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Weekly Photo Challenge – On Top

April 18, 2014

kite

There is nothing like watching my granddaughter fly a kite at Hampton Beach.  Here’s hoping your weekend is over the top. :-)

Check here to see other posts that are “On Top.”

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Memories

April 17, 2014

Susan Adcox, a blogging friend and fellow grandmother, writes weekly posts as the Guide to Grandparents on About. com on a wide range of topics affecting todays grandparents.

Recently, Susan wrote a wonderful book, Stories from my Grandparent – an Heirloom Journal, for recording memories for your grandchildren.

This book has a hard cover and inside there are easy to handle spiral pages with thought-provoking questions covering topics from early childhood to what’s on a grandparent’s bucket list.

Many of the pages also include an opportunity to attach a photo to go along with and enhance the memory.

SusanBookCollage

This book of memories can be handed down to grandchildren providing a wonderful view of  life as their grandparents experienced it. If you’ve ever thought about making some notes about your life, this gives you an organized opportunity to do just that.

If you are interested in purchasing one for yourself or as a gift, you can find it at Family Tree or Amazon. It would be a good investment for your grandchildren. Don’t you wish you had one from your grandparents?  :-)

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Wordless Wednesday – First Barn Quilt

April 9, 2014

Barn Quilt

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Gardening update

April 7, 2014

It’s gardening season even if I do have some huge piles of compacted snow on the ground. :-)

Snow

For three days  last week I shoveled snow and chopped ice off five 4′x8′ raised beds.

There was about 6″ of snow to move and underneath was a slab of ice 3″ thick to chop and pitch. Now, as we get some warm days the soil will be able to absorb the heat. One bed will need a little repair because the ice apparently pushed a corner apart.

After getting the beds uncovered, I planted some seeds - three types of tomatoes, two cucumbers, lettuce, sweet peppers, Marigolds, Columbine, Alyssum, Coleus, and Geraniums. I’ve never seen Geranium seeds before so thought I’d give them a try.

I had some seeds up in two days and at five days they were really looking good. We’ve been using  silver emergency blankets to contain the light and heat for three years now and are amazed every year at what a difference it makes.

SeedCollage

Since the raised beds are clear and the seeds are growing, the next project is removing the leaves from all the perennial beds of which there are many, maybe too many for a woman of vintage years. :-)

Today I start off the week with a meeting about our Master Gardener plant sale in May. It’s always good to be organized, but we’re all hoping our perennials will be up and we’ll be able to divide them before the sale.  :-)

Are you actually gardening yet or are you still in the planning stage?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

April 4, 2014
London Underground

The London Underground posts Mind The Gap in the tiled floor at stops. Great system. If visiting London, give it a try to get around the city.  😊

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Thread Thursday

April 3, 2014

Our good camping buddies from up north gave me a sign for Christmas – Life’s Better At The Beach. They know me well. :-)

Sign1

Last week I decided I couldn’t do anything about the feet of snow still on the ground or the snow that was falling, but I could paint my four-season porch and lift my spirits with a nice light color to match my beach sign. I used Behr Paint – Rain Washed on the wall and Cumulus on the ceiling.

After the painting was completed, the right day bed cover, shams and pillows found, the only thing left to cover were the orange/brown/blue cushions on the rattan chairs.

I was unable to find covers or new cushions that would match, but I found some beach towels at Bed Bath and Beyond with shells on them that matched perfectly. Add some scissors, matching thread, imagination, and I have chair covers and two quilted shell mug rugs.

BedCollage

The options are endless when you have a sewing machine and some thread. :-)

Any inside projects on your to-do-list this spring before you start gardening full time?

 

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Native Pollinators

March 31, 2014

Last week I attended a Master Gardener refresher course including a session on native pollinators with Amy Papineau, Field Specialist, Merrimack County, NH, Extension.

European honey bees are a $3B per year business. Hives are moved from state to state depending upon crop pollinating needs. Thirty to fifty percent of all honey bee hives are lost each year to colony collapse and pesticides. A MG attending this session had already found four of her seven hives lost this year to the harsh New England winter.

Home and community gardeners depend upon Native pollinatornative pollinators to do the necessary pollination work in their vegetable and flower gardens. There are over 4,000 species of native pollinators, and here in NH it is estimated that we have several hundred varieties.

For every native plant there is a native bee looking to feed on nectar for energy and to gather nectar to take back to their nest. Did you know some smaller bees can only travel 50′ before they need food?

The use of Roundup and other pesticides equal crops with no weeds or what they now call weed free agriculture. No weeds = no food for native pollinators.

The use of pesticides also results in dried residue like crystals on plants being taken back to the nest which kills pollinators and disorients others so they can’t make it back from their foraging trip.

Besides a lack of food there is also a lack of habitat. Some of the things we can do to assist is to leave fallen trees, nesting sites and build bee boxes. We border a wetlands, and we leave it the way Mother Nature designs it.

Native pollinator house

Native pollinator house

There are all kinds of boxes you can build from very simple to elaborate. If you have children or grandchildren, it can be a fun learning activity.

Native plants allow the pollinators to reach and harvest the nectar. Some nursery plants are unhealthy for pollinators because they have been bred for selection and ornamental characteristics, have less pollen and nectar and are not accessible.

Some of the suggested native plants that can help provide food for native pollinators in our area are:  Columbine, Golden Alexander, Pussy Willow, Heliopsis, Monarada, Liatris, and Joe Pye Weed.

Here’s to more native plantings that attract native pollinators. If you have a plant in your garden that they love, please share so we can all benefit from your gardening experience. :-)

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The State of New Hampshire purchases their native seeds and plugs from a variety of sources including:

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If you are interested in a Master Gardener program, here is a link to our local information – UNH Cooperative Extension.

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Additional Information:

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