In the garden… more bees, the benefits of Agave and making grapevine Spring wreaths.

“ Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.”

John Lennon

Everything is slowly starting to come together out here in our city garden. If you remember last month’s post you know we had a huge mess in our garden with tools and storage items from a remodel we were doing inside our home.

Every year we do our yearly Spring plant shopping. This year it was a bit more expensive. Okay, who am I kidding…WOW, did prices ever go up or what? Spring 2022 will go down as the year of sticker shock shopping. I hope you all out there aren’t experiences extremely high prices like here in Phoenix. For some reason Phoenix is a target for a whole lot of stuff right now.

This month I started getting ready for Spring/Easter decorations for our home. I still had the grape vines that I made into a wreath in November, remember those? During Christmas I decorated it with real pine clippings and a big red bow.

One wreath was done up using faux flowers and a paper bow I made. I bought the vintage paper ribbon in one of those thrift store grab bags of mismatched items. To make a grapevine wreath remember to shape and intertwine your vines into a circle the moment you cut your vines. This is usually done in the Fall. You can also soak your grape vines in water if they get too hard when shaping your wreath bases.

I used a bouquet of purple faux flowers to create this wreath. I just cut the flowers into small bundles to push in throughout the grapevines.

Here is the wreath I made using all natural plants from my garden. The natural wreaths will not last long of course but they are prettier to me. My Spring time wreaths are mostly made from faux flowers and my Winter wreaths are always fresh pine clippings.

The chickens are still laying a lot of eggs. This is normal for the Spring time, as all you chicken owners out there know. Our neighbors chickens are also laying a lot. We’re all asking each other up and down our street if anyone needs eggs right now. Some of our neighbors don’t have chickens so we take some to them. I may do a trade with some neighbors farther down the street who have a lemon tree. I need some lemons to make some more natural lemon cleaner. We’re all trying to figure out what to do with all these eggs. We can get as many as 8-12 eggs a day.

When I was a little girl my Nana would pickle hers, then put them into jars. Here are some other ways we are using our eggs.

Scrambled

Fried

English muffin egg sandwiches

Swedish omelets

hard boiled

Deviled

egg salad sandwiches

home made pasta

And my favorite- decorated Easter eggs.

First time my kids made ravioli with their dad. Since the lock down we had two years ago, we have been trying to teach our grown kids some of the things that their grandparents taught us when we were little. Here in Arizona our lock down wasn’t really extreme but what was suppose to be only two weeks did turn into two months of crazy rules.
My husband used 10 eggs to make pasta and ravioli. He froze the extras .

We have been cleaning up around our many Agave plants. I didn’t know this but agave is used for cattle feed in Mexico. There is a whole process of getting it to where it’s edible and then they feed it to the dairy cows.

Agave also pulls toxins out of the soil which then evaporates into the air. And everyone knows about Agave being made into Tequila. Also there is Agave syrups that some will use as a sweetener. It takes a lot to process the plant into a syrup. I rather eat raw honey as a sweetener instead.

The bees are good. We always worry about them. We hear things about how fragile bees can be. We lost one of our hives years ago. It was a wild hive that showed up one week in a bee hive my husband had built and added bee bait to.

My husband didn’t know that it had actually worked until I complained one day about all the bees everywhere and how I had to be very careful when I was hanging up clothes outside to dry. My husband had the biggest smile on his face when he heard that. He jumped up and ran outside to see saying out loud “ It actually worked?” Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about at the time.

Those bees were Arizona africanized bees. They never really bothered us much. Something happened though and the whole hive died one month. That was sad. We had the best honey I ever tasted that year. We had harvested the honey months before the bees had died. It took three days for the whole hive to pass. We still, to this day, have no idea what happened to them.

We don’t spray harsh chemicals, but some of our neighbors do. Actually it was our next door neighbor who sprayed all the time, even after we told her how dangerous it was. Not in a mean way of course, just passing on what we had read once about how harmful a particular weed killer was. Our neighbor died a year later from cancer. That was also very sad. I don’t know if the two have anything to do with each other. There were several law suits that came up against the company that created the chemical. So many people were harmed by that chemical company. It’s still in business here in our country.

Even sadder is the fact that most countries (not the USA) won’t even allow this chemical into their countries, but we are given this harsh chemical here in ours. Sometimes I feel like American citizens are the scapegoats and the canaries for the world. To top everything off, we also seem to be the most hated and despised. Here in America we are group of all nationalities that came together to create a place that should be all about freedom.

People wonder why the bees are suffering. We are reminded that without bees, we will not survive, yet harsh chemicals are still allowed here in America.

Our new bees are from South Carolina and they are very gentle. The man we bought them from is no longer delivering bees to Arizona as it has become very dangerous for him now to travel across our country without getting robbed. This is the first year he will not be delivering to our state. It would cost too much to hire security and make a profit at the same time he said. There is one particular state he is concerned with crossing to get all the way here to Arizona. With shortages and higher prices, theft will increase I fear.

The Arizona africanized bees did bug me when I was swimming in the pool but only a couple at a time, never a swarm. Eventually they would leave me alone. The bees from South Carolina never bother me when I swim.

I love watching the little bees collect water and just hanging out in flowers everywhere. Every time I am at the garden nursery looking for new plants I always watch where the bees go. If they like the flower then it’s a good flower for our garden too.

The honey the bees produce help keep our allergies down. One time I had a really bad glue gun burn. I will spare you all the details of the layers of skin that had to come back and heal. First I used Aloe from the garden and then I started using raw honey. We use honey to help heal our dry lips too. Arizona is a very hot and dry state.

My husband took a jar full of honey for now but won’t harvest all of it until October. From one hive it looks like 4 gallons worth so far.

I have also heard that honey has some benefits that help with memory skills. With all the aluminum they are adding to most of our food and body products here in America, having a little honey to help boost our memory isn’t such a bad idea.

Dementia and Alzheimer are on the rise here in our country and our state, according to our local news, which I hardly take as truth anymore. Still, I see no problem with trying to find ways to keep our brains and memory skills healthy.

Research honey first. Make sure you are actually buying real honey. If you shop here in the USA there are many deceptive packaged food items on our shelves. I have discovered the more something is processed the worse it is for us.

There is a cereal here in our country that is not allowed to be sold in England I heard, all because of one of it’s ingredients. From December-March this year that cereal was everywhere in all our grocery stores. It was also one of the sale items being advertised all the time.

Boxes and boxes were put on sale and commercials geared toward children were played all the time promoting this cereal. It was almost like they got a huge shipment of this particular cereal and the stores used it to fill up empty shelves.

I will have to research that some more as I don’t want to get into trouble with what I am writing by naming the brand. Just stay away from anything with red dyes. Read every label you buy food from. If you don’t believe there is a problem here in this country with poisons in our foods then here is a story I will share…

Years ago, before the Red Monster showed up with lock downs and rules, my family and I would take our kids to Hockey games. Last I heard you now need a V passport to do this. At one hockey game they had several families there who had family members that had passed away from cancer. It was Cancer night.

At one point during the game, they talked about it being a night to remember pass love ones who had suffered from Cancer. They asked everyone who knew someone who died or had suffered from Cancer to please stand up.

The whole stadium was packed with thousands of people. And slowly they all started standing. They all had little posters they held with the names of the family members who passed away or suffered. It was such a site to see in person.

Thousands held little pieces of paper in front of them. Then I turned around to my family members in the suite we were in and we as well were all holding signs ourselves. My cousin lost her father to lung cancer and her best friend to a brain tumor. Her best friend’s grown kids were standing by her side.

My cousin became a mother figure to them when their mom had passed. We both also lost my Nana to cancer. Thousands stood up that night, more stood then sat, and all held that little poster in front of them with their love ones names on them.

What are we doing to ourselves or allowing to be done to us? Now when I walk down rows of chemicals in those garden shops I never forget that night at that Hockey game.

The grapevines are starting to come out now. I missed my opportunity to change our fence that we have to replace every year. Now that the grapes are growing all over it, it would be hard to remove the old fence and replace it without harming the grape vines.

My Spider plant is starting to bloom little white and yellow flowers that will eventually turn into tiny baby spider plants.

Remember this giant Terra cot-ta pot that was dissolving away? It was my first attempt at making a mosaic pot with some broken glass I had. It’s still holding up and the Spider plant grew huge in it. Seems happy, still producing lots of baby spiders.
My little nursery where I plant all my baby plants. A tiny snake plant I pulled from a larger plant and a little aloe succulent that I pulled from a larger aloe plant.

We had a busy week one week.So busy in fact that I almost forgot about all my plants I purchased from the nursery that needed to be planted. A couple days went by and I still needed to re-pot the plants. If you leave them in their store pots too long they will eventually die. Have to start planting those things right away.

My daughter and I spent a whole day re-potting all those flowers and houseplants. I was worried I didn’t have enough pots to plant them in.

This round white pot was given to me but it was a very odd color. I believe it was a combination of peach and gray mixed together. I just painted it white.
A tiny pot I bought years ago from the 99 cent store.
These two pots were purchased at a church sale.

My petunia’s I planted a month ago are starting to take over the large planter I have by the pool. Remember, this is what I call the plant hospital. I actually have two plant hospitals. The other is my grown children’s old red radio flyer wagon.

Anytime I plant is struggling or seems dead I plant it there and it always surprises me how they just seem to come back to life after that. Plants need to be near other plants.

My giant planter hospital by the pool.

My next project will be for a little garden area inside our house on those shelves we brought in. I already have one grow light in one section and will be adding another grow light to another section as soon as I organize everything a little better.

I had some empty glass terrariums and turned one into a mini aquarium. Alley cat loves hanging out up there watching the tiny fish swimming around. You can find glass terrariums everywhere. As long as there aren’t any cracks you can use them to grow aquatic plants too.

I also worked on some Spring displays for Easter. I will have a more detailed post on that next month.

Now that my glass garden table is no longer piled with tools I can work on outside projects again.

That’s it this month from our garden. How is it in your neck of the woods? Are Spring flowers coming out to greet you all yet? How are your gardens going? If you don’t have one, then a little potted plant will do. All living things bring so much happiness to a room. Happy gardening adventures everyone.

A new plant I bought from the garden nursery.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. The plants selling area is awesome,lots of sceneries to view 🌷🙏♥️🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mel says:

    Must be very fun to spend a whole day caring your plants with your daughter. Love to see your collections.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a good idea. I should take a bunch of photos of some of my favorite plants.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ourcrossings says:

    I very much love your handmade spring wreaths! They are so simple yet very much beautiful. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. I hope all is well with you and your family. Aiva 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Aiva. We are all well and have a new furry family member. A little rescued kitten from the shelter. She is so sweet. Hope you and your family are all well too. Have a beautiful week as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Obong eno says:

    Beautiful images ❤️

    Like

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