Happy Valentine's Day readers, thanks for much for "liking" our page. We love you back!
My front door is red. Red is wonderful because it takes you from the Christmas season right through Valentine's Day in February. It's festive for months. Red is warm. It enlivens any indoor or outdoor space, but in particular has that sprucing up effect on the front of your home. Stroll through your neighborhood and count how many red doors you see. A ton I'll wager! Paint your door any hue of red. Or if your house is red than how about a white door? When you know you nailed the right door color, well, you just know. So put on your fancy Valentine's Day socks (I'd say underwear but we don't know each other that well...yet) and enjoy the pics. And if the last one doesn't make you giggle, nothing will!
Happy Valentine's Day readers, thanks for much for "liking" our page. We love you back!
My sister got me a spiralizer for Christmas and I finally opened the box. What took me so long? I guess I'm not one for kitchen gadgets, but this device has kept me busy. I love it! How about you? Have you hopped on the spiralizer bandwagon? There's almost nothing I'm not willing to stick in this contraption to see how it will come out, with great results. Except my finger which mistakenly got stuck in the blade and is still hurting! Spiralized Brussels sprouts anyone? In the off-gardening season, I like to experiment with food. So when I do have a surplus of zucchini and cucumbers, I give myself as many options as possible of using them up in a economical, yet innovative way. You don't want to eat the same thing every night! And you're probably not even going to believe me when I tell you the best way to use this product at the end of this post.
Little Summer Street is a special place in Buffalo, NY. The words quaint and charming are an understatement. Adorable is more like it. Adorable houses. Adorable gardens. Hey, we can't all live on Little Summer Street but that doesn't mean we can't replicate their splendid sense of style. And you can probably guess by now that I never tire of succulents. This creative display just draws the eye and the homemade pots are fabulous. They are low maintenance but look so good! We were thrilled with Amy Komeneckys garden and her welcoming aura. She let my 3-year-old use her bathroom and gave her some bottled water! Read More
As always, thanks for being such sweet readers and the Facebook likes!
Thanks to advances in mobile technology, people are using their phones to help with more tasks than ever. Millennials make up 24 percent of the population, and they're driving this trend. Over 80 percent of them sleep with their smartphones. Many are also trying out gardening or farming. After all, anyone can save money by producing nutritious food or growing beautiful flowers to decorate their home. The powerful Apple iPhone 5 with ultrafast wireless capability gives users access to over 700,000 apps and Siri, a computerized, voice-activated assistant. All this help can make learning to cultivate a stunning indoor or outdoor garden much easier.
It's no secret that we use wood to heat our home. It lowers our heating bills dramatically and creates an inviting and cozy atmosphere in our home. When that fire is blazing, I never want to venture outside. Neither do our pets. Where do you get your wood? If you buy it, you loose any savings you get from burning it, but you need a free source. This year we acquired most of our wood from our neighbor whose tree was struck by lightening. Other years, we're blessed to get wood off my in-laws property in the country. But of course you can't move firewood more than 50 miles, which we didn't. How about you? Where do you get your wood from? Do you cut it yourself? Do you pay for it? All these questions had me asking some tough ones of my own! And I have an idea at the end of this post of how you can get free chunked wood that you probably haven't thought of.
Would it be too weird if I asked you to save your dryer lint for me? Okay. I agree! But dryer lint is highly flammable making it the perfect base for your own fire starters. Got a wood stove? Know someone who does? Ever want to start a bonfire quickly? These are the easiest and cheapest fire starters you can make.
You know how it is. You wake up at 2 a.m. in the morning with a scratchy throat. Shoot. You're getting sick! Then you start stressing about work and getting behind schedule. As a gardener, I have a few tactics that have dulled the sick symptoms and even prevented it. My husband and two daughters have been sick off and on since September. Pneumonia, strep throat, the stomach flu and the common cold have been shuffling from person while I remain okay. Want to hear some of my tricks? Trust me, I used to be the sick one. Yet here I am. Feeling great. And I have Natural Pharm Source in part to thank ~ a supplement company that I rely on, way before I became a blogger. So I reached out to them to do a giveaway and they graciously said yes. I'm so excited for you to win this amazing immunity prize pack loaded in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Probiotics and even a book. All to keep you well, healthy and happy in 2016. A $150 value!! To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment telling me about what you do to stay healthy. Contest ends February 17th. International readers welcome to enter!
Calm. Serene. Relaxed. That's how we felt visiting the Buffalo garden of Sarah Stanbury and Adam Kostenbauder. It was love at first sight with this succulent wall. Take notice of the succulents in the bottom wood planter as well. Succulents are the trendiest part of gardening right now. Stunning. And you won't believe what they've manage to do with such a small space in their backyard. A tranquil retreat. And did you know? More people visit gardens each year on garden walks than Disney World and Disneyland combined. That's more than Las Vegas! Read More.
Zero calories. Zero carbohydrates. Non-glycemic. An all natural sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Meet stevia.The wonderful stevia plant. You buy this sweetener typically in liquid form for a price. Or you can grow your own plants very cheaply. Then crush the leaves to sweeten your teas, coffee, sorbets, yogurts, salad dressings and fruit. Ideal for diabetics and dieters alike, it's not metabolized by the body. You can even substitute some of the sugar (not all) you use for baking. Stevia is a tender perennial herb that prefers USDA growing zones 9-11. But since we grow it here in Buffalo, NY...anything is possible. And it's thriving and happy as shown above. A little goes a long way. Just one plant yields approximately 1/2 pound of dried leaves. And stevia can be grown year-round in indoor pots. So even if you live in a cooler climate, you can do this too. Let's get growing!
Raise Your Garden can't partner with all companies. Both the product and the people must be stellar or we can't recommend them to you! So it's with the greatest pleasure that I am introducing Black Canyon Woodworks to you. I honestly don't know which I like better, the artisan cutting boards, butcher blocks and platters they make or the folks who are the backbone of this company. This is a family-run business run by real people who work hard just like you and me. So go ahead and earn as many entries as you can to win this board because it's superb. You will not be able to wipe the smile off your face when you open the box. I hope it's you! Enter the contest by telling us in the comment section of this post what wood board you'd choose from BCW if you win. Need ideas to see how you can customize and design your own board? Go to their website for inspiration. And keep reading to learn how to make the perfect appetizer tray on your new board. Approximate value $200.
My daughter came home from school with this shocking revelation. "Mom, I am the only kid at school who gets any fresh fruits or veggies packed in my lunch." Now I know you have to take everything a 5-year-old says with a grain of salt but still I wonder. Partly why we garden is that we are passionate about not only what we eat, but where our food comes from. My overall philosophy is that if it's not good for an adult, it's not good for a kid either. And I'm fully aware that I am the laughingstock on my street as my kids are not allowed to drink Hugs or chomp on Swedish Fish. So today's post highlights 10 healthy snack options that even your kid will eat. And make sure you leave a comment below telling me about your favorite snack for a chance to win one Dabbawalla lunch bag or purse of your choice! American friends. Canadian friends. Win for your kids, grandkids, niece, nephew or friends' kid. They will love. You will love. Here's why.
How many unfinished projects do you have going on? My goal is to finish what I start, not taking on more than I can handle. So it's back to the herbs I've been drying in brown paper bags. I'm way past my two week goal and they're ready to be stored. Even used! There's no doubt fresh is best, but sometimes it's okay to dry them for future use and to save yourself a few dollars. Besides, who knows how long they've been sitting on the grocery store shelf? You can buy them from the dollar store, but then again, you get what you pay for. So below I've outlined the best practices for storing herbs so that you can enjoy your garden a little longer. And have you ever wondered what's the difference between herbs and spices?
Although you and I both know that it's the inside that counts, people judge based on looks. And this is never more true than when it comes to lawn care. Just the other day I caught my neighbor pulling up dandelions by hand because she thought they made her lawn look so ugly. Personally, I think dandelions are rather pretty. Each to their own I guess. So today, we have an intriguing infographic that will give you lawn insights year round ~ so that you have the best looking lawn on the block regardless of the season. Enjoy!
Those who have never seen a hummingbird up close may not have a full appreciation of their brilliant colors or the hypnotizing rhythm to their flitting movements, but many of those who have wonder how they can consistently attract these fascinating creatures to their home. Fortunately, attracting hummingbirds to your backyard with cost-effective garden design solutions is as simple as understanding their behavior. You can find more inspiration for your garden here if you’re interested in applying any of the advice from this article.
Now I own a ton of rakes and I'm sure you do to. What makes the Corona BigLOAD rake so special is the wide width. It's durable, lightweight and gets the job done in half the time due to this unique head design. 30 inches long! So envision yourself raking Fall leaves for your compost pile. When it comes to rakes, only plastic will do for me. I think it's because metal rakes remind me of fingers on a chalkboard. Besides, I like a lightweight rake that I can easily tote around the yard to scoop up grass before it gets dragged into the house. No doubt you too will be using this rake to gather lawn clippings, leaves, and even small rocks on both natural and paved surfaces. To enter leave a comment below telling me what you are doing to prepare for winter.
Click here to leave a comment to enter the Corona $120 shovel/spade contest too!
So what costs less than 5 bucks and takes less than 5 minutes to make? A pumpkin centerpiece. It's true! You'll love one on your table this Fall, especially on Thanksgiving Day. I love surfing Pinterest for ideas just like most of you. But if it's not easy and relatively inexpensive to do, I won't follow through with it. This project was both easy and cheap so I was on board. I hope you are too!
You know this question has been burning you up for years. What's the difference between a shovel and a spade? Ever since Corona Tools most generously sent us a few items to review, we've been amazed at how much more efficiently we work. And Corona was fun to partner with, even including us in the selection process! Tom is so enamored with his new spade that he's been motived to tackle projects he typically ignores. The side edging never looked so good! So I hope you're ready to be the proud owner of the best shovel or spade you'll ever own because Corona tools are of the highest caliber. I've personally never handled a higher quality tool. You need a good spade and shovel. You need them to dig, scoop, turn and chop, pry, edge, plant and cut roots. So leave a comment below telling us about your favorite tool to enter! (shovel or spade valued up to $120)
I can probably guess what you're thinking. "Laura, Halloween is past, why are you still talking about pumpkins, let it go." Two good reasons. #1 Pumpkins are lovely till Thanksgiving, as long as you didn't carve them to death. Then they do slump over on you. But even if you did consider... #2 Everyone is purging their pumpkins right now, even ones that haven't been carved. Farmer's don't want them and people are dumping them in their garbage. Last year, I scored five huge pumpkins from my local grocery store. Three huge carts labelled with a "free" sign. This year I saw large pumpkins priced at $10 and medium sized ones for $7 during the season. Wow. Expensive. And you're so smart, I'm sure you can guess what I did with those seeds.
You planted your garlic. Good! Now it's time to dry your herbs. When I saw a tiny bottle of dried rosemary priced at $7 at the local grocery store I said to myself enough. I need this skill. And bay leaf will cost you a mint too. So now that I've done it, I can't believe I've never taken herb drying seriously before. Cheap and easy to do, herbs add a powerful punch to food without adding calories. And even though I'd argue that fresh herbs beat out dried herbs any day, your dried herbs are still so much fresher than any sitting on a grocery store shelf. How long have they been there anyhow? Let's get started.
Like free stuff? Make sure you leave a comment to enter our Mailbox giveaway! Thanks for the Facebook likes, we are so grateful.
I love a good investment that gives a solid return. This is partly why I can appreciate garlic so much. Garlic grows from individual cloves broken off from a whole bulb. Each clove multiplies in the ground, forming a whole new bulb with 5-10 cloves. Talk about bang for your buck. But it's nearing the end of the Fall planting season, so you better get a move on. I always tell myself that when I order my Halloween costume off Amazon, it's also time to plant my garlic. And nothing flavors your food better than fresh garlic. Here's a tip to get us started. Don't break up those bulbs any longer than 24 hours before you plant them being very careful not to bruise or damage them. And make sure you follow these other ten tips too!
If I drive by your house to see how this mailbox looks on the exterior would you consider that stalking? Nevermind. Our old mailbox was quite hideous. Outdated. Ugly. So we were hyped when Bellacor sent us this stunning oil rubbed bronze mailbox. It was my parents who first admired it. Then of course the mail lady marvels over it every time she sees me. (And she must see a lot of mailboxes...right?!). So I'm excited for you and your chance to win your choice of two mailboxes! $180 value. Enter by leaving a comment below on this post telling me about the best thing you ever got in the mail. Hurry up and enter so you can have it ready for your influx of Christmas cards! I hope you win.
Let's talk about squash. How squashy are you? A 10 for very squashy? A 1 for not so much? Eat it every couple of days in season....roasted, baked, mashed, fried, in casseroles, soup, bread, muffins, pies or just alone!? I love squash- they're high in fiber, nutritious and rich in flavor. Unlike squishy summer squash, winter squash has those hard shells, an inedible rind with hollow seed-filled centers. This makes them last a whole lot longer than their summer squash cousins. Here's the rundown of what to look for and how to prepare.
My plastic hose cart is ugly. It's top heavy too. So even though it's on wheels, it plops over when I tug too hard. Our Buffalo winters are harsh and the plastic cracks, especially the handles. Storage is the universal problem and the main reason it gets left outside during the winter months. Then I met Liberty Garden Products two-wheel decorative hose cart and there's no going back. I didn't think it was possible to make an attractive yet functional hose cart. It is! I'm equally excited for you and your chance to win this lovely hose cart valued at $140! And guess what Canadian readers.....Liberty Garden products wants you to enter too! Enter by leaving me a comment below on this post telling me what your favorite Halloween candy is.
And while you're here, make sure you enter this marvelous mailbox contest too!
My sister just got married. And for the wedding, my mom bought tons of hibiscus trees and bushes to decorate with in hues of red, orange and yellow. The next morning cleanup had begun and I became the very happy owner of three new trees and one humongous bush. Big Lots had 20% off everything in the store yesterday. I bought myself four big brown plastic pots for my 36th birthday so I can repot them. So now I am the caretaker of seven huge hibiscus plants which have to reside indoors due to the extreme cold here in Buffalo, NY. It's a good time to refresh my indoor plant skills for sure! So when my new blogging friend Korie asked to do a post about indoor gardening, I said yes! I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
Science class was never that easy for me. So I was a bit intimated at first by my Daisy Cloner from Solexx. I even wondered if I'd be able to do it. Still, I was thrilled for the chance to give this machine a whirl. My goal was to try a variety of different plants to get the gist of how this product worked. These are my findings. I hope someday you'll try cloning for yourself because it's a lot of fun! Some of the most fun I've had with plants. So enter to win your own Daisy Cloner by telling me what type of plant you'd like to clone in the comment section below.
Make sure you enter to win this hose cart and marvelous mailbox while you're here!
Hi, I'm Laura and hail from Buffalo, NY. I love sharing my home & garden ideas with you. Thanks for stopping by.
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