Posts Tagged With: the garden maiden

Can You Help Identify a Summer Spider on Mississippi Native Fern?

This morning I was out back in the garden. Specifically I was checking out my native ferns in my little fern grotto. Camera in hand I captured a couple of photos of this small, brown spider on a fern frond. He/she was about an inch and  a half long, perhaps two inches long.

Summer spider on Mississippi native fern.

 

After I went inside the house, I tried to search online for entomology sites where I could identify it.  The abdomen seemed soft and fuzzy. There was an obvious stripe down the middle of the head. The leaf he was perched upon was about 12″ above the ground. There is no water near my fern bed, although it did rain over an inch yesterday. We have many trees in our yard and plenty of shade.  I didn’t see any webbing, egg sacs, etc. On the above photo you can see the vertical spines/hairs on the legs. (I thought this was super cool, because I’m practicing using my extension tubes!) I didn’t get a front photo so I don’t have the ability to count his eyes.

My best “guess” is perhaps a grass spider, Agelenopsis spp.? If you can positively identify what I believe is a common spider, please let me know.  I don’t think it is a dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus), although it had first crossed my mind. I love learning new things about the natural world around us.

At any rate, he/she is certainly welcome.

 

Yours in Gardening,

The Garden Maiden

 

copyright 2017 The Garden Maiden

http://thegardenmaiden.com

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Categories: Garden Insects, Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snapshots of Spring

Yesterday while working outside, we had a brief, lovely and much needed light shower of rain. It only lasted a few minutes, but I tool the opportunity to snap a few backyard shots while I waited.

This post is mostly for friends and family who are wondering how things are growing on for us in the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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This concrete block bed has produced some tasty radishes this spring. Between the bed and the shed (were I am standing out of the rain), are three clumps of lemon grass. Yesterday I planted parsley, marigold, sage and yellow crookneck summer squash around the bed perimeter.  Intra-planted with the radishes are several volunteer tomato plants. I use last year’s pruned crape myrtle branches to support the vines.

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The bed above was amended with Happy Frog potting soil, but needs more in the block holes. Some of the block holes are planted with Swiss chard (seen here) and the bed itself is planted with two varieties of leaf lettuce.  Look how nicely the copyright shows up at the top of the image. Why? Because my white fence is filthy with mildew and needs a good scrubbing! (add to to-do list)

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One smokey fennel survived last year, planted from seed. Growing in a concrete block hole, I think its roots finally made it to the soil in the ground beneath the bed because it has really taken off this spring. In case it has been too long since I mentioned it, the original soil added to all of my raised beds was total CRAP. That was several years ago and I have been playing catch up trying to fix the soil since.

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Other plants which have done well in the holes of concrete blocks are lemon balm and oregano (featured here above).

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Yeah, I know, the carrots need thinned. To be honest, I did thin and transplant them once. I am the worst at thinning. I hate to do it. I hate to “waste” plants. I try to transplant when possible. Then, of course, the squirrels have dug them up several times. Grrrrr.

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In the rear of this bed (above) the confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is flowering profusely, perfuming the entire garden area. Pine straw mulch really made this area pop. I worked hours pulling up dewberry vines.

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I love this big old fountain, even without a “fountain function”, it works great as a fish bowl and bird bath. The gold fish eat the mosquito larvae.

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Gator don’t sweat! Sure doesn’t, because its made of resin, but he sure looks fine guarding the garden. (note to self, prune old palm fronds)

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The garden sweet peas are just coming on with the first harvested pea going to one of the wiener dogs a couple of days ago.

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Last year the hubby bought me a real bottle tree to replace the decrepit, rotting one I made out of  our old Christmas tree.  (free worked for about a year, but then the branches bent and rotted and the bottles fell off and filled with rain water and mud and it became a gross mess) These begonias are great and came back from last year. The rose bush blooms nearly year-round, taking off only about six weeks, give or take. The tiny garden fairy was given to me by my dear Grandmother.

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Look sister, we still have the patio fire pit! It was going strong all weekend as burned some old logs we had saved for a future gathering. Why? Because on Wednesday the Terminix man said, “they gotta go”. Basically that is what he said. ha. Can you smell the pine wafting through the garden?

Overall, these images are darker and greener than normal because it was cloudy and raining lightly during my little snap session with the cell phone (a very poor camera, but it is what it is).

That’s it for now. I have writing to do that actually PAYS and I have just a wee bit of “good light” left to take photos of the sweet and spicy smelling Calycanthus floridus (Florida sweetshrub/Carolina allspice) flowering discretely out back.

Cheers!

The Garden Maiden

 

Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Spring has Sprung in the Garden of Good & Evils

It is mid-April in the Garden of Good and Evils. When will there ever be enough to time to get everything done?

The garden tasks this spring can be summed up in two words: HAPPY FROG.

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No, not that kind of frog. I found this little dude at work. I think he is waving, “hi pal!”.

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This kind. The kind in a bag.

 

No sillies. The bags isn’t full of frogs or frog parts, but good, amazing soil amendments including bat guano and earthworm castings. Read about FoxFarm Happy Frog products. As I’ve mentioned before, I garden on a budget. For me, 3 cubic feet at $18 is quite an expense. I know the product is quality and the Happy Frog potting soil I started with in March has already produced good results with my early garden plantings.

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In this bed, I have added Happy Frog to fill in the holes of the concrete blocks. I then planted marigolds and squash seed. Inside the bed, the Happy Frog will provide nourishment for my blackberries and garlic. There was no odor. It felt great in my hands too. If your local garden center doesn’t carry this product, make a request, as I did. You might be surprised to find a nice store manger who will order it for you. Especially if you need several bags. I purchased 8 bags of the soil conditioner. I could probably use more, but between the Happy Frog potting soil, soil conditioner and a truckload of pine straw mulch delivered in the last few weeks, I’m up about $500. In other words, I’m not gonna press my husband for more. 🙂

In the end, you get what you pay for.

 

ribbit ribbit

The Garden Maiden

WARNING: if you have a 3-year-old, use caution watching this video. LOL The Garden Maiden will not be held responsible for this song getting stuck in your head.

Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment
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