Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all !

Happy Fall Ya'll

It's that time of year in the garden. The weather is cooling, the plants are setting buds and seeds and there is much to be done. We are even getting some desperately needed rain! This has been an incredibly hot dry summer here on the coast. The tropical storms that we usually have early in the season didn't show up this year. I am not complaining though, I don't  ever  wish damage or destruction on anyone, but we sure needed the rain. The plants that are still alive are true survivors. ( note to self, plant more survivors for next year)
If you grow Camellia Sasanqua, or Camellia Japonica, now is the time to collect seeds. The pods are beginning to split and drop their seeds and these are best planted immediately. Try planting some as you would winter sow other seeds and see what surprises you get in the spring. It will take 3-5 years from seed to bloom, but you never know what you get may just be a beautiful new variety.
Propagation done now is also ideal. Things that you root now have a better chance of getting established without the stresses of heat and longer day times.
Try cutting some of your flowering shrubs and sticking  them in a forsythe pot. See this post..
I am also trying some cuttings in a propagator and some in water. I read an interesting article the other day about rooting clematis in water. Needless to say...

                            I FEEL AN EXPERIMENT COMING ON!
Have a great weekend, get outside and enjoy a fabulous fall!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday's Psalm

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday's Statement.

Today I will be happier than a Seagull stealing fishbait!

I hope you make the same choice.
Have a great weekend

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's your Dream?

There are  a lot of changes going on here at Sandypetals. This is one of the reasons ( among many) for my blog silence for the past 2 months. My silence really was not intentional, more like  a meditative break. This year, for the first time since my son was born, I have seriously considered the need of a "real" job. I even went so far as to write a resume'. The problem was that I couldn't quite force myself to send any of the resume's off.
After many long talks with others who know me and what I like to do, I have decided to officially open
                                      Arnot's Garden & Arts
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to have a nursery. I have planned it many many times only to delay the dream for different reasons. Having a nursery is the one thing I could do for free for the rest of my life and never think twice about. I have known the truth of that statement for years, but for whatever reasons or excuses I have made, it is time to make my dream become a reality.
This quote by William Johnson has become my mantra lately....

                                          If it is to be... it is up to me! , 
it has become incredibly motivating.  

I won't give up Jewelry designing because that is just too much fun and a gardener needs something to do when it rains. I will also continue my artistic endeavors and some crafting.
In the days ahead, you can expect to see many changes. I hope you like them.

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden."-- 
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekly Zentangle Challenge # 26

This week's challenge from Laura Harms at I am the Diva is Spiral Out... and Keep Going. I had lots of fun with this challenge. I couldn't stop making different tangles .  The more I spiraled the more I wanted to spiral all the while adding different patterns and twists and turns. I have done a lot of the past challenges, but never posted them. This week I decided that has to stop. I want to tangle every week.

 Be sure to stop by the Diva's website on Sunday or Monday to see all of the wonderful entries in this week's challenge.
Doodles toYou.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

My 15 minutes of Fame

I cannot believe I have missed the past 4 challenges. I have drawn the tiles but somehow never managed to list them. This is my submission for weekly challenge 17 sponsored by Laura Harm AKA Diva.

 I hope to get on a  more organized schedule and get things done on time, but it is spring and flowers are blooming and seedlings are waiting patiently for their new pots and I just want to be "gettin dirty" playing in the garden.

Blooming this week are my irises and a few clematis. Lots of azaleas a few camellias are still strutting their stuff and the coreopsis, ajuga and pink oxalis are really putting on a show.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

See my Bloomers? AkA What's flowering this week

These are all so gorgeous! It could only be better if they were fragrant too............

Friday, March 18, 2011

If you cut it.... Will it grow?

This early part of spring has been just gorgeous in my little garden by the sea. My camellias have really bloomed a lot thanks in no small part to being snowed on twice this year. They are blooming their little hearts out as we "speak".

I love to cut and root things. It is like an obsession for me. I have no more room in my yard, but I still can't quit. Sometimes I trade plants with other botanically obsessed people, sometimes I list a few for sale, but mostly I just grow them because I cannot not do it. I know that is very strange, but it is like when you know you were born to teach, or be a nurse etc. I was just born to root and grow........... ( that is what I tell myself anyway.)
This week since my camellias are blooming I thought I would post about propagating them. The absolute best time of year is July and August, after the new growth has firmed up a little. I have rooted some through the winter, but it does seem to take much longer that way. I guess the winter makes everything seem to take longer.....( really it does though, most plants go dormant or semi-dormant when the temperatures fall into the 40's).
I cut 2 of my camellias the other day because I wanted to take a few pictures of my method. As usual there are zilliions of different methods, but this one works for me.
Camellia Japonica
1) Take a cutting of firm new growth with a growth bud and about 4 or 6 leaf nodes.  Make sure the cutting has a growth bud on the end. 

2). Remove all but 2 leaves and then cut those 2 in half. This will leave the cutting a reason to put out roots ( it has to feed the leaves) and removing much of the excess will reduce the stress on the cutting and lower the moisture loss due to transpiration. 

3) Dip the end in a rooting hormone ( like root tone or fast root or clone-x) and stick in a prepared pot with at least 2 or three of the leaf nodes under the potting media. 
Cover the cutting with a plastic bag, or recycled cut soda bottle ( ie. ghetto greenhouse) this will help to reduce the moisture loss and keep the humidity high enough for the cutting not to be stressed to it's shriveling point.
Set it in a shaded place where you will keep it watered. I have watched my grandmother do this with a mason jar, but I am using plastic soda bottles and fitting them to the top of the flower pot.

Camellia Sasanqua:

This is basically the same method. The biggest difference is that the leaves on the sasanqua are smaller and the sasanqua can tolerate more sun and tend to be fall blooming instead of spring blooming varieties. Sasanquas also have growth buds all along the stem instead of just at the ends like the Japonicas.

Here is the hardest part. Camellias are not in a hurry to grow or root or flower. Rooting can take as much as 6 months to a year and after they root, they still don't hurry to grow. Thankfully they are very long lived shrubs and once established with provide you with gorgeous flowers in early spring when most other things are just beginning to wake up from a long winter's nap.
Happy Growing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day! I'm doing it AGAIN..................

Happy St. Patricks Day!
                           Wear the Green!

The weather this week has been better than fabulous so yes "I'm doing it again!" I am starting seeds. A while back Samantha G asked me to write a post about my baggie method for seed starting.... Here it is:

I soak the seeds first in hot water. Water about the heat that you would hand wash dishes in is fine. Too hot and it can kill the seeds. I sometimes soak them overnight, but I have also soaked them for just about an hour at the time.  These are cat food cups that I have an abundance of and they only have about 1-1.5 ounces of water in them.

I then fill a cheap  ( from the dollar store)quart sized ziplock baggie. 1/3 full with my seed starting mix. ( usually miracle grow potting soil because it is easiest to come by and it is light weight.)
Then I dump the seeds and the water they are soaking in all into the baggie. I seal it up and label it and then put it in a warm spot and wait...........and wait...........and wait...... ( I am not very patient sometimes.)

Most seeds like temperatures in the low 70's-80's for germination and some like light and others dark. Most of the seeds I am planting will take anywhere from 7 days to 2 months to germinate.
I then check on them at least every couple of days. As long as there is condensation in the baggie, there is enough moisture and humidity for them to do just fine. You don't even have to open the bag. When I use quart sized bags and the seedlings reach the top or have at least 2 pairs of true leaves, I know it is time to take them out and transplant them into pots, or their growing spot. Depending on where you grow them, you may need to harden them off for a few days before planting out in full sun.
This week I have started : coneflowers, rudbeckias, stokesia, jasmines, vines, and tons of other things. When they all come up I may need help getting them planted.
There are many many methods of seed starting, but this one works best for me. Since I have started growing in bags, my germination percentages have increased exponentially.
Good Luck.

If you have a way to start seeds that really works well for you, leave me a comment and let me know. I love to experiment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Aww, they're just a couple of boys"

Have you ever noticed how your pets seem to act like  children? I was hit with this little bit of personality today when I picked up my camera. I was headed outside to take photos of some camellia blossoms, but when my dog Spud saw me with the camera, he immediately got excited and put on quite a show. His older brother Titus didn't get so excited, but they must have telepathically communicated to each other," hey stick your tongue out when she clicks.".. I'll show you what I mean.........

Spud ( the instigator)

Titus ( The I will if you will... follower)

These two shots actually remind me of some boys I know. They're good boys, they just ham it up for the camera.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday's Tangle

I can honestly say I don't know which part of this weekly challenge was more difficult for me. Actually drawing the zentangle/zendoodle entirely with my non-dominant  left hand  (only created to hold my wedding band and keep me from looking funny) or posting the result here for all to see. Hmmm, that is a tough one. I chatted with my favorite artist, and she even agreed. It would be really hard to do mostly because of being a perfectionist. That part was really hard to over come. I had no idea it was so deeply ingrained in my psyche. I told my son about this challenge and he took great pleasure in explaining that if is wasn't difficult, it wouldn't be a challenge.
So I am going to rise to the challenge. I have drawn  and colored entirely with my left hand and the only thing left to do is to close my eyes and post it before my brain figures out what I am doing and brings my right  hand to a screeching halt.
Challenge # 13" Non-dominatrix"

For a real treat if you have some time, check out Laura Harm's blog and see what so many very talented artists have created this week using only their "non-dominant " hands. She puts together a weekly slide show of everyone's entries too. 
So, if I am drawing with my left hand, does that mean I am in my "right mind"?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Something in Blue

I haven't posted in the past 4 challenges from Laura but I missed doing them so much I knew I had to get in on this one. My computer crashed earlier this week and took with it all of my pictures and such and although I have been able to re-format the hard drive, now I am restoring it from my online back up system. It may take a while longer to get back to normal but in the meantime, I will try to keep all of the promises I have made ( ie. SamanthaG, seed starting, J & JB camellia propagation etc.) and the blue earrings along with the sterling and copper rose bracelet I have been promising to show you.
This week's challenge  is to create something in blue. I sat down and closed my eyes to draw my string and when I opened them I saw this.... or at least the beginnings of this.....

The blue colors don't show up as much in this scan as they do in the actual card. Laura's Mom is having a birthday this week and since her favorite color is blue, I think I will call it the blue chicken (bird) of happiness. Happy Birthday Laura's Mom. 
Who can quit with just 1 tangle though? I had to keep making them here are a couple of others I did last night. 

It felt really good to be creative again. It seemed like months since I have made or drawn anything. As you can tell I seem to have garden paths and flowers on my mind. It must be time to start the seeds!
Thank you to all of my followers and for all the comments! You are the best.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Playing Catch Up

Wow! I truly do not know what happened to the past two weeks. It is almost as if they didn't happen. I have missed both of the last two challenges from Laura, I haven't posted, in fact I haven't done any of the things I had planned. Oh Well, tomorrow is a new week and my todo list starts again. I am working in the studio a bit and making a sterling bangle bracelet with a gorgeous copper rose ( that my very creative husband sculpted) and some very pretty cobalt blue chalcedony earrings. I promise to post pictures as soon as they are complete.
Samantha G sent me a special request for a post about my seed starting method. Samantha, I hope I am not too late, I will write that post for you ASAP.
In the meantime, I will continue to Zentangle/doodle and get back to the challenges and regular postings.
Hello and thank you to all of my followers.

Thought for the week.....
Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, 
 for they shall never cease to be amused.

I hope you all have a wonderful Week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Time to start the SEEDS!

Have you thought about how quickly this year is already moving? I know most of the country is blanketed in snow and there seems to be more coming, but here in the fanatical gardeners world, it is time to start the seeds. Even if you have to start them indoors.
Most seeds that you start indoors need to be sown 8-10 weeks before the last frost date for your area. In my little world that was 2 weeks ago, but there is a reason I am behind.  Anyway it is now time to gather your seeds and containers and plant markers and start sowing!
Here are some great ideas I have found for starting them.
Mr.Brownthumb shows you how to make "ghetto greenhouses" with 2 litre bottles ( I have a seemingly endless supply of those) and there is also a great article on Robs page for seed starting.
My favorite method is to start them in a baggie with soil. It works the best for me and takes up a lot less space than the other methods I have found.This week, I am starting Madasgcar Jasmine, fortnight lily, passion flowers and lots of others. My kitchen will be filled with little cat food cups that I soak my seeds in and baggies everywhere! I can hardly wait. But then I am always happier when I am playing in the dirt!  Here are a preview of some things I have planned. Hope you are planning your spring garden too.
Coneflowers Echinacea

Fortnight lily ( dietes iridioides) 

Madagascar Jasmine ( Stephanoitis Floribunda)

Passionflower ( passiflora incarnata)

And Rudbeckia! I just love flowers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hearts for Artoo

Laura's son Artoo has been very sick, so this week's  zentangle challenge was to combine 2 of the challenges we have already done in to hearts for her little one. These hearts are filled with love and prayers for little Artoo's healing and peace and rest for the family as well.

I always post more than 1, but these hearts are dedicated to Artoo and my newest little great nephew Christian, just 1 month old and recently hospitalized for an infection.  The prayer of my heart is that both these little boys will heal quickly and grow strong and healthy real soon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I just love a good challenge!

I just love challenges. I for some unknown reason like to test myself just to see if i can do something. You know, Sudoku  puzzles, crosswords, word tangles, "can you see this" images, anything that makes my little brain stretch a little. Lately I even seem to enjoy those silly little quizzes that psychologists use to determine your personality and etc...... Is anyone else like that, or am I just weird?
Anyway, I have been doing Laura's challenge each week and today as I was uploading some zentangles to my flikr photostream I found another challenge I have yet to check out.
This week's challenge at I am the diva CZT was breathe, relax and smile. Not easy to do while trying to doodle. True to form though I could not stop with 1 doodle. So here are the best 2 from this week.

Now I am off to check out the new challenge at Life imitates doodles  If you haven't checked into zentangling, you're missing out.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday's Tangle

This week's challenge from Laura was a new tangle pattern called ixorus. I had such fun drawing it, I couldn't stop. I ended up making about 6 tiles and then forcing my family to choose the best of the bunch. Zentangling has become my newest obsession. I don't get tired of doing it and every little tile is so different. These are  their choices for my best tiles.

My favorite artist and I have decided to do a collaboration. She will do the painting and I will add doodles. I can't wait to get started. I have been her biggest fan for many years so the chance to work with her on a project is so cool. I get so excited when I think about it, I am doing the happy dance! When we get it done, I will be sure to post it. Till then have a great time tangling.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday's Word

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday's Tangle

Last week I began following Laura's zentangle challenges. I just love drawing these little pieces. They start with no design in mind and each little line just adds into your pattern. I guess I love the spontaneity of drawing something and not knowing what it is going to be.
I read a blog last week that talked about silencing the inner critic. It was a wonderful post and it made me really think about my drawings and when will I be satisfied with them. I wish I could find the post again so that I could link to it for you.
There are so many people doing such gorgeous zendoodles and zentangles that I could spend hours looking at them all. Each one is so different. My biggest problem is I can't stop drawing them. I have become addicted. ( ok, there are worse things I could do. Right?)
This week's challenge was orbs. I had a lot of fun drawing the orbs and no fun at all trying to decide which to post.
Here are  my entries for the Weekly challenge # 5. Orbs

If you haven't tried zentangling yet, Check out this website. I think you will love it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Been doodling when I should be working!

I can't stand the cold weather and this past week's cold storm and actual snow at the beach has made me lazier than ever. I don't want to work, or cook or do anything I normally do, but boredom and I are not a good combination.
I have recently found zentangling and zendoodling and have become crazy about it. I never thought I could draw anything, but these little pieces don't have to look realistic and you just incorporate any "mistake" you make into the design, so it is right up my alley.

Laura, over at "I am the Diva" posted a weekly challenge, so last night even though I was a couple of days late, I got my pens and paper ready and attempted the challenge. I haven't ever responded to a doodle challenge, so you can't, laugh. PROMISE ? Ok, here they are, I made 2.....

If you haven't tried zentangline check this site out. you will love it. This is also a great place to find patterns.

Enjoy, Hope you don't get hooked on doodling like I did.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday's Motivation.... nowhere to be found

Happy New Year Everyone!, I know I am late, it is just that I took off all the days the schools were closed and now I don't want to go back to normal.
Am I the only one fighting it? My Routine really needs to be re-instated, but I just don't seem to have the motivation................

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday. ~Author Unknown

Hopefully my motivation will return in a little while. There is work to be done, jewelry to be designed, seeds to be sown, and garden plans to be drawn.

Hope you aren't facing the loss of monday's motivation too.