24 April 2014
23 April 2014
Trends come and go fairly quickly in the fashion and design worlds, but in gardening, they are a bit more slow and steady. A new idea will emerge, be tested with the plodding practicalities of the gardener and fail or thrive. It is as simple as that. If you crave for a consumerist society that is a bit less hectic, take up gardening. We welcome you.
Today I am going to introduce you to a few trends that have passed the test of many gardening hands and a few that are just starting to pick up speed. Test out a few yourself, but by all means, just grow something. Green up your space, whether it be a tiny cell of an apartment, a lovely little bungalow or standard suburban tract home. There IS a plant (or ten! twenty!) for you!
**Some supplies below have been provided to A Nest for All Seasons for review purposes.
1. Trash Pots
2. Hydroponics and Mason JarsYes, the two trends have met and we now have the hydroponic mason jar. Modern Sprout is a kickstarter business that makes adorable little jars like the one below, but also plug-in countertop hydroponic gardens -- See them RIGHT HERE<<<
3. Herb Salts, Sugars and Oils for CampersYes, you read that correctly, for campers. I am not a camper, but recently I have been reading up on camping techniques, particularly when it comes to plants and food. Why? Don't ask -- a pinterest rabbithole, you know? So anyway, camping food can be REALLY bland. Understandable, yes? Campers don't want to pack bottles of herbs and spices to season their food. Keep those packs light! Come eating time though, those campers crave a little flavor.
Well, chefs and mamas have been making herbed salts, sugars and oils for a long time, but now the campers are picking up on the benefits. Instead of tasteless dry parsley, they can now have that parsley IN their olive oil, nicely hydrated and the flavor infused through the oil. Simply chop up your favorite herbs from the garden and let them infuse your salts, sugars or oils with flavor for a few weeks. Simple, safe and flavorful.
4. Dish Gardens and Terrariums are still HOT HOT HOT
Small Terrarium available from Longfield Gardens
5. Baker's Twine Meets Garden TwineBaker's twine has been trendy for awhile now in craft circles and now it is getting THICKER. Now I am not going to be using this pretty, expensive twine for all my garden staking, but I WILL be using it where it is visible in the garden, you betcha!
6. Plant Stakes
7. MossMoss is both loved and hated in gardening circles. Actually, I would say it is fairly hated in gardening circles, but everyone else loves it. There is something romantic and Irish about little stands of moss, as if fairies had decided to make camp under the pin trees and grew moss colonies to live amongst. The gardener might see it as a weed encroaching upon her well planned perennial garden. I am firmly in the fairy camp on this one. I love moss and encourage it to grow wherever it may. In fact, I transplant moss to my dish gardens and sometimes in my garden garden. Here is my "sliding" technique.
Other trends in the garden world? Those hanging air plants, pallet gardens, cabbage as decorative plantings in fall - EH -- I am so over all of them. I will take my good old moss, peonies and antique roses, thank you very much! Have you noticed any garden trends picking up steam lately? I love a great new garden product that makes our work easier and our plants stronger!
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22 April 2014
While road trips and vacation travel CAN be interesting, fun and even relaxing, more often than not, they are torture. Kids can be difficult to manage on a long car ride as they (understandably!) get tired, bored and cranky. While snacks and electronics help, sometimes you just need something fresh and new to capture their attention. Here is what you might need (though you can make lots of substitutions with what you already have on hand).
- Mod Podge
- Coffee Can
- Tissue Paper
- Cute Ribbon (I used this yellow chevron)
- Felt Car to decorate can - optional (only 57 cents!)
- Little Wooden Toys or Stuffed Animald (I used this $1.17 wooden lizard and dino)
The basic idea is to make basic old worksheet papers new again for your kids. If you simply through a workbook into the car for the trip, your kiddo might just plow through the worksheets, skip half of them and haphazardly complete them.
See that Sherlock Holmes workbook? It was found at a thrift store for a quarter and is the perfect book for this setup. We talked about detectives and mysteries the week before leading up to the "coffee can reveal". You can use any worksheet book that has a theme or a story to it. Just try to find something that can have a beginning and an end. This is how the mystery begins...
Once you have all the rolls made, you need a "character" or two to give this activity a little life! I used these adorable little wooden toys. At $1.17 each, they are cheap and the kids love them as much as I do. We call them Din-Din (the Dinosaur) and Lizzy (The Lizard).
Basically, these little characters are the "helpers" for your children and help them discover the "clues". Simply write clues on the scrolls of paper, using state lines, state license plates, colors of cars, alphabet letters on signs, anything you might encounter on the road that allows the children to "unlock" each scroll. Once "Din-Din" or "Lizzy" spot a clue, the kids can open that scroll and do the worksheet. Once all the worksheets have been completed, make sure you include the "solutions" roll to see if their answers were right and if they correctly solved the mystery!
If you are so inclined, hot glue this cool felt car (we ARE going on a road trip!) and secure with ribbon. I hot glued two small pieces of ribbon to the edges of the car first, allowed them to dry, hot glued the car onto the can and then pulled the ribbon tight into a knot.