Sunday, October 7, 2018

Canning: Country Corn Relish

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Hi, again. I said last week we garnered 3 huge bags of fresh corn FREE. Well, I had been waiting for our peppers to be ready to use---and this late, free corn meant I could make some 

Country Corn Relish.

Yay! 
This is a family favorite, and really quite easy and 
a must on our Thanksgiving Table.



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You can use fresh frozen corn---or fresh. Really simple ingredients...Corn, onions, peppers, celery.

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The corn was gorgeous--from northeast Wisconsin. Full kerneled, moist and sweet. I actually adjusted the sugar because of this. 

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Celery is red and green peppers. I use red and yellow onions, again for color.
I cheat and use a chopper for the veggies.

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Simple flavor palette: canning salt(do not use iron salt) celery seed, mustard seed, turmeric, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.

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You can blanch the corn for 5 minutes and then do this, I chose to blanch the kernels for a couple of minutes drain, then dump into my liquid solution.

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Setting up a large bowl---with a smaller bowl inside (I put a damp piece of paper towel to keep it from slipping. I then began the water to blanch the corn.

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In my kernel bowl I added all the chopped veggies and liquids, and spices.

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Draining the corn, I then added all the veggies and liquids. 
Simmer for about 20 min. 

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Fill your jars---these look really stubby because of the refraction from sitting in half boiling water.
Fill up your canner water covering lids...and boil for 15 min. Remove jars and cover
with a cloth so they cool slowly. 
All my lids popped down, but one---which is still good and will be the first we use.

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Isn't the color just wonderful---not enhanced. 

Recipe tweaked and adapted from my food bible.
Freezing and Canning Cookbook, by the editors of Farm Journal, Double Day, 1963, 1964.

I'm on my second copy(using my mom's as I obliterated mine, it fell apart into so many pieces from using.) Like I said, it's my Food Bible.

Country Corn Relish (adapted from Iowa Corn Relish pg. 283) Yield: about 10 pts. 

21 ears of fresh corn-kerneled (this yielded 14 cups) Blanch before or after kernel removal.
(Frozen Corn--I would thaw and use as it is thawed, it has already been blanched)
1 1/2 cups of chopped green pepper
1 1/2 cups of chopped red pepper
2 cups of chopped onions
2 cups of chopped celery
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
2 Tbsp. of mustard seed
1 1/2 Tbsp of CANNING salt
1 1/2 tsp. of celery seed ( or more to your taste)
3 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups of water

  • You can blanch corn cobs for 5 min.. put in cold water---to chill and cut the corn, OR you can cut the corn fresh, and blanch the kernels-2min. drain and then put back in the pot with boiling vegetables, liquids and seasonings (EASIER).
  • Combine all the ingredients, bring to a simmer for 20 min.
  • Pack into clean hot jars one inch from the top. Make sure your liquid covers your veggies. Usually I just press down with a spoon.
  • Wipe rims clean and put on clean boiled (NEW) rims and lids. Screw firm but not tightly-air needs to escape in processing.
  • Process covered in boiling water bath for 15 minutes, remove and cool covered. 
Refrigerate any jars that are not sealed---store the rest in a cool dark place.
Excellent with almost any barbecue, roasts, chicken, hot dogs, brats. ENJOY!



All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.


Thanks ALWAYS for visiting!

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.
Thank you for your cooperation,


 Sandi Magle












Thursday, October 4, 2018

Hearty Sweet Sour Beef Cabbage Soup

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We visited family in Wisconsin last weekend and came home with 6 cabbages and 3 bags of corn.
We didn't even try to plant cabbage in Chicagoland with such a late Spring and the quick hot temperatures. So, we were happy to have wonderful cabbages.
One of our favorite recipes is 

SWEET and SOUR BEEF CABBAGE SOUP!



Full bodied and hearty this soup is perfect for freezing. Steamy bowls served with bread or rolls, makes any chilly night the perfect night for soup.


Some of the ingredients for the soup, pretty simple list. I used my already canned tomatoes...and a bit of tomato paste, to add more flavor.


Such simple ingredients. Onions, Cabbage, Tomatoes. Not shown-Beef Bone Broth in a carton---This is the first time I used bone broth, but in this ritzy suburb it is hard to get anything with bones-everything is trimmed within an inch of it's life.


You can definitely use chopped fresh tomatoes, but all I had was yellow ones. So I stuck with the reds, I had canned.


The taste profile is enhanced with fresh ground pepper, canning salt, allspice whole, ground allspice, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, bay leaf, and garlic. 



Are you licking your lips now...I am.


Hearty, and full-flavored.


The allspice gives such a gentle flavor.
This is pretty much a mixture of several recipes I have used, and tweaked.

Prep Time with a chopper---15 min.
Cook Time 3 hours or crock pot it.
Servings 8-10

Ingredients:
  • 1# of sliced beef chuck roast or stew meat
  • Salt Pepper on the meat 
  • 2 Tbsp of oil to brown meat with
  • 1 32 oz. carton of Beef Bone Broth
  • 2 cups of Water
  • 1 large onion chopped (I use 1/2 yellow, 1/2 red)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic minced.
  • 1 medium to large head of cabbage
  • 15 whole allspice berries
  • 3 quarts of chopped fresh tomatoes or equivalent from cans.
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar (more if you like it sweet) our tomatoes were very sweet this year.
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar--I added a bit more as we like a tang---but you can do this at the end
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 Tbsp of Tomato paste 
In heavy pot or frying pan---brown seasoned sliced meat in oil until browned on all sides. Remove meat and add chopped onions sprinkled with a little salt-cook until translucent. I added 1 cup of the water to the pan to rinse and remove all the 'good bits'. I transferred all to my soup pot: the meat and onions and liquid. (OR_You can transfer to crock pot here)

Add all the water, broth, cabbage and allspice berries. Sweat this down until the cabbage is tender after it reaches a boil, (1/2 hour or so).

Add the chopped or stewed tomatoes, and everything else, except the tomato paste. Season to taste. 

Cook down on simmer for another hour, or leave in crock pot on low all day---.
Stir in the tomato paste and heat through 15 more minutes, until thick and flavorful. Check seasonings, and remove the bay leaf. 

Serve piping hot---with crusty breads. Excellent frozen---and like all soups, better the second day!


No reason this couldn't be made with turkey, chicken, or ham, and appropriate broths with tomatoes.
We use smoked turkey legs instead of ham for veggie and bean soups. 
Best of the Weekend
Celebrate and Decorate
Excellent.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks for visiting!

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.
Thank you for your cooperation,


 Sandi Magle


Friday, September 21, 2018

Junking Finds Aug/Sept 2018

I know I purchased more items this summer, but I have no idea what...I did find two more picnic baskets. But, I'm not sure which ones-(I have used these in the craft room for project storage and upstairs to hold sewing projects.)


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So this is what I found upstairs. The long shelf was $5.00 at my favorite thrift store. It's not old, but very long and has a nice plate groove in it. It is destined for the craft room!

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It was probably stained pine---and maybe 20 years old and has been painted a nice cranberry. 

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The porcelain platter is marked GDA France (Limoges) dating it post 1898. By style---I'm going to rough guess it, 1910-20. I know that is a wide range, but these pieces were made for quite awhile for export--and sometimes painted elsewhere. This one has no painter's mark, but it is gorgeous porcelain painting, the rim is softly muted and with layers of painting for an ethereal effect. The yellow apples are also softly shaded. The edges and handles are gilded, the brown lines are uneven like branches,. 



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This was probably a glazed blank, that was then over-glaze painted and fired multiple times to build up the gorgeous coloring, and a final firing with the gold. A very tedious process.
It is a generous 13" across including the gilded handles. I'm really in love with this piece and will use this for Fall decorating. There is one scratch---in the painting, but no flaws...really in great condition for a piece this size and those fragile handles.

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No painter's mark, giving any hint---when or where it may have been painted. Tip on cleaning---gentle soap and a soft rag. The painting is on top of the glaze and is fragile. 

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This is yellow ware crock/bowl is a puzzle. Normally, I can find info on yellow ware stoneware bowls. This may or may not be antique. It is fired in the old way, though. A similar white stoneware one has been attributed to Ruckels/White Hall potteries, part of the the Western Stoneware group. Another the same mold---showed up in Minnesota---with a gray clay body. Perhaps it was a defunct pottery that sold their molds---all three are unmarked. 

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It has several factory flaws---in the glaze, and one ding in the rim. The bottom of the inside shows it has been used---I call this mulberry on a high fired stoneware body. The edges are quite sharp---so if I sold this I would have to say--age unknown, however the yellow-beige clay body---is definitely Ohio/Missippi river clay, and probably from the midwest.

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At first I thought this was a six, but i'm going to say 9---because it is 9 1/2" across

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Possibly this is a mark? Or a tong mark for holding and then dipping into the glaze. The bare edges were coated with a wax to repel the glaze. If it is old, it's 30's 40's. This color is RARE. I will update if I run across this anywhere. It's a great color, size and shape, so I will keep it for the Fall and Winter holidays. I think it will be great for stuffing on Thanksgiving.

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I know I bought this set in June for a gift...put it in my china cabinet and then forgot about it. 
Sweet glass unmarked serving platter and different cream and sugar---real black amethyst glass very stylish and Art Deco. The cream and sugar are Vintage Hazel Atlas Black Amethyst made 1930-35.
Then 7"  cake plate  is L.E. Smith Black and opaque/amethyst? 
from the 20's to 1934, Mt.Pleasant pattern.
Listed together, these pieces would be $25.00-30.00. 


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These two Japan Porcelain plates are just unusual. Gold edged and free painted violets. 
I love the freedom with which the painter painted probably hundreds of these. 


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On the mark Courtesy of Gotheborg.com
In 1924 a mark know as the "Cherry Blossom", in the shape of five "M" was sub-contracted by the Nippon Toki Kasha Company (Noritake Company) to independent companies making porcelain for export the USA Market. I have here collected a number of these and similar marks with the likelihood of a relation to the Noritake sales organization, the US market and a possibly date to the mid 1920s

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These are absolutely gorgeous. I don't normally pick up S&P's, but the pattern on these is perfect and they are---moriage style with raised glaze and then colors inlaid between the beaded paint. Lots going on in small spaces, here.

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 This information is from http://gotheborg.com/marks/noritake.shtml
"Mark: "M" standing for "Morimura" in a wreath, crowned by "Hand painted" and below, NIPPON. Date: Introduced in 1911 and possible in use until 1921. The first reported U.S. registry for a Noritake back stamp for importing is 1911. Noritake first produced dinnerware for the American market in 1914.d" 

So basically a 100 years old or so. LOVE them! 
If I were to list them, they would start at $30.00


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I'm calling them-Trees in Winter, I haven't given them a good cleaning---the gold is in pretty good condition. Tip: on any over-glazed painted porcelain, clean only with gentle soap and a soft rag.


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This is Western Pottery Monmouth Illinois, probably from the 30-40's. Western pottery was formed from seven potteries in the Midwest in 1906. Five from Illinois were: Macomb, Monmouth, Weir, White Hall. Also, D.Culbertson, Clinton from Missouri and Fort Dodge Stoneware from Iowa.
Western Stoneware is still in business in the old Weir plant and located in Monmouth, Ill.

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This piece is basically perfect and hardly used, making dating it difficult. 

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Marked USA on the bottom...the bottom has heat marks on it. Despite the unused look to the rest of it. No one definitively set a date on this pattern.


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I've seen these listed without a definite date for $35-$50.00.  Very desirable--and a great size. 
This casserole measures 8 1/2" x 5 1/2". 

Hope you don't mind me going on about what these are----but ceramics are my thing...I bet you couldn't tell. 


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks for visiting!

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.
Thank you for your cooperation,



 Sandi Magle




Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Midwest Gardening September 2018

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Well, it's officially Fall on the 22nd, but the vegetable garden and some flowers have said--it's time to give up! This isn't a perfect garden post---but a tally of what worked and what really didn't make it.

Chicagoland had such high summer temperatures with intermittent drought and then drownings. Last weeks rains and heat unleashed some mosquitos of monumental numbers. I took pictures between swatting...so...,

Starting in the backyard---

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The last month of heat had our GREEN Gardening a dash in dash out--snip this, 
grab that for supper kinda gardening. 

This combination of Impatiens, Rex Begonia, and Coleus did very nicely on the shady back steps---note how green the wood is with mold. Tough year! 
All the other flowers in this pot and OLD watering can, (geraniums/petunias died) Yes, that is peppermint in pots---used to keep bees away from people areas, a GREEN way to deal with our precious Bees.
The Rex Begonia --will be transplanted to new soil and brought into the house. The last one I had, I kept for 8 years. They are pricey but gorgeous.

We have a HUGE Silver Maple with black spot disease----and it's been dropping leaves like crazy. Can't keep up with it. Sadly we may lose the tree and it makes the entire backyard BLOG un-photogenic.


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Another shady spot.. Dusty Miller and the Caladiums struggled, but the Sweet Potato Vines and Impatience recovered to a great spurt this month. That's an OLD pot I've been using to store a flexible hose in---but it kept collecting water, so I turned it upside down.

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We had teeny wrens in the gold birdhouse and oodles of baby sparrows raised in the other two houses to the right. Unwanted Morning Glories...adding some color, where the climbing roses did not. 

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Below, the only flower seeds that survived my planting this year were these few Zinnias. YAY...This area gets full sun all day. Liatris bloomed and yarrow and the roses in early summer, and that's it.

HERE IS A QUESTION --what the heck is this?

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This magnificent 6' plant, I had never seen before appeared next to the play house. Suddenly it had these huge clusters of berries. 
I had to look it up---via image search under Illinois native prairie plants. 

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RESEARCH SHOWED: It's Pokeweed and POISONOUS!

"The toxins in Pokeweed, depending on what source you’re working from, range from deadly to mild.  They are usually concentrated in the roots, berries and seeds and include an alkaloid (phytolaccine), a resin (phytolaccatoxin), and a saponin (phytolaccigenin). Their effects can range from embarrassing to very nasty, including diarrhea, vomiting, internal bleeding, rapid heartbeat, convulsions, and much more, up to and including death."
The above info - Warnings: Pokeweed on this link from Nadia's Yard. 

Luckily the Grand hasn't been around so we can get it removed before she comes again. 

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Interesting ---all the flowers boiled in this pot...literally, but the spikes survived. It gets Sun--5/6 of the day.

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You can see the leaves from the diseased Maple. This area, we just haven't dealt with yet. 100% shade, if the Maple is removed, we might be able to grow grass again? The light now---is because the tree is half bare already. 

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I trimmed back the bushes, and some of the Hostas are doing better. I don't know about the bushes though, I might have stressed them too much? We have directed our gutters into this bed. Maybe they have had too water. 



Our shed has a walkway that is in shade---This combo survived minus three dead Petunias. 
'

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Shady plants survived here also...the shrubs were having a great time of it, though.

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This planter gets sun 4/5 of the day-- despite lots of deadheading and watering---the flowers boiled in the sun. (Petunias, Dusty Miller, Snapdragons, didn't make it in this planter on the rail of the garden.)
Marigolds were good for awhile, and now are foundering.

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Six feet away, our potted Sweet Peppers flourish and are bearing like mad...and turning red. We planted Green and Carnival seeds from scratch, Excellent!

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On the fence in the garden -
Cucumbers suffered greatly. This one was hidden in foliage but the critters got it. 
We only made one gallon jar of pickles made.
Cucumbers, Zucchini and Tomatoes are all done---died about two weeks ago,VERY EARLY, considering how late everything was planted last Spring.

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Pumpkins: Marks from worms

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This poor pumpkin was gnawed on by a bunch of critters..scarred and continued growing
---it's about 6" across. 
Normally we have 50 or more pumpkins and squash---and this three is it. NO squash! Vines died/drowned.

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This is the third one which is maybe 4". Really a poor showing for a dozen or more mounds of seeds.



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The Hollyhock on the eastside fence. 

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--promises to seed itself---I will scatter the seeds and throw some dirt on them and cross my fingers.
Note the mold on the fence despite sun here most of the day!



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The purple Petunias died here---the angle of the sun in August---made it sunny all day the last month...and decorative grass with  some struggling Impatiens are holding on. 
The neighbors Morning Glories are taking over!


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I always leave one branch of dill for reseeding. Today these caterpillars were feasting on the succulent stems.

The below info was taken from Owlcation- 

Papilio polyxenes: The Black Swallowtail

This caterpillar looks a lot like the monarch caterpillar (above) -- and that may not be an accident. The monarch is most likely "protected" by the bitter sap of the milkweed plant that it eats because some of the toxic compounds in the sap become incorporated into the insect's tissues.
The black swallowtail caterpillar eats the leaves of carrots and other Umbelliferaespecies, which gives them little protection. But sometimes just looking like you're poisonous can be protection enough -- that's the basis of one major form of mimicry. It's thought that the black swallowtail caterpillar mimics the monarch caterpillar so birds and other predators might leave it alone, putting a mistaken identity to good use!
These caterpillars can be kept in a safe, unbreakable habitat designed for raising caterpillars. Make sure you give them plenty of the host plant—for this species, carrot or dill—that you found them on.
This attractive caterpillar turns into a beautiful, big butterfly known as the black swallowtail.
The Basics:
  • Does it sting? No 
  • What does it eat? Parsley, carrots, and dill
  • Will it seriously damage plants or trees? Sometimes they can eat a lot of carrot greens.
  • Is it rare? No, but it isn't always common in all areas.
  • What does it turn into? The gorgeous black swallowtail butterfly.
  • Can you raise it to an adult? Yes, if you give it an upright stick to pupate on.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly











https://owlcation.com/stem/caterpillar-identification-2
I'm so excited that our GREEN gardening is encouraging wildlife...at least SOME of the wildlife.

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Our pond frog has a new buddy. There are two of them now---! Some strange markings on this one. he's about 2-1/2x 3" a little larger than our almost all dark green guy, who dove to the bottom of the pond during pics.


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Only color near our front pond right now--is this pot...shaded by the garage. Note the saucer removed. I had to remove saucers a dozen times this summer from the huge rainfalls of 3 or more inches at one time. Even my big pots had standing water in them.


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Porch herbs and marigolds doing better. 

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This planter I moved into the shade all summer, .and 6 feet from the front door---it did very well, I had to top off the growth and pinch it back.

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My urn was protected under our Red Maple tree. I do have to water this one constantly and the hanging pot.

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Lime Sweet Potato Vine and Petunias did well in the half shaded pots---however all the Geraniums died maybe from this area holding heat because of the rocks and concrete sidewalk, bordering it.


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By our front stairs---this pot has Dahlias, impatience and a Springerii fern. I had Lobelia in here, but that just gives up when it's hot. Dahlias produce blooms but the fold after two days in heat.

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This is New Guinea IMPATIENS which apparently loved the sun, heat and crappy dirt, here(clay). The red stuff is some sort of Amaranth, that made it. NO sunflower seeds came up here though, usually I have them towering up the flag pole? 


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Down in front of the garage (south facing) pot though it looks like it is sun---it is shaded by a tree half the day. So long as it was watered, it was happy.

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6 feet away---this planter had a tough time---the geraniums and the dahlias on the left died? I almost killed this mum---not watering it often enough. This bench is being removed this fall---it's dying too.


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Under the front Hawthorn tree---spent--day lilies to the right and let, the pot---was happy (Geraniums died, but the Dahlias and Impatiens made it. Petunia is gone.

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At the street---this planter held on---that's blue/purple Salvia, Wave Petunias and Marigolds---some of which died in the middle which makes no sense---LOL. This is full sun and wind all day!

In November, I will go through my posts and assess what did well, where, 
and try to figure out why.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks for visiting!

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.
Thank you for your cooperation,

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them. 



 Sandi Magle