A friend of mine has the sweetest tree in her yard. I might have to try to do this next year.
A friend of mine has the sweetest tree in her yard. I might have to try to do this next year.
Back in June I had to evacuate my house for a week due to a devastating forest fire. This little lovely on my deck survived a week of 100 degree temps without water. Now, that's real flower drama.
I am so grateful that the AWESOME firefighters saved my house. Every day when I look at the torched mountainside above my home, I thank God that so many homes were saved.
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More FLOWER DRAMA images here:
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My artsy side meets my inner geek when I play around with my photos to give them a vintage look. The hand-tinted photo of a flower on my deck was created by me, Chris Olson, and combined with a favorite message. Feel free to Pin it on Pinterest with a link back to this post. Thanks!
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My garden is not in my yard. My backyard is home to rabbits and deer that wander through daily and munch on the native plants. To keep a garden in my neighborhood, you need a container garden elevated above the roaming wildlife. I keep my garden on my back deck. I have three dogs that are very protective of my plants and keep tabs on the buds and veggies growing here. Fortunately they all know the rules—no grazing allowed.
Hope you can enjoy a garden of your own. I think tending the plants is my personal therapy. Each morning I go out and water them and even talk to them. Whenever I can during the day, I step out on the deck and spend a few minutes just hanging out in my garden. You can follow the story of my garden here on the blog as well as on MomathonBlog on Instagram and Facebook. I also have a Pinterest board on Instagram tips and trends.
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1) Protect your hands and your manicure with the leather Monogrammable Gardening Gloves from Red Envelope.
2) The versatile heather plant is a multi-tasker—perfect as foundation plants, ground cover, in borders, or in rock gardens.
3) The ergonomic Felco Pruners work hard in the garden without hurting your hands. I love the fact Felco has pruners for lefties too!
4. Perfect upgrade to your garden trowel, the Japanese Hori Hori knife at Terrain.
5. Gotta love the price on these cute LANTSTÄLLE plant pots by IKEA.
6. And don't forget to take a break and admire your work on the Arched Back Bench from Terrain.
Image above by me, Chris Olson.
Hello Wednesday! Woke up a bit tired today even though I know I got more sleep than yesterday. I think a little tiara bling would be a very nice way to start the day. Or better yet, a nice purple bouquet.
(Image above by me, Chris Olson with photography by the amazing D Sharon Pruitt.)
Imagine skylights that could allow plants and even an entire park to grow underground. In a crowded city like NYC, an urban underground park more than a dream thanks to the technology developed by architect Dan Barasch and his partner James Ramsey. Their Delancey Underground Project aims to convert an unused trolley terminal that extends for about three blocks right below Delancey Street (between Essex Street and the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge) and turn this cavernous space into an extraordinary subterranean public park– nicknamed the “LowLine” after the successful elevated "High Line" park on the West Side of Manhattan.
The Low Line might be the next urban frontier according to Salon.com:
Dan Barasch and his partner James Ramsey are the co-designers of a wild new public-park concept cast in the mold of the city’s acclaimed High Line — except that instead of hoisting their park into the sky, they want to sink it into the mud. Envisioning a verdant cave filled with grass and trees.
Bararsch and Ramsey are seeking financing through "a combination of donations, grant money, public money and revenue from a limited number of shops inside the space could cover construction and maintenance" according to NYTimes.com. This ambitious project will only be funded if at least $100,000 is pledged by Friday, April 6th. You can make a pledge at Kickstarter here and watch their video below.
Photos via LowLine on Kickstarter.
Yippee! This blog post was selected to be featured on BlogHer.com to promote green design on March 9th.
Today is cloudy with temps hovering around freezing. I am wishing for spring with cheery flowers in pots on my deck and a row of daffodils in my garden. One of my favorite parts of gardening is planning. I have always had a fondness for dark flowers. That's why I started playing with my paints and sketching a black flower. Who knows... Maybe it will end up in my garden too.
Flower art by me, Chris Olson.
Some types of "people food" can be toxic to your dog. I know it's hard to resist giving your pooch a snack from the dinner table. Especially during the holidays. Unfortunately some foods that people love--even healthy foods such as grapes or raisins--can harm or kill your pet.
We know chocolate and candy is bad for Fido, but did you know that meatloaf with onions is very harmful because of the onions? When my Rhodesian Ridgeback got pancreatitis after eating the turkey meat with the skin on it, I found out how quickly a healthy dog can become gravely ill from greasy foods. Also, you should avoid any candy or other item sweetened with xylitol. See my list below for foods to avoid. Plus, for more information on pet safety during the holidays, check out the ASPCA Holiday Safety Tips.
Common signs of poisoning include:
Foods to avoid
For a detailed look at poisonous foods and items for pets, check out the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Here's a quick overview of just a few people foods dogs and other pets should not eat according to the ASPCA.
Plants to avoid
Many of your favorite household plants are poisonous to pets too. Check out the ASPCA: 17 Common Poisonous Plants
Here are 17 plants that are poisonous to pets:
Illustration by me, Chris Olson.
Photo image by digital_image_fan
(You might notice that a version of this post is familiar, you can read it also here.)
No excuses... Today you have to treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers. Happy Friday!
Check out more of my doodles at Momathon doodles.
Illustration: Chris Olson © 2010
Thanks to the hardy chocolate mint plant, now you can have your own chocolate factory on a windowsill or front porch with partial sun. I love the peppermint patty flavor and scent. Use the plant to add flavoring to many drinks and foods--just add the washed leaves to tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cakes, cookies, etc. I've even heard of cooks adding it as a secret ingredient in pesto. This versatile herb adds a zippy chocolate-peppermint flavor to icings for cakes and cookies. Even if you don't want to eat the leaves, the plant is a perfect all-natural aroma therapy herb.
The chocolate mint plant grows quickly and needs a large pot so it does not become root bound. Also, be careful not to burn the plant by exposing it to full sun. If you want to create new plants, the mint propagates easily from cuttings.
For more gardening ideas, check out Momathon gardens.
I love weekends because I can slow down enough to actually see the beautiful things all around. Enjoy these photos by talented photographers around the globe.
A lovely flower by Strife. (UK)
Girl dancing on the beach by mikebaird (CA,USA)
Bird by Marioawsm
Horses on the beach in Morro Bay CA by tbchris
Lettuce, arugula, herbs and tomatoes appear to be easy to grow almost anywhere--even in the back of a Dodge pickup. Ian and Curt planted rows of veggies to make a mobile garden featured in their new documentary film Truck Farm.
Kids naturally like to dig in the dirt. And they like creepy crawly things like the garden slugs in the photo above. Gardening is a great family activity. Give a kid some ownership of the project and you will be amazed at how much kids love to plant, water, and even weed their own garden. The Community Gardening Assoc. offers great ideas in Ten tips for gardening with kids.
In honor of earth week...
Spring is here. Something about digging in the dirt makes me smile. Gardening mixes therapy with sunshine! So grab some seeds and a shovel.
One of the best parts of gardening is the fact you don't need a lot of space. A corner garden with some sunshine works. Or plant seeds in a container garden on your patio or deck. Planting seeds is a fun activity for the whole family. My kids love to design their own gardens. Keeping the plants happy with regular watering teaches responsibility too.
Purple Coneflower, Black-Eyed Susan, Bachelor Buttons, Purple Prairie Clover, Mexican Hat, Rocky Mountain Beeplant, Sulphur Flower, Butterfly Plant, Indian Blanket, Goldenrod, Penstemon, Aster, Liatris, Cosmos, Daisy, Bee Balm, Blue Flax, Larkspur, Lupine, Sunflower, and Coreopsis.
Go to this link to check out the Wildflower Garden Seed Mix. $3.29.
(Photo of wildflowers from the Etsy page of Thebearfootshaman)
Every year I do the same thing. I wait too long to buy my Halloween pumpkin. I tell myself (and my kids) that I am waiting till I see the right one. Plus, I don't like storing the pumpkin at home because no matter where I put it, the pumpkin eventually rots. Yuck.
So when should I pick my pumpkin? According to the pumpkin experts on the internet, here's the scoop:
In cold weather areas, pumpkin pickers should wait until the first frost has killed the pumpkin vines. BUT harvest before a heavy frost.
Okay, I have already blown it. We have had two snowstorms in September/October in my area. The heavy frost has arrived!
If you are lucky enough to find a pumpkin unaffected by frost, you are ready for step two.
Let the pumpkin skin cure or harden by allowing the pumpkin to sit in the sun for about 10 days. (If you have less than 10 days till Halloween, don't sweat it. But pumpkin gurus warn against leaving the pumpkin inside for too long.)
Never stack the pumpkin. Stacking causes bruising and rotting.
This is a problem. Because I didn't pick a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch, I have to buy one at the grocery where they always STACK them in huge wooden crates.
If you are lucky enough to find a pumpkin that was never stacked or exposed to a hard frost, then I must repeat myself: You are very lucky.
When you bring the lucky pumpkin home, the optimal temperature for storing the pumpkin is 50-60 degrees. This could be a problem for many of us because in October the temp is often below 50. Hint: If you can see your breath when you go out to pick up your newspaper in the morning, then it is probably too cold to keep it outside over night.
If you have failed steps 1-4 like me, then don't despair. Jump in your minivan and go to Target or Michaels craft store and buy an artificial jack-o-lantern with lights in it. If you feel even the tiniest pangs of guilt over this, remind yourself that Halloween is all about having the house with the best candy and not pumpkins. (Don't tell my kids I said that.)
I live in a high desert region. Last year I decided to go green and add groundcover plants that do not need to be watered as often. Thyme plants thrive in sunny locations. I love the fact they rarely need water or fertilizing. They aren't picky about soil either--dry, gritty soil is fine. Thyme is hardy and some varieties can tolerate the snow and freezing temps we have in Colorado. The thyme plants vary in height. The one pictured here only grows to approximately 3-5 inches high and slowly spreads to 24 inches. This is the perfect height because I can walk through the garden without accidentally stepping near a rattlesnake or two! Best of all, the fragrant green carpet smells wonderful.
My dogs have always enjoyed sitting on my deck. Outdoors on a deck or near the garden might seem like a great place for pets, but their human friends need to make sure the plants nearby are not toxic.
If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance,
contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA 24-hour emergency poison hotline
directly at 1-888-426-4435.
You might be surprised to find out that some of the plants you thought were safe are dangerous to pets. Did you know Aloe Vera is toxic to dogs and cats?
The buy local movement is gaining popularity with moms across the country. Why is buying local important? Buying local usually means you are getting fresher food with higher nutrient levels. Plus, if you go to a farmer's market you meet the local growers in your area and they can introduce you to yummy new veggies and fruits that you might not have tried otherwise. Buying local means buying green too. When food or other products do not have to be shipped long distances, fewer barrels of oil are consumed in shipping. Using less oil helps the environment.
Whenever I transplant new plants in my garden, I end up with a pile of discarded plastic pots the plants are sold in. Some of the temporary pots are recyclable, but many are not.
Take a 5-minute shower instead of a 10-minute shower (Savings: 12.5 gallons)
Put a bottle filled with gravel in your toilet tank (Savings: 7.5 gallons)
Turn off the water while brushing teeth and sharing (Savings: 8 gallons)
Filling your dishwasher to max capacity (Savings: 2 gallons)
Mulching your garden (Savings: 25 gallons)
Fix that leaky faucet (Savings: 5 gallons)
Don't forget to talk to your kids about the water saving tips. If you do, your family could save more than 60 gallons today. You can follow PlanetGreen.com on Twitter
If you like flowers and fruit and veggies, then you need to thank our busy bees for all the hard work they do. A third of the food we eat depends on bees for pollination, but the honeybees are disappearing fast. Why are they disappearing? The cause is still unknown, but scientists call this environmental issue Colony Collapse Disorder (CDC). Without the honeybees for pollination, the fruits, vegetables and flowers will disappear too.
I dream about a world--or maybe just a weekend--without a Wii, Xbox, or iPod. My kids would talk to me and other real people in real time. Their eyes would enjoy looking at real things like books, bicycles, broccoli, and basketball courts. Their arms and legs would move with real things like the vacuum cleaner!
In the summer our yucca plants have beautiful bell-like flowers with blooms of greenish white to creamy white.
The leaves are turning golden. It's time to prep the yard for winter. My brothers and I used to sing crazy songs together as we worked in the yard. I'm not sure my parents appreciated our singing, but it just shows that you can turn working in the yard into a fun family activity. Just bring your iPod with speakers outdoors and crank up the music. Give your kids some garden gloves to prevent blisters as well as kid-sized rakes. You can turn raking into a game. My daughter likes to make it a contest and see who can make the biggest pile of leaves. Of course jumping into the pile is the best part.