April 20, 2014

My Yellow Roses & Starting the Garden Spruce Up!

Believe it or not…my daffodils are almost all done for the season (I know, I know… some of you haven’t even seen your daffodils bloom yet)!  To make up for not having any daffodils, my yellow Lady Banks Rose is in full bloom (a few weeks early).  So I was motivated to  clean out the bed that it’s in, cutting back stuff, pulling weeds and little trees that seeded themselves, moving things around and planting a pot with some oh so fragrant phlox. Take a look!

Yellow Lady Banks Rose & tin flower mirror

I would say my backyard is planted in a cottage garden style. The front yard isn’t quite as wild :)

I moved my birdbath over next to a hydrangea and that yellow frame used to have a mirror that said “Welcome”  in it that fell out over the winter (didn’t break just fell out so I donated it).

Yellow birdbath and yellow Lady Banks Rose

What you don’t see is that behind the fence is a Crepe Myrtle which hasn’t leafed out yet. The Lady Banks Rose is all intertwined with the branches and right now it looks like that tree is covered with little yellow blossoms. By the time it leafs out – the roses will be gone.

Here are a few more photos of that bed.

Lady Banks Rose - yellow blossoms

Small buttery yellow blooms of the Lady Banks Rose.

Pretty blue phlox growing in a container - cottage garden

 

A Cottage Garden - phlox in a container

Phlox planted in a container on an old iron chair I keep in that bed for the purpose of holding containers of flowers.

Bleeding heart by the angel statue

Bleeding heart by the angel statue (hydrangeas are just leafing out).

floral plates on the fence and yellow roses

These plates have been on the fence for probably about 9 years now!

This bed also has a Knockout Rose ( which is budding), clematis,  a grapevine, tons of asiatic lilies and day lilies,  and my little gnome garden!

Hope you enjoyed seeing photos of one of my favorite garden beds. More to come as I work my way around my yard!

10 Beautiful Ways to Decorate With Succulents

One of the fun things about succulents is that they look terrific in all kinds of containers.   There are so many different shapes, sizes and colors of succulents that it’s easy to make a beautiful and unique succulent garden!  Here are some pretty indoor succulent container ideas for your home to inspire you!

A collection of 10 beautiful ways to decorate with succulents

Another good thing about succulents is that they are fairly  low maintenance and easy to propagate!

succulent garden in red and white transferware dishes

I made this succulent garden in some red and white transferware.  The steps for making this are  here.

succulents planted in a silver gravy boat

These succulents are planted in a beautiful silver gravy boat  - by The Little Round Table

succulent tabletop candle wreath

This succulent candle wreath by J Peterson Garden Design is just stunning!

succulents planted in white ceramic pitcher & gravy boat by A Little Tipsy

Here are some pretty succulents in a white ceramic pitcher and gravy boat by A Little Tipsy

succulents in mercury glass containers

These beautiful succulents in mercury glass can be found at  BHG

succulents planted in a shell

I love these succulents planted in a shell via flickr.   I may replant the ones I have into a shell for the summer.

Simple footed bowl planted with succulents by Sand & Sisal

Isn’t this simple footed bowl a marvelous planter for succulents – by Sand & Sisal.

a succulent planted in a red colander
This
red colander with succulents would be perfect for a kitchen by Petite Pots 

industrial tiered tabletop succulent garden by Infarrantly Creative

You can learn how to make this cool industrial tiered succulent centerpiece  at Infarrantly Creative (she shows you how to make the tiered piece)

Succulents planted in eggshells by The Hunted Interior

These pretty succulents planted in eggshells  would be perfect for an Easter centerpiece – by The Hunted Interior.

Are you a fan of succulents?

DIY String Gardens “Kokedama”

I stumbled upon a really cool indoor gardening concept the other day – string gardens. “Kokedama” is basically the Japanese art of enclosing a plants roots in a moss ball and suspending that plant – sort of a hanging bonsai concept.

DIY String Garden Inspiration

This would be a great idea if you’re limited in outdoor space or even if you just want to try something a bit different than growing plant in pots.  It seems very easy to do and looks cool!

String Garden "Kokedama"

There’s a wonderful tutorial at Design Sponge if you want to know how to make a string garden. 

Here are a few more examples to give you an idea of all the wonderful ways you can use this technique.

spring string garden "Kokedama"

Spring String Garden by Terrain

string garden "Kokedama"

Indoor String Garden by String Gardens.com

Outdoor string garden "Kokedama"

Outside String Garden from Dennis’ 7 Dees

Citrus string garden by Feder van der Falk

Citrus string garden by Feder van der Falk

suspended string garden

Suspended String Garden via Apartment Therapy

Aren’t these just amazing and sort of surreal! To water you either spray or soak the balls.

Hope the sun is shining where ever you are!

A Spring Window Box

We had such a gorgeous weekend that I spent some time working outside cutting back things, pulling up weeds and making a  pretty little spring garden in a window box for the barn.

spring window box garden - vintage "Give Us This Day Plate", spring blooms, violas

I used two vintage plates that had seen better days, some violas and dug up a few spring blooming bulbs and replanted them in the window box (I’ll plant them back in the yard when they die).

window box on red barn - planted with violas, vintage plates & spring bloom bulbs

This is planter that my husband made for me from an old window and some scrap lumber. 

window box planted with vintage plates

My red barn is one of my favorite things in my yard and I thought it deserved a bit of prettying up with some flowers.

spring window box with vintage plates

Hope you all are seeing signs of spring where ever you are!

A Veggie Garden Post!

We have been enjoying some really lovely weather after all the ice and snow we’ve had. Which explains why I haven’t blogged since last Wednesday! I’ve been outside…digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, cutting back plants, picking up a million little branches (what can I make with all those branches) and generally just enjoying being out in the garden. I have one raised bed planted with cold weather vegetables that I want to show you.

potted primrose with flowered plate

 This winter was really hard on my garden. Most of what I planted in the fall didn’t survive the super cold winter we had. Row covers are great if the winter is mild. Not great if the temps are consistently below or at freezing!

old windows used on a raised bed to make a cold frame

This raised bed has some cold weather veggies in it.  I covered it with old windows to make a sort of cold frame as the temps are going to dip below freezing again by mid-week. Using the windows creates a type of greenhouse for the seedlings.  Hopefully they’ll be protected from the weather and from critters!

spinach growing in a raised bed under an old window

This raised bed  has been planted with kale, spinach and lettuce.

kale seedling growing in a raised bed

I didn’t start these from seed. My local home improvement stores  already have herbs and vegetables – even tomatoes! Which I think is pushing it even for Atlanta.

potted plate flower and primroses

There’s so much to do in the garden! Sadly, I lost my cute little garden shed that my husband and daughter built for me.  I may have also lost quite a few shrubs and vines – time will tell. What a winter!

First daffodils of the year

The good news is that these are the first daffodils to bloom in my yard.

Yay! Spring is on it’s way! (knock on wood :) )

Creative Seed Starting Ideas

Are you ready to start some gardening despite whatever weather you’re experiencing? It’s seed starting time believe it or not! You don’t have to buy those little plastic  pots or peat pots to start your seeds if you don’t want to. Save some money and use these ideas for great alternative seed starting containers. 

It's time to start seeds! Here are some great ideas for containers to use that will save you money.

I had to go to Home Depot today and they are putting out the spring bushes and trees here in Atlanta. I can’t wait to spend some time outside in the sun and warmth.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to start any seeds inside this year or just buy seedlings since I have a lot of home reno projects that will start next month in preparation for listing our house.

Creative Seed Starting Containers

re-using K-cups for seed starting by Fresh Eggs Daily

Fresh Eggs Daily®  explains how to re-use  your old K-cups to start seeds.

starting seeds in milk cartons

You could use milk or juice cartons to start your seeds. Basil & Amaranth has a great explanation of how to start your seeds in these types of containers.

DIY newspaper seed pots

Learn how to make these newspaper seed pots at HGTV.  I used these last year and they worked very well.

Self-watering seed starting containers

Desperate Gardener show you how to repurpose old plastic bottles into these self-watering seed starting containers

make seed starter pots from toilet paper rolls

Gardening Clan shows you how to repurpose toilet paper rolls into seed starting pots

how to plant seeds in eggshells

Apartment Therapy explains how to plant seeds in eggshells.

DIY paper pulp seed cups

365 Days of DIY shows you how to make these paper pulp seed cups.

coffee filter seed trays

Here’s a coffee filter seed tray from Instructables that you could try for starting seeds.

start seeds in an egg carton

You could use an egg carton to start your seeds. See how at Spoonful

make seed starting tray from an ice cube tray

Mr. Brown Thumb shows you how to repurpose an ice cub tray for starting seeds.

You can basically use any container as long as it has some drainage.  Yogurt containers, Styrofoam cups, cans, margarine tubs, dixie cups, muffin tins, avocado shells just to name a few. Whatever you use be sure it has been sanitized and use sterile potting soil. You can make your own sterile potting soil if you don’t want to buy any.

Beat those winter blahs by starting some seeds!

Atlanta Snow Jam 2014

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the mess caused by poor planning and snow in Atlanta! Hopefully it’ll soon all just be a bad memory for those poor people that have been stuck on the highway since yesterday afternoon and the kids that had to sleep in their schools last night!

angel statue Atlanta Snow Jam 2014

 Fortunately I had cancelled my doctor’s appointment and stayed home yesterday.  Otherwise I would have had quite the time trying to get home!

red barn in snow

 

I’m sure all the Atlanta bloggers are showing their snow photos and those of you that have been snowed in for days and weeks  are probably like who cares :)

concrete chicken in snow

I totally understand…but getting this much snow here is just amazing! Even though I’m from Up North and moved to The South to get away from snow, I forget how pretty it is when it’s fresh and clean!

red barn in winter

We will be staying cozy inside and working on our latch hook kits and watching movies today.

snow angel

It might all be gone by tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

 

10 Homemade Birdseed Feeders

Did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month?  Did you know that bird feeding/watching  is the second most popular hobby behind gardening? Did you know that feeding birds in winter is critical since berries and other natural sources of food are scarce?  Here are some ideas for homemade birdseed feeders that are probably messy but fun for the whole family to make!

10 easy to make birdseed feeders

It’s important to provide birds with food in winter because they burn more calories in winter just to stay warm. Feeding birds now also  gives them the extra  energy they need to survive this particularly cold winter, to migrate and set up their spring nests!

how to make a birdseed wreath {roundup of birdseed feeders}

Birdseed Wreath by Sewlicious Home Decor

DIY pine cone bird feeder {10 easy homemade birdseed feeders}

Pinecone bird feeder with Wheat Chex cereal from My Blessed Life

DIY peanut butter bird treats {10 easy homemade birdseed feeders}

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Bird Treats at Pint Sized Treasures by Daisy Cottage Designs

coconut fat bird seed feeders

Coconut fat bird seed feeders from Lila A Designs

pumpkin filled with bird seed (10 easy homemade birdseed feeders)

Pumpkin filled with bird seed by Dreamy Whites

diy bird seed feeders

DIY bird seed feeder by Under the Sycamore

how to make a birdseed and cranberry wreath (roundup of birdseed feeders)

Bird seed bundt pan wreath at Martha Stewart

toilet paper roll covered with peanut butter  and bird seed

Toilet paper roll bird feeder by Go Grow Go!

bird seed cookies from Midwest Living (roundup of easy homemade birdseed feeders)

Winter Bird Seed Cookies at  Midwest Living

bird seed feeder tree {10 Homemade Birdseed Feeders}

Bird seed tree  at Lowe’s Creative Ideas. Isn’t that pretty! The squirrels in my yard would be all over that!

Be sure to place your bird feeders somewhere that provides natural cover where birds can hide if necessary, but doesn’t also offer a place for cats or other predators to hide.

DIY Saturday: Rooting Rose Cuttings

Did you know you could propagate roses? I found this technique for rooting cuttings that seems so easy I want to give it a try.  What a frugal way to have a beautiful garden! Growing roses from cuttings.

DIY Saturday: Rooting rose cuttings

Try to take your cuttings in the mornings and from what I’ve read, florist roses are not good candidates for this process (but who knows,  you might get lucky).  You can root roses over the winter or anytime during the growing season depending on your climate.

F.Y.I.  If a plant is patented or trademark (such as Knockout Roses) then you can’t legally reproduce them via cuttings.

DIY Rose Propagation

Materials:

  1. A plastic half-gallon jug
  2. A 2-liter soda bottle
  3. A sharp knife
  4. Rooting hormone
  5. Pruners

Directions:

Directions with photos can be found at Hartwood Roses

 

The Last Summer Harvest

It’s time to put in the fall vegetable garden (which I’ll show you next week). So I pulled out most of the summer veggies. I still have sweet potatoes in the ground but that’s how I’m going to store them and I have peanuts to harvest. I also left one red bell pepper plant because it has lots of buds so I’m hoping to squeeze out a few more peppers since they’re so expensive in the grocery store.

A Cultivated Nest vegetable harvest 2013

This is what I picked today. We are definitely having eggplant parmesan next week!

homegrown eggplants, bell peppers, shallots

There’s eggplant, bell peppers, sweet cherry peppers and some shallots.

I left some shallots in the ground because you normally plant shallots in late autumn here in Georgia anyway. They should be fine unless it’s  a really wet (they’ll rot) or particularly cold winter.  So I’ll dig them up as I need them or depending on the weather.

zinnias

I was sorry to have to pull most of the zinnias. I’ve really enjoyed them so much this year!

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What I’ve Harvested From My Vegetable Garden

First let me say that this summer’s vegetable garden struggled! We had waaay too many days of rain and when it wasn’t raining it was really really hot (and now there’s no rain). So this was my worst tomato year but my best cucumber year! As most of you know,  I use raised beds in my vegetable garden.

raised bed vegetable gardening

Anyway, it’s almost down right cold today (50′s is cold here :) ) and I’m getting ready to clear some beds for some fall veggies. I thought I’d show you what I harvested so far.

popcorn cobs

Popcorn! Those cobs are popcorn! This is my first year growing popcorn so I wasn’t too sure when to harvest them but I looked online and I think I timed it right. They now have to dry for a few weeks to be ready to pop. I’ll be sure to take a photo when we pop some to show you what size they pop. Aren’t they pretty? I could use them in my fall decorating as well!

homegrown sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes!  I still have almost a full raised bed to harvest.  I should have known better than to use a pitch fork and I of course speared that really big one.  We eat sweet potatoes at least once a week (which is why I grew them this year). I tried growing some blue potatoes  in a container and all I got was 2 blue potatoes! I’m going to stop growing potatoes in containers. I never have good luck with them (I think it’s too hot here and the containers heat up too much).

peanuts growing in a raised bed

Peanuts! Now I’m not sure how to harvest these. Some people say wait for the green part to die back and other’s say dig some up and see if they look like mature peanuts. So I decided to test a small area. They look like peanuts but I think they could go another few weeks so I won’t be digging up anymore right now.

eggplant growing in a raised bed

Eggplants! Well I decided to leave them on the vine for a few more days. But I’ve got 5 that’ll be ready to be picked then. I have a great recipe for low carb lasagna that uses eggplant and zucchini instead of pasta – that’s on my meal plan for next week!

bell peppers growing in a raised bed

I also have tons of peppers of all kinds and sizes that will be ready soon! Hopefully it won’t get too cool at night too soon and they’ll have a chance to mature.

flowers in the vegetable garden

The zinnias in my vegetable garden are starting to fade but I have these fuzzy purple flowers  (I forget what they’re called). They’re really invasive. I’ve been pulling them out for 10 years but I like to keep a few because they provide some late summer color in the garden.

mums planted in the ground

Also, a few posts back I mentioned that I plant my mums and they come back every year. A few people said they aren’t able to do that in their area. I just wanted to show one of the mums I planted last fall. I think they look better in the garden the next year than they do in pots!

Fall is in the air! I hope the weather isn’t faking me out. It can be like that in Georgia! :)

 

DIY Pallet Art In My Garden & Garden Photos

We had a little part of a pallet leftover from when my husband made my potting bench, so I made a quick art project out of it for my vegetable garden.

diy pallet garden sign

I just painted it with 3 different colors and then I wrote “I Dig Gardening” on it. I have a tin rooster that usually hangs on my fence and I put that on my pallet garden sign for the time being.

pallet upcycled into garden art

It looks pretty cute on the fence and will give me something to look at in the fall and winter when the garden isn’t so lush.

fence decoration

Here are a few other things decorating my fence in the vegetable garden.

Welcome to the farm garden sign
I’ve had the “Welcome To The Farm” sign forever!

iron planter on fence

The iron planter I use as a catch all. I usually have a spade,  trowel and my garden twine sitting in there, as well as a spray bottle that I use to fertilize my veggies (I spray them with seaweed emulsion) and other little odds and ends.

zinnias-mixed-with-morning-glories

One side of my picket fence (that goes around my vegetable garden on two sides) is covered in blue morning glories mixed with mostly pink and white zinnias. The bees and butterfly’s are all over those flowers!

birdhouse covered in morning glories and zinnias

This is an old birdhouse I  put on top of a fence post at the beginning of the summer that’s now covered in a volunteer cherry tomato, morning glories and zinnias.

corn stalks and zinnias

I grew a small patch of popcorn this year and it’s ready to harvest!

basil, swisschard & marigolds in a raised bed

This bed has some swiss chard, basil and marigolds in it.

peanuts growing in a raised bed

I also grew peanuts this year. They’re in the bed with the cat statue.  I’m not quite sure when to harvest them. Some people say wait for the foliage to die back and other’s say dig up a small area and if you’ve got peanuts…you’ve got peanuts!

decorated privacy fence

I’ve taken a lot of garden photos in the past few days because the weather here has just been gorgeous and everything looks so beautiful right now, which I’ll share with you another day.

But here’s one last photo!

barn from the garden

The barn looking out from the vegetable garden.

Garden Inspiration from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

We’re visiting local attractions this summer since we aren’t going on vacation. One place we visited in June was the  Atlanta Botanical Garden. We hadn’t been there in several years so I was anxious to see what was new.  They are hosting an exhibit from the International Mosiaculture Of Montreal through October. You gotta go see it before it’s gone if you live in the area. It’s truly amazing.

Atlanta botanical garden

These are huge sculptures made from thousands of plants  that are planted  into wire frames filled with dirt and moss.

Montreal Mosiaculture sculpture

Doesn’t this look like a shaggy dog! It’s all grasses!

botanical garden horse sculpture

Anyway, that’s just sampling of what they have in this exhibit!

The other reason I wanted to go is because they have an edible garden and I wanted see if they were growing anything unusual.

growing Carolina gold rice

The rice was just beginning to pop up. I had no idea I could grow rice. With grains it’s not necessarily the growing that’s hard – it’s the processing! Carolina Gold Rice is considered the grandfather of long grain rice in America.

espalier trees

I thought it was interesting that they also grew zinnias in between their rows of vegetables. Along the back are some espalier trees.

camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis – homegrown tea!

amaranth

That red plant on the left is Amaranth which supposedly does really well in our hot humid weather. You can eat the young leaves like spinach.

hydrangeas at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The hydrangeas were just amazing! So gorgeous and underplanted every where.

red daylilly border

It was also interesting to see how they combined plants.

Fountain at Atlanta Botanical Garden

We’ll be going back in the spring to see the azaleas which everyone tells me are just out of this world!

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