The wildflowers I had planted in the flowerbed in front of my door got raggedy a while back, and got torn out, so I finally got some fall/winter friendly plants for it! Yesterday I bought a few ‘mums at Home Depot, and picked up a bunch of winter pansies at Fred Meyer today, and had fun digging in the dirt once I got home. I can’t wait till it fills in a bit!
While I was planting my pansies, I found a little friend on one of the plants. I’m not sure if it was on the pansies when I purchased them (which I suspect is the case), or if it was already lurking about in my garden. I spotted it while I was watering – I had no idea Praying Mantises were native to this area – it’s the first time I’ve come across one while gardening!
I snapped a photo with my camera phone, and then went and got my DSLR and went paparazza on the poor thing. It was sure fun to watch it move around, though!
I also got two hosta plants at Home Depot yesterday – on clearance for $1.50. Hopefully they’ll survive the winter – they’ll likely become house plants in the next month, and we’ll see if they survive Mia… She likes to nibble on my house plants, and has thoroughly chewed on flower arrangements I’ve gotten. Destin cut out the raggedy grass under our patch of trees in the front yard and put in beauty bark, so I’d like to add some flower pots of ferns and hosta in the spring. The two small ones were just too good of a deal to pass up! I had also transplanted some flowers that a neighbor gave me into a flower pot, since they didn’t really match the pansies I was putting in.
We don’t get our milk delivered – the Smith Brothers milk box is leftover from the previous owners, and I’m thinking about trying to turn it into a planter. I do kind of like the looks of it…
The marigold plants I started from seed are still in full bloom, and I’ve been saving the seeds from spent flowers for next year. I think that was only 10 small plants when I first put them in that garden! Some of the other flowers I’d planted are getting a little raggedy – like my Diablo Cosmos Daisies – but rather than trimming back the spent branches, I’m collecting the seeds from the spent flowers as well.
To top off today, I had several tomatoes from my garden that needed to be eaten within the next few days, or I was going to have to throw them out. I’m not a big fan of slices of tomato, so I researched some recipes today, and found a recipe on foodnetwork.com for a Marinara Sauce. I was able to get about two cups of crushed tomatoes from my fresh tomatoes (blanched, peeled, and seeds removed), and substituted a 10.25oz can of tomato puree for volume. I ended up simmering it for closer to 45 minutes to an hour, since the sauce still seemed pretty watery after 30 minutes. I really like how it turned out, though I think next time it needs a little more garlic, I need to chop the onions smaller (I was going to this time, but my eyes were burning so badly already…), and definitely needs more salt! Topping whole-grain penne, and paired with some garlic Texas Toast, a 2006 Clos la Chance Cabernet Sauvignon, and my Kindle, we have a romantic dinner for one, since Destin doesn’t get home until 11pm during the week! 😉