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Quick test: is it a weed or a plant? If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
Tackle this fun DIY project this weekend! Great for kids.
For some reason, I feel like I’m a mosquito magnet. If I go outside in the spring/summer for more than an hour, chances are I’ll come away with 20+ mosquito bites. It drives me crazy! It doesn’t help that I almost always forget to wear mosquito repellent. But, did you know that certain plants repel mosquitoes? If you want a natural way to get rid of those pesky bugs, check out this post by Plant Care Today:
I love making my own soap! I enjoy the creative process of combining oils, fragrances, colors, and other additives to make my own signature bars. It’s a little bit science and a little bit art, and it’s super fun. Something I’ve been playing with lately is adding my own ingredients. I’ve tried cocoa, almonds, and flax seeds. I recently planted a lavender seedling in my yard, and thought it would be a great additive as well! If you need dried lavender for soap, a recipe, aromatherapy, or just for decoration, check out these tips by Plants and Oils at Hubpages:
-You should pick your lavender when it is just fully-opened, smelling fragrant, but not at all going over
-Cut your lavender carefully, avoiding crushing the flowers.
-Group about half a dozen lavender stalks together, and tie the bunch firmly with string.
-It’s important that the stalks and flowers are in a dark, warm, and dry place, so that they do not get mould or rot before they dry properly. It takes about a month.
This is amazing! Can’t wait to try this with garlic and basil.
Yesterday, a few friends and I got together to make our own fairy gardens. I’ve been seeing them for a while on Pinterest now and had always wanted to try them! If you haven’t seen them before, they are basically miniature container gardens that include tiny pieces of furniture and other trinkets. Basically, creating a space in your yard for “fairies” to come visit It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to start- all you need is a container, some soil, a few small plants, and some trinkets (broken jewelry, small toys, etc. that you can find laying around your house). Plus, kids will also love creating them! If you want to make your own, here are some tips that I learned yesterday:
-Keep a theme in mind: The most important thing to remember is theme. Select a theme and don’t deviate! Your garden should tell a story. Are you creating a hobbit hole? A mermaid oasis? A woodland cottage?A flower garden? Pick what inspires you.
-Remember scale: Don’t use huge, towering plants if your fairy home is only 4 inches tall.
-Plan ahead: get plants that have similar needs. If your garden is going to be indoors, choose plants that thrive in the shade. If you have a gray thumb like me, here’s a tip: succulents are almost un-killable.
-Get creative! Look for every day objects that can be repurposed. A painted thumbtack could easily become a mini toadstool. You can create fairy homes out of old milk cartons, bark, and pinecones. My friend created a little fairy-sized hammock out of a scrap of tulle and two twigs. Keep your mind open!
-Moss, moss, moss. Put moss everywhere that there aren’t decorations or other plants. It will keep your garden from looking patchy and sparse.
-When choosing a container, look for surface space rather than depth. This will give you more room to create your scene.
-Remember that you won’t finish in one day. You will most likely always be expanding your garden, and finding new things to add.
Special thanks to Katie Clark for helping me make mine and teaching me these tips!
My friends’ gardens:
I absolutely adore window boxes, and wish they would come back in style. I think they give homes a fairytale, cottage-like feel, and I would put one under every one of my windows if my family would let me. Plus, they’re like mini container gardens, so they’re nice and compact and easy to maintain. If you are thinking of installing flower boxes of your own, check out this post by Kelly at the Lily Pad Cottage blog for some great tips on keeping them gorgeous:
- Plant different flowers all mixed in but still keeping in mind balance and symmetry.
-Water them every day that it doesn’t rain!
Really good advice for those of you getting out there and starting a garden this Spring!
Aphids are some of the most heinous garden pests out there. They can cause the destruction of giant trees, and even entire crops. Plus, they’re gross. No one likes bugs. At least, not when they’re crawling on your fresh-grown produce. If your plants are suffering from an influx of aphids, check out this post by Mike Lieberman at Urban Organic Gardener for some natural solutions:
-Keep your container garden ant free. Ants will shuttle aphids around.
-Make a homemade spray. Boil up some water with onions, garlic and cayenne pepper. Let it steep for a bit, then spray down the aphids and undersides of leaves.
ShakYardGot a green thumb? Let's dish dirt.
Antique and modern Oriental furniture from Greentea Design.
Solid wood computer cabinets and other home office furniture