2015 Garden Tour

Good morning everyone! It has been a rainy few days here in PA. Although I loved not watering my garden, the weeds are a bit out of control now.

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been blogging just not here. I have not lost my interest in gardening at all. Being in the garden is peaceful and I often wonder why I waited so long to even start gardening. I didn’t start until 2012. It *may* have had to do with the fact that I was a teacher. I had no time and I was exhausted.

I was texting a friend last night about report card comments and I don’t miss that at all. In fact, there are very few things I miss about teaching. I only need to spend a short time talking to my teaching friends to remember why I quit.

It’s 7am here and I’ve already went to the gym, went to breakfast with Tony (it’s his last day of school today with kids), took pictures of the garden, and cleaned the kitchen. That’s what happens when you’re not exhausted all the time. You get up early and get stuff done. 🙂

And so, it’s time to blog here for the first time in a while. I’m going to start with a garden tour. Here’s my 2015 garden.

 

 

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In the raised bed above, I have stringless bush beans and Zinnias. In the bed below, I have peppers, tomatoes, sweet olive tomatoes, and cucumbers.

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Then I have potatoes and sunflowers! I planted the potatoes in containers last year, which worked, but it just seemed like more work.

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The bed below doesn’t look like much but a bunch of weeds, but that’s where I started my asparagus this year. Part of the bed is also giant zinnias, which I’ll use to create fresh bouquets in the house.

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Look! Here’s a close up!

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The garden paths:

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Zinnias, apple mint, sunflowers, and wildflowers. I also have a strawberry bed, but didn’t take a picture of that or my potting area.

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Below is a sign I made using an old kitchen cabinet door. I spray painted it white and sanded through the top. I then added the vinyl words (I made using my Cricut machine) and sprayed it with a UV protective clear coat.

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Today is Tony’s last day of school with students, which I’m excited for! He will still go two days next week, but after that we have big plans for the garden. I’ll be fun having him home! I always love the summers spent with him.

For the last few months, have been collecting reclaimed wood and old windows. We are expanding the garden & building a greenhouse out of old windows. I’ll blog about that progress too, but the garden should double in size! And I think the greenhouse is going to be amazing!

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And we can’t forget about the salvaged bricks we found for free to build a path. Cheesecake is trying to eat my flowers here and not interested in the bricks at all.

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~Sondra

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Garden Update: June 12, 2014

It’s raining. So, what does a gardener do when it rains? She updates her gardening blog. A lot has been happening in the garden, but I haven’t had much energy to update this blog when I’ve been actually gardening. But it’s growing!!

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Potatoes, bush beans, tomatoes:

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More potatoes and mint:

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Potatoes growing in a crate:

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Cutting Gardening in progress-sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos: This picture is a bit blue, but you get the point. 

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I’m using watering system this year. If it works this year, I’m going to hide the hoses, but right now I really wanted to just see how it would do. Tony is in charge of watering my garden this week, so I wanted to quick install everything so he had less work.

 

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I got them at Walmart at the end of the season. They were originally $20 a pack, but I got them for 75% off and two from my brother-in-law for my birthday. I used 5 packs in the entire garden. I got them to stay by using a tent stake I bent to fit the hose. Each stake was $0.79 at Ace Hardware.

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A few reclaimed accents:

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Another use for an old chicken crate:

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I drilled holes in a wash tub and now it’s a planter for sunflowers and cosmos. My apple mint is a bit out of control here, you can’t even see the rusty mower in the back.

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My little guy. He HATES coming into the garden because he usually ends up getting sprayed by the hose at some point.

 

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And last, but not least the flowers are finally blooming:

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Mud Sale: April 12th

 

 

 

 

This was a new experience for me, not because I’ve never been to a Mud Sale, but because I went without Tony. My husband usually comes along-he helps me bid (I can be in two places at once), assists me get everything I bought, and loads things into the truck for me. Going alone was a new experience that I was nervous about, but with the husband being out of town it was a perfect distraction.

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If you didn’t catch my last Mud Sale post in 2013, let me tell you a little bit more:

  • It’s organized and run by Amish volunteers to benefit the local fire companies. All the items are donated and the profits go straight to the fire company.
  • It’s an all day event- lasting from 7:00-7:30am- 2-3pm.
  • There are quite a few auctions going on at the same time: 2 separate plant auctions, crafts, antiques, horses, building materials, yard equipment, quilts, and all sorts of other stuff.
  • When I attend a new sale, in order to know where to go I just follow the crowd of people.
  • If you want to get the best deals you have to wait until people get tired and go home. Or go to a mud sale when it’s raining or extremely hot. Mud Sales are being advertised much better now thanks to social media, so I can’t always find the best deal. Usually bad weather keeps people away.
  • You don’t have to carry any of your stuff to the car or truck. The little Amish boys will do all of that for you, I give them a tip.
  • I always bring my own chairs- I set one up at each tent I’m going to be bidding at. The seats they provide fill up quick.

This year I went in search of a few things- perennials, wood crates, and something to hang on my garden fence for decoration.

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They had crates! I only paid $3 each, but at our local craft store they are $12 each.

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There a lot of flowers and I did manage to get a good price on some decorative grass.

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For the garden fence, I bought stars I’m going to paint. Hopefully it looks okay. I had my eye on these cute wood daisies, but they went for almost $20 each (WAY TOO MUCH). So, instead I bought 7 stars for $12. That was more affordable for me.

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It was a great day even without Tony there. And I leave you with something you don’t see everyday.. (Don’t worry I took this picture when I was stopped in bumper to bumper traffic).

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And this is what the Amish kids do when the sale is just about over- It’s hard to see, but they are all playing volleyball.

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DIY Christmas Tree from a Tomato Cage

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I know. I know. We didn’t even have Thanksgiving yet, but the retail stores have tricked me into the holiday spirit.

I’ve seen a lot of DIY Christmas trees on Pinterest, but I have to tell you I was unimpressed with most of them. Most were showing the wires and if they did look nice, there was not a tutorial on how to do it.

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I used a tomato cage I already had. One that was in terrible shape.

I then used this garden twine to wrap around the tomato cage, but I’m sure you could use what you have on hand to save you money. I wanted it to be circular, so I put this all around the cage so the garland would have something to grab onto.

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The picture below looks messy, but it still worked.

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I then wrapped it with garland starting at the top. I got 30 feet at Lowe’s for $5 and I needed about 45 feet to cover the tomato cage.

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I then prepared the base. I used my Cricut Expressions machine to do this:

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Then I put the tree on top of a plastic pot (upside down) and put my tree on top. In order to give it some weight and take up space I wanted to use water bottles and gravel, but I didn’t have any one hand. Wine bottles though, yeah I had those. 🙂

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I then put garland on top (I got a 15′ section at Dollar tree). Then I decorated! I used all ornaments and stuff from Dollar Tree and I already had the ribbon! You can’t even tell the wine bottles are there.

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I’m pretty proud of my creation! And it was MUCH cheaper than the store bought ones.

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Price breakdown:

Wash tub: Free- I already had as a planter- btw you may have to drill holes in the bottom so water can drain out.
Wine bottles/plastic pot-free
Ribbon- Free (I already had, but it sells for $5 at Lowe’s)
Garland- $10 for 30feet (Lowe’s)
Garland- $1 for 15 feet (Dollar Tree)
Berries- $5 Lowe’s (although I found them at Dollar Tree after I already bought them at Lowe’s)
Ornaments: $2 (Dollar Tree)
Start topper: $2 (Dollar Tree)

If you add lights, it will be an extra $5 (I’m making another one that will get lights)

Total Cost: $20
If you use ornaments you already have, buy the berries at Dollar Tree, and keep an eye out for cheaper garland, you could make it for much cheaper.

The store bought trees cost anywhere from $48-$100.

 

 

 

 

“So I Can Kiss You Anytime I Want”

We all know the line from Sweet Home Alabama. There is just something about that movie and that line that I just love. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched that movie either. ❤

In case you haven’t seen the movie- In the beginning of the movie when they were kids:

Her: What do you want to be married to me for, anyhow?   Him: So I can kiss you anytime I want. (They kiss in the middle of a storm). At the end of the movie, he asks her why she wants to marry him and she says “So I can kiss you anytime I want.” 🙂 So sweet!

When thinking about decorations and word quotes for our room, there were a lot that I loved. It was so hard to decide.  But “So I can kiss you anytime I want” is something my husband and I still jokingly say to each other 🙂 So in our room it belongs.

I started out with an old sign. It was free and going to be thrown away by a neighbor. Although it is a good sign, I didn’t have a place for it in my house. So, a new sign it is! If you didn’t have a sign to reuse, I don’t see why you couldn’t just use a piece of wood.

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I taped off the frame and sprayed the sign white:

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I cut out the letters with my Cricut (I LOVE IT):

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I organized the letters out and pressed them down:

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I spray painted the sign again with blue over the letters:

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I carefully lifted the letters and the white showed. I untaped the border and here is the final sign. I found a perfect place for it above the closet doors.

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And I leave you with Tank, who doesn’t care about the sign, but loves his place in the room. He heard Bailey bark and it made for a perfect pose.  I couldn’t resist posting this! 🙂

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