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.


December 28, 2018

Wow! Nine Years of Blog Posts!

I can't believe I've managed to post every (well almost) every week for nine years now.

I've learned a lot in those nine years, I've had several major life changes and one name change! I think it's pretty neat that my last name is Green now. No, I didn't go searching for a husband with a cool last name for a gardening blogger. In fact, I didn't go searching for a husband at all. I guess God knew I'd get in a lot more trouble if I remained single. 😊

I thought it might be fun to look back over the years at some of my favorite posts:

Tiny Pumpkins, Seed Starting, Greenhouse in Winter, Worms in the Basement 

Below are a few of my favorite photos too. If you have a favorite from my blog, post the link in the comment section below.

 

Bill, Pookie and Me
Pookie Bear


 

 


Jo Jo Watching the neighborhood

Yep, That's me. 
 




December 21, 2018

Fresh Parsley for Winter Goodness

My Driveway Garden
Nothing is easier to grow in a pot than Parsey. I plant it in early spring in big pots that I also grow Tomatoes and annual veggies in. Of course, it will grow in the ground and if you plant it in a protected place it will survive some pretty cold days. Mine is planted in these big pots in the driveway beside my house along with other herbs.

We have had more than one night in the 20 degree range and I harvested fresh Parsley last week for a recipe I was preparing. I also put some in a little vase in my sunny kitchen window over a week ago. It's so cold outside that I wanted it handy so I don't have to go out and cut more. As you can see, it's happy there with the ivy cuttings I'm rooting. I also put some sprigs of fresh Bay leaves in the vase too. I Keep my Sweet Bay tree in the greenhouse over winter. It would not survive a frost. 
Parsley & Ivy in my kitchen window


Other herbs that will survive the cold and are useful in winter recipes are Mint, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage. All these are also growing in the big containers near the Parsley.

Also check out this post about growing hardy perennials outside  and this recipe using Parsley in Herb Butter.

December 14, 2018

How to Attract More Birds to Your Yard

My friend asked me recently how to attract Red Birds to her yard. That got me to thinking about attracting birds of all kinds. Maybe there are others who have wondered about this too.

Here are a few things that have worked over the years to attract lots of birds to my yard. I've lived in shady yards with lots of trees, yards with wide open spaces in the city, shady city lots and out in the county with both trees and fields. the same methods have worked in all places.


It should go without saying, but first you need a bird feeder. I've had all kinds of feeders over the years but these two have been my all time favorites. The squirrels can't get to the seeds and they hold enough seeds to last a day or two unless it snows. On snow days I usually have to fill feeders every day and sometimes twice a day. These feeders are from Tractor Supply Company but I'm sure you can find the elsewhere.




It also helps to have a source of water. A bird bath will work for this or even a big flower pot saucer filled with water near the feeder. I have my little puddle that I recently posted about. Water is not totally necessary, birds will manage to find water but I have noticed they stay around longer if there is water nearby.

Some sort of protection helps. Bushes, nearby trees, etc. We don't want the cats to get the birds! Besides if there is cover this also provides nesting places for them to raise their babies. Nothing is more fun than watching mama wren trying to keep up with and feed a nest of fledglings.

Now about what to feed. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON WILD BIRD SEED! It ends up mostly uneaten on the ground. Buy black oil sunflower seeds. Nearly all seed eaters love them. In summer we sometimes by niger seed for the goldfinches but they will eat the sunflower seeds too and don't make nearly as big a mess. Speaking of mess. You will have dropped bird seed and hulls under your feeder. The ground feeding birds like Rufus Sided Towhee, Doves and others eat what the other birds drop. We rarely clean this up. It keeps weeds from growing under the feeder. If you use wild bird seed, you will have weeds. Sunflowers are usually treated to deter sprouting and this does not harm the birds.

Suet will attract Woodpeckers. We love watching these beautiful birds. They rarely eat at our feeders because the squirrel proof ones are a little hard for them to access. Sometimes they eat on the ground and on snowy days I put sunflower seeds our in pie pans, etc so they can get to them. Woodpeckers love suet! Here is a link to my post about suet feeders...We always have suet even in summer. BTW: feed your birds all year. They need to eat in summer too and it helps with the baby birds when they hatch.  see The Baby Wren Saga  

Providing nesting boxes and bird houses goes a long way toward attracting more birds, especially Bluebirds and wrens. See my birdhouse posts for more info on that.

Bluebirds building in Ornamental Birdhouse  and Bird Houses in the Snow


Another thing we do is feed meal worms to our birds. Every one of them love meal worms! I feed these near the house so we can watch from the window. Here's another post about that Feed The Birds

Did you know you can search my blog? just put key words into the search field in the right sidebar (you may have to scroll down the page to find the search gizmo.)   


December 7, 2018

Do you have a suet feeder?


You should. If you feed the birds you will really enjoy a suet feeder too. Suet is cheap and many birds that don't eat seeds love suet. I moved mine up to the deck this fall so I can see it from my dining room table. I love watching the woodpeckers and blue birds while we eat. The blue birds are eating the meal worms I put out all year for them.

Be sure to buy a suet feeder that is squirrel proof if you have oak trees nearby. These little pests will eat a suet cake in a couple of hours! The  one I have is like this one from Amazon. I've tried other kinds but this is the only one that I have found that really works to keep away the squirrels

Here is my post about DIY suet recipe and another one about my Impromptu Bird Feeder