Going Green for Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013!

I got an early start on our Earth Day celebrations this weekend by purchasing fresh flowers and house plants and planting a seed starter kit for our vegetable/herb garden.

On Friday afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store and decided that it would be nice to have fresh flowers for the weekend. I picked up these daisies and arranged them in Ball jars to use as coffee table decorations. They went perfectly with our West Elm owl, Threshold coasters and West Elm tray.

daisies with owl

daisies and owl

I also brought home fresh tulips for the kitchen and arranged them in our bright green vase.
tulips

On Saturday, I made a trip to Home Deport and found some gerbera daisy annuals for our kitchen. The flowers and their brightly colored pots (which we already owned) add vibrance to our kitchen while helping with our air quality. Very Earth Day appropriate!
gerbera daisy

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I also picked up a few foliage plants including this prayer plant and palm.

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We decided to kick-start our vegetable/herb garden by purchasing a Burpee seed starting kit. You can find these kits at places like Target or Home Depot. The kit is really easy to set up and even includes a QR code on the package that you can scan to watch a “how to” video.

I planted 12 different rows of vegetables and herbs in our seed starter. Hopefully, in a few weeks we will have little seedlings ready to plant outside.

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The seed starter can be stored inside in direct sunlight or under a grow light. If it’s nice enough, you can also store the starter outside in direct sunlight. Since we still have the lingering possibility of a freeze over the next week or so, our seed starter is seeking refuge in the loft window.

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How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

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Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t always go the way you expect. The goal this week was to mulch the front gardens. But on Sunday, I came home with a pretty intense sunburn on the back of my legs and it’s a little painful to bend down… so mulching is out for at least a few days.

But the good news is, our gardens are doing really well despite the dry weather. We’ve been watering regularly and our efforts are paying off. We have one of the most colorful gardens in the neighborhood! The petunias are doing great. My brother gave me some really great advice when I first planted them. He told me that I will need to make sure I water them every day for the first two weeks and not to water them in full sun because it will burn the leaves. I followed his advice and now our petunias look like this:

Thanks, big brother! 🙂

And now that our tropical and stargazer lilies are finished blooming, our day lily is taking its turn.


And the bee balm is blooming as well.

And our gladiolus starting peeking out. Last year it was red and this year it is white. I planted several bulbs and only one has come up a year since I planted them. Maybe this year we will get two!

Once my sunburn heals, I will be out there mulching. It’s supposed to cool down as the week goes on so maybe by the weekend it will be cooler and I will have some pictures of our mulched gardens to post!

Have a great week!

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow…

Do you know the song?

“Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless the seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below, ’til the rain comes tumbling down.”

I remember hearing the Garden Song as a kid. There are versions by Peter, Paul and Mary and John Denver so you can take your pick on which you prefer. I’m a little partial to John Denver, mostly because he wrote a song that is very near and dear to my heart.

You know the words…

“Country roads
take me home
to the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
take me home country roads”

Okay, I digress. Back to the garden. The weather was beautiful on Sunday, so I took advantage of it and started working on reviving our flower beds out front.

If you remember my post on Saturday, the flower beds were fighting back. The grass was moving in and the weeds were taking over. It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but I wasn’t going to let it get any worse.

It took a few hours but after I tamed the grass and got rid of the weeds, the garden looked like this:

And while I was at it, I trimmed the bushes…

Removed some of the bee balm… (This plant unfortunately is a member of the mint family. I wish I would’ve known that when I bought it. It is pretty when it blooms, but it grows like crazy and that was not my intention for this location. Each year I’m going to have to pull a lot of it out in the spring to keep it from taking over the entire right side of the garden. Its root bed is intense. It’s going to be interesting to keep this plant at bay… a good lesson learned.)

Cleaned up the pots on the front porch so that I can plant new plants in them…

And after I cleaned up the mess I made on the porch, I stood back and admired my hard work.

And today, my thighs are still burning! But it was worth it. I can cross a few things off my garden to do list sooner than I planned!

  1. Remove the weeds and grass.
  2. Add a stone wall around the perimeter of the garden to keep the grass out
  3. Mulch
  4. Replant our potted porch plants  (this is halfway complete. I still need to plant new plants)
  5. Add some flowers to the flower bed on the right side of our garage door

I’m making progress!