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She Plants A Vineyard

It is November, has anyone noticed? I do not have any gardening happening at the moment…at least not outside. But I am really excited to note that I have just recently acquired a Camellia Sinensis (Tea Plant). It is currently indoors in a pot until I figure out how to get it outside without freezing it, or until I find it thrives just fine indoors.

This past summer I saved so many seeds I will have to choose what I want to plant next year and what I can actually plant. But it will be quite fun. I am excited about that.

So, not much of an update since it is november, but I will keep you posted in the spring as to which plants come back and which ones were lost to the cold.

Related Posts:
Watching Things Grow
Wednesday Web Sitings
Plant An App And Watch It Grow
Edible Landscaping

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Saving Christmas

This is the perfect time of year to be discussing saving money. We are heading into the holidays. Obviously one big way to save is to take advantage of sales such as Black Friday. Another option is to save some money after Christmas and use that to stock up for next year on things (not necessarily gifts but decor or other items that go on a really good clearance). This is how I have found a majority of my decorations.

But what I really want to address is the homemade gift. One year for Christmas my parents decided to make a memory. We didn’t do regular gifts that year. We could only give one gift to each person in the family and we had to make that gift ourselves. I can to this day name every single gift given and received that year. Why? Because they held much more meaning than the gifts that we thought we wanted.

Because I work at church we have a lot of volunteers that help us and I like to do a little something for those that I work closely with. Over the past several years I have started doing more homemade items.

Note of caution, be sure to price out your DIY items per person and make sure that you aren’t losing money in this. Include how much the item itself costs to make as well as if you need to put it in a container.

Last year I gave out jars of homemade laundry soap. This year…well I can’t share that, but it will be super easy and a big hit!

Strangely enough, when it comes to Christmas cards, it is actually becoming cheaper to do photo cards. These can also be much more meaningful. I would suggest ordering those soon so that you don’t end up with a last minute holiday stress!

So those are a few tips. You know what you can and can’t do but keep in mind if you are doing to do homemade gifts you should start soon!!!

Related Posts:
Profitable Savings
Wednesday Web Sitings

Edible Landscaping

There is a whole world of folks out there who practice something called edible landscaping. The idea is that you plant things you can eat. If you have ever been to Disneyland you might have noticed the lettuce that they grow everywhere as decor.

There are so many plants that are not only beautiful but edible. Quite a lot of herbs that can be used as tea and many vegetables have a beauty all their own! For green leafy look go for lettuce or kale. For the rich colors add some purple eggplant or snapdragons. There are multitudes of edible flowers and so many vegetables are actually pretty when they grow (basil is not only beautiful but releases a strong fragrance that is very pleasant).

Disclaimer: Of course I have to say it, make sure before you eat a plant that it is safe for consumption. There are many resources online and you can also check with your local nursery for more information. Be sure to check several sources as there are many plants (like Jasmine) that have some edible and some non-edible varieties. When in doubt, don’t eat it.

Here are some photos from my garden. I do practice edible landscaping and with the exception of one plant that I am not certain about, everything has some sort of culinary quality.

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Basil really is a beautiful plant and so much of the plant is useful! The leaves are for cooking, the flowers can be steeped for tea (the leaves as well), and the seeds inside the flowers can be stored for future plantings.

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You don’t often hear “what a beautiful tomato plant” but they really are quite lovely. The red and green colors compliment and, properly supported, it is a nice large plant that adds lots of height to your landscape.

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Roses are always a lovely addition and the petals are edible as well as the rose hips (the bud), when left on the plant they will develop into a fruit that can be used to make jams, jellies, teas, etc.

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Thyme is a great ground cover and is easily trimmed and dried for use all year long. It also is a great with some lemon balm as tea.

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Lemon Balm is also a great herb for tea (do you see a running theme here? I really like tea). It is another easily trimmed and dried for future use. It also stores well in the fridge, just put in a zip lock with some air and a bit of water and it will last you for quite a while.

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Lavender is of course beautiful and has quite a lot of uses. Even if you aren’t ready to eat it you can always just rub some on your wrists for a stress reliever.

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Bell pepper plants are quite pretty with their broad green leaves. Once the peppers start turning color it just adds more beauty to the plant.

Related Posts:
Watching Things Grow

Wednesday Web Sitings

Plant An App And Watch It Grow

Plant An App And Watching It Grow

There’s an app for that! Believe it or not I have several gardening apps. Yes…gardening apps. At this point I have yet to find the one app that I love but the following are still useful.

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Tomato Match is a good tool for finding different tomato varieties for your different purposes. My only negative would be that I could find some tomatoes on there but not all of the ones in my garden. But this is also understandable as there are quite a lot of varieties. It would be great if they added the ability to add personal notes or keep track of which ones you have in your own garden. Other tips such as saving seeds or recipes would be nice as well.

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This app is a nice one for giving reminders of when to fertilize, weed, plant, etc. I do like this app. But again it has a very limited database. It is quite useful for newer gardeners however as it has a lot of information about each plant that is in the database.

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This app is part of one of my favorite Gardening Supply Companies. It is very useful with lots of tips and tricks.

I am still looking for a good garden mapper where I can notate where my plants are and what their names are. If I knew how to write apps I would create one that did it all!

Related Posts:
Watching Things Grow

Wednesday Web Sitings

Edible Landscaping

Wednesday Web Sitings

There is so much information out there for planting and growing things, be it from seed or seedling, indoors or outdoors, edible or pretty. However the first thing you might need to know is what zone you are in. There are several different zoning systems in the United States. I typically use the USDA zoning for no other reason than that is what my dad uses. I am familiar with it and so I stick with what I know. Here are some sites for finding out your zone:

USDA Plant Hardiness Map
Climate Zones
A Good Site For Alternatives To USDA

Granted I am posting this in a season where there is not much planting going on but depending on the year and the location you might still be able to squeeze in a few plants before the snow flies (if snow flies in your area). Most gardening calendars are based on zone and you can search for gardening calendar and your zone number to find them. But the following is a good resource for all zones:

Gardener’s Almanac

Another thing you can do at this time of year is get seeds for spring. For example, squash is all over the grocery store right now. I buy several types, clean the seeds out, lay them out to dry on a paper towel and then eat the squash. Once the seeds are dry (about a week or so) I put them in a paper bag, write the name of the squash, the year, and what I liked about the squash or a good recipe on the bag. This way in the spring I am all set to plant.

Baked Squashes And Pumpkins And How To Save The Seeds
How To Save Seeds
Seed Sanctuary

Granted you might be reading this at a time of year that gardening is in full swing. If that is the case then enjoy! Explore! Be brave! Try things out, if it doesn’t work then try something different (unlike how I keep planting those sunflowers in the same exact spot!).

Related Posts:
Watching Things Grow

Plant An App And Watch It Grow

Edible Landscaping

Watching Things Grow

She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:16

I can’t say that I have a green thumb, though things have grown that I have planted. But I still can’t say that I have a green thumb because of several things. The first is that God does the growing…really, all I do is stick a seed in the ground and put some water on it. The second reason I can’t claim any glory in this is that all of my planting is trial and error. Everyone said my side yard would not get enough sunlight, but I planted there anyway because it was going to make a cute garden area. So I go with cute instead of practical, and somehow it worked. No matter how many years in a row that I try to grow sunflowers I can’t get them to grow. Why? Because I really really want them to grow in the back yard along the fence. They obviously aren’t getting what they need there because they never make it. See…trial and error.

But I do love my garden. I so enjoy the fruits of my labors and I really enjoy the blessings of watching what God can do!

So join me this week as we explore some of the tips and tricks that I have learned along the way as an amateur gardener.

Related Posts:
Wednesday Web Sitings

Plant An App And Watch It Grow

Edible Landscaping

She Stretches Her Hand To The Distaff

She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
Proverbs 31:19

This is an area that I enjoy. All the DIY stuff is fun to me…for the most part. Every year for Christmas I get more and more creative with making instead of buying gifts (Last year I gave out laundry soap and dried apples, and they were both a huge hit!). I am excited and looking forward to Christmas this year. I like to give gifts that are helpful and will give others the tools they need to make their lives simpler and more economical.

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DIY Week

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What Started It All

What Do You Need

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