My Laundry Themed Old Chippy Wheelbarrow 2013

My garage sale $15 chippy wheelbarrow has served me well over my years of gardening.  I always have a couple old galvanized laundry tubs on board filled with annuals, and this year is no exception.

I'm not sure if you remember the old wringer I purchased earlier this year for $8.  That was the plan all along, to use it in the garden attached to a laundry tub.

Junk and Fuschias

My love affair with garden junk continues...

My new obsession...garden junk and fuschias.

Outdoor This and That 15: Creeping Baby's Breath

One of my perennial favorites is white creeping baby's breath, a member of the gypsophila family.  It is in full bloom right now in my front border and along the front of the house.

I love the dense mat of foliage with a profusion of airy, white, blossoms in my garden.

Outdoor This & That 14: Another Potting Bench

I just got back from a four day trip to visit my older children and grandkids.  I think some of my flowers doubled in size while I was gone, thanks to my husband who kept them watered during a hot spell here.

When I purchased my new "sink topped" potting bench this spring, I gave away my old Menard's workbench kit/potting bench.  In previous years, I used to display my watering can collection on the old bench.  

The sink bench did not have a tall enough bottom shelf for the watering can collection, so I pulled out yet another Menard's workbench (found in our shed), that had once been used as a TV/Stereo stand for my oldest daughter at her college apartment.  I added a coat of semi-transparent outdoor stain, and it was perfect for watering cans on the deck side of my house.  This is a folding wooden workbench that I think I originally purchased for about $40.

This folding bench is quite a bit narrower than the old one, but it held four watering cans and a couple birdhouses very nicely.  

A Red White and Blue Potting Bench

I don't decorate very extensively for the 4th of July, but I did add some patriotic decor to my potting bench on the front patio.


Some of My Vintage Childhood Birthday Cards

It's my birthday today, so I am reminiscing with some of my old birthday cards.  The cards are sweet and innocent, so like the 1950's.

This one is a Forget Me Not from neighbors.

Bless the Blooms

In my backyard by a old dying birch tree, I set up an outdoor vignette, mostly in neutrals and foliage plants.

 Remember my Shabby Chic crosses from Easter?  They are made from a vintage level (tool) and vintage door knob plates.  For garden use, I put a thin metal rod in one end as a stake.

Outdoor This & That 13: Spring Blossom Macros

I will be the first to admit that I am not a great photographer.  I have taken photos of my flowers for 20 years, and I thought the photos were good for an amateur.

I had never even heard of macro photos.  I always thought you had to have a really expensive camera with the really thick lenses to take those cool close ups.  Come to find out you can get decent close-ups of flowers with just a point and shoot camera.


Fertilizer Tips & Tricks That Work For Me

With a very short 3 to 3 1/2 month growing season here in northern Minnesota, I need a little help with the blooms.  I seldom use much fertilizer at all until the temps warm to at least the mid 70's during the daytime.

Here is how I fertilize my flower pots and gardens:

1.  At Planting Time


I sprinkle a scoop full in each planting hole, stir up the hole a bit with the hand digger, and plant.   I use this timed release granular fertilizer on all new annuals and perennials.


Vintage Cameras and Books

Seems like the small camera collection that I started last summer eventually migrates to a stack of books...


Like these Reader's Digest condensed books from the 1950's.

A Dozen Fun Ways to Plant Hen & Chicks (Sempervivum)

One of my favorite little succulents is the sempervivum, houseleek, or hen and chicks.

They are hardy little perennial succulents that grow in almost anything that can hold at least a small amount of dirt.  Here are 12 ways that I have used hen and chicks in my gardens:

1.  In barnacles in a terra cotta pot of New Guinea Impatiens.

Update on the Framed Pots

One of my first outdoor posts this season was a framed lobelia plant.  I had just found this square frame for $11.


This is early May.  I planted the bedding plant in a small galvanized pail hanging from a wire.  A hole was drilled through the top of the frame for the wire which connects to the pail and to a hook hanging in one of our birch trees.  

No leaves on the trees yet.  (Just fall leaves on the ground from last year that needed to be raked up!)

Return To The Prettiest Window Box In Town

Last year I treated you to the most beautiful window box in my town, and here it is again this year!  It is created and maintained by my sister in law at her office building.  

If you want to put together a show stopping, riot of color  window box then take notes, because this is it!

Starting from the right petunias, geraniums, million bells, verbena?, diamond frost...

Pansy, dahlia, petunia, Marguerite daisy, verbena...

Variegated Solomon's Seal - Perennial Plant Association 2013 Perennial of the Year

My house faces north so I am well acquainted with shade plants.

At least ten years ago, I purchased a package of bare root Polygonatum Odoratum Variegatum, better known as Variegated Solomon's Seal.  

I just discovered this little known plant is the Perennial Plant Association's 2013 Perennial of the Year.  If you would like to read more about this versatile shade plant from Purdue Yard & Garden News, click here.


These are my Variegated Solomon's Seal in a bed under my bay window.  The hostas in this bed emerged much later this year with our cool spring.  One is visible at the base of the Solomon's Seal.

Outdoor This & That 12: Bike Wheel & Berry Masher

Last summer I started the "Outdoor This and That" blog series.  Basically it is a group of garden ideas and garden updates that I group into a weekly post or twice weekly post.


Decorating a Covered Patio with Vintage Collections

I love decorating with collectibles, and the outdoors is no exception.  

First croquet balls in a wire basket and bocce balls in a glass jar.  Also a vintage Minnesota license plate from 1956.

What Have I Bought Lately?

In the last couple weeks, I have purchased these items:

This chippy barn door.  $30.

Covered Patio Vignettes

The temps dipped to 32 degrees F last night here in northern Minnesota.  I did not cover or carry in plants.  I get stubborn in June.  I didn't plant too early so "give me a break here".  It should be safe to plant.  Luckily my plants fared well.

Do you collect vintage garden hand tools?  I do.  I have them in my "Eat Raisin" crate with a peace lily and my rusty iron lady.