Do-it-yourself ideas, bargains and resources for all around your home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We woke up to 36 degrees this morning. Yikes! But I knew last night that it was going to get cold, so I brought my hanging baskets inside. I think the rest of the plantings did okay. There was frost on John's car and some on the yards across the street, but ours looked like it was fine. I guess winter needed to assert itself one last time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Adventures in landscaping.

I did manage to paint those closet doors in the den and there is no photography in the world that would possibly make them look interesting enough to post. And we are out of projects inside the house. Since spring is here (sorta; it's a high of 52 today), John and I have turned attention to the great outdoors.

As some of you suggested, I changed the liners in my hanging baskets. The phlox still doesn't look great, but I added in some red salvia and it does brighten the whole thing up a bit. When we have had sunny days in the last few weeks, I've noticed that the baskets do get some light. But the weather has been totally weird recently, with lots of rainy and cold days. A neighbor of mine says you shouldn't plant in Memphis until April 15. Ironically, there is a chance of frost tonight (since it's only April 14).

We took advantage of the sunny (yet still a bit cool) weather on Saturday to add mulch to the front gardens. John said he only bought as many bags as he thought we could fit in the van (12) and it turned out to be the right amount (we even had some leftover for a small area in the backyard).

And we added new plantings to this area by the door. It used to have some sad little azaleas that never did much so we dug those up last year. Since we are so not gardeners, we had to wing it here. This area is mostly covered by a giant tree, so by summertime it's very shady. We picked out three light pink azaleas for the middle (contrasting the deep pink ones up against the house) and some hostas on the left. On the right side we picked out caladiums. I don't even know if I've spelled that right. Seriously, we are really not good gardeners.

But we work hard and John has a post-hole digger so now we have pretty plants out front. Now. I have some questions:
• Did we pick out good plants for our shady area?
• Is it too sparse? Or should we leave room for everything to fill out?
• Should we add anything else?
• How on earth should I take care of these plants? Just water them every other day or so?
• And finally, what to I do to the leftovers from our daffodils? Do I cut down the leaves or just leave them?

As always, I appreciate your comments and help. I really wish I knew what I was doing with plants.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sunflowers, anyone?

Just found this link and I thought I'd share: The Great Sunflower Project.

You can get a free pack of sunflower seeds and you can help them track urban bee populations. I know of two little girls who would love to plant some sunflowers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Okay, I thought of something.

Please, please help me with these flowers. I bought them at Lowe's about a month ago and put them in two hanging baskets on my porch. Now, I love these hanging baskets. I picked them out for Mother's Day one year. And when I'm in the kitchen I can see them. So I see them often. And I really love them.

You should know that I'm a terrible gardener. I'd like to be a skilled gardener -- someone who can walk into a yard and know exactly what to do to shape things up. But I am so not that person. I walk into my yard and go "huh?" I've mastered raking and general pruning of shrubs. But that is it.

I'm such a bad gardener that I can't even find the little tag for these plants. I think they are creeping phlox. But I could be completely wrong.

We started out strong together. I bought some Miracle Grow potting soil and planted them in the baskets. And I watered them every other day or so. I've noticed the water drains very quickly out the bottom. Which means the soil dries out quickly too. Now the plants seem to be losing blooms (the idea here was that the plants would fill out the baskets, not shrink) and there are some yellow leaves. Which I thought means overwatering. But the soil's dry. Which leads me to water them.

I don't think this is how it's supposed to go.

Of course, we have had tons of rainy, dreary weather. Maybe they just miss the sun? Maybe I jumped the gun and planted too early? Maybe I have no idea what I'm doing?

Maybe you know what you are doing and can advise me?