This so perfectly describes just how happy my garden is making me this Spring !!! The long hours of back breaking work (Yes, today was the carrying and spreading of 20 bags of mulch), are making me giddy with happiness. The results are so worth the effort :-)
So, I thought I'd give you a pictorial update ....
These will be our first tomatoes of the season .... they still have a little ripening to do, but they're not far off now. All of my tomato bushes have a couple of tomotoes on them now. The one I'm most excited to see, are the Black Cherry Tomatoes .... they look so gorgeous in the picture !!!
My man built me this herb bed last week. He'd seen one on the internet, knowing he could put one together for a fraction of the price being asked in stores, he bought the wood, and made it for me. I've planted Oregano, Lettuce, Red Sweet Pepper and Spring Onions. The little flower name plates were a surprise gift from a friend of mine ..... She dropped this sweet little package at my door for me to find .... she really made my day !!!
There has been so much growing progress in this bed ..... check out those potatoes !!! They are the 4 mounded plants in the front. While watering this evening, I noticed that one of our potato barrels has a shoot peaking through already. The mint (center in the long planter) is doing so well - I made my first 4 jars of 100% homegrown and homemade mint jelly on Saturday ....... Green Gold is how my Hubby describes it :-)
The green pepper bush has burst into life too. This is the most mature of the peppers on the bush, there are another 5 in various stages of growth.
So there it is, a full garden update. I hope you get to spend a little time outdoors, with your hands in the dirt, enjoying this gorgeous weather we're having.
That title could have walked straight off the set of a Grease movie !!!
I mentioned a few posts ago, when I revealed my 4 pretty maids all in a row ..... my green ribbon dolls, that to accommodate all my rolls of ribbon, I'd need another 4 dolls. Well, they're done, and they sure do make me smile :-)
There they are, ever so cute !!!
All I want to do now, is create things that need ribbon .... I have so many choices !!!!
I also mentioned that I thought they may need some hair accessories .....
Couldn't resist the beanie !!! I made up the pattern as I went along. They took me about 15 mins to crochet up. I am tickled pink by them !!!!
Some of the ladies preferred a more summery look ..... flowers and sparkly bits !!!
While others preferred a more classic look .... a simple bow in her hair !!!
There are times when I feel the need to create something cute and pretty, just for me.
Until next time - Take Care.
Another garden post ...... I am so enjoying our garden this year, and it's doing so well. I think a lot of its' success (so far - there's a long way to go yet), is due to the weather. We really haven't reached those nasty, high temperatures yet, that Texas is so well known for ... I'm really hoping that it's a mild summer this year !!!
As I've mentioned before, I planted potatoes for the first time ever this year. Silly me, I never did any research on them either, until they were in the ground and had started to grow. What did I discover ..... potatoes have to be mounded every couple of weeks to grow lots of potatoes. I've done that twice so far, but because of where I planted the seed potatoes in my raised bed, I don't know how much more mounding I can do.
Browsing the internet, introduced us to the potato barrel method of growing potatoes - what could be easier :-) So, a visit to Lowes was made yesterday ....
We purchased two 32 gallon trash cans ...
My sweet Hubby drilled nice, big drainage holes in the bottom of the trash can ...
You raise them on cinder blocks, to help with drainage ...
Lay some cardboard in the bottom of your trash can (OK, perhaps we should now call it a potato barrel). This helps to stop your soil falling out, and it also will eventually break down and become compost.
These are the type of nasty looking potatoes you need ..... seed potatoes.
We filled our potato barrel with soil you buy for flowers and vegetables - half a bag went into the bottom of each barrel. Dig little 3" deep holes, and place your potato, seeded side facing up. Then cover them up with soil. Finally give them a good water. The idea is, that once the plant grows about 6" above the soil, you throw more soil into the barrel, and you keep doing this, until the end of the growing season, when the top of the potato plant dies off. Then you just tip your barrel out onto a plastic painters drop sheet, and harvest your potaotoes ........... hmm. I can't wait to see if it works :-)
On another garden note - I saw this idea on Pinterest. They used painted terracotta pots for theirs. I used plastic pots from Walmart, as they were way more reasonably priced, and a lot lighter. I love how it has taken off. The Lobelia I planted in the top two layers is growing like wildfire - you can bearly see the 2 little gnomy residents through it. I had planted Fuschias in the bottom level, but only 1 survived (you can just see its pink flowers peeking out on the left side, at the back). I replaced them yesterday with Begonias.
I will keep you updated on the potato barrel progress ...... I'm holding thumbs !!!!
It sounds like a children's nursery rhyme, doesn't it?
Storing my rolls of ribbon, has always been a challenge for me. I've tried numerous solutions, but none of them have really worked for me. I use things so much more often, if I can see them. Browsing Pinterest the other day, I found this tutorial here
It looked simple enough, and I had some of the supplies on hand too .... extra bonus !!! So I got Hubby to drill the holes for me, and then I got busy gluing and painting.
At the same time, I was browsing, I found some sweet spool dolls, someone had made. I so enjoy making spool dolls - I love the different characters you can make, by changing a smile here, or an eye shape there :-) It has been a couple of years, since I last made some, and those were a gift for someone. So, instead of just painting the top ball green, I decided to make some little ladies !!!
The spools of ribbon, create the most delightful dresses for my girls :-)
I use paint pens to create their faces - I'm not good enough, with a teeny tiny paintbrush to create them, without them looking like aliens. I did give both the holders and heads a coat of varnish. The heads are removable, so that the ribbon rolls can be removed or replaced as needed. Looking at them now, I think they could do with a few hair accessories .... a ribbon bow, a flower perhaps !!! Some of the ones I saw on Pinterest even had little crochet beanies .... Hmm, I may just not be able to help myself !!!
As you can see, each lady holds a fair number of ribbon rolls ... However, I still need a few more ladies, to accommodate a few more rolls (what this really means, is I need another 4 ladies). I think some pink ones next ..... my craft room is mostly green and pink after all !!!
This is going to be one of those hodge podge posts - the ones I'll look back on in years to come, and they'll evoke some sweet memories :-)
I had a visitor to my knitting basket !!! I had heard a rustle on and off for a couple of hours, and just couldn't find the reason - then suddenly the culprit jumped up onto the green ball of yarn ..... a little Green Anole.
We have been spending an extraordinarly huge amount of time improving our garden this Spring. I have to admit, I'm really enjoying it (fingers crossed, that the golf ball sized hail forecast for the early hours of tomorrow morning, does not obliterate my veggie garden. It's the best I've had to date !!!)
The succulents you see above, are planted in my home crafted concrete planter !!! In the previous post I mentioned making it with the concrete I had left over from the mushroom. I really like, how simple and earthy it is - suits those succulents perfectly.
My above mentioned veggie patch .... now you see why I don't want to loose everything. I've already made one batch of pesto from the basil - it's in my freezer. I'll be making my first batch of mint jelly this weekend, as the mint is growing fabulously well (my family are VERY excited about this :-) Two of my tomato plants have tomatoes on them, as does my green pepper plant. We've also enjoyed two cucumbers from our cucumber plant so far ... they were both delicious !!! I'm expecting a good potato harvest too, if the size of my plants is anything to go by. Oh, and we've already used some of our rosemary, in our favorite lamb shank recipe. I've found the Farmers Almanac to be soooo helpful this year (truth be told, I never knew it existed until a couple of weeks ago).
This little guy, was a sweet and thoughtful purchase by my hubby. He's called a spitting gnome ..... yuk, can't say I'm too fond of that name. He adds so much charm to our little water feature.
One of my favorite picture of late ..... Hubby and Girl Child sharing one of those special Daddy/Daughter moments. It makes my Mommy heart just swell :-)
Anyone could be forgiven for thinking this thing is a dinosaur !!! It is a snapping turtle that Boy Child rescued from the creek that runs behind our house. That boy LOVES animals, but he has a real soft spot for animals that reside in water. We were all called to the creek to see what he had found ..... I love that he helps animals (there is not enough food for him, where Boy Child found him), but here's the thing that made me cringe ..... he was in that tiny body of mid calf deep water with this creature !!! He's lucky he still has all ten of his toes !!!! Prehistoric, with a SERIOUSLY bad attitude !!! He was safely relocated to the big pond, where he'll hopefully live to grow even bigger ..... and more bad tempered !!!!
We have a new resident in our garden - a little fella with a red pointy hat, plump, round tummy, long, white beard and a happy, smiley face. Every new resident requires a home - in this case a red and white dotty one.
Making this mushroom home, was way out of my crafty comfort zone .... the closest I ever get to wet and messy, is paint, glue or modge podge!!! The making of this called for concrete .... the stuff of building contractors, not home crafters - Well, not anymore !!!!
I got the idea from Pinterest, and just adapted it to what I had. They used a plastic lined, hole in the ground for their mushroom cap, I used a planter. So, I thought I'd share with you how I did it, just in case you absolutely, positively cant live without your own mushroom home !!!
To create the mold, I filled a planter with soil, and played with it, until I had the cap shape I wanted. Once I was happy with the shape, I lined it with plastic (I sprayed a little cooking spray onto a piece of paper towel, and just rubbed it over the plastic liner) .... a piece of thick painters drop cloth. You will find that you have grooves in your plastic, it wont be smooth - that's OK, it makes for a more realistic looking mushroom.
Mix up your bag of concrete (a 20lb bag of concrete made this mushroom, and a mixing bowl sized succulent planter). Remember to wear your safety stuff ...... that concrete dust is just nasty !!! Now, if your hubby is really sweet (mine is :-) you can ask him to mix the concrete for you ....... Girls, you really can do this, it's not that difficult. Once it's all mixed up according to the directions on the package, you can fill your mushroom cap right up to the top of your mold ...... pack it down with your hands as you go, to make sure you have no airy spaces in your mold.
For the stem, I cut the top and bottom off a 2l soda bottle. Rub some cooking spray over the inside of the tube. Place it where you want it, and push it into the concrete just a little. Now fill up your tube with concrete.
Next up, the hard part (certainly for me, who just wanted to see what it looked like !!!), leave it to dry. Don't rush this part, as your mushroom needs to be completely dry. I left mine for 4 days.
Now, the moment you've been waiting for ..... demold it. This was as easy as lifting it out of the planter. The plastic had lodged itself in some of the grooves, but a light tug, and it came away very easily. To remove the plastic tube, just clip the plastic bottle, and peel it away. This was why we used the cooking spray, it makes demolding so easy. As you can see from the picture above - a mushroom. All the research I did on finishing
said to leave it to continue drying, unmolded for 3 days, so I did.
I used Yard & Garden paint (available at Hobby Lobby), to paint it. Be warned, concrete is VERY porous, so it drinks up the first few coats of paint. I coated it in 4 coats of white paint. I marked off circles and then finished the cap off, with 3 coats of red paint. Everything I read told me to keep the bottom of the stem unfinished (no paint or sealer), to ensure that the concrete stayed porous ...... I did just that. The underside of the stem is unfinished. I coated the stem and cap with an indoor/outdoor sealer, to offer some protection.
And there you have it - a sweet, garden ornament. To be honest, I'm hooked !!! I want to make a smaller green capped one ....... I think we may have the beginnings of Gnomesville !!!!