October 22, 2014

10 Amazing Flower Tower/Tipsy Pot Planter Ideas!

I think flower towers or tipsy pots are such a stunning way to add vertical interest to your garden, porch, or front entry. But not only that, they also are a great way to add a bit of whimsy! Here are 10 awesome ideas for making flower towers or tipsy pot planters.

10 amazing flower tower & tipsy pot ideas

10 Flower Tower or Tipsy Pot Planter Ideas

tiered flower pots from The Kim Six Fix (flower tower roundup)

I love this flower tower from The Kim Six Fix because she made the whole thing for under $10 and so cute!

galvanized tipsy tower (round up of flower towers)

This insanely amazing galvanized tipsy pot is from  Annie Steen at Flea Market Gardening

Flower tower by House by Hoff (flower tower roundup)

House by Hoff used terracotta pots that she painted to make this beauty.

colorful tipsy pots by Tiaras & Bowties (flower tower roundup)

I like how Tiaras & Bowties used these cute colorful pots for her tipsy tower

flower tower by  Simply Desiging

Simply Designing filled this pretty flower tower with pansies for spring but you could do the same with summer flowers.

Tipsy Tower by Daydreaming Bliss (roundup of flower towers)

Love the color of the pots in this tipsy tower by Daydreaming Bliss

address flower tower

You could put your house numbers on a pot like this one via Flickr or vinyl lettering!

succulent tower by Sow & Dipity (flower tower round up)

Love Sow & Dipity’s version using succulents!

Stacked planters by Home Jelly (flower tower round up)

Love, love, love these stacked planters from Home Jelly!

Galvanized tipsy pots by The Pink Hammer (flower tower round up)

This totally amazing galvanized tipsy pot planter is from The Pink Hammer.

So many great projects and they’re not hard to do!

My Tips For Growing Bigger Better Tomatoes

A perfectly ripe home grown tomato warmed by the sun is NOTHING like the ones you get in the grocery store (as most of you know that grow tomatoes)!  I planted some tomatoes recently and wanted to share with you a few tips that I hope will improve your chances for growing bigger & healthier tomatoes.

Tips for growing bigger healthier tomatoes

I think most gardeners have their own tricks and tips for growing certain things and you’re welcome to share yours in the comments.  Being a gardener means always learning something new!

Tips for growing bigger & better tomatoes

1. I remove the peat pot unless I see that the roots have already grown through the pot because I’ve dug up a few plants where those type of pots haven’t disintigrated. At the very least remove the rim of the pots (the part that sticks up past the soil line. If you don’t, the peat pots won’t retain water and they’ll dry out (drying up the roots of your plant).

tomato plant with peat pot removed

2. Plant deep!  Planting your tomatoes deep creates a stronger root system . There are two ways you can plant deep. One is to make a long trench and lay your tomato plant on it’s side (remove all the leaves that will be buried). Cover the tomato with soil only leaving  the very top  of the plant exposed.

3. The way I like to plant deep is to dig a deep hole and plant my tomato plant as you normally would just really deep (remove all the leaves that will be buried) so that the remaining leaves are above the ground but not touching the dirt. I actually tested both ways of planting deep a few years ago with the same variety of tomato and planting vertically worked better for me. The tomato I planted deep but vertically did much better than the one I planted on it’s side. But give both a try and see which one works best for you.

tomato stripped of lower leaves and planted deep

4. Give them a good start by putting a few crushed egg shells and some banana peel at the bottom of the hole.  Egg shells add calcium and are supposed to help prevent blossom end rot and banana peel is supposed to add potassium & help with overall plant vigor. (some people use powdered milk instead of egg shells but I’ve never tried that).

tomato planted with banana peel and egg shells

6. Prune the bottom leaves. It encourages growth and reduces diseases. Don’t let any leaves touch the dirt.

tomato planting tips

7. I fertilize my tomatoes with fish emulsion and seaweed feed every few weeks or so. Some people like to also use a few tablespoons of epsom salts and coffee grounds, but I haven’t tried that yet.

tomatoes companion planted with lettuce in a raised bed

8. I always plant my tomatoes with marigolds to prevent nematodes. I don’t know if it really works but I can say that I’ve never had a nematode problem and I like having flowers in the garden anyway.  As you can see, I’m not planting intensively like I usually do since the garden is more for show this year (our house will be on the market next month).

bowl of homegrown cherry tomatoes

Just remember that tomatoes are really sensitive to weather! No matter what you do you might run into problems if it rains too much or not enough, or it’s  too hot or you have sudden temperature fluctuations. Those things are just beyond your control.  But it does help if you have strong plants to begin with!

What are your planting tips?

Gardening 101 Series

Saturday In The Garden & Some Projects We’re Working On

Hi everyone!  I have lots of  lovely blooms in my garden right now and we’re working on a few different projects. So I have a few photos to share with you this weekend.  I’ll start with a a couple of things that are in bloom.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

A lot of my hydrangeas are in bloom! These are Endless Summer.

climbing roses on the front porch

All the roses are in bloom

orange asiatic lilies

These crazy orange asiatic lilies are huge!

Some projects were working on:

unpainted gingerbread screen door

We put in this gingerbread screen door last weekend. Isn’t it pretty! I’m painting it this weekend and the door behind it if the weather holds. I’m thinking I’ll paint the screen door the same color I painted my garden gate and I’ll  paint the door behind it and the other door in garage that leads to the downstairs white.  Actually – I really want to paint the door behind it and the other door in the garage yellow.  Wouldn’t that be pretty! That blue with yellow behind it.

Martha Stewart Robin's Egg blue walls

We had new windows put in the masterbedroom and bath 2 weeks ago so now I’m ready to paint those two rooms. The bedroom is Martha Stewart Robin’s Egg Blue and we’ve been advised by a few Realtor’s that it needs to be toned down. So I’m painting it a grey or greige.  The bathroom is yellow (what isn’t in this house :) ) and I’ll choose a really light grey for that one.

garden seating area to be

I took out my strawberry bed and my little garden shed fell over during a storm so I had this big empty space in the corner of the vegetable garden. So I decided to move things around a bit and I’m working on a little seating area under this crepe myrtle instead of the paver patio my daughter and I built a few years ago (that’s a potting area and my container garden now – more on that to come). The door is from my garden shed and I have a few cute ideas for that – gotta do something with that shutter – it’s been sitting in the garden for a few years now. The picnic table bench is getting a new coat of paint and a few other fun things will be happening in that corner.

I also planted my vegetable garden which I’ll post about another day.

So that’s kind of what’s been going on here plus we’re slowly decluttering. We’ve lived here over 10 years and you know I have a lot of stuff! I want to have less stuff! Actually what I want is to just have stuff I REALLY love. I was going to have a big garage sale but I just don’t have time, maybe before we actually have to move. I’ve been giving things away to friends, neighbors and the Goodwill instead.

I realized I can’t do everything and stay sane and healthy!

Have a great weekend!

DIY Saturday: How To Make A Garden In A Bag Of Soil

This is an amazing and simple way to set up a new garden bed or even to have a little garden if you don’t have much space.  Gardening in a bag of soil is not a new idea (I’ve seen people plant vegetables in a bag of dirt) but I’ve never seen it used in such large scale.  Gardening in a bag of topsoil makes setting up a new garden bed so quick and easy!

How to set up a new garden bed using bags of dirt #nodig_garden

I would definitely give this a try if I was setting up a new annual bed (at the very least the grass under the bags would be killed and the following season you could plant in the ground if you want). This is a great no-dig garden!

Supplies:

Bedding plants

Bags of topsoil or potting mix

Fertilizer

Mulch

Directions:

Go here  or here to see the full instructions of how to plant in a bag (one is the original tutorial and one is a follow up)

 

Have a great weekend!

Painted Bench Makeover For The Deck

About  17 years ago my husband and I were walking through Target and I saw a bench that was on clearance. This was my first ever clearance purchase at Target! I can still remember how excited I was that I found it because we had just purchased our first house and money was tight. But this was something I could afford, it had a little bit of storage and it was perfect for my entry way. The stars aligned that day!

Painted bench makeover - the after

Fast forward 3 years-we sold that house and purchased this house and I didn’t have anywhere to put my bench…so it sat on my back patio….for years and years… and years. But now I spruced up my bench with a little paint and put it on my newly stained deck  and it’s perfect! (I’m taking down my curtains in the screened porch to wash them and was too lazy to move the ladder out of the shot).

Painted Bench Makeover

My husband needs someplace to sit when he’s grilling and I used to have a little red bistro set on the deck for that purpose. But I thought this bench would be much more comfortable for him.

painted bench with storage

Plus the seat lifts up and it’s a perfect place to stash his grilling tools (and get them out of my kitchen)!

Black painted bench on deck - before and after makeover

I used some black exterior paint I already had to paint it.  I decided to go with black for a variety of reasons. The deck color is called cedar but when it’s wet it can look almost pumpkin? Sometimes it looks brown sometimes it looks more orange – depends on the light (my husband is not fond of it but I’m not re-doing it).  Black was a color that looked good with the deck color. Also, you see the deck from a big picture window in the kitchen and my floors are black and white and my counters are black. So it helps to tie the two spaces together.

white garden bench

Here’s the before. It originally was some type of blond wood and I painted it white when we moved to this house.

container herb garden with washi tape herb markers

Next to the bench (on the other side of the steps leading to the backyard) is my container herb garden that I showed you how I planted here.

fern potted in a black urn

This potted fern is going to go next to the door leading into the screened in porch.

The deck is done! Yay one project is completed. Only about 20 more left to go before we can list this house! :)

My Tips For Planting A One Pot Container Herb Garden

Growing your own herbs is a great way to save money at the grocery store.  I have a vegetable garden but I always have a planter of my most used cooking herbs on my deck for convenience (it’s right outside of my kitchen).  Growing herbs in containers is a great idea if you don’t have room for a garden – you can grow them on your deck (like me), a patio or a balcony.
6 Great tips for planting a container herb garden. This is a great idea for patios, decks, and balconies!

You could plant each herb in a separate pot but why not plant them in a one pot container herb garden.  Here are 6 tips to help you get started with planting your very own container garden!

1. Use transplants – you’ll be able to harvest sooner if you use seedlings from your garden center.  Some herbs are hard to grow from seed so transplants are a good way to start herb gardening especially if you’re a beginner.

Using transplants for a container herb garden

2. Use good potting soil that drains well not soil from your yard.

3.  Choose the right pot. If you’re planting several different herbs in one pot you need to give our plants some room to grow. So choose an appropriate pot size. Also, I know galvanized tubs are popular to plant in but they get hot and dry out quickly in my Zone (7b) so depending on where you are located, you may need to water them more frequently. Same thing with dark colored pots.

4. I use old soda cans & pine cones  to fill the bottom of my large pots. That way I don’t have to fill the entire pot with soil and the pot isn’t too heavy.  They’re easy to remove if at the end of the season you want to dump your dirt out.  You can also use packing peanuts. I find them horribly messy when you need to dump the soil from a pot  unless you contain them in a mesh bag or something first, so I don’t use them. Fill your pot with soil. Then get to planting!

rosemary planted in a container herb garden

5.  Grow what you like to use. Technically you should plant the herbs that like to dry out in between watering together (like rosemary and thyme) in one pot and the ones like parsley and chives that like constant moisture in another pot. But I’ve been planting  all my herbs together for years and never had a problem.

6. Herbs  need a good amount of sun – 6 hours or so.  If you live some place with very hot summers they may need to be shaded mid day. That’s why I put my large pots on casters so I can move them around as needed.

basil planted in a container garden

This pot has rosemary, lavender, sage, basil, curly leaf parsley & flat leaf parsley.  I have a raised bed in my vegetable garden where I grow more herbs but these are ones we use all the time for cooking.

Tips for Plant A Container Herb Garden

Here is the same pot a few weeks later!

container herb garden

The Washi Tape Herb Markers makers were easy to make!

DIY Washi Tape Herb Markers

You can use paint sticks  (I just happened to find a gardening gift set at Goodwill that had plant markers in it) and paint them the color of your choice. You’ll also need Washi Tape and a permanent marker.

DIY Washi Tape Herb Markers

I wrapped Washi Tape around the top (I chose black since my container is black), write the name of the the plant, wrap more Washi Tape under the plant name (seal if you like but I didn’t seal mine). That’s all!

growing lavender in a container

Remember, herbs like being pinched back so the more you pick the more you get!
Tips for planting a container herb garden

 

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