The Garden Island of Sark, One of the Channel Islands

Just returned from the beautiful Channel Islands that are located in the English Channel between the south coast of the United Kingdom and northern France. There are eight permanently inhabited islands but I only visited Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, and Herm. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Commonwealth to be occupied by the German Army during World War Two.

I have to admit that one of the main reasons why I wanted to go to the Channel Islands was because of a great book I read a few years ago called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  You can read about the book at Amazon Books or drop me an email and I’ll tell you all about it. (judy@housePlant411.com)

All of the islands were beautiful but I have to say Sark was my favorite. It has a population of about 600 and an area of 2.10 square miles (5.44 km2).There are no cars allowed and the only way to see all of the beautiful flowers, trees, and coastline is to walk, ride a bike, or jump into a horse drawn carriage. La Seigneurie Gardens were my favorite. Check out this website to read all about them. http://www.laseigneuriegardens.com/gardens.html

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy that are on their website. My pictures didn’t come out nearly as well.


Water Causes Many Houseplant Problems

I’ve been in the plant business for over 35 years. For most of that time, I owned one of the largest interior plantscape companies in Arizona. I, along with my 20 or so employees, installed and maintained the plants at over 600 homes, offices, and businesses. Now I’ve sold that company and spend most of my time and energy developing a houseplant website that helps our visitors learn how to identify and care for their houseplants. Here’s one of the most important things I’ve learned over the years; I don’t care what the plant problem is, most of the time water has something to do with it. Over- watering, under-watering, using water that has chlorine or fluoride in it, using water that is too salty because it has passed through a softener, all these conditions harm a plant.

If you are having problems with a houseplant, the very first thing to do is stop watering. An over watered plant dies quickly from root rot, an under watered plant might get droopy, but it will last until you decide what’s causing the problem. Check the watering requirements for your houseplants in the Popular HousePlant Section of my website, HousePlant411. If you don’t know the name of your plant, send a picture and description to me at: askjudy@houseplant411.com

Sea Lions Everywhere

I know I promised more pictures from the Galapagos “next day” but getting caught up after being away for almost three weeks is hard! There were so many Ask Judy questions to answer, I’ve been working on them all day every day. But things are looking up and the back log of questions is dwindling. So back to the pictures. Sea Lions have to  be my favorite. There were so many sea lions on the islands, and they were so unafraid of us, we literally had to climb over them because they refused to move. In one little town they were sun bathing on the park benches!


Back From the Galapagos and the Amazon Rain Forest

What a trip! As a 50th (yes some people can really be married 50 years) anniversary present to ourselves, my husband and I set off on a two week adventure to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rain Forest. It was a remarkable and very strenuous adventure! We flew to Quito, Ecuador for a few days, toured around,  and visited the equator (where we had one foot in the Northern hemisphere and one foot in the Southern hemisphere). Then took a 2 hour plane trip to the Galapagos Islands which are part of Ecuador. There we boarded a motorized catamaran with seven other couples and started our journey. We were a lot more comfortable than Darwin was when he made this trip. For the next 5 days we hiked volcanic islands, snorkeled with the sea lions, stood next to 200 pound tortoises, and could almost touch red and blue footed boobies (a type of bird). Behind every rock or ledge there was a hidden treasure,  flamingos wading in clear pools of water, penguins resting on the rocks, sharks swimming along side us. Before we knew it, we were flying back to Quito to get ready to go to the Amazon Rain Forest. Check out our FaceBook page (HousePlant411.com) for pictures of some of the great animals we saw on our trip. Tomorrow’s post, the Amazon Rain Forest.