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I am a work from home, home schooling Mom who loves her Kids...yep, I think my kids are great. You will find me: Knitting, cross stitch, embroidery and working with felt are things I enjoy for fun. I also love to decorate and find deep satisfaction in decorating my home with great finds and my handmade items.  Gardening is one of my great loves, it like decorating outside!

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cup Cakes

I just love cupcakes especially when they aren't bad for you.
Apricot-Glazed Almond cupcakes
These are sophisticated enough for a Ladies Tea and yummy enough for young ones needing a treat that Mom doesn't mind saying yest to.
A great cupcake book
I have made several cupcakes from this book and have enjoyed each and everyone. Some scrumptious ones we have enjoyed are: S'mores Cupcakes, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and Gingerbread Cupcakes.

 
Its always a joy to make something wonderful for your family and to be able to share it with friends.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bread Baking


The Secrete to Yummy Bread
Start with a cook book that's really neat,
Then mix in something cute and sweet,
add a brother, to finish the treat.
 And that's how I make such good bread.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday

Courageous Caspian 





Our perfect companions
never have fewer
than four feet.
         - Colette
Loving Lucky

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dried Apricot Jam Preserves

Dried Apricot  Jam Preserves


I really love this recipe.  Its easy full of flavor and taste great! 

One container of Dried Apricots (about 2-3 cups)
Water
1/2 C Agave Nectar (or Sugar)
Juice of one Lemon
1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon


First take a pot and soak your Apricots overnight, use enough water to cover...you may need to add more later.

The next morning put the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and cook for 45-60 minuets.
Mash with a Potato Masher every 10 minutes while its cooking.  Once its to a spreading consistency add your Agave Nectar and stir let it cook 5 minutes more.  Add the Cinnamon.
Its ready to eat.
I put it in a container in the fridge and add it to my toast or oatmeal.  It would make a really good filling for a fried pie or a turnover. Or Cupcakes!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Mums getting more out of them

I know you are going to think I'm  crazy when I tell you what to do with your mums.
But don't you just wonder how they arrive at the nurseries just ready to bloom at the right time?  And then you plant them and the next year they start blooming in the summer...whats up with that?
Well I will tell you...the nurseries play french revolution with them.  They chop off their heads. So you ask, "when do I stop chopping off all those lovely flower heads just promising me flowers?"  For me in the south I would say the last week in July-the middle of August.
And just to prove that I am as vicious as I say here are a few photos full of discriminating evidence.

Awaiting the Guillotine 
After the terrible ordeal
For more amazing plant tips check out my blog.  http:forrestdweller.blogspot.com

Friday, August 20, 2010

Free Mulch

OK allot of people wonder how I can afford to cover so many planting beds in mulch.
"Well" I say, "I get it delivered and I get it for free."
 The trick is...make allot of phone calls.
Open up your yellow pages to TREE SERVICES calling each one and ask if they have a Mulch list you can put your name on.

I have yet to call one that doesn't.
Then call them each and every week to check.  Not that they have forgotten or don't like you.  But they are busy people and its usually a first come first serve.
You may get some bigger chips or even some logs...  both are great for camp fires.  And as you can see the pile is fun to play on.  My kids dug out a nest and put balls in for eggs.
If you never get a call back or you just cant wait or you don't need as much as I do.  Here is a second way to get free mulch.

All the tree service people dump their mulch at the county dump.  They have a separate pile and its all  free, you just have to go and get it.  Call ahead to make sure they have it...again its first come first serve.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday

"Here in the body are the sacred rivers;
here are the sun and moon,
as well as the pilgrimage places.
I have not encountered another temple as blissful
as my own body."
                                                           -Sahara

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rain Barrel that are Cheap

 
This is my version of a Rain Barrel.  When my new roof and gutters were installed I asked the gutter man to shorten them.  What he did was cut the down spout off and a good height for a trash can to fit under it then the part he cut off he cut again at the curve.  He pinched the end on the spout on the house and the straight piece so I could easily slide these parts on and off as I needed them.  (I store my rain barrels in the winter).  If you want to take it one step further you can go to the plumbing department at your local hardware store and buy the fittings for hose attachments.  They have kits that come with sealers.  Then cut a hole near the base of the trash can...not too low or your get all the sediment.  Then you can hook up a hose and water that way.  Rather than my fancy watering can.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making Great Potted Plants

Zebrina, Royal Standard Hosta and Strip Tease Hosta
I enjoy gardening in containers,  I have quite a few around my yard and on my porches.   

The trick to a great potted plant is to:
Get plants with the same needs; likes water or doesn't like water.
Locate it properly; sun loving plants in the sun and shade loving plants in the shade. 

The union pictured above  and below really likes bright shade.  I made two of the combinations above using galvanized  watering container.  You can get these at any hardware store but do not by the paint pails they are not galvanized and they will rust.  I purchase the three plants mentioned above and split them all in two. And divided them between the two containers.  My containers get watered once a day, twice if its really hot.  I also feed my  potted plants once a week.     I use a pump sprayer with organic liquid fertilizer.
My New Lovely Sitting Area
Sometimes one pot is enough to fill an area other times you need more.  Rule of thumb to make a please display always use an odd number of containers. 
I had an area that was boring...the lawn seemed to come to a dead end with no purpose (pictured above after adding pots and hard scape).  So I gathered things that I had and bought a few plants and turned a boring spot into a lovely sitting area. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Marker, Signal and Prayer Trees

Trees are very very special beings to me.  They have such energy and give so much.  The special trees I show here are called Marker, Signal and Prayer trees.  As far as I understand their is no difference between Marker and Signal trees.  But prayer trees are extra special.  The Native Americans would shape signal trees to mark a path or to show where something significant is.  A prayer tree from my understand was used in ceremony's.  Enjoy their beauty, history and specialness.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday



"We need the tonic of the 
Wilderness."

                                            Henry David Thoreau


For more Wonderful Word Wednesday check out my other blog spot http://GirlieGirlandCurl.blogspot.com

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lawn Care

Most know me as a flower bed Girl always grooming my beds adding something new, moving something, dividing plants, trimming and weeding.  I can be found behind the mower as well.  Though the riding lawn mower gets the job done much faster you get to know your lawn better when you push mow.  Its a better work out for the badonka butt too.

Spring and fall is the usually time for lawn enthusiast, but I tend to my lawn year round.  Not only is it therapeutic for me but for my lawn.  Grass farms feed their grass twice a month that is way more than twice a year.

Tools I use:
Spreader
Large Bucket (5 gallons)
Measuring cup

Hose End Sprayer



Most of the Hose End sprayers I have come across have some sort of chemical fertilizer that comes with them.  Go ahead and toss that nasty stuff out.

First Step no matter what the Season you start in:


Give your lawn a bath and a meal
The day before I fertilize, I water deeply or after a rain. 
Make a bath solution in your bucket
1/4 cup Organic Liquid Fertilizer (full of minerals and food)
1/2 cup Liquid dish soap any brand will do (gets rid of bugs, disease, pollutants, makes the other stuff stick)
1/2 can of beer (Decomposes thatch and for some decomposes the brain)
1/2 cup Ammonia (nitrogen, good for green leaves)

Fill your hose end sprayer half full of the solution and have at it. Not only do I spray my lawn but I spray my flower beds as well.

Always wear your lawn spike sandals or golf shoes when you do anything on your lawn.

 

Two weeks later I SWEETEN my Lawn
I don't usually use lime on my lawn.  I have a fire ring and the wood ash from the burnt wood sweetens the lawn and is a good source of potassium.  If you do not have a fire ring use the nugget style lime (its not so dusty).  When I use my spreader I add sand and Grits to whatever I am putting down.  That way I can can go back and forth one way and then the other without over feeding.  The grits help with ants it makes them explode when they eat it not a prity sight.

I sweeten my lawn four times a year.


Two weeks later dry fertilizer
I use an organic dry fertilizer for the lawn again mixing in the sand and grits.  I follow the amount given on the bag.

Maintenance
Once a month I mix my hose end sprayer solution minus the beer.  I only add the beer four times a year.  So a six pack go's a long way.  I don't dry fertilize again until the fall when I seed.

Seeding
My first spreading of seed is added to my dry fertilizer in the spring and in the fall.  If I have any seed left I will apply it with my next dry application.

Free Lawn Care
I have two children who love to push around the spreader.  After instructing them on what to do I let them have at it.  They get to spread going back and forth one way and I get to do the other way.

I enjoy my lawn year round, I always walk on my lawns and encourage my family and friends to enjoy it as well.  I didn't do all this care just to look at it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Geranium Mac. Bevan's Variety


Geranium Mac. Bevan's Variety

This Geranium is so lovely, one of my favorites the fairies like it too.  I got three plants from Bluestone Perennials eight years ago.  Since then, I have divided, transplanted and given it away.  It spreads but is not evasive.  Bright pink colored blooms pop up between the leaves in late spring early summer.  As long as it gets bright light it will bloom for four weeks.  And if that's not enough it stays green year round so it adds interest to my winter southern garden.
When I brush up against it I am reminded of pine forest and the scent lingers in the air and on my hands.  Just look how adoringly my gargoyle watches over it.  This one is definitely a keeper and fun to share.
For more on gardening and homemaking see me at Mama Forrest's Garden Spot http://forrestdweller.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How to Grow Gorgeouse Plants


 
1. Twice a year I compost everything.  I just fill the wheelbarrow and go around to my beds and add compost.  There is no formula I just add it around the base.

2. I spray my gardens several times a week.  One of those time is with a very diluted liquid compost tea that you can make yourself.  Just plop a small scoop full of compost in the middle of cheese cloth tie it up and let it rest in a bucket of water for a week.  This should be diluted 1 cup of tea to one gallon of water.  You can use this on your indoor plants too.  You can also buy organic liquid fertilizers.

3.  I also water a lot.  I have rain barrels (trash cans) and I water every other day if it doesn't rain.  And everyday on potted and container plants.

4. Once a month I do a liquid fertilizing with the compost tea.