Friday, March 28, 2008

~*Frugal Gardening*~


Do you hate the ever-rising cost of garden products and supplies? Wouldn’t it be great to have a “Better Homes & Gardens” garden without the cost? I have come across some tips and hints that may help defray the cost of gardening.
You can find numerous seed trading sites on the internet as well as in some gardening magazines. You could receive hundreds of seeds for no more than the cost of a self address stamped envelope or a share in some seeds from your own garden. I like to save my seeds in spice jars, with the shaker tops with large holes. The makes seeding in the spring easy and quick.
You can make your own seed tapes or mats with newspapers and a homemade paste of flour, water and a water-soluble fertilizer the consistency of thick gravy. You can also make your own seed starting containers from newspaper, paper towel and toilet paper tolls, cardboard egg cartons, paper cups, etc.
Trading plants with other gardeners is a great way to get free plants, as well as meeting new gardening friends. Consider having a plant trading party in the spring and invite your friends, and let them invite their friends and so on. Before you know it you may have gardens full of plants that cost you next to nothing and lots of new friends. If you purchase plants at a nursery look for plants that are full and may even have more than one plant in the pot.
You can separate and divide larger plants. Look for plant sales at schools, churches and local garden clubs. They are reasonably priced and the selection is right for your area. You can also get free bulbs from florists who use only the cut flowers and discard the bulbs.
Composting can be done at the cost of only a spot in you yard. You can compost only anything from coffee grounds with filters, fall leaves, grass clippings, shredded newspapers, sawdust, wood ashes and vegetable or fruit kitchen scraps. It will add much needed organic material, improving your soil consistency while reducing the cost of fertilizing.
Make bug spray and plant boosters. A mix of ½ cup hot peppers pureed with 2 cups of water strained and used in a spray bottle will keep insects (as well as cats and dogs) away from your gardens. You can find as many different recipes as there are problems on the internet.
Be a curbside collector. I got a perfectly good Adirondack chair for free (after re-attaching the arm and adding a new coat of paint) that some one threw away and it was as good as new. Yard sale items can give your budget a boost, too. Buy in the off season and end-of-season clearance sales. Recycling may give your garden a lift for free. I used a set of glass light globes to a ceiling fan to add candlelight to the edge of my garden, at the cost of only the votive candles. You are only limited by your own imagination. Happy gardening!

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This is an article I wrote a few years back that was published in our local newspaper. As a Master Gardener with the University of Connecticut Extention Center the newpaper likes to get garden articles from us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

~*some close ups*~

These are some close ups of those candle wreaths on my hanging lamp in the dining room. I just love the little berries.
They are kinda spring like!
I may go out and cut some forsythia to force in the house...nothing is really blooming yet, not even the daffodils. The neighbors crocuses have started to bloom. Maybe I should get some of those bulbs for around my yard.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

~*Oh happy days*~

My "baby" with his Easter basket. I really wasn't going to do a basket for him this year, but at the last minute Dan said he talked about getting a basket. When is a kid too old for the Easter bunny to come visit...he is 17 1/2!
My sister in law Ruth gave me this adorable mini strawberry pot with pansies. It is so cute! We have a tradition in our family, the person who hosts the holiday dinner receives potted flowers. This year I gave my mom tulips. I thought I was going to be flower free in my home, which would just be sad, but then she gave these to me! Yay, she loves me, and knows me so well.
I put different candle wreaths around my lamp for Spring. The other ones had jingle bells. I am really trying to decorate for Spring but with the cold weather and all the rain it is hard to get motivated to get in the spring decorating mood. I did hang my sheets on the line this weekend to dry and that was nice, but that is not enough when we are expected to have cold temperatures (low 20's) for the overnights and rain and sleet this week. Just when I thought it was going to be nice out finally, the bad weather is back again!!! :(


Monday, March 24, 2008

~*Happy Easter*~

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter. Ours was lovely. We spent the day with family. The food was delish! It is another busy week for me. Lots of meetings, lots of work to do. At least the weather is getting better. I am hanging clothes on the line to dry today, it is so nice. The gardens are needing some serious attention and are calling my name, so I may need to start getting out there...the daffodils and tulips are starting to pop their heads out! Spring is slowing getting here! Off to get more laundry done...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

~*Spring is coming!*~

Dare I say it? I think Spring is on it's way. Today I saw some Robins in the yard and the tulips and daffodils are popping their heads out of the dirt! It is 50 degrees today and the sun is shinning. Now, before I jinx it, I know that we have rain on the way, a flood watch to be exact, but I know that Spring is on it's way. Those Robins are not just visiting, they are back to stay! Thats the sign I needed. I need to start getting my seeds ready to start and my wish list of new plants!
Spring is coming! Spring is coming! Finally!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

~*lost again*~

You know why the writers strike doesn't effect "Lost"? Because they don't need writers for this show. No, really! I don't think there is anyone writing this show. There is no one keeping track of what already happened to make sure it follows what is happening now to make sure that will follow what will happen in the future shows because- it never makes any sense!!! It just keeps getting more complicated and more convoluted, and just to make sure you cannot follow what is going on, they introduce new characters that they make you believe have been there all along, and don't forget, even though this show has been four seasons long it is only day 69 or so on the island and while we have had a glimpse forward and back, and have seen how they have all crossed paths with each other in their lives before the island, now they have all become a family, fallen in and out of love, moved from the beach, to the cave, back to the beach, to the others houses. Great! See what I mean, they don't need writers for this...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

~*blooming*~

This is what is blooming in my dining room this morning. My daughter gave me this Gerber daisy several years ago and I put it in a Terra cotta pot my son painted for me. Every Summer I put it on my porch and in the Fall I cut it way back in put it in the dining room window. Sometimes it looks like it has seen it's last days, but then it slowly comes back. It blooms for me inside in the Winter and today when I went in the dining room to water my plants I saw these beauties staring at me...making sure I knew that Spring is on it's way. It couldn't have come at a better time since we are again in the midst of a ton of rain which puts a damper on things...just makes it feel like blah! I have to run some errands today and I hate having to do that in the rain...let alone pouring rain!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

~*Welcome March*~

What is it they say about March- comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb- God I hope so... I need some nice weather. Even yesterday it was snowing and then raining and then snowing again. I really want some warmth. And since I was at the job from hell last year I missed last year in the gardens so I am really anxious to get my hands out there in the soil. And start my seeds. And open my windows and let some of these germs out... I have not been able to shake this cold for weeks now. It is just more bother than anything else, but seriously, who wants to have a cold that hangs on forever like this? Certainly, not me! On a brighter note, my cutie pie nephew Jake turns 3 tomorrow! Happy Birthday Jake! Here he is with Matt a while back! I hope you have a fun day!

Lots to do today. Laundry, a good will run with bags of clothes and bags and bags of cans that have to go to the store...I hate bottle return! Gotta make room in the pantry though, so we gotta do it!