Kalanchoe

I love Kalanchoe and currently have 4 colors of it planted in a large container.

There is a red, dark pink, pastel yellow and a yellow orange color. I think there are about 12 plants total.

These are from last spring they need to be cut back after blooming this year because they are somewhat leggy. You can take the cuttings and root new plants.

Kalanchoe is a thick leaf succulent that can be grown indoors or outdoors. This time of year it is easy to find them at the garden centers.

Raindrops and Roses

I love the smell of a good rain.

There is something about raindrops on rose petals the depth of the drops with the bright color of the rose and the definition between the two. It is all about the details.

If you have a good macro lens and a bright colored rose give this a try after a rain.

Eastern Bluebirds

The Eastern Bluebirds nest about 3 times a year but some of them keep coming back to this same nest in the orange birdhouse.

This bird house needs to be repainted but I have to catch it without birds in it or without birds trying to nest.

I found a great deal for our grandson Andrew some wood scraps for making birdhouses. He loves to build stuff and never has enough wood. Someone had 200 pieces of picket fence cut offs 10″ long by 5″ wide for $10.00 I gave them $20.00 because I felt like it was worth it.

We delivered the wood to him yesterday and all the siblings helped unload. I ordered 4 birdhouses 1 for each of them to paint bright colors for me. We will see when Andrew gets these built but hopefully this weekend.

Providing homes for our feather friends is something I truly enjoy.

Cricket is 10 months old

Cricket is 10 months old and still growing.

I have not had a chance to get her weighed people seem intimidated by her so I ordered a $50.00 muzzle so I can take her to PetSmart and weigh her. This should make people feel safer but honestly, she is on alert at home but does not seem bothered in public. My guess is somewhere between 130#s and 140#s she is eating about 7 cups dry plus a few tablespoons of canned.

The first pic is her sitting for her treat, the second pic Jack was showing her size by having her walking next to him. In the third pic after being let out of the pen she was headed straight for me talk about intimidation. The last pic is showing off her big head.

I love photographing pets and trying to capture their personality.

Hello 2021

I think we are all ready to put 2020 behind us.

Wow-what a year it has been so much stuff has happened and then COVID stops us all in our tracks.
We became hermits staying home and not ever getting to roam around in public or go shopping. We all felt so restricted but at least we have plenty of facemasks and we are some of the ones being safe.

I think most of us know how to wash our hands and disinfect things. I hope most of us stayed home and did the right thing.

Surgeries were canceled, vacations were canceled, retirement trips were canceled all to stay home and stay safe. Picnics and family gatherings were canceled holidays were changed like never before.

I think most of us are grateful to see their is a vaccine and will graciously wait our turn to get it.

The first 2021 DIY project is a potting bench I am always potting plants or repotting plants so this will be a good thing and I can keep stuff better organized.

Here are a few pics of some ideas I like I need one with a back on it I love the idea of the door as a back but want a wider one than the one pictured so I might turn a door sideways instead of tall. I actually won a stainless steel sink at auction for my potting bench.

Once we get started I will post some pics of whatever design we come up with.

Happy New Year everyone have a safe and Happy Day and please know 2021 will certainly be a better year than 2020 was.

Squirly

Squirly was in and out of the large birdhouse box we had fixed for the black-bellied whistling ducks. They never used it but I have seen squirrels in and out of it several times.

He was on the roof top deck getting a little sun.

There is nothing better than wildlife right in your own backyard posing for pictures.

Aloe Vera Bloom

Years ago my mom gave me some of her big Aloe Vera. This was a very old plant but I am not sure how old.

A few years ago it bloomed then again last year and now there are blooms all over several plants this year.

I have about 8 pots of the Aloe Vera scattered around the backyard plus Jack has about 30 pots in the greenhouse that are ready to be sold.

They are suppose to bloom 1 x a year but I think there are a lot of factors that go into them blooming.

Aloe Vera is very easy to grow and it likes to be neglected and not over watered.

Our two youngest granddaughters who are 6 years old Karina and Sophia love plants so I have given them several of the plants we had rooted. They have airplane plants, ivy, and aloe vera and they have quite the green thumbs like their mom does. They keep them on an Ikea Cart and roll them in and out of the sunshine indoors and sometimes they take them out on the front porch.

A simple plant that has several medicinal uses creates such a beautiful bloom even if it is only one time a year.

Greens in garden

We have green cabbage, napa cabbage, swiss chard, and mustard greens just to name a few things in our green arsenal this fall.

This was our first time eating & growing Napa cabbage it’s a different type of cabbage. We made cabbage rolls with part of it and roasted the rest in the oven with olive oil and red pepper. It’s a stringy cabbage compared to the regular cabbage.

I love eating regular cabbage raw with salt on it but not the Napa the texture is to different. Its more soft like a lettuce and its curly leafed.

Jack has decided he would like to try and find a few neighbors who want to share in the work and share the yield of our garden. Kind of like a neighborhood garden but with fewer people.

He truly enjoys the garden and we are still planting in the ground, several different types of raised beds and buckets.

Here are a few pictures first up is regular cabbage as you can see the leaves are starting to turn in a make a head. Then there are mustard greens and swiss chard.

Life is green right now at The Lira Gardens.

Painted tree trunk

This painted tree trunk is in the secret garden it is a hackberry tree they have smoother trunks with no chunky bark.

One day I decided to paint the trunk with acrylic paints this has been a few years ago and it has not really faded much. For me, it was about using the tree trunk as a canvas for a spot of color in the secret garden. This is not the entire tree but it is a section that is about four feet tall and as wide as the tree.

There is an artist who does blue trees that have been done in Houston before but he uses blue pigment instead of paint and only uses one color.

My husband is not a fan of the hackberry trees they fall in line with the tala trees and are known as a junk tree in Texas. He would cut them all down. I like the smooth trunk of these trees. All of ours are planted by the birds on the fence lines.

I am a tree lover and I know how many years it took us to have large trees on our treeless property which was once my father n laws hay field.

The hackberry tree makes a fruit that is loved by winter birds like the cedar waxwings, mockingbirds and robins. These tree also attract several kinds of butterflies.

When I look at a new property it is always the heavily wooded pieces of property that draw my attention. The kind with trails through it where you can get lost in nature and explore the beauty that is all around you.

I think we all need trees in our lives they shelter us from the harsh sun and provide nature a place to hide and build their homes. Trees filter the air we breathe and provide an umbrella in the rain.

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