Boosting Curb Appeal With This Easy Terrace Plan

 Boosting Curb Appeal With This Easy Terrace Plan

Looking for another DIY way to boost your curb appeal in a weekend?  Try this method of terrace gardening to warm up the entrance to your house.

What You Need:

  • Shovels
  • Topsoil or Garden Soil
  • River Rocks, or a half palette of landscaping rock pieces
  • Mulch
  • 1 or more rolls of landscape fabric
  • Landscaping pins or sod staples
  • 7 varieties of either annuals, perennials or dwarf bushes (see my suggestions below!)

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101 Flower Arrangements; A Review

51EDZ54BABL. SS500  101 Flower Arrangements; A Review

Chase away your winter blues permanently this year by filling your home with creative arrangements made by you!  This beautifully illustrated resource and coffee table book is a must have for the DIY decorator.

101 Flower Arrangements: Stylish Home Ideas 101 Flower Arrangements; A Review is filled with creative ideas, step-by-step instructions, and lists of online floral suppliers. This book strives to teach you the basics of floral design, and then build your confidence in creating looks that are personal to you.

Whether you are ready to take on new and exciting plants, or just want to make the most of the flower bundles from Trader Joes, this book will teach you how to arrange beyond the vase.

Pick it up and Enjoy.

Build A Cold Frame For Winter Vegetables

IMG 2496 Build A Cold Frame For Winter Vegetables

Now is the perfect time to build your own cold frame greenhouse for the cold weather months, so you can grow your own veggies and salad green thoughout most of the year.  You don’t need a lot of know how, or space to create your own greenhouse in, and you can create a simple cold frame from treated lumber, or plywood from you local home improvement store.  Plans for a winter cold frame house to grow salad greens and veggies can be as simple as this plan below. 

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A Homemade Anti-Fungal Spray

IMG 2632 1024x768 A Homemade Anti Fungal Spray

I have an amazing espalier rosebush in my backyard this year that is setting records with the sheer amount of blooms on it.  Unfortunately it’s also suddenly covered in black spot fungus, and needs some major help right now.

Black spot is caused by a fungal infestation that occurs in wet locations, or humid places.  It can be triggered by late evening watering, or misting sprinklers, and it spreads rapidly on roses if it’s not caught right away and pruned out.  For bushes with major black spot problems a store-bought anti-fungal spray, or an application of horticultural oil can work adequately, but for the DIYers like myself, a home remedy will fix the problem and save you the gas and pocket money.

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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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My New DIY Front Door Wreath

img 21291 1024x768 My New DIY Front Door Wreath

I love making my own decor!  Not only is it cheaper than buying something pre-fabricated, but it’s much more personal, and means that my accent pieces can say more about my home in general.

This year I really wanted to make a wreath for my deep blue front door, and I wanted something that I could feel comfortable leaving out in the cold, without fear of anything breaking.  Since I wanted the wreath to have blue tones in it, and also make a pleasant statement to my guests (think cinnamon scents) as they walk through the door, I hit my local Michaels crafts store, and found just what I was looking for.

I bought two rolls of blue wired ribbon, large navy jingle bells, wooden 2-D snowflakes, a bag of cinnamon scented pine cones, and some shatterproof Christmas balls.  I like to use one full roll of ribbon for HUGE bows on my wreaths, and used a large part of the second roll for weaving around the wreath.   I hot glued the other decorations onto the wreath to make the placement of everything permanent, and hung it on the door with a giant suction cup hanger.

Here’s the final product!  It wafts a warm cinnamon scent around you as you open the front door, and looks really charming, and winter-y from the street.  Since the colors are blue and white, I may leave it up longer than some of my other Christmas decorations.

Happy Holidays!

img 2133 725x1024 My New DIY Front Door Wreath

DIY Rustic Stone Entry Path

img 1798 721x1023 DIY Rustic Stone Entry Path

I was the guest recently of a family who’s mountain getaway was adorned with this cute rustic entry pathway!

The winding path leads from the similar crushed stone driveway, but highlights the lodge’s natural surroundings by using rock remnants from the nearby mountains set deeply into the crushed rock bed.

How To Create This Look:

Rock pathways are easily created walkways that can be “One Weekend” DIY projects, and they look great in front of everything from weekend homes to your garden shed! To create this look choose two separate colored stone types, one a crushed stone, and the other a larger stepping stone or garden path stone type.

  1. Choose your location, and plot out the curvature you will build with either a turf grass paint, or a garden hose.
  2. Sketch out and measure your pathway.
  3. Level the area out with fill-dirt, top soil or sand, building the area up above the surrounding grass, or leaving level, simply ensuring that there are no low spots.
  4. Roll landscaping fabric across your path to inhibit plant growth, pinning it down around the edges with either lawn staples, or your larger stones. I tend to spread this fabric a little loosely in case I need to work some of the large stones into the ground a little to keep them level, and solid in the ground for foot traffic.
  5. Set your larger stones first on top of the fabric so you can arrange them in various sizes and shapes  across the pathway.
  6. Set the boundaries of your pathway with either large stone pieces or a firm edging material, to keep smaller stones from wandering into your lawn.
  7. Surround your large stones with the crushed rock in progressive sections. Make sure your large stones seem level as you pack the small rocks around them.
  8. Walk across the pathway when you are finished to compress the materials, and adjust as needed.

What To Do With “Pop-Ups”:

In the picture above there are two large stones in the foreground that have worked their way to the surface to become tripping hazards. A quick way to re-set these pieces  is to grab a shovel and scoop the crushed  from around them. Place the stones back where they came from.  If the ground had shifted, or like the stones in the picture, irregular shapes prevent the stones from laying flat, cut the landscape fabric underneath the area with your shovel, and dig out a little of the soil underneath to set the stones lower in your path. Once the stones are set in the soil and below the level line of the pathway move the crushed stone back.

img 1799 225x300 DIY Rustic Stone Entry Path

Where To Find Your Stone:

Check for specialty stone stores in your area, they often have showrooms and yards full of varieties of stone that will work with everything from outdoor pathways to polished kitchen counters.  Visiting the yards will give you an idea of the actual color of the stone for compairison, and the staff there will be happy to help you calculate the amount of stone you will need for your project if you bring your sketches and measurements in with you.  Make sure to ask a lot of questions, the staff should be able to provide you with tips, ideas, and photos of similar projects to help you make your choice.

A DIY Three-Tiered Planter

img 1767 768x1024 A DIY Three Tiered Planter

Here is a creative idea I came across this week that turns three plastic pots into an eye catching three-tiered planter.  This design is easily recreated with various sized planters you may already have at home, this model uses three shallow, wide-mouthed containers, with a section of PVC pipe, and some PVC glue.  Additional Terra Cotta spray paint is optional, but can really improve the appearance with your final product.

How To Use This Idea At Your Place:

  1. To follow this model, place the largest pot on your patio and fill it completely with soil.
  2. Choose PVC pipe with a wide diameter, and trim one piece of it to a length greater than 12 inches.  The section in our model was about 14 inches long, but can be greater in length to allow for taller plants in your middle planter.
  3. Place your medium sized pot on the soil of your base pot, and begin filling it with dirt.
  4. Find the center of your medium pot, and work the PVC section into it, while continuing to add soil to the pot, and to the middle of your “planted” PVC section. Place the rough end of your trimmed PVC section down in the dirt, leaving the smooth end for gluing.
  5. Fill the PVC section with dirt only to the soil line of the rest of the pot to stabilize the structure you are making.
  6. Using the PVC glue, coat the exposed lip of the PVC and center your empty top pot over it.
  7. Leave the structure to dry for 24 hours before touching or filling the top pot.
  8. Use a Terra Cotta spray paint to coat the outside of the PVC pipe, and to tie the Tiered Planter together visually.

One thing I like about this design is the separated containers. Annuals can be changed out regularly in only one level at a time, and the moment one layer of plants begins to fade you can substitute new flowers there right away for perfect long lasting color.  When completely filled and mature the planter looks like a solid cone of flowers, and it looks great on balconies and patios that are short on gardening space.

Your Thoughts: Have you tried a stacked design before in your garden?

How To: Humanely Capture Raccoons and Small Mammals With Tools You Already Have

raccoon 300x225 How To: Humanely Capture Raccoons and Small Mammals With Tools You Already Have

Last night I was sitting by a bedroom window, when a neighbor’s dog flushed a raccoon out of the garden, and straight up my front porch columns to the roof, passing me to duck into a nearby rooftop! Aside from my surprise at seeing an unexpected furry object come flying across my porch roof, I hadn’t realized that Raccoons were living in the house next door. While the animals are leaving my own home and vegetable patch alone for the time being, it never hurts to have a back-up plan in case the animals ever need to be removed from my property.

The folks over at the  All Pest Control website  have been writing great how-to articles to help homeowners with trapping nuisance animals with just the tools and supplies common to the average household.  Their step by step instructions for a “fool proof” way to trap raccoons is simple, and can be recreated in your own yard using just a trash can, some water, a board, and form of dangling bait. If  you are in need of a little raccoon assistance yourself, check out their manual on Home-made Raccoon Traps.  


Photo Courtesy of: Harlequeen

More DIY Deer Repelling Tips!

2676777225 8cdf152fc0 More DIY Deer Repelling Tips!It never hurts to have a few more trick of the trade in your arsenal when it comes to home remedy garden solutions!  Here are a few more DIY deer repelling tips this time from guest blogger Andy, an avid hunter and gardener, who’s rural backyard has taught him a thing or two about deer behavior.

Using powdered milk is a great trick for keeping deer off of one (or just a couple) plants but it can be difficult to keep up with because after a couple rains the powder milk is less effective. So here are a few more choices that might last a little longer or better suit your gardening needs. Each of my suggestions are based on past experience or things that I have heard talking to many people over the years on the subject.

  1. Use Hair Clippings:  My first suggestion for protecting small flower or vegetable gardens is similar to the powdered milk idea; human hair is one of the more popular methods second in line from the powdered milk. Deer smell humans and tend to get scared and leave that area. I have tried this method myself and it does work and can work very well for up to a month, this time frame will depend on the weather conditions and how much hair you use. I have been told by some that deer learn the scent of local humans after a while and are no longer fearful of that area and go about eating your plants.  The solution for this, and what I did from the get-go, is to use a decent amount of hair and change up who it comes from. Using hair from different humans is easy, all you have to do is go to your local barber shop or salon. They are normally more than willing to give you the hair for free which also makes this the cheapest fix for keeping deer away. Remember to put new hair out once every three to four weeks or as needed based on the weather to keep your garden deer free! A trick for keeping deer off of your larger bushes is simple, use the above methods but in order to make this work on bushes is to put some powdered milk around the front of the bushes or on the side that the deer commonly come from. After that you take small clumps of hair and tie them in the upper portions of the bushes, use thin twine and put them about every eighteen inches apart and at different heights. This has worked for me and other’s I know!
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