Flower Boxes

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Did you know that flower boxes are one of the quickest, easiest ways to clean up the look of your house?

Replace cluttered potted plants on your doorstep or patio areas with flower boxes filled with fresh, beautiful plants or flowers. The look will make your house feel homier to family and friends, add the illusion of added value to your home and just clean up the area in general!

While window boxes are the first thing people think of when considering flower boxes, remember there are more options on the market. Flower boxes can can line the perimeter of your house or yard, they can rest on the beams of some covered patios, they can even hang from the fence that separates you from your neighbor.

 

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Source: www.hooksandlattice.com

Flower boxes don’t have to be built out of wood and have that country feel to them. The aluminum box above looks elegant and very stylish, making it a great option for most any style house. If you are looking to make this style even cleaner or simpler, use one long flower box liner pot in black or white. Growing things like succulents or herbs can also minimize the traditional flower box look and look classy in more architectural or modern style homes.

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Photo: HomeDepot.com

Don’t have a window to use for a flower box? Or maybe you are just looking to update your deck? Check out this box which holds on to your deck railing. This great idea adds instant color and style to your yard.

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Outdoor “Rugs” Made from Pebbles and Stones

This is one of the neatest ideas I have ever seen!

 

stone rug

Source: finegardening.com

While this may look like an amazing outdoor rug, it is really a great pattern made with a selection of colored stones! How amazing is this idea?! Use rocks from your travels or trips to the beach… or if you want it done quicker, hop on over to your local craft store and purchase bags full of colored pebbles. They also sell bags of those round, pebble like pieces of glass to use for mosaics or floral arrangements, which I think would add a nice touch to this fun idea if done in small quantities.

Head over to my image source, Fine Gardening for more details on this and other garden “rug” and mosaic ideas!

Printable Seed Packets

Packets of seeds are a great gift for new home owners, garden lovers or even at weddings.

But like anything in life, a little extra personalized effort is always a great way to go when gift-giving. That is why I am loving the idea of personalized seed packets. This idea opens up so many creative possibilities, such as initials or monograms, quotes, birth dates, images, etc. Not to mention the type of seeds given – a birth or funeral could give tree seeds, a new home owner could be given fruit or vegetable seeds, a birthday could be given a favorite flower and the list goes on!

Below you will find a couple options to get you started in designing your very own printable seed packets. Click on the source links to get further information on each. Think about using colored paper (you could print in color on newspaper or even used printer sized scrapbook paper) or adding embellishments post printing for a little extra style.

 

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Source: www.erinvaledesign.com

 

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Image Source: justsomethingimade.com

 

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Image: weedsandwildflowersdesign.com

 

Make your own? I would love to see what you all come up with for your own seed packet designs!

Nice big deck with pergola. Would change the top of the pergola

Photo: pinningJewell.posterous.com

Places to Sit

When it comes to seating in the garden, I feel like there is a chance to express yourself.

Sure, people need to have a comfortable place to sit – that is what a patio set is for. But what about a fun bench to place outside just because you wanted to? That funky, awesome piece of furniture that wouldn’t quite work in the house, but you really want it anyway.

A garden is a place to add those special little touches.

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Image Wayfair.com

This wood and iron bench is from Cyan Design. I think it would look great in an entry way or a mudroom, but it also has a special garden space feel to it. Elegant and even Victorian style, this would be a nice place to rest next to a great little stream or fountain.

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Image: UncommonGoods.com

If you are in to skateboarding, sports or just being awesome, this is the perfect bench for your yard. Made out of broken skateboards for an up-cycled style, I know I would have loved this back in my skating days.

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Source: Etsy Shop UrbanTwiggs

I am still trying to get my wife to approve a bench like this in our yard. My father had an old red Ford pickup and this bench seems like a great idea to remind me of the good old days. Love the perfectly matched paint from wood to tailgate. I think every yard needs one of these, so be sure to check out UrbanTwiggs on Etsy.

Stylish in the Garden

If you are like my wife, you are not one to garden in bare feet or even flip flops.

She is allergic to bees and just has a fear of all the creepy crawlies that are apparently just hovering and waiting to attack her toes!

For that reason, she likes to wear garden shoes. But all I hear from her is just how ugly they are and how she wouldn’t be caught dead having company over while she is wearing something so hideous. So for her birthday, I did a little internet searching and had some help from some of her girlfriends to try and track down some of the better looking shoes available. Now who says gardening has to make you frumpy?!

Check out the styles we came up with:

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Photo – Sears.com

These boots come from a brand named Sloggers. Very classy and dare I say elegant boots for getting dirty in. Pretty great if you like the tall boot, especially if you have a husband that likes to spray you with the garden hose…

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Image – Meijer.com

Another from Sloggers, this time a clog style. I know animal print is all the rage with the ladies, so this had to be added to the list. These clogs will make you look like a Leopard, therefore keeping all those giant garden spiders from eating you alive!

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Source: PlanetShoes.com

These Bogs clogs come in a variety of colors with apples, bell pepper and mushrooms. If you stick with the plain black they are sure to match anything you are wearing… and you just might be comfortable enough to keep them on for a quick run to the flower store or the hardware store without having to stop and change your shoes!

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Source: Amazon.com

If you are looking for a shoe that is a little sporty with a removable and washable liner, this is a great option. Made by CCilu, these come in many different colors including Red, Black and Pink. These look extremely comfortable and those air holes are made for sweaty or wet feet! Black or blue is a great option for guys out there looking to have a comfortable garden or mowing shoe.

World’s Largest Flower

If you are headed to southeast Asia anytime soon, you may want to consider visiting the World’s Largest Flower!

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Image Source ScienceNewsForKids.org

This flower, the Rafflesia, reminds me of the old movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

Apparently, there is no season to see this beautiful flower as it appears to bloom whenever it feels like it. Blooms usually only last for less than a week, so it is not a flower that is easily planned for by tourists. These extremely rare blooms, crazy enough, have no roots or leaves of any sort – the Rafflesia is actually a parasite. In order to grow, the parasite will have to infect a Tetrastigma vine, shown below, which is part of the grape family. This vine appears to be the sole host for the Rafflesia flower, making a blossom hard to come by!

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Image Source Wikipedia.org

The bloom is said to be the stinkiest of all flowers. It has a scent of bad meat, and its petals also appear to look like meat as well, to attract flies and other insects in order to transfer pollen to flowers and possible seed dispersal.

The average weight of these giant blooms is said to be about fifteen pounds, with the largest on record being twenty-two pounds! Now that is a flower!

If you would like to plan your next vacation around a possible sighting of this incredible flower, you will want to contact the Rafflesia Information Center.

Hummingbirds

I have a real love of hummingbirds, but am not a fan of feeding them sugar water. Just like us humans, I believe that natural is the better way to go… none of those processed sugary foods!

So if we don’t feed them our sugar, what will they eat?

The answer is actually quite a long list! So below I have listed a few of my favorites that are both favorites of hummingbirds as well as easy to grow and attractive for your garden.

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Echinacea image BeHealthyandRelax.com

Echinacea is one of my favorite plants for hummingbirds. Also, it is quite beautiful in the yard and has many medicinal purposes as discussed on BeHealthyandRelax.com.

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Fuschia image LehighValleyLive.com

Another extremely intricate and beautiful flower that attracts hummingbirds is the Fuschia. While it can be grown otherwise, you may recognize the Fuschia as a hanging potted plant. It is a great flower to have around if you are a nature photographer, amateur or otherwise as you will find the little hummers really love this plant!

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Gladiolus image UFSeeds.com

Lastly are the beautiful gladiolus plant. If you are looking for a tall flower that promotes lots of color in your yard to attract butterflies, this is the way to go! Gladiolus are a late summer bulb flower and can be purchased through our image source UFSeeds.com.

Protecting your Knees in the Garden

If you are like my, the years of kneeling in the garden is finally getting to you!

Sure, we may use small stools and other tools every so often, but the fact of the matter is that much of our gardening happens on a whim and we never think to grab something to assist us – all the while creating more damage to our joints! Knee pads are effective, sure, but we are still placing a lot of pressure on those joints by kneeling.

So what do we do?

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Garden Rocker image GreenHouseCatalog.com

A good friend of mine just surprised me with a gift of this Garden Rocker. It is light weight (about 5 pounds) and lets you rock back and forth allowing you to get closer for your weeding and pruning. The adjustable height is great because I am on the taller side.

This thing not only keeps my knees out of the dirt, but also keeps my back in a straight, un-hunched position! I have had it for just a couple weeks now and am already loving the way I feel!

If you truly enjoy getting down in the soil with your plants, try this neat contraption from Harbor Freight Tools – a rolling knee pad.

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Rolling Knee Pad image HarborFreight.com

This allows you to roll as you garden, provided you stay on a hard surface, so you aren’t constantly having to get up and down to move.

Do you have anything out of the ordinary you use for joint protection in the garden?

Summer Bulbs

To me, planting bulbs is a confusing task. It requires you to know what flowers you want and what time of the year they bloom. And if you really, truly want them – well, you better have it on your calendar seasons in advance!

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Dahlia image from BHG.com

True gardeners keep calendars of their blossoms so you can prepare yourself for each season. I compare it to buying holiday gifts for people a year in advance – I like to get gifts on clearance to save some serious cash, but it requires having a list prepared for who you are buying for and what age they will be the following year!

My absolute favorite summer bulb flower is the Dahlia. The detail in these amazing flowers is truly one of the most beautiful you will ever have in your garden. I just love how the petals appear to be painted on by some talented artist.

Dahlias are a difficult flower to plant and grow, in my opinion, as they need a lot of maintenance. First you must keep the planted bulb indoors about six weeks prior to planting outdoors. During this time, they should be place in a room that gets plenty of sun through the window and be kept moist. If you live in an extremely cold area, be sure not to plant outside until after the last frost of the season. I usually plant my seedlings no more than three to four inches deep in the soil and keep a distance of about one and a half feet between each.

For more information on summer bulbs, visit our image source BHG.com.

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