15. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: General

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breezys garden shoes
When I opened up the box to my new Muck Breezy Garden Shoes I was thrilled to find these fun shoes.  When I tried them on I found them to be very supportive as well as comfortable.

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They feel like a running shoe.  Their sturdy soles are rugged for traction on wet grass and dirt.

 The footing feels secure and stable when you walk in them.  I can hardly wait for the nice weather so I can try them in action!  That is of course as long as I keep them away from Knox, our  German Shepherd Puppy.  He seems to like them too.

 Visit Garden Shoes Online to see the solids and patterns in fun colors available

 Muck Boots Women’s Breezy Low Cool Series Features

  • New XpressCool™ lining material keeps your feet cool in warm weather
  • Weighs 20% less than other Muck brand shoes
  • Built on a last designed for women, providing ultimate fit and comfort
  • 4mm CR flex-foam bootie with four-way stretch nylon, 100% waterproof, lightweight and flexible
  • EVA Midsole
  • New lightweight EVA outsole with rubber pods for optimal traction and support
  • etc® sockliner to reduce friction and heat build up

Starting seeds can be a sanity saver for many of us waiting through a long winter for spring to arrive.

I wanted a seed starting rack with lights but I found them to be very expensive and not as large as I’d like so my husband and I decided we would make our own.  

First we bought a metal rack with four foot long shelves at Sam’s club.  This would be long enough to accommodate two seed trays lengthwise per shelf.

Next we needed some lights ~ so off to Home Depot where we purchased four, 4 foot shop lights.  They are the kind that plug in ( as opposed to being hard wired into the electricity) and have adjustable chains so you can change their height above the plants.  The metal rack provides an easy way to hang the lights which also makes it easy to adjust the height of the light as your plants grow.

We put daylight type lights for growing plants into the shop lights

Finally we  added a power strip so they can all be turned on and off with one switch.  

The only mistake I made was not building two of these….Maybe next year!

“So many seeds, so little time” ~unknown

 

 

 

  In all my years gardening I have cursed many a dog that has dug deep into my flower beds, torn down my climatis or eaten my tulip bulbs. I have also pleaded with teenagers not to stomp on my fledgling plants that are emerging when they retrieve their basketball, and then got angry with them for doing it anyway.  Gardens don’t usually fare too well when there are kids and dogs around. 

Even though I have spent the last five years building the gardens around my yard, I know that our new puppy will most likely undo a lot of my work.

Knox, our german shepherd puppy

 

I have been spoiled with an old dog while I have expanded my beds.  He isn’t at all interested in digging or crushing anything in my yard.  He simply goes out to his dog run and then back inside.

Occasionally he lays in the grass and watches as I toil in the dirt, but mostly he is uninterested in my yard.  Offer him a walk and he’s ready to go, but to hang out and enjoy the scenery doesn’t thrill him at all.  He’d much rather a comfy bed indoors.  I guess being fourteen and a half allows him this preference but it has made me oblivious to dogs and the garden destruction they can often cause.

This new puppy my son brought home just before Christmas has changed everything.  He cant wait to get out there and bite the branches off of my lilac bushes and chew the sedum stalks. I am quite sure there will be plenty of holes to fill in and uprooted plants to replant but I am not complaining, well, not yet...it’s still winter. ..

                   …and they are still very cute!

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner !

my friend's dog making off with our lilac cuttings

 

 

Camera Critters

My amaryllis finally bloomed and it was so worth the wait.

 It’s the perfect  after holiday pick me up!

 Amaryllis are the easiest of flowering bulbs to bloom.  It’s botanical name is Hippastrume and it is now a popular Christmas time flower that originated in South American tropical regions.  They are not winter hardy bulbs but they are fun to force in the wintertime to have holiday blooms.

~Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.  ~Michael Josephson

26. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: General

   We have all been given advice on the many ways to take care of  Christmas trees, so if you are like me  you will probably be surprised how many of those rules aren’t necessary, so here’s a quick list of things to do when you’re picking out and bringing your tree home.

Before buying the tree, give it a shake or grab a branch of needles and slide your hand towards yourself.  Brown needles are ok to drop, but if green needles are dropping, then the tree isn’t very fresh.tree

If it has been more than 6 hours since cutting it down, or if you bought a pre-cut tree, you will need to cut one inch off the bottom of the trunk because it heals over and won’t take water.

Make the cut straight across the trunk.  Don’t cut the tree at an angle or a V shape, or whittle away the edges to fit into your stand because the outside edges draw up the water most efficiently.

If you are planning on waiting before putting it in it’s stand, put it in a bucket of  water and keep it somewhere cool until you are ready to bring it in the house.

Place the tree in a stand with adequate water capacity.  Be careful because some stands allow there to be water in the stand without the tree being submerged and the bottom of the trunk needs to always be in water to prevent healing over.  Water temperature doesn’t matter and there is no need for aspirin or any other concoctions.

*If you would like to feed your tree, a great product to use is

 Authentic Haven Brand Compost Tea     Annie from Haven Brand Teas suggests to brew 5 gal (Simply steep the compost tea bag in the container you choose)& feed the tree.  She says it will drink about 2 gallon or more on the first day or two.  After that just use your brewed compost tea to keep it watered.  This should make for a very happy Christmas tree!

Another tip to keep your tree lasting longer…don’t put it near any kind of heat source when picking your location.

Use miniature lights that produce less heat, this helps prevent your tree from drying out.

Your tree should last 4 to 5 weeks if you keep it watered and don’t let the water level go below the trunk.

Remember ~ real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource.  They are farmed like a crop so no need for guilt when deciding on a real tree.web-tree-036

~”Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children,they are all 30 feet tall.”  ~Larry Wilde

 

 

 

 

21. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: General

It’s that time of year again when we are all trying to find the perfect gift for the gardener on our list?  Or maybe you need to drop a few hints about what you would like for Christmas…either way, here’s some ideas to make your Christmas a bit brighter whether for you or someone you care about.

Foxgloves Elle Grip Gardening Gloves

 Need Gloves? GardenShoesOnline has many different styles…

Pallina Women's Vegan Gloves

How about a pair of comfy gloves  matched up with a Radius Garden Hand tool? 

Or a  Sloggers Hat that is spf 50+ and repels insects? 

Or some Lady bug Clogs

 and Lady bug socks?They make a fun combination for sure.

 

 

The original hose nozzle is an awesome gift for

 anyone, not just gardeners.  Pair it up with a Tuff Guard Hose and you have a really great gift for any homeowner!

    A Radius Ergonomic Handled Garden Tool? Another good idea that’s kind to overworked hands.

And what about some great garden shoes?

What gardener wouldn’t love that?

Cape Clogs Flower Print Clogs

GardenShoesOnline has the Perfect Fit Guarantee – Size Exchange~
If the size you ordered doesn’t fit the way you want, you can send it back for a size exchange for free!

Of course you can always just get a gift certificate,  that way your gardener can choose whatever they like…. and you just print it out or email it to them so it’s quick and easy!

Visit Garden Shoes Online and you will find many great ideas in every price range.  We offer free shipping on any order over $49 and all orders less than $49 will be charged a flat rate of $4.95 shipping.

At Christmas play and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year
~Thomas Tusser

03. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: General

If you are in need of a lit up holiday garland for around your front door, along a staircase or perhaps on your mantle, you probably know they are crazy expensive and not always exactly what you would like.  But that’s okay because they are also very easy to make and a whole lot cheaper.

Pick out an evergreen garland in enough length and fullness for the intended use, such as the measurement around your door or across your mantle, etc…

~I chose one that has wire in the branches so I can shape it nicely when it’s all finished.

 You will need another string or two of holiday decorations that you like.  (I went to ACMoore and Michaels) I decided on a garland of poinsettias, a garland of red berries, and red sparkly ribbon with (wire edges so you can shape it nicely).

 

Lay out all the parts of the garland.

Then simply twist them around a string of white lights.

~ You can do two strings of lights if you want more light.

~Or you could use a string of lights with the lit up red balls(or whatever lights you like) instead of or in addition to the white lights.

Every foot or so, twist a 4 -6 inch piece of wire to keep them all together.

~ This keeps it from getting gaps when it’s hung.  You can hide the twists you make behind the evergreen so it can’t be seen.

When you have it all together, take a bit of time and arrange  all of the different parts nicely so it is pleasing to the eye and covering as much of the light wire as possible(that’s why I like the bendable evergreen garland)

Now it’s time to hang it up.

~This is an easy task  since there is wire in the evergreen and in the twisties which will easily hang on hooks or nails.

Stand back and admire your work, then maybe you should go shopping with all the money you saved making this beautiful garland yourself:)

~It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.  ~W.T. Ellis

If you would like to enjoy  some springtime in the winter, forcing bulbs can be a lot of fun.  It is even a great project for kids because it is so simple to do.

They also make great decorations or gifts for Christmas!

   (Any kind of bulb will work but may need to be refrigerated for weeks before forcing~

                 click here for a list of bulbs and how long they need to be kept cold before planting)
  • One of the easiest to choose is the paper white narcissus because they require no cold period to simulate winter.

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Start with a pot that is at least three to four inches deep
fill it with dirt or glass marbles or stones.

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  •   To use the glass stones instead of dirt,  set the bulbs down far enough into the stones to support them leaving a few inches below for roots.

  •   Next fill the pot with water just to the bottom of the bulbs.  A glass container that is clear is a great one to use for this since you can see the bulb, roots and flowers.  Try to have the water barely touch the bottom of the bulb to prevent rotting.

  • As soon as roots develop you can keep the water below the bulb.

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  • Another way to plant the bulbs is to place the bulbs in potting soil that covers them just to the top so the pointy end of the bulb is sticking out a bit.

  • Either way you plant them, put them in sunshine in a cool room and wait until they are growing.web-j-002

  • When they start to grow a few inches, then you should move them to a bright location out of direct sunlight. That way they don’t get too tall and fall over.  ( There’s an article over at Horticulture magazine by Dorian Winslow that explains how to make paperwhites not grow so tall~ jump over there to see it!)

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  • Stake them if they are a bit floppy or you can tie a ribbon around them to keep them standing together.  This is a nice touch if it’s a Christmas gift.

paper-whites

It usually takes anywhere from three to five weeks for flowers so you have to be thinking ahead.*

paperwhite


  • ~”The future is always beginning now.”  ~Mark Strand


Now that the days are filled with crisp fall air, pumpkins on porches and candy apples to eat, we plan on cutting back, cleaning out, and seperating plants but we alo have to stop and think about Spring too.

So plant some bulbs!

 

There are so many to choose from,  tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, snowdrops, crocus, and allium to mention a few. Pick your favorites, then choose a location where they will get the light they require for the specific flower. 

 Usually a bulb should be placed two to three times deeper than it’s size but be sure to check the package of whichever bulb you are planting for detailed instructions. 

   The hardest part about growing bulbs is waiting all winter to finally see them bloom.

When spring arrives and your flowers begin to blossom, you will know it was worth the wait.

 No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~Proverb