More storm shots!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Albuquerque summer storms

Yay for rain in the desert!

You can see the rain’s impact in this next photo:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Albuquerque summer storms

See how green it is out by the volcanoes? That’s super exciting to see. It’s probably all weeds but who cares? At least it’s green!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, my back door container garden oasis

It’s looking very July, don’t you think? Lush, full, growing.

The only disappointment is the Chayote, which still hasn’t grown. I have no idea why. Last year I thought it didn’t grow due to inconsistent watering, but this year it’s been on a drip system the whole time. It grew well in the beginning, then just stopped and hasn’t done anything since. (It’s in the container on the left, with parsley, oregano and peppers.) I’m stumped.

Have any of you ever tried to grow Chayote, maybe have some tips for me?

Everything else is growing great. The blue Penstemon is in a rebloom, so that’s helping the flower box look even better:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, my back door container garden oasis

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, my back door container garden oasis

You can see why the hummingbirds are in heaven.

Whatever critters (I suspect grasshoppers) had been eating the Gazania buds has stopped so now those are flowering again, too.

I get a lot of joy from these containers!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, rain in the Jemez Mountains

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Roadrunner on the roof

Hello Julyists, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

It’s been a long week, a good one, but it’s nice to see Friday’s smiling face. Knowing the weekend is here is a good thing!

Let’s get our Friday Festivities started by saying hi to the Experts. Hi everyone!

 

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

In our continuing quest to learn more about our Experts, I decided to ask them about the olden days. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. What were you like back in college?

Expert Andy, you’re up first as usual:

A. I would imagine my fraternity brothers and college girlfriend would be better at answering this question for me.  Perhaps the best way to describe my college demeanor would be to tell a story that involves both my fraternity brothers and girlfriend?

The year was 1987 and it was a Monday night in April.  I was the Sergeant at Arms for my fraternity so I had to keep order which meant monitoring the doors for all of the top secret fraternity business going on inside.  I also had a Microelectronics quiz the next day at 2pm-ish.  As soon as my fraternity chapter meeting was over I threw myself in the car with my girlfriend and headed south to Bloomington to shack up with some hometown friends (Kendra Foreman, Tanya Napier, Jill Smith & a few others) to watch the NCAA title game at their apartment; Indiana & Syracuse.  In a tight, tense game IU emerged on a baseline jumper by Keith Smart that will now live in infamy as “The Shot”.  73 – 72 I think it was.  We were all in a big dog pile on the floor when that went in.  It was bedlam.  Next thing I know I am at the fountain on the IU campus getting kissed by girls I didn’t even know.  My girlfriend was doing the same so it was ok.  Nobody seemed to care.  It was the closest thing I’ve ever seen to an orgy and everyone had their clothes on.  That was about the last thing I remember of that night.  We woke up the next day and classes were canceled…..at IU.  And the team was returning for what I recall was a 3pm victory celebration at Assembly Hall.  Let’s see…..Microelectronics quiz OR IU victory celebration???  Needless to say I got a zero on the quiz and handily wrapped up my only D+ in college and solidified my lowest overall GPA in any college quarter, which was about 2.8 or so.  And I don’t regret that decision at all and never did.

That story pretty well sums up how I was in college.

A. Picture Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites, carrying around a copy of Being & Time and trying way too hard to be an intellectual. Smoking a lot of dope and pontificating in a very annoying way about Hegelian dialectic, and why Hegel and Kant are better than Plato and Aristotle. Arguing that there is no such thing as American Philosophy, that every “deep” thought uttered by an American thinker is a regurgitated Roman utterance. So brooding and deep.

God I hated that guy. I’m so glad he took a shower, learned a marketable skill, and got a job. He was unbearable. 

A. I was fairly fearless, not knowing much. I was curious about the world and how it worked and I thought I would have seen more of it by now. I thought you could change the world with the written word, that a good piece of music could cure what ails you, that time was standing still. I thought that love would wait for me.

—————————

Liza here. Expert Dottie is wonderful, as usual, but she’s unavailable to be with us this week. She’s the busiest retired person I’ve ever met. Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis. Lewis?

A.

Now why would anyone want to know what life was like way back then,

Not long ago I told you about the dinosaurs that ruled the roads and the enhanced life we led.

Never a dull moment no moss was going to grow on my toes

Except I didn’t go to college back then

I went to college for two months right out of High School in 1971,

I was bored as crap, roaring to meet life head on,

not going to sit in no lousy classroom anymore

I wasn’t going to listen to anyone, no one could tell me what to do

I was a free soul, wild and crazy nothing could hold me back

 

SO like a couple of complete idiots, Joe Louis and me joined the US Air Force,

Off we went to see the world,

Buttttttttt the world is not free

It cost you a little/lot of your soul, pride, self-respect, dignity and your hair

Shut up and sit down, shut up and stand up, shut up and run, shut up and run faster,

No tears, no fears, no breaks,

for we signed our life to the beast and it chewed us up and spit us out better

or so they say

Alas later I stood with other peoples in far lands, not all of them trying to kill me,

They smiled, laughed, cried and died just like us

 

That madness only last so long

Wiser and tougher we walked again among the ”” normal people””

Back In the World

Great things awaited, dreams to live, adventure, crisis, drama and trauma

Stand up and speak up and I WILL NOT SHUT UP

For who says I can’t, knows not what I can

 

Next week a member of my family,

A beautiful young lady goes to stand up and become a warrior in the US Army

She wishes to see the world, learn of life and the world, hold her own for us

I send her with my blessings, wishes and love

I say not a word of my BS of my past she needs it not

May she return with honor, duty done, bright eyes, purpose in her heart, dreams of life to come

 

I finished College in 1991, older and wiser, life has been good, I’m still here

 

Aw, you guys are great! I enjoyed those answers. I knew Andy back in school, but not the rest of you, so that was fun to hear your responses.

Readers, what do you think? Were any of their experiences similar to yours in college? Or did you skip school and dive headfirst into your work life?

I like hearing more about our awesome Experts. I hope you do, too!

That’ll do it for this week’s Panel of Experts. The Experts will return next Friday. They hope to see you back here.

Now, let’s move on to the puzzler.

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these flowers were real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Those are real. I like them.”

The Ficus Wrangler wrote, “Those look to shiny and perfect to be real, so they probably are. Real, I mean.”

Nancy Popp Mumpton of Arizona wrote, “Real … and beautiful! They grow great here too!”

That’s three votes real, zero votes fake.

What’s the correct answer? Let’s take a wider look:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Lousy photo but a real plant! The Bird of Paradise shrubs grow all over the place here, brightening up summer with splashes of yellow and red. I think they’re gorgeous, and don’t care if some people think they’re overdone in this city.

Well played everyone! You’re very sophisticated with your plant knowledge!

Claude, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Good job! For being so speedy, I’d like you to use the following epithet for the weekend: Claude, First in Plant Puzzling Speediness, Fruit Bearing Dental Hygienist, Upright Walker, Angel of Thorny Issues, Keeper of Sports Memorabilia, Taker of Quality Advice, Substitute Lawn Mower, Honey Bee Lover, Fixer of Refrigerators and Ham Radios, Darling of Ohio, Maker of Crocheted Napkin Holders, King of Crawdads, Eater of Oxygen, Cameo Appearer, and Possessor of A Large Mental Plant Database.

For example, if you’re at the flea market this weekend, and a customer asks your name, you should introduce yourself as Claude, First in Plant Puzzling Speediness, Fruit Bearing Dental Hygienist, Upright Walker, Angel of Thorny Issues, Keeper of Sports Memorabilia, Taker of Quality Advice, Substitute Lawn Mower, Honey Bee Lover, Fixer of Refrigerators and Ham Radios, Darling of Ohio, Maker of Crocheted Napkin Holders, King of Crawdads, Eater of Oxygen, Cameo Appearer, and Possessor of A Large Mental Plant Database. I’m sure you’ll forge lifelong bonds!

Congrats! Besides your new title, you may also multiply all the prizes by meat as my thank you to you!

Everyone’s a winner. To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: Street cred, the near-ending of July, four rave reviews, three tiki torches, 14-1/3 bonus points, one bowling alley, Rio Bravo Blvd, five tap-dancing caterpillars, more praise, a free garden walkway, Clines Corners, two chocolate milkshakes, three decorative pillows, an all-expenses paid trip to yesterday, restored confidence, one new jam, a benevolent rain mist, one slice of pepperoni pizza, a tape measure, one burlap sack filled with swimwear, new bicycle tires, 11 extra points, four friendly hillbillies (banjos not included), one movie night, Guara, three braids, 12-1/2 jello shots, impressive style, five goosebumps, six blessings and a giant round of applause. Congratulations everyone, and thanks so much for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Flowers again! Are these flowers real or fake?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) next Thursday, July 31st, to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. The prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

Hey look, turkeys wandering around Corrales:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, wild turkeys in Corrales

Speaking of wild turkeys, the Experts will return tomorrow, haha! We’ll have an all-new Experts Panel for your viewing pleasure.

I’ll also have a new plant puzzler. You still have time to guess the current puzzler, in which I asked if these Bird of Paradise flowers were real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Leave your best guess in the comments section. There will be imaginary prizes for all who play. I hope to see you back here.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Quirky Albuquerque

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Sempervivum plant

Around sunset a few nights ago, I went out to photograph my mid-summer garden. I took this one photo:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, July garden

And realized I had a garden visitor in the photo. Do you see her?

There’s a little Black-chinned hummingbird sitting on the red stakes in the container at the left. I saw her and thought that she was very sweet to pose for me like that.

(I should say that I think it’s a Black-chinned hummingbird. Females don’t have a black chin. She may be a Costa hummingbird – they look a lot alike and both types can be found in the desert.)

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

She hung out for awhile!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

This was as much as my camera would zoom. I didn’t want to move and risk scaring her.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

But I shouldn’t have worried because I already knew how much she liked this garden. She’s been coming around the Zauschneria for awhile now, and now that the Agastache is blooming, too, all the birds have been in heaven.

Hummingbirds love plants with trumpet-shaped flowers – they’re perfect for long bills. The Zauschneria ‘California fuchsia’ is on the right, Agastache ‘Hyssops’ on the left.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

A couple of weeks ago, I was standing inside at my kitchen sink and I noticed one of the female birds – maybe the same one in the photos above – enjoying the Zauschneria. Then I was enjoying her, enjoying the flowers.

I watched as she stuck her bill in one of the long orange flowers. And another. And another. Then, she put her beak in one that was a little past its prime, and it got stuck on her beak! She started shaking her head but the flower stayed stuck. So she flew to the trellis and sat down. There, she started shaking her head again, which caused her to wobble a little. She looked like a tiny drunk bird.

Finally she shook her head violently enough that the flower fell off. She regained her composure (but not her dignity) and flew away while I giggled.

It was quite the amusing show.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a cute little garden visitor

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty thistle by the mountains

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have a plant care business here in town called Good To Grow. I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.

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