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….


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