Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hi everyone... Please bear with me. All three of my computers have been hit by a virus and are down. I will try to post as soon as earthly possible. Hope everyone is enjoying Spring! Will have lots of great tips coming up!! Garden Girl :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Are you Feeling Artistic? Creative Challenge

I recently signed up for a creative challenge from Mary, from This challenge originated at Created 2B Creative, and part of the challenge is to continue it forward. Here's how it works.
  • I will create something (I don't know what yet!) for the first three people who say (in the comments below) they would like to participate.
  • If you say you would like to participate, you must issue the challenge somewhere (on your own blog, on facebook or twitter -- wherever you want) and personally make something in 2012 (don't wait too long and then forget - I actually would suggest you do it in the next month) for at least three people, who will pledge to make something for three more people . . .
This can be a photograph, something crafty, a small painting or drawing.....anything that uses your creativity.
  • If you're one of the first three respondents, send me your address in a private message (my email address is listed on my profile) so that I can mail you my creation. 
  • This should be a really fun project!

OK.. Who's with me??  ( And have fun!! )

Friday, March 16, 2012

Making Natural Planters from Fallen Logs

If you enjoy using natural elements in your garden or landscape, using fallen timber and tree stumps as planters can be an easy way to do just that. Logs or stumps with rotten centers are a bit easier to work with, but I have used solid logs as well. Using proper power or hand tools make it a fairly simple project. The steps are very simple. Simply hollow out your log or stump, fill with a good quality soil, compost mixture, plant your chosen selection and water. Beautiful, easy, and oh so natural.

Gardening Quick Tip - Hanging Herb or Veggie Garden with Shoe Organizer

This idea is so clever and inexpensive and such a great space saver. If you are confounded by vegetable digging cats or love to garden but don't have a lot of space, this project is for you. This design was contributed by Instructables member pippa5 from Somerset, England. This idea is perfect for apartment or condo dwellers to hang on a balcony or in a patio.

Materials Needed:

- Hanging pocket shop organizer
- Pole and attachments ( curtain pole or pipe fittings, screws)
- Strong metal saucepan or utensil hanging hooks
- Compost of good quality moisture holding type
- Variety of seeds or plants... you can use herbs or vegetables
- 2"x 2" piece of wood as long as the width of organizer to keep the pocket bases away from the wall
- Plastic trough to catch drips if needed

You may not be growing squash or corn in these re purposed planters, but from the looks of it, you should be able to get a pretty impressive herb garden growing!
For a step by step DIY, check out:  Happy gardening!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gardening Quick Tip: Keep a Garden Journal

Keeping a garden journal is the perfect way to keep track of all the little happenings that go on in your garden. Journaling allows you to record important information about your garden, such as where plants are located, the date you plant, pests you see, and which flowers and vegetables are faring better than others. Journals are a great place to include information tags, seed packets, order forms, and photos or drawings. You can make it as simple or detailed as you'd like. Some gardeners only record vital information, while others make it an artistic journey by sketching, using dried flowers, and writing down thoughts and prose. Whatever your style, this is your personal gardening journal so do what you enjoy. It's nice to be able to look back year after year and see the growth of your garden. And remember, having this kind of information will help you garden more successfully next year.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekly Finds: Spring fashion for your little bunny...

Dressing your little one for Spring is always
so much fun! Here are some of my fresh picks...

Spring Sundress CharmingNecessities    

Satin Hair Clip
Spring Overalls RockaByeBabes   

 Bunny Hat & Diaper Cover LittleBirdLucy

Princess Butterfly Crown filigreeflower   


Weekly Finds: Interior Design

I came across these really neat finds when searching for decorating ideas for Easter:

Ceramic Bunny Ragdoll722   
Linen Easter Baskets  ambersparkle88   

Egg Wreath botanicbotanic    
Bunny Smores LulusButtonBag    

Decorative Quail Eggs BirdinHandVTG    

The Votes are in! Readers Choice for Favorite Adoptable is...

Congratulations to Jeep! He is the readers choice for favorite adoptable!  He is still available for adoption. Thanks so much for voting! You can visit this beautiful boy at:

Simple Plan for Eastern Bluebird House

March is a great month to put out your Bluebird nest boxes. Eastern Bluebirds are a bit smaller than the Mountain and Western Bluebirds, so their house is slightly smaller. This is a really good, simple plan for an Eastern Bluebird house. These have always been one of my favorite birds to watch. They are a real asset in your garden!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Keep Kitties from Eating your Catnip Plants...Grow Green Tip

Do you love to grow fresh catnip in your garden, but have a tough time keeping neighborhood cats from eating your plants? Here's a quick tip that's simple and green. Re-purposing an old dish drainer like the one below, can make a "purrfect" catnip protector. Simply set the dish drainer upside down over your plantings to keep the cats from rolling on or pulling out this tasty tidbit. They can still enjoy rubbing against it or taking a nibble, without destroying  the plants. If you don't have one you can use, you can find one at a yard sale, or pick one up at Walmart. Either plastic or stainless will work. I often use a plastic one and use acrylic weatherproof spray paint to make it look more natural. My favorite color combination is aged copper and verdi gris. This gives it that rustic look of patinaed  copper. Regardless of whether you decide to paint it, or go au naturale, the catnip will soon grow bushy enough to cover the container.  Remember, always recycle when you can, and good luck growing catnip both you and your kitty can enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

S is for Salamander Hunting...

2 Lined Salamander
Spotted Salamanders always seem to smile
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve being in the great outdoors in springtime. The springs here in the Midwest have always been some of the prettiest I have been privileged to experience. One thing that always signaled spring for me (other than spring peepers) was a call from my childhood friend, Greg, asking if I was ready to hunt for salamanders. Greg had this God given gift of truly understanding reptiles and amphibians and their interwoven relationship with the woodlands around them. A herp whisperer as it were. He always knew when and where they could be found. Being pretty much the tom boy, I was more at home in the woods and creeks than just about anywhere else. Needless to say, our friendship was a close one.
 Spring rain. That's what I waited for. That first warm, gentle, rainy, March night. That was the perfect time for frogs and salamanders of all shapes and sizes to cross those winding country roads, heading for creeks and ponds to breed and lay their eggs. Our game-plan was well thought out. We would carefully drive, trying not to run over anymore unsuspecting little travelers than earthly possible. Whenever we spotted  a large group on the road, the object was to swerve off to the side of the road, check quickly for traffic, and dart across the road grabbing as many frogs and salamanders as our hands would hold, and make it safely back to the car where we would place our newly collected little friends in mason jars, or empty cool whip containers. The next day always consisted of planting elaborate terrariums to serve as temporary homes until they were again released into the wild. It has been ages since I've gone on a spring salamander hunt, and my daughter has been begging to go for years.  So, I sit here this warm, overcast, almost March evening, and reminisce over springs gone by and adventures made, and wonder if my best friend, wherever he happens to be, is remembering too?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Backyard Chickens anyone?

My love for chickens must have started  around the age of 3, when my parents decided to homestead 2 acres of undeveloped land in the beautiful midwest countryside. I can remember hatching baby chicks and guineas and being utterly amazed that those tiny, peeping balls of fluff, actually emerged from the now crumbled pile of shells. As more and more people look for a sustainable lifestyle, going back to our country roots seems to make since. Keeping backyard chickens in an urban setting has become all the rage. There is a lot to be said for gathering your own fresh eggs. Nothing can compare to their healthy goodness.
Araucana eggs
There are many options available for housing your flock, and you can go as simple or as fancy as you'd like. Pod type houses with an attached chicken run are great choices if you are keeping only a few birds. If you have decided that you want to simulate the farm like atmosphere as much as possible and opt for a whole flock, then you can choose to go functional or elaborate.  If you're a bit of a handy girl or guy, there are many plans available on line that you can download and use. If you prefer to purchase a pre-manufactured abode for your feathered friends, they are also simple to locate. Choosing the varieties of chickens you wish to keep, can be an adventure. There are many varieties available in both standard and bantam (dwarf) types. If raising chickens for eggs is your primary motivation, you might choose
Polish and Frizzle Polish

breeds that are well known for egg production such as Araucanas, Rhode Island Reds, and White Leghorns. These are all tried and true layers. Good choices if you want good egg production and chickens with friendly personalities could include Sussex, Faverolle, Plymouth Rock, and Wyandotte. Many people choose to keep backyard chickens simply for the joy of watching these comical little creatures. If pretty plumage and unusual looks is what attracts you, you might try breeds like Frizzles, Silkies, Polish or Birchen Marans. Regardless of what path you decide to take on your road to backyard chicken keeping, It will surely be one that you'll enjoy. Be sure to check my links for many great chicken related sites!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pulmonaria, so Bright in Early Spring Gardens

'Raspberry Splash'
'Silver Bouquet'
'Apple Frost'
I love to explore my gardens in the early spring. Poking through the leaves and mulch, seeing my breath in the still crisp air. I look for any little sign that my garden is awakening. Each year, I am greeted with the vibrant pink and blue blossoms of my Pulmonaria, or lungwort. These little beauties are in bloom long before most leaves even begin to merge. I first became acquainted with these little jewels about 12 years ago when I did a perennial plant swap through an online group. I haven't looked back since. The common name lungwort, comes from the fact that the pretty spotted leaves are reminiscent of a diseased lung. Not a very pleasant comparison, I might add. Pulmonarias  are low growers that do well at the front of a border. They also make wonderful groundcover. Pulmonarias prefer rich, loamy soil that is a bit moist but not too wet. They are also well suited for rock gardens with rocky, dry conditions. They will be happy in full shade to several hours of sun, and are deer resistant, too. Good companion plantings include ferns, astilbe, bleeding heart, heucheras and hosta. Try them under japanese maples and azaleas for added pizzazz. I think you will find, as I have, that they are a very welcome addition to your garden. Hardy zones 3-9. Questions or comments? Feel free :)
'David Ward'

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vote for your Favorite Adoptable

Cast your vote for your favorite fur-baby in our Adoptable Pet Gallery. Go to Twitpics and click on your favorite.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is Coming up!


Want a fun activity to do with family and friends?  The great backyard bird count is right around the corner. The fun begins Friday February 17 through Monday February 20. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a four day event that engages bird watchers in counting birds to create a picture of where birds are across the country. All you have to do is tally the largest number of each species you see together at any given time. Reporting your counts is as easy as filling out an online checklist at the GBBC website.  To get your regional tally sheets click on the link below:  Anyone can follow the progress online. Why is this important? Your input helps determine many factors about our feathered friends such as declining numbers. So, get out your binoculars and pack a lunch. Grab your kids and enjoy the great outdoors with The Great Backyard Bird Count! Need Birding supplies? Check these out:   

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My top new perennial picks for 2012 are....

Agastache 'Blue Boa'
'Victorian Secret'
How many of you have been doing the same thing that I have? Pouring over all those seed and plant catalogs, excited to see all of the amazing new plant introductions? It's like a ritual every year. New catalogs trickle in all winter, with the promise of glorious new blossoms and foliage. My daughter and I immerse ourselves in  their pages, trying to decide which jewels will be new additions to our garden. How do you go about choosing? I will be featuring some of  2012's boldest and brightest newcomers.                

Agastache 'Blue Boa',  has luxurious deep blue flower  spikes held over deep green foliage. The spiked flowers are long, wide and extremely showy. This is a great perennial color spot for long summer blooms. Unlike any other. A favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies, this beauty is drought tolerant once established.                                                                         

Common name- Hummingbird Mint, Perennial, Zone 6-9, Upright Growth, W 16" H 32", Blooms June-September, Growth fast, Full Sun, Dry Moderately Between Watering, Is Deer Resistant and Fragrant. Truly a knockout. Use Coreopsis 'Moonbeam', Leucanthemum 'Victorian Secret', and Cistus 'Mickie' as companion plants. 
        Introducing Heuchera 'Paprika'. This is one spicy number with large, glowing cherry-coral foliage. No other perennial has so much tropical charm.
Heuchera 'Paprika'
The brightest orange Heuchera on the market  the color                                            
'Summer Love'
 changes from brilliant rose orange in the spring to orange in the summer with a white veil in the spring. Heucheras are some of the most versatile plants in the landscape. Ideal for planting in mass, or for accent or container plants.  
   Common name Alum Root, Perennial, Zone 4-9, Mounding Growth, W 16" H 12", Blooms- Spring, Growth- Fast, Full Sun to Full Shade, Moderately Well Drained Organic Soil, Drought Tolerant, Heat and Humidity Tolerant, Butterflies and Hummingbirds Love these Tubular Flowers. A Must for Any Garden. Consider planting these with Agastache 'Summer Love', Coreopsis 'Pineapple Pie', and Kniphofia 'Papaya Popsicle' for even more Hummers in your garden.