February 15, 2019

House Plant Tips

African Violet blooming in my window
Yes, I waste quite a bit of time on Twitter but I find some really good things there too. Like this really helpful blog post about taking care of your houseplants in winter. Peroxide and water - who knew???

Read the post here: The Spruce

Don't forget my Book Blog if you are an avid reader or maybe a movie addict, sometimes I post about movies we have seen too.                                                                                                 

February 8, 2019

How to Protect Yourself While Working in the Garden

Today I have a post from Nadya Jones from Allen Roth HQ. Here is her post about protecting ourselves when we are out there digging in the dirt!

 How to Protect Yourself While Working in the Garden:
Are you worried about the effects that exposing yourself to the hot summer sun could be having on your skin? If you live in one of the warmer parts of the US, such as Tennessee, and you love gardening, you may well find yourself regularly concerned about issues such as sunburn, heatstroke and even longer term skin conditions.

How can you protect yourself? Our top tips are designed to help keep you safe in the sun.


The shade is your best friend when working in the garden. You must have a shaded area. If you are going to do activities which can be done anywhere in the garden then choose the shade. For instance, pot plants in the shade and then move them into position. Even birds try to stay in the shade when the sun is beating down on them!

You can even make the shade come with you, with a pop-up canopy. These can be easily moved around and don’t have to cost a huge amount. Just ensure you have a canopy with adequate UV protection.

Apply (and Reapply) Sunscreen

Protecting your skin is vital. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you’re going to be out in the garden, and then reapply every two hours. This is advice given by Skin Cancer experts. Even if it is cloudy outside, the sun can still have negative effects on your skin.

Some people think that the sun doesn’t have an impact on their skin due to the fact they don’t visibly burn, but this doesn’t mean the rays aren’t having a long term impact. Everybody needs to wear sunscreen, any age, any skin type.

Avoid The Hottest Hours

The sun’s rays are at their most powerful close to midday. 10 am until 3 pm is normally the warmest time in the day, and noon is when the sun is highest. Avoiding being outside at this time, if you can, is wise.

If you can get up nice and early to do your garden work, before the sun is high in the sky, you are less susceptible to burns or heat-based illnesses.

Adequate Clothing

A hat can provide some shade and a cooling effect. Don’t worry about getting a fashionable hat, just choose the best for protection. This may mean a good old fashioned straw hat.

Sunglasses with UV protection are another good way to protect your face and eyes from the perils of the sun.

As well as these accessories, loose-fitting clothes which won’t keep all the heat packed in can help you to avoid overheating.

Check the UV Forecast

Some people don’t even know that this exists. Most weather channels and websites will show you the UV forecast which is based on the strength of UV rays which are likely to be in your area.

Check websites such as Sunburn Map for reading in your location. Just like the main weather, it isn’t 100% reliable, but it gives a good idea of how the conditions may be. This doesn’t mean that you can ignore precautions, but lower UV rays will lower the risk.


Have you enjoyed our post? Are you ready to get the most out of your garden without having to worry too much about the effects of the sun? Feel free to share our tips with those who will find it useful, or leave your own advice in the comments. Are you worried about the effects that exposing yourself to the hot summer sun could be having on your skin? If you live in one of the warmer parts of the US, such as Tennessee, and you love gardening, you may well find yourself regularly concerned about issues such as sunburn, heatstroke and even longer term skin conditions.

January 25, 2019


Besides bird feederssuet and other obvious means of attracting birds to your yard both in summer and winter, I found this article from Greenwood Nurseries very helpful. Check it out and start now to plan a few changes to your garden so you enjoy more birds next winter.

Many of the plants suggested in the article will be for sale this spring at Mimi's Greenhouse...come see me!

January 18, 2019

Are the Deer Eating Your Plants?

January is when we start seeing deer boldly munching on everything in sight -especially if it snows. Thank God it has been an exceptionally warm winter here in Tennessee...so far. I will be amazed if it stays this way for very long.

I don't have near the issues with deer that I had when I first lived here. I was traveling a lot with my job back then and I would come home to find my Hostas eaten to the ground! I put up a chain link fence around the back yard and a privacy fence on the front side with gates at the front of the house. The deer still graze occasionally in the front yard but I planted Deer Resistant plants out there.

I found the following article on the website of one of my favorite wholesale suppliers, Mary's Greenhouse. I thought I'd share it here. Often we can get rid of the deer by planting landscape plants that they don't like. Mary's had a list of deer resistant plants. You will find it here:
Here's  the link: Deer Resistant Plants

Here is a link to my post about Mary's Greenhouse:


If all that fails, get a big dog! JoJo won't let a deer near our yard! He is watching out the front window on one of the rare days that he is let into the house. JoJo has claimed the loveseat as his! 

January 11, 2019

Chalk Painted Jars

Christie's Chalk Paint Jar Container
OK, so what does Chalk Paint have to do with gardening? Read on....
my sweet friend Christie made the this awesome Christmas gift for me. The jars are quart Ball canning jars. She painted them with chalk paint and tied them with jute bows. She built the cutest little wooden container for them. They fit into it perfectly. It has handles that match the jute bows. So cute!

Handle Detail
The container just fits on my baker's rack in the kitchen. I had ivy and Wandering Jew in the greenhouse that I was rooting for spring. There was no more space for the cuttings in the greenhouse. The jars were the perfect size for rooting those plants. Now I can enjoy watching them grow without having to check the greenhouse to be sure they still have water. Besides, they are a cheerful addition to my room!

Happy Cuttings 
I think there is enough light for the cuttings to be happy but I may purchase a little florescent tube to go under the shelf above the plants. It would highlight the jars too.

Chalk Paint Jars on my Baker's Rack

January 4, 2019

Yummy Power Bites

This recipe was in the back of the New Holland Magazine that we receive each month. It sounded good and healthy too so I decided to make some power Bites and add them to the gift baskets I was making for family and friends. Of course, I made enough for Bill and I too. I tripled the recipe to be sure I had enough. I did substitute Nutella Hazelnut Spread for the peanut butter because my grandson is allergic to peanuts. I think they were even better than they would have been originally. I also added craisens, raisins, pecans and walnuts.

I put the power balls into tiny candy cups and stacked them into little round tins. I printed the recipe on round cards that I made from card stock. They fit perfectly under the lid. These were a big hit! Now if we can just keep from eating every one that I saved for us at one time!  My recipe is printed below. I found them much easier to shape with damp hands.