Planted Chicken Coop

I miss my chickens. The yard is so quiet without them around. The coop has sat lonely in the back yard for nearly a year. I decided it needed some flowers.   If you recall, we built the coop from plans that we purchased on Ebay.  It has been a focal point in the yard ever since. Last fall, we had problems with raccoons and birds of prey in our yard. We lost 3 chickens, and decided to give the other two away in order to keep them from being eaten. Sometimes, being a pet owner is hard.   My sweet Alfredo and Barbie-que would approve of the new decor. The coop was planted with 3 plastic window boxes that I screwed into the top of the the roof. I filled them with Miracle Grow soil, and plants that I purchased at 75% off retail. I am always looking for a good deal. It cost only $10.00 for the geraniums, vinca vines, marigolds, and dahlias that filled the boxes. They will bloom until frost, as long as they are dead headed and watered regularly. I am looking forward to getting some more hens next spring! Adieu!

How to Plant Azaleas

This is a sponsored post, any opinions given are completely my own. I was a happy camper earlier this week. I got a huge box full of beautiful Azaleas from Southern Living.  I love Azaleas, they are so colorful! We usually don’t see a lot of them here in Wisconsin. Generally Azaleas like well drained acidic soil. There are some varieties you can get for the Northern Zones, we are a zone 5 here but I have found that many Zone 6 varieties do well if they are in a protected spot. Our neighbor has a big, beautiful Azalea bush, it was blooming not long ago and I trespassed into their yard to take this picture because it was completely breathtaking. Don’t you agree?   The Southern Living Encore Azalea Collection is just as breathtaking. I chose two varieties for our yard, Autumn Sunset is a dwarf shrub with beautiful red blossoms about 2.5″ across. This plant will grow to be about 3 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. It makes a good choice for landscape boarders. The other variety I received is called Autumn Twist. This one gets bigger, 4.5 feet high and wide, with variegated pink and white blossoms.  I can’t wait for them to fill in this empty spot along the side of our house. It is very lacking in charm and color.   The first step to planting is to lay out exactly where you want your plants to go. I have a vision of making this boarder wider next year, so I planned to have…
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Up-Cycled Garden Fountain

  I spent the day playing in the water. That is, I spent the day making a new “old” water feature for the yard. This old laundry sink sat in a dark corner of our basement until recently. It wasn’t even connected to anything. I have no idea why someone would just leave it there. It’s not like it added anything to the basement decor. I decided it would make a great water feature. Earth Day is approaching you know. Why not recycle something? The birds are going to love taking a bath in the water spray. I am going to love watching them. The sink was in good shape, just a bit dirty. I love the crusty old faucet, I think it adds to the charm. I thought about painting the sink, but I like the way it blends in with the yellow siding of the house, so I decided to leave it. I also left the crusty old pipes underneath. Maybe some animal will decide to make that his home. I plugged the sink drain by covering it with one of those plastic rubber seals for kitchen sinks from the Dollar Store, and tried out the new fountain pump. I was attracted to this particular kit because you can choose from several different styles of spray and pump set up, depending on your container. I thought about threading the cord of the pump through the drainage hole at the bottom of the sink to hide it, but I decided not to. It would have meant digging through the boxes in…
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Succulent Ice Cube Tray

I love getting creative with my planters, see how I transformed an old ice cube tray into a new home for my succulents!  Dear General Electric, I’ll bet that you never would have guess your ice cube trays would go out of fashion just like your old refrigerators. They had their day, and we loved them, but now no one really uses them anymore. Except me. Only I don’t use ice, since I get enough of that during our cold Wisconsin winters. I use my vintage General Electric Ice Cube Tray for planting succulents, I love it. The Mid-Century soft pink metallic color looks great with the colorful plants.   I used 7 tiny succulents for this project that were purchased at Home Depot, I also purchased cactus soil and some pebbles. It only took me about 5 minutes to plant your little ice cube tray. First I filled each ice cube compartment with dirt. Then I planted my succulents. Several of them were easy to separate into smaller plants with my fingers, but I could also have used a sharp knife. The succulents have very small roots so separating them and fitting the roots in-between the metal ice compartment slats isn’t a problem. I left some of the compartments empty to give the larger plants room to grow a bit. I added more dirt. Then I added the rocks on top of the exposed soil. A light watering finished it off. It was not necessary to poke holes in the ice cube tray for extra drainage. I just have to…
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How to Plant a Marigold Border

How do you plant a marigold border?  Here’s how I did it!    I am deep into gardening mode! I spent the weekend working in the beds, weeding and adding compost and leftover ashes from the fireplace (they are wonderful for your soil). I even had time to plant the cold weather seeds, radishes, lettuce, swiss chard, mache, spinach and peas. I took a risk and planted my marigold border as well, I am so impatient! Hopefully we won’t get anymore snow! How do you plant a marigold border? First, I purchase several large boxes of bulk seed.  I found these at the local home improvement store on sale. I love the mix of colors and textures of these flowers. We have raised garden beds, but you could just as easily plant a border in a flat area. I plant the outside with the flowers, and put the rows of veggies inside the border. The seed boxes are designed for easy planting. Simply, open the side to expose the hole where the seeds come out. There is a bit of loose material in with the seeds to keep them from sticking to each other, it also makes it easy to just sprinkle the seeds over your planting area. Can you see the white powder material? That’s the seed mixture. In our 10′ by 10′ garden beds, I sprinkle an area approximately 12″ wide around the edge of each bed.  The seeds can then be tapped into the soil with a rake or gently cover them with 1/8″ of soil. Our…
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