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Pot Toppers!

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Have you ever heard of "pottery toppers"?  Well, we may have just made it up but we think it's a easy and creative way to top your garden planters and containers.  No only does it add a decorative touch but it also serves a great purpose.
   
Let's start from the beginning.  When you plant directly in a garden container you finish with a good amount of top soil exposed.  This is not a bad thing. We want you to give your potted plants as much soil as possible so that they can grow and not be crowed.  However, in harsh weather conditions that exposed soil can cause some major damaged to plants and plant root systems.  Sometimes making them even fatal.
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What you want to do is provide that exposed soil & plant roots to protection.  Something to keep the water off in case of freezing temperatures, or a layer to provide warmth.  Mulch has been used for generations to keep plants protected during the winter months. We suggest using something a bit more decorative.  Maybe add color with pool balls, Christmas ornaments, filbert nuts, acorns, pine cones, or like the photos show, colorful and fragrant fruit.  Get creative!  Your pots will look fantastic and your plants will be happy for the added protection.
 
Read more..... Use evergreens to combat winter starkness!
Read more..... Houseplants tips & tricks.


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the latest indoor gardening trend.

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The recent trend we are seeing right now are simple white displays that calm the mind and lift the spirits.  Grouping neutral color pots like white, black, grey, & creme, in front of a window creates a "indoor flower bed" that distracts from the dull, lifeless scene of winter!  When you stick to a serene, all white pallet it instantly adds unity to the floral arrangements you plant in them.

The key to creating a multi-style container display is to plant them with plants that require similar light requirements.  Azaleas, campanula, amaryllis, orchid and pilea glauca all thrive in moderate to bright indirect light.  Then consider the location of where you group the pots.  For the most part vibrant blooms like southern facing windows.  
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Try to arrange each pot no more than 4 inches away from its neighbor. This makes the air circulation around each pot more humid.  That's huge for holiday potted plants that often tropical in origin and require high humidity. 
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For the most cohesive pottery display, go with vibrant white, and fill with colorful foliage.  Bright green plants, colorful blooms like amaryllis, can always balance out the display by adding color & depth.  Next go for visual texture by adding containers of different height.  Elevate pots with saucers if necessary.  Mix different shapes like rectangles, ovals & rounds.
 
Read more..... Moving houseplants.
Read more..... Bulbs beautiful & easy!

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Post Last Updated: 1/25/2015 12:45:45 PM 
 
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Seed saving from your garden.

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At one time or another you are going to consider that you may want to save your own seeds to plant & pot with next season.  The feeling of growing beautiful & healthy plants from seeds that you have collected from your own collection of plants.  And, watching a seed germinate, become a seedling, and then mature give you such joy & satisfication.  It's literally witnessing in the miracle of life!
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After a few seasons you will find that many of the potted plants you have with self-seed, even when you would prefer they not.  The two types of seed are open pollinated and hybrids.  Hybrid seed is created by cross pollinating two varieties.  The advantages include uniformity of size and longer life. The pollinated seeds have better germination rates and resistance to pests.
 
 472-Egg-Shell-SeedsBy saving your own seeds you will save a ton of money.  Especially if you are growing fruits & vegetables.  Whatever you decide make sure you leave the harvesting of seeds until they are absolutely mature.  The best time to harvest is mid morning before the sun becomes hot. Collect the seeds and make sure they are completely dry.  You can hang larger seeds in panty hose and let them air dry.  The best way to store them is using paper bags.  Be sure to label the variety and when you collected them.  Store in cool dark place.
 
When you are ready to propagate the seeds for planting in your garden 473-Seeds-In-Trays planters try these steps.  Things to consider are moisture, warmth, air and light.  Smaller seeds can be sowed in small containers.  Shallow trays, mini clay pots, empty egg shells, and good potting mix.  Cover and water lightly or mist spray.  Keep  moist till germinate.  Water till plants become stronger and can be transplanted.  Don't give up some seeds take longer than others.  Larger seeds can be planted directly into your selected garden containers.
 
All in all, growing your own food in containers by saving the seed yourself is very rewarding.  It's inexpensive and healthy.  Follow the directions above and enjoy the process. Isn't that what this is all about anyway?
 
Read more.....Winter care for houseplants.
Read more.....Evaporate Stress with Potted Tropicals

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Post Last Updated: 1/24/2015 2:48:20 PM 
 
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De-stress your life with gardening!

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Many of us garden because we want to grow our own fruits & veggies.  An attractive landscape or curb appeal may be the goal of others.  Gardening in pottery, can also be therapeutic.  People that garden relax the mind, body and spirit.  Actually it's not the gardening that's relaxing, but the way we approach it.
 
 470-Lady-In-GardenFocusing on your gardening task is the key to relieving stress.  It's not the finish line you are racing towards but the process of getting there that's important.  Selecting the right planter, taking into account the size, color & shape.  Then making sure you have the correct potting soil. This is not the time or place to use dirt from the ground.  Take an afternoon and stroll thru the garden center looking for just the right plant materials.  Are you into lush deep emerald green plants & bushes. Or, are you drawn to the colorful fall plants like mums & heuchera.  Verbena has always been one of  my favorites because it fills a large plant in no time with color flowers and deep green leaves.  Oxalis and decorative cabbage & kale are perfect this time of year.
 
After gathering all your materials together, it's time to quiet your mind and tune out 469-Cabbage the noise.  Take a deep breathe and feel the cool air rush around you.  Take your pottery of choice and fill the bottom with river rock or pot filler.  Hand shovelfulls of deep dark & rich potting mix.  Smell the clean soil!  Remove your plants from the nursery containers and notice their root systems.  Do they need a gentle separating?  Loosen them up so they have room to grow and place them in a decorative fashion inside the pottery.  Top of the plants with more soil and a plant topper.  Use pot shards, glass beads, pine cones, silver balls.  Anything that calls out to you.
 
Finally, clean up, step back and admire what you have just created.  Take the time to really look peacefully and carefully.  From this day forward you get to enjoy looking at and smelling your potted containers. Invite friends onto your porch or grandkids into the garden.  Relax, and enjoy.  You deserve it!
 
Read more.....Gardening under glass.
Read more.....Kale in containers.


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Post Last Updated: 1/24/2015 2:49:21 PM 
 
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Vertical Gardening & More....

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What is vertical gardening?  I am sure by now you have all heard of vertical gardening and maybe wondering what that could possibly mean.  Well, it's as simple as growing plants vertical, or upside down in a planter or container, instead of growing them side by side.
 
You can pretty much grow anything you want in a vertical garden.  Herbs, flowers, fruits and most vegetables all work with great success.  Why would you want to try this type of planting method? Well, if you live in a small house or apartment where there isn't much space to spread out.  Maybe you have a small patio on a deck where you would like to try your hand.f

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