Sunflower Mural

Here is the second mural I painted in Arizona. This one is at Maria’s house, my bonus sister! A true labor of love! The cheerful blues and yellows make the yard seem so much brighter than before.

Morning Glory Mural

Here is a mural of Morning Glory flowers I painted on the side of our shed in the backyard. I love how it came out! The blue is so vibrant against the green background. 

Poppy Mural

I visited my sister last week in Phoenix, while I was there I painted this beautiful mural of poppies. 

How to Create a Spring Wreath

During the months of November and December, and even the entirety of the fall- wreaths can be found on every door. But what about the rest of the year? Why do we not adorn our doors with wreaths for June? Well, this article is here to tell you how! By adding a wreath to a door, it brings a touch of brightness. Wreaths can showcase flowers that are in bloom, and colors that you associate with that month (or week if you’re ambitious!) There are many types of wreaths, ranging from simple and reserved to over the top and loud. Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing your ornament. 

  1. Wreath Size – When choosing a size, try to think of the scale of your wreath to the door. If you have a small wreath on a large door, it gets lost; If you have a large wreath on a small door, it will be overwhelming. If you have double doors, hang a wreath on both doors so it looks balanced.
  2. Door Color – The color of your door should help determine the colors in your wreath. If the colors aren’t right, you can risk it looking washed out. For example, on a dark door you want to use a wreath that is bright or has whites and ivory in it for a more subdued look. Light colored doors require a bold color so the wreath stands out. 
  3. Shape – A round wreath is traditional, but why be traditional? Use something unusual! Maybe an oval, or square shape! If you want a simple and unexpected ornament, paint a picture frame in a bold color and create a bouquet to anchor one corner.

Who said that you had to make it from scratch? You can always buy a pre-made wreath from an arts-and-craft store like Michaels or A.C.Moore, then add your own decorations to it like flowers or satin bows! For those people that can put a wreath together, you can always buy a bow to finish off your adornment. You don’t even have to buy a whole roll of ribbon- a little goes a long way! 

Thank you to Kathryn Weber from Newsday for the original information. You can read more here.

Ugly Pumpkins Need Some Love Too

Every October, families rush to their favorite pumpkin patch or super market to find the “perfect pumpkin.” With more than 30 varieties of pumpkin to choose from, its no surprise that there are “less then perfect pumpkins” in the lot. Ugly pumpkins (also known as fancy pumpkins) are gaining popularity over the recent years. These pumpkins are perfect for your porch on Halloween. They can be bumpy, splotchy, or even look like a toad. It adds atmosphere. Ugly pumpkins are great for Jack-O-Lantern’s that want to be unusual and out of the box. Here are some photos of ugly pumpkins. Go pick one up!

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Thank you to Jim Merritt for the original information. You can read more here.

Creepy Plants for Halloween

Halloween is around the corner- which means pumpkin picking, costumes and gardening? Halloween is meant for fun and dressing up in costumes. Everyone’s houses are skillfully decorated as well, so why not decorate your garden? This is a follow-up list to our last post about black plants for October. You can read that here.

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Why You Should Be Vertically Gardening

Urban gardening has been on the rise lately, it allows people to grow a bountiful crop in a small area of space while still living comfortably. For vertical gardening, you don’t need a large plot or a huge backyard, you just need a small strip of soil, or a space to incorporate a flower tower. However, there are more benefits to having a vertical gardening besides being a space saver in your tiny home. Here is a list of why you should be vertically gardening.

  • Rosenbaum-Recycled-Vertical-Garden1Vertical gardens placed on the exterior of your house, can help lessen the damage of harsh weather conditions. By creating a “green wall,” you can even protect your paint job if you live in an area that is exceptionally rainy.
  • Placed on the outside of a window, it will shade a room from strong and excessive sunlight, and also from outside passerby’s if you live in a crowded urban neighborhood.
  • Indoor vertical gardens, can even act as a room divider. It is recommended that they be planted in wheeled containers, for easy access to move around your planters to fit your aesthetic and daily needs.
  • Its no surprise that adding plants inside the home will improve the air quality. (You can read more about what plants work best here!) They can also use up old materials, such as soda bottles or shoe organizers to create a unorthodox planter.
  • Vertical gardens can be beneficial to individuals who suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia. There would be less stress on the back and lower body by being hunched over on the ground, all you have to do to prune is stand on your own two legs!
  • If your yard has poor soil conditions, vertical gardens can also help. This will give the opportunity to grow plants in easy to use potting soil, rather then fighting with your own land by adding nutrients and keeping up a close watch on the ground.
  • Vertical gardens also tend to have less weeds growing, so there is now less time of doing the unwanted side of gardening- pulling weeds.
  • Growing in a vertical container is not only beneficial to the grower, but to the plants. The surface of the plants gain more sunlight exposure and increased air circulation which leads to happy plants growing.

Thank you to Mother Nature Network for the original information. You can read more here.

Christmas Tree Safety

Throughout the month of December, it is important to check your Christmas tree for watering daily (if you always have a live tree.) According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Here are some tips to remember during the christmas season, to ensure your house doesn’t go up in flames.

  1. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  2. Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1″ – 2″ from the base of the trunk.
  3. If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.Be sure to keep it at least three feet away from radiators or any heat source and to always turn off the lights before going to sleep.
  4. When decorating the tree, make sure there is no broken, worn, or loose bulbs on a string of lights.
  5. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  6. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  7. Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  8. The holiday season is over, get rid of your tree when it begins to drop needles. Dried-out trees are just as much of a fire hazard than you think. Never keep it in a garage or placed outside against the home.

Thank you to the National Fire Protection Association for the original information. You can read more here. 

New Bulbs Coming Soon!

We recently just ordered a bunch of new bulbs for the fall and spring season! Some were bought as an anniversary gift to ourselves! For Bob’s koi pond, we purchased 3 water lilies, 1 water lettuce and 1 water hyacinth. The water lilies were bottom of the barrel bulbs, so we are not entirely sure what color they will turn out to be– I think they may turn out to be yellow. For the front garden, we bought 3 French Lavender Grosso. These Lavenders are much bigger than the English variety of Hidcote we usually plant. I am so excited for these to grow. We also purchased 25 Anemone Blanda Blue Star, 175 Crocus Speciosus, 25 Iris Reticulata, 100 Species Crocus Mix and 50 Species Crocus Romance (Chrysanthus.) All the colors are going to be beautiful, and I cannot wait for the fall and spring to see them bloom!

Longwood Greenhouse

Here are some photos from the greenhouse at Longwood Gardens. It was just as spacious and beautiful as the garden grounds. The greenhouse is 4-acres and is a splendid space for peace and relaxation. One of the highlights from the room is the hydrangea balls hanging from the ceiling. You can see photos of the garden grounds here.

Longwood Gardens

We recently just visited Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. This garden has a lot of history behind it, such as it’s founder Pierre S. DuPont’s reasoning for purchasing it. The original park was a small area and was to be torn down, DuPont stepped in and created an entire lush garden around it. It was a very beautiful place, and was also very photogenic. While we were there, they were renovating a piece of the garden– hence the dirt pit in some of the photos. The renovation was for the Fountain Garden. The aim is to protect and preserve the history of the gardens and it’s founder Pierre S. DuPont.   Here are some photos of the garden, it is a magnificent place. We also visited the greenhouse that was on the property (see more here.)

Botanicals below Bryant Park

Botanicals below Bryant Park

Bright mandalas made from local flora, A picturesque scene of springtime, Vibrant patterns that catch the eye. Bryant Park is known for it’s beautiful scenery and large selections of flowers used. But all these beautiful Mandalas created by Portia Munson, are not located in Bryant Park. They are located beneath it! Portia began to create the flowered images in 2002, while reminiscing in her garden of her trips in Asia. But how did Portia manage to get every detail perfectly? “To make these mandala images, I use a scanner like a large-format camera,” said Munson. “I lay flowers directly onto it, allowing pollen and other flower stuff to fall onto the glass and become part of the image. When the high-resolution scans are enlarged, amazing details and natural structures emerge. Every flower mandala is unique to a moment in time and represents what is in bloom on the day I made it.” Munson’s work is presented in lightbox panels in the station’s mezzanine and on the windows of a nearby unused space at the 42nd St/6th Avenue street exit. The mandalas are really a thing of beauty, if given the chance everyone should see them! You will not be disappointed!

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Garage Sale Finds

Some of the best items can be found at garage sales, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Can you believe it was less than $30 for all of this stuff! Some of our great finds include a small wrought iron pig, a foot stool that I refurbished by covering it in a fabric to match our chair, A mirror that had farm animals on it and a cool metal mannequin used to hold flower pots!