Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Getting My Green Thumb Ready April 30, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 7:38 pm
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Matt and I have been getting our backyard ready all of April. With this winter who can blame us wanting to spend our nights outside by the fire pit! We’re ready for s’mores and beer outside above 70! But even though we haven’t quite hit the 70’s yet, it’s been nice enough to get outside and get a little dirty. One area in the backyard I wanted to work on specifically are my gardening areas.

Last year I tried my hand at tomatoes, peppers and a few herbs. Regarding the herbs, I planted chives which are annuals and they came back wonderfully. So great that we’ve already snipped a few for meals.

Chive Plant

Chive Plant


As for the rest from last year, the peppers did well but the tomatoes not good at all. This was because garden location number one is next to the house and is primarily in shade and tomatoes love sun. This year I’m planning to move the tomatoes to garden area number two.

My first order of business two weeks ago was to remove any debris left from the fall, mostly leaves and twigs that were covered by snow. I couldn’t believe how many leaves we still had in our backyard! We filled up 6 full leaf bags and I promise, we raked multiple times last fall. With that complete I put down a weed killer to kill off anything that already had started to grow and to discourage future weeds. We purchase RoundUp because it does the job well and is reasonably priced at our local hardware store. All you have to do then after you spray is wait.

This past weekend, was step two in getting the gardens ready. Out from the garage came my gardening gloves and small spade to finally destroy and remove the dead weeds. Once that was done I tilled both gardens to make sure the soil was ready for seeds. In the area last year where I planted the tomatoes and peppers, I’m trying out cucumbers and green beans.


Garden Area #1

With the cooler weather this week, I’m waiting until closer to mother’s day to plant the tomatoes, and whatever else I find that sounds like a good idea at the gardening store. Or, let’s be honest, whatever else is on sale!

Garden Area #2

Garden Area #2


Summer Garden Spruce-up July 23, 2013

My dad is a horrible present-receiver.  Instead of just accepting the fact that people love him and want him to feel special on days that honor him, he usually argues that we all spent too much money and “shouldn’t have” (unlike people we all know who say that but don’t really mean it, he’s in the 1% that means it).  So for the past few holidays and birthdays I’ve tried to get creative.  Either we get him a piece of technology that he can’t argue with because he likes it so darn much and was (not so) secretly coveting it (re: the iPad we all knew he wanted because he kept stealing my mom’s to play with it), or I make him something.  If you make someone something, they can’t argue that you “shouldn’t have,” because it really can’t have cost TOO much and it was more a loving use of your time.

For Father’s Day this year, I went with a garden stone.  My parents truly enjoy the time they spend on the deck and reading the newspaper or having a glass of wine and a burger in the backyard, so I thought this would be an appreciated homemade gift.  Here are my tips if you want to make a stone of your own:

-pick up some neat tiles from a home resale or thrift shop…I was able to get some for $0.50 a tile, and they make some really neat color and design switchups to the regular glass you usually see.  You could also get neat patterned and colored plates from a thrift shop to make it uniquely your design.



-make sure you have PLENTY of time to let your garden stone set and dry before the occasion on which you wish to gift your stone.  This will ensure that your stone is sturdy and won’t get damaged.


-Cut a piece of contact paper the shape and size of your garden stone, and use this to lay your plate, tile, or glass pieces on to create your design. This way, you can simply place the contact sheet on top of or underneath your poured concrete (this is up to you, I did mine on top so I could insure the placement of my tile pieces and my design wouldn’t get disturbed by the heavy concrete mixture, but you can really do it either way).



The garden stone was a great gift for my gift-dissing dad.  He could tell I love him, but couldn’t complain that I spent too much.  All told, between the tiles (thrift shop), mold (on sale at Hobby Lobby), concrete (small bag $3.99 at Home Depot), and contact paper (Dollar Tree for the roll), the stone cost less than $10 to create!  A pretty, thrifty gift if you ask me!



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