Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower

I was recently in my local Lowe's garden shop taking a second pass at all the flowering plants. Then, I came upon the Gaillardia plant; more specifically known as Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower. This beautiful flowering plant has a variety of names including Indian Blanket, Indian BlanketFlower, Firewheel, Goblin and Sundance. I'm also thinking it could be an Autumn Beauty like the sunflower!

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
Photographed September 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
I was actually looking for a couple of daisy bushes to add to my second garden in the backyard. That second garden is adjacent to my sunflower garden. I asked the cashier if they had any more daisy bushes, but none were to be had.

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
Photographed September 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
The very moment I spotted the Gaillardia plant, I was sold. In that second garden, I've planted several daisy bushes so I wanted a flowering plant of a yellow color.

Looking at the colorful blossom, it does resemble a pinwheel and the colors surely do match up with the Autumn Beauty Sunflower Plant that I grew from seed. I didn't realize that the Gaillardia is in the sunflower family!

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket FlowerGaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
I planted four different Gaillardia plants in my garden. Looking at the blossoms, I see a subtle bit of difference between the two plants' flowers. The plant on the left has more vibrant yellow at the outer edges whilst the plant on the right seems to have more pinks and reds.

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket FlowersGaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flowers

Gaillardia Plant Features:

The Gaillardia plant tolerates poor soil, heat and drought conditions. It grows best in fertile, well-drained soil. To encourage flowering, remove the faded blooms.

Season: Perennial
USDA Zones: 3 -9
Height: 12 to 24 inches
Sowing Rate: 3 to 4 seeds per plant

Environment: Full Sun ~ 20 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit ~ Semi-Moist Soil

Planting Instructions: Dig a hole that is two times the pot width. Set the root ball into the hole to be even with the ground. Add planting mix and combine with garden soil. Fill to ground level and tamp down soil around plant. Water to settle the soil around the plant. Add a layer of mulch around the plant. Be sure to water daily until the plant is well established. Keep the soil semi-moist to promote healthy growth.

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower
Photographed September 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Love these flowering plants? You too can grow them if you have the right environment. Why not try some Gaillardia pulchella seeds. Look for the subtle variations in the Gaillardia flowering plant!

Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flowers
Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flowers
Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flowers

Singular Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower

Singular Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket FlowerSingular Gaillardia Pulchella Indian Blanket Flower

Recommended Resources:
  • Gaillardia was named after an M. Gaillard de Merentonneau or perhaps Charentonneau, an 18th-century French magistrate who was a patron of botany.
  • Gaillardia pulchella thrives in much of central United States, from northern Mexico to southern Canada. It is the state wildflower of Oklahoma.

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Monday, September 09, 2013

What Weed has Tiny Purple Flowers

Help! My yard has been overtaken by this weed that really grows like a weed. At first glance, I thought the initial appearance of that weed was a sprig of grass! After the initial growth, it will start to grow and double up on the green shoots. See if you can identify this weed for me and give me some tips on what to do about it.

New growth of a mystery weed that has tiny lavender-purple flowers
New growth of a mystery weed that has tiny lavender-purple flowers
This new growth of the mystery weed shows how the roots are quite plentiful. There are many tiny fibrous roots which seem to spread out like an umbrella. Once the weed has taken hold, those roots will clump up to hold the dirt and sand. Digging up a patch of this weed, it is quite heavy from holding all that soil.

mystery weed that has tiny lavender-purple flowers
That mystery weed that has tiny lavender-purple flowers
Gosh, I thought mulch was supposed to discourage the growth of weeds? You can see about 4 different "sprigs" of those mystery weeds emerging through my 100% cypress mulch. That picture is actually from my sunflower garden. At first look, you see a tiny bit of growth that resembles grass. Next you see this and then after that ... BAM! you will have ground cover with a network of roots that grab the sandy soil and take hold.

This green weed is really like a ground cover as it will snake through the St. Augustine grass to overtake the yard. I had a bit of this weed last Summer in my front side yard. I dug that up and put in my second Mexican Petunia garden. I went nearly one year before I saw that weed again; and this time, it was all over the yard!

That mystery weed with tiny lavender-purple flowers takes over the yard
That mystery weed with tiny lavender-purple flowers takes over the yard!
In the above picture, that mystery weed has taken over a patch of my yard. That's a picture after I cut the grass [and weeds]. I had waited two weeks to cut that patch of grass. The cut weed was a bit slimy and sticky. I found that the cut weed was sticking to the blades of my lawn mower. You can't really see the tiny purple flowers in that picture.

That mystery weed with tiny lavender-purple flowers closeup
That mystery weed with tiny lavender-purple flowers - look closely!
In this last photo, you can see some of the tiny lavender-purple flowers. Gosh, you'd think this is really grass with flowers! To the trained and informed eye, you can pick out the weed from the St. Augustine grass. This weed is a different green - it is a couple of shade lighter. If you find a new shoot of the weed, you can usually pull it up quite easily.

Identify That Weed Please!

I hope one of my readers out there can help me! What's curious is that this year, throughout the various months, I added a variety of products to my St. Augustine grass. They included these:
I also used some Spectracide 53944 Triazicide Once and Done Insect Killer Granules. Last Summer, I put down about 80 pieces of St. Augustine sod in my front yard. Because that was a back-breaking job, I wanted to be sure to keep my grass looking nice and healthy this year.

For the most part, my front yard is good - that creepy, crawly weed with the tiny lavender-purple flowers hasn't taken hold there - knock wood!

What I am seriously wondering? The Milorganite was also spread through the rest of the yard. Could it be that this is the fertilizer that stimulated the growth of that mystery weed?

Can anyone help?

UPDATE: Thus far I have not had anybody conclusively identify this weed! After receiving a Scott's email, I took a look at their site and was reading about purple nutsedge and purple nut grass along with yellow nutsedge and kyllinga nutsedge. Googling purple nutsedge, I just admit that I did see a picture which looks a lot like the new growth picture of my mystery weed!

Take two! I happened upon a page about Common Florida Weeds. Checking out the pictures, yes, I recognized many of those common weeds. Then, I saw their picture on matchweed - Phyla nodiflora. Boy oh boy, that sure does look like my weed. It is "a mat-forming perennial with opposing leaves on hairy branching stems. Leaves have small teeth at the outer tip. The purple to white flowers emerge around the tip of the seed stalk forming a match-head appearance."

On that same page about common weeds in Florida, I found out the name of another "weed" that I've seen in abundance in my yard. It is Alexander grass and in the same area where that weed took hold, you can find that other mystery weed, possibly the matchweed.

Searching further, I found another weed that resembles my mystery weed. It is doveweed - Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan or Aneliema nudiflorum (L.) Kunth. Here is the clincher: "It is classified as an annual grass-like weed which makes it difficult to kill because it is a distant relative of turfgrasses such as St. Augustine." I remember the last time I was in Lowe's looking for a crabgrass preemergent, the gal in the garden department told me that crabgrass is a relative of St. Augustine grass. Hey! How do I get rid of all the relatives in my St. Augustine grass?

ANOTHER UPDATE: So, the end of October, Peninsular Pest Control was treating the neighbor's yard. I asked one of the fellows what he was putting down. He said fertilizer and pre-emergent. The application looked mighty "substantial." Then, I asked him to take a look at the weed that populated my backyard. After digging a bit at the weed and pulling it up, he said, "it looks like buttonweed." I Googled "buttonweed" and came upon a Missouri State Education site with pictures. By golly, that sure looks a lot like a good bit of the weeds in my backyard. However, they describe the tiny flowers as white to pink. I really think the color is more pale purple or lavender. I do have the variety of this weed with tiny white flowers. That weed is also known as Povertyweed, Poorjoe, Dioidia, and/or Rough Buttonweed.

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Sunday, September 08, 2013

Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil

Thanks to BzzAgent, I just got to try a 4 ounce bag of delicious Kashi™ Hummus Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil for free. Yep, I #GotItFree from #bzzagent. So, nobody has paid me for this review or possible endorsement. I am telling you like it is, straight from the proverbial horse's mouth: mine!

I am pretty selective when it comes to chips and crisps. My usual complaint is that the flavor isn't quite right and that they are way too salty for my healthy tastebuds.

Kashi Hummus Crisp Sea Salt & Olive Oil in a bowl
Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil in a Bowl
So, what a pleasant surprise when I chomped down on the first Kashi Hummus Crisp. Ah, all natural hummus crisps! There it is! Take a closer look.

Note the very round shape. That's what I noticed first. Then, the healthy tannish color. The thickness is pretty much spot-on - not too thin and not too thick. The crisps also have a nice texture with little bumps and ridges.

When I poured some of these into my bowl, I was noticing that there were a lot of perfect crisps; i.e., not too much breakage.

By the way, I didn't eat that whole bowl of crisps. However, I did have quite a few. Looking at the nutrition facts, 27 crisps is the recommended portion for one serving.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 120 - Calories from Fat: 30
Total Fat: 3.5g - 5%
   Saturated Fat - 0g
   Trans Fat - 0g
   Polyunsaturated Fat - 1g
   Monounsaturated Fat 2.5g
Cholesterol: 0mg - 0%
Sodium: 180mg - 8%
Potassium: 90mg - 3%
Total Carbohydrate: 21g - 7%
   Dietary Fiber - 4g
   Sugars less than 1g
Protein: 3g - 5%
Calcium: 2%    Iron: 4%

Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt and Olive Oil with bowl of soup
Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil
Campbell's Creamy Gouda Bisque with Chicken Soup
My second serving of Kashi Hummus Crisps was the next day for lunch. I had a bowl of Campbell's Creamy Gouda Bisque with Chicken Soup.

My favorite soups are in the orange color range. And, this particular soup was a perfect pairing with the hummus crisps.

In this picture, I show twelve individual crisps arranged around my bowl of soup - rather like the hour spots on a clock! That's kind of the message too; i.e., Kashi Hummus Crisps are perfect around the clock - either alone or paired with soup!

These crisps also come in Sundried Tomato, Basil and Feta along with Caramelized Onion. Both of the alternative versions would be great with this type of soup!

What makes these crisps so tasty? Well, they are made from chickpeas and whole grains. The seasoning really hits the spot with nutty extra virgin olive oil [the only kind I personally use], savory sea salt [I've been using more sea salt lately], and a healthy sprinkling of parsley! A positive for me is that Kashi left out the artificial ingredients and left in "the good-for-you goodness!" For a healthy snack, I fully expected them to have fiber; i.e. 4 grams of fiber; however, the 3 grams of protein is an added bonus!

Thanks BzzAgent!

Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt and Olive Oil Bzzkit
Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil
Bzzkit: 4oz. package, 5 coupons, info card
Time flies when you are having fun! I've had a lot of fun with Bzzagent. I've been with them for over ten years! Holy moly, but that is longer than my last marriage.

Each time that I have received a Bzzkit, it's been a little like opening a present at Christmas. In this particular Bzzkit, I received the 4 ounce package of Kashi Hummus Crisps Sea Salt and Olive Oil. Included were 5 coupons to save $1.00 on any two Kashi All Natural Hummus Crisps.

For sure I will be using that first $1.00 coupon and sharing the others with 4 of my closest friends.

That Bzzkit info card says, "For those about to bzz, we salute you. Oh, and give you this awesome stuff. To keep the great products coming, get the conversations started on" And, so on and so forth! bzz bzz

Well, thanks to BzzAgent, I #GotItFree and I also added something nutritious to my snack menu! I will be working my way through the other flavors, but find it pretty hard to top the great taste of Sea Salt and Olive Oil.

Have you tried any of the Kashi Hummus Crisps yet? Which is your favorite healthy taste?

Kigurumi Animal Costumes and Pajamas

This year I found my tastes have changed a bit when thinking about Halloween Costumes. When I first spied the Kigurumi Animal Costumes and Pajamas, I thought, "what a great multipurpose and practical clothing item!"

I've picked a few of the Kigurumi cosplay animal onesies that I wouldn't mind wearing myself. These pajama onesies are great for youngsters to oldsters and every age in between. An additional bonus is that they fit a variety of body types! Why not have a Halloween pajama party with a sleepover!

The Practical Features:

  • 100% original: Direct from Sazac, the creator of Kigurumi in Japan!
  • Machine washable: High quality fiber comfortable to wear and wash.
  • Material: Fleece of 100% polyester; holds its shape.
  • Size: 5'5"- 5'9" or 165-175 cm approx.
  • Length: 59" or 150 cm approx.
  • Chest: 51" or 128 cm approx.
It was not an easy task to just select these nine costumes from the lot. It is worthy of looking at the rest of the selection of Kigurumi Costumes and Onesies from Amazon.

I honestly think that the creativity and practicality of these adorable Halloween Costumes will make them the top best Halloween Costumes of 2013 and years to follow!