Posts

Do you ever wish you had flowers to give to a friend or to decorate your table?

Instead of heading to the store for a generic bouquet, how about creating a lovely bouquet straight from your garden?

Now before you say that you don’t have any flowers suitable for a bouquet, think again.  

Here are several bouquets from my garden and a few that my mother put together from her own garden….

gold lantana(Lantana 'New Gold Mound'), orange jubilee(Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage(Leucophyllum frutescens)

Isn’t this a lovely arrangement?

Believe it or not, the flowers in these vases all came from plants that many of you probably have in your own garden.

My mother created this arrangement using gold lantana (Lantana ‘New Gold Mound’), orange jubilee (Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) flowers.  As you can see, it is beautiful, didn’t cost her anything and took minutes to create.

 Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) , Goodding's verbena (Glandularia gooddingii)

This is a bouquet that I created using flowers from my late winter garden. Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) coupled with Goodding’s verbena (Glandularia gooddingii) are a vision of pinks and purples.

purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

I used a small pitcher to put cuttings of purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

 white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)flowers.

This antique milk of magnesia glass jar makes the perfect vase for sweet white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) flowers.

create a bouquet

Flowers aren’t the only thing from the garden that you can use to create a bouquet with.

A mason jar filled with cut branches from a kumquat tree looks lovely on this table in winter.

create a bouquet

Maybe your winter garden has no flowers.  Well, don’t let that stop you. A small vase filled with seedpods and dried leaves from a Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) looks great on my mother’s diningroom table.

create a bouquet

Perhaps you’ve never thought that petunias could look be used in a vase. But, if you use a small, shallow bowl, they can add a beautiful spot of color on your table.

create a bouquet

Of course, roses always make a lovely bouquet.

Bouquets created from items in your garden are a great way to add a personal touch of beauty to your space.

So, are you inspired to create your own unique garden bouquet? Step outside in your garden and take a new look at your plants – you’ll probably be surprised at how many would look nice in a vase.

**How about you?  What plants would you use to create a bouquet with?

UPDATE: This blog post originally was published six-years-ago, and I still like to grow vegetables in pots. It’s hard to believe that my garden helper is now 16 years old and driving a car!

I hope you enjoy it!

I started growing vegetables in pots earlier this year, and it was so easy and the vegetables so delicious AND attractive that I had to do it again.

Last week, my mother took my youngest kids to the nursery and picked up some plants for me.

Grow Vegetables in Pots!

You know what?  This is one of the happiest sights in my world 😉

My son, Kai was anxious to pull out the existing plants from our pots.

Grow Vegetables in Pots!

All my summer vegetables had been pulled a while ago, and all that was left was the Vinca that I had planted.  I realize the vinca looks a bit yellow and I admit that I didn’t fertilize them enough (I kind of hibernated inside this summer.

Kai got to work at pulling out the flowers.

Grow Vegetables in Pots!

He used the hand shovel to loosen the roots so he could pull out the vinca.

Grow Vegetables in Pots!

Then he used the shovel to ‘bang’ the root ball to loosen the soil back into the pot.  You don’t want to ‘throw away’ good soil by leaving it around the roots of plants you are pulling out.

Grow Vegetables in Pots!

I think Kai did a good job getting all the soil out of the roots, don’t you?

**Vinca will over-winter in my zone 9 garden, but will not flower much.  I prefer to treat them as an annual.

Now for the fun part – planting!

I added some more potting mix (not potting soil, which can get soggy), mixed with some compost to each container.

Then each pot was planted with a combination of green leaf lettuce, purple leaf lettuce, garlic, spinach, dill, parsley, nasturtium seeds, and petunias.

Grow Vegetables in Pots!

In just a few weeks, the lettuce and spinach will be ready to start clipping the leaves for salads.  The garlic cloves that I planted will form whole heads of garlic, which will be ready in late spring.   

I will start snipping off dill and parsley soon as well.

creating edible container garden

Garlic, leaf lettuce, spinach, parsley, and petunias

Flowers look great when planted with vegetables, and I always include some.  Nasturtiums are easy to grow from seed, and their leaves and flowers are edible.  Petunias (and nasturtiums) are great companion plants for vegetables because they help to control damaging insects from eating your vegetables.

Do you want to grow vegetables in containers?

Here is more information on how to do it…

“Vegetable and Flower Containers”

I hope you try growing vegetables in containers as much as I do!

cool-season annual flowers

Fall is here and nurseries are stocked with all sorts of cool-season annual flowers.

So, my question to you is, what will you plant your annual flowers in this fall? Will you use a ‘regular’ container?

cool-season annual flowers

Or, maybe you are the type who likes to do things a little differently?

Maybe one of these unusual planters is more your style?

An old bicycle basket finds new purpose as a planter in Noblesville, Indiana

An old bicycle basket finds new purpose as a planter in Noblesville, Indiana.

Marigolds planted in an old wheelbarrow along Route 66 in Williams, Arizona.

Marigolds planted in an old wheelbarrow along Route 66 in Williams, Arizona.

Old pots and bowls used to plant miniature gardens in an antique store in upstate New York

Old pots and bowls used to plant miniature gardens in an antique store in upstate New York.

Old chairs transformed into planters in the historic downtown of Noblesville, Indiana

Old chairs transformed into planters in the historic downtown of Noblesville, Indiana.

A 'bed' of flowering bulbs in Amish country in Shipshewana, Indiana

A ‘bed’ of flowering bulbs in Amish country in Shipshewana, Indiana.

An old bathtub serves as a large planter in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

An old bathtub serves as a large planter in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

unique planters

Galvanized metal bucket containers at an Amish swap meet.

I was fortunate enough to have seen all of these unique planters throughout my travels.  But, it was these galvanized bucket containers that inspired me to purchase an old antique watering can and create my own unique container for flowers…

unique planters

 I found this rusty watering can in an antique store in Prescott, Arizona and I knew just where I would put it in my garden.

unique planters

I added some holes on the bottom, and filled it with violas, lobelia and alyssum.   It sits right in the middle of my side vegetable garden where I can see it from my kitchen window.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of the unusual planters from my travels.

**I would love to hear about any unique items that you have seen transformed into planters 🙂  

A Beautiful Garden in the Middle of a Ghost Town

Plant Shopping

Guess who went plant shopping!

Not me….

But, my mom did.

She went to buy her fall vegetables at Baker’s Nursery, which is a hugely popular nursery in Phoenix.

Since I knew was going, she kindly offered to buy the remaining plants on my list.

And as another example of how wonderful she is – she took my two youngest kids (Kai and Gracie) with her and treated them to lunch.

So, what did we get?

Plant Shopping

Dill, Parsley and Thyme, which are herbs that will do well through the winter in my garden.

Green and Purple Leaf Lettuce that I will be growing in pots and in a very unusual place that I will share later.

Lobelia and Alyssum, which are great flowering, low-growing annuals that I will use in a unique container.

Lots of Broccoli, which is my favorite vegetable.

I didn’t get the garlic from Baker’s Nursery.  I usually buy my garlic from my local grocery store and it works just fine.  Although, you can buy different varieties from online nurseries.

The last thing they bought were Petunias, which weren’t on my list.  But, my mother loves to help foster a love for gardening with her grandchildren.

So, she let Kai and Gracie each choose a six-pack of flowering annuals.  They choose Petunias, which they planted just after they got home.

Plant Shopping

Okay, I admit that my son looks less then thrilled.  But to be honest, that is how he looks in most of his pictures now.  He really was happy – he spent a few hours with me helping me to plant everything.

Why is it that young boys get this ‘fake’ smile once they hit 5 years old and then later – it is almost like pulling teeth to get them to smile at all?

I promise to share with you the few different things we did with our ‘goodies’ from Baker’s Nurseryover the next few posts 🙂

I’m sure most of you know how much fun it can be to garden with your kids.  I remember my dad building each of us a raised planter where we could grow vegetables and flowers.  Today, my kids and I went to the store to buy flowers for their new garden.  You will NEVER guess what they are planting their flowers in…

Easy Garden

Our first stop was our local nursery.  Each was allowed to pick out two six-packs of flowers.  The kids decided to each pick a different type of flower and then shared them.  My youngest daughter, Gracie, selected geraniums and blue petunias.

Easy Garden

Ruthie went the fragrant route and selected stock, (beautiful and fragrant despite its ordinary name) and white alyssum.

Easy Garden

Dianthus and snapdragons were Kai’s choice.

Easy Garden

We finished making our selections and then got ready to go home and start planting.  The only question the kids had was – where were they going to plant their flowers?

Easy Garden

How about their old kiddie pool?  You know – the ones that cost about $10 that your kids play in during the summer.  However, once summer is over, most people either throw out their pool or store it somewhere out of the way.  

Well, now you can use it as a planter for either flowers or shallow-rooted vegetables or herbs.

The process is easy, and your kids will have fun assisting you.

First, move the pool where you want the garden to be as it will be too heavy once you fill it with soil.  Then make multiple holes on the bottom for drainage.  Then fill with a mixture of potting mix.  Sprinkle some slow-release fertilizer and now begin planting!

Easy Garden

Gracie planted her first plant, a peach-colored geranium.

Easy Garden
Easy Garden

My teenage daughter, Rachele, was overseeing our progress while texting on her phone.

flowers

We finished!  The kids are so excited to see their flowers grow.  The garden will be a riot of different colors and has no sense of design, which is as it should be for a children’s flower garden.

flowers

This will be our ‘before’ picture.  We planted alyssum, dianthus, geraniums, petunias, snapdragons, and stock.

If you would like to try this at home and want the garden to become a more permanent part of the landscape, you can add a brick border or plant shrubs and perennials around the outside of the pool.