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{Backyard Dreaming}

4 Jun

I don’t know about you guys, but my dream is to someday have an amazing backyard sanctuary.  I love the idea of having huge fragrant flowers surrounding a deck or patio.  They can make a space private and gorgeous- even offering you cut flowers for inside!  Here are some pictures I found of some amazing outdoor spaces! Enjoy!

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*Kokedama*String*Garden*

19 May


Kokedama — Japanese moss balls —they look great hanging in homes, AND  they are easy to make. Netherlands-based designer and all-around super-creative Aura Singingi made this simple tutorial for crafting your own hanging kokedama garden using a combination of peat soil and akedama, or bonsai soil. Thanks for sharing!

 Materials

  • a tiny plant; moss can’t stand direct sunlight, so choose a shadow-loving plant. I have used baby ferns, grass and another lovely plant with violet flowers, the name of which I can’t recall.
  • a 7:3 ratio of peat soil and akedama, or bonsai soil
  • dry sphagnum moss (you can buy a whole bag at most plant shops)
  • scissors
  • cotton thread
  • nice packing string like twine, hemp or sisal.
  • gloves. Yes, it WILL get messy.
  • a jar of water
  • moss, which you can either buy in a large box or pick yourself in the woods

Instructions

1. Remove as much soil as possible from your tiny plant so that its roots are exposed. Be very thorough but gentle!

2. Mix your peat and akedama soil together. You know the consistency is right when you are able to make a small ball from the earth without it breaking apart.

3. Now that your soil is mixed, start shaping it into a small, orange-sized ball. Use a little bit of water if needed. Think clay or pizza dough.

4. Make sure each ball has enough room to accommodate the roots of your plant.

5. Take a bunch of dry sphagnum moss and wrap it carefully around the roots, making a circular and compact shape. Then tie the cotton string around it several times. This will eventually dissolve.

6. Make a small hole in your soil ball, and gently press the plant inside it. Be careful to “close” the shape back to a sphere

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7. Now it’s time for the fun part: take small sheets of moss (any kind of moss) and press them firmly into the soil. Don’t leave any open spaces. Wrap the twine string around the ball as if you are packing a present, and leave the sides as long as needed.

8. Choose a nice, shady place, install a hook and hang your wonderful planet of moss.

9. YOU’RE DONE!

{Note:  To maintain, water the kokedama with a mist spray bottle once a day. Try to do this early in the morning, to mimic the ‘dew’ effect. }

gardening on a balcony

12 May

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I have been searching for gardening ideas for our deck. I found this post via “life on a balcony” and LOVE this idea.

how clever is this idea!!! Using a pallet (that you can find in the back of any store; walmart, target, sams club, etc.)

Supplies:

the pallet you found

2 large bags of potting soil

16 six packs of annual flowers (one six pack per opening on the face of the pallet, and two six packs per opening on the top of the completed pallet garden)

a small roll of landscape fabric

a staple gun and staples

and sand paper

Instructions:

1. Clean up the pallet- sanding any splitery spots, or removing nails that might be sticking out.

2. Lay the pallet face down. Roll the landscape fabric over the back. Cut two identically sized pieces that are long enough to go from the top edge of the back of the pallet and wrap all the way around the bottom, plus a few extra inches.

3. Staple the fabric into place along the top edge of the top board and the bottom edge of the bottom board

4. Pulling the fabric tightly- staple the fabric along the front edge of the bottom and staple it down near the front, bottom edge of both sides.

5. Slide the plants into what will be the top. Plant everything very tightly.  Now that you have capped the top, pour the entire first bag of potting soil on top of the pallet. Push the soil into the pallet between the slats and smooth it out so that the soil is level. Repeat with the second bag of potting soil.

Push potting soil into the bottom cavity, so that there is a trench directly below one of the bottom openings. Plant six plants in the trench, so that they are very tightly fitted into the opening. Repeat with the other bottom opening. Now push the potting soil up against those flowers you just planted, making a trench beneath one of the openings in the second row. Plant your flowers tightly in that opening. Repeat for all the remaining openings.

***You should leave the pallet flat on the ground for a couple of weeks (watering when needed), so that the roots can start to grow in and hold all the plants in place.

LOVE this idea and must try! Thanks Fern Richardson @lifeonthebalcony

Succulent Designs

11 May

I am featuring Pattie Smith the creator of Living Succulent Wreaths and Topiaries.

You can find her shop here: http://www.etsy.com/people/SucculentDesigns?ref=ls_profile

Her love for nature and creativity  has been revealed through her unique artistic niche at Succulent Designs.  I find her work absolutley gorgeous, unique and elegant.  Visit her site and read her story and purchase a gorgeous new addition to your garden!

herbal water

9 May

I recently bought two new herbs; a sweet mint and a lemon balm.  I started doing some research on the benefits of these herbs.  Yesterday I made a mint/lemon water and it’s AWESOME!  A refreshing taste for any summer day!

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Here are a few benefits of Mint and Lemon Water:

MINT WATER

  1. Relaxing the muscles that line your digestive tract, thereby promoting less gas production and better overall digestion.
  2. Providing symptomatic relief for painful inflammatory states like arthritis, chronic tendinitis, and acute sprains and strains.
  3. Shrinking or dissolving gallstones, especially when used in combination with a few other compounds called terpenes (borneol, camphene, pinene, and cineole).
  4. Combating the proliferation of viruses, most notably, the herpes simplex virus.

LEMON WATER

1. Lemon water helps clean the toxins out of your body. Your skin can’t look healthy if your body is holding onto toxins!

2. Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nausea, heartburn, constipation or parasites.

3. Lemons have high vitamin C content, it is used to prevent and treat many infections, hasten wound healing, and diminish allergies.

4. Lemon is a diuretic. This means that lemon water is especially good for people with urinary tract infections.

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Start your engine everyday by drinking a glass of room temperature, lukewarm to warm, lemon water first thing every morning! This is a tip from Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s important to start your day with water everyday because of the time lapse between going to bed and getting up. Water hydrates your body naturally. Caffeine found in coffee, dehydrates your body.

secret gardens

9 May

Living in a townhouse or apartment might mean that you are limited with what you can do in your own gardens or yards.  In our complex, we aren’t allowed to garden outside our patio line.  Last summer I reconstructed the side yard next to our patio for a nice small garden (photos to come).

Right now I am working on creating a intimate, private secret garden up on our top deck.  The way our townhouse is set up is our patio is at the basement level, and our deck is high of the ground off the kitchen and looks over the backyard.  We have a gorgeous view of the woods, BUT we also have a view into our neighbors decks on both sides of us.  A little awkward when you’re all out on your own deck that feel like they only sit a yard apart.

My plans are to create some more privacy up there this spring using flowers.  Right now I am working on the pots for around the deck.  Following that, the plans are to find old milk crates and use them as box planters to attach to the deck railings.  In them I can use tall flowers and grasses to create a little break up between me and the neighbors!

So far, this is what I have going for the pots on the ground and tables…

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Large Pot #1

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Large Pot #2

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For the 3 smaller single plant pots

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Medium Pot

I got my toes in the water

9 May

With the weather so so nice lately, all I can think about is- when can I get to the beach?!   Which lead to beach decor…not a huge fan of the traditional “beach house” look.  You don’t need a ton of sea foam blue or green with shells all over the place.  I found some inspirational pictures of some beautiful beach rooms:

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absolutely adore those bed frames!

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bright blue

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oh that hammock is calling my name

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hm..this room is ook- what got me was more the structure of this house..love the high windows with the beams..oh and the view!  jealous!

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great all white bathroom combined with the black and whites

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roughed up farm table with the white walls is such a shabby chic look..in addition to the fun bright blue floor!

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love the colors in this sun room- grays combined with the dark wood paneling.  Then adding the vintage decor-perfect!

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LOVE all the straw bags and hats hung on the wall…something about the simplicity of straw!

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then to finish, what an adorable idea for a chic beach garden/deck space!

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