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I stare out my window at the thankfully melting snow and realize how much I neglected my garden last fall. Gangly sunflowers poke out through the frozen slush along with the coneflowers, their last seeds pecked away by the long gone goldfinches in autumn.

My time is compressed. It's sandwiched between the things I used to have time for and caring for mom. I can't recall the moment I just let things go. Perhaps it was the early snow. It saddens me, but also energizes me that it is time to take things back. I will squeek it out to get back to remembering who I am and dig in the dirt. Time to shake off the winter blues and learn to say no sometimes. Our time on this earth is also limited and I intend to get as much dirt as I can under my chewed-up, stressed out nails as I can.

I want mud between my toes and a sunburn on my back and to feel alive as only gardening can do, at least for me.

And someday, late June, to sit back and marvel at the beauty. That is my goal. To take a little bit of normal back again.

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Besides our enjoyment of gardening it is very refreshing for our care receivers to enjoy nature.... it can be very relaxing for them. Looking forward to warmer weather!
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Isn't the hornworm ugly??? With horns on both ends it doesn't look like he knows if he's coming or going. And he's the size of my thumb! Fierce looking thing and boy, can he chomp through a tomato.

I have my husband and son chuck them into the cornfield behind us. Sorry Mr. Farmer. But yes, they do turn into those glorious Sphinx moths. It seems there's a trade off in everything.
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Yes Windy the swallowtails love the dill and parsley. A few will sometimes stay in crysillas and winter over. The monarchs have diminished and hope they are able to make a comeback. Found that ugly tomato hornworm for the first time this fall. Hoping no eggs got into the soil! No way! they grow into a sphinx moth.... did not know that Thanks.....
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norest, In my area, it's the Swallowtails that LOVE the parsley. A couple of years ago I had an herb hanging basket. On a very windy day, I took it down and was a little shocked that it was covered in yellow and black striped caterpillars with white spots. Took me aback for a second. After a little research I narrowed it down to the Swallowtail. I don't mind sacrificing a little parsley for those beauties. The monarchs here take to the milkweed for their cocoons. Glad it grows in the wild around here as we're kind of rural.

Now if we're talking tomato hornworm caterpillars, those I can do without. Big and ugly, but they do turn into the Sphinx moth that can fool one into thinking they're hummingbirds. Nature is so cool!
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agrace, Your plans sound wonderful and your little forest touched my heart. I'm very much like you in that I always plan for the wildlife when contemplating our yard design. I think about things like proximity of shelter trees near the bird feeders, birdbaths, etc. I don't want the hawks to get my 'babies'. Your place sounds absolutely lovely and peaceful. It's such a wonderful and satisfying feeling to just sit and linger and wonder at the beauty.

Hugs to you and your hubby for a great gardening season this year!
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appricot, You might be able to 'start' some veggie seeds in the eggshells, but they'll soon outgrow their home and need a bigger place to grow. Calcium is good for most plants so I imagine you could plant the little seedlings, eggshell and all, right into the soil. Break the shell up a little and plant it to the level the stem was at in the shell.

Sounds like you'll have some yummy food with those eggs and more yummy food from their start in the shells. Happy gardening!
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One easy way to grow herbs is to take a flower box and sprinkle a package of seeds in it. I grow parsley and dill for a certain butterfly caterpillar. It really attracts the butterflies when you have the source of food the butterfly caterpillars eat. Each butterfly has their own caterpillar host plant! I even gathered the caterpillars and put into aquarium fed them, and released 24 butterflies.....
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Twenty years ago, I started a wildlife sanctuary in our yard, planting local native wildflowers, shrubs and trees to attract birds and butterflies. Our little forest has become a source of joy in all seasons, and is definitely a sanctuary for me.

This year I plan to build some 3 foot high vegetable garden beds, so that we can grow people food. Since my husband uses a wheelchair now, he can sit outside, and maybe even help a little, with planting, watering and harvesting. In any case, It will relax me and provide some fresh produce.

I'm so glad to hear all the different plans to work with the soil. It's so healing for us because, despite this very long winter, spring will come.
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The other day, I bought 2 dozens of eggs not knowing what I was going to use. I am usually very careful buying without planning, especially cholesterol rich food. Thank you to you, now I know what I can do with them. First, crack the eggs, and make some cookie dough and bread batter with my husband. Of course, we are going to bake and eat them. Then, using eggshells, I may be able to grow some vegetables.
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Beautifully said, windy. I can not wait to get out and get things started. Mom loves to sit outside and watch me, unless I'm using power tools. lol
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norest, there is nothing like the anticipation of those flowers to open. Are they Red Lions or Appleblosoms or what variety?

Going to bed and dealing with dog/mom issues in the morning. I'm excited to talk about this stuff tomorrow. Good to 'see' you!
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Amaryllis, yes! They never had the Christmas timing for me, but I love them just the same.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, I love that quote.
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Repotted Amaryllis ...... thrilling to see the tips of life emerge.... a little each day. The red on the bud bringing anticpiation!

One is nearer God's heart in a garden then anywhere else on earth!
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I started some seeds inside this weekend. It's so good to look forward in life, be hopeful.

Anyone can start some lawn grass seeds in a sunny window. A fun one is to crack an egg in half, saving the shell. Use a marker to make a funny face on the shell knowing the shell will be the container for funny 'hair'. Fill the shell with soil medium, get it wet, and plant grass seed on top. It will grow 'hair'. It's fun to watch the progress of the hair. Some have competitions. LOL Some even style their hair. Love growing things. Any other ideas?
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Windytown..... your flowers are emerging already from your heart......!
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