Back Green Garden and Street Finds

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The housing association that maintains the grounds where we are living recently created a community garden in the back green (the communal park behing the buildings) and it's been a great hit with everyone, especially the kids. Our little guy enjoys watering the plants and eating the produce. Since he never was a great veggie fan, his Mom is happy that he enjoys the garden's fresh produce which includes carrots, lettuces, cabbages, leeks, onions, courgettes (that's zucchini to you and me!), as well as a variety of herbs and flowers. Right now only the lettuces and a few carrots are ready but he happily will much on both without much persuasian. His mom also grows a variety of herbs and veggies on their balcony and he is especially fond of the peas which he will eat raw.

Don't you just love this little toy horse? Would you believe that this was a street find? I came across the little fellow when I got on the wrong bus the other day and had to get off. While looking for the right bus, I spotted it amidst a pile of rubbish bags on the curb. Quickly looking up and down the street to see if anyone was watching, I snatched it up and high-tailed it to the nearest bus stop home. (Didn't get a funny look from the driver either, as they're used to people bringing anything and everything on board - the other day, I watched two Spanish girls lug a foldable single bed on the bus!)

Once I got the toy horse home and cleaned it up, I googled it and found similar ones made ca. 1920s. It seems it may have had a cart attached originally. His nibs immediately claimed the horse as his own and has been riding it in the garden all day!

Garden Recycling - Eggshells into Mini-gardens

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Eggshells aren't just for Easter crafts. Save them to use as mini-gardens!  This is something I do a lot. I even wrote an article for the Ottawa Citizen a few years back about growing herbs, wheat and rye grasses as well as cat grass in hollo eggshells. It's really easy to do and kids love it - especially if you use cat grass seeds - these sprout in about 5 days!

Liz Stanley over at Momtastic  has a full tutorial (with plenty of pics) to grow wheat grass in eggshells but you can grow what you fancy - please use organic seeds. Once the plants have sprouted you can simply plunk into your garden or pot. Just remember to squeeze the eggshell so that it cracks before putting into the soil. This makes it easier for the roots to grow out and you'll get healthier plants.

No soil on hand, no time to run to the garden centre for some? Never mind, do a little Martha Stewart thingy and just turn those little shells into - voila - vases!!! I'm sure that you, too, will be able to dig up more ideas. So - save up those emptied eggshells and have beaucoup de fun!!

Green Valentine - Something's Growing on Here

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away and I thought I'd post a few ideas to get things started. I try to make Valentines reusing, upcycling, recycling and repurposing stuff, but at the same time I try to make Valentines that don't look reused, upcycled, recycled or repurposed. And it's not difficult.

Here's an idea for the Valentine that loves plants. A Valentine topiary!  I recycled a wire coat hanger, a clay pot (I thoroughly cleaned), and a bit of ivy I cut from an ivy plant that's overgrown. But be sure to use new potting soil.

Make a Valentine Topiary:

You'll need an overgrown ivy plant (if you don't have your own, ask a friend if you can cut some from theirs), a wire coat hanger, a clay pot (or any kind you have handy), and, oh yes, NEW potting soil. First twist or bend the hanger into a heart shape (it doesn't have to be a perfect shape, the plant will cover it), stick the hook end into the potting soil, and then wrap the ivy around the wire form. Water and hand over.

So easy!

The image is mine!

Repurposing wooden doors and shutters

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

And now for something completely different (from the last post) ... Old doors have always had a fascination for me and I miss my old door that starred in so many of my published articles. At least I know it went to a good home. Any road - here's what you can make if you happen to have four old doors handy and no place to hang them. Turn them into a stylish garden shed as shown here.

No instructions given but plenty of pictures, but it appears that the walls are made from three solid doors and one glass front door. A floor and a little roof have been added to complete the project. If you're handy with a hammer, you're probably figure out how to put this together. If you don't have enough doors or none at all, you can buy old doors at places that sell stuff from building demolitions and also at Habitat for Humanity Restores.

Our lady Martha has a neat idea similar to the shed, but this time reusing large shutters to create an indoor closet. I couldn't find the instructions for this one either but again I guess you could figure out the construction if you're so inclined. Me - I get exhausted just thinking about the work involved - find some old shutters/doors, figure out if they can fit together, make them fit, construct - oh, dearie me.