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Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

postheadericon The Truth About Frogs and Toads

Many people are mistaken when they think that frogs and toads are the same creatures. While they are both classified as amphibians, they are two distinct animals.

Frogs and Toads

Frogs and Toads at Red Barn Blue Skies
Mr Toad and Froggie

Frogs

A few facts about FROGS:

~ They must live near a source of water

~ Their skin is moist and smooth, it appears to be slimy

~ Their back legs are longer, allowing them to jump much higher than toads

~ Many have suction-cup type webbed toes which allow them to swim and cling to walls and other vertical or smooth objects

~ Their eyes are higher on their heads and tend to be more round-shaped

~ Their nose and body is usually more narrow than the toad’s

Frogs and Toads at Red Barn Blue Skies  2 Frogs and Toads at Red Barn Blue Skies  3 Red Barn Blue Skies Frogs and Toads

Toads

A few facts about TOADS:

     ~ Can live in drier, more arid areas without being close to water

     ~ Their skin is much drier than a frog’s

~ They usually have bumps that are rough to the touch on their skin

~ Toads don’t do much jumping, instead, they do a waddling run or take tiny hops

~ Toads walk on shorter, stubbier legs than frogs

~ The eyes on toads sit lower on their head and are more almond-shaped than a frog’s

  Frogs and Toads at Red Barn Blue Skies 4     

These photos are all from my garden and yards. We are very lucky to have the right conditions for these little guys to hang around and try to help us with our bug populations.

We have several color variations of both the toads and the frogs. The little green frogs that live in my plants on the front porch are so fast that I have a hard time catching them on film.

Frogs and Toads Frog House at Red Barn Blue Skies

I try to make it very hospitable for both of these little tailless amphibians to live comfortably around here. I have lots of overturned old pots that are half-buried in shady spots for the toads to burrow into and under when it’s hot.

I’m planning on adding a few toad houses in the near future like the one below.

Frogs and Toads House at Red Barn Blue Skies

The frogs enjoy some shallow pans of water with pebbles that I have in the shade on the front porch near their potted plant homes. They also tend to hang in the toad houses if it is damp enough.

Frogs and Toads Homes at Red Barn Blue Skies

For an added froggy treat, go here to meet Bo, My Froggy Boyfriend. He’s a cutie!

postheadericon The Gardener’s Morning – Sunday Selections

The Gardener’s Morning by Howard Dolf is our latest addition to Sunday Selections. Enjoy this lovely poem and imagine yourself in the morning garden.
The Gardener's Morning at Red Barn Blue Skies

The Gardener’s Morning

 The robin‘s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.
Get up and get out in the garden,
For the morning hours flee.

 

I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.

 

The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
– Howard Dolf
 

postheadericon Garden Sanctuary – Sunday Selections

Enjoy a tiny bit of my own garden sanctuary for this installment of Sunday Selections.
Peas for Garden Sanctuary Sunday Selections Red Barn Blue Skies

Garden Sanctuary

You who walk,
Maybe with troubled thoughts,
Come, enter here and rest;
And may the sweet serenity of growing things,
And the heavenly peace
Be mirrored in thy soul.
-Doxis M. Palmer

postheadericon CSN Stores EarthBox Garden Kit review

Back in March, I posted about a review I would be doing for CSN Stores on their EarthBox Garden Kit.  (You can find the original post Here). I know it was quite a while ago that I started on this review, but I wanted to really give it a thorough test and not just an “oh it’s cool”, “I really like it”, etc.  even though I hadn’t really put it through it’s paces. I won’t do a review post on anything that I haven’t truly tried out personally. So, without further ado; my unbiased opinion – I love it!!!!

EarthBox Garden Kit

I planted the grow box the same day I received it back in March. I put young strawberry plants in both the EarthBox and also a similar planter that I already owned.  The planters are roughly the same size and shape. I put a total of six strawberry plants in each, all the same size and variety.  The plants have all had the exact same conditions and treatment. I followed the directions on the EarthBox garden kit exactly as they instructed. Since the EarthBox did come with fertilizer, I added the same type to my white planter as well. I really believe the system they’ve come up with is a winner.

 

This photo is of the EarthBox on the day I planted it:  (I’m sorry I can’t find the photo of the white planter from that day – I believe it was part of the laptop casualty files.)

 

earthbox garden kit review

 

The photos below show the EarthBox and the regular planter now:

 

regular planter
EarthBox
side by side

 

The above photo shows them side by side. Isn’t the difference in plant size amazing? I was very impressed with this kit and I think I may just have to get myself one or two more for next season. I like that the planter is on wheels and is very easy to maneuver around. I think it would be great for some of the delicate plants or those that don’t seem to make it here due to gophers or voles….

As for CSN Stores, I was very impressed with their service and communication.  James was the representative who had initially contacted me for the review and was extremely helpful from start to finish.  Once we decided what I would be reviewing, he placed my order and it was here within about three days.  Their huge inventory and major amount of selections are very impressive as well.  They offer free shipping on many of their items too so it’s a great idea to check them out!

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Disclaimer: I received the above EarthBox Garden kit from CSN Stores for review purposes. The opinions and views expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review.

postheadericon Celia Thaxter – Sunday Selections

 Celia Thaxter is our chosen poet today for Sunday Selections. Enjoy her ode to flowers and fortune.
celia thaxter Red Barn Blue Skies Sunday Selections
 
He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally
considered a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small
compared to that of the happy mortal who enters this world
with a passion for flowers in his soul.
– Celia Thaxter