April 24, 2014

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.


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!


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!

My DIY Salvaged Wood Potting Bench

I’ve been wanting to show you the fabulous potting bench that my husband made for me. But I really had to wait for a time when I wasn’t using it so I could have it cleaned up for photos.

salvaged wood potting bench

He made it almost entirely from fence boards we had left over from when we built the fence along the back of our property, old windows we’ve been keeping for various projects, a couple of pallets we picked up, and odds and ends of scrap lumber from other projects.

pallet and fencing slat potting bench

It’s huge and heavy! I love it because it gives me so much space for planting and I also use it for a lot of painting projects.

potting bench with sink

It has a sink so I can wash the veggies from garden or rinse off flowers before I bring them inside.

potting bench

It’s got outdoor electrical access for when I need to plug in a tool for a project or for when we plug in the blender to chop up stuff for the compost (it’s in the blue bin on the bottom shelf).

hose and rain barrel near potting bench

It’s by the hose and one of our rain barrels for when I need water.

reclaiming water under sink with a bucket

There’s a bucket under the sink that catches all the water I use (also when it rains) so I can re-use it in the garden.

potting bench by the back door

It’s located right outside my backdoor.  So I have easy access to all my seeds, small planting tools, paints and brushes.

poinsettia in August

Does anyone else still have their Christmas poinsettia?

A Cultivated Nest pallet and salvaged wood potting bench

This potting bench is so much better than the little one I used to have which you can see here.  It didn’t last long! This one will last forever!

mod podge transfer method on galvanized bucket

Because I know people will ask, I put the transfer on the old galvanized bucket using the mod podge transfer technique. You can purchase the graphic (and lots of others) from my Daughter’s etsy shop Digital Download Shop.


Big Fat Blossoms – My Limelight Hydrangea

I am so amazed by the big fat cone shaped blossoms on my Limelight Hydrangea that I just had to share!

limelight hydrangea bloom

Isn’t that bloom huge!! I  planted this hydrangea  just last April and the growth has just been astounding!

barn before planting hydrangea The plant in the pot is the Limelight Hydrangea.

limelight hydrangea flower border

This is what that area looks like today. You saw the other side of the barn – the seating area here. I think I’m going to plant another Limelight here this fall. I’ll try propagating it. Won’t a border of Limelights be pretty next year!

ornamental grass & hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata  ‘Limelight’ has soft lime green petals that mature into pink in the fall. It grows 8-10 feet tall and can be trained into a tree shape! Limelights bloom on new wood, so you should prune them late in the fall, winter or early in the spring. They’re hardy to Zone 3/4.  They do seem to be a bit floppy!

limelight hydrangea

I think they’d be a pretty addition to any garden. They are really spectacular when in bloom!

******Are you looking for Cozy Little House and Creative Cain Cabin blogs?

They’ve both moved. Brenda back to blogger and Dawn to WordPress.

You can find Brenda (Cozy Little House) here

You can find Dawn (Creative Cain Cabin)  here

Did A Little Barn Decorating!

Last year I painted my barn red (and I’m so glad I did since I just love it). You can see the before and after here. This year we added a little bit of seating and a few decorations.  Have a look!

decorating a red barn

Summer is over in the South (if you believe the stores)! You can hardly find any summer anything! It’s all back to school and fall. What’s left of summer is on clearance. At least that’s a good thing!

windowbox on red barn

I already had the window box on the barn.  I picked up some tin decor on clearance at Hobby Lobby that I put next to it. My Hobby Lobby has Christmas all set up! Isn’t that so crazy!

red barn

Home Depot did have some cushions left on clearance so that’s where I got these two.  We got the white foldable bench at Ikea in May. That area slopes so the bench is on the flat part which is why it’s at the end.


I had to put some wire fencing around the bottom of the barn because one day we couldn’t find him…

fencing at the bottom of the barn

…we heard him barking and looked all over for him…he had dug himself under the barn and couldn’t get out!  Can you imagine the drama of trying to get him out! He’s always trying to find a way back under there! Fortunate for him, he’s really cute and loves lots of snugglin’!

red barn with an attached arbor

We have a lovely view of the yard from under the arbor! There are lights on the arbor which are so pretty at night.

bird at a birdfeeder

We have a great view of these bird feeders from that bench and love watching all the different birds that come to feed. And the squirrels that try to climb the feeder and slip down (we coat it with vaseline). I really want to make a bird bath for this area. I love watching the birds splash around!

barn arbor crepe myrtles

I did plant some jasmine behind that sunflower at the first post. But it’s going to take a while for it to grow up and cover the arbor.

red white & blue outdoor pillows

So that’s the barn decorating I’ve done so far on this side!  I’ll add some more plants when it gets cooler and other things as I find them!

Have a great weekend!

Photos Of My Vegetable Garden – July

We actually had one day with no rain recently, so I ran outside to do some weeding in my vegetable garden and snapped some pics for you all.  First we had excessive heat then we had days and days  and days of rain.  So I’ve had a few casualties! But the garden still manages to look pretty good.  Come in for a  little garden tour!

garden gate and arbor

This year I’m growing some interesting things like peanuts!

peanut plants in a raised bed

These are my peanuts! This bed also  had my mini pumpkins and zucchini.  Too much rain and humidity equals powdery mildew and once you have weak plants they are susceptible to pests. So I had to pull out the zucchini and pumpkin plants  but  I’ve replanted them.


My lovely bed of zinnias! Actually they are all over the garden and the bees, butterflies and goldfinches just love them.

popcorn growing in a raised bed

I’m growing popcorn this year! I always try to grow a little square of corn. More for the corn stalks which I like to use in decorating for the fall. The corn is good too. But I usually have to battle the squirrels for the corn. I’m sure you can guess who the winner of that battle is!

cucumber in a raised bed

I’m getting lots and lots of cucumbers! They seem to love the rain. If  I don’t get out to pick them every day they get big like this! We’re not big pickle eaters so I’m not sure what to do with all these cucumbers. We’ve been putting them in our morning smoothies.

lemon cucumber

This is a lemon cucumber.

cucumbers growing up an arbor between two raised beds

It’s growing up the arbor that I have in between two raised beds.


I have some eggplant ready to pick.

sweet potatoes planted in a raised bed

Hopefully this wild looking bed is full of sweet potatoes! We eat sweet potatoes at least once a week so I’m hoping for a good harvest!

garden shed

I have lots more growing but I’ll save those photos  for another day so this post won’t be too long.


Thanks for stopping by for my veggie garden tour!

Strolling Through The Garden

It’s been a while since I’ve taken you for a stroll through my garden. I thought you all might like to see how it’s looking this month.

daisies next to a mirror in the garden

We’ve had lots and lots of rain! So everything is growing very nicely.

arbor between two raised beds with cucumbers growing up it

My veggie garden is looking very lush since we’ve had so much rain. The cucumbers are loving it but the pumpkins and zucchini not so much!

raised bed full of zinnias in a vegetable garden

My flower bed is so full of zinnias you can’t hardly see the other flowers in there!

Crepe Myrtles

The crepe myrtle are just popping with color. I love these trees so much! You can get a variety of color and the size is easy to control.

artichoke in bloom

This is what happens to an artichoke when you don’t pick it. Isn’t it pretty!

apples on a young apple tree

There are apples on one of my apple trees the others are too young.

grasses and leyland cypress border

The ornamental grasses I planted last year are doing really well thanks to all the rain.

bee on a zinnia

Hope you enjoyed the stroll with me!


My Hydrangeas Are So Blue & A Cute Little Garden Project

Yep, my hydrangeas are very blue this year except this one which is more purple.

A Cultivated Nest purple hydrangea plants

Isn’t it gorgeous! I was so lucky that it was here when we bought the house. It was the only hydrangea in the yard and it was planted under an Apricot with a Dogwood next to it (both trees we’ve removed).

purple hydrangea bloom

It gets the overflow from one of our rain barrels so it’s very happy where it is even thought it gets lots of sun now that there are no trees next to it.

blue hydrangea plant

This hydrangea is one that I propagated. I had planted it under a Dogwood which died last year. So far it seems to like being by itself :)

hydrangea next to a rose bush

We’ve had a pretty wet summer so far and since hydrangeas are water hogs, they are loving all this rain!

hydrangea border

I also wanted to show you this quick project I did for my little Gnome Garden. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know that I like Gnomes! So I made my Gnomes a mushroom for their little area.

Gnome Garden

I had everything to make it so it was free! It’s just made out of the a clay pot and saucer. The pot is painted white and then you just set the saucer (painted red with white dots) on top.  I sprayed the top with sealer.

clay pot painted like a mushroom

Easy peasy! You can make them any size – it all depends on the size pot and saucer you use.

All my gardens are in full swing so I’ll have more photos next week of the vegetable garden and other blooms.

Have a great weekend!

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DIY Saturday: Upcycled Plastic Planter Into A Birdhouse

As I was cleaning up outside the other day, I was about to throw out a few of those plastic pots that plants come in from the garden center. Then I remembered I had pinned a birdhouse made out of those black plastic pots! So I set aside a few of those pots to try this project. Here’s a super cute way to upcycle those black plastic garden pots from Blue Roof Cabin

upcycle a black plastic planter pot into a birdhouse

Won’t the roof of the birdhouse be cute when it’s covered in succulents!

Make a Plastic Planter Pot Into A Birdhouse


  • plastic garden pot
  • drill bit to start the holes for the saw
  • saw to make the openings for the birds
  • coco liner basket
  • plastic tray
  • wood post
  • succulents


See the tutorial for making this cute planter into birdhouse at Blue Roof Cabin 

If you want this to be more decorative than actually a habitat for birds, you could skip a lot of the steps and put some chicken wire over the holes.

Veggie Garden Part 2- Video Tour

Here’s the second half of my vegetable garden.

raised bed vegetable garden

Here’s a little video tour I did with my iPhone. I haven’t figured out how to edit it or resize. :)

Manuela’s Vegetable Garden  Video Tour

I uploaded it to YouTube and it won’t give me the link to embed it (probably because the size is wrong) so just click on that link to go to YouTube.  I thought you all might find it fun and as soon as I figure out how to edit the videos – I’ll probably be doing more of them for certain things.

popcorn plants

I have a couple of new raised beds that are little wider and taller than what was there and I’m growing a couple of things I haven’t grown before. This is popcorn. I’ve grown corn before but I thought it would be fun to grow popcorn. The other plant is cucumber

peanuts pumpkins & squash in a raised bed

Another thing I’ve never grown before are peanuts! They’re in the center of this bed with squash  and mini pumpkins.

A few details:


The blueberries are starting to ripen!

patio in vegetable garden

My garden seating area that my daughter and I made

vegetable garden tour

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Linking to: Sunny Simply Monday

My 2013 Vegetable Garden Part 1

I’m going to share my 2013 vegetable garden in two parts this week. Today I’ll show you 3 of the  8 raised beds and what I have planted along the back fence line.  I think it’ll be easier to see everything if I do two posts otherwise it’ll be one really, really long post!

a cultivated nest raised bed vegetable garden

My 2013 Vegetable Garden

This is raised bed #1 below. I generally try to companion plant my raised beds and I plant intensively and always include some flowers  to aid pollination. If you don’t know what companion planting is, I wrote an intro to companion planting here.

raised bed planted with sweet potatoes and eggplant

This bed has sweet potatoes (which I’ve never grown before)  & eggplant. There’s borage planted for pollination which hasn’t flowered yet as well as a few nasturtiums and marigolds for pest control (I don’t think they really work but I always add them – can’t hurt and they’re a bright spot in the garden when they get larger).

sweet potatoes growing in a raised bed

As you can see, I decided to make some paint stick plant markers!

eggplant growing in a raised bed

It was one of the plant marker ideas I featured in my 11 Creative Plant Marker Ideas post . They’re really easy to make but I don’t think they’ll last more than one season here in Georgia (but they’re free so I don’t feel too bad)!

Raised Bed #2

companion planted raised vegetable bed

This is the first bed I planted at the beginning of the summer. It has lemon cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, swisschard, a few carrots, lettuce (testing growing lettuce inbetween tall veggies to see if I can keep them cool enough not to bolt) borage, marigolds.

lemon cucumber growing up an arbor

I’m training the lemon cucumber up this arbor that I have inbetween two beds.

tomatoes companion planted with peppers

Next to the lemon cucumbers is a Mortgage Lifter tomato and two peppers, swiss chard and marigolds.

tomatoes & pepper companion planted

In the same bed are more tomatoes and peppers, a few carrots, borage, marigolds and red leaf lettuce.

Raised Bed #3

tomatoes planted with basil and lettuce

This bed has cherry tomatoes , basil,  nasturtiums and lettuce right now. But my lettuce is bolting so I’m going to be pulling it out and planting green beans.

Tired yet? :)  Along the back fence wall I have flowers,  1 of 2 grapes,

grapes growing along a back fence

blackberries (creeping in from the other side of the fence),


Nanking Cherries (bush cherry which can be grown as an ornamental and the fruit is edible),

nanking cherry bushes

a rhubarb I planted this year that I’m trying to baby (I’ve never been able to grow it for more than one year). I planted it close to the Nanking Cherries so that it would get some protection from the sun.


and on the other side of the picket fence I have more blueberries and these huge elderberries! Elderberry bushes are beautiful as an ornamental in your yard but the flowers and fruit are edible as well (the berries need to be cooked).

elderberry bushes

You can make Elderberry wine, syrup, cordials, deep fried elderberry flowers, it even has medicinal uses – you can do a ton of things with Elderberries!


I think it’s so important to add shrubs to your landscape that do more than just look beautiful!

Well that’s  some of my vegetable garden,  I’ll show the rest on Friday and in a few weeks I’l update you about the little orchard I planted last year.

I think I need a few chickens don’t you? ;)

See the video tour of my vegetable garden  here


11 Creative Plant Marker Ideas

I know what everything is in my vegetable garden. But if I send someone else in there they would have no idea if there weren’t some plant markers! Especially things that look similar like cilantro, parsley and carrot tops! I know my husband would come back with a fist full of  carrot tops thinking he’d cut some parsley! So I need to make a few more plant markers.

11 creative ideas for making plant markers

I’ve collected 11 inexpensive and creative DIY ideas for plant markers to share with you since I was looking for inspiration!

diy garden plant markers

A few years ago I made some of these stamped vintage silverware plant markers. They’re great because you make them once and they last forever! I got my stamps from Harbor Freight on line. These are made by Shrimp Salad Circus. Visit her for the tutorial

paintstick garden markers

I love these colorful paint stick plant markers! See the tutorial at Katy Harper

clothespin plant marker

These clothespin plant markers would be very inexpensive to do. source: Glue and Glitter

wooden spoorn herb marker

Aren’t these wooden spoon plant markers a neat idea. Visit  Craftberry Bush for her source of wooden spoons and how to make them.

hand painted stone garden markers

These garden stones are bright and colorful and will last a while. Visit Chickettes for the how to.

wine cork plant marker

I don’t have any wine corks but if you do you can use them to make these wine cork garden markers from Shine Your Light

aluminum tape plant markers

How about these made from aluminum duct tape plant. Visit Aunt Peaches to find out how to make these markers.

broken clay pot plant markers

These broken pot plant markers are from Hardly Housewives. Mmmm….I’d have to purposely break some pots….

clay pot on a bamboo stick plant marker

You can get the really teeny clay pots at Michael’s/Hobby Lobby.  source Tidy Brown Wren

twig plant markers

These twig plant markers would be super easy to do!  Visit Martha Stewart for instructions.

rustic french plant markers

Love these rustic french garden markers. Visit  Studio G for tutorial.

How do you label your plants?

Easy DIY Teacup Birdfeeder

I started making a little cottage style garden along one side of my barn last year. You can see the before in this post. I had made a teacup birdfeeder before and thought another one would be the perfect addition for my new little garden area. This is my super easy way to make a teacup birdfeeder.

Easy DIY Teacup Birdfeeder

Materials Needed:

materials needed for diy teacup birdfeeder

All you need is a teacup and saucer (I got these free from a neighbor’s garage sale since they didn’t sell),  a 1/2 inch piece of copper pipe, a 1/2 in. copper cap that will sit on top of the pipe, some strong waterproof glue.  I used E6000 but I’ve read that some people have used hot glue successfully. I guess it would depend on your climate.


directions for diy teacup birdfeeder

1. Glue your saucer onto your cup

2. Glue your copper cap onto the saucer (with the opening up)and let that sit for several hours to dry.

3. Slip the whole thing onto your copper pipe and you are  done!

teacup birdfeeder

Your pipe can already by in the ground at the height that you want it just to make it quicker since all you have to do is slip the teacup birdfeeder on.

example of new and old copper pipe for birdfeeder

I wanted to show you how beautifully the copper ages. The cap is new copper and the pipe is from the other teacup birdfeeder I made which is a few years old. The other good thing about making one this way is you that you can easily take the teacup part off  if you need to move your pipe and also to dump the water that will collect when it rains.

diy teacupbirdfeeder

I don’t ever really use them as birdfeeders (I know other people do).  I just use them as decoration in my garden.

easy to make teacup birdfeeder

Let me know if you try it!


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