The Daily Bug

Spring Fever ! HELP!! Got a question!

By: palmettobug53, 2:07 AM GMT on March 12, 2007

Just about the time the temps are nice and daylight savings time has kicked in so that you want to spend time outside in the evenings, the BLASTED NO-SEE-UMS arrive! My next door neighbor has a 1 year old and a 3 year old. She told me that nothing she tried last year did any good for the gnats or mosquitos. She has been trying to find a natural repellant and to avoid ones with pesticides. Does anyone here know of something safe for small children that works?

I get spring fever something terrible, once the temps come up and I notice things starting to bud out. I don't mind working when it's really cold or really hot but when spring starts to make it's presence known.... Oh! I want to browse the garden centers and nurseries and spend time at home, digging in the dirt. So many flowers and so little time! LOL

The azaleas are in bloom, daffy-down-dillies are popping up everywhere, the tulip trees are blooming. I've spotted hyacinths and some type of iris looking flowers during my lunchtime walks at work this past week. No wisteria yet except for the one Love left as a present the other day.

Yesterday, I went to Walmart. They still haven't gotten in their main shipment of bedding plants but I was able to get three patio tomatoes, one cherry tomato and a citronella plant. (I'm hoping they'll have more of those coming in; I'd like to have a couple more) I got the tomatoes potted up this afternoon. I've never had any luck with them in the ground here; there's something in the soil. Three years ago, I decided to try them in pots. What a difference! All I have to watch for, is something on the little tag that says "Suitable for containers". I've had enough tomatoes for me and hubby (he doesn't eat as many as I do!) and enough to share weekly with my cousin, as well as the odd handful to take to work to a couple of my coworkers.

As for flowers, I've been planting seeds and then picking up a few bedding plants, to put in pots and maybe stick a few in my planting beds. They've looked rather mangy for a number of years now. I'm just too mingy with my money to spend what I'd have to spend on bedding plants, to really have a good show. I don't have anyplace to put flats, so instead of starting seeds indoors, I've been direct sowing. It hasn't worked.

So last year I decided that I'd start leaning more on the perennials. Not all at once, mind you, but over the next two or three years. I already have some amaryllis, one glad that I found in the ditch, which has multiplied nicely. I have a really nice rosemary plant in the middle of the larger bed. The smaller bed, around the birdbath, has some Moses-in-the-cradle. Last summer, I added a few canna lilies, two lantana, two day lilies and some verbena.

I just bought a bag of mixed glad bulbs. And I did put some morning glory, moon flower and cardinal vine seeds in a very small bed right by the chain link fence. (I have had good luck with those three from seed). I have some California poppy seeds I'm going to scatter out tomorrow after work, along with some wildflower mix. I had a nice bed of poppies about 10 years ago and I thought I'd try again. If they come up, good; if not, I'm only out a couple of bucks or so. And if any of those cosmos come back up from last year, I'm yanking them. I like the flowers but the plant itself is too tall and gets scraggly looking real fast.

I also have some pots on the front stoop from last year, that still have some plants in them. I had done them with herbs, dusty miller, and some kind of flowers that I don't know what they were but they looked neat. The gerbera daisy might revive. I'm not sure if I'll leave all of that in the pots or dump it out, replant the dusty miller in the flower bed and completely redo the pots with new plants. I'll probably redo those.

Tip: Check your local dollar stores for cheap pots. That's where I've gotten most of my plastic pots for tomatoes and the mixed plantings for the front stoop.

Here's some ideas and good links:

Try planting native species. They're more likely to put on a good show and are fairly carefree, since they normally grow in your area. Native Plant Societies.

What about trying Heirloom vegetables? Everything I've read sounds so delicious! I had no idea there were so many kinds of tomatoes!

Heirloom Vegetable Gardner's Assistant

Heirloom roses are another good choice. I think Roses Unlimited is where my dad got his. Check out the link to their Garden/Greenhouse photos. Dad said they had all kinds of old farm equipment, wrought iron gates and things, with roses climbing all over them.

You can also get heirloom trees. Check out Trees of Antiquity.

Two gardening shows I enjoy watching are Gardening by the Yard with Paul James, on HGTV and The Victory Garden on PBS.

And of course, there are the seed companies..

I've been to Park Seed Co. in Greenwood, SC. It's something else to wander around their grounds, checking out the new varieties they're testing. Their end of the season sale is not to be missed!

My dad told me sometime back that Wayside Gardens was part of Park Seed. They're located in Greenwood, SC, also. They offer a little different selection in their types of plants, than Park Seed does.

What do you have planted in your yard? Are you adding anything new this year? What are your successes? And yes, we want to hear about your failures, as well. Lemon might be able to help us out with those!

Cool Things......

By: palmettobug53, 3:34 AM GMT on March 05, 2007

In Memorium 3/1/07

Have you ever been prowling around on the 'Net, reading a magazine or the newspaper and run across something that you thought, "That's pretty neat." ? Or have you bought (or been given) something and, once you got home with it, realized it's really great - the best thing ever? And wonder how you ever got along without it?

This is just a mish-mash of stuff I've run across online, things I've bought or found in catalogues. Things I think are really cool or interesting. Feel free to contribute anything you think has that essence of "Cool".

I read about these two young men several years ago, either in our newspaper or in a magazine. Even though they're originally from "off", I think they've lived here long enough to be considered local. And I do like to see a story, where the local boys "make good"! They saw a need and filled it.

The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue

Their Story

Their Cookbook


Back before Christmas, I was in Walmart poking around, looking for some odds and ends to throw in my Dad/SMom's and my aunt/uncle's Christmas stuff, when I spied something I was very surprised to see. Some J.R. Watkins products. As far as I knew, you could only buy direct, similiar to Avon or Tupperware. I was familiar with the name, as I had seen William Macy portray Bill Porter, in the movie, "Door to Door".

I grabbed a couple of containers of their Ultra Rich Moisturizing Cream for my SMom and aunt. After Christmas, my aunt emailed me and said it was the best thing she had ever used on her hands and feet. So, I went back to Walmart and got myself some.

Well, folks, let me tell you.... she was right. That is the BEST stuff I have ever used! Better than Lubriderm, Curel, Aveeno, you name it! I now have not 1; not 2; but 3 jars of it. One for work, one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. I also got a tin or their Red Clover Salve, which is excellent, though a tad oily. I use it before I go to bed.

You can order online, send for a catalogue or, as I found out, get it at Walmart, Target, Kerr Drugs and a few other places. They have first aid supplies, bath/body stuff and their spices and extracts are said to be very good.

J.R. Watkins, Apothocary


Ever wonder how that big tree in your yard stacks up against others of it's kind? If you have, you can check it out here: National Registry of Big Trees.


Trying to find maple leaf candy and you don't live in New England? Flour sack dish towels? Lace tablecloths? Old fashioned chenille bedspreads? If so, head to The Vermont Country Store. One of my coworkers passed me a copy of their catalogue a couple of years ago. They carry those hard to find items you remember from years back.


Missed the eclipse because of cloud cover? Or did you simply forget, like I did? Want to find out when the next one is due? Go to NASA - Eclipse Home Page. They have a full schedule of lunar and solar eclipses.


Like Trivial Pursuit but no one is around to play? Go to and practice, so you can outsmart everyone, the next time you play!


Like to go junkin'? Love a bargain? Head out to the World's Longest Yard Sale or to the Unclaimed Baggage Center and really clean up!


Like to wear hats? Join, or start, a local group. Everyone has probably heard about The Red Hat Society but did you know that Charleston is the home of The Hat Ladies? My SMom is a member of the Red Hat Society and has a blast!


Nervous about the upcoming hurricane season? Go to Dharma Shop and get some prayer flags. It can't hurt. Might even help. You never know.


Want a change from coffee or tea? Try some yerba maté from Guayaki. They also have gourds and bombillas, so you can drink your yerba maté in the traditional manner.


Want to read a book but don't feel like turning pages? You can read thousands of ebooks at This is great if you have a lappy and are sick in bed and you've read everything in the house.


Want to go to Scotland but don't really have the money this year to go? Head to Rampant Scotland and take a virtual vacation.


Your family calls you a penny pincher but you prefer to think of yourself as "frugal". Head to The Dollar Stretcher for lots of handy hints.


Okay.... that's it for now. I used to have a whole bunch more really cool sites bookmarked. Unfortunately, they were on my old computer, which went into a decline and died a year ago. So, if you've run across something interesting, tell us about it. And post a link so we can check it out!

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.