Halloween 2015 Oh, I had fun making this! She's now five years old. It has been one of my favorite projects. I have a huge display this year and she still holds her own, even with our 12 foot ghost and witch circle (you can get those instructions here)! I saw this "packing tape ghost" … Continue reading Easy Packing Tape Ghost
I usually grow my vining melons on a trellis. Trellising makes them easy to care for and the plants themselves are healthier. Getting melon vines off the ground keeps the powdery mildew under control and I can easily spray the leaves when the inevitable aphid explosion comes. Since I like to research things, and I'm … Continue reading Melon Trellising
I'm always looking for new ways to use my garden. After years of growing sweet potatoes I came across a recipe that called for the leaves. Sweet potato leaves are edible? Yes. Yes, they are.The sweet potatoes slips I got this year were supposed to be a bush variety. While they haven't thrown vines out … Continue reading The Greatest Green You’ve Never Eaten: Sweet Potato Leaves
Flowers are beautiful examples of sexual reproduction. We gather them, we create bouquets, we stick our noses into a plant's sex organs and take a deep breath of intoxicating fragrance. The idea of sex (at least when we look at our own species) seems to be incredibly more complex and inherently immature. I will point … Continue reading Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.
The things I grow in summer are things that I don't have to baby. Today our "feel like" temperature was 103 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm not interested in doing manual labor in that sort of heat (Although, I did. I was out in that heat for about an hour and a half yesterday weeding and pulling … Continue reading Low Maintenance, Highly Productive, Annual, Summer Vegetables.
I live in the South. Where I am: summer ends up getting really hot (above 100° Fahrenheit) with little to no rain for months at a time. In summer we get moisture that blows in from the Gulf of Mexico and that humidity (without rain) is a real problem. There are weeks where we don't … Continue reading Show Stopping, Southern Shrubs
This month is heavy on the picking and light on the work. Why? Because I worked hard in the spring to create this exact scenario. Water-wise, deep beds have yielded incredible amounts of produce. See how we built them here: Hugelkultur, Keyhole Gardens: Bridging Ideas and here: Mother’s Day Raised Hugelkultur Bed! Instructions for creating … Continue reading Reaping The Rewards Of Spring Planning
Hummingbirds are a joy to watch! I have plenty of flowers planted to feed them from last frost to first frost. But even with the plethora of flowers I grow, they still frequent my feeders. I live in Texas. It gets blazing hot down here in the summer and some days it doesn't cool off … Continue reading My Favorite Hummingbird Feeder
One of my favorite plants to grow down here is hibiscus. It is truly a beautiful plant and the flowers are breathtaking. I am not the only one who appreciates hibiscus. We frequently have hummingbirds in the garden sipping hibiscus nectar. My favorite part about the plant though, is that it's edible. Hibiscus is high … Continue reading Ever Had Spiced Hibiscus Flower Tea?
In Texas we're in what tends to be our miserable part of summer. Usually heat index in July is fluctuating between 101 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit. It's normally just so nasty in the high heat part of the day. But this year has been very different. It's only in the 80s. Perfect weather to enjoy … Continue reading Summer Fun In The Garden
I would bet that most gardeners have a list of a few things that they do, out of habit, that are counterproductive. For me it's gardening without gloves or long sleeves. I almost never wear gloves or long sleeves. I love to work the soil with my hands, I weed bare handed and I harvest … Continue reading Curing An Extra Itchy Case Of The Gardening Stupids
Spring is full of heavy lifting, digging holes and amending soil. I usually build or renew my beds in spring and then switch on and off between: planting/watering and harvesting the first spring veggies. It's usually beautiful outside and I enjoy the time I'm out there. I end up in a meditative state. I can … Continue reading Saving The Harvest
It's summer and that means high temperatures and no rain for my part of Texas. Everything dries out. My hugelkulter beds still retain moisture but I do need to add water a couple of times a week to get peak health from my vegetables. One of my favorite ways to water my big hugelkulter beds … Continue reading Watering With Soaker Hoses
Cardboard and paper trash is a gardener's treasure! This is a Hugelkulter/Keyhole cross, garden bed. I have grown in beds of this design for close to 10 years and I love them! I can grow an endless amount of things in these beds. This is a banana in the background and okra up front. Overwintered … Continue reading Building The Perfect Raised Beds
Every once in a while I end up on Pinterest. I try not to do it often, because it's like going to an all you can eat buffet: I think I can eat (or do) way more than reality will allow me to. On one of my visits to Pinterest I saw some melted pony … Continue reading Melted Perler Bead and Pony Bead Craft Projects
Both of my grandmother's had cast iron collections. These were things they either purchased in Kansas or are my family's heirlooms. My family on a road trip to Washington DC. My granny on my mom's side married a jerk, (to say it mildly) after my grandpa died. He made her get rid of her antiques, … Continue reading How I Restored My Antique Iron: Two Methods
Sweet potatoes, beet roots (These are chiogga beets. White, yellow or striped beets have a milder flavor than solid red beets), beet greens and spring onions This is my recipe for using up spring veggies before the heat of summer ends their season. I grew all the veggies except the sweet potatoes (which are not … Continue reading Moroccan Sweet Potato Fritters with Ras El Hanout Yogurt Sauce
This is the most reflective paint I've ever seen! I'm at it again! My mom came to visit me and it's been crazy! We cut down two trees with a chainsaw. It was the above ground growth on an incense bush and a pomegranate, that died back during our horrible freeze. My 20 year old … Continue reading Fine Paints of Europe: Dutch Door Kit
This soup makes use of spring garden ingredients: peas, lettuce, spring onions and tarragon. If you have ever grown peas you know shelling peas is a pain. It's a whole lot of work for very little reward. Apparently, I am not learning my lesson from the previous experiences, because I rush out and plant them … Continue reading Cooking With Lettuce?!?! Yes! And It’s Delicious!!!
Last year our summer was baking hot: 100+ degrees for months and no rain. It was hard on my trees, especially my pear tree. My pear gets iron chlorosis (many fruit trees do) and also I had calcium deficiency in the fruit, causing corkey spots. For both of these to develop you need high ph … Continue reading An Update On My Pear Tree Iron Implants