Thought for the Day: Keep Climbing

keep climbing


An experiment in suburban gardening

I live near the national park.  We have gorgeous Spruce and Cedar trees where we live, that are absolutely lovely.  We also have lots of wildlife that sometimes comes to visit.  I’ve seen plenty of deer, an occasional raccoon and even a fox trot through the back yard.  Of course these things mean a traditional garden in the back yard is a bit difficult.  There’s an awful lot of shade and anything that grew would most likely be eaten by critters.  I had an aha! moment after reading an article on urban gardening this fall though.  If New Yorkers could grow gardens on roof top patios, why couldn’t I on my little second level deck outside of our bedroom and office.  It would have a lot more sun, and basically be critter proof!

So several planters, seedlings, and bags of organic dirt dragged up an entire flight of stairs later I had a garden.  Now I know, expert gardeners will say I have way too many plants, and they’re way too close together.  We basically bought enough plants for a small farm I think!  But, this really was just an experiment.   Live and learn.  I’m not sure I expected them to actually grow as well and as big as they did!

It looks like we will have a nice little crop of plants to enjoy in a few months.

Definitely need more, and bigger planters next year.  The plan is to put hanging baskets all the way around as well.

A cayenne pepper, the first vegetable of the summer is on it’s way!

We had a little visitor.  Correct me if wrong, but I believe it’s a katydid.  Hopefully it keeps the munching to a minimum.

We’re going to have a ton of tomatoes.  Pasta anyone?

Collectors Series Feature, and Earring Giveaway

Today I’m featured on the rikrak studio blog as part of her “collectors series”. You can take a peek at one of my hobbies (and my husband’s hobbies), which is collecting bonsai pots and *attempting* to grow some bonsai trees. You can see some photos of the collection and read my interview that went along with the feature.

In addition to the collectors series, the rikrak studio blog is also hosting a giveaway, and I am donating a pair of my twig earrings to one lucky winner, so go check out the rules for the contest and get your entry in!

the rikrak studio

Friday Etsy Favorites: Succulents Galore

It’s Friday, so it’s time to share an Etsy favorite with you. Now, many people shop Etsy for jewelry, clothing and even vintage decor, but there are live plants to be found as well! This winter I managed to snag not one but TWO gorgeous vintage terrariums for an absolutely fabulous price and I’ve been thinking about how to fill them. Succulents Galore has been tagged in my Etsy favorites since there are tons of succulent plants to chose from, in various quantities, sizes and varieties. There’s even items that would be perfect for wedding or party gifts. The only difficulty with this shop would be choosing! So my question is, what should I get?

Collection of 12 Succulent Plants, $36 from Succulents Galore

A Collection of 6 Succulent plants in pots wrapped in natural ribbon, $25

Bring on Spring

This Spring my husband and I have decided we definitely need to check out every nook and cranny of our local Metroparks. There’s so many beautiful hidden wonders nearby. We came across this lovely scene the other weekend walking the trails at the F.A. Sieberling Nature Realm in the Summit County Metroparks. Check it out if you’re local. In 2009-2010 they added a bunch of “green” features, so it’s a lovely, modern, eco-friendly facility.

May 6th is National Public Gardens Day

Now that the warmer weather is almost here, it’s almost time for National Public Gardens Day on May 6th, 2011. I’m hoping to get out with my camera and get a few great shots. Time for a little visual inspiration. May the Spring weather finally be in full force then! You can visit a local public garden for free too through a partnership between the American Public Gardens Association and Better Homes and Gardens. Visit for details or to sign up.

Organic Gardening: Natural lawn care

When we first moved into our house we didn’t do a lot with the lawn as we’re pretty anti the idea of putting chemicals on it. We wanted to keep everything as natural and organic as possible. This year we put down corn gluten a few weeks ago to naturally change the Ph and keep the weeds at bay.

I found a video with a few natural lawn care tips I thought I’d share.

Beautiful Winter

I just wanted to remind myself, after another snowy, gray, cold….well FREEZING day, that there are parts of winter that can be beautiful. Maybe if I remind myself enough, Spring will soon be here. 🙂

Cuyahoga Challenge 2010

It’s no secret that the greater Cleveland/Akron area has a truly stunning park system. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has tons of wildlife, flora and fauna, plenty of activities, natural attractions and miles of hiking trails. It’s easy to find a trail or portion of the park near your home to visit. However, because of the parks size it’s also easy to not be aware of all the hidden gems within the park. If you’d like to discover a new trail, or explore different regions of the park embrace the Cuyahoga Challenge. Between June 1, 2010 and September 30, 2010 hike ten of twelve designated trail segments and you can then turn in a challenge registration form (like a checkoff sheet) to earn a commemorative patch designed by local artist, Chuck Ayers.
It’s an excellent way to get an overview of some very unique natural areas.

I Treasure Terrariums

I absolutely love terrariums. They are so earthy, so fresh, so charmingly cool to look at. I’m not much of an expert gardener either. That surprisingly enough is more of the husband’s territory. Recently I came across this darling terrarium at a nearby Salvation Army store. I think I got it for under $7! A few aisles away I say they also had a matching stand for the terrarium. Score! I can’t wait to figure out what to fill it up with
Warm Country Meadows has a darling DIY terrarium kit I have my eye on. If you want you own they are just $20. Not a bad deal considering it has just about everything one would need to start a terrarium and it even comes with a cute little mini mushroom!

I also fell in LOVE with this wonderful little terrarium kit called “World’s Away” from Augury It comes with complete directions and even the gorgeous glass orb

World’s Away Kit, $28 by Augury