Category Archives: garden (gardening info and eco-friendly project ideas)

Slugs In Your Garden? Use Beer Cans To Lure Slugs Before Recycling

Even the beer residue left in a can or bottle need not be wasted. In the evening, if you have an “empty” beer can or 2 or 3, try to remember to place them in your vegetable garden or among your landscape plants like hosta (slugs love to eat your hosta). During the night, slugs will go inside lured by the beer. In the morning, remove the cans from your garden. I don’t even waste the slugs because I feed them to my chickens. After shaking the slugs out, I rinse out the cans or bottles and put them in the recycle bin.

This Super -size slug was found outside my vegetable garden. Thankfully! Do you see the slime?! Check out the breathing pore.

C. Bennett wrote to let us know what kind of slug was in the above picture.

“It’s a leopard slug. Limax maximus to be precise…

I think their kinda pretty. And they eat other slugs!”

Bringing The Garden Indoors: White Hydrangea Flowers

Happenings At Our House: July

This morning when I was outside checking for squash and zucchini to harvest, I took time to cut some flowers off my hydrangea bush nearby. This hydrangea that I planted a year or so ago is looking great. No shortage of blooms on it. I can’t locate the tag I got with it but I think I’ve identified it as Hydrangea paniculata. It is so nice to gather a bouquet of flowers that are as clean and fresh as a summer’s day. Corny but true. When landscaping, don’t overlook white flowering plants or underestimate the beauty they add.

Nature’s Treasures, Collect Responsibly

Collecting nature’s treasures such as wildflowers, butterflies, and seashells can be both fun and educational. However, sometimes collecting can hurt the very species that we admire most. Use good moral judgment when collecting. Being conservative may be sufficient, but in some cases it is better to take only pictures. A rare item can be more attractive, but if it is a living organism, removal can be environmentally harmful. Solution, take digital photos!

Wildflowers.
Do you love wildflowers? I do. But did you know that many species are threatened or endangered? If you don’t know which flowers are safe to take, better to collect photos not flora. Also, teach children not to pick any plant in public areas. Explain to them the cumulative effects of everyone picking just one flower at frequently visited places. Remember that these public spaces are something we all share. So every plant, flower, and butterfly is something that belongs to us all.


Photo of Trillium flower I took in Virginia.
Trillium flowers are unique. Picking the flower of a trillium plant removes its only leaves. The plant needs these leaves to make its food and it will be left seriously weakened. Collect photos not flora.

Seashells.
Collecting seashells at the seashore is a wonderful pastime. It never gets old. When collecting specimens remember to never take shells that belong to a living creature: obviously. In addition, never strip the area of shells as they are future homes for hermit crabs and other critters. Hermit crabs are part of the food chain. Having said that, enjoy gathering all the “treasures” you can find but when it is time to leave, pick only your favorites. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but let your conscience be your guide in choosing what to keep. And why not be the first to have a photo collection of shells?


Here is some of the “loot” we collected one day at the beach. When it was time to go home, we picked out our favorites and put the rest back.
Want to know how we made this fun collecting bucket? Fun In The Making shows you how. http://http://www.funinthemaking.net/2008/06/26/recycle-your-plastic-laundry-detergent-bottles-into-cool-beach-buckets-and-scoops/

Butterflies.
You could use a net to capture butterflies as they frequent the flowers around your yard, but the greatest care must be taken to prevent injury and they should be promptly released after a close-up look. Alternatively, photos are a harmless way of collecting. The challenge of photographing different butterflies may become a passion of yours resulting in many peaceful hours spent in lovely gardens. Sounds good to me!


My kids and I raised caterpillars and this is the butterfly that one transformed into. We kept this beautiful butterfly just long enough to snap a few pictures. Gather photos not fauna.

Door Knob Garden Hose Guide

I made several hose guides to keep our garden hose from dragging over easily damaged plants. There are a few places around my yard such as along the borders between the grass and the flower beds or vegetable garden plots that needed protection from my garden hose. These simple to make hose guides really do a good job.

How- to: I used several metal door knobs that came from old doors that were burned. I plucked them out of a pile of ashes. You could achieve an entirely different look if you painted them. Either way, would be cute and functional. Porcelain door knobs are another option. My doorknobs had a square hole at the bottom that I put a short square-ended piece of metal into; about 8 inches long. I couldn’t find anything around to use so I bought some at my local hardware store. Bring your door knob along so you can get something that fits best. Then push them in the ground where needed.

Egg Heads with Grass Hair

These fun to make Egg Heads were done by my kids. They liked making them so much, they went on to make many more creative characters.

How to: The next time you are making scrambled eggs, save the shell. The fastest way to get the insides out is to give the side of the top a whack with a knife (a butter knife will do) and then give the other side a whack. The idea is to make a big hole in the top. Next draw on the face; make funny, cute, and/or wacky characters. Fill with potting soil and sprinkle on grass seeds. I used Rye grass seeds. Add water and place on a windowsill. Next time I’m going to dye the egg purple and make an adorable green-haired monster with one eye and wings- a one-eyed, one horn, flying purple people eater!