diy solar light holder, crafts, diy, outdoor living

DIY Solar Light Holder

I just love creating things-it doesn't matter if it is out of barn boards, fence pickets, concrete, or hypertufa because when you think outside the box you can create so many cool pieces of garden art.
Working with either concrete or hypertufa does not always turn out but when it does you step back and say "WOW".
I had accomplished creating my flower and had some hypertufa left over so I could not waste it...

taking care of a tropical pitcher plant, gardening

Taking Care of a Tropical Pitcher Plant

I usually never buy Tropical plants and usually never pay full price but late last summer when I saw this at Home Depot I could not resist. It was small and the actual "pitchers" were small and skinny and thought to myself it will take years to get large pitchers and a large plant (the large pitcher plants were $39.99 and the small ones were $9.99).
I have to be honest here, and usually I do not listen to the people at big box garden centers because they most often give bad advice but the guy's tag said "specialist" and I had no idea how to water such a weird plants -so I said how do I water this? He told me put a drop in each pitcher and that is it. I did follow the instructions for about a month and the poor thing just looked sick and the pitchers were dying off. I was getting heart sick (as I usually do if I see a sick plant) and stopped watering the way I was told. I started watering by taking the plant off the hook in my gazebo and watering the pot (as you would any other plant) and made sure to soak the soil and hang back up. After a few weeks it was time to bring inside and to my sadness there still was no new pitchers. I hung my baby in my dining room window which faces East an continued to water about every 5 days by taking to the kitchen sink and making sure the soil was soaked, let drip, and then hang back up (I use rain barrel water for all of my indoor and outdoor plants).
My home is set at 65. I do not like it hot in my house and so for most of the winter the Pitcher plant just hung there...Then I realized about 6 weeks ago that it was growing and putting out tiny little pitchers! I was so excited. and then it was like overnight it doubled in size and last week this huge pitcher emerged! There are more leaves getting ready to put on pitchers and I could not be happier.

voles and moles, gardening, pest control, this is a hole that a vole comes out and it belongs to the mole run

Voles and Moles

Between the dogs and the cats, they are catching at least 2-3 a day but may be more because the dogs eat them too. LOL

sumac plant tips, gardening

Sumac and Its Native Fall Color

Have you driven down the road this time of year and saw the reds of a plant catch your eye? Have you wondered what the plant was and why does it grow along the road?
One answer may be Rhus copallina or winged Sumac or smooth Sumac. This native plant can grow anywhere and can quickly colonize an area such as roadways and the edges of woodlands. This shrub can grow upwards of 20 feet tall and provides food for the birds and wildlife.
I love the colors of this plant in the fall and have even tried to color match it. This is one of my favorite fall plants and I just low how the branches arch over making this a graceful plant.

a must have in the shade garden the japanese painted fern, flowers, gardening

A Must Have in the Shade Garden-The Japanese Painted Fern

The color and texture of Japanese Painted ferns makes it one of my favorite in the shade garden. The fronds seem to glow in the shade and attract your eye down to take in the beauty of this hardy and colorful fern. It will grow for most in zones 4-9 along with your other shade garden favorites of Hosta, Astilbe, Coral Bells, Toad Lilies, Foam Flower, and other ferns and shade plants. It is one of the first shade plants to come up here in zone 7 and spreads at a medium to fast rate. In 5 seasons I have divided the plants multiple times to spread throughout my shade beds and to share with others.
It likes a moist area but not wet and can grow in morning sun or late afternoon sun so long as it does not dry out. I have several plants on the north side of my house where they see no direct sun and then I have some in another shade bed that received dappled sun along with a spurts of direct sun in morning or later afternoon. This beauty will adapt to its environment with little care and no pest problems (from my 10 years experience propagating and growing it).
The Japanese fern spreads and allows you to divide it with ease. This beauty can be pricey at the garden centers but one plant can eventually yield you many (last count I have 12 or more plants and have shared at least a dozen or more over the last 5 years!) so I highly suggest adding this beauty to your garden this year and by next spring you should be able to divide and add 2 more more to your gardens.

you can save that hosta, container gardening, gardening

You Can Save That Hosta!

Okay, it is that time of the year and you walk out into your garden and you see your hosta has fallen over and you pick it up to discover that the roots have been eaten. What do you do?
Do not throw it out!
Have you tried to separate your hosta clump and you broke one of the leaves off and it has no roots...

garden ideas clay pot bird feeder, crafts, gardening

DIY Basic Clay Pot and Saucer Bird Feeder

The other day my good neighbor and friend walked by my house and stopped to ask me if I could build her a 'simple bird feeder'. I said sure I could- since I have already built her bird houses and a potting bench for her yard and garden. She added that she searched the stores and all she could find was 'cheap plastic ones'. I told her to give a me a few days and I will come up with something...
and so that night I went to bed thinking about what I would use...
and when I awoke I knew it would be out of clay pots.

succulents gardening teapot cactus planter, gardening, succulents

A Teapot and Some Cactus

How do you handle cactus? With kitchen tongs! On my recent trip across country to New Mexico I was sent back with an old pottery teapot and cups from a friend. I had no idea at the time what in the heck I was going to do with them but I knew that I would plant them in the garden somewhere.
On our journey home right before we got out of New Mexico we stopped at an old truck stop to stretch our legs. Not watching where I was walking at the edge of the parking lot I stepped on a prickly pear cactus! I cannot write what I said but let's just say that cactus came with me as a souvenir to remember.
Then looking around I see this other kind of cactus all by itself -calling my name- and I could not walk away and leave it. So I hunted in the back of the Expedition in the toolbox for something to grab the cacti and take it home. I do have to add that I am not particularly fond of cactus but I knew at that point the teapot and the cactus would be together!

stairway gallery wall, home decor, stairs

Stairway Gallery Wall

For the price of 2 cans of spray paint and some time, I turned a bunch of mismatched frames into a cohesive and chic gallery wall leading upstairs. I know many of us have frames that we have collected throughout the years, picked up at yard sales, or even given to us as gifts and what do we do with them? We hang them, set them, or put them away and think one day I will get around to doing something with them. Well, now is the time!
I had wooden and metal frames of different shapes, depths, and sizes and over the years I even collected collage frames that were scattered throughout the house or put away in a box. I never could get myself to bring them all together until I took time recently and went through all my photos and framed the best memories/pictures of family-past and present. It took hours but the results are worth it. I still have 2 more walls in the upstairs hallway to complete (waiting on photos and have to find more frames LOL).
Spray paint is our friend. It can spruce things up, cover up ugly, and change something from blah to fab. I hope this inspires you to create your own gallery wall and display your best family memories for all to enjoy!

stretching a client s plant budget with ferns, flowers, gardening, perennials

Stretching a Client's Plant Budget With Ferns

For a couple clients I do their small window boxes and planters and, with the budgets they give me, I find ways to stretch the dollar. One way I do is through dividing my own plants or purchased plants that I find at the garden centers. I have been doing this for many years and find that it is rewarding for me to see the look on their faces when I fill their yard with beautiful things.
The most divided plant I do for most are Boston Ferns and Kimberly Ferns. These are 2 ferns that can be divided easily and fill up an empty pot. Plus Kimberly ferns get tall and can take some neglect during the summer. They grow fast and can tolerate morning sun and a bit of noon day sun here in zone 7 as long as they are well watered. Boston Ferns love the shade of an overhang on a porch or in a mighty Oak. They do not like to dry out but can be brought back from wilt.
I overwinter my Kimberly ferns and each year I have to man handle with the help of my brut of a husband to get them out of the humongous pots they are in. They grow tight in a pot which makes for some sweating and cussing to get them out. The Kimberly Ferns survived being in the garage despite the coldest temps on record for us here in VA. The looked sad and lost fronds but they survived which allows me to hack off parts of the original plant for clients.

The Garden Frog with C Renee
The Garden Frog with C Renee
About meI have had a green thumb for as long as I can remember. I love gardening and bringing back to life otherwise discarded plants in the wooded areas in my subdivision, markdown racks at stores, and even 'hand me downs' from neighbors & friends. I am a DIY gal and love my power tools almost as much as my flowers.
Make sure to check out my blog and follow me on social media!
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!