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How to Harvest Day Lily Seeds

Getting Ready to Harvest Day Lily seeds

Years ago, when we lived on our farm my mom sent me a box of plants.  Several arrived tired because it was pretty hot and very few made it through transplanting.

However, the day lilies did amazing and every year I propagate to expand their beauty.

When we moved, we left some at the farm and transplanted the rest at Quail Grove.   They produced even better here and I’ve really grown to love these flowers.  I think it’s because they don’t require a lot of attention and they make a great statement.

So, there’s two ways to expand daylily plants, one by dividing their clumps and the other by growing from seed.  Today we’re going to chat about seed harvesting but if you prefer dividing daylilies read here.

Harvesting Day Lily seeds

Daylilies from Seed

Daylilies grown from seed will not be identical to the parent plant if you have other varieties growing nearby.  Which I think is pretty exciting because it offers an opportunity to establish a new flower.

Imagine forming new colors and patterns by cross breeding your existing plants, this is how new cultivars are created each year and it’s easy to do.

I only have one variety of daylily in my garden and no nearby gardening neighbors so I’m pretty sure that when I harvest these seeds, they’ll remain true to my existing plant.  I guess we’ll find out when I germinate the seeds I’ve gathered.

Let’s dive into seed harvesting process because it’s super easy!

After the Flower Blooms

After the flowers bloom the stem needs to remain attached to the plant so they can produce their seed pod. They’re pretty small and you can see them forming in the photo above.

These pods will expand and become a nice shade of green before they begin to dry on the stem, this process can take 5-6 weeks.

At this point many folks remove these stems to encourage new flower growth.  You can do that but leave a few if you want to harvest seeds for later.

Harvesting Lily Stems for seedsWhen the Pods Dry

When the pods finally dry, they’ll begin to open.  They almost hold the shape of a tulip and you’ll see black seeds inside.

When they begin to open you can pull and gather those stems to harvest seeds.

You won’t need to cut to remove because if you hold the stem from the middle and give it a tug it will come right out.

Getting Ready to Remove Lily Seeds

Collecting Seeds

Daylily seeds will vary in size, appear round, black and they’re easy to handle.

They may fall right out or you might need to help by opening the pod.  Once the seeds are gathered make sure they’re dry before placing in an envelope to store for later.

Harvesting seeds from the garden is one of my favorite activities and it’s probably because my grandma spent a lot of time showing me how to do it.

I remember her saying, “be smart, independent, learn essentials skills and you’ll never go hungry.” I believe her wisdom surfaced from raising a family during the depression.

They didn’t have much and yet they were able to keep a roof over their head and food on the table even if it was minimal.

Long after those days passed, life improved and those years of experience became part of her.  I found these stories interesting because they had this understanding of common sense that gave her inner strength and hope for the future.

A strength that seems to be missing more and more in the generations that followed and I’m not sure why.

I treasure the knowledge she passed on, because now I can share it will all of you.

Maybe that was part of grandma’s plan?

Simple skills like harvesting seeds is a reminder to be thankful for those awesome people that passed through our lives.

To learn more about this topic get my harvesting seeds article here.  It’s a great resource for those who want to expand their garden knowledge.

Learn how to harvest Day lily seeds and get tips for expanding those skills to additional plants. #Daylily, #SeedHarvest

Make a Wood Stenciled Lazy Susan

DIY Home Decor Lazy Susan

I’ve been wanting to make a lazy susan for a while, but the thing is, I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

When I can’t seem to make a decision things are always placed on the back burner and this project was put on hold for months.

Then one afternoon while sorting through paint and stain an idea sparked; I knew it was time to put it all together.

 

Lazy Susan project supplies

This post contains affiliate links for Dixie Belle Paint, Cutting Edge Stencils and Amazon, Click here to read site terms.

Affiliate Account Garden Up Green/ Carole West is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Supplies for Lazy Susan

Shopping for supplies is super easy because what you don’t have at home can be gathered online and delivered to your door.

If you’re not one to shop online then some of these supplies can be found at a local hardware store, the exceptions would be the stencil and paint.

Paint Staining Wood

Staining the Circular Board

The board was ready to use at the time of purchase which was nice and I covered with paint and gel stain immediately.

I absolutely love that voodoo gel stain and it comes in 7 different colors.

  1. Take the blue sponge to paint stain. Learn how to paint stain here.
  2. Paint stain the edges and backside with midnight sky.
  3. Tape off the front of the board and apply midnight sky on the ends and center.
  4. When dry remove tape, then tape again and stain with the voodoo gel using the blue sponge.
  5. Let it dry and remove tape again. For any missed areas fill those gaps with the gel stain.

Cutting Edge Stencil Transfer

Applying the Stencil

Once the base colors dry apply that sweet anemone from Cutting Edge Stencils using sand bar.

This transfer took less than a minute which was pretty fantastic. If you’re new to stenciling get my tips here.

Adding Hardware to the Lazy Susan

 

Attaching the Swivel

Before securing the swivel, let the board dry so we don’t risk smearing the surface while attaching hardware.

  1. Flip the board and center the swivel then attach the corners using 4 screws with a screw driver.
  2. I added a thin stained board to the bottom with two sided sticky squares.  You could also use felt.
  3. The point of the cover is to keep the metal from scratching a surface.  If that’s not a concern you can just leave it as is.

Lazy Susan project that easy to make

This lazy susan project was super easy and it didn’t require power tools which was an added bonus.

Once the colors were decided everything just fell into place and now I have a pretty addition for our Tiny Kitchen.

Now that would have been fun to teach at one of our Make and Take Workshops last year.

In case you haven’t heard, I have a new book available that teaches step by step instruction for creating your own workshop environment.  This book is the perfect set of instructions for those who are ready to take their craft or skill to the next level.

I started teaching workshops 5 years ago and it was so much fun; the best part was standing back, watching others put their spin on one of my kits.

There’s something fantastic about helping others discover their own creativity.   Learn more here.

 

Make a lazy susan using paint stain and stenciled techniques. This is a fun afternoon project anyone can make using basic steps. #LazySusan, #HomeDecor

DIY Stenciled Herb Planter

Make a DIY stenciled Herb Planter

It seems most of my projects begin with a little paint, splash of stencil and something to build.  Except for today because this time, there’s no building involved.

We’re just adding a little paint and stencil to make this fun DIY herb planter.

Craft Project Supplies

This post contains affiliate links for Dixie Belle Paint and Amazon, Click here to read site terms.

Affiliate Account Garden Up Green/ Carole West is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Project Supply List

We begin with an assortment of items beginning with my favorite, Dixie Belle paint.  My original box and door pulls were purchased from Hobby Lobby and I linked additional options to make shopping a breeze.  Stencils can be found on Etsy at Studio R12.

Paint Stain Game Changer

Paint Staining with Dixie Belle Blue Sponge

I started things off with paint staining, using a sponge this time instead of a rag and the results were amazing.

The blue sponge came from Dixie Belle; it moved the paint into tight corners perfectly leaving a nice finish in a matter of minutes.

If you haven’t tried paint staining before, you’re missing out.

It’s such a breeze and with this sponge it’s fast.  The best part you can wash and reuse it on future projects.

Get my complete paint stain tips here.

Stenciling Box

Stenciling the Crate

For the stenciling I used colors lemonade and collard greens.  The letters were first transferred lightly and the leaves were added with collard greens.

My design wasn’t planned like I normally do and if being honest I could see some adjustments were necessary.

Which takes us to the next step.

Get my complete details for stenciling read here.

Overlay stenciling

Adding Details

I wanted to tone things down a bit with an overlay so the words had a light shadow.  To do this you let the first application dry then place the stencil back over the top and move slightly left before applying the second color.

For the leaves I lightly speckled a little lemonade color to add contrast.

These were two techniques that I taught in many of my workshop classes.

I have a new book available that offers a unique opportunity for crafters to learn how to teach and create their own workshop environment.  I’ve shared my entire journey that began 5 years ago when I led workshops for Texas Home and Garden.

This resource includes step by step instruction and a workbook.  Get it here!

Make an Herb Stenciled Planter Box

Once the project is finished all that’s left is to add handles which is optional and then top off with your favorite herbs.

This planter was easy to make and I have to say it was kind of nice to just purchase an already made crate.

No building skills needed for this one and it’s the perfect craft for an afternoon with friends. All you need is a little paint and stencil to complete.

 

You may also like these easy projects here: Garden Planter, Gift Boxes and beaded terracotta pots

Make a fun herb planter using a little paint, stencil techniques and terracotta pots. #HerbPlanter, #Terracottaplanters

DIY Serving Tray Ideas

Floral Serving Tray for Home Decor

Creating wood crafts began as a hobby several years ago and it didn’t take long before these projects were turned into workshops.

These classes surfaced in the early stages of my blog and eventually followed us all the way to the countryside.

One of the most popular, was the serving tray made from cedar fence boards. It still remains my favorite because it’s so versatile and easy to build.

This first one, is a favorite because I used tea rose, gravel road and a little midnight sky offering a soft finish and I love flowers.

Paint and stencil resources for all the projects I’m sharing will be linked towards the end.  Each shop offers amazing inventory and Dixie Belle paint was used for each tray.

I love this paint, it’s easy to use, dries fast and blends beautifully with wood crafts.

Wooden DIY Lunch Serving tray for Home Decor.

This post contains affiliate links for Dixie Belle Paint and Cutting Edge Stencils, Click here to read site terms.

 

This serving tray was another neat design using one of my favorite stencils from Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils.  Donna also has an awesome inventory that includes lots of words.  They have a vintage vibe and you can do a lot with them.

Lunch happens to be my favorite meal of the day so it seemed fitting to transfer on a serving tray.

At our workshops we taught two easy paint techniques, dry brush and paint staining.  Both styles require little paint and offer a nice farm finish that continues to be popular.

I liked that both dry fast allowing creators to walk away with a finished project in under 2 hours.

Smaller Serving Tray Ideas for Home Decor.

This workshop was about a year ago and these ladies made some neat serving trays; I especially love the bright colors because they stand out.

I’m a believere anybody can be creative if they’re willing to learn, the projects to the left were first time wood crafters and they did fantastic.

This wood kit was unique in that you could skip attaching handles and turn the tray into a sign if preferred.  It’s always good to offer a little flexibility when planning kits because it’s fun to watch others put their spin on a design.

In my new book, Make and Take Workshops I go into great detail about how to teach your craft and establish a workshop environment.  Everything from choosing a location and how to market so you can reach those seeking a fun activity.

My workshops were focused on wood crafts but you could teach any kind of craft or skill to a group of people.

If you’re ready to take your talent to the next level, I’d love to help.  Learn more about my new book, Make & Take Workshops here. 

Larger Serving Tray ideas for Home Decor.

During the fall season,  I took that same style tray and expanded using another fence board.  This would also make a great sign base especially since you have more space to create.

Each project here is unique and has a style of grace that’s simply the best.  I really like that peacock color next to seasonal fall blends on the bottom right.

Which is your favorite?

DIY Farm Fresh Serving Tray for Home Decor.

I made this Farm Fresh serving tray for myself with a purpose to cover my kitchen sink.

We live tiny in our RV and sometimes there isn’t enough counter space for the messes I make; this dual-purpose tray solved my counter space issue.

The paint colors included collards green and sea glass. The stencil “Farm Fresh” and the majority of the florals came from Cutting Edge Stencils.  Great quality stencils and they have a huge inventory.

It’s my hope that each of these designs may have inspired your next serving tray project.

For more ideas check out these projects >>  Live Laugh Love Tray, Box Serving Tray, Garden Planting Tray

Products used for Serving Trays can be found here:

Thank you for joining me today, I hope you have fun creating.

Create DIY Serving Trays for Home Decor using stencils and unique paint colors. #ServingTray, #HomeDecor, #DIYCrafts, #Stencil

Growing to Live Healthier

When you have a garden the word grow is often directed towards a visible plant.

That makes sense because plants grow and in return we’re blessed with the benefits, like living healthier and enjoying natural beauty.

Rarely is the word “grow” used to describe ourselves. Perhaps this is because it’s easy to overlook personal growth as we go about our day?

As a gardener sometimes we have to dig deep.  Deep into soil to nurture the ground and grow the beauty our heart desires.

Some of us have to dig beyond the garden to uncover what’s holding us back.

A Bag of Lily Bulbs

Several months ago, Robert and I were grocery shopping.  For most of us this activity is a chore but for us it’s more like an event.

Sometimes even comical and if we’re ever spotted, we’d be seen laughing or sometimes having deep conversations, that end in more laughter.

Over the year’s grocery shopping has become an adventure and one afternoon Robert insisted I purchase a bag of ornamental lily bulbs.

At the time I wasn’t even excited about gardening because our weather left my heart feeling heavy.

I thought it was pointless to purchase bulbs, it was late in the season and they’d probably just rot. I was being negative and perhaps even a little lazy. But not wanting to disappoint I said, “Sure, why not!”

The bulbs were planted right away and to my surprise, a week later shades of green began sprouting.

This experience left my heart feeling lighter.

I realized my original doubts could have kept me from this feeling, thus holding me back.

That point in time was eye opening.

A 6-month Journey

Those green stems continued to grow, eventually buds appeared and recently amazing flowers bloomed.

My attention and joy were centered on these plants while the rest of the garden was looking pitiful due to our weather.

Watching them grow became therapeutic because they were thriving.  It was incredible; I began seeking similar growth for myself through a 6 month journey.

This started with exercise, taking vitamins, eating out less and enjoying real food.

This step was difficult at first, until I noticed the positive impact it was having on my attitude.

I realized every time after walking or working out I felt better about myself.

After a couple weeks a routine was set and that’s when I decided to dig deeper and uncover what’s been holding me back.

This post contains some affiliate links, Click here to read site terms.

Affiliate Account Garden Up Green/ Carole West is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

I started Reading Again

I started reading…  Beginning with “Think Better Live Better.”  A book that fell in my hands on another shopping trip with Robert.

The biggest lesson I took from this book was realizing it’s okay to “Hit the Delete Button” especially when people say negative things.

That step to delete had a huge impact on my daily activity, it was pretty awesome and over time my days became quieter.

It’s a funny thing, sometimes when you’re going through a period of improvement it feels like people scatter.  I don’t really know if that’s true but the distance is helpful because in the hours of quiet no one is trying to influence.

Another nugget, was the minder that God designed me perfectly and for a purpose.

Deep down I knew this but it’s so easy to let opinions, life events and obstacles we face unravel truth.

My desire to keep reading continued…

Which led me to a couple more books, The Alter Ego Effect. This was good but I didn’t agree with everything.

Through each chapter I was able to recognize how negative and positive situatons have influenced my past and present.

This read was really interesting and I chose a Llama as my alter ego because after years of observing them on the farm I discovered llamas to be fearless animals.

We had four at different times for various purposes. I didn’t even realize how much I missed them until reading this book because their qualities inspired me on a daily basis.

They’re the bravest and most loyal animal you can have to protect your livestock.

When you see those qualities in action words cannot describe their willingness to lead.  Sometimes they’ll even make you laugh with their corky behavior and expressions.

This book helped me recognize my weaknesses but most of all how to overcome without blaming others.   True ownership for my actions surfaced which is fantastic because it’s so easy to get stuck in the blame game.

Do It Scared….

I finished this series with Do it Scared, Ruth Soukup.  She has a passion for self-improvement and this book is actually about facing your fears and overcoming adversity.

I discovered I’m an outcast with a bit of perfectionism mixed in.  That’s quite the mix but what I loved is she explains the drawbacks but also points out the positives of those archetypes.  You can take the free assessment here if you’re interested, it’s pretty cool.

Of course, being a realistic person, I didn’t agree with everything she wrote either and that’s probably because not every book is a one size fits all.

It’s definitely another great read because she pin points key areas that tend to hold people back.  Fear is huge, it’s real and when we ignore that fear it grows.

Deciding to release my fear was a big decision; I’ve found life without new growth is a heavy sense of emptiness.

Nowadays, I’m reading my bible and rediscovering there’s no greater book.  It’s always relevant and feels like it was written especially for me.  Whether I read a couple verses or an entire chapter I sense God’s comfort and that makes my heart even lighter.

Something else I’ve been enjoying is the Unashamed Podcast. Their message is about as real as it gets and I look forward to it every week.

After two months into this journey I found that digging deep isn’t easy.  I was holding myself back, feeling weak in times when I should have felt strong.  I was also pushing myself in areas where I should have been retrieving.

Being reminded that I was created for a purpose was heartwarming and that message helped pull me away from the negativity.

However, knowing I’ve allowed other people’s opinions, my outcast mentality and perfectionism keep me from God’s purpose was an awakening.

As I continue this journey, I’m rediscovering my voice and gifts… The one’s God has blessed me with…

Opening my heart to the natural scent of beauty is what I want for my soul, for me that’s what growing to live healthier means.

Taking action, through recognition and willingness to improve made all the difference. To think this journey was inspired by a bag of lily bulbs is also pretty fantastic.

It’s my hope you’re encouraged to dig deep, grow and live healthier.

Affiliate Book References in this Post:

Note – If you enjoyed the images in this post click here to find them.

DIY Country Picnic Table

Who doesn’t love a good DIY that’s super easy to build?  That’s just what I’m sharing here and I’ve been holding onto this one for quite a while.

Robert and I built this project a couple summers ago to replicate a picnic table he made for our backyard.  The original was so heavy we ended up leaving it behind when we sold the farm.

I love picnic tables because over the years I’ve been able to link them with neat memories.

When I was a kid every summer, we spent some of our evenings at the beach eating fried chicken, potato salad and watermelon.

It was a fun time; those outings were encouraged by my grandmother who loved going to the beach when the temperatures warmed up.  But if it wasn’t for my mom, I’m pretty sure those picnics would have never happened because she was the one who made things happen.

When I think about it now, a lot of what we did back then was inspired by my grandma…

Since Robert knew I loved picnics he decided to surprise me one year with an outdoor table at the farm.  It was a neat day and we enjoyed that picnic table for years.

It was so handy and I even used it as a photo prop for the blog sometimes.

The table design credit goes to Robert because when he builds anything it’s made to last.  This also happens to be easy to duplicate with minimal cutting.

For under $100 in 2 hours or less you can make this same picnic table for your backyard.  It’s also easy to customize if you want to make larger or even smaller.

Get the plans here in Go To Print – Garden Up Green’s Ad Free Magazine Articles.

Once you have the table built don’t forget to sand and finish with a natural stain or paint. For some ideas check out a few of my table projects here on the blog.  I prefer a natural stain but sometimes with a little paint you can create a table that is unique to your own style.

Now it’s your turn to build a country picnic table and create some new outdoor memories this summer.

For me, every summer I think about those picnics when I was a kid and the fun outings Robert and I have shared with our own family.

Those moments make me smile all the time. I’m so blessed and I bet you are too.

What summer memories do you have that bring joy?

DIY Country picnic table with builidng plans you can duplicate in under 2 hours. #PicnicTable, #DIY

How to Grow Amazing Echinacea

Echinacea color varieties

Echinacea, also known as the cone flower is a native prairie perennial that’s very easy to grow in direct sunlight.

With the right conditions you can enjoy this amazing flower right in your backyard garden. The best part, they bloom every year with little effort.

When I was a little girl my grandmother always had a patch of daisies growing along the fence line.  She would say, “They’re not my favorite flowers but they’re perfect for filling in empty spaces.”

I agree with that because they do grow into a nice size plant.  I was known to sneak a few blooms, remove the petals one by one saying, he loves me…. he loves me not….

Back then, I’m not sure who I was talking about and little did I know there could be so many varieties of a simple daisy.

Echinacea color varieties

Echinacea is grown for a variety of reasons.  The most common would be for beautiful flowers and medicinal properties. Harvesting for tea or extract is typical because the plant is a great immune system enhancer.

You may even take echinacea tablets over the winter to keep flu at a distance?

Growing echinacea is possible in zones 3 – 9 which is pretty fantastic.  For those of you in colder climates you may want to provide a little winter protection that first planting season as sometimes it takes a while for them to climatize.

We’re going to begin our growing tips with where to purchase seeds or plants because you can start both ways.

Where to Purchase Plants

I found a really neat resource for echinacea plants and seeds at American Meadows.  They have some neat varieties!

Also note that you can purchase plants this time of year at a discount from the big box store nurseries.

Many times, after their plants sit on shelves for several weeks, they get moved to clearance racks.  They might not look great and that’s okay because echinacea is easy to revive with a little trim, water and the right planting conditions.

Don’t hesitate to begin because there’s plenty of time to enjoy this plant now and perhaps get a modest harvest in the fall.

If starting by seed is of interest then you’ll have to wait for next planting season as seeds should be germinated indoors over the later part of winter.

Bush of Echinacea

How to Grow Amazing Echinacea

  • Lighting: They love the sun requiring at least 5 hours a day.  For a plentiful harvest make sure they have access to sunlight.
  • Soil: They can thrive in a variety of soil types, sandy, rocky and clay.  However, they don’t like to be over watered and prefer a neutral PH.
  • Water Schedule: I have great news for those of us further south, they’re drought tolerant.  New plants water once or twice a week to help get established and future growing seasons they’ll need very little water because they’ve been climatized.
  • When to Fertilize: Keep it simple and fertilize every spring with mulch.  I like to cover the base with natural material like leaves and then follow up with mulch.
  • Pruning:  Begin with seasonal dead heading during the growing season.  This is a matter of removing expired blooms with clippers to encourage new growth.  Once fall arrives let it be through winter so the birds can eat.  Prior to spring prune back, then clip about half way to inspire new growth for a bushier plant.  Seeking good clippers read here.
  • Growth Size: This plant loves to branch out as it grows.  However, the potential size really depends on the variety.  Transplant according to suggested growth at the time of purchase to allow the proper space and consider over the course of a few years you may need to propagate. Mature size can range anywhere from 12 – 36 inches wide and 4 ft. tall.

Echinacea is a wonderful wild flower that really adds amazing color to any large or small garden. It can be perfectly paired with salvia which is another perennial I enjoy growing.

Think about adding echinacea to your garden and use these easy to follow grow tips with very little effort.

Learn to Grow Amazing Echinacea and how this herb can benefit your environment. #GardenTips, #Echinacea

Visiting Beautiful Tyler Rose Garden

Tour at Tyler Rose Garden

When most folks come to Texas they travel to the major cities.  What visitors and even some fellow Texans don’t realize is there happens to be additional outings that carry a whole lot of soul beyond the metropolitan area.

Places like the beautiful Tyler Rose Garden, I visited earlier this week because this area is one of my favorites.

I’m always up for a change of scenery especially now because I’m in the stages of planning our future.  This begins with where we want to actually retire in Texas.  Course, I’m not sure we’ll ever retire…

We’ve been in our current area for over ten years and by the time we finish Quail Grove I’m almost positive we’ll both be ready to move.

Don’t get me wrong it’s beautiful here but it just doesn’t feel like a place we’d want to stay forever.

Warmer winters would be nice!

My favorite rose in the entire garden

Tyler Rose Garden is about an hour and a half from Quail Grove.

My day started early and to be honest I wasn’t sure what the roses would look like because our weather has been brutal.

It was a nice drive and the temperatures wereperfect so it really didn’t matter what the roses would look like because I was planning on having a great day.

The last time we visited these gardens the kids were little, that was in 2005.  We happen to be on our way to visit Robert’s mom and the one thing I remember perfectly clear was East, Texans are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

It’s a total shift in personality and I love it.

A view from the balcony

I wanted to begin this tour with a photo off a balcony; this is just one garden area of many.

There’s another side and additional theme gardens can be explored which really makes this tour grand.  It was super bright and as you can see things were not in full bloom.

It still looks pretty amazing because as you know, I love shades of green.

Patch of Tyler Roses

At ground level it can be almost intimidating because there’s just so many plants and they go on forever.

I’m going to guess if you want to view these gardens in full bloom then May and October would be the best months as the temperatures are a little cooler and the roses would in peak blooming.

I’ve found in my own Texas garden that my roses always look their best in May and June and then again in the fall.

More Beautiful Tyler Roses

These three were simply delicate and reminded me a single rose is more powerful than a dozen.

I love garden roses they have this ability to keep giving no matter what time of day…

I found myself in awe with shades of orange, lavender and coral.  You can guess those are the colors I tend to incorporate in my own garden because I already have the beautiful coral drift roses that I adore.

Rose Bed Base

I wanted you to see how they grow their roses.  They use raised beds and caring for these gardens is a full-time job.

The grounds men were busy trimming while I was there and to my surprise, they use a small chain saw. I was shocked but it made sense because I can’t imagine hand trimming each plant when you have thousands.

For those of you interested in growing roses in your own yard let me suggest installing taller beds.  Roses do amazing in raised soil and to decrease maintenance I can’t stress enough how taller beds will make your life easier.

In this situation one board higher would make a huge difference.

For those of you looking for a natural privacy wall consider trailer roses attached to welded panels.  Choose easy care varieties that offer a nice retreat and continue to look amazing even when they’re not blooming.

There were also several water features and this pond was my favorite, because it looks natural.

Robert and I keep talking about having a property with a huge pond and after this view a modest pond featured around trees would be amazing.

Perhaps we’ll test this idea at Quail Grove because we have the perfect acre lot for a pond and there’s many trees to create a nice focal point.

Part of this outing was to get me thinking about the future and what that will look like because when Robert asks, I don’t have an answer.

We agree the countryside works best for us because we love the peace and quiet.

What I want more than ever is to live in an area where the majority of the population is nice to one another.

I know that could be hard to find, but I’ve noticed the further you get away from the cities the better life becomes.

My favorite rose in the entire garden

I believe this cluster of roses says it all.

It also happens to be the favorite from this visit.  It was posing in the shade, overlooked near the Idea Garden.

There are some things in life that shouldn’t be overlooked…

I went to Tyler to see if this was a city we might want to have nearby when we find our next piece of land.  Like a “go to place” when we actually want to be around a larger population.

Robert grew up in East Texas and the one thing we can agree upon is the people in East Texas have that true southern hospitality that is so contagious.

We’ve lived all over this awesome state and this is the one area that I always leave smiling.

Nobody is a stranger and as I traveled through the Tyler Rose garden I thought, wouldn’t it be neat if we all allowed ourselves to bloom into something beautiful everyday…

Looking for a fun garden outing in Texas, well try the beautiful Tyler Rose Garden in east Texas. #Travel, #RoseGarden

Make Copper Beaded Garden Charms

Make Copper Beaded Garden Charms

Making artistic elements for the garden is something I enjoy because they add a little creativity in the mix of each growing season.

On a recent trip to Michaels I spotted copper wire and these funky beads.  The colors were perfect and it seemed a few charms would be my next item of interest because I was on a mission to gather garden charm supplies.

This craft can be used outside in the garden or indoors with house plants.  They add a little glamour, especially when the sun appears.

Garden Charm Supplies

This post contains some affiliate links (that means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a very small commission.  Read Site Terms here…

Michaels Shopping Trip

All of my supplies came from Michaels but I’m sure any craft store would have what you need to recreate this project. I’ve also linked some options from amazon.

I’ve been wanting to make something with copper for awhile and when I saw those beads, I knew following through was the next step.

My larger strand of wire (not seen in this photo) came from Lowes, it can also be purchased by the foot at Home Depot.  The heavier wore made the hanger for the charms which is optional.

Sorting Bead Supplies

Getting Supplies Ready and Encouragement

I used a paper plate to sort everything and when choosing charms; they don’t have to be positive messages.  A unique symbol of a bird or whatever you like would also be neat.

My project is a gift and I liked what each charm had to say, especially “believe in yourself.”  It’s that little boost of confidence that encourages others to try new things regardless of age.

That would be true with these garden charms, this was a first-time project for me and it was fun.

For others this project may be just the push you need to get creative this summer.

Take this concept, recreate it and make it even better by adding your own twist.

So, lets dive in and go over how to make these unique garden charms.

Garden Charm Assembly

Each Creative Step

There’s a lot of twist and turns in this project and why I chose 16-gauge wire, it’s easy to bend yet heavy enough to hold shape.

  1. Begin with about a foot of wire, or choose double the length you want for each design. This allows excess for wire twisting.
  2. The first step is to begin with the end making a loop, this is where I hung the first charm.
  3. Make a couple twists afterwards and add two or three beads.
  4. Continue with more wire twisting and use the crimpers if bending by hand is difficult.  Tools will always offer a tighter close and shape.
  5. Repeat by adding more beads, twist and as you move upwards add another charm by making a loop and sliding the charm in place.
  6. Finally, when you get to the end close the top with additional wire bending and now you have a finished garden charm.

Easy to Make Garden Charms

Finished Garden Charms

This was a super easy project and it’s the perfect summer craft, think about getting together with friends one hot summer afternoon to make these beaded garden charms.

Remember you can hang them outside in the garden from an existing trellis or even from a nearby tree.  I thought they might even look neat hanging from a birdhouse?

If you want to make your own hanger then keep reading because I used copper wire from the hardware store.

Garden Charms using Copper and Beads

Copper Wire Hangers

Hangers can be made tall or short or incorporated into one.

The goal is to allow them to hang in the air so the light can shine through.  We all need a little light, don’t you agree?

I took my size 8 wire and cut 2 and 3 ft. lengths for each hanger. That was my original plan, then I decided to take those strands and wrap them together because I thought it looked cool.

If you want taller hangers then expand the purchase length and you may even want to use a thicker wire.

All I did was bend and twist the wire together until I was satisfied with the shape, it’s that simple!

Hope you enjoyed making garden charms with me today, this is a fun activity that I’m pretty sure almost anyone would enjoy this project because there is no right or wrong way to create them.

Let your artistic flair shine!

Get creative and make copper beaded garden charms. This is a fun activity to share with friends and give as gifts or enjoy for yourself. #GardenCharms, #CopperBeads

 

Easy Growing Panicled Hydrangea

Grow Panicled Hydrangea plants

Last month when I took y’all on a tour of the Biedenharn gardens I skipped sharing their Panicled Hydrangea.  I wanted to do a little research first because this one grabbed my attention right away as I hadn’t seen it before.

It was beautifully planted along this brick path and I couldn’t decide if I like the foliage or floral blooms more.  It was very striking and after a little research I learned it was from the hydrangea family.  The foliage kept me guessing, it was massive and very healthy.

I guess what I discovered here is to never second guess yourself.

At this point I became even more interested in this shrub, because I haven’t had the best experience growing hydrangeas down south.

This variety is perfect for zones 3 – 9 which made me realize I had to share it with y’all.

Here’s the kicker, the Panicled Hydrangea is heat, cold and drought tolerant.  No other hydrangea offers these three perks which is probably why it was doing so magnificent here in the south.

Easy Growing Tips

  • Thrives in full sun – 6 hours a day.
  • Pests don’t bother with it – Chlorosis can occur in alkaline soils.
  • Prefers moist soil with good drainage.

The Panicled Hydrangea is native to China and Japan which is no wonder I liked it because Robert is always telling me I have a very Japanese garden style.  I guess because everything is organized and natural looking, honestly, I’m not really sure…

It will bloom later than other species, summer into fall offering lots of color to fills in the gaps.  This is perfect for those of us further south when the garden begins to look a little wilted towards the end of July through August.

This variety was obviously white but it comes in assorted colors that will be deeper in color for those in the north, colder temps enhance their color.

You’re so lucky!

Beautiful Panicled Hydrangea

The blooms form off the branches that grow in the current season, so even a harsh winter does not stop the flower growth, another perk!

The flowers are held upright on very sturdy stems and that green foliage makes the most amazing contrast.  Which means this could be used as a cut flower in vase arrangements.

I can see it now – they would look amazing draped on an elegant table used as a centerpiece.

It’s Also Fast Growing

When transplanting you’ll want to offer plenty of room to grow as it can range in size. Dwarf plants are anywhere from 2 – 3 feet high and larger shrubs can expand 15 to 20 feet.

Make account for the width because the one from our tour was massive and they grow fast.

I could see a driveway lined with this variety or they would be perfect at the front of a garden entrance.  I’m already planning out ideas for when Robert and I get settled.

These hydrangeas are on the top of my list along with my favorite coral drift roses. 

Needless to say, I’m thrilled with this discovery, I pretty much gave up on hydrangeas years ago as they never recovered from our hot summers.  The question is, why did it take so long for me to find this beauty?

It’s my hope you may want to add this to your landscaping because it’s going to be a real show stopper that easy to grow.

 

NOTE: After writing this y’all and Daisy commenting that she’d be planting the Oakleaf Hydrangea I noticed some similarites between the two.   I went to Monrova’s website where they have many photos and I guess it’s the foliage that has me digging deeper.

Regardless, the Panicled would still be my go to because it’s easy to grow which is perfect for my lifestyle.  The two are also so similar so why not go with the Panicle Hydrangea?

You may enjoy all the visuals found on Monrova’s site here.

Even better you can click their “Find a Garden Center” option for purchasing.  Have a Great day, Carole

Learn more about the panicled hydrangea plant and see if t might be a good option for your yard. #Hydrangea, #GardenFlowers

How to Harvest Fresh Onions

How to Harvest Fresh Onions

I’ve been a little skeptical this gardening season because our weather has been unpredictable.  It’s still pretty early to decide how successful the garden will be so I’m trying to keep a positive attitude but also be realistic.

Which brings me to our onion harvest.

I never planned to begin harvesting until the end of June but our last visit from mother nature was pretty brutal. I had to make some quick decisions on what would be staying and what should be removed.

Fallen Onions from Rain and wind

This journey began in the quail sanctuary.

As you can see the onions took a hit and I knew they wouldn’t be very large because the soil has remained water logged far too long.  I thought they may even be rotten because I had already experienced that with some of my other plants.

Now, if these beds were higher things would grow through the worst of weather because the water would have additional drainage space.

With the present situation I decided to harvest because even small fresh onions taste pretty amazing in just about anything you’ll ever cook.  Their essential for most main dishes and if you store mature onions in the dark, with their skins attached they can last for up to 12 months.

When to Harvest Onions

During a healthy growing season, you would normally harvest onions mid-summer or for those of us further south the middle of June.  This is when the bulbs begin to increase in size and enjoy fresh from the garden.

In the later part of the summer as we approach fall, the leaves of your onion plant flop over.  This signals the actual harvest time; for some gardeners this time frame will vary depending on your planting zone.

Now as you can see, my plants are flat on the ground but this was caused from weather damage.

In a normal growing season, the stems would be dryer and mean their ready to harvest for storing.  This is what I was hoping for but sometimes you have to take things for what they are and enjoy what you have in the moment.

Pull Onions from the Ground

How to Remove Onions from the Ground

Remove onions using a hand spade, I find this to be the best tool without slicing any onions verses digging with a large shovel.

If you have a lighter soil you may be able to pull them out by hand and remove any clumps of dirt back to the soil base.

I really wasn’t sure what I’d find because honestly, I thought they would be rotten since they’ve been sitting in wet soil for months.

Fresh Onion Harvest

To my surprise even though they were small the harvest looked good enough to enjoy fresh from the garden. This was a positive sign and a reminder to count your blessings no matter what.

Sometimes it’s those small blessings that really add up to something amazing.

Harvested ready to wash up

Prepping a Fresh Onion Harvest

For fresh onions like mine prepping is pretty simple.

  • Remove green stems and wash away the soil with clean water.
  • Store in a cool place like the fridge and enjoy when you cook your next meal.

Fresh onions from the garden are amazing so make something wonderful and enjoy that flavor.

 

Curing Onions for Storage

If you’re lucky enough to have a mature harvest then go ahead and take those onions you pulled from the garden and let them dry in the sun on a tray for a day or two.  Do this only in dry weather.

I normally place on trays and sit on a picnic table or bench during the day, then bring indoors at night.

The point of this is to allow the onions to dry out prior to storing.  If it’s wet outdoors then let them dry in a garage or covered porch.

  • You’ll want to lay them in single layers on trays and place in 70 to 80-degree weather, we call this the curing process.
  • Their necks will dry out and the skins will tighten.
  • Then remove the stems and roots with scissors.
  • Combine dry onions into a mesh bag or crate ready for storage.

Cured onions can be stored in a shed, ideal temperatures would be 35 – 40 degrees. If it gets colder where you live then the basement or pantry might be a better option adn don’t forget they’ll last up to a year.

Harvesting onions is probably one of the easiest things to do because it doesn’t take that much time.  But if truth be told I really enjoy eating them fresh from the garden because the flavor is just a little richer.

To get tips on planting onions read here. 

Learn how to harvest fresh onions right from the backyard garden. #Harvesting, #Gardentips

Why and How to Wire Gerbera Daisies

Wire Stem Gerbera Daisies

Last week we chatted about Growing Gerbera daisies and I found that I’m not the only one who adores these beautiful flowers.  Many of us right here are either growing or purchasing gerberas to enjoy at home.

Did you know you can help these flowers after they’re cut by supporting the blooms using wire?

It’s true and this was something we did back in my floral shop days when boxes arrived for every day arrangements and weddings.

Wiring is a simple tip that with a little practice will become second nature and easy to use the next time you purchase or harvest gerberas from the garden.

Wire Stem Lifts the Gerbera daisy head upward

Why we Wire Gerbera Daisies

Years ago, when I was learning to be a florist, one of the first techniques was how to wire flowers.  At the time, this was an alien concept, but rather quickly I discovered with a little wire you could do some pretty amazing things with fresh cut flowers.

Wiring gerbera daisies is a matter of offering support to those heavy blooms. The flower head is quite large compared to its delicate stem and once cut from the base plant they quickly tilt looking almost wilted.

The thing is, they have a lot of life to offer once cut and by adding wire we can help prolong their beautiful appearance.

Supplies for wiring gerbera daisies

Supplies for Wiring Gerbera Daisies

Our supply list for this activity is very basic and can be purchased at crafts stores in the floral department, local flower shops and I’ve also encountered these materials at Dollar General.

Flowers can be tracked down at local nurseries, floral shops and many grocery store florists.

  • Fresh Cut Gerbera Daisy blooms
  • Wire Cutters
  • Green plastic-coated floral wire – 18 gauge for large blooms or 20 gauge for medium size.
  • Green Floral tape

How to Wire and floral wrap a gerbera daisy

How to Add Wire and Tape

  1. To begin you want to first take a strand of wire and slightly poke into the base of the flower.
  2. Then carefully wire wrap around the stem.
  3. Take the floral tape, stretch around the base, cover the wire and wrap until you reach the end of the wire.

First practice this technique using a plastic straw until you get the hang of it.  This tape is coated so it can be difficult to work with.

It will grab and stick to any live stem but it will be necessary to master the technique first.

 

This is how I was Taught

Stretch tape, wrap and secure around stem.  This is done pretty much all at the same time as you cover the stem with tape.

It can be a little tricky to learn but with practice it will become very natural.

The goal is to make sure the wire is covered so when these flowers are in bouquets, they look consistent with the rest of the arrangement.  This is especially important if you’re making wedding arrangements.

The last thing a bride wants is to see wire within her bridal bouquet.

The Finished Look

Once flowers are wired, they can be arranged into a vase or wet oasis. You’ll barely notice the gerbera’s have been doctored and they’ll last much longer than if they were inserted without wire.

This is a great little technique that can also be used for roses and peonies.  Just skip taping because those flowers just look better with a few leaves on their stem.

Hope you enjoyed this little tip; floral arranging is a fun craft.  One that I really enjoyed long ago and still do today.

Learn how to improve gerbera daisies by wiring for floral arrangements and finishing with tape. #GerberaDaisy, #FloralDesign

Easy Summer Garden Care Tips

Get Summer Garden Care Tips

Summer is right around the corner and I promised prior to spring that I’d be diving into each season to help understand and maintain your garden.

We’re weeks away from the seasons changing and it won’t be long before temperatures begin to spike.  When that happens sometimes it can feel like we’re spending more hours managing our garden than we have to give.

I have to admit I actually enjoy the warmer temperatures.  They don’t really begin to bother me until about the middle of August because that’s when I notice the impact they’re having on my garden.

However, I do appreciate by July new grass growth has slowed down and if I’ve prepped everything correctly in June then I’m not really spending as many hours working in the garden as most.

Get Summer Garden Care Tips

Work Smarter Theory

I have this theory to work smarter not harder but most of all, let nature work for me.

To keep up, I try to keep things as simple as possible.  That’s probably no big surprise as my focus remains to enjoy life more while doing the things I love.

So, I put together this really neat garden Journal that I think your going to really like.  It includes lots of space to jot things down but it also includes seasonal pages that are designed to guide you through summer gardening.

You’ll even find tips for Fall, Winter and Spring.

This is a 12 page resource that I’m pretty sure your going to really like. .

The Summer Page includes:

  • Includes my three simple care tips.
  • Space for creating your own maintenance
  • With emphasis on stop feeling defeated once those temperatures rise.

Get our Seasonal Garden Journal Right Here.

 

How to Grow Beautiful Gerbera Daisies

How to Grow Beautiful Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisies have always been one of my favorite flowers, especially when I was a florist.  That was a long time ago, but I remember it was the variety of bright color that sparked my attention.

These beautiful flowers originated in South Africa; depending on where you live, they perform as an annual further north and a perennial for southern gardeners in zone 8.

If you want to add gerberas to your garden, I recommend the compact plants as the stems will be sturdy and continue standing for a longer period of time.

My Favorite Gerbera Daisy

How to Begin Growing Gerbera Daisies

You have a few options to begin growing gerberas, first would be to germinate seeds.

This can be a little challenging and seeds may be difficult to find, but if you want those nice long stem gerberas for vase arrangements this might be the avenue to pursue.

Seeds must be started immediately because after opened they lose their zest for quality germination.

Beginning with seedlings or even divided plants would be much easier and less difficult to find at specialty nurseries.

If you’re just seeking color to add within landscaping then honestly, I would go ahead and choose a variety of 6-inch potted plants that you can transplant right into your beds.

There are many available options and my favorite would be that hot pink, well if I was being honest all shades of pink.

 

The Right Planting Conditions

Finding the right planting conditions isn’t that difficult because these beauties love full sun and sandy soil.  Of course, composting will always help produce amazing blooms so it’s important to make sure the soil is prepped for best results.

If you live in an area where clay is in abundance then this is a flower, you’ll want to consider planting in containers or raised beds.

I love using terracotta pots.

 

Dealing with Crown Rot, Watering and Mulch

Since gerberas do originate from south Africa, they’re partial to hot dry weather.  Which means they can prey easily to fungal diseases like crown rot.

To avoid do not plant deep into the soil, the plant crown should be visible above the soil and allowed to dry out between each watering. It’s easy enough to water in the mornings so the leaves can dry out during the day reducing risk of disease.

Mulch is also fine but it’s important to make sure the crown isn’t covered.  If you live in a wet or humid climate then planting in pots would also be a better option to avoid crown rot.

Gerbera Daisy Planting Tips

About halfway through the growing season you can add a nice fish fertilizer to the soil to encourage new blooms.  My grandmother used this variety through her flower beds and it did wonders for the bloom population throughout her yard.

Fish fertilizer can be purchased at small or large nurseries and if you homestead animals then don’t hesitate to make your own fertilizer tea.

I did this on our farm all the time using llama and sheep droppings and wow do I miss having access to that.

Learn how to make fertilizer tea here.

Anybody can grow beautiful gerbera daisies in their garden or yard, just remember they take a little more care than most blooming plants and that’s simply because they’re not a native plant.

Learn how to grow beautiful gerbera daisies in your own garden. #GerberaDaisies, #FlowerGarden

Inspiration Found at Biedenharn Garden

Inspiration from our Biedenharn Tour

We recently decided to go on a little journey.  This took us to The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe, Louisiana.

This outing was a nice change of scenery filled with inspiration.

Originally our visit was focused on the Coca-Cola tour, somewhere I missed we’d also be walking through the historic family home, the ELSong gardens and a bible museum.

This was such a treat, but if you can believe it, I forgot to bring my good camera.  It was such an error on my part but it’s my hope I’ve captured the beauty of this garden with the help of my smart phone.

Additional photos can be found on my Instagram page.

If you’re not familiar with Joe Biedenharn, he was the first man to put coca cola in a bottle. The family home was left to his daughter Emy Lou, an opera singer prior to WW11.  She left her career to move back home and care for her father until he passed in 1952.

She continued living at the Biedenharn estate until her passing in 1984.

Emy Lou appeared to me as a dramatic person who enjoyed detail.  It was present her heart and soul transformed this home and garden into this beautiful place that is incredibly peaceful.

Garden Spaces with a statement

Since this tour offered many areas of interest, I thought it would be fun to focus on our walk through the gardens because this is where everything came to life.

With the right attention, a garden has this amazing way of carrying on even when others have passed on.

Emy Lou left the estate in the form of a foundation; the tour guides and many of the others we met were very nice and welcoming.

At the time of our tour most of the spring flowers had already passed and I was okay with that. There’s something amazing about the texture and shades of green that help me focus my attention to detail.

I was inspired with every step as we walked along this perfectly placed brick pathway.

Statues and water features were in abundance along with countless areas to sit and relax.

A view that captures shades of green

This was probably my favorite area while standing inside the greenhouse.  This is where they winter many plants and these huge doors open to this amazing english garden.

As I looked through the opening, I thought of my grandmother who was also a dramatic person… “She would have loved this tour.”

This greenhouse made me think of a space I would like to create one day after we complete Quail Grove.  It was magical…

Eveyrthing felt very personal and energizing.

Natural beauty along the walkpath

Established gardens are just fantastic because they offer that everlasting growth like this cedar tree.  I couldn’t believe how massive their cedar trees were and I loved the ivy topiary in the middle of this walk path.

In the distance you can vaguely see a statue.

These were present throughout and they added such elegance in the mix of all that natural beauty.

Pomegrant Tree

We first noticed this tree when we were inside the house.  It captured my attention immediately!

The flowers looked like azalea blossoms in the color of coral and later we learned this was a pomegranate tree.  I’m not sure when it was planted and I can only imagine when in full bloom it’s even more breath taking.

We just may have to come back next spring.

5 cent cokes for two

This ledge was fantastic, a nice maintained planting area right outside the family home.

As I mentioned earlier, we attended to learn how Mr. Biedenharn had a hand in the success of Coca Cola.  In the gardens they have a coke machine filled with five cent cokes.  Robert and I enjoy our cold cokes while we walked outdoors.

I saved the bottles to remember this awesome day because I may turn them into outdoor lights in my country garden.

Saying Good Bye to Biedenharn Gardens

As we left, I couldn’t help but turn around and notice that beautiful magnolia tree next to the bible museum.  Everything in this photo is so pronounced; it might surprise you but I also love this style of gardening.

This outing reminded me some of the best adventures are never planned, they just happen.  The Biedenharn visit was truly a neat experience and it’s my hope we return when it’s in full bloom.

Monroe in general is just a really neat place, filled with nice people… We ended the day with a walk through the downtown area and a few sweet treats from Ms. Kays Sweets and Eats.

I’d like to encourage you to take a garden tour this summer and let it inspire the best in you.

Take a Visit to the Biedenharn museum and garden for inspiration and a neat experience in Monroe Lousiana. #Gardens, #Gardentour