15 Wine Cork Crafts via Homesteading.com

A nice collection of recycling projects for all ages. I especially liked the birdhouse idea and hope to build one of those for my own garden. Lots a great, easy, projects for kids, too. — Douglas

Wine Cork Crafts | Homesteading Simple Self Sufficient Off-The-Grid | Homesteading.com

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Epiphyllum Flower

Epiphyllum Flower

Epiphyllum Flower

A bloom from the greenhouse. 

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Ask the Expert: How to Use Plants for Privacy in a City Garden via Gardenista

“Good fences make good neighbors,” said Robert Frost, but it doesn’t mean that a fence is the only way to gain some privacy on your property. Sometimes a good hedgerow is often better. It is certainly more beautiful. It provides wildlife habitat and it can be molded and shaped according to your whim. In this article, Gardenista provides some excellent examples how to use plants instead of panels to gain privacy while also beautifying your home. — Douglas

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden in a big city, you learn to accept the fact that while you’re out there, you’re in full view of everyone whose windows overlook your yard. Hanging an awning over your entire backyard or planting a tree big enough to screen everything isn’t a good option, since usually, getting the light you need to grow things is already a challenge.

So what are the best ways to make a small urban garden feel more private—or at least to create the illusion of privacy? For advice, we asked landscape designer Susan Welti, a partner in the Brooklyn-based Foras Studio. Susan has designed countless urban spaces; two of her gardens appear in our new Gardenista book.

Read Ask the Expert: How to Use Plants for Privacy in a City Garden via Gardenista



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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Pink Azalea

Pink azalea

Pink Azalea

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Sunflower closeup

Sunflower closeup

Sunflower closeup

Up close with one of the prettiest flowers I know. 

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On YouTube: How to Make Inexpensive Garden Container Soil: Organic Fertilizer, Lime, Peat Moss, Compost & Dirt via Gary Pilarchik

I have put together my own potting mix a couple of ties in the past using my own compost and some purchased ingredients (See Project: Homemade Potting soil project), but Gary Pilarchik shows how you can use purchased materials to create a mix a much lower cost than the prepared mixes you might find in the garden store. Sure, you have to invest the time in mixing everything together, but with soil — as with food — if you make it yourself, you know exactly what is in it. — Douglas
 

Here are the principles for making cheap and effective garden container soil. It is prepared with organic fertilizer, lime and peat moss. I show a basic mix and a premium mix (manure). Use this as guide and save yourself a ton of money. 

Read How to Make Inexpensive Garden Container Soil: Organic Fertilizer, Lime, Peat Moss, Compost & Dirt via Gary Pilarchik


An interesting link found among my daily reading

In the Japanese Garden

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In the Japanese Garden

In the Japanese Garden

A lantern sits beside a path in this Japanese Garden in Pasadena, California

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Red, Red, Rose from A Gardener’s Notebook

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Res, Red, Rose from A Gardener's Notebook

Red, Red, Rose from A Gardener’s Notebook

A Mikado rose opens in the garden. 

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On YouTube: Protect Your Garden Greens & Plants from Rabbits: Thrift Store Shopping! from Gary Pilarchik

A great way to protect your plants while recycling/re-using. We are looking for something similar to this as the netting we used gets tangled in everything and makes it difficult to weed the beds when needed. For us, we don’t have rabbits in our garden here but rather squirrels, skunks, opossum and raccoons.  While the latter two could easily overturn something like this, i have found that even a simple deterrent like this will make them move on to easier pickings even when they could easily get through the barrier. Now, off to the thrift store(s) to find something like this for my garden! — Douglas

On YouTube: Protect Your Garden Greens & Plants from Rabbits: Thrift Store Shopping! from Gary Pilarchik

On YouTube: Protect Your Garden Greens & Plants from Rabbits: Thrift Store Shopping! from Gary Pilarchik

It is worth your time to go to thrift stores to see what you can repurpose for your garden. I find wire cages, quite often, for protecting my leafy greens and other plants from rabbits. Repurpose and save money while protecting your vegetables.

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Tiny cactus flowers in the garden

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Tiny cactus flowers in the garden

Tiny cactus flowers in the garden

This potted succulent doesn’t Flower a lot but it does Flower regularly. The flowers appear suddenly. Here one moment and gone the next. 

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!