Wednesday, July 30, 2014

18 DIY Greenhouses You Can Make!

I have loved gardening since I can’t remember when.
A greenhouse is a great help to all us gardeners and a DIY greenhouse is very doable.
You don’t need to invest  a lot of $$$ to enjoy the benefits.
With the help of Hometalk sharers I created a clipboard of DIY greenhouses.
hometalk curated board of greenhousesI found 18 different greenhouses built from reclaimed or inexpensive materials.
There is a range of sizes and designs.
I have a pricier kit greenhouse and I do love it but the spot it is sitting gets no sun in the winter, at all.
But I still utilize it as best I can.
greenhouse 8I start seeds and cuttings for new plants.
It is always a thrill for me to see new growth and life from a tiny seed or a slip from another plant.
free plants from cuttingsThis summer I wanted to be able to extend my garden season into much later in the year and even try to grow greens and cool weather crops into the winter.
So I came up with this idea.
DIY Easy greenhouseWith this one I can cover it with the clear plastic come cooler temps but in the summer when I want my garden plants to get the full rays of the sun I can just remove the cover.
I can build up raised beds if I feel the need or not.
And I hope that next Spring I can get a jump start on all my veggies!
I will be sure to report back on any progress or failures of this experimental hoop/greenhouse.

Pamela at HometalkFor plenty of garden and other inspiration feel free to follow me on Hometalk.
Until next time..
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July Garden Beauty

It has been awhile since I shared my garden and not just an individual type of flower.
Life gets ahead of me sometimes.
I meant to write yesterday, I had a lot to say…
A fragrant red rose named to honor valiant people who serve(Firefighter Rose)
I wanted to tell you I will be around more…
I should be able to share more photos of the garden. A climbing rose planted next to my studio/craft cottage(Dream Weaver planted next to my Studio/Crafting Cottage)
All this rampant gorgeousness deserves an audience.
Queen Elizabeth Rose, a hardy soul.(Queen Elizabeth Rose)
I will be able to share more because I will have more time each morning to dawdle in the garden…
enjoying the fresh blooms, discovering what may have reseeded in a secret spot.
I get to visit with my garden friends who spent the night, perched upon a petal.
Bumblebee on a Purple Coneflower(Purple Coneflower & friend)
You see, because of health issues, I have been forced to quit my regular job.
Nothing too serious, but it is cause for enough concern that my husband and I decided a change was in order.
Comte de Chambord(Comte de Chambord)
I must tell you about this rose above, it is a vintage portland rose and the scent is heavenly.
I need to make cuttings and start a batch, I want a fence covered with these!

Now the decision to quit was not made lightly….
in fact the loss of that income is a matter of concern.
But now I must practice what I preach…
not long ago I posted this inspirational quote.
It bears repeating….
Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fearsand are words to live by.
So, instead of rushing off the clean a bunch of vacation homes and condos, I will work in my studio, garden and get things done around this house that really need catching up.
I will list more signs on my website, paint more for the gallery and take a break now and again throughout my day to enjoy the beautiful gifts surrounding us that make me smile.
Like…
Supersweet 100A fresh new cherry tomato…
Rose Mallow Hibiscusmy Rose Mallow / Hibiscus blooming like it has never bloomed before…
The Ladies of the Manorthe Ladies of the Manor as they greet me at the chicken pen door each morning anxiously awaiting their breakfast…Zucchetta Trombolina Zucchini my Zucchetta Trombolina Zucchini climbing the Garden Obelisk I made just for it…
Grandpa Nute rose 8and my Grandpa Nute rose greeting me at nearly every step as I ascend the back deck stairs.
I have tons of projects too that I should be able to get to.
Those I will share on another day.
Have a beautiful day and enjoy each breathtaking moment!

signaturePamela

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ode to the Echinacea or Coneflower

Purple Coneflower or Echinacea, Butterflies love this oneHello...welcome back to the latest flower lovin' post!
Today is dedicated to the Echinacea or Coneflower.
Echinacea is a native North American genus with about 10 species.   They are plants of the prairie and open woods.
Echinacea purpurea is by far the most popular.    A popular name for them is Purple Coneflower but actually they come in many colors now.
Here are some that I personally have in  my garden
Katie Saul (one of the Big Sky Series, also known as Summer Sky)
The delicate shades of pink have a tinge of yellow filtering towards the petal tip.
This one is a hybrid and does not come up from seed.
katie saul echinaceaAnother hybrid is Tomato Soup.
I am not sure about this one, it seems to be faltering and only did well the very first year I had it.  But I did transplant it this past Fall and it may need a chance to get a good foothold.
Also being it was a dry winter it may need a bit more pampering to really get a start.  I had to transplant it as the Crazy Daisy and Black Eyed Susans were crowding it out.
tomato soup echinaceaHere is what it looked like back the first year...
tomato soup800Much nicer, don't you think?  Like I said, I will give it a bit of pampering and see what happens.
All my others are healthy and happy.
I love my White Swan...it is just beginning to come into bloom.
white swan echinaceaA shorter but bright and beautiful is this Pow Wow Wild Berry, it stays about 18 inches rather than getting up to 4 feet as the others can.
pow wow echinaceaOf course I have the typical Purple Coneflower too but it is anything but ordinary...it reseeds readily and makes a great grouping.
purple coneflowerButterflies love it and visit often then come Fall and Winter the birds land to peck the seeds for a hearty meal.
Though the Coneflower is drought tolerant it performs best with decent watering.
They can tolerate some shade but do best with at least 5 hours of sunlight a day.
These here are in a rocky area and do fine but they have a soaker hose at their feet so they get plenty of water without being boggy.
Don't over fertilize, they will get leggy and topple over.  I don't really add anything but a bit of compost to mine.
I do plan on adding more colors, there is a collection out now I wish to try called Cheyenne Spirit with shades of orange, red and yellow.
I will let you know how that goes.

I wish you a grand day of gardening!

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

DIY Quick and Easy Greenhouse with Hog Panels

DIY Hog Panel Greenhouse FlowerPatchFarmhouse.comI have missed being here to yak with you all.
Seems my schedule has become quite action packed which leaves me too exhausted at night to put my thoughts into the written word.
But today I get to be home and what a delight that is.
I am a homebody by nature and there is no place I would rather be on most days.
I want to share something I have tried to get done  since early Spring.
My garden season starts much later than most and takes awhile to get going.
I wanted something to help me get an earlier start and extend my season well into the winter.
DIY Greenhouse from Hog PanelsThough this is by no means a glamor shot I wanted to show you an overall picture of my DIY Greenhouse. (don't tell my hubby I am flaunting a photo of his backside to the world, he doesn't read my blog and is clueless)
Each one of the hog panels is 5 feet wide so this makeshift greenhouse is 15 feet long.  If you didn't manage to do the math that is 3 hog panels connected.
They are 16 feet long and wedged between a frame in the ground.  The height is enough for me to walk under without stooping and I am 5' 5" tall, my hubby has to bend his head and he is 6'.
If you want it to be taller you would, of course, space the frame a bit narrower.
DIY Greenhouse from Hog PanelsI have straw all around my plants to reduce the need for water.
After we propped the panels in place my hubby wired them together.
Nothing fancy, just a piece of heavy duty wire twisted around it.
DIY Greenhouse from Hog PanelsI took several photos at different angles to try and give you the most perspective. 
You can see my tomato plants in this one.  He was very good at not hurting anything I already had growing.
Hoop House FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com (7 of 30)We put this up over a week ago and my plants have grown considerably since. I will try to share more current photos tomorrow.
While I know many of you are already harvesting, it is typical for me not to really get anything until August, but I am hoping this new addition to my garden will help to get more earlier.
We can cover it with thick clear plastic once the temperatures cool and even maybe grow some cool weather crops after snow flies, we will have to add some supports to the center but I am told that is easy enough.
Here are my French Filet green beans.
Hoop House FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com (8 of 30)My baby cucumber, it is the little snacking type that I love.
I had planted several seeds and a few came up but a skunk or other pesky creature dug them up while trying to get grubs. Grrr...Hoop House FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com (10 of 30)These are the weeds that are growing on the outside of the DIY Greenhouse, I grow the lovliest weeds.Hoop House FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com (11 of 30)Actually I am letting them go to seed so I can collect them then these plants will get pulled up and this area will be tidier looking.
And once this is filled and really pretty I will share some real beauty shots!
Here in the foreground you can see my bed of lettuce that bolted and went to seed.  I am pulling it up a bit each day to feed to my chickens.
It turned hot overnight here this Spring and made it turn bitter, but no waste here.  The chickens still love it.
I hope soon to be able to post about all the lovely veggies we will be eating.
Hoop House FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com (17 of 30)Speaking of my hens, my Olive Eggers have started to lay.
I love the gorgeous green that I have in my egg collection each day.
Farm Fresh EggsI hope you enjoy you day....I am going out to the garden now for a lovely morning walk with my coffee!
I wish you a fabulous day!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Black Eyed Susan, An All American Garden Performer

Black Eyed Susan  FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com
I can’t say that I have a favorite garden flower.
But I can say that Black Eyed Susans are ‘one’ of my favorites, especially in the mid-summer garden.
It lights up the garden with bright golden flowers that fairly glow.
The colors can range from a pure yellow…
Black Eyed Susan 2 FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (36 of 51)
…to an amber burnt orange
Black Eye Susan Amber13
It blooms prolifically on sturdy fuzzy stems, with leaves just as fuzzy.
Tough as nails once established it will tolerate drought and still fill in fabulously.
Some blossoms are large and spread as wide as my hand.
Black Eyed Susan 9 FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (46 of 51)
Others are short and stubby but just as lovely.
Black Eyed Susan 3 www.FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (38 of 51)
This self seeding perennial/biennial is so diverse and easy that typically I don’t transplant.
I just let it self seed and dig up ones that grow where I do not want. 
Black Eye Susan Double FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (32 of 51)
I even have some that are double.
Black eyed Susan double www.FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (1 of 1)
Others with just a blush of color at center
Black Eyed Susan 7 FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (42 of 51)
and some with more color at center.
Black Eyed Susan Mix FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com.com (49 of 51)
They easily grow in the hard packed earth of the roadside and flourish.
Black Eyed Susan roadside
They blend so nicely with all the other flowers and make my garden a bright spot in the neighborhood.
Black Eyed Susans front FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com
I confess to being a lazy gardener…
all of these are volunteers in my garden.
Black Eyed Susan yellow FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com
Not a one did I deliberately plant.
You can’t ask much more from a flower than they take care of themselves and give such a stellar performance.

Black Eye Susan Amber12
Happy Gardening!

signaturePamela

Monday, June 30, 2014

Ode to the Daisy

Variety of daisies

I love Daisies.
No doubt about it, they are a happy flower.
And tough as nails.
They have been a part of any flower garden I have grown.
A few years back I ran across some seeds of Crazy Daisy.
A ruffledy, fun, sport of the tried and true Shasta Daisy.
DSC_0001.NEF-2I started the seeds and plenty sprouted and thrived.
Some were much more fluffy ruffled than others.
Like the one above.
Some had long elegant petals that gracefully draped.
Elegant petal on DaisySome are more sedate with just a couple rows of petals.
Crazy DaisyI also have regular Daisies in my garden,
Some with short and stubby petals. Shasta DaisySome shorter in stature, like this Silver Princess.
She is not blooming yet but very soon.
I had planted an entire 6 pack of this type several years ago but only one stayed under 18 inches tall.
So in the places in my garden that I want a more diminutive daisy I have taken root divisions of this one and replanted them.
I wanted one in front of a rose bush but I did not want it to grow taller than the rose.
So the shorter daisy works perfect here.
Silver Princess DaisyI have  tried to start seeds from it but they too grow to be taller than I want.
So root divisions it is.
Daisies are also a very hardy lot.
This one grows in the gravel next to the road, it is gorgeous, rarely gets any water,  remains straight and sturdy when others are top heavy and flop over.
It too is just about to bloom.
roadside daisy

Here is a batch that reseeded themselves and I just let them come up until I am ready to do something in this space.  They are in front of the Dream Weaver rose.
volunteer patch of Shasta DaisiesEach one seems to be slightly different than the next.
Shasta DaisyIf you wish to read the interesting history of the Shasta Daisy and how it came to be just click HERE
For me they are a drought tolerant flower, something we need right now being that California is in a drought.
In any garden if they get too much water they have a tendency to get gangly and flop over.
If you want a step by step of dividing them then click here.   HOW TO PROPAGATE SHASTA DAISY

The only additional info I would add is I don't always wait until Fall to dig up and divide.
If I need to move one, even in the height of Summer, I just do it. 
I do sacrifice some blooms but if I want something to go in that particular spot or if that plant is looking shabby then I do it any ol' time.
  I do be sure and keep the transplants well watered so they can survive the shock and have a chance to set down some good roots. 

Happy Gardening and try some Daisies today!
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