Sundries and Bits

Sundries and Bits -- little things I thought you might like to know.

I've been listening to podcasts for years, but somehow I have not made the jump to listening to gardening podcasts.  Well, this month I made the jump and sampled as many of them as I could find.  Here are my favorites:

You Bet Your Garden - My favorite~!  The host is Mike McGrath, former editor of Organic Gardening Magazine. The best way I know how to introduce you to Mike and the podcast is as the "Dave Ramsey of Gardening Podcasts".

GardenNerd Tip of the Week - At only a minute and a half long, these podcasts are great little "Did You Know" bits that are fun and informative.  (PS: If you like this type of podcast, check out the new This Week I Learned)

Gardens Illustrated - This podcast is loooooong -over an hour each recording. It is short on entertainment and long on inspiring information, so if you are  seriously into garden design, check this one out!

Poison Ivy

Lambs don't get poison ivy.  In fact, they EAT it. However it gets on their noses and their noses nuzzle their shepherdess and well...THIS ridiculously overpriced scrub actually DOES work.

You also might be interested to know the famed poison ivy antitode jewelweed DOES grow like a week around creekbeds where ivy grows rampant. The bigger the weed the better, as you pull the plant up by the roots, crack open the stem and use the liquid inside to wipe away the poison. The jury is still out on how effective this one actually is (for me), but it is a fun trick to know and a worthy weed to know how to identify. THIS blogger has a creek that looks like mine (and lots of good jewelweed info too!)

Tea and Notes

Tea and Florals Stationary

Elizabeth of Bottle Branch recently emailed in regards to my book, Crafting With Nature. I was so happy she made contact because she has the MOST BEAUTIFUL instagram and I have been enjoying following along as she makes art out of little flowers and plant bits and half empty teacups and the mundane bits of prettiness.

The cards pictured above are from my favorite line of Elizabeth's cards - Tea Time.  The summer flowers line she has out now is also a favorite of mine, but I really adore all the "fallish" colors in the tea cards. You can follow Elizabeth's (FANTASTIC) blog HERE and check out the adorable cards at her Etsy shop HERE!

Yellow Zinnia

Nature Thought it Won the War

Nature does typically win out over my efforts to tame it, but in this case, it just thinks it is winning. You see, we have this checkerboard type driveway in front of our house that used to have wooden spacers between the pavers. Years passed and the wooden spacers rotted away and weeds took hold. I have considered many different options, including a flame thrower to burn the weeds, pea gravel to cover the whole driveaway and eventually fill in the cracks...etc, etc.  Then, I realized that I actually quite like the green bits between the pavers when I squint my eyes and ignore the taller, gangly weeds. In fact, once the cracks were mown with a hand mower, they actually looked quite nice.

Enter this wicked looking tool from Ames:

Ames Stand Up Weeder Stonecrest Manor Pavers by Amy Renea
AMES periodically sends tools to A Nest for All Seasons for review.  All opinions are mine.
It is a simple push down with the foot that sends the tool into the ground, then a twist pulls the taproot up and out of the ground. 
You are left with a small hole in the ground, so you actually aerate the soil as you weed.

Ames Stand Up Weeder Stonecrest Manor Pavers by Amy Renea

The plan?  Get rid of those tallish weeds and leave anything that is low, lush and green and can be mown.
 In fall, I will seed more grass into any holes in the lawn and ideally it will look a bit like THESE pretty examples on Houzz.

Landscape Design

The Ames stand-up weeder is a must-have for that person in your live that HATES the dandelions in the lawn. When I was in college (Cedarville University), the President (Dr. Dixon) had this THING against dandelions. He abhored them in the lawn. There was this "rule" around campus to refrain from trampling all over the grass unless you saw a dandelion. You were encouraged to race across the perfect grass and rip those weeds out. If I were still in Ohio, I would definitely gift this weeder to Dr. Dixon. For now, it is helping me beat nature at her own game.

Seeding Grass Between Pavers at Stonecrest Manor by Amy Renea

One last bit: If you like coffee and you have not tried the Chameleon Cold Brew Concentrates, YOU ARE MISSING OUT.  Here is a link to them on Amazon so you know what the bottle looks like -- CLICK HERE -- then go buy a bottle at Target. (The Amazon price is ridiculously high because of the whole shipping heavy glass bottles thing -- don't buy them on Amazon.) It will make a week of summer afternoons SO nice for you :)

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