Now that I am having success with many of my succulents (thanks to their summer growth spurt!), I am in search of ways to make them really stand out in my garden.
I looked through some vacation photos of mine from about a year ago. When we were wandering some of the beach shops, we came across one shop that had a cute little ball of moss with a couple flowery looking succulents attached to the top. It was hung by a bow from the shop sign. I had never seen anything like it, and it is probably the time I first started to see succulents in a different, pretty way.
Though that photo reminded me of our family vacation, it didn’t answer an obvious question: How in the heck do you make that so the plants stay alive?!
So after a little research, I found a couple amazing tutorials to show us how to do just that!
This adorable pine cone project would make for a fun way to hang plants from patio rails, porch lights and even fence posts! I just love how the use off all natural items looks so beautiful and fresh! I wonder if a little battery operated tea light could be added to the center to make for stunning backyard party decorations?
Visit this site for a VERY simple tutorial in creating this amazing ball of succulents. The concept could work for other items like wreaths, topiaries, etc.
I am very excited to try my hand at these projects – if I can get them made and growing now, they would make for some cheap, expensive-looking hand-made holiday gifts!
I have never been a huge cactus fan, mostly due to the crazy amounts of spikes and prickly fuzz.
However, I recently began to enjoy the beautiful blooms and flower-like shapes of the succulents at a home on my running path. The garden is full of poke-free, drought-tolerant, beautifully colored plants. They arranged in such a nice manner that the yard looks absolutely stunning. Expensive, even.
I had the opportunity to speak with the home owner, who was extremely kind and gave me a quick tutorial in succulent growth and propagation – even sent me home with a few leaves in my running shorts pockets to give it a try! I have since been hooked!
The greatest thing about succulents is the minimal amount of water they take. I currently water 2 times a week, depending on the heat. This is because most succulents grow more in the spring and summer months. In the winter, I have read that you should water just once a week, maybe even every other week as the plants go into a dormant phase during colder seasons.
I have had mostly great luck in propagating from leaves. I started with the few I was given, then got more from a couple plants I found outside a few restaurants and homes I run by. If I see the homeowner, I be sure to ask first… but if I don’t, I guess I figure they won’t mind me taking just one or two leaves, so long as I don’t damage the plant and it is large enough they won’t miss 1 leaf! Give me your opinions on this, as I don’t know the proper succulent-leaf-taking etiquette!
To refresh my memory, I found a very simple tutorial (see image link above) that has a method I have found to work very well with most plants. I find that some leaves like more water than others (or maybe I am giving them too much sun, so the soil just dries faster?), and some that prefer to have more sand in the mixture. Visit Needles + Leaves for the great tutorial.
One type of succulent that I have yet to be able to propagate is Aloe. I have actually read many tutorials, watched many videos and am embarrassed that many people say it is the easiest to work with! I can’t believe I have tried a dozen leaves and can’t seem to get one started – the EASIEST ONE?!
I have tried so many methods, from laying pieces on top of the soil as shown by Needles + Leaves, to burying the leaf upright in the soil, no water, moist soil, dipped in honey (that idea seemed weird, but I gave it a shot…), fresh off the mother plant, allowing the end to dry/scab over, and even buying a rooting powder. Not one method has worked for me!
My next attempt will be to try this tutorial from WikiHow, partly shown above. PLEASE, if anyone has a tried and true method for Aloe, be sure to let me know by email or in the comments to share with everyone!
Just a quick shout-out to my brother, who has been kind enough to let me slice a dozen or more aloe leaves off the plants in his backyard for practicing each failed method! Thank you!
I very much enjoy crafting new items for my home and garden.
When the holiday decorations are taken down and stored away and the winter weather is still keeping us indoors, I sit down with a hot cup of coffee or tea and begin creating new items for the new year. January and February is the best time for creating – I find that the spring time asks for too much cleaning, summer is full of travel and making plans with the kids and fall is the start of a long, enjoyable holiday season. I like to keep busy, so crafting is a great way to stay occupied when the chill outside is unbearable!
This weekend, I started a new project that is not only fun for me, but I will be continuing to create more as gifts for relatives. My family has a couple generations of librarians, so by nature we have turned into bookworms! What better for a bookworm than a nice set of books for the garden?! These “books” are actually made of bricks! Yes, that is right…ugly old garden bricks transformed into these amazing (though not QUITE readable!) treasures.
Look at the beautifully crafted vintage look of these brick books! I am so impressed! For my very first brick novel, I started with my grandfathers favorite “Treasure Island”. I know he will enjoy placing this out in his garden…or maybe using it as a bookend in his home office. While mine does not look quite as vintage as the lovely books shown above, I am hoping to wear it down with some fine sandpaper once I am done painting the title on.
This is a very fun project and will make an easily personalized gift for any garden or book lover!
I have seen people re-purpose nice, old wooden chairs, but never have I seen something like this before.
I have to admit, when a lawn chair breaks, I am first to chuck in in the dumpster. Never before have I thought twice about saving it or fixing it. Probably because these days, lawn chairs are so poorly made that I don’t expect it to last more than a few seasons with that crappy woven plastic tubing. Not to mention how much these plastic covered chairs suck. Your hot, sweaty skin sticks to them in the summer time! Ugh.
This guy gives a tutorial on Instructables.com in creating a re-purposed chair from seat belts! Genius! Not only are you up-cycling old junk, but creating a new chair at the same time. Saves money and looks awesome! Plus, the possibilities seem endless…seat belts, regular belts (dated ones not worn in your closet, or stock up on the cheap at a second hand store), macrame yarn, old ties, old rope, old backpack or purse straps, duct tape…whatever junk you have sitting in a box in your garage! Just be sure you spray it with a weatherproof coating if you are going to keep it outdoors.
What an awesome idea!
Looking for a way to keep the dirt off your clothes in the garden?
I am constantly being covered in soil, leaves and other fun little tidbits of my yard each time I head out to do “a little” gardening. Sure, a little dirt never hurt…but it DOES mean more laundry ! I don’t know about you, but laundry is not something I look forward to. The laundry room is hot and stuffy, and the task of folding is SO monotonous! I would rather be gardening!
This handmade, screen printed apron shown above would be a great addition to any avid gardeners wardrobe for use in the garden or while cooking up all those freshly picked veggies in the kitchen! I also have to say, I LOVE this apron in white…the more dirt and stains it shows with time will only make it look better with this quote!
I am constantly looking for fresh gift ideas for all my gardening friends during the holidays. This adorable apron tops my list this year! Order now before the holiday rush on Etsy!
I have never made my own garden stones, but was recently reading about something called Hypertufa and am very excited to attempt working with it.
Have you ever seen planters that look very natural with little pebbles and such in them? They look like they could just blend right in to your landscaping as they are so earthy, rough and beautiful? That is probably Hypertufa. I am new to this, so you can read more about it on Wikipedia here. It is a mixture of Peat Moss, cement and perlite. Not only do garden sculptures and pots look really neat when made of Hypertufa, but plants supposedly grow better in them do to it being so porous.
I am going to try my hand at making some pots and garden stones this weekend if the weather stays nice!
I picked up a rubber door mat at Ross for about $6 to attempt these great decorative stones shown above (be sure to visit the link above for a tutorial!). I think they will look very nice in my garden to create a path from my patio to my citrus trees. If I am successful, I am going to paint them with a natural patina look for added earth tones.
Wish me luck!
I don’t know where the time went.
It feels like just yesterday that I was wearing shorts and flip flops while enjoying a warm, summer day. Today, I am bundled up in warmer clothing and preparing for the winter! This year seems to have gone by so quickly. Does the clock tick faster the older I get?
Today I wanted to share a neat idea for plant markers. Make from twigs, these markers keep a rustic, natural feel to your garden. They would also make for a Perfect holiday gift for anyone interested in gardening! Make it a quick theme by tying them up with a nice bow with a packet or two of seeds, a pair of gardening gloves, or a small shovel! Or, for a larger gift, get a decorative pot and fill it with a nice selection of garden tools! Whatever you choose, these garden markers will put a smile on anyone’s face!
You can purchase a set of 5 Manitoba Maple twigs, customized with your own chosen words.
Aren’t these perfect for the garden?!
I am a big fan of nice, happy, positive quotes.
Here is a great one that I came across the other day. I feel like this would make a great sign to post out in the garden, or to give as a gift to a close friend who loves to garden.
You know, it really is true that our best of friends are the ones who can look past all of the negatives that we see in ourselves and focus on the bright, wonderful, positive ways that each of us bring to the world.
These are really beautiful words.
Does anyone know who said this or where this quote originated?
When I was younger, living in an apartment or places with smaller yards, I always had excuses for my lack of gardening.
I wanted to grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, I really did! But with small yards, it is difficult to do any real gardening. I often had wood or concrete patio or deck spaces, as many apartments do, not allowing for me to really dig in and get a garden started. I was younger, living in an apartment or places with smaller yards, I always had excuses for my lack of gardening. I wanted to grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, I really did! But with small yards, it is difficult to do any real gardening. I often had wood or concrete patio or deck spaces, as many apartments do, not allowing for me to really dig in and get a garden started.
If you are in the same boat, take a look at this contraption – the Palram Plant Inn. This small greenhouse is just 4×4 feet, a perfect size for small spaces. Not only that, but the bottom portion is storage! This allows you to hide all those tools, extra soil, etc. to keep your yard clean and compact.
While, to me, it seems a little on the pricier side, consider all the money you will be saving on you fresh lettuce, cucumber, strawberries or garden goodies of your choice. Organic gardening is much healthier, and will save you time, gas and money overall! This small greenhouse seems like an all-around win!
The are my favorite fruit and my favorite dessert (with cake and whipped cream, of course).
Growing them, however, can be challenging for some. They require quite a bit of space if you want them nice and plump, and if you have birds and rabbits about your yard like we do, it can be tough to keep them away. They best solution I have for scaring off the birds is Christmas tree tinsel. I like to tie it to staple a few pieces to the planter box, or tie it to some wire and poke it right into the soil. This allows it to really move in the breeze, making it seem more alive and “scary” to the birds.
As far as the space issue and rabbit issue, I like to use vertical containers. The rabbits have a harder time getting to the berries, especially if you set them up higher on blocks. Vertical containers also allow for growing more fruit in a smaller square foot area of your yard! I am a huge fan of space saving, and if you are looking to do the same, then vertical is the way to go.
How do you get started in vertical strawberry growing? Below are a few tutorials to help you build your own containers and get growing!
Notice in this bottom photo that berries are growing out of each layer! It is made from pallets. Be sure to check out all of these great tutorials to see which idea best suits your garden space.