Tag Archives: plants

Sensitive Plant

My kids want to build a fairy garden this spring, so I took them to browse our local nursery to see what materials they had and to get some ideas. We came across an amazing plant that I’ve never heard of before called the sensitive plant. The plant has a very neat protective trick! If it is touched or shaken, its leaves fold and then slowly unfold a few minutes later. My kids loved gently touching the leaves and watching them fold up. We’re going to try to grow some of our own from seed!

Dog “Hare” in the Garden


I scrapped the ugly fence that I’d built around my garden last spring that was supposed to keep out the bunnies. It didn’t work. The little stinkers had proved themselves too smart and persistent, busting right through the fence in order to ransack our garden yet again.

I’ve been looking into other natural bunny deterrents and read about using dog hair. This sounded brilliant! Wild dogs have hunted rabbits in the wild for centuries, and later, domesticated dogs were trained to hunt rabbit for sport. Bunnies are wired to get the heck out of dodge when a dog comes trotting along. It’s in their DNA!

Armed with this knowledge and dog brush in hand, I waited patiently as this year’s first batch of seeds began to push up through the soil. Gershwin, our beagle/box mix, definitely loved all of the extra attention he began to receive, but being a short-haired breed, he failed to contribute much hair to the cause.

Gershwin Shirt

Meanwhile, my wife had a better idea. She walked down the block to our local dog groomer and asked for a large bag of dog hair clippings. They were curiously happy to oblige, and within minutes the kids had our garden bed and all of the precious seedlings sprinkled in dog hair. We’ll need to spread more hair around every few days and after it rains to maintain the effects of the dog scent barrier. Needless to say, Gershwin has taken a new interest in our garden. Hopefully the opposite will be true for the bunnies!


Avocado Plant Update #2

Avocado rootChad Pitt is doing great! Had I mentioned I named it? The root is growing like gangbusters, currently measuring in at two inches. Now I’m just waiting for the top of the pit to split open and for the sprout to appear. I’m not very worried about that part yet as long as long as the root keeps growing like it is. It’s a real good thing I didn’t lose hope and trash him in mid-April!

Previously and related:

It’s Alive! Avocado plant update

Guacamole and Growing an Avocado Plant from Seed

Attack of the Mutant Dandelion


I was going about my business mowing the lawn, when I came across this incredible mutated dandelion. It must have had about a dozen flowers fused together onto one massive stem. I hastily removed it from my lawn, fearing any potential for it to grow into another Audrey II from The Little Shop of Horrors. Ironically, one of my neighbors has an uncanny resemblance to Rick Moranis, and for just a moment, I thought it would make perfect sense to lob it into his yard and observe the fallout. Alas, I began to recall scenes from the movie, and I ultimately decided that the world, or at least my immediate neighborhood, would be a better place sans Audrey III.

It’s Alive!

Avocado pitWell, it looks like I spoke entirely too soon about my perceived avocado pit fail. I was meandering past it this morning, and was totally shocked to see that it is now very much split open! It’s a darn good thing I didn’t throw it away. The increasingly longer days, warmer weather, and more intense sunlight must have finally triggered the germination process. I guess the big takeaway lesson here is patience. After almost three long months of waiting, we’re finally in business, baby!

Previously and related:

Avocado plant update

Guacamole and Growing an Avocado Plant from Seed

Avocado Plant Update

Avocado seed

My avocado pit that has been sitting on the windowsill since the Super Bowl has yet to sprout. At this point, I think it is safe to say that it’s not going to happen. I was supposed to keep it in a warm place, and my hunch is that sitting on a windowsill in the dead of winter was just way too harsh of an environment.  Now that it is spring and things are warming up, I think I’ll give it another go. Time to make some more guacamole!

Guacamole and Growing an Avocado Plant from Seed

We just made some great guacamole from a very simple recipe. I chose the easiest recipe that I could find online because I needed to throw it together very quickly. At first I was a bit leery of trying this because it calls for garlic powder and salsa instead of the traditional, whole ingredients. That being said, it was done and on the table in a few short minutes and everyone was happy with the results. Even my just-turned-two-year-old liked it. Another nice thing about this recipe is that it is easily adaptable to any number of avocados that you may have on hand, so you can make it with as little as one avocado.

Most importantly, we saved the seeds in order to attempt to grow our own avocado houseplants. We found information on how to grow and care for an avocado plant on the California Avocado Commission (CAC) website. A glass of filtered water and three toothpicks later and our seeds were prepped and ready to grow. Now all there is to do is sit back and wait. Let’s hope these babies sprout!

Avocado seed