Showing posts from 2013

Garden Trends 2014

The 'Trends' post is one of my all time favourites to write up. I totally enjoy reviewing the past year's gardening themes and then scoping out which way the trends are bending towards in the year ahead!

So, here, in no particular order, are the garden trends for 2014, as I see them.

1. Growing Vegetables aka Growing Your Own Food

This one, of course, totally floats my boat! I am all about bringing back food growing in the yard, at home, especially rather than useless lawns ; )
People are growing their own groceries more than ever, esp with the threats from genetically modified foods, wondering how they will affect us, our children and our grandbabies in the long run.

Some grow veggies in pots and planters, some in raised beds in the back yard or mixed in with the flowers in the flower beds, and some on a larger scale, using up most all of the yard for food.
Whatever one does, it teaches children where food comes from, how to grow it, and how it really tastes fresh out …

Home-made Organic Cough and Cold 'Tea'

Found this fabulous 'Cough and Cold Tea' recipe on Pinterest and had to try it!

It is delish! Made four jars the first time and ran out in no time! Everyone loves it, both as a soothing remedy when sick, but also as a preventative measure to stay healthy and boost your immune system!

The Yummy How-To...
- 2 organic lemons ( I found that I needed more)
- 1 piece of ginger about the size of your thumb (the original recipe called for two pieces, but I am not a huge fan of ginger so used less). Use as much or as little as you like. Oh, I noticed that the zing of the ginger actually mellows and melds in the syrup.
- Honey, enough to fill the jar.

Scrub your lemons. Slice into small slices, wedges or chunks, whichever look you prefer. I like nice thin slices.
Peel and slice the knob of ginger into pieces, coins or slivers. I used half coins.
Wash and dry your canning jars and lids really well.
Place the ginger into each jar, add the lemon slices on top till jar is full.
Top u…

Birdseed Wreaths - For The Birds .... Reviewed

The three birdseed wreathes have been hanging on the large cedar for several weeks now, long enough to get an idea of which one is the most popular with the birds ...

For all three recipes and their how-to's, see HERE .

Wreath Number One... (the light coloured one on the right hand side)

The little birds are really enjoying this one, flocking around it and pecking away. It seems to appeal to the wee little birdies the most. Is also still looking solid and very pretty hung up on it's green ribbon.

Wreath Number Two

This is the one that was made with both peanut butter and suet. Sadly, it broke in half about a week after it graced the tree.
The top half I left hanging on the tree while the bottom half, mostly still intact, was placed on a large tree stump in amongst the Salal ...
All kinds of birds really seem to enjoy this one, seem to like pecking around on the ground, in amongst the Salal, for all the tasty little seeds that scattered everywhere.

Next time I make this, I will…

December Ramblings

Here we are in December already!

Gardening is probably not the first thought on most folks minds this month.... but if, like me, you love to putter in the garden and cannot be without playing in the dirt, here are some garden related things that you can be doing this month ...

Carrots in the December garden. The only thing you really need to do to them over winter  is make sure that the shoulders of your carrots are not exposed to frost. Cover with soil or straw, compost or mulch. (do this with your parsnips, too) 
What to do in the yard this month?

- Run a hoe over any new weed seedlings.

- Continue to harvest and enjoy carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, and more goodies from your fall/winter garden.

- Pot up some calendula seeds for early pops of colour in spring. Place in a cool and sunny location.

- Still time to transplant and/or plant shrubs, roses and trees in garden zones 5 and above.

- Also, you can still pop your spring flowering bulbs like tulips, crocuses, mus…

Bird Seed Wreaths - They're For The Birds

I have always wanted to make some birdseed wreaths, but never had a great place to put them....

Here at the 'ugly new house' we have lots of mature cedars, great for the birds in all ways!

So, I looked for recipes... huh, there are quite a few, it turns out!

I knew that I did not want to do the peanut butter rolls, where you simply smear the peanut butter on a wreathe form and then roll it in seeds.

Version One!

1/2 cup of warm water
1 package of gelatin
3/4 cups of flour
3 Tbsp corn syrup
4 cups of birdseed

Mix and heat the water, syrup, and gelatin in a small sauce pan.
Add the flour to the pan and mix. Will be very thick.
This is the 'glue' that holds the seeds together.

Add your seeds and incorporate the 'glue' into all of the seed. Mix well as the flour will tend to goop up.

Push into the bundt pan and let set overnight.
(the instructions said to use an oil spray in the pan to help loosen it, but again, I am not sure how good this is for the bi…

Peppers Hot and Sweet

Surprisingly, my peppers were really great this year!

Not that I don't generally grow great peppers ...  cuz I really do, lol (much chest thumping going on ; )
Surprisingly, because I thought that I could only grow great peppers inside the greenhouse, on the south side, where they get tons of heat and light.

However, this is not so!
This year, the greenhouse had to come down in July, in preparation for the big move!

Therefore, all the peppers were grown outside. They responded marvellously to the elements, while I treated them like I usually do .... with carefree neglect ; )

All the peppers started out at the old location, on our lovely, south east facing deck, which only received about 6 hours of sunshine a day, from about 10 in the morning to 2 or 3 pm. That's it.

Still growing outside at the new 'ugly'house' .. stayed outside till mid-November.  You see that some have 'plastic garbage bag hoop houses' on them? I can honestly say that peppers do not ne…

November Garden and Yard Ramblings

What to do in the month of November in the yard? In the garden? What to plant now? If you are in the colder regions of the world, with snow or hard frosts already, you likely are buttoned up already for the winter and eagerly awaiting spring.
However if you are on the PNW or more temperate areas, well, still lots of time to do lots of things.

Plant some peas, your doggies will thank you ; )
What to plant now...(Can you believe that I still have this head line in here? Amazing, eh?)

In the garden..
Peas - plant now for an early crop in spring. Sow heavier than you would normally as you will likely have a lower germination rate.
- Broad beans
- Garlic - yes, still time to get it in
- Asparagus - if you can find some crowns ) a friend is thinning out her bed, maybe?) now is a great time to plant them up. Read my asparagus planting and growing tips HERE.

Under cover... ( Stuff you may want to germinate under grow lights and then move out to your cold frame. They can handle to cooler temps…

Over-Wintering Bulbs, Tubers, Corms, and Rhizomes

In temperate areas, one can leave the bulbs, corms, tubers, etc.. in the ground over winter and they will come up for many years.
Lift them every 3 or 4 years in order to clean them up and thin them out for the best blooms. 
Also, keep in mind that if you do not lift them and you have a colder year, wetter year, snowier year, you might indeed lose those tubers, bulbs, corms ... that you have grown for years.

This post details dahlia's and glads, but the same technique applies to all the various tender bulbs that you would lift in fall... Canna lilies, Calla lilies, Colocasia's, Crocosmia's, Anemone's, Begonia's, Freesia's, etc...
It also applies to hardy bulbs like tulips and daffodils, that you want to lift in order to move to another location or from pot to garden, garden to pot, etc... 

Dinnerplate Dahlia Dahlias!  Leave the tubers in the ground until the first frost has blackened and killed back the foliage. Cut the stem back to 6 inches tall. Loosen the…