Saturday, April 30, 2011

Plant Flowers and Vegetables Together

Organic gardening works better when you plant your flowers and vegetables together. Research the vegetables and flowers you want to plant to find out which ones work well together. I've begun my organic raised bed garden with carrots, lettuce, marigolds, and nasturtiums. The funny thing about this is the night before I purchased the seeds, I dreamed about nasturtiums. I didn't even know what a nasturtium looked like. However, I had been reading on gardening as I was about to try my hand at it again. Also, I remembered my mother talking about planting nasturtiums years ago. So on Easter weekend, I went vegetable and flower seed and plant shopping at Lowe's. The last thing on my mind was nasturtiums. As I browsed the seed packets, I saw "Nasturtiums" and grabbed the packet, remembering my dream. Sure enough, a nasturtium is an excellent companion for a lot of plants like collards, mustards, squash, tomatoes, cabbage and cucumbers. These are plants I've either already planted or plan on planting soon. If you've ever planted a vegetable that aphids took over, then you can appreciate my determination to plant flowers that will deter aphids like nasturtiums will. Nasturtiums also deter squash bugs. I love squash. It's probably my favorite vegetable. Nasturtium seeds are already planted in one of the corners of my raised bed garden.

Geranium is another flower that is good to plant. Plant it with tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and even roses. I just learned this and wish I would have known it sooner as I planted two geraniums by my rock garden near one of my trees that flowers in the spring and summer and that I don't know the name of yet. Yes, geranium is on my flowers-to-buy list again. 
Lavender is another good flower to plant near vegetables and roses. It makes a beautiful garden in color as well.
French Marigolds deter whiteflies, and I've read that marigolds deter wild rabbits. I've planted several marigolds already. Before you plant your vegetables, be sure to do a little research on marigolds because there is a difference between varieties of marigolds and the benefits they provide for planting with various vegetables.
This weekend I am planning to plant a few more flowers and vegetables. One of the places I want to plant flowers in is an old mailbox on the side of my little country cottage cabin. My husband and I have plans already drawn up for a renovation of the cabin. Since we plan to do major renovations, we are not painting or making major repairs to the cabin. Believe me, if you drove down our street, you'd notice the little cabin in need of some paint. What can I do, I've been asking myself, to dress this little cottage up? Flowers. Yes. Decorate it with flowers. Flowers in the little mailbox. I've got the inspiration. Now I must get to work. I'll be sure to take pictures this weekend to show you the results. Come back soon for the update. In the meantime, think about your own organic garden and how you will plant your flowers and vegetables.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend Surprises

Isn't Easter about surprises? I imagine a few people were not expecting the stone to be rolled away when they went to check Jesus' tomb. Though Easter really is about the resurrection of Jesus, it's not surprising to find plastic Easter eggs scattered on lawns on Easter weekend. My Easter surprises did not come in a plastic egg, however. The first surprise came when a visitor showed up at our gate Saturday wanting to know if our house was the one for sale. 
"No," we replied. Yet our little cottage cabin interested the visitor who just happens to love cabins.
Surprise #2: A neighbor held a yard sale with a fridge and washer for sale - two things my cottage cabin could use.
Surprise #3: Mr. Fun and I were blessed with a new table and chairs - FREE!
I love surprises, especially exciting ones. I gardened this weekend and planted tomatoes, - and strawberries. My husband and I stopped by a yard sale Saturday where I noticed a strawberry clay pot. The day before I had purchased a strawberry plant at Lowe's. When I walked up to the pot, however, I saw string wrapped around the pot and other items. "Has someone already bought this?" I asked the gentleman. 
"No," he said, "That's not for sale."
"But I want it. How much will you sell it to me for?"
"Seven dollars."
I browsed a little more then approached the gentleman again about the strawberry pot. "I really want that pot, but I don't have $7.00."
"How much do you have?" he asked.
"Five dollars." He let me have it for $5.00! I was excited.
To top it off, I've started my raised bed garden. If you're interested in knowing more on how to begin a raised bed for your garden, read my kitchen blog on Wednesday.
It was a fun weekend, filled with outside work at the cottage cabin, but fun.
I'm linking to 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Decor

How do you decorate for Easter? Some like Easter eggs, others like crosses. Here are a few ideas if you are still looking for inspiration:
I almost grabbed this rabbit tin cutie.

What fun one could have decorating with these elegant gift bags.

Sweet Easter egg basket tin with pretty tablecloth and napkins.

I loved this picture. Actually, I saw this as I was on my pink garden accessory adventure. Hmmm...wouldn't it look lovely in a garden room???

Hat boxes are the thing. I saw several at the antique shop where I took these photos. This was one of my favorites.
I saw these lovelies at my favorite antique store the week before Easter. I'd love to know if any of you come up with your own inspiration from these antique store lovelies. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pink Garden Accessories

Decorate your garden with pink accessories. Today I browsed through the various vendors' shops at my favorite antique shop. I noticed a lot of pink throughout the shop and was curious to know how many pink garden accessories I could find. I took pictures and have made a collage to give you an idea of how to decorate your garden with pink accessories. If you're needing some garden decorating inspiration, browse through your local antique stores. You'll go home ready to turn those inspirations into garden beauties.
  1. Pink Planter
  2. Pink Planter Chair
  3. Pink Bird Bath Stand
  4. Pink and Black Table
  5. Pink and Black Table close up
  6. Pink and Black Table
  7. Ornate Chair with Pink Flowers
  8. Gold Child's Table with Pink Flowers
  9. Glass Table with Pink Cushion Chair (same set as #7)
  10. Flower Wagon with Pink Flowers
  11. Glass Table with Pink Floral Cushion
  12. Vegetable and Herb Magazines 
  13. Pink Table
  14. Pink Planter
  15. Pink Planter Chair
You can see that I duplicated a few of the photos. For instance, that pink and black table was so cute, and I'd love to have brought that home with me...but didn't. I tried to capture the little pink planter at different angles. And yes, I did leave the antique shop inspired with two magazines on planting herbs and vegetables!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hiding in Nature

Today I'm reminded of a bird I saw last week that must have wanted to hide. I was admiring the beauty of flowers in my little garden and heard a bird. I saw the bird and even tried to take several pictures of it. No matter the amount of pictures I took, the bird seemed to stay in the shadows. At first it looked down on me, then up, lingered a bit, then flew away. Sometimes I'd like to hide like that and fly away. Do you ever have moments like that? Psalm 17:8 says, "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings." Imagine hiding under the wings of God as He picks us up to carry us under the shelter of His wings.

The little bird's colors causes it to blend in with the fence and tree. I knew it would fly away in seconds, so the picture isn't very clear, but this gives you a little view of what the sweet birdie looked like.

I was admiring and trying to capture the beauty of this lavender plant when the bird caught my attention.

These leaves' color stood out, and I just had to try to capture the beauty. 

We ooh and aah about flowers, but have you ever noticed the first sprouts of leaves when spring arrives? I love the outdoors at my home. As we decorate our homes to match the seasons, God naturally decorates the world around us.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pink on April 9

Pink Saturday linking blog party is fun and one I look forward to taking a part of. This April 9 Pink Saturday is doubly special to me because today would be my paternal grandmother's birthday. She would be 107 years old today. I was trying to remember what my grandmother had that was pink. Two things I think of: pink flowers and pink icing on teacakes. She planted flowers and vegetables and had several fruit trees. Though I can't remember  her favorite color, she loved flowers whatever color. One of my favorite places to check when I would walk into her house was her specialty, old-fashioned teacakes with pink icing. This evening I'm eating a cupcake with pink icing. It's not a teacake, but it makes me think of those delicious, thick teacakes with the pretty pink icing.

To honor my sweet grandmother, I'm including a photo of her with my nephew and photos of flowers in my yard on a bush that has pretty coral pink flowers.

I inherited this flower bush at my fixer upper but don't know the name of it. Any ideas?

I'm joining Pink Saturday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cottage Farm Life

Can you have a cottage farm in the city? My cabin cottage is becoming a farm. On April Fool's Day I came home from my day job to my cat, Smokey, and her five brand new babies. A couple weeks previously my husband had commented, "Either Smokey is getting fat, or she is pregnant." 

I said, "I think she is pregnant." Those bulges I had noticed on her looked more like kittens than fat. Sure enough, on April 1st, she had the kittens.That's part of farm-style living in the city. 

We have an old chicken coop that belonged to the previous owner of our cottage cabin. The first day Smokey kept her kittens on the side of the cabin in the flower bed I've been pulling weeds out of to get it ready to plant more flowers. The next day my husband was working on the yard with the weed-eater. She didn't like the noise and must have felt that the weed-eater was a danger to her little ones. She picked them up, one by one, and transported them to one of the holes in the old chicken coop. Each time I peeked in, she greeted me with a hiss. Maybe I'll keep one of the little ones and try to tame it. I think the only reason Smokey likes me is because she knows I'm the one that feeds her. See photos below.

Antique window that I can't wait to do something with.

When Mr. Fun and I purchased our cabin fixer upper, we inherited a lot of junk like the chicken coop and a few other pieces we thought we may use for future projects - like for gardening.
Let me show you some of the inherited junk for future projects. Got any ideas? I'd love to hear them.

Love this arbor..

and this old bucket...

this one I've moved to the flower bed, getting ready to put a plant in it...

...not sure about this...

and here is the old coop...paint it?...plant in it?...hmm...we'll see after Smokey moves her babies out of here...

...planning to use the trellis for my tomatoes...

...look at those gorgeous neon eyes and the sweet little babies all huddled together...

...and Smokey and her sidekick, our Shih Tzu...

I'm sharing this with