First Day of Spring in Northern Nevada ~ March 2009

After begging for last Friday off from work…I spent the whole day in my yard! And while my body revolted on Saturday…it felt VERY GOOD! Especially with it being sunny and 70F (then it was blowing & snowing and 40F over the weekend!)

Started at 7am in the back patio cutting the 6′ dog-eared cedar fencing down to 63″ (I had painted them the night before)…I needed to make a 4 foot section of fence to replace the tree/shrub my husband cut down on the side of the property. Took me about an hour to put it all together by myself…if you don’t look hard enough you can’t tell it’s a bit crooked. 🙂

Four Foot Section of New Fence ~ Right Side.

Four Foot Section of New Fence ~ Right Side.

After getting the fence up I headed to Lowes to pick up some things I will need for the drip system. I didn’t get all I needed to do last year, so will finish it up this spring. While there I HAD to make a detour outside to look at all the new plants that came in. I bought some small containers of herbs ~ dill, lemon thyme, spearmint, oregano and something else that escapes me at the moment. Also some cabbage and broccoli.

Called my mom to see if she was home and if she wanted to go with me to G & G Nursery (I can’t find a website for them, but here is a map with some reviews) with me to look for blueberry plants. So I swung by and picked her up…found the blueberries! Yippie! G & G Nursery has 3-year old Blue Crop and Berkeley plants…bought 2 to go with the one my mom gave me from her yard. Also bought the last of the elderberry plants (the berry one and not the ornamental ones…they have lots of those).

While looking at which blueberries to buy I spied a wee Blue Atlas Cedar in a 10 gallon tub…with no price on it. He told me that I can get it for 30% off if I wanted it…I said I wanted it, but would have to wait until I get paid. My mom bought it! 🙂 THANKIES! (Remind me to remind you that you already bought me an early, very early birthday present!) So we loaded up the car with the plants and swung by my house, unloaded the Lowes and G&G Nursery plants then hopped into the pickup to go get the tree.

I now have a Blue Atlas Cedar in the front yard!

I now have a Blue Atlas Cedar in the front yard!

See all the river cobbles around the tree? Well those came from the hole I dug for the tree…I told you last year I think a river ran through my yard. I’m pretty sure if we looked at old maps that it would show the Truckee River meandered through my yard pre-1915!

I also planted the 2 blueberries (plants in corner…with blueberry from mom’s house), 1 elderberry (right side) and 2 jasmine plants (left side) in the corner where I put up the new part of the fence. I’m hoping that if I build some hay houses for the jasmine that they will live through our winters…gotta give it a try!

Blueberries, Edlerberry, and Jasmine.

Blueberries, Elderberry, and Jasmine.

I’m debating on planting the herbs in the middle…probably in a small raised bed. Or they may go up front with the Blue Atlas Cedar. Right now they are in the old wash sink in the side room of the house. And since cabbage and broccoli are cool weather plants, I went ahead and planted them in the back raised garden beds.

Also planted ~ a packet of Lemon Queen Sunflower seeds that I found at my local Lowes in Sparks… these are for the Great Sunflower Project I told you about last week.

Lemon Queen Sunflower Seeds

Lemon Queen Sunflower Seeds

Around 4pm I wandered back into the house and realized I didn’t take anything out to make dinner…nor was I in any shape to go out and get something. Luckily I had a bag of leftover ham in the freezer…and some lentils in the pantry…chopped up an onion and a green chile, put that and the lentils and the frozen ham into my cast iron pot, poured some chicken broth over the whole thing. Then crawled into the shower.

Very sore on Saturday…but I wouldn’t ever trade a day like Friday for anything but another day just like it! 🙂 I get a lot done with my husband at work and out of my way! LOL!

The Great Sunflower Project ~ Hobby Farm Home May/June 2009

I received the May/June 2009 Hobby Farm Home magazine yesterday…and by last night it looked like it was read by 20 people in a doctors office. 🙂 Just love that magazine!

On page 38 in Garden Grit by Susan M. Brackney there is a tidbit on GREAT SUNFLOWER PROJECT ~


Sunflower from my front yard, Sparks NV, 2008 ~ these wee ones were sleeping in the flower. 🙂

You’ve probably heard that our Honey bees, bumblebees and other natural pollinators are dying back, but thanks to the Great Sunflower Project, we can all help these insects – and the researchers who study them.

Volunteers are asked to plant sunflowers and then count the number of bees it attracts in a half hour or less twice a month. The goal is 5 bees during that time setting.

The sunflower that they are suggesting is the LEMON QUEEN (an American Natitve flower) ~ you need a sunflower that has POLLEN…and because people don’t like the pollen on their cut flowers, some sunflowers have been altered to be pollen-free. 😦

Pollen is critical for new bees so the Lemon Queen has been picked as the sunflower of choice. They are protein-packed and can be grown in your garden or pots…it will produce multiple, lemon-yellow blossoms all summer long so bees can be counted for many months.

Ultimatley, researchers hope to pinpoint geographic regions in which bees are most scarce, so participants without any bee visitors on their sunflowers will supply the most important data of all.

To donate or sign up for the free program, visit www.greatsunflower.org, while supplies last, a packet of Lemon Queen seeds will be sent to you. But you can always buy them at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com) and Gurney's Seed & Nursery (www.gurneys.com) ~ Here is a list from the Project Site itself.

I’m going to look around the Reno/Sparks area to see who carries them locally. NOTE: If you’re in the Sparks/Reno area…the Sparks Lowe’s has the Lemon Queen seed packets!