Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hi Frugal Gardeners!

Although it's been ages since I've posted here, Facebook followers know that I post photos there daily I'm happy to announced that we now publish a great new daily blog on gardening, outdoors spaces and natural living, edited by Therese Ciesinski, former editor of Organic Gardening magazine. Please check us out and follow us at:



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Living Walls

Sense of Privacy-A Few Selections For Creating A Living Wall

Ornamental Grasses
Glossy Lobelia
Dwarf Lilac

Note: The above picture is displaying an invasive species called Japanese Knotweed. I would not recommend using this plant.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wild About Gardening

Hello everyone. Spring is almost here!!!

I have a friend who requested information recently about starting a new garden that would include flowers, vegetables and herbs. They recently closed on their new home and basically have a budget of $50.00.  Be still my beating heart, a challenge! Hmm....

Because they live in zone 6A and still have snow on the ground, I recommended starting with seeds. Thankfully they have a large atrium attached to their home and a lot of patience! They ordered seeds from two of my favorite seed companies, Vermont Wildflowers (they have a vast selection of individual flower types and special mixes) and Artistic Gardens (large selection of herbs, vegetable and flower seeds). They offer sample seed packs at very low rates (starting at .40 to .50 cents for small sampler packs). Sold!

I donated a large amount of soil-less mix, seed starting supplies and a vast amount of information on gardening and wished them much success.

I will keep you posted....


Links for Vermont Wildflowers and Artistic Gardens

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



1. Express your interests to friends and family. You could provide them with a wish list of most-needed items such as extra plants, garden tools, seeds and invaluable advice.


2. Use what you have: Plastic and styrofoam cups, plates, bowls, eating utensils and take out containers can serve functions in seed starting and plant protection and are common items in most households.


3. Check out local thrift shops, yard and garage sales. Imagine, old cups and saucers can be converted into creative bird feeders, or watering spots for butterflies and small birds. Small and large bowls can be used as bird baths, toad houses and molds if you wish to dabble in creating garden ornaments.


4. Do a search online and look at sites such as and to see if free items or trades are available.


5. Most dollar stores offer garden supplies seasonally. Make sure you inquire when the items will be available because they go fast.


6. Check out your local newspapers for permits regarding upcoming land excavations or contact a local landscape or tree service company.


7. Contact your local county extension office. They usually offer free or discounted plants or seeds.


8. Proprogate your used produce scraps such as onions, peppers and tomatoes.


9. Coordinate a seed swap party for like-minded friends, neighbors and family members.


10. Divide existing plants or collect seeds from self seeding plants on your property and replant in other areas in your garden.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings: The Dawn of a New Day

I was recently reminded of how my seemingly normal and stable life can change to chaos in the blink of an eye. As we all do at some point, I began to worry about finding a solution. Maybe it’s a character flaw, but it’s so very predictable and totally me to think of others without regard for myself and well-being. Then, I threw caution in the wind and thought of the times that I was truly happy and carefree and realized the answer was there all along in the humble beginnings and simplicity of my childhood.

My love of the outdoors stems from a childhood spent outside surrounded by the joy of nature. I loved the feel of warm sunshine on my face during early spring and the beauty and vibrancy of my grandmother’s favorite pink and white azalea shrubs. I can still visualize the feel of crisp air, the smell of spring and the beginning of new life in the garden provided by our creator.

During the long Florida summers, I would eat breakfast early then run outside (minus shoes and common sense) as fast as my little legs could carry me, feed the chickens, gather eggs for my granny, then take off again to find new daily adventures. Not all of them were good, mind you, but they often consisted of softball, hopscotch, tug of war, drum racing, running, tree climbing and watching clouds. I loved chasing butterflies and feeding the cows and hogs my family raised. Yes, bath time was horrific for my mother because I was covered from head to toe with sand, dirt; bug bites and scrapes from falls.

At lunchtime, I would usually take ten minutes to run home and woof down a sandwich, but found my snacks in the gardens around me. There was always an abundance of juicy, sweet blackberries, sugar cane, figs, pears, tomatoes, sweet corn, plums, nectar from honeysuckle flowers and dates. Usually, the only way anyone could get me to come home for dinner was by threat of a spanking (it never happened because no one could catch me outside) or the allure of a favorite meal: buttermilk fried chicken, homemade biscuits and pure cane syrup or favorite dessert, homemade teacakes.

So, I have come to the realization that I need to go back to the basics to be truly happy. This means returning to the outdoors and being creative in the choices I make in my life, starting at this very moment. I look forward to sharing my new experiences with you. Thank you for being patient with me and please stay tuned….


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Greetings


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my gardening friends and family!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Frugal Idea For Composting

Photo by:

Sea or lake vegetation is free and very easy to obtain if you live near a large body of water.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mirrors In The Garden?


Photo provided by:

Photo provided by:

Old mirrors can be used as focal points of interest or to provide reflective light for sun-starved plants in shady areas of your garden.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Recycling Mismatched Cups and Saucers In The Garden

Old china (cups and saucers) can be used for a myriad of things such as bird feeder, bird bath, and butterfly watering containers. Thrift shops are my favorite way of obtaining these gems cheaply.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Frugal Gardening tip: Reusing Window Screens In The Garden

Window screens can be used to help shade plants from harsh sun in the summer. They can also be used as a compost sifter or food dehydrator.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Turning Pallets into Gardening Furniture and More


 Another D.I.Y. project to add to my ever growing "Things To Do" list. The hubby will be pleased!

 Please view link:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Frugal Gardening Tip Tuesday

Your kitchen is a great source for garden tools would be your kitchen.
Come on, we all have utensils in our drawers we never use. Think of the
new life they knives, forks and spoons can have as garden tools or markers.
Those wooden spoons, potato mashers, serving spoon and that old blender
can really make gardening easier and guess what? They are free.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Few Pictures From the Garden

"On every stem, on every leaf,... and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphis, or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part."  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hello my gardening friends. I trust you are all well, staying cool and hydrated due to the high temperatures. I have excellent news. I finally have enough pictures to show you what is growing in my garden this year. Please keep in mind that I was in a rush so I used my cell phone camera so the images are bad (should have used the digital camera).

Shasta Daisy – Roots divisions were given to me by a co worker last spring. The roots grow rapidly so I was able to transplant them in several beds and gave some to friends. I have collected healthy seeds from the plants.

Sweet William – I received a sample package of seeds for $.25 two years ago. I sowed them last year and have collected seeds from the plants.

Lance leaf Coreopsis – This is the volunteer plant I wrote about in an earlier post.  Although, it was only one plant, it produced a large number of seeds.

Ox Eye Daisy – I purchased seeds locally for about 50 cents.  Great seed production. Very weedy though and extremely invasive.

Day Lilly – Came with the house purchase!  We divide them every year and spread them around our yard. One of the hubby’s favorite.

Gloriosa Daisy – The plants were grown from seed, given to me by a friend.  The plants produced a huge amount of seeds and the flowers are multi colored (red, yellow, magenta, orange and gold.  I have to stake them because the stalks are thick and heavy.

Blanket Flower– Grown from seeds given to me by a friend.  Modest seed production and the stalks are very weedy.  However the flowers are gorgeous.

Peppers, Tomatoes, Squash, Lemon Balm and Okra, Thyme and Cayenne Pepper plants are in pots soaking up sun.

Mini Bell pepper plant grown from seed.

Well, I have to run.  Until next time, happy gardening!


Monday, June 25, 2012

A Gardening First for My Hubby

"Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden.... It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart."  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

Hello Everyone,

This has been an unusual week. There is so much going on but I am having loads of fun in the garden!  I have to share a garden success scenario regarding the hubby (honey, if you are reading this, I just had to tell…sorry).  My husband has successfully grown vegetable transplants (peppers, tomatoes, corn, cowpeas and beans).  I am so proud of him because he has never grown anything…ever! He did this on his own, I did not advise him of the dos and don'ts for sowing seeds so I am very impressed. Not bad for a born and bred big city boy.

We placed shade protectors over his newbies today due to the thunderstorms we have been receiving lately. Basically we reused the chicken wire cages I mentioned in an earlier post.  I had a bunch of muslin I purchased several years ago for peanuts (for a quilting project) and anchored pieces over the cages. Very inexpensive, but effective. I have also used light colored tarps, cheesecloth, tall plants (sunflowers) and row covers in the past, but I am partial to the newest method.

I hope things are going well in your gardens!!!

Take care,


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day Fellow Gardeners!

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.  ~Hanna Rion

Hello My Friends,

Happy Father’s Day for any Dads who are reading this post…

I hope all is well with you. I was watching our local news station a moment ago and was thrilled to learn we are going to have a few days of beautiful weather. Truly excellent for my plants and for my sanity I think.  Also perfect for alfresco dining, so I am going to surprise the hubby with a special dinner cooked by yours truly.  I will make sure I have a bottle of Pepto Bismol on stand by Mom, I promise. LOL. The menu will be as follows:

Grilled Sirloin with Chimichurri Sauce

Sautéed Green Beans
Herbed Roasted Potatoes
Strawberry Shortcake
Iced Lemonade with Sprigs of Mint

It will be simple but I will be giving him what most men want, MEAT & POTATOES!!!  The best part is a majority of the ingredients are just outside my kitchen door grown from seeds and transplants I purchased last year (at an end of season sales, I might add). For example: Garlic, Oregano Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Basil. I am going to place his favorite flowers (Shasta Daisy) on the table. I hope it turns out well.

Until next time, happy gardening everyone.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Less Than Miraculous Bag of Potting Mix

Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.  ~Douglas William Jerrold, about Australia, A Land of Plenty

Good afternoon everyone,

I trust you are all well and gardening happily. I’d like to thank everyone who expressed get well wishes during my brief convalescence. I am fairing much better and have joyfully resumed my activities in the garden.  I am more cautious but not overly so. The hubby insists I wear more protective clothing because I am a “bug/arachnid magnet” but I think he is being a bit overprotective. LOL

I wanted to share a few incidents that occurred lately in my world.  I picked up a few bags of potting mix from a home improvement store (I know it sounds like I am cheating but it was purchased with a gift card because I have been pressed for time lately-typically I make my own medium). The soil is manufactured by one of the largest garden supply companies in the country. The bags basically contained large wood pieces, weed seeds, fungus spores, gnats waiting to hatch and a minute amount of soil.  I was livid and of course, I had to throw it away.  I did a bit of research and found out many people are having problems like mine or worse.  Not good. I won’t make that mistake again.

I mentioned in a previous post about the benefits of utilizing your town’s compost resources.  I have used several sites here to obtain free compost for my garden but a friend of mine found broken glass in her piling as she was transferring it to a container. It was disturbing because she rarely uses gardening gloves and she could have been seriously injured. I am not sure if the leaf donation bags were not checked properly last fall or if someone carelessly threw the shards in the pile but I will be using a homemade sifter I made from an old window screen from now on. 

Well, I have to run.  Enjoy yours gardens!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spring Gardening and Another Spider Encounter

"I know that if odour were visible, as colour is, I'd see the summer garden in rainbow clouds."
~Robert Bridges, "Testament of Beauty"

Good morning gardening friends,

My garden is coming along slowly, but I am pleased with the transformation occurring as the season progresses.  The temps here last week were pretty high for this area (at one time reaching 93 degrees).  However, the high yesterday was only 65 degrees and I must admit a wonderful respite from the heat.

You know I love sharing my gardening experiences, both good and bad.  Last week I had an unpleasant experience with a spider (a gardener’s best friend).  I was kneeling on the ground trying to tidy up a small unused part of my garden (I am trying to create a shady garden corner) and experienced a sharp pain on my right calf.

As I looked down, I noticed a brown spider trying to retreat from the leg of my pants.  I used a trowel to fend it off and noticed it looked familiar.  I went inside to clean the bite and show my husband because I was bitten by a venomous spider a few years back and had a really bad reaction that required medical attention.

After that experience, he insisted on becoming an “arachnid expert” by researching venomous spiders for this area.  Guess what, it was a yellow sac spider. Not as bad as the brown recluse spider, but still not good. They hide in dry, woody areas and this is where I encounter my spider.

I am receiving excellent care, trust me. I feel loads better and I am looking forward to returning to my garden today. Although I admit to having a fear of the little crawlies, spiders beware; you can’t keep this gardener down!!!

Until next time, take care of yourselves, my friends,


P.S. For anyone interested, here’s a link with information about the spider:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seed Harvesting and Pollinator Gardening

"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse 

Hello Gardening Friends,

I hope everything is going well with your gardens and that you all are enjoying their beauty and bounty.  We have finally got warm weather in or region and I am enjoying it immensely.

I had a chance to go through my garden journals for past seasons and reminisced about hand-pollinating squash blossoms one year because I didn’t plant enough flowers and herbs to entice pollinators to my garden. It was a very time consuming experience. I know, silly me.  So of course, the next year I planted flowers like cosmos, sunflowers, daisies, yarrow, asters, alyssum, lupine, phlox, zinnias, Sweet William and Black-eyed Susans to attract bees.  I also planted several types of milkweed, ironweed, dill, oregano, parsley, fennel and lemon mint to draw in butterflies and wasps.  I purchased all the seeds at end of season sales from two seed companies for only $8.60.  It was a great deal for me because I harvest the seeds from those plants every year and take advantage of the added benefit of having a beautiful, heavily-pollinated garden.

Well, I have to close for now.  Thanks for dropping by and happy gardening!


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