You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Ask the Experts’ tag.

Hi there friends and Merry Christmas. A little less merry this year, 2021, and not just because of a never-ending global pandemic.

The reason it’s not as merry is because we lost our beloved Dottie last month. She suffered from renal failure and passed peacefully in her sleep, with no pain. She was 95 years old.

I apologize for the delay in letting you know. Every time I’ve sat down to write about her, I’ve just cried instead. It’s still hard now. You already know how wonderful she was, how loved, how she dedicated her entire adult life to making the world a better place, how charming she was, and how kind and compassionate. Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know that she was an expert in life, and that we cherished her as a National Treasure.

For now, because the tears are welling up again, I’ll let these photos speak as a reminder of a life well lived.

11205098_10206762881613077_2022262876445536148_n
Dottie and me, Good To Grow, Liza's photos
Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Dottie and me
Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Dottie and Me
Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Experts in life
13962678_900150723424524_272812066022464188_n
12829483_811260312313566_6253566429835024323_o

We miss you so much, Dottie!

“Why would you want to live in the desert? It’s so brown!”

“There’s no color in the desert.”

“Nothing blooms in the summer in Phoenix – it’s too hot!”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, what a bunch of baloney! The Sonoran Desert is alive with color all summer long, despite temps that can reach above 115 degrees. All sorts of trees, shrubs and cactus have showy flowers throughout June, July and August.

That’s true of any summer in Phoenix. But this summer, the summer of 2021, we’ve had the healthiest monsoon season in years. Awesome amounts of rain all through July and so far through August as well. Shrubs that have been sparse in their flowering (for example, ones that are not on irrigation), have exploded with fresh color.

I thought those of you in other parts of the country (and world) would get a kick out of seeing what a desert city in bloom looks like, so I’ve been snapping pics for the past few weeks. Some of the cactus bloomed right before the rains first started, but the rest of the plants had the benefits of the monsoons. You’ll see flowering cactus, annuals, perennials, and shrubs in the photos below. If you have specific questions about what a certain plant is, just let me know and I’ll ID it for ya.

I hope you enjoy this photo journey of rain-happy flowers in Phoenix.

Here we are at the “look at that purple shrub!” section of the post. These fall under the umbrella of the generic term “sage,” but they’re not Salvias – these are Leucophyllums. And they have been spectacular!

The sages loooove monsoon rains. For a few weeks, everywhere you looked around the city there were pops of purple, or rows of royalty, haha! Definitely a nice addition to any landscape.

The monsoons cleared out temporarily as of last night. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we have a few days of sunshine again. I’ll be keeping an eye out for what’s blooming and take pics whenever I can.


On an unrelated note, there is a certain one of our very own Experts, a lady of charm and distinction, with superior intelligence and unmatched compassion, known far and wide as a National Treasure, aka Dottie Correll, who is turning a whopping 95 years old on Saturday. 95! She’s doing great. If you’d like to wish her a happy birthday, please do so in the comments and I’ll happily pass them along for you.

Heyyyyyy, look who it is!

This is Dottie and me on her 93rd birthday last August. She looks amazing, doesn’t she?

Today, she’s doing ok but not great. She’s been in and out of the hospital the last few months. She’s struggling to keep her body in shape – it’s hard to make it cooperate at her age. Her mind is still sharp as a chef’s knife, and her sense of humor is unrivaled. But dang, that old body of hers is giving her fits.

I thought now would be a great opportunity for you to send her well wishes and hellos. Leave a comment for her, and I’ll pass it along. I’m sure she would appreciate knowing what she’s meant to you.

Let’s review a few key aspects: She volunteered for the Red Cross Disaster Services for 50 years. 50 years! They don’t even have a pin for that, because no one has ever served that long. She grew victory gardens during WW2, and learned to weld to make up for the shortage of available men during that time. She worked her whole adult life. She gave birth to six children. She’s proudly Irish and unmistakably charismatic. She makes people laugh so hard that they almost pee their pants. She’s smart, and has been taking classes her whole life to be even smarter. And she’s kind. She told me that everyone deserves respect, and she’s absolutely correct about that. She also served as one of our favorite Experts in my “Ask the Experts” column on this blog every Friday for years.

This lady is one of a kind. Let’s let her know how much we love her. She’ll say thanks back, so I’ll say it now for her: Thank you!

I love you, Dottie!

Hello plant lovers and friends!

I apologize for taking so long between posts. It’s been a busy time, but also a rewarding time.

Most recently, I got to hang out with two of my favorite people – my Mom, and Dottie, our much beloved nonagenarian Expert in Life.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Me, Dottie and Mom

Our visits were way too brief, but no less lovely. I love you both very much!

 

 

Please say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our beloved Expert Dottie, who officially became a nonagenarian today.

12829483_811260312313566_6253566429835024323_o

13907001_900150603424536_1398145756143921826_n

13892040_900151080091155_8197569377265499374_n

13962678_900150723424524_272812066022464188_n

90 years old is an impressive feat. To do it with style and grace is extraordinary. Happy birthday Dottie! We love you!

(photos courtesy of Cindy Correll)

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. This week I’m going to be picking up my blogging game a bit, as there is much to discuss – namely, firsts in the garden.

It’s hard for me to believe that while people in other parts of the country are still grappling with snow and sleet, here in Phoenix my vegetable garden is thriving. I’ll be harvesting when most of you are just beginning to plant. Crazy!

Before I get to my garden firsts (first flower, first tomatoes, first lemon), I thought I’d share some photos from a few weeks ago, when Expert Lewis and his wife Siri graced us with their presence, and prompted an experts reunion of sorts. (For new readers, for years I hosted an Ask the Experts panel every Friday on this blog – Lewis and Dottie were two of my esteemed experts, they are experts in life.)

Lewis and Siri were in the state for an American Red Cross conference, and decided to swing by Sedona to meet up with Dottie and myself. A good time was had by all!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Experts in life

(Dottie, Lewis, Siri)

IMG_1362

(Dottie, Lewis, Myself)

Sedona sure is a beautiful place:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Experts in life

Hey, guess who posted a health update on facebook yesterday? That’s right, our very own much beloved Expert Dottie. With her permission, here’s what she said:

11205098_10206762881613077_2022262876445536148_n

I HAVE GREAT NEWS! FIRST I WANT TO THANK ALL MY DEAR
FAMILY AND DEAR FRIENDS FOR THEIR CONSTANT SUPPORT, PRAYERS, AND GOOD WISHES. WITHOUT YOUR LOVE AND CARING I WOULD NOT HAVE MADE IT THROUGH
THE PAST HEALTH EVENTS AND MONTHS!!! I WISH I COULD PERSONALLY HUG AND THANK EACH OF YOU!! THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN ROUGH!—-MISSED SENDING MY BEST TO EACH OF YOU AT THE HOLIDAYS AND PROBABLY BIRTHDAYS—BEING EITHER IN MAYO HOSPITAL OR REHAB IN PHOENIX. FOR ALL THIS I APOLOGIZE BUT KNOW YOU UNDERSTAND. NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!
JUST OUT OF MY LAST REHAB–MY HIP IS HEALING FANTASTICALLY. MY THERAPIST WAS HERE TODAY,AND HAD ME WALKING OUTSIDE WITH MY WALKER. WE WALKED AND LONG WAY AND I DID WELL. HE EXPECTS TO WEAN ME FROM THE WALKER SOON. THE VERY BEST NEWS IS THAT I AM OFF OXYGEN TOTALLY. MY NEW ARORTIC VALVE IS MAGIC! I AM GOOD IN SEDONA AND ALSO JUST DISCOVERED TODAY, I DO NOT NEED OXYGEN IN FLAGSTAFFWHICH IS 7000′ FT. + IN ELEVATION. MY DOCTORS ARE AMAZED. GREAT KUDOS ESPECIALLY TO MY DAUGHTER, CINDY, WHO STOOD THE BRUNT OF ALL MY HEALTH PROBLEMS AND DAILY PHONE CALLS FROM MY OTHER CHILDREN MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN MY RECOVERY. I SHALL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO THE DOCTORS AT MAYO CLINIC WHO LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE!
MORE TO COME. “YOU CAN’T KEEP AND OLD IRISH BROAD
DOWN FOR LONG” WITH ALL THIS SUPPORT AND LOVE.
BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU! Dottie Correll

…another photo with Dottie:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Dottie and me

She is safe and sound at her home in Sedona. Free at last, and on the mend. Finally feeling like herself again, pre-heart surgery.

For those of you who have never visited Arizona, Sedona is a special spot about an hour and a half north of Phoenix. Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Dottie and me

It’s stunning. Definitely worth the detour if you come to the state to visit the Grand Canyon.

Yay for Dottie going home!

…it’s DOTTIE!!!!!

IMG_0673

She’s feeling better every day. Lucky me got to have lunch with her and her new friends at the rehab center.

I’ll see her again on Thursday, so you should expect more selfies soon!

Hello everyone, and happy day!

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

I’m sorry it’s taken me a few days to finally roll out this Panel of Experts post. It’s been a busy past few days! I appreciate your patience.

Let’s get our festivities started right away. Hi Experts!

 

“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.

Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Tell us about the best pet you ever had.

Expert Andy Williams, you’re up first:

A. I’m a dog guy and I’ve been lucky enough to have two awesome dogs over the years.  Suzy was my first dog, a black mutt that wandered onto my porch when I was 5.  She made it until my freshman year of college.  She was attached to my hip all the time and very protective.  Then came Rambo, a salt & pepper mini schnauzer.  He was a character and smart as a whip.  He knew many words like “walk”.  When you’d say that he’d start hopping around and actually go into the hutch it was stored in and retrieve it to go for a walk. He’d spend most of his days sitting on the couch and looking out the front window watching the squirrels hop up and down the large maple tree in our front yard.

As an aside, the Sleepy Dog Brewing Co. in Tempe, AZ has a slogan that states “You never forget your first dog.”  And they put it on a T-shirt which I secured at the Flagstaff Beerfest a few years ago.  Every time I wear that shirt I remember Suzy.  So, they’re right.

A. I had a great cat a little more than 10 years ago, the first cat I really ever had. He was a mean little bastard, hated everyone except for me, for reasons I never really understood. I had never been a cat person before that, but that little guy was loyal. He hissed and scratched at everyone else, but was perfectly calm and nice to me. He was kind of a like a dog in that he followed me around, always looking for attention. He would even fetch little balls of paper I would throw to him. I’d wake up with him laying in the crook of my elbow or even sometimes on my neck. Could have done without the neck part.

Great cat. I haven’t had a pet of any kind since he passed.

A. Frankie was a little terrier, mostly black with splashes of white. He liked to follow me when I pushed my gold Stingray bicycle over rough dirt roads and hard red clay. He got into his share of mischief — with a skunk, with a porcupine, even a rough go with a rattler. There is no need in this space to bring up how he died. Just know he was a good dog, with a friendly disposition and a boy could never have had better company. 

A.

Without a doubt, “Himalaya Harry” was the most delightful and interesting pet we ever possessed. We saw an ad in the paper that one of the airlines had flown in a plane load of baby Minah birds from the Himalaya Mountains to be sold at a large department store in downtown Cleveland. We had a family meeting and all agreed that we needed to add this to our animal world and what fun it would be to raise this fledgling and teach him to talk! Minahs are known to be the best mimicers of the spoken word!

Off the 6 children and I went to find this new family member. Mature Minah birds are a vision of beauty to behold. We were not prepared to find the fledglings looking like rejected sparrows. At any rate, the children made their choice and we made sure to find him a fine cage that would become his very own quarters, found a book that described his feeding, care and training and purchased the proper food.

In the ensuing weeks, while the children were in school, I would spend the recommended 15 minutes of “Talk Training” each day. At the end of 6 weeks, I thought we had been scammed and given a bird that couldn’t talk. All he would do is look at me and express: “AWWWWWWK” – A week passed and by then he had acquired his adult plumage and was a beautiful to look at but no talk. Suddenly, one evening when we had company over, he heard all this laughter and joined in and then began to talk. He repeated everything I had taught him, plus everything he selected to remember that the children said. He even imitated the voices of each of us, sang the songs we had taught him. He ended up with a vocabulary of over 200 words plus many songs and sayings and copied my daughter Karen’s laugh exactly. He also delighted in vexing me with calling –Mom, Mom!—sounding just like one of the children—-I would retort with—“Don’t yell – if you want something come here and ask me” Then foolishly I would realize that it was Harry because the children were all in school.

The funniest episode occurred when our neighbor across the street, relayed a story about another neighbor that we all thought of as that “Dirty Old Man”. Our neighbor was lovely to look at and delighted in gardening in her short shorts. One day as she was working in her flowers she heard this wolf whistle and a man’s voice saying, “What a doll—What a doll!” She was incensed and called her husband and told him that nasty neighbor was annoying her again and whistling at her and making unseemly remarks. Her husband immediately went across the street and read the man out for his behavior toward his wife. The neighbor just stared open mouthed and said nothing as her husband marched defiantly back across the street. As she relayed this story several weeks later, I recalled that on that particular afternoon, I had placed Harry in his cage outside on our stone table to get some sun. I recognized that was one of Harry’s favorite sayings that the boys had taught him. He would Make the wolf whistle and then repeat “What a doll” over and over again and then laugh uproarishly! Needless to say we had a lot of explaining to do to many! However, Harry brought us years of Joy and many memorable moments.

——————

Liza here. Expert Lewis is unavailable this week. Let’s admire his adorableness:

And wrap up the Experts Panel.

Yaaaaaaay – Dottie’s back! Loved, loved, loved that story, Dottie. I can’t even imagine a Cleveland department store selling birds, but it was a different time then. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

Fellas, I enjoyed your stories as well. They each made me smile. Thank you for sharing your pet memories with us.

That’ll do it for this week’s Panel of Experts. The Experts will be back soon!

Up next, the answer to the current 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:

Joseph Brenner of Texas wrote, “I vote real. And, barring another round of storms, I think we’re in the clear. The levees have been going down, finally.”

mr_subjunctive of Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Fake?

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “A very real and completely georgous claret cup cactus.”

jangogh61 wrote, “Real beautiful cactus!”

Carmen wrote, “Real. Cacti have the some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen….which is why I find it sad that stores sell them with fake straw flowers a lot of the times….they can’t compare to the beauty of the real things!!”

Jason from Garden in a City wrote, “Wow! As a person who really likes red and orange flowers, I’d say that is one spectacular plant! As for your quiz, I say real.”

Nancy Popp Mumptom of Phoenix wrote, “I know it is real because I have one like it in my front garden!”

That’s five votes real, one vote fake.

What’s the correct answer?

Maybe a wider view will help:

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

REAL! But personally, I think they look fake because they are almost too perfect. Up close, it’s hard to believe that something so delicate could possibly grow from something so harsh. They sure are spectacular, aren’t they? They’re blooming all over Albuquerque right now. This one belongs to a client of mine and it took my breath away.

Good job, everyone! It’s awesome that you played my puzzler!

To show you my appreciation for playing, I’d like you each to have the following prizes: The downward slide of June, one premier status, three cowboy hats, imminent summer, five gold stars, a lemon tree, one roadtrip to winningville, blue eye shadow, four avocado wontons, 13 1/2 bonus points, one dance contest, Mount Taylor, an ice cream maker, six bees knees, a trophy made of salami, one white picket fence, two skylines, William, four kiwi fruits, organic windchimes, the title of “plantiest” for the week, five sugar cookies, two gift cards, one game night, three parakeets, garlic salt, two compliments on your hairdo, plaid, a new propane grill, 7th Street, four diagonal lines, a peach sunset, and one water fountain.

Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

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) Thursday, June 25th, to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winners 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.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 669 other followers

twitter

Follow LizaWheeler7 on Twitter

About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

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

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

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.

Pinterest

Categories