About Me

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Montgomery, Alabama, United States
I'm a Zone 8. I'm doing a little gardening to satisfy a curiosity to see whether or not I can do it. People make it look so easy-- what's stopping me from making it work? Contrary to my name ("Hana" means flower in Japanese) I have a history of killing plants. Well, most of them. Let's see how this one goes!

Monday, April 7, 2008


Today is planting day!

I will continue with normal updating in a bit, but today is planting day! Yay!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Just a random photo post of cool critters I've seen around the place.

A honeybee of some sort. This particularly made me smile because I had just watched a PBS documentary on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)-- essentially the unexplained disappearance of workers-- in American honeybees, which made me both sad and a bit concerned. It's sort of a big deal. Anyway, here are a couple links about it:
The Wiki article on it

A little brown skink who came skittering out when I was pulling up Bermuda grass. At first I thought it was an insect because it was so tiny. Then I thought it was a snake because I didn't see the tiny, insignificantly sized legs. For scale, I put down a clothespin--

It has to be the smallest lizard I've ever encountered. Cute little thing, yeah?

Now for something not cute. I have no idea what this is-- some sort of bagworm or caddisfly or something, but essentially it's an inchworm who has decided to burden itself with a cone of garbage. I found this one hanging out on a pea plant, probably planning its destruction.

I found this guy out today doing... something. I was hoping that he was eating bugs, but alas from the pictures you can see that he was just collecting root bits for some other insidious purpose.


OHHHHkay so it's been a couple of weeks and I am sure that the wide world out there (that means you, oh gentle readers! hooray!) is wondering what's been going on. Well, honestly, it's probably more disappointing than you may think. After my nice little hand-crippling incident (vastly blown out of proportion, I can assure you) I had trouble doing any heavy-handed work on the bed, so I focused mainly on procuring items for soil amendment and drawing up plans on what the hell was actually going to happen once the time came to throw it all down in the ground. I gave up on the limestone excavation because, well, that's just a silly idea. Instead I went ahead and refilled the bed, alternating layers of raked leaves, native soil, and Garden-Ville™ compost until the giant gaping hole became not so gaping. The idea is that the leaves (which started to compost a bit already because of the recent rains) would compost down throughout the season, amending the soil as it does so. It's heavy and clayey here, so anything to improve texture and provide nutrients is a good thing.

Anyway, here are some before and after pictures~



I'm now debating whether I should do a raised bed on top of this or if I should put just a couple layers of compost and soil and plant directly into those without raising it any higher. Augh, soil is the most difficult part of gardening, it seems.

Things seem to be going well in the seedlings department, and many things are screaming to be put in the ground. The longer I've waited the more it's worried me that transplant shock will kill them all. I did discover an interesting thing-- I was in the habit of lightly watering my plants every day. Just a little blop in the morning, maybe some at teatime if it was particularly sunny, and I thought I was doing a good deed. We left for San Antonio for a weekend, and when I came back about half of my plants had shot up almost to twice the size they were when I had left. It's a miracle what my babies can achieve once I leave them alone as it was then that I realized that I was more or less killing them with attention. I have since amended my ways and have learned to leave them alone. As long as they don't start smoking or stay out past midnight I'm sort of okay with getting off their backs a bit.

Now pictures and more applicable narration--

The older tomatoes are starting to get a little bigger. I think the scorching a few weeks back severely stunted their development, so I am happy to see them finally getting larger.

Here you can see where things have gone well and where they haven't-- two specific mistakes occurred. First, I asked the boyfriend to pick up el cheapo potting soil from HEB for me, and it ended up being disastrous. Instead of being happy and fluffy, it was evil, heavy, and sandy. I went ahead and repotted my tender baby peppers into it, hoping for the best and-- dead. All of them except one, which looks like it is hanging on for dear life. The same happened to all but two of my Burpee random rainbow assortment of tomatoes and all but maybe three of my opal basils. I am not entirely sure what I will do with this soil. The second mistake was to test fertilizer on the basil. Apparently it didn't like that, but luckily I only used it on six plants. One has survived, but only barely the poor thing.

The mint is doing very well and is already exhibiting its invasive tendencies. It keeps trying to branch out and sprawl as far as it can, the naughty thing. I'm so glad I bought it-- every time I touch the thing it fills the air with delicious aroma.

And my squirrels are... quirky, to say the least. I have all these yummy plants for them to enjoy, but instead they go for the cardboard boxes that house them. I am not entirely sure why-- maybe they taste like the cereal they once housed? Anyway, I have seen little footprints in the soil and my boyfriend watched one this morning munching away at the box. I don't get it, but I'm strangely thankful for this.

I'll leave this here now, and start visiting blogs like I should have been doing long ago.