Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Flowers from the garden

We planted these lilies a few years back. They started as artisan lilies which were bright yellow and orange. I cross-pollenated with a larger pink day lily and this was the result!

After four years of growing and no blooms, we finally have a blooming prickly pear cactus! Beautiful flowers!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Zesty Grilled Squash and Zucchini

1 bottle of zesty Italian dressing
3 large squash
3 large zucchini

Wash the squash and zucchini, cut off edges, and cut long ways into long, thin slices. Place in a dish and top with zesty Italian dressing and let marinate few an hour. Place on grill the farthest place from flame and grill for about 10 minutes on each side.

Sauted Onion and Squash

This is one of my favorites during the summer!

4 medium yellow squash
1 small onion
3 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup of water

Wash and scrub the squash and cut off ends. Dice up squash and onion into small chunks. Heat butter in skillet on medium heat and add squash and onion and water. Cover and turn down heat to low. Stir occasionally and add a little bit of water if needed. Cook for 30 minutes or until squash in soft and fully cooked. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Drying Herbs in 5 Minutes

So, last summer I read on pinterest that it is possible to dry herbs (in small portions) in just five minutes. I'm happy to say I tried to and it IS possible! Who would have thought that it could be so simple.

Just line out a small portion of whichever herb you need dried on a paper towel and place in the microwave. Heat in 30 second intervals, checking on them each time, and arrange on the paper towel. It usually only takes a minute to a minute and a half to dry small batches. Once the herb is completely dried and crispy, it is ready to be stored!

It's really simple and works great for those climates that are extremely humid. I've tried this method with rosemary, basil, parsley, and mint and it has worked every time!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mosquito Control

Take back your patio by planting some mosquito repellant plants! These plants are sure to repel those pesky little bugs!! Place planter in middle of deck or sitting area and be mosquito free all summer long!!

Companion Planting 101

Grow a bigger crop with more produce than ever before by simply planting veggies with their "companion plants".

Growing produce from kitchen scraps.

Did you know that there are plenty of different veggies that will regrow from the scraps that you usually throw away? Simply place roots in a shallow dish of water and place in a window seal. Before you know it you will have new produce. It's just that simple!

Growing an avocado tree from a pit

This is a great activity to do with the kids! Chances are the tree will not produce avocados, but it is a great addition to any garden or patio garden. Tree will produce beautiful foliage!

Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

A great little guide to seasonal fruit and veggies.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Upcycling for the Garden

Upcycling in the Garden

Instead of throwing away old items lying around your house, why not try to upcycle them to create something for the garden. These are just a few of the great ideas I have run across on pinterest.


These awesome dragonflies are made out of old table legs and old ceiling fan blades. This is a pretty simple project that you could even add to by sanding and painting the old wood to brighten up the dragonfly. J


Another great idea is simply taking a large terra cotta pot and turning it upside down and glue a large flat terra cotta water dish on top. Presto!! Homemade birdbath! You can even paint it to spruce it up a bit!


This is a really cute idea! Just hang an old window frame from a tree and nail or tie a ledge the set some small potted plants! I love this idea!

Plates, platters, and bottle caps turned to yard art

All of these garden owls are a little different and each made out of different material but is really easy to make. Try using an old silver platter with a branch glued to the bottom. For the feet you can wrap a small piece of wire around the branch. You can even paint it orange to resemble feet more. For the eyes try different shaped bottle caps, canned veggie lids, and glass jar lids!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blossom Rot on Tomatoes

Happy Belated Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day, this year. It has unfortunately come and went once again and we must now wait another year to get that one day off to relax and be pampered and not feel the least bit guilty about not doing the dishes, laundry, dusting, and every single other thing that we do tirelessly day in and out.

I am happy to say that after Dylan’s 3 day stay in the hospital, after a horrible accident and an emergency surgery, he has back home where he belongs Saturday afternoon. That in itself was the most amazing Mother’s Day gift I could have possibly received. We had a great Barbecue with some great family Saturday night and then spent the day hanging out and relaxing at the house on Sunday. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Mother’s Day.

DIY Fabric Softener

2 cups of your favorite scented conditioner
3 cups of white vinegar
6 cups of hot water
1 container to mix all the ingredients and to hold the fabric softener   **Make sure that your container has a large enough opening to where you will be able to insert a spoon or straw to stir the container completely.**

 Mix together all the ingredients in the container with a long spoon or straw. It may take a few minutes of stirring to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Stir until the clumps of conditioner have dissolved completely. DO NOT SHAKE.

Use ¼ cup per load of laundry in washing machine. Don’t worry, your clothes WILL NOT smell like vinegar once they have been washed and dried. They will smell like the conditioner that you added to the mixture. J

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Plant Growing: Full Sun or Partial Shade

Fairy Garden

I've been addicted to Pinterest recently and have been trying out lots of new ideas that I've seen. Yesterday, I ran across an adorable fairy garden, complete with a tiny log cabin and lots of little nick knacks repurposed as fairy furniture. So, I pulled out my wood carving kit and started digging through my craft chest and found many little items to use.

I used little key charms from old necklaces, lots of glass beads, colored wire, and lots of other little junk that I've been collecting for no apparent reason. I strung up the little keys, tiny silver rings, and little colored bead resembling gems on some wire collected to two tiny pieces of dried bamboo I had laying around the yard to create some fairy treasure.

I then collected some sticks out of the yard all around the same size, as straight as possible and removed all the bark with a small wood carving knife. After I figured out the design I wanted to use (not very difficult, just a basic Lincoln log type house) and cut down all the twigs to the exact size, I then began constructing. Using hot glue and gluing only on the inside of the house to keep all the glue from showing I stacked all the logs and created an high arc type roof. Then hot glued some square colored beads for the windows, doors, and chimney.

I crunched up all the bark taken off the twigs and used it to create a path from one side of the flower box to the other then used flat white beads (buttons would work as well) as stepping stones on top of the bark path.

I found some colored beads in the shape of leaves and flowers so I used those with the wire to create tiny flowers lining the path as well. Small sticks stuck in the dirt would also make a very cute little fence to line the path or create a yard around the cabin.

On the opposite side of the flower box from the little cabin I made I campfire and sitting area complete with a mini fire! I simply half buried a tea light citronella candle and placed a bark path around the candle. I also made some little benches that I put around the fire..

I thought this was such a great idea and the possibilities for it are endless!!

Gardening Uses for Epsom Salt

By adding two tablespoon of Epsom salt to a gallon of water that you use for your garden, flowers, and grass, you will be adding a substantial amount of fertilizer to your plants. It's loaded with magnesium which stimulates new growth in plants, flowers, and even grass which in return will give you lusher, greener plants. The salt will encourage flowering plants to bloom more often, as well.

Epsom salt also works as an amazing pesticide for all those insects that go after the plants in your garden.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Raised vegetable garden beds

This is such a great use for those old pallets lying around. Simply line the bottoms and sides with newspaper and fill with top soil and compost. The slats keep weeds from growing and keeps other plants from getting out of control.

Pinned Image

Natural Weed Killer

1 gallon of white distilled vinegar

½ cup of salt

Good squeeze of dish soap

Mix together in spray bottle and shake. Spray on weeds on hot days for best results.