I'm a late bloomer. Always have been. It just takes me awhile to get into a groove. Lucky for me, my garden feels the same way. Don't you find that as the season wanes on your garden gets ragged and wilted? Plants brown and look downright scruffy pots and the landscaping. For most of us, our gardens have peaked and it's all downhill from here. The second half of summer has arrived. In fact, where I live, it's starting to feel like the tail end. Yet there are some plants that look better now than ever. These are what I try to incorporate into my garden to keep it looking sharp as Fall peeks around the corner. Don't you love flowers and herbs with some staying power? Here's what I'd suggest.
Hear that sound? It's the soothing elegance of water pouring through my new rain chain. Wonderful. This summer has been a washout in Buffalo, NY. Lots and lots of rain. This is especially true this August and more rain is on the way. So the highlight of my life now is my new rain chain from Monarch Rain Chains that makes water so beautiful. Plastic downspouts are ugly. So are aluminum gutters. Rain chains are lovely and create a splendid focal point in your yard. Copper rain chains even more so. I'm very excited for your chance to win this $540 4-piece copper umbrella bundle set from Monarch. And they are running a ton of awesome specials right now so be sure to check them out. If you do win, will you send me a picture of the rain chain on your home? I'd love to see it! To enter, just leave a comment telling me how much rain you get in your neck of the woods.
I rarely talk about myself or my family on the blog. But my garden is rather lackluster this year. Too much rain and not enough sun have caused the plants to rot yielding a smaller crop. So today I thought I'd tell you about the day I lost my 3-year-old. This happened a few months ago but still causes me anxiety. I'm a little sensitive about Esther in part because she was a NICU baby and spent 8 weeks at birth in the hospital. And we came very close to loosing her then. Sigh. A story for another day. But Esther truly is the love of my life; she makes me so happy. At the end of my tale, maybe you can leave me a comment telling me how and if you've done something similar. You'll never guess where she was found.
We finally did it. We sampled our first Wild Zora bar. Meat lovers. These are for you. Veggie lovers. These are for you. Real food + real flavor packed into a nutrient-rich scrumptious bar, these are for all! And international readers....we are so excited that Wild Zora has reached out to you! Everyone can participate. So leave a comment below telling us if you always buy organic food for your chance to win a $50 case of bars. And before I forget, I can't wait to tell you what surprised me most about Wild Zora!
Want to play a game? I'm going to show you a series of landscape pictures and you tell me if you think it's an example of classy or tacky gardening. All you need is a scrap piece of paper and to label 1-10. And I would love it if you left a comment below telling me what you think. Some of the pictures seem borderline and I can't decide myself. But I do want my yard to look nice and I'm sure you do too. After all, partly why we garden and do yard work is the satisfaction we get from improved curb appeal. We want our yards to look better, not worse for our hard labor. So take this post with a grain of salt as it's a bit tongue in cheek. So are you ready? Then let's get started!
While on the Ken-Ton garden walk, we were told "you must see this garden, you simply must." So with two cranky kids in tow on a 85 degree day, we did. And we are so glad we stopped. Not only were the homeowners so gracious offering our kids popsicles and drinks, but the garden was absolutely stellar as well. Hope you enjoy these pics and get inspired with a few ideas to make your garden a bit more colorful. Make sure you Pin your favorite pictures! And don't forget we have two awesome giveaways going on.
Plastic makes my world go round. Especially since having kids. It's lightweight, durable and these days becoming increasingly trendy. It doesn't smash into a million pieces either like ceramic or glass does. Plastic is for the people. And this is partly what makes the Pickers Grow Boxes and Crop Props from Emsco so fabulous. The resin used in these products is chemically inactive; BPA-free and phthalate-free. Safe for us organic gardeners. Besides, container gardening is some of the most fun you'll ever have with plants! So no more excuses. Go ahead. Push the easy button and keep reading for your chance to win a Picker + Crop Prop from the Emsco Group. Over $140 value! To enter just leave a comment telling us what you'd plant in your new picker in the comment section below. And guess what, there's two winners! I really hope you are one of them.
Tom here. I recently garbaged picked a very nice 75' garden hose from the curb. It certainly didn't looked damaged. At the same time I'm not naive enough to think that somebody threw away a garden hose because it was in good working order. I ended up finding a small hole in the hose. But for $1.92 I fixed the hose and now it works perfect. Have you thrown out a garden hose that has a hole, or because one of the ends got run over by a car or the lawn mower? Does it drive you crazy if you see a little drip coming from one of the ends? Stop fretting over your hose and fix it yourself! Confession time. I just learned how to fix these common problems... The good news? So can you!
Sophisticated and sleek, function marries beauty in this Good Directions weathervane made of copper and brass. The copper figure and spacer balls are splendid. Real copper! Stunning just sitting in the box. Still, within minutes of arrival, Tom already had it assembled. It was that easy. He placed the vane in the dead center of the middle raised bed. A decorative Titan highlighting the best of our garden and no doubt will look equally lovely in your yard. Good Directions is a company with a sharp eye on trend only offering the creme de la creme of outdoor products. Make sure you enter to win by leaving a comment below telling us where you'd put this weathervane. Barn? Home? Garden? Cottage? Potting shed? Greenhouse? Lake house? Garage? Deck? The possibilities are endless. $180 value!!
A year ago, you probably would have been able to convince me that compost tea is something one can drink. But as I ween myself off of products like Miracle-Gro, I'm seeking out organic solutions to ignite the growth and health of my garden. Enter compost tea. Here's a DIY mini project that's easy to do and will satisfy your soils need for organic nutrients. So meet Jay Williams, co-owner of High Yield Organics - (Rocky Mountain Worms) who breaks down the whole process for us. Jay is so easygoing and laid-back, it was easy asking him questions. He's the exact type of person we like to learn from. And there's another surprise. Jay has a Worm Factory 360 he wants you to win in an upcoming post as we continue on our vermiculture journey. But until then, here's the scoop to successful brewing.
For my male blog readers, I know that pink may not be your thing....(although I've seen plenty of men in pink shirts these days) still make sure you enter to win for your wife, sister, daughter or mom! Besides, Apollo tools offers a huge range of products, including lots of manly tools and tool kits for your car, boat or RV. Check them out.
Tom bought me some hand tools at a garage sale. I was pleased but confused as to why all the handles had purple duck tape repeatedly wrapped around them. "To mark that they belonged to his wife" was my husbands reply. Huh...I'm thinking to myself? He continued "So that the husband knew never to touch those tools." Uh. Ok. Maybe a simpler solution would be to purchase this durable and trendy 6 piece pink handled tool set from Apollo Precision Tools. The handles are pink to mark awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. And a portion of every pink kit sale is given to this cause. If you don't have any hand tools or are just looking for an upgrade; I really hope you enter to win by leaving a comment telling us how you organize your tools.
I like to think I don't nag. But this probably isn't true. This year, I really wanted every plant to be propped up. Sprawling plants make for a messy looking garden. And since I planted much closer than usual this year, we needed to go vertical. Trellises are pricy, usually one trellis per plant. But I wanted a trellis that could prop up a whole row of peas, beans or cucumbers. So I got on Tom. Tom's a gym teacher. With his go-big or go-home mentality, he was racking his brain with ideas to win. And he came up with a seven' high and six' wide trellis made out of PVC pipe. Guess what else? There's a surprise at the end of this post.
We bought our first DripWorks irrigation system a couple of years ago. I didn't blog then. It's a product that we use and abuse and continue to love year after year. We've partnered with DripWorks today so that you can have a chance to win your own Garden Bed Irrigation Kit...good for watering up to 3 beds (4' x 8'). Perfect for raised beds, flower beds, pots and shrubs. It's with great pleasure that I recommend this product to you. I really hope you win!!
I just noticed that my garlic scapes have curled. It's time to harvest, prepare and eat my scapes. The scapes are the curling stem that spirals up from the hardback Rocombole garlic. It's the stalk that suddenly emerges mid to late June from the center of the plant. And since this is my first year growing garlic, it's also my first year with my own garlic scapes. Garlic is tasty. So are the scapes. They are delicious and easy to prepare. And don't worry if you didn't grow your own, they can be found at farmer's markets. I even saw them in the grocery store this past week. But hurry, the season is short! So if you haven't tried making garlic scapes, I hope you will this year. Here's five reasons why.
When our Red Wriggler Worms arrived via U.S. mail we felt like new parents again. Right down to getting the bedding and food just right! Vermiculture is brand new for Tom and I. But we were eager to learn and hope you share this interest. Worm poop works wonders in your garden. Sheer gold. So we were thrilled to partner with Marle Worm Growers who sent us a worm tube to test out. A worm tube is a PVC plastic pipe with holes that gets buried in your garden. You reap all the benefits of worm composting without having to host live organisms in your house or garage. So tell us why you'd like to win a worm tube in the comment section for a chance to win from Marle Worm Growers! And keep reading to learn more about our progress with vermiculture! It's so exciting.
Let me guess. You'd love to own your own greenhouse but don't want a permanent structure in your yard. Not to mention the expense! Meet the Horti Hood. The Horti Hood is a dome-shaped moveable greenhouse that can be used year after year to germinate your seeds and extend the growing season of your plants. And if you stagger your plantings, it's perfect for those second and third shifts. Even better? It costs a fraction of the price that a huge, cumbersome greenhouse would cost. It's simply marvelous. So we are ecstatic to have partnered with Rob McAlister from Cave Innovations who wants to give you a Horti Hood 90 valued at $140 US dollars. And guess what international readers? You can enter too!
I love dirt! In fact, I love it so much that I make my own. And it has been one of the best gardening experiments thus far, my plants are thriving in my mix. So when our new friends at Grabco reached out to us to do a post about soil type, we said yes! After taking the "quiz" I'd say I have clay soil. After installing our raised beds, we decided to order premium topsoil to fill them with. Now we are experimenting with worms. Tom and I hope you wonderful readers are interested in worm composting. Stay tuned. We have lots of posts coming your way. But that's enough dirt on me, how about you? What's your soil type? By the way, you are going to love the infographic at the end of the post. So let me know your soil type in the comments below!
I know what you're thinking. Hmmm. This product looks like a glorified garbage can and for $100 bucks, I can buy something similar at Bed Bath and Beyond and just compost in that. After using my CompoKeeper for several weeks now....not so. And for the record, I have that garbage can from BBB (and paid more for it than I would have for a CompoKeeper, duh) and it pales in comparison. A CompoKeeper is similar to having dogs and cats; you're not going to be satisfied with having just one. You'll love it so much, you'll want at least two. That's how multi-purpose they are.
To enter leave a comment telling us why you'd like to win your very own CompoKeeper valued at over $100! (includes 12 compostable bags & 2 carbon filters).
Do you compare yourself to other people? It's probably not a good idea, but sometimes I do. I'm just a very curious person. I've noticed that my 5-year-old has picked up my awful habit of just staring at people who interest me. Not good! And I've read that the majority of people peek inside the bathroom cabinets of others when visiting their homes. I guess we're all curious! Want to take a peek at my garden and exchange notes? Then you can shoot me a comment about what you planted this year. Do you agonize over the planting process thinking to yourself....did I plant enough of......or too much of.....I do! It drives me insane. Here's my rundown.
And thanks for being such wonderful readers, I appreciate you so much!!
To celebrate World Oceans Day we're so excited to have teamed up with Water Gallery. Water Gallery is a marvelously unique company that makes reusable glass water bottles with stunning ocean themed artwork by Wyland. Looking at the panoramic view on the inside of these bottles is similar to going to the aquarium. And just like the aquarium, it actually looks like the dolphins and turtles are swimming inside these bottles. Best about Water Gallery? Their passion for ocean conservation and all earth sustaining products. So leave a comment for your chance to win two of these fantastic bottles from Water Gallery valued at $50!
I recently stumbled across Zidle, a website that sells everything from home and kitchen items to pet, beauty, auto and kids stuff. What an interesting array of products they sell! Who doesn't want a new squeegee? But what I like best is that so many of their products are inexpensive, I'm talking in the $3-$8 range for an item that is unique. Where else are you going to find special straws that change color when they touch ice cold beverages for $1.99? So this is your chance to win 3 items from Zidle that I'll highlight below. To win, just leave a comment telling me your favorite store that you currently shop at.
Is there anything worse that a pot or window box that doesn't quite measure up....or is just plain ugly? Okay, yes there is! But if you're going to plant at all, I say, do it right. Here's my top 8 top tips for creating a magical box or planter with stunning visual appeal this year.
Are you into protein shakes? I love them. So we are thrilled to have partnered with Garden of Life to sample their organic plant protein. The best part? They are absolutely delicious. And there's no junk in these products. Chock-full of nutrients, bursting with protein ~ they sure fill you up. Just wait till you see the ingredient list. You are definitely going to want to keep reading for your chance to win some Organic Plant Protein from Garden of Life! (And guess what....there's 5 winners!!) Pouches approximately $25 value each!
Today, our blogging friend Matt~ a horticulturist from Massachusetts and the writer and photographer behind Living Horticulturally is guest posting.....about bugs!! See, they're not all bad!! So here we go....
When people think bugs in the garden, they often think bugs do damage. While this is often the case, keep in mind there are good bugs too. Some bugs are essential to keep your garden flourishing.
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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