As many of you know, late last summer I moved to a new home. The thought of starting the gardens over was overwhelming, But luckily for me, one of the things that I loved most about the new place was the potential that I saw in the landscape. I wasn’t going to have to start from scratch again, but I certainly knew that I would need to make it my own. It just needed a bit of garden restyling. You can imagine my surprise at our final walkthrough when I discovered that the previous owners stopped watering as soon as we signed the purchase and sale agreement. When we moved in everything, and I mean everything, had dried up. Plants were dead and the earth was a giant dust bowl. I prayed that everything was just dormant and would return come spring.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to visit the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. I was thrilled at the opportunity to return again and was very impressed with how much the festival has grown in the past couple of years. The thing that I love most about this festival is how inspiring it is to the backyard gardener. The festival is filled with gardening ideas that are as fun to look at as they are practical. From backyard chickens, bees, growing food and their stunning topiaries, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite scenes from this year’s 24th festival.
One of the easiest ways to garden and add a touch of seasonal whimsy to your chicken coop, garden shed, or home is by adding a window box or two. If planted properly, window boxes do not require a lot of care and can easily be changed or added to as you desire. Today I wanted to share a few tips, tricks and secrets to help extend the life of the window box, how to chose the right soil, how to properly feed your plants and suggest some lovely fail-proof plantings.
I absolutely love to see lawns filled with clover. Did you know that not only does it help to support the lawn but their blooms are well loved by bees? It is not uncommon for me to see the plants’ blooms buzzing with my bees. It is also beneficial to the flock, easy to grow and requires no care. It’s one of the easiest way to start gardening for your chickens.
I love gardening with chickens. It has been something that I have enjoyed immensely over the years. One of the most beneficial ways to maximize your space in the garden is to think vertically by adding climbing vines. This gardening trick allows you to make the most of the garden space that you have available. The perfect often overlooked place to consider growing vines is on your chicken coop. Vines provide your chickens shade, a bit of protection for aerial predators and a tasty snack that can be foraged through the run. Today I’m sharing my top 8 perennial and annual vines that are chicken safe, hardy, and delicious for both you and your flock.
This past week, I headed to Belton, Texas to present at the Mother Earth News Fair. This time my daughter came along with me. Last year, when I visited the Magnolia Market Silos I really wanted to bring her back with me, as she is a huge fan of Fixer Upper on HGTV. So, with a copy of my book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and my daughter in tow, we drove north a little over thirty miles to give a copy of my book to the Gaines Family. Traveling to the Magnolia Market at the Silos is such great fun and the atmosphere can be compared to a decorator’s Disneyland. Today, I’m sharing our adventures and a few tips for you if you’re going to the Silo’s for the first time.
Oh winter, how do I miss my gardens and hanging outside with my flock as they meander around me. Today, instead of feeling glum, I decided to make a miniature chicken garden. Actually, I got a bit carried away and made a few. Once I got started I could not help myself. As I planted up these sweet little gardens, I was envisioning being in my gardens with my own flock. I swear I could here these tiny little chickens carrying on, clucking as to which garden they wanted to explore.
Earlier this year, my family and I traveled to Hawaii. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. This Hawaiian tropical garden was a hidden gem, that we discovered on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had no idea what to expect, nor did my family. My family indulged me a bit as we purchased our tickets. From the outside entrance, it seems as though we would only be exploring for a few moments. Three hours later, we had to pull ourselves from the beauty and awe. In the gardens alone, we took over 200 photos. From the landscape, grounds, orchids, unique tropical plantings and the crashing ocean, we were in awe. I am so thrilled to be able to share this experience with you.
I love Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for crafting too. Every year I make wreaths. This year, I wanted one of the wreaths to showcase the beauty of a simple and peaceful Christmas. So I featured a little tin church, some decorative sprigs as well as the Star of Bethlehem. I combined some off the shelf letters and a simple grapevine wreath as a jumping off point. The rest just seemed to come together for this lettered wreath with a little bit of inspiration from the Christmas season displays in town.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is growing bulbs indoors. I do this for both Christmas and Easter. There is something about growing flowers indoors during the chilly winter months. During Christmastime, I especially love growing paperwhites. This is a fail-proof project for even those with a brown thumb. If you have grown paper whites in the past, I can bet that one of your biggest pet peeves and mine too is that when they grow tall they often flop over from gravity. Sure, there are ways to add things to the water to stunt their growth, but why harm the bulb? This year, I wanted to show you a simple and easy way to grow paperwhites without them falling over. I love to give these as gifts. They are simple and stunning and I’m going to show you how to make them!