January 23, 2015

MY DIY SUET GUARD

If you have read my blog for a while you will know that I feed the birds and even grow meal worms in our art studio for the blue birds. For that how to click here but be sure to come back. This week I decided it would be fun to have some peanut butter suet near the window so we could see the woodpeckers and blue birds up close. I knew from past experience that they can be quite messy... slinging suet all over the window and figured the parts that they dropped on the deck would attract ants too. I wanted a tray to catch the crumbs. The first thing I tried was a bakery cake clear top from a birthday cake I purchased. It worked well until a Downy Woodpecker got in it and could not climb out! I turned him loose and went to plan B. Bill remembered the little salad containers we saved from Wendy's take home so I got the lid from one of those, heated an ice pick on my stove burner and melted a hole in each of the four corners. Next I tied jute twine into the holes and tied them all together at the top to make a way to suspend the little tray under the suet. It works great as you can see from the picture above.  here's a closer view:  Next week I'll tell you about the butterflies you see on my door glass.

January 16, 2015

HIMALAYAN SALT

Pink salt - who knew? On one of my Christmas shopping sprees I visited a local outlet store. One of those places that sell everything including the kitchen sink. I love to poke around in the food sections of those places. I always find something new and fun to try.

This time a saw pink Himalayan Salt. According to the label, it is hand-mined deep in the Himalayan mountains. because the salt has been locked in the earth for centuries it is infused with minerals. This is why it is rich in color and taste. The color ranges from white to deep red and the darker the color the more minerals.

My friend gave me a set of crystal grinders for Christmas and one was perfect for my Himalayan salt. We have been feeling good about eating salt ever since!

January 2, 2015

FLOWERS FOR WINTER BLOOMS

Do you get blue during the gray winter days like I do? One thing that cheers me up is having blooming house plants to look at. I even have a few winter bloomers outside too. 

baby African Violets
Pictured here are a few of my favorite house plants that bloom merrily in my windows all winter. Most are easy to care for. Some of these are actually growing in water and I will plant them in pots and move them outside when spring comes .

The stars of my window sill are the African Violets. I have an east facing window in the kitchen and
violets are very happy there. I have so many of them that they won't all fit in the window so I put some in our sunny studio window and switch them out as they bloom. Violets are so easy to propagate by putting a stem (leaf not bloom) into water and waiting - a baby plant will form on the bottom. Pot it up when it has several tiny leaves. The ones above are ready to pot.

Blue African Violet
Big Blue Violet
















Tradescantia pallida (Purple Queen)
Some of my favorite outside plants are happy growing in water in the house. I root them over winter and plant them back outside when the weather warms. The Purple Queen above and the Coleus below are two of those. Coleus don't usually bloom inside but I love their colorful leaves.
Colus "Inky Fingers"

Rex Begonia 
This big Rex Begonia has small pink flowers but the leaves are it's crowing glory! They are a good sin inches across.


Sedum are great in the house, they don't care if you water them or not. Give them a bright window and they will be happy. These also stay outside in summer - a sunny spot. 

Sedum and Aloe plant
These are a few of the plants I have inside. I also winter over hanging baskets of Airplane plants and orchids (that are not blooming right now) in the studio and a few other things too. What are your favorite house plants?

December 26, 2014

A FEW GOOD GARDEN BLOGS I'VE FOUND

It as too cold for the greenhouse this morning so I spent a while on Twitter, Google and elsewhere to find garden blogs that I thought I might want to share. I struck gold! Below are some of the best ones I found:

This first one is a great gift idea but I want to make one so I can have Basil in the windowsill all winter!  Mason Jar Herb Garden

This nice bit of advice came from Twitter. You might want to follow @DailyHealthTips to read more.



Dotty Plants Greenhouse Journal and Secrets of a Seedscattererare both the property of Jean Campbell from Kansas. Both blogs are worth checking out.

Gardening know How is a very informative site with lots of tips and helpful articles. 

You might want to follow Herb Garden News @mituho_967 for good gardening advice.
Comment here to post a link to your blog or one of your favorite sites.