Jack In The Pulpit

{Surprise}

It’s amazing what surprises you’ll see when you’re looking for them!

Needing a little break from work, I decided to take a walk down one of our woodland paths. I always expect to find some little treasure, so I keep my eyes open for them. I was inspecting the progress of the lilies of the valley in front of an old stone wall, when right there in front of me, my eyes caught this gorgeous green & purple “Jack in the pulpit”! I’ve never seen them in our forest before, and I was definitely not expecting to find one so beautiful!

Jack In The Pulpit

Native Americans gathered the fleshy taproots, dried them to eliminate the poisonous qualities, & then used them as a vegetable. I’m not big on poison, so I think I’ll just stick to enjoying their beauty 😉

Jack In The Pulpit

I plan to keep my eyes open for the seed pods in the fall, so I can plant them & expect to see many more covering our woodland floor!

Take a few minutes for yourself today… you never know what surprises await!

Living Wreath – How to make a living wreath with succulents

As I was browsing around my favorite local garden center, I spied a brand new shipment of BEAUTIFUL succulents that had just arrived! (I try to stop in often so I can jump on any unadvertised sales, and to see what’s new.)

Well… as I was taking in the beauty and intricacies of each little plant and trying to find a way that I could use them in my home decor, I came to the conclusion that it is time for me to try my hand at creating my own living wreath!

Because you build a living wreath out of different cuttings and not whole plants, it won’t be extremely expensive to create. I will be very careful to buy only those plants that will produce several cuttings for me to work with, which will also help to keep my costs at a minimum.

The types of plants, shapes, colors and sizes that you choose to work with are all up to you & your particular tastes, so you will be able to create something that you will truly love & enjoy for years to come!

Soon, as your living wreath begins to grow, you will be able to take cuttings, which you can then share with a friend, or use to create new wreaths to give away as gifts!

Here are a few pictures to help give you some ideas on how to create your own living wreath.

living wreath

succulent living wreath

living wreath 2

succulent wreath 2

Video – How to make a living wreath using succulents


What is your biggest question about creating your own living wreath? Post it in the comments below, and we will try to answer it for you!

Free Grape Vines for Your Garden Arbor

Grape Vines on a Garden Arbor










“Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.”
Song of Solomon 7:12







There is something so romantic about a vine that is dripping with clusters of ripe grapes! Sight, smell, taste, thought, texture… somehow, all of our senses become involved when we come in contact with this beautiful vine!

My husband & I were out for an evening walk through our little Victorian Village on a chilly Autumn evening, minding our own business, when suddenly… the amazing sweet fragrance of ripe concord grapes started wafting around our heads, almost as if they were tantalizing us to come & find them! Following the sweet fragrance (one that reminded me of those yummy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a hot summer afternoon), we finally came upon the vine. I’m almost sure that God blessed the grape vine with it’s heady fragrance, just so it could beckon passersby, such as ourselves, to come & enjoy it’s splendor!

Words can’t describe the beauty of the leaves, that were now dressed in their Autumn finest. Deep reds, chocolate brown, purple, and orange are just a few shades of the colorful mix. Nor can they describe the beauty of the vine itself, twisting and turning, and winding around everything in it’s path, seemingly taking ownership of everything this side of the garden. The brown splintered bark and corkscrew shaped tendrils, were reminiscent of the beautiful wreath that hangs in my cottage welcoming our guests. But sweetest of all, were the clusters of deep purple grapes that seemed to be layered at every twist and turn of the vine.

There’s nothing quite so romantic as a cottage garden path covered in vines that are dripping with grapes to welcome every guest into your home. And, contrary to what you might think, these precious vines are very easy to grow!

Here’s a way that you can have your own vines to dress your garden free of charge!

Perhaps you have a friend, or friendly neighbor, that will allow you to use this method with their vines this fall. If not, you could put out a request on one of your favorite lists such as; craigslist.com, gardenweb.com, freecycle.org, etc. I’m sure that you will be able to find a willing gardening partner!

Start a new grape vine from an old one

In late autumn (you can usually tell the right time, because it is no longer necessary to mow the grass), take a section of a grape vine & bend it down so it can touch the ground. With a fork or other small gardening tool, lightly rake up the soil a bit to make sure that the vine will be able to root properly. Holding the vine down to the ground, brush some of the soil on top of the vine. Then, use a small stone or branch to hold the vine in place. Be sure not to use something heavy enough to smash the vine, but just heavy enough to keep it from becoming dislodged. For now, that’s all you need to do. Then, come early spring, clip the section of vine from where it is attached to the main branch. Now, all that’s left to do is… plant your new grape vine in your cottage garden. You can continue to use this multiplying technique using your new plant, and in a few years, you could have a whole vineyard!

* To make more than one plant at a time, simply bend a longer section of vine down to the ground, weight it down to the soil in several places. Then, cut each section apart in the spring.

Now… it’s time for you to go out, take a walk, and have the sweet fragrance of the vine come and find you 😉

Flowers for the Cottage Garden

This week I made a stop at my local Lowe’s garden center. I try to stop in frequently throughout the summer, because there are always so many unadvertised specials to be found! While I was there this week, I overheard a sales person talking with a customer, trying to explain the over abundance of plant material. She said – they have a contract with a large wholesaler, and they receive a certain number of plants whether they need them or not. This usually means that they have way to many plants & need to mark them down – or else they will risk loosing the plants due to lack of proper space & care.

There is almost always a rack of plant mark downs when I stop in. I routinely find deals of 50-% – 75% off!

I am so thrilled with my latest finds!

This is an evergreen ground cover called: Lithodora – Grace Ward
Lithodora Ground Cover

It flowers in May & June, only gets approx 6″ high, and is one of the best blue flowering ground covers available!

This little beauty is a wonderful option for; ground covers, rock gardens, spilling over walls, hanging baskets, or edging your flower garden borders. I think this plant would look wonderful with the white version of this plant which is called “‘White Swan”. I think I might also mix mine with some ajuga.

I was VERY excited to find this Longwood Wisteria plant with a few flowers already on it, especially when some types of wisteria plants can take up to 7-10 years to bloom!
Wisteria - Purple Longwood

They like to grow in sun or partial shade, and can reach 20 – 30 feet tall! It will grow in zones 5-9, and I was surprised to find out that this particular wisteria is a US native! Although this plant blooms from late spring to early summer, there are also reports of this beauty showing off again right through September!

Gardening – Fill Your Cottage Gardens With Free Plants!

Foxglove in the Cottage Garden

I love to dream – and one of the things that I love to dream about is my cottage garden. I pull out back issues of my favorite magazines, gardening books, and seed catalogues to add to the plethora of ideas already stored in my mind’s eye. There is one small problem however. When you start shopping at the garden centers & from all of the plant catalogues, you start to see a growing trend – all of these beautiful plants add up to lots of money!

I need to be honest with you for a second. You see, I’m not really good at waiting several years to add a plant here & a plant there to my garden. I’m the kind of person who sees something beautiful, then tries to find a way to make it happen in my own garden. Sometimes the ideas work out wonderfully, and sometimes I learn a lesson from the whole process. In any case, my garden is always better because of it.

We all live such busy lives, and we do our best to have our obligations taken care of. Sometimes, despite all of our work & effort, we just don’t have the extra amount of money that it would take to have the garden of our dreams. I know that feeling personally, and that’s why I wanted to take this time to share with you some of the ideas that I have discovered for finding free plants over the years. Soon, with a little bit of creative thinking, you’ll have to start giving plants away due to lack of any more space in your garden!

I’ve posted the full article in my article bank due to length – read it here:

Gardening – Fill Your Cottage Gardens With Free Plants!