I Love To Be In My Garden. Don’t You? Oh….I get an almost immediate calmness in my entire body when I step into my secret gardens. They really are not all that secret. One is in our front yard..lol..not so secret, and I’m sure our entire backyard is not totally secret. I have 4 gardens at the moment that I am Day Dreaming about. I have just moved back home to Juliann and Skuli a few months ago. My husband Rex is going to be out-of-town for a while so the dogs and I needed to be at home. Skuli has gone into the Late Stages of Parkinson’s and Juliann needs me at home.
This will be fun that you all will be with me as I dust off the cob webs in my old comfy room and tend to my gardens that I have not been in for a while. I have grown a lot since I lived here. I have added a garden or two to my Garden Day Dreams…LOL…
So..If you would please join me and come on in, I am creating MY OLD and NEW, MOST IMPROVED Positive Thoughts Gardens That REALLY ARE HEALING The 524 QUEEN. I really am so delighted that you are here. My first garden that people see is the front yard garden. When we first moved in it was a sun garden. The trees were just babies and now one has to be 25 feet tall. We also have 2 Redbud Trees in the front yard. All three trees have now made it into a shade garden. I just love it though. Our home is painted a dark gray. The color of the flowers stand out and are just brilliant, every one of them. I have not planted near what I am going to. On my breaks I wander around this greenhouse around the corner just a few blocks away. I have so many plants in mind for all 4 gardens I am creating. The 2nd garden I’m day dreaming about is a fairy garden on our patio just off of the kitchen. Skuli use to build the most wonderful things. The Meditation Temple for Juliann is one of his dearest projects he built. Her temple is the entrance to our Healing Web-Store. Positive Thoughts Positive Life 4 Everyone. We enter through a beautiful rounded Sun-Ray door. It is made with many pieces of wood which are each a different shade of color and I think it looks like the sun ray’s. Does it remind you of sun ray’s? The Fairy Garden on the patio is where we sit to eat, when we are cooking out. Skuli built a wooden bench that is attached to two trees. There is a fairy who lives in this part of my garden and I think we need to find out her name. We all love fairy’s but not like Skuli. Skuli is from Iceland where they are serious about their fairy’s. He built a bench on one side of the patio that sits between the trees. On the other side of the patio he built a bench out of flat stones that is so pretty. Towards the south of the patio He built a pond that he dug by hand. That was back when he was my right hand in a lot of the gardens I planted and cared for. I have many funny Skuli stories that happened about this time. I have to tell you at least one. I don’t know that you will find it funny because it is not really funny at all. But seeing him right now we wish for those days when he could pull some of his onery stunts. Juliann and I were talking about this with some tears just the other day…. OK….I don’t want to cry…..dry it up…as my Aunt Dixie would say……Anyway, there is this Parkinson’s medicine Marapex and it has the CRAZIEST side effects…..Who in the world would think they would have this effect…..but it does… ….it makes you want to eat chocolate and gamble……I just thought of this a minute ago…and I had tell you that Skuli would disappear to sneak off to the Casino…..I can not count how many times Skuli disappeared….Seriously…..I would be talking to him while we were walking down a isle somewhere and look over and He would….just … be gone……I have no idea how…..and I would have to go home and tell Juliann I lost Skuli…..But there was not one darn thing I could do…To stop him from running away to the Casino…..He would be there one second……he would be… “no where to be found”… the next……Every time…..we found him……30 miles away in a Casino……..True Story…….He was a mess on that Marapex……For years///….We wish he could still move around…… With all my heart I wish he could……..and run away to the Casino… I would gladly go find him like the old days…….And I know Phyllis would too.,,….,Phyllis is part of our family and….She has lost Skuli to… many times…. like me……And she has gone looking for him to find him in the Casino…… You have to admit… just imagining us all running around to different Casino’s afraid of how mad Juliann will be if we go home and haven’t found him is….. Anyway….Thanks for going there with me….I needed to remember those crazy funny days……But..here we go…back on track….and back to the Gardens.. …So just past his little waterfall pond with stone benches is going to be my 3rd garden …my husband Rex’s “Anything he Wants Garden”. He loves to cook and oh my goodness does he like to use fresh herbs in everything he cooks…. I am so excited about this garden for so many reasons….. 1st…..I just love it when he cooks…..And I love to eat what he cooks…he is really good at it…..And now….to my 4th Garden…it is a miniature Fairy garden…. They are really cute little gardens with a door to their home, and they have little crystals here and there…., sometimes they have little tables and little flower pots……you just never know what the fairy’s will have about in their miniature gardens.
When I am designing a garden like I am now…..I alwayw begin with the soil…….Weather I am in one of my gardens or a customers garden the schooled side of me always comes out first….. I spend some time studying everything that surrounds me…..Always a good place to start……This part of designing a garden comes from the “Master Gardener” side of me…. I always giggle a bit with the “Master Gardener”….. That is the certification from Oklahoma State University that I earned many years ago….. My family call’s it my “Girl Scout Badge”….. It is not a girl scout badge so please forgive me if that reference offend’s any of you very hard-working girl scouts….. I always like to test the soil to see if I need to add anything to the soil to get the nutrients just perfect for the plant’s that will be living there….. I do not know where other countries have their soil tested but in America we have extension centers where Master Gardener’s like myself answer the phones to diagnosis diseases and insect issues and this is where we get the soil nutrient levels tested….Ours is in the University and I am sure that is where you will find yours as well…… I will have a list up for every state in America at some point in the near future…
Having the perfect soil is extremely important to the life of our plants…. Getting the chemistry levels correct is not very creative or artistic and yet it is very important to our plants. I care so much for my plants and I like to make sure they have all their needs met…. I think I will call this part of my gardens “The Lucky Plant’s Pamper Service by The 524 Queen”. I really do baby my plants and enjoy every minute of it.
The better the soil the healthier the plants. Soil in it’s best is 50% Void which is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. Then 25% is Air and 25% is Water. You hear people thinking they are loving their plants by giving them lots of water. But to the contrary more sweet plants are hurt and killed by over watering, yes that is true. In Oklahoma we deal with the problem of Clay. When there is a lot of clay in our soil the plants have a hard time breathing. There just is not very much air in the soil with the presence of Clay. We have the Clay problem almost everywhere in Oklahoma. The plants can not get any air so there are some helpful hints like adding gypsum, newspaper, egg shells.These are just a few examples of additives that will help add air passages in soil with so much clay. As we prepare the garden bed for it plants by getting the soil with just the right amount of minerals. To find out what the levels are I will gather soil from all areas surrounding the house….Like I have said Oklahoma State University Extension Center is where we go if you live in Oklahoma…. They look for the pH level in the soil. The Extension Center tests for amounts of 16 elements, pH is an indicator, if you will for the chemists. It tells us if the soil is acidic or basic/alkaline. The H in pH is for Hydrogen. And did you know that water H20 can also be written H-O-H because it has 2 Hydrogen’s? I just thought about that little 2 H thing and decided to tell you what I was thinking about. I will do that from time to time. Anyway, back to the pH levels. There are different levels which will tell us the if it is acidic or basic/alkaline. The chart I know of looks similar to a straight tall building with floors beginning at 4.0 going up to 9.0…. A 7.0 is…pure water..less than 7 the soil is acidic….above 7 the soil is alkaline. Lime will neutralize the soil and Sulfur is required to acidify alkaline soil.There are a few plants that adore acidic soil believe it or not. The acidic lovers are Blueberries, Azaleas, Pin Oak and Fescue. They prefer their soil to be acidic under 5.0. Which is way to acidic for most plants. Do you know what a garden’s most commonly deficient in? It is Nitrogen. Because Nitrogen is a mobile mineral so if the plants have been removed the Nitrogen level will most likely be low. An interesting fact is that one of our favorite things to do is not very healthy for our plants, and that is throwing our grass clipping away. Our grass needs the grass clippings because when a plant dies Nitrogen is still bound organically in amino acids and plant proteins and remains bound as it decays. And the Nitrogen in Humus cannot be adsorbed by plants until it is released by soil microorganisms. However, Nitrogen is available in an inorganic form as ammonium NH+4 (Nitrate) or NO-3. Phosphorus deficiency on the other hand is uncommon in mature lawn and in gardens. Plants use only 1/8 the amount of Phosphorus as they do Nitrogen, so there is usually enough Phosphorus. Potassium deficiency however is common in Oklahoma because of the amount of rain that we get. Area’s that get 35″ or more per year will be low in Potassium. Another interesting fact about Potassium is that pH levels that are 7.0 or higher will usually be high in Potassium. These that I have mentioned are the at the top of the list of elements we check. All 16 elements are important however. I will write about all 16 of them it In a blog specifically on Elements that are in our soil and the specific levels that we want them to be at.
So with the soil business taken care of, what I feel is fun can begin. The flower artist side of me loves this part. I am very picky about what plants go where. Where the paths will be is actually a very important aspect to ensure a relaxing time while your there. The family dogs have the most say in this area. At our house we want our dogs to hang out with us all the time. I love being in the garden with them and I would miss them so much if they we not out there with me. And yelling at them all the time to get out of a flower bed is not fun or relaxing to any of us, including our sweet dogs. So I grab a Dr.Pepper and a comfy spot to hang out for a while. And I sit back and observe them. I look for the paths they make. They seem to run on the same line, almost every time. So their lines for running I have found to be the best for the paths in my gardens. This brings up Feng Shui which is important in my gardens as well as in my home. Feng Shui is the placement of things so the energy can and will flow smoothly. Feng Shui is a something we (Juliann and I) always do. Poor Skuli when we first began to study Feng Shui seriously as we would get to the next chapter we would need something moved. He is such a good sport. He was always moving something for us every time we learned a bit more. Once we had our computer moved so many times in one week that the cable people knew Juliann by name when they heard her voice. But to have “good Feng Shui” sometimes you
just have no other choice. Juliann and I will always talk about if placing something somewhere is good Feng Shui or not.. We have all kinds of Feng Shui solutions for just about anything problem. So if you were worrying about it, no need to worry we have the solutions in our healing store. I am designing it as we speak. So if you would like more information about Feng Shui I will be more than happy to show you all about this wonderful concept. And If I do not have the answer to any of your questions I will keep looking until we have the perfect solution for you. And this is for any subject we will have in the store. The view from our garden is quite important as well. If there is something yucky like a bunch of trash. Or a widow where people can see into the secret garden. Most of these areas can be cured with an evergreen tree. They are beautiful all year round their name sates that. So it is always a safe choice to take an unsightly area and make it beautiful with an evergreen tree. A Trellis or a panel of a fence with a lighting will add a sweet romantic mood…deciding on which one to get is the hardest part. Of course the theme of the garden will play a huge roll in deciding which flowers go where. And what to put on the fence. Will we have outdoor lighting? Very good question to jot dawn so we can ask the Boss.
I always ask what the garden owners favorite color is. And then I ask what their favorite plant, flower, or tree is. Everyone loves their fave’s in their secret garden.
I am designing mine and having so much fun. On my to do list is to ask everyone, that has a flower bed what their favorite color is? I am going to love this. I want everyone who is part of the gardens family to have something they love in the garden.in the secret garden…. I am placing a water feature in the wealth area. The wealth area is in the South East Corner and the water flowing represents the continuous flow of abundance coming into our family and moving through out to each member of our family and to national or global cause. Bird feeders and Bird baths are very good Feng Shui as well as squirrel feeders. I am so excited to see what is in the greenhouse and start planting.
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