Tuesday, June 21

Window Frame Coat Rack DIY

Making a DIY coat rack is relatively simple.  I had this old window frame that I salvaged from my Grandparents general store before it was torn down.

You will need hooks, you can find them at a hardware store.  I've seen the black fancy hooks at the dollarama.  I had these hooks in the "better save these just in case" pile in my basement.

Position the hooks at least 6-8 inches apart to give adequate space between the various apparel.

 There you have it, a DIY coat rack = FREE.

Monday, June 6

annuals and perennials

A one season splash of color, annuals continuously bloom until the fall frost hits. I purchased two of these black velvet and white baskets on sale for $5 at superstore.  Purchased in rough shape, with a little TLC they've come back from drab to fab.  Annuals are labor intensive so I limit myself to just a few large displays.  If you have hanging baskets they need to be regularly dead headed and watered - too many times do I witness hanging baskets filled with dried out dead plants.  We buy them for the curb appeal so they deserve our attention!

A permanent addition to the garden, perennials may be more costly but grow and spread for years.  Perennials can add low maintenance interest to your outdoor space.  Besides my urban vegetable garden I like to fill in as much space around my home as I can with beautiful plants, some edible, others not.

My last post was my mom giving us the dirt on planting.  I generally stick to the hearty perennials that she suggested.  Hosta's are my best friends,  maintenance free and survive the shade provided by the monstrous maples around my house (It’s a love-hate relationship).

Climbing hydrangeas are my favorite.  I have two huge ones in front of my deck, I will post pictures later on in the season when they bloom.

Rhododendrons seem to be a NS favorite although known to be a bit fussy I’ve had no issues. 

With any bedding plants do your research to know what will be suitable to your site.  Garden center plants will have tags telling exposure, soil and type of environment needed.  Here are two of my moms most trusted resources, Lois Hole's Perennial Favorites and Trees and Shrubs - great reference books.

Thursday, June 2

the dirt on planting

My mama taught me many things in life, one being how to use my green thumb.  All of the photos in this post are of her flower beds. I asked her to write a blog post with the basics of planting, and here is her story:

To start planting in the ground you’ll need the basic tools: 

Round mouth shovel
Kneeling pad
A small flat rake
And of course gloves to make it easy on the hands

Never plant in the heat of the day; it can be too stressful for the plant.     

Start by digging the hole the depth of the plant and wide enough to put some new soil in around the plant.  Bonemeal is a must as it aids in good root development which is crucial to a plants survival.     

Planting:  In the hole throw in some bonemeal. Fill the hole with water and add the plant, fill in with good soil, sometimes I add peat moss, any additive is beneficial.     

Now that you got the planting done, DON’T forget to water frequently the first growing season, until your plant is well on its way.  A mistake a lot of people make is they don't water and I mean a deep watering, not just the surface.  A plant is a living thing and like you it needs water and food to survive.  

To keep your flower beds looking neat and tidy you’ll want to cover over the weeds.  Use newspapers.  Lay them down, thicker the better and overlap well, then to hide the paper throw some mulch on top, works great. The paper will eventually break down, won’t hurt the earth, controls the weeds and believe me is cheaper and easier than that landscape fabric.

Hearty perennials that have worked for me:   

Daylily( Stella d'ora)  
Brown Eyed Susan's 
Cransbill Geranium 
Bleeding Hearts 

Mass plantings always look impressive, and are so much easier.  I also like to edge my perennial beds, keeps the grass out and looks so much neater, you can buy an edger, they are easy to use. 

Thanks to my beautiful mother for contributing this post!

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