Friday, June 13, 2014

Gardens in June


The weather has been absolutely beautiful around here for the past week or so…perfect for getting all my plants into the ground and lots of outdoor chores done!  Yay!  I took a few pictures of the gardens, mostly for my own reference for next year and to see the difference from one month to another. 

Here is one of the front gardens…a new garden I made early this spring, and finally finished planting about a week ago.


The plants are all quite tiny since it is not an established bed, so hopefully they will fill in this year and be much larger for next year!


I also planted window boxes that will hopefully also fill out in a few weeks.  They look rather sparse now but they are much better than when I planted them a couple weeks ago so there is hope for them!


I used asparagus fern that I had overwintered and divided this past winter and then some geraniums that I grew from cuttings and also some kale I started from seed.  I have no idea how the kale will actually look with everything else, but it is fun to try something different!  I can always just pull them out if it looks awful.  : )  I bought a couple 4 packs of coleus and a 6 pack of wave petunias to put in there too so I did spend something but overall I am happy to have such inexpensive window boxes. 

Here is another front garden…this was new last fall.  I dug it  when my husband was out of town on a hunting trip and I was SO sore at the end of it.  I’m not quite sure why I feel that is an appropriate time to jump into a big new project but I always do…it must be some crazy coping mechanism.  : )   Earlier in the spring there were tulips blooming here but now the garden is in what I am calling its “purple phase”.  I didn’t exactly plan it this way, but all the blooms right now are shades of blue and purple and I am really liking it!



I am hoping the vanilla marigolds I planted in front of the bare legs of the baptisia (blue flowers near center) will grow quickly so it won’t look quite so top-heavy!

Heading in the backyard to the garden I affectionately refer to as the weed garden:


The iris are blooming right now which is just lovely!  I call it the weed garden because this is one of the gardens that was here when we bought the place last year and it is filled with grass and lots of weeds as well.  Next year I plan to either get rid of this garden altogether and make a much larger bed extending from the garden shed to the garden, or re-work it so I can get rid of the weeds. 


Moving on to the shade garden:


It is home to mostly hostas with a few other shade-loving perennials, though I added some impatiens so it should be more colorful in a few weeks.  The chickens have decided they like to scratch around in this garden so I have to be careful to protect any new young plants I have planted or they will die an untimely death (the plants, not the chickens—we are very fond of Mrs. Bertha and friends!). 

Last but not least, the veggie garden. 


We have come up with an elaborate fencing system to keep the deer out, which has been working for deer but less so for rabbits, so I feel a bit like Mr. McGregor  whenever I find another cabbage plant has been eaten off.  Grrrr!! 

The arch is for cucumbers, though this is the first year I am attempting to grow them vertically so we’ll see how it goes! 


Swiss chard is coming along nicely, as are the radishes.  The beans are getting bigger too!



The other side of the garden:



I’m excited to see what it will all look like next month!

I am joining Cari over at Clan Donalson for the June garden link-up…so fun to look at everyone’s gardens and see the progress from month to month! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

How to get spray paint off skin


With the warmer weather we’ve been having it is finally time to break out the spray paint!  I’ve been so busy with landscaping/gardening related projects that I only finally got around to doing a spray paint project a few days ago, and in the process accidentally stumbled upon a really great way to get spray paint off skin!  My spray paint bottle/nozzle was spluttering and finally it just started oozing black paint out all over my hand, under my fingernails, and up my arm.  Ugh!  It was especially bad because it was the enamel kind, which seems to be extra fumey and sticks really well to—anything!  I didn’t take a picture because…I had no idea I was going to figure this out and I don’t randomly take pictures of paint on my hands.  : )  I really didn’t want to go to all the events we had planned for last weekend with a hand/arm that looks like some horrible disease has taken its toll, so I went in and proceeded to scrub and scrub and even tried the hand sanitizer trick I heard about to no avail.  It just wasn’t coming off!

I ended up taking a shower to freshen up from the hot day outside, using a little scrub recipe I occasionally use to exfoliate my face.  On a whim I started rubbing it on my hand and lo and behold, the paint started to come off!!  Within moments of scrubbing it was SO much better and almost all off, even under my fingernails!  I was really excited to not have to explain my awful-looking hand.  : )

So, want to know how you can erase that spray paint fast??  It only takes two ingredients, and I bet most people have them in their kitchen. 

Take a couple tablespoons of coffee grounds (used or unused), add a tablespoon or so of olive oil (any old one will do!);


mix them together,


and voila!  Magic spray-paint remover!! 


Easy easy!  Just use like any scrub with warm water, and follow up with some soap to remove the olive oil grease if that’s not your thing.  Hope my accidental discovery helps someone!



Linking up with Remodelaholic’s Anonymous Party, Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, The DIY Showoff’s That DIY Party, Home Coming’s The DIYers,  Upcycled Treasures’ The Makers