The Simple Life
After a winter like we've just had here in Northern Michigan,
everyone is ready for spring. We slosh around in our back yards,
peeking at anything green that is brave enough to poke it's head
above ground. We have bets about when that first daffodil will
bloom, and then the first tulip. Of course, the first brave pansy
is already blooming in my yard.
To someone who is starting out for the first time as a beginner
in the garden, here are some very necessary rules to plant in your
1. The best gardener you know once looked out into a plot of
ground and felt just as overwhelmed as you might just now. You will
make mistakes, right up until your last day of gardening. So do
they. The one thing they learned never give up!
2. Start Simple! Decide on one or two areas of your yard you'd
like to plop in a few flowers or veggies. Truth be told, you want
your yard to look like a beautiful garden yesterday. Unless there
is a gardening magic wand I don't know about, just keep it simple.
Take the front door. That is where you want people to see some
color. Look through some gardening books or magazines and imagine
your front door looking something like that.
3. Use your imagination! Don't just dig up a row along the
front of the house No! Gardening is a way of using your
imagination. Flowers and plants of all shapes and colors scream to
be planted but none of them want to be in a row. That's why they
are called beds. Let the edges curve. Let the walkways curve. Let
the flowers tumble over the edges of your patio. Think wild and
4. Start small! Rome wasn't built in a day, and your yard will
likely take years to grow and develop. Don't dig up more than you
can handle. Think about how much time you want to invest.
Container gardening usually takes more time with watering, because
plants can dry out faster. Hanging baskets often need to be watered
twice daily. Will you be able to keep up with that? If you work
full time, or have small children, please don't bite off more than
your hoe can chew!
So this week, just get some ideas and make some decisions. Do you
want veggies, or flowers, or a little of both? Just look for ideas
for your yard and next week we will explore more gardening ideas.
Great Idea from Becky:
Used carpet makes great weed guards and is also good for paths in
the garden or putting under rocks. Carpeting can be found hanging
out on curbs waiting for the trash (so it's free) you're keeping it
out of landfills by reusing it (so it's "green"). Carpet is fibrous
so water can get through but weeds have a hard time coming up
through it. We laid out our paths through the garden using used
curbside carpeting and it's worked wonderfully, even in the very
Thanks, Becky, and this works great in the vegetable and flower
garden! Start looking for some now. You might have a friend or
neighbor who is getting new carpet, or ask at a carpet store.
* * *
Inexpensive Body Cream
1 jar petroleum jelly (8 0z)
2 bottles baby lotion (15 oz)
2 jars Vitamin E cream
Wisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Soak various jars in
water to remove labels and store cream in jars, or even plastic
containers. Any pretty container with a top will do even baby
food jars, etc. You will have plenty for gifts. This cream smells
wonderful from the baby lotion. Experiment using other fragrant
lotions, as well. For dry cracked feet, rub on feet and sleep with
socks on, for a wonderful deep softening treatment.
* * *
Automatic Sock Sorter!
Save the rings from milk jugs. Keep socks together in the wash by
pushing a pair through the ring before washing!
* * *
You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same
time. ~~ M. Scott Peck
When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen,
you often learn something.~~Jared Sparks (1789-1866)
Keeping it Simple,