Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Friday, February 26, 2016

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue {hello spring}

As I sit here all cozy and warm in front of the fire, my mind has drifted far, far away. Thoughts of warmer days and gardens are dancing in my head. We've had a few warm days here and there and that was all it took, all it took to shift my mind to thoughts of spring.


Last weekend, my husband helped me with a little work in the flower gardens out front. This garden area has been an outright battle front for a couple of years now. It's us against the free ranging chickens, the verdict is still out y'all, but I think we're closing in on a successful plan of attack. Biggest problem, MULCH. The chickens scratch it, kick it and it flies too and fro. I've been doing lots of research and I'm determined that we can at least call a truce! I pulled back out my favorite book, Free Range Chicken Gardens. Oh how I love this book! I get all giddy just thumbing through the pages. It's an excellent resource for all free range chicken owners.


This morning I awoke really early and started looking for some lovely heirloom seeds to order online. I found the sweetest little website and ordered several varieties from them. I've been dreaming of nasturtiums and sweet peas, they had them both and I was thrilled. So the plan is to start them indoors and then transfer them out when there's no longer a danger of frost. I can hardly wait!


Also, on my to-do list, basement clean up. Stuff  has taken over and no longer do I have any control down there. It's just an old, unfinished, cinder block basement, now, but thanks to this sweet lady and this post, it's about to be so much more! She kicked my rear into gear, and mercy I needed that. She's done it on more than one occasion mind you! That's what I love so much about my little blogging community. Sometimes we girls need a push in the right direction, just a little motivation to get us going. I'm honored to be a part of such an awesome community of uber talented women, that so, so, often, get me moving!

That's me at the moment, what's going on in your little neck of the woods? Do tell............
xo,
Amy

Sharing At: Cozy Little House   In The New House Designs

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My, How Time Flies


Well, it's officially July! Writing here on this blog, reminds me how fast a month blurs by. Do you notice that?  The older I get, one month just seems to run right into the next. Do you feel that too? Having this blog really helps me to slow things down and appreciate each moment more. I'm so grateful to have this place where I come to write and share. This blog is a true blessing. I've also met some of the sweetest women in the world, fellow blogger's, who journal about their lives too. Yep, such a blessing!

June was mighty busy over here and in case you missed anything, here's some highlights. Come on along with me as I take a little walk down memory lane! 

The first week of June I shared a five part series on How To Survive And Thrive On One Income. This series reached so many folks and I truly hope that it spares someone from making many of the mistakes that I made!



We made a scarecrow for the garden that is working so far{fingers crossed}! We haven't had any critters steal any veggies yet and we have little baby watermelons growing fast out there.....



I learned that sometimes just celebrating with family is ENOUGH in The Hostess With The Mostess, and that it's mega important to take care of our friendships in I'll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I opened my Etsy Shop! Still doing my little happy dance over here!!!


I shared our son's new house and our favorite t.v. show. And the most popular post this month, Easy 5 Step Window Box Tutorial. This post was featured at Herbs And Oils Hubs and on Motivation Monday! Wow, so honored!

  
Whew, and that's just some highlights of June! If you missed anything, feel free to go back and browse! I haven't written in a journal in so many years and I'm truly having the time of my life jotting all these moments down. Thank you all ever so, for allowing me to ramble on weekly about our little life! Have A Blessed Holiday Week Everyone!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Easy 5 Step Window Box Tutorial



Today, we're gonna play in the dirt! And, when we're all done, you'll have all the information you need to plant a simply beautiful window box. For twenty years I've had window boxes on whatever house we've lived in, and even a condo too! They are just charming and they have a lot of punch in such a small package. They have the power to really boost your home's curb appeal. I'm going to break down the process of planting one into a few super easy steps. By the end of this post, you'll be running to your local garden supply center to pick up your supplies to plant one too! Don't believe me? Stick around, it's crazy simple!

First, you need a window box planter. These are super duper cheap all the way up to crazy expensive. There are also LOTS of online tutorials to make your own if you're feeling crafty. If you've been with me on this blog long, you'll know that I always shoot for the best for the least. With that said, here's a photo of my really sad, OLD window box planter.
Stay with me now, I know it looks wretched, but this will all come together in the end, I promise!



I found this years back at Lowe's on clearance, and as you'll see in a moment, how it looks empty really doesn't matter. When it's all filled up with green lovelies, you'll hardly see the planter anyhow. First, head to your garden supply center and look for 3 varieties of plants. Here are your three keywords when shopping for plants- tall, mounding, trailing or creeping. 


You will need 2 tall plants, 2 mounding plants, and 2 or 3 trailing or creeping. See, super easy! Just read the little tags on the plants and you'll see those keywords. Look for annuals because they'll give you the most bang for your buck. Also it's really important to know if your box will have mostly sun or mostly shade. You'll find that plant info on it's label too. My box gets all shade, so I've picked my plants accordingly. So, are we good so far? Also grab a good bag of potting soil. Now we're all set to plant!

How To Plant A Window Box In 5 Easy Steps:

1.   Start with a clean box then add a couple of inches of fresh dirt {you'll add more later when        you get your plants all situated}

2.  Next, add your two tall plants in the very back of the box evenly spaced





3.  Then add your two mounding plants at the front of your box, evenly spaced also






4.  Next, add your trailers or creepers to the sides and front of the planter.






5.  Fill in any holes between the plants with more potting soil and you're all done.  See, I said          easy, right?








Check out this before and after, big difference, huh? 









And for a shameless plug, if you're liking that super cute, all-weather, oilcloth banner, it will be in my Etsy shop opening this week! Hint, Hint! Now, go forth and get those hands dirty folks! And send me some pics of your before and afters! I'd love to see your ideas!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Frugal Dinner {#1}


Do you notice that sometimes we get into a cooking rut? I sure do. We need something different for dinner, but still quick, healthy, and frugal. After all of last weeks posts on "Surviving And Thriving On One Income", I thought I would try to post more of our simple and frugal meals. This is dinner at our house tonight. This recipe meets our whole foods requirements, but you feel free to substitute any of your usual ingredients. This recipe didn't receive a single thumbs down at our house. Enjoy Everyone!




Turkey and Rice Casserole

  1. 1 lb. ground turkey
  2. 2  {14.5 ounce cans} of organic diced tomatoes
  3. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  4. Brown Rice Cooked {I cook 2 1/2 cups for this recipe}
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. 1 cup grated cheese
  7. Fresh parsley {from our garden!} to garnish
Brown ground turkey and onion in skillet.  Then add diced tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add  salt and pepper, and cooked rice to browned turkey/onion/tomato mixture. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients. Place in greased 13x9 casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheese. Return to oven uncovered for 7-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Enjoy!




Fresh Parsley From The Garden

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Scarecrow For The Garden


After all those serious posts last week, I'm going to start this week off with a fun summer-time craft. I decided that we needed a scarecrow to help control some of our problems with little critters at night. Too many times, our cantaloupes get nibbled on just before picking time. Yes. Bites taken out! We've also had some tomatoes mysteriously disappear during the night. Doesn't that just frustrate you to no end? You have patiently waited for your veggie to grow for weeks, you can almost taste it's deliciousness, and then poof, it vanishes! Ughhhh! So in hopes of intimidating these active little critters, I thought that maybe a scarecrow would work. It's worth a try anyway! So I set out around the house and yard to gather supplies to make a scarecrow. The best part about this guy was that I made him for FREE. We all love free, right? Everything I needed was already laying around somewhere. That's a win-win. 

Here's What You'll Need:


  1. A 6 ft. fence post or landscape timber
  2. A 2x4 cut to a 4 ft. length
  3. 2- 3 inch nails
  4. 4- 1 inch nails
  5. About 8 safety pins
  6. Hammer
  7. Scrap piece of burlap fabric for the head
  8. Twine
  9. Old pair of jeans
  10. Old men's long sleeve shirt
  11. Old straw hat
  12. Hay for stuffing
  13. Any craft supplies you want to use to fashion a face


First, place the smaller piece of wood across the larger, in the shape of a cross. 



Using your 3 inch nails, secure these two pieces together. Go ahead and use your twine to secure the ends of the sleeves and pants, this will keep the hay from falling out. 



Next, place the shirt onto your scarecrow form. 





Now, take the pants and begin stuffing with hay. You are then going to place them on top of your scarecrow form and using your 1 inch nails, secure the stuffed pants to the form.  Then, secure the bottom of the shirt to the pants using your safety pins. You're just getting your scarecrow dressed to look like a good and proper man.



Now open up some of your shirt's buttons and fill the shirt, arms and all, with hay.
At this point, you can also stuff your burlap fabric piece into a head shape and secure it onto the top of the scarecrow form using twine. Now my daughters began cutting out fabric scraps to form a face. 





Your scarecrow should look something like this now- minus Chi-Chi of course ;)


Since every good, proper man needs a hat, our scarecrow got one too. He looks mighty fine in his spot guarding the garden, don't you think? 




Hopefully, the critters will think twice before stealing our cantaloupes this year! So, what do you think? Will our critters run for the hills? Maybe your garden could use a simple little scarecrow too? 

I really hope that you all enjoyed this easy scarecrow craft. Thanks so much for joining me this morning. Happy Monday everyone and have a wonder-filled week!




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

8 Easy Peasy Garden Plants


It is officially summer at our house. We grilled hamburgers for Memorial Day, the kids have been swimming in the pool nonstop, and we got our vegetable garden planted. The timing could not have been more perfect. We were hurrying to get the plants in the ground and compost mulch around them before the rain was due to come. Storm clouds were fast approaching while we were planting. We got it all accomplished and were putting away the tools when, kaboom, thunder crashed and the skies opened up and the glorious rain began to fall. Perfect. Being city born and bred, gardening has been a bit challenging for me. I still plant the easy stuff, but it goes a long way in helping save money on fruits and veggies during the summer months. We had planned on building a raised bed for strawberries this spring, but we just never got to it {I still have the list of supplies in my purse just in case though!}.


High on our list for planting every year are the veggies required for fresh salsa. That list includes tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro. Fresh salsa is a must have summer staple! What goes better with those grilled burgers than chips and salsa? NOTHING! And, another southern favorite, tomato sandwiches. Homemade bread, mayo, tomatoes, salt and pepper, oh my, my mouth's watering just at the thought!


Now throw in some colorful marigolds {a great companion plant for tomatoes} and we're well on our way to a perfect little garden. Then we always plant cucumbers and give them a little fence to meander in and out of. Add some easy peasy, squash and zucchini for a yummy side dish and watermelon and cantaloupe for a fruity, delicious dessert, and we have one great garden.

{A Small Garden Is A Big Money Saver During The Summer Months}

Have you planted your garden yet? It's not too late you know. Summer is just beginning to take hold here in Georgia and in lots of other states too. If you've never planted a garden, consider starting a small one and grow to a larger one with time. You'll just love eating your own home grown fruits and veggies all summer.
Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope that your Memorial Day weekend was just summerific!



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Potting Bench and It's A Boy......Or A Girl?


I've always thought that potting benches were just so functional. I've seen so many of them combining cute and useful. I garden a lot in the warm months and am always searching for my supplies. Now they are all in one convenient place! Yay! No more "where's the scissors?". My twine, pots, watering can, gloves, etc., all right here within easy reach. This shelf was in the laundry room when we first moved in and I never really knew what to do with it. My daughter helped me out by refreshing the tired white finish with a new coat of buttery yellow paint.




My favorite part is the soap and hand towel. I make a big mess of myself gardening and I really wanted to be able to wash up while I was still outside. Check out this soap. I have a friend that hand makes her own soaps and has quite a little business going. I just received my first shipment of soaps and they smell heavenly! Check out her online shop called Seven Willows. I chose this one called Kudzu & Gnats. It's topped with poppy seeds that look like little gnats, so clever and cute as a button.




In other news, our youngest has been on baby chick watch, for three weeks.



Today, the first chick hatched. Matt has a pair of bantams, and his hen's sitting on ten eggs. He's a proud papa!



When he saw that the first chick had hatched, he ran screaming into the house "my chicks are here!!!!!". He's so proud. Not sure if it's a he or a she just yet, but Matt's thrilled either way. Stay tuned, nine more to go......... how's your week so far?

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