Have you ever had to leave town for a few days and wanted to ensure that your potted plants don’t dry out?

Look no further than your wine cabinet…

Glass bottles, like this empty wine bottle, can help water your potted plants for a couple of days.

All you need is a clean glass bottle and water to create your own self-watering bottle.

1. Water your potted plants well.

2.  Fill an empty glass bottle with water and cover the top with your thumb to keep the water from dripping out as you turn it upside down.

3. Insert the mouth of the wine bottle into the soil, about 2 inches deep.

That’s all there is to it!

As the soil dries, water will slowly seep into the soil from the bottle, essentially watering your potted plants for a couple of days.

*This can also be done to plants in the ground as well.

So, the next time you find yourself putting empty glass bottles in the recycle bin, keep out one or two to use to water your plants while you are away.  

I enjoy growing herbs for two reasons.  First, they are easy to grow and second, I love to use them when I cook.

In addition to fresh herbs, I also use dried herbs from time to time, especially in winter when some of my favorite herbs (basil) aren’t growing.

While drying herbs is rather simple, there are some guidelines to follow, which I wrote a blog post about…

“How to Grow and Dry Your Own Herbs”

Do you have a favorite herb that you like to use when you cook?

Do you grow your own herbs?

Did you know that you can preserve them by freezing them?

I frequently freeze my freshly-harvested herbs into ice cubes so that they are easily on hand, even when they are out of season.

“Freeze Herbs Into Ice Cubes”

Whenever I need them in my favorite dish, I simply pop out an ice cube from the freezer.

Do you have a border in your garden? 

How about a decorative one that you made yourself?

Last year, I visited a garden that had a beautiful border that the owner made herself using concrete mix, broken dishes and glass beads.

There were also lovely step stones as well.

The creator of this functional garden art was kind enough to show me how she made them.

“DIY Stepping Stones and Border”

Have you ever made a piece of art that you display in your garden?

What kind of household cleaner do you use?

Earlier this year, I had heard of DIY natural cleaners made from grapefruit and decided to try it out myself.

The cleaner was very easy to make and I used grapefruit from my mother’s tree, although you can get yours from the grocery store.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked.

“DIY Natural Household Cleaner”

Did you know that certain flowers are edible?

It’s true.

Last week, I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was “channeling my inner Martha Stewart”, preparing for a future diy blog post.


Here are the ingredients I used…

Distilled water, ice-cube trays and edible flowers such as violas.

Here is what I ended up with…

Wouldn’t these look great on your Easter table?

It was very easy to do, but there are some tricks to doing it just right.

*Not all flowers are edible and you must be sure to use flowers that have not been treated with chemicals or pesticides.

I wrote about how to make your own floral ice cubes along with a list of edible flowers, in my latest blog post for Birds & Blooms, which you can access here.

Do you like the idea of using household cleaners that are natural? I do.

Did you know that citrus has natural cleaning properties?

It does.

I just finished making up a batch of citrus cleaner and wrote about it in my latest Birds & Blooms blog post that you can read here…

“DIY Projects for the Home: Make Your Own Citrus Cleaner”

So, if you have a tree filled with citrus, or even if you have to buy some at the grocery store – this cleaner is well worth it!

This past week, I was blessed with harvesting produce from two different gardens.

One was from one of my vegetable gardens…

About a 1/4 of my side vegetable garden is planted with cauliflower.

Over the weekend, I was able to harvest my first cauliflower of the season.  

Now, I am aware that some of you may not care for cauliflower.  Personally, I like it raw but NOT when it is cooked.

I’ll share with you a little secret that I have used to get my kids to eat cauliflower…

I cut the tops of the florets off, dice it and then sprinkle it on top of our dinner salads.  It looks like grated cheese.  I also slice carrots, celery and cucumbers to add to our salads, which not only add great flavor to salads – they are also a great way to get more vegetables into my kids 😉

The cauliflower was so delicious – it tasted like butter – seriously.

The next harvest was of another kind and from a different garden…    

On the family farm, my mother has a large grapefruit tree.

Now, as anyone who has ever had a grapefruit tree can tell you – these trees are overly generous in the amount of fruit that they produce.  

Luckily, my mother has 4 kids who are more then happy to help share with her bounty.

With my husband standing ready holding grocery bags, we picked some delicious fruit from the tree.

*While all the grapefruit looked ripe, some were not quite ready to be picked.  If they did not come off fairly easily when lightly pulled/twisted, then we left them alone.

If I am going to be perfectly honest with you, I do not like to eat grapefruit – at all.

But, I have another purpose in mind for my newly picked grapefruit – I am going to make a natural cleaner from it using vinegar.

I promise to blog about it soon, so hold onto some of your excess grapefruit or maybe offer to take some off of your neighbor’s grapefruit tree 🙂

What if you could create a small world in a container?

Have you ever seen one?  

If you have ever seen a terrarium, then you have.

Last week, as we arrived at the family farm for our weekly dinner gathering, I was greeted by the following sight when I entered the dining room…

The table had beautiful terrariums lined up in a row.

They were so beautiful and I wanted to share them with all of you, so I whipped out my cellphone to take some pictures for you.

Now you may wonder, whether or not my mother had spent a small fortune buying these beautiful arrangements.

Well, the answer is no. She created them herself.

My mother has always had a special affinity for succulents and with her artistic eye, she creates stunning arrangements.

She creates tiny worlds using various succulents and arranging bits and pieces of things such as seashells, lichen, twigs, moss and pebbles.

These arrangements were prototypes that were to be photographed so she could use the pictures to apply for entry for a large holiday boutique held at a local church.

Two of these beautiful terrariums were then being taken to California as gifts for her sisters.

Last year, she made me a lovely terrarium…  

Chopsticks are a great tool for placing items inside a terrarium.

Terrariums are quite expensive if you buy them at the store.

But, you can create your own small living world yourself.  Believe it or not, my mother got all of her containers at the local Goodwill store.

Pebbles and moss can always be purchased at the local craft store.  But, you can also gather many items for terrariums such as twigs, lichen, small rocks, etc. the next time you take a nature walk.

If you would like to learn how to create your own terrarium; I wrote a “how to” post for Birds & Blooms that you can see here.

WISHES FOR A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS

FROM

MY GARDEN

TO YOURS