All don't forget to enter our $140 hose cart contest (the previous post) if you haven't already. Just leave a comment to enter. No gimmicks! Just easy.
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.
All don't forget to enter our $140 hose cart contest (the previous post) if you haven't already. Just leave a comment to enter. No gimmicks! Just easy.
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.
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.
And don't forget to enter the Daisy Cloner contest so you can start cloning your indoor plants!
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 prize pack too!
I started this blog in part because I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to learn some new things and actually get them checked off my bucket list. Plant cloning has always been near the top. But until I met up with the Greenhouse Catalog company, I had no real plan set. For serious gardeners, the Greenhouse Catalog keeps your thumb green year-round. So I'm thrilled to introduce to you today to a product of theirs, the Daisy Cloner. We had the opportunity to fire away our own cloning questions to Laurie from The Greenhouse Catalog who has 20 plus years of experience in the nursery industry. I hope you learn as much from her as we did. And you'll have the chance to win the Daisy Cloner shown above in a future post in which I give my own review of the product in a few days. Stay tuned!
The upstairs sink got clogged and water was pouring onto the floor. When it got to be about 2 inches we started to worry. So we plunged and threw down caustic chemicals. In sheer desperation, we called Rotor Rooter. After all, it was a Sunday and they said they would be there in under an hour. Forty minutes later, Rotor Rooter boy arrived and $200 bucks later, problem solved. And we got some good advice for that $200. "Don't ever put caustic chemicals down the sink. It eats away at the pipes." I wish I knew about the Citra Solv natural enzyme drain cleaner before I poured all those nasty chemicals down my drain. It sure would have saved me a few headaches! So make sure you leave a comment below for your chance to win a lovely assortment of Citra Solv products for the home, bath, kitchen and more. You have to read the ingredient list for yourself to believe it.
And thank you so much for the Facebook likes, we are so grateful!! We appreciate you readers so very much =)
Rainy days are my cue to be productive inside the house. And not only was it rainy but super cold this past weekend. Some light went on in my brain and I managed to harvest my roma tomatoes before the rain struck. It was fun gathering with my two girls who were actually helpful in this task. Besides, I like the idea at least of passing on some traditions. And I dislike waste, so if I didn't harvest the tomatoes when I did, I would have putzed around for weeks as my sister is getting married this coming weekend. Things are getting kind of hectic here. Waiting in this case creates a whole lot more work and waste too as the season wanes on and the tomatoes tend to rot and get more spotty. Didn't grow enough tomatoes this year to make sauce? How about picking up a bushel at a roadside stand or farmer's market for $5. So come along on my sauce making journey. And thank you so much for the Facebook likes, we are so grateful!
Even I think it's strange. I spend so much time considering yard aestetics and then totally forget about the hose. The ugly hose problem. Nothing has the potential to ruin your curb appeal like the hose. And if you're anything like me, you just let it dangle, droop and sprawl out like urban decay in both your front and back lawn. It gets tripped over or worse, run over by the lawn mower. Bleh. The solution is simple. A hose stand from Liberty Garden Products. That's it. So buy one or win one right here. To enter to win, just leave a comment telling me anything about your current hose situation. A $50 value!
Make sure you enter to win this natural cleaning prize pack from Citra Solv too!
The curvature of this front garden got our attention. Winding around this splendid front porch are these flower beds loaded in every shade of the rainbow color. And just wait till you see the backyard. The before and after makeover transformation is unbelievable. Amazing what can be done with a such small space. Kudos to Scott and Marge Goodman! Read More.
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.
Be sure to enter our exciting hose stand giveaway too. I hope you win!!
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!
There's a definite shift when you go from country girl to suburbanite gardener. For one, it's not socially acceptable to have an open compost pile rotting in your lawn. The type that requires a pitchfork to turn it over to decompose. Unsightly. Smelly. Buggy. Bad for property values. Even a compost bin is frowned upon. Yet being passionate about composting, I still wanted to be able to make my own compost out of my kitchen and yard waste. So I am so grateful to the Good Ideas company who generously sent me not one, but two compost tumblers to test out. Even better? They want to send one of you, my wonderful and loyal readers your own compost tumbler valued at $300! To enter this giveaway, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post. What do you like most about these Good Ideas composters.
Beautiful front shot of home. Love the tree.
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!
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.
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.
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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