than I can count.  She would make a dozen or so at a time.  She was amazing.IMG_4132

This recipe was first printed in “Recipes from the Campaign Trail” .  A little campaign brochure with recipes from Mother’s kitchen and Daddy’s “recipe for good government”.  My how campaigns have changed over the years!

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SHIRLEY BELLMON’S PECAN PIE

3 Eggs    1 C. white corn syrup   1C. brown sugar   1 C pecans

1 unbaked pie shell

Beat eggs.  Add corn syrup and brown sugar to eggs and mix well.  Add this mixture to the pie shell.  Sprinkle pecans on top.  Bake at 350 for one hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Campaign, Pecan Pie, Pecans, Uncategorized

SHOVEL SEASON

It’s been a glorious weekend here.

70 degree days

Lots of sunshine.

We are told tomorrow

Will be another story.

This on again off again weather

Has given me the chance to do

Some important fall chores.

So let’s just call this

The weekend of shoveling.

On Saturday I purchased

15 – 40 pound bags of manure

That’s 600 pounds!

I’ve developed a great system

Have it loaded into the back of my SUV

At the store.

When I get home

I just wheel the wheelbarrow

Up to the back of the car.

Split the bag open

And slip it into the wheelbarrow.

I never have to lift one of those big bags.

Then I just shovel 4 – 5 shovels full

Onto each Rose, Hydrangea and Hosta

In my garden.

It does two things.

Provides winter protection.

Serves as a slow fertilizer

Come Spring.

It also makes you a little tired

And sore.

You also may find

A few more Easter Eggs.

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But by Sunday afternoon

I’d recovered enough

To attack the compost pile.

All those leaves, garden clippings and food scraps

Turn into a rich garden amendment

By fall.

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So I got out my handy little shovel

And scooped it into my wheelbarrow

Spreading it onto the garden.

I got about 1/4th of it done today.

There is still more shovel time

In my future.

Having the right equipment

Makes chores like this

A lot easier.

Years ago John gave me this little shovel.

For Mother’s Day.

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Last summer he snapped the handle

On the original.

He quickly replaced it.

A small shovel is a real help

For a gardener’s back.

I did have a friend to help me

With all the shoveling.

This giant praying mantis reappeared.

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I first met it a few weeks ago

When it landed on my dahlias.

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Now it seems to be scurrying around

Looking for a place to hide out

For the winter.

This is not the glamorous side of gardening.

It doesn’t make for lots of

Pretty pictures.

But digging in the earth

Playing in the dirt

Is the beginning of any garden

And perhaps a new gardener.

Photo credit Kristina WynnePhoto credit Kristina Wynne

Gail

P.S.  Thank you to everyone who has kindly mentioned the Oklahoma Gardening video of my garden house.  My favorite comment was from my friend Kay…”I’ve never seen it so clean.”  How true that is!

 

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Filed under Children in the Garden, Compost, Dahlias, End of Season Rituals, Fall, Garden Tools, Grandchildren, Hosta, Hydrangea, Oklahoma Gardening, Praying Mantis, roses, Shovel, Uncategorized

FREEZE WARNING…AGAIN

Our friends at the National Weather Service

Are predicting a freeze…again.

I think they really mean it this time.

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So I’ve spent this weekend.

Picking what is left of my garden.

That’s my ritual as the end of the season

Draws near.

Make sure I’ve got plenty of pesto

In the freezer.

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Pick all the green tomatoes

Spread them out on newspaper

In the cool garden house

To ripen.

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Pull the pots of Sego Palms

Out of their big pots

And move them into the garden house.

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Pick Cockscomb

And Hydrangea

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For flower arrangements

And hope they hold until

The Loaves & Fishes fundraiser in November.

This year the fundraiser is a week later

And the freeze is coming a few days early.

Do you think it will hold for almost

3 weeks?

We’ll see.

That’s one of the things I love about gardening

The mystery

The experimenting

The challenge.

And if the Cockscomb doesn’t make it,

We’ll just find another way.

Rosemary maybe

Pots and pots of cut rosemary.

That would make the place smell amazing

And what could be more appropriate

For a food bank fundraiser?

So my garden house if full

Of the rituals

Of the season.

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I’m lucky to have a place

To play

All year long.

In June I was honored to be visited

by Oklahoma Gardening.

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They came to film my garden house.

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It aired yesterday.

Click here if you want to take a peak.

 

The place is filling up

And the tulip bulbs

Haven’t even arrived yet!

More fun to come.

Thanks, John

For giving me such a wonderful

Place to play.

Gail

 

Here is literally the last rose of summer.

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Filed under cockscomb, End of Season Rituals, Fall, Garden House, Hydrangea, Oklahoma Gardening, Tomato, Uncategorized

FREEZE TEASE

It happens almost every year

About this time.

A predicted freeze

That doesn’t materialize.

Most years

I’m ready for a freeze.

But not this year.

I want to hold on

For a few more weeks.

Enjoying the last of the Dahlias.

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And making a few more arrangements.

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I like the rhythm of fall.

Shorter days.

Cooler temperatures.

A little more time to linger

In the garden.

This weekend

I’ve watched a spider

Spin and re-spin

It’s intricate web

Outside my kitchen window.

(Which explains the poor quality of the picture.)

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You have to admire

The ambitious little spider

Who works all day creating this miracle

That glistens in the sunlight.

Only to have someone

Or something

Walk into it

And do damage.

Yet when I wake up the next morning

There it is

Put back together.

Perseverance.

It’s one of the great lessons of nature.

Gail

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry.  We shall get there someday.”

A.A. Milne,   “Winnie-the-Pooh”

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Filed under Bouquets, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Flower Arrangements, Gardening;Perennials, Perennials, Uncategorized