On YouTube: How to Make Inexpensive Garden Container Soil: Organic Fertilizer, Lime, Peat Moss, Compost & Dirt via Gary Pilarchik

I have put together my own potting mix a couple of ties in the past using my own compost and some purchased ingredients (See Project: Homemade Potting soil project), but Gary Pilarchik shows how you can use purchased materials to create a mix a much lower cost than the prepared mixes you might find in the garden store. Sure, you have to invest the time in mixing everything together, but with soil — as with food — if you make it yourself, you know exactly what is in it. — Douglas
 

Here are the principles for making cheap and effective garden container soil. It is prepared with organic fertilizer, lime and peat moss. I show a basic mix and a premium mix (manure). Use this as guide and save yourself a ton of money. 

Read How to Make Inexpensive Garden Container Soil: Organic Fertilizer, Lime, Peat Moss, Compost & Dirt via Gary Pilarchik


An interesting link found among my daily reading

In the Japanese Garden

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In the Japanese Garden

In the Japanese Garden

A lantern sits beside a path in this Japanese Garden in Pasadena, California

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Red, Red, Rose from A Gardener’s Notebook

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Res, Red, Rose from A Gardener's Notebook

Red, Red, Rose from A Gardener’s Notebook

A Mikado rose opens in the garden. 

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On YouTube: Protect Your Garden Greens & Plants from Rabbits: Thrift Store Shopping! from Gary Pilarchik

A great way to protect your plants while recycling/re-using. We are looking for something similar to this as the netting we used gets tangled in everything and makes it difficult to weed the beds when needed. For us, we don’t have rabbits in our garden here but rather squirrels, skunks, opossum and raccoons.  While the latter two could easily overturn something like this, i have found that even a simple deterrent like this will make them move on to easier pickings even when they could easily get through the barrier. Now, off to the thrift store(s) to find something like this for my garden! — Douglas

On YouTube: Protect Your Garden Greens & Plants from Rabbits: Thrift Store Shopping! from Gary Pilarchik

On YouTube: Protect Your Garden Greens & Plants from Rabbits: Thrift Store Shopping! from Gary Pilarchik

It is worth your time to go to thrift stores to see what you can repurpose for your garden. I find wire cages, quite often, for protecting my leafy greens and other plants from rabbits. Repurpose and save money while protecting your vegetables.

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Tiny cactus flowers in the garden

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Tiny cactus flowers in the garden

Tiny cactus flowers in the garden

This potted succulent doesn’t Flower a lot but it does Flower regularly. The flowers appear suddenly. Here one moment and gone the next. 

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Our Earth Day Garden Addition – New England Arbors “Athens” Vinyl Arbor $128.24

We have been meaning to get a trellis for the Lady Bank’s Rose in the front garden for a long time, but it wasn’t growing very fast and we concentrated on other, more important tasks. That all changed this Winter and Spring, though. With the large amount of rain we had — along with the removal of a short fence that was blocking the sun — the rose added a lot of vigorous growth and bloomed quite nicely, even for a relatively small plant. You can see from the photos that it was big enough to cover most of the side of the trellis after we trimmed and tied the main stake to the newly built arbor. 

Arbor 2

We need to do a bit more staking to prevent any blow down during our windy days and you can see an ugly remaining fence post that we need to cut off as best we can. it is set in cement and littered with nails so I need to find a clear path through so I can use the hand saw to cut it down as low as possible.

Looking out the window after cleaning up from out work, Rosanne said “It looks like it has always been there” and indeed it does. it blends in well, while also adding a nice decorative touch.

If you are looking for an arbor for your garden, this “Athens” model is all vinyl and no maintenance, something I had to have when I went looking.

Assembly was easy and required nothing more than a power screwdriver to drive the self-tapping screws. I look forward to it being here for many years to come.

You can buy this arbor from Amazon, like we did, for $128.24 with Free Delivery. I might be purchasing a second for a clytostoma vine in the back garden. The trellis there came down years ago and could really use a replacement. 

New England Arbors Athens 39″W x 81″H Vinyl Arbor

Arbor 1


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Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow) — A Minute in the Garden 59 from A Gardener’s Notebook [Video] (1:00)

A Minute in the Garden: A series from A Gardener’s Notebook

Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow) blooms right here in my own Los Angeles garden. 

Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow) -- A Minute in the Garden 59 from A Gardener's Notebook

 

See all the videos in “A minute in the garden” series in this YouTube playlist

 





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One Board Birdhouse via Instructables

I have another One Board Birdhouse project (see Project: One Board Birdhouse), but you can’t really have too many. I like this project because it plans for the need to clean out the bird house each season which many people neglect, but it is very important for the health of your garden birds. — Douglas
 
This is a variation of the one-board birdhouse available at Lowes.com. Their plan did not allow for an easy clean-out so I modified the floor and a couple of the joints.
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An interesting link found among my daily reading

JFK Rose in the Garden Today

JFK Rose in the Garden Today

JFK Rose in the Garden Today

The scent is amazing too!

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Brunfelsia/Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Brunfelsia/Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Brunfelsia/Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 

These lovely plants are blooming like crazy after our rains. The common name comes from their flowers which change colors over the course of a few days — from blue to purple to white. I recently planted 2 more of these is a bare area of the garden. 

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