For Kids: Rearing Praying Mantis Young For Your Yard

5170 200B For Kids: Rearing Praying Mantis Young For Your Yard 5170 200 For Kids: Rearing Praying Mantis Young For Your Yard

If you’ve ever been curious about Praying Mantids and want to begin importing some to your yard, or if you just want to teach your child about the life cycle of insects, this is a great find!  These Praying Mantis Pagoda‘s come with a viable egg case which can be safely kept in the house to hatch your own Mantis young.  Simply follow the directions, and wait for the young to hatch, all within view!   The juveniles need to be placed outdoors soon after hatching to prevent cannibalism (one or two days after hatching) and make great assets in the garden as pest hunters extraordinaire.

The Pagoda and egg case set together cost 20 dollars, and are available in a set only from January through March. In cold climates where temperatures do not rise above 50 degrees regularly until March or April, make sure to order your case in the month of March to give your insects the best chance of survival when you move them outdoors. Mantids in the wild don’t wake up from hibernation to hatch until warmer weather, timed perfectly for when their food supply comes out. Frosty weather may kill any young placed out too early, so take care to set your Praying Mantis’ up for success outdoors.

Check it out online!

(Another great use for this pagoda is as a temporary way-station for those summer lightening bugs, and it can collapse flat for easy storage in between!)

The Perfect Shrub For DIY Bouquets & Arrangements

Bouquet The Perfect Shrub For DIY Bouquets & Arrangements

If you are like me, the winter months can become frustrating with the lack of floral fodder from the garden close at hand to create indoor arrangements. Craft stores, florists, and even your local grocery store have plenty of floral supplies to help you fill the house with blooms, but for the true DIYer who enjoys building their own centerpieces, the right floral accent to make your designs stand out is as close as your local garden center. Why not save some money in the long term, and plant the perfect “ting” alternative in your very own yard?

There is a great plant on the market that has become a favorite in the florist industry for winter weddings and crafts. It is easy to grow, and available a many garden centers now across the country. This fabulous find is Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.

Decorator Designs For Every Season:

  • Spring: Mix curly stems into a tall vase of Daffodils, and hang Easter eggs and neatly strung spring cut-outs from the boughs.
  • Summer: Prune smaller branches off the shrub, pick the leaves off, and use the twigs in place of ‘ting’
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Fall/Autumn Container Garden Design Idea: Scarecrow #002

fall pots 2 003 225x300 Fall/Autumn Container Garden Design Idea: Scarecrow #002For the black-thumbed, or uber creative types, here is another idea for you to adapt while creating your own welcoming harvest displays, or container designs.

I’ve said it before, but the fall is my favorite season, and I try and celebrate that fact uniquely in each artificial pot design I create. One thing I have learned, is that in order to create a visually believable decoration for a given season you don’t have to  bind yourself strictly to the artificial flowers and decorations that would naturally be in bloom, or the most appropriate at that specific time. For instance, a harvest themed container design like this may hold Sunflowers, Mums, and spring wildflowers in it that would never bloom at the same time in the real world- let alone all be looking perky for your Thanksgiving Dinner guests!  The key to making a variety of  flowers work together in your design is in deciding on a color palette before you begin, and choosing flowers, leaves, and accents that work together well in shape and visual feel.

In this design, the warm tones of the light orange sunflowers, work with the red tones in the grasses, mums, and autumn leaves in the pot.  I chose to use warm tones of brown, and purple to accent this, tying the harvest theme together. Since all of these flowers are associated with “informal” flower arrangements (as opposed to the formality of rose arrangements), they work well together, when grounded with overtly fall accents like the scarecrow, and the harvest leaf garland covering the dirt. I also chose to include a simple (and inexpensive) unfinished birdhouse from Michaels Crafts into this design to add a country feel to it!

I’m happy with this design! Stay tuned for more fall ideas coming soon!


Fall/Autumn Container Garden Design Idea: Scarecrow #001

fall pots 2007 005 184x300 Fall/Autumn Container Garden Design Idea: Scarecrow #001Live plants aren’t the only things that will look great in your containers for the fall months! There are many clever ways that you can adapt decorations into your pots, to fill it in, or enhance the look of your favorite fall flowers.

I try and mix it up from year to year, so the multitude of container gardens I maintain during the summer each have a completely new look for the fall. I often mix mediums, with live plants, miniature hay bales, gourds, and pumpkins, or various designs including weather-safe decorations. My goal is to make a new design for each and every pot that I decorate.

For this container idea, I wanted to create a scarecrow.  I opted for artificial flowers, and accessories. You can create this look with seasonal decorations from a craft store like Michaels Crafts.  The centerpiece I used is a quirky fall directional stake, with a painted slate door decoration propped up against it. To complete the harvest theme, I planted a mum in the back, with artificial wheat, apples, and “fall pics” (seasonal clusters of decorations on a floral wrapped wire base) to fill in around the side. I chose to opt out of dried flowers, and dried wheat heads for this location, since this design is in a location open to wind and rain, and the dried flowers rot quickly in those conditions.

Your Thoughts: Do you mix mediums in your seasonal pots?  Would you enjoy seeing more of this type of mixed design featured here at greengardenista?moz screenshot Fall/Autumn Container Garden Design Idea: Scarecrow #001