Friday, June 21, 2013

Roses are Red and Benches are Blue

Bench 2013
This is an update post.  Last year I scored a great deal on a climbing rose bush at an "end of season sale" and my husband spray painted an old worn out bench "turquoise" for me. Well, this year the rose bush is thriving and the bench has nicely "weathered" the elements.  The paint on the bench has faded quite a bit, but I think I like it better now than when it was all glossy and new.  What do you think?

Bench 2012

For full post on painting this bench, click here.
Newly Planted Rose Bush 2012

for full post on planting this rose bush, click here.
Rose Bush 2013


Friday, June 14, 2013

A new outdoor pillow

Back in early May my family made a little overnight trip to a waterpark.  On this trip, I stopped into a "JoAnn Fabric" store.  I found this outdoor chevron fabric marked 50% off  and had to buy some. 

Here is a pillow I made for our currrent plastic adirondack deck chair.  I am still hoping to buy these little beauties for the deck ( see full post here).

If I should manage to acquire  a couple of these "Tucker Bend" benches I already have two outdoor pillows ready to go on them.  Don't you think the colors on the pillow will work great on the Tucker Bend bench?

I have some more big plans/dreams for the deck.  You can check them out on my pinterest board, "Fun Outdoors" (click here).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A New Succulent Garden

my new succulent garden

Well sadly, my aloe plant that I have loved for over five years is no longer.  The plant outgrew itself and pieces started breaking off due to sheer weight overload.  I moved the aloe plant off of the dining table and over to a nearby chest.  I wasn't thinking how this would put the aloe in reach of my two year old until it was too late.  Innocent curiosity from my son finished the aloe plant off in one quick tug.

Overgrown Aloe, about a week before it started breaking under its own weight.

Being one not to dwell on this loss, I quickly decided it was time for me to try a succulent garden.  I've noticed several of the magazines I read, have  featured succulent gardens recently. 

I found some really neat succulent plants at Lowes.  The tallest plant is called "blue chalk sticks".  This plant is aptly named, because that is exactly what it looks like.  The smaller plant in the foreground is a sedum.  I added two moss roses on each side of my pot.  I had these moss roses left over from a six pack that I purchased for my new pallet planter.  My total investment was just $7 + tax. 

Hopefully with some tlc I can get several years of enjoyment out of this arrangement (keeping my fingers crossed).

Any tips for caring for a succulent garden?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rascally Rabbit?

Well it is the first week of June and I am past due for a garden update.  Back in early April I planted my 2013 raised bed garden with romaine lettuce, spinach, flat parsley,and a cherry tomato plant.  My husband built my raised beds out of cedar last year,click here for more on our first garden.

Recently I added some sugar snap pea and cucumber seeds. Just last week I added a "mortgage lifter" tomato plant.  This tomato plant is supposed to produce a meaty, mild flavor that has few seeds, and is ideal for slicing.  The unusual name of this plant is credited to the fact that a radiator repairman from the 1940's was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage from his sales of this tomato plant. He developed this plant by crossing four of the largest tomato plants at the time: German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an old English variety . The information above on the "mortgage lifter" was sourced from the "Bonnie" plant tag that came with the plant and  Having such a colorful history, I can't wait to try the first "mortgage lifter" tomato.
All of the rain and sunshine has really gotten things going, but I must say that it seems that some rascally rabbits  are enjoying my garden even more than me.  It started with my romaine lettuce.  Every day I would go out to check the garden and find another lettuce plant mysteriously missing.  It didn't take long for all nine of my lettuce plants to meet their dismal fate.  It may be prejudicial, but we do have several rabbits running around so they are my "usual" suspects.  I know that I could have tried wire fence to keep the rabbits out, but I didn't get anything in place  before the crimes had all been committed (these guys are too quick for a busy mom).

My spinach plants seemed to be immune to the "sneaky green leaf eater" aka "rascally rabbit", that is until today.  I went to do my daily garden check and to my dismay two of my spinach plants have been vandalized.  I have got to come up with a battle plan quick!  Suggestions anyone?

Garden on April 8, 2013.  I had just planted the spinach and lettuce. 

Garden April 22, 2013.  The lettuce vandalism had begun.

Aside from my troubles with the my lettuce thief the garden is doing great.  The flat parsley has doubled in size and my cherry tomato plant has some little green tomatos on it. 
Cherry Tomato Plant

Flat Parsley
I added some marigolds to the garden for color, but I am also told that these flowers can help deter pests.
Last but not least, one lesson learned from my garden last year is that the plants take a lot more space than I expected.  With this knowledge I realize that my garden is pretty well filled for the season.   Hoping for a good harvest again this year.  I am sure to share photos of all the fruits of my labor. 
I would love to hear what my readers are planting this year.  Have a great week!