Out With The Old

When we built our house years ago, I planted ‘Goldflame’ Spirea in the front beds.


15 years later, those Spirea have seen better days.    A few late freezes, an extreme ice storm, and brutal hot, dry summers have wreaked havoc on their old limbs.  Many had dead centers, a couple were completely dead and the rest were just pitiful.


Thus began my exercise program for 2014.

It went something like this.  Bend, clip, pull, throw.  This method uses several muscle groups at once while accomplishing a task.  After all, if I’m going to exercise, let me see instant results for my hard work.

Daisy, however, thinks if you lay on an exercise device it counts as exercising.


Oh how I wish that would work.

While I was clipping, I found several of these.

praying mantis coccon

Praying Mantis Egg Case

These are usually deep in the shrubs and I left them undisturbed.  A case this big could house 150-200 praying mantis.  That’s a lot of aphid eaters!

The chickens took an instant liking to the cleaned out bed.  Fresh dirt warmed by the sun makes a great dust bath where they basked for most of the afternoon.  Annie is such a mother hen to these birds and she likes to get everyone lined out and in their spot.



I’m ready to begin another year and I appreciate you all reading and listening to me go on and on about gardening.  This year I am going to focus on some other interests as well.

As our food supply becomes more and more genetically modified, I am more determined to raise my food.  This will include a variety of animals this year.  In a couple of weeks, I will be attending a free beginning beekeeping class offered at the University of Arkansas.  In the spring, I hope to raise my own chickens for meat as well as a pig or two.  We’ll see if I can pull all that together.  I’m going to do my best.

If anything, it will give me something else talk about.

Here’s wishing you a great year!


p.s. I have uploaded a video on youtube of Annie and her chickens.  She’s such a sweet dog!

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Arkansas, Chickens, dogs, Family, Farm life, Garden, Home, Pruning, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Out With The Old

  1. Did you save a few of the spirea that looked like they could be resurrected if planted in a protected area? It’s worth a try.


  2. The Dancing Rider says:

    Great clean out! Love the exercise theory – I sure do wish that would work for me!

    Kudos on your efforts to raise real food. Love your blog, and enjoy all the other unique blogs I’ve discovered here! Happy New Year!


  3. I love spirea! Glad to hear that you’ve saved some. The cat looks to be in pretty good shape…apparently the lie-on-the-workout-trampoline regimen is working for her! Happy New Year, Embrys! I hope we’ll see you somewhere this year.


  4. When I took out the old tangled ‘Bridalwreath’ spirea at the NE corner of the house I also found it very satisfying, and was amazed by the amount of space that seemed to open up! Good luck with your bee keeping class, that sounds like a great idea. Happy 2014!


  5. Kevin says:

    Brenda, how cool to have those mantis egg cases! And thanks for the exercise tip — now I know what I’ve been doing wrong and why so many people glare at me in the gym. 🙂 Happy New Year!


  6. bittster says:

    Looks like you’re off to a good start and the chickens seem pleased with your progress! Happy new year and I’m looking forward to following your projects 🙂


  7. Email me more about the bk class, please! Thanjs! 🙂


  8. Tammy Norvell says:

    Hi Brenda,

    I love, love, your blog! I learn so many things from your posts.

    I ordered my seeds from your favorite company. I look forward to your 2014 blog posts.

    Have a great new year!

    Tammy N

    Sent from my iPhone



  9. What a great early start on a clean-out. Good luck with your new plans! Stopped by from ARWB Sunday Link-Up
    Amy @ http://www.thegiftedgabber.com/


  10. Brenda good for you…it’s fun to learn so much more about our food and I give you so much credit for continuing your food raising education….i look forward to a New Year with you in your garden!


  11. Pingback: It’s Time for a Meet and Greet | The Blonde Gardener

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s