Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the President is coming!

Today is the day.  President Barack Obama is coming to Chattanooga to give a speech about jobs and the economy at our local Amazon fulfillment center.  (Not sure how Amazon fits with high paying manufacturing, but I guess we'll find out.)

Teams from the White House have been here since last week, and parts of Chattanooga have gone berserk.   I love Chattanooga, but our little twitter community didn't quite know how to handle the impending Presidential visit.  The debate over what hashtag to use even made nbcnews.com, and if you look closely, you'll see a quote from me that was meant to highlight how ridiculous I thought people were being.



As silly as the immediate reaction was, I expect some pretty awesome online coverage of President Obama's visit today.  If you want to follow along online, here are my tips.  If you have any additional links let me know, and I'll add them as the day goes on!

What Hashtags I'm following:
#POTUSinCHA
#ObamaNooga
#BarackIsInTheHouse [It'll probably just be me, but who knows ;)]

Who to follow:
The main hashtags will be flooded today, so I recommend setting up at group of trusted people to follow.  This is a good place to start, or you can follow my list here, I'll be updating it all day.
@ChloeNooga (from Amazon)
@wrcb
@antwanharris
@Drew_BolleaNC9
@JamesNooga (from the airport)
@ChadHenderson (An on-site, non media perspective from Amazon)
@DanOKennedy (from the airport this morning, lots of photos)

Who not to follow:
I'll only add to this when people get annoying.
My first thought is @Newschannel9 with polls this morning and not actual coverage.

Live Coverage:
TimesFreePress - real time twitter feeds. LINK
WRCB  - Live video stream of their coverage starting at 11am, and including the President's speech. LINK

Twitter ettiquite tips:
  • When you're actually following a hashtag, it gets pretty annoying when RTs take over.  If you're not adding anything new to the tweet, switch to the old school RT style, and drop the hashtag.
  • Give credit where credit is due.  RT's do this inherently, but if you're linking an article, name the source in the tweet, or add their twitter handle.  Reporters will be working hard today, and they deserve the credit.
  • If you want to be RT'd, keep your tweet short.  Leave people room to RT & comment on your message.
  • Thank people for RTs.  Please and Thank You go a long way in the online world as well as the real world, and after all, we are in the south.
If you're not interested:
Take advantage of twitter filters to filter out unwanted tweets.  You won't get rid of everything, but it helps a lot!

Monday, July 22, 2013

blackberry season

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen pictures of my blackberries this year.


They were the subject of my only mildly creative post on Vine.

video

Blackberries are one of the surprises that showed up in my yard.  The previous tenants mowed them down, but I let them grow, and they came up in a line.  At some point, someone must have moved some plants out of the woods, Mother Nature is not known for her straight line planting.  I'm not sure if it was my great grandmother or not, but I'm grateful for whomever moved them.  Anyways, I love having fresh fruit around, even if I never sought out blackberries before.  I've added them to smoothies, and I've done champagne and blackberries on more than one occasion.  Of course I've been pinning blackberry recipes. (My favorite pins are here and here.)

In the spirit of my "keep what grows on it's own" attitude in the garden, I'm doing what I can to keep the blackberries happy.  I've mulched around them, and to save my arms from all the scratches next year, I've started a fence for the blackberries to climb on.  It's not pretty, but the price ($20 thanks to some leftover fence wire) was right. 

The wire is left over from a dog kennel at my parent's house.


At the end of blackberry season, I'll pull out the old canes, and finish the fence.  There is no sense in tying them up, only to pull them out in a few weeks.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

july bloom day 2013

Better late than never right?  I took these pictures on the 15th, but I'm just getting around to posting them.  I hope that still counts for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Because my house is almost 100% shade, summer is not my best time for blooms.  Once the leaves fill out on the trees my blooms are just about done.  I'm working on that though, and if the rain ever lets up, I'm going to try and add some more summer perennials to brighten things up.

The brightest of blooms in my yard right now are the Black-Eyed Susan's.  I am in year two in my house, and one of the surprises last summer were the wild Black-Eyed Susan's dotting the yard.  I thought they needed full sun, but filtered sun seems to work well too.  Since my plan was to plant more of what I knew would survive, I addded Black-Eyed Susan's from my mom's house last fall.  They bloomed later than the wild version, but they seem to be doing well with little care from me this year.

Black-Eyed Susan's from my mom's house.
Wild Black Eye'd Susan's

One of the other prolific wildflowers in my yard are the wild daisies.  They don't seem to like all the rain we've had, as they were more abundant last year, but they are showing their faces for me now, and it makes me happy.  I did learn my lesson last year and have kept them outside.  They make for very messy cut flowers as they shed their petals.

blurry picture of Fleabane Aster

Probably the most abundant plant on my property are the wild Huckleberries.  They are in the woods, in my yard, they are everywhere. But last year I did not see a single ripe Huckleberry.  The birds love them, and one day they were gone.  Every bush was picked clean.  This year I'm keeping a closer eye on them, and maybe I'll find out what they taste like.

Wild Huckleberries

Something I didn't pay much attention too last year was this little ground cover.  I thought it was a weed, but as I have a very loose definition of the word,  am revising my classification to ground cover.  It has cute little yellow flowers, and this year is no more than 5" tall.  In my quest for a maintenance free lawn, this little guy may have found a home, provided he stays low to the ground & I don't decide to go 100% moss.

wild ground cover with cute little yellow blooms

I hesitate to include this blurry picture this flowering shrub, as it was too windy to get a good picture of the trumpet shaped flowers.  I have at least 3 of these in my gardens, each different sizes.  I have one off my porch that appears to be young, about 5 feet tall, with thin droopy canes.  I have one in the circular section of my driveway, that even after 2 years of thinning out is at least 10 feet tall,  12-15 feet wide, with 1/2 - 1 1/2 inch canes.  I also have one at the edge of an overgrown section of woods, and I believe it is the oldest, and least attended too, as the base is much thicker than the other plants. I really like these bushes/shrubs.  They've got a great shape, and pretty leaves that provide interest even when they're not in bloom.  Best of all, I can tell they like to be left alone.

Blurry picture of spirea (?).  I have at least 3 of these.

And last but not least are the wild blackberries!  Last year, in my 'see what survives here' experiment, a row of wild blackberries showed up.  I'm not sure how they got there, and in a line, but I do know that the previous tenant didn't want to have anything to do with them, and mowed them down every year.  I let them grow, and this year mom was right, I had my first blackberries for the Fourth of July!


Wild Blackberries!!

It's been a good crop so far, and there's more to come!

I hope you have enjoyed your walk around my yard. Just so I can hold myself accountable, and remember what else I'd like to have blooming this time next year, I'm going to start adding a section called Garden Plans to the end of my bloom day posts.

Please feel free to make suggestions as to what you think would be a good addition in the comments, I'm looking forward to fall planting season!!

Garden Plans:
  1. Add a Hydrangea (Oak Leaf?)
  2. Add Purple Coneflowers near the Black Eye'd Susans
  3. Fertalize my non blooming butterfly bush
  4. Re-work Day Lily bed to spread out color, and maybe prolong bloom period. (June blooms)
As always, check out Carol's GBBD list at May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming around the world!
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