...and to celebrate I wanted to share a fun little project I worked on last spring: A complete gourd birdhouse guide! It's almost time to start sowing those gourd seeds!
Between all the events and fulfilling holiday orders last month, I don't remember having a free day aside from Christmas. Ultimately it was a whirlwind of greatness, but I started reassessing my goals and my overall business model. Had I been trying to do too much? Should I hone in on a specific area? Short answer: Yes and yes. It's time for a change and I am SO excited.
Rose water is one of those products you don't think you need until you try it and it's like, how did my skin make it this far in life without it?? It has anti-inflammatory properties, helps maintain the skin's pH balance, reduces redness, and controls oil.
Why is rose water so expensive when it's this easy to make? Gather your materials, honey. It's DIY time.
1 medium size pot
1 small spray bottle
1 mason jar
2 cups of fresh rose petals
4 cups (approx) of distilled water
1. Remove petals and rinse under running water
2. Place petals in pot and add just enough distilled water to cover petals - not too much!
3. Bring water to simmer on medium-low heat
4. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until petals lose color
5. Strain water into a glass jar and discard the petals
6. Once the rose water is cool, pour into spray bottle
7. Spritz and feel as amazing as Oprah sipping champagne in a bubble bath
8. Store any extra rose water in a mason jar and refrigerate to keep fresh
Founded in 2002, Baskets of Africa has helped women in over a dozen countries in Africa gain financial stability so that they may provide for their children and continue to pass down their beautiful craft from generation to generation.
These Bolga baskets are sturdy, perfectly designed, and the colors will never run. If you’re in search of the best market/harvest/toting-too-much-around basket, look no further. I sprung for the XL size because I anticipate several large harvests in the near future.
As if all of that wasn't great enough, they offer free shipping (USA)!! Link to baskets is here. Visit www.basketsofafrica.com to see the entire store
A friend confessed to me via text that she has killed her last five fiddle leaf fig trees and said that she is ready to give up. DON'T, LADY. You go get yourself a new figgy baby and read this:
Plenty of light is key for the healthy growth of a Ficus lyrata 'Fiddle leaf fig' but specifically bright, indirect light and a ton of it. But you already know this, right?
What most may overlook when it comes to houseplants is the need for nutrients. Since indoor plants are contained, they depend on their people to deliver the necessary nutrients to ensure healthy, successful growth. I use a concentrated organic liquid fertilizer called Grow More Seaweed Extract that contains naturally occurring cytokinins, gibberellins, and auxins. Only 1 oz of the liquid fertilizer is needed per gallon of water so a bottle will last you quite a while. Apply fertilizer once a month.
In the hotter months you should water your fiddle leaf fig tree no less than once a week. When you water, do it evenly around the container. The media should never feel bone dry to the touch.
I keep saying "media" because I'm borderline anti-soil indoors. Well-draining container media is crucial and I've had such great success growing indoors with coco. I use an OMRI listed coconut coir/perlite blend made by a local, sustainably-focused manufacturer, The Coco Depot. The media is 70% coco and 30% perlite and is perfect for containers, large or small. I prefer this over potting soil because I never have to worry about my plants' roots rotting.
The fiddle leaf fig tree's large leaves accumulate a lot of dust. Keep the leaves clean by wiping them with a slightly damp rag once every couple months.
I hope this was helpful. I've had my fiddle leaf fig tree for almost three years and I plan on keeping her around a lot longer!
Recently I've had a few folks ask me why their echeverias are shooting up like beanstalks. If your indoor succulents start growing tall and lanky, that's an indication that they aren't receiving enough sunlight. The plants' cell walls are weakened by the lack of sunlight. Succulents that have very long internodes and smaller leaves are trying to reach a light source to photosynthesize. This is known as etiolation.
So here comes the bad news... Etiolation cannot be reversed. The lanky growth that occurred is now permanent. The good news is you can pluck the lower leaves off the stem to grow new babies or clip off the rosette and replant it. The more you grow, the more you'll know.
Why does most corn from the grocery store taste bland?
Once harvested, the sugars in the kernels quickly begin converting to starch. It's helpful to keep corn refrigerated to slow down the conversion process.
What are some helpful growing tips for Northern California gardeners?
MOVE IT IN! Since corn is wind-pollinated, 3-4 short rows planted closely together will have much greater success than long, spaced out rows.
MULCH! Adequate moisture guarantees heartier ears. Mulching around the corn will help the soil retain moisture, especially helpful in the hotter months.
When should you harvest?
You'll see full-sized kernels peeking out at the tip of the ear and silks start to dry and turn brown.
When assessing a space I always take photos from every angle, try to picture the space fully grown, and imagine myself in the landscape. It never hurts to make some quick sketches too- even if drawing isn't your thing. It's helpful to know about how tall plants will get if you plan to have full-sun crops nearby or plan on having seating around the area.
Step 1: Define the spaces that are to be planted. Although the hardscape (brick, stone, or wooden borders) is the negative space, when executed with style it brings the entire space to life.
Step 2: Remove weeds from areas and apply a thick layer of compost. Remember: Even drought tolerant plants benefit from compost.
Step 3: Research before planting to avoid rookie mistakes like an invasive species takeover, crowded and overgrown beds, or lack of necessary support structures. Use companion planting, know when to harvest herbs, and learn the general soil requirements for your plants.
Wedding planning, summer school, and working your buns off got you a little stressed out? Tell me about it.
Taking the time to pamper yourself at home is important. Here's an easy, inexpensive, and simply luxurious way to unwind after a long day:
1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil
2. Wash your face
3. Add 1/2 cup of dried lavender buds to water
4. Add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to water
5. Drape a small towel over head and hold face over steaming water for a few minutes
6. Rinse face with cold water to close pores
7. (Optional) Finish with a few sprays of Rosewater
8. Feel glorious
If you have air plants in your home, you may notice them blooming like crazy recently! Have you ever smelled their flowers? They're extremely fragrant- even the tiniest little blooms!
Native to Central and South America, Tillandsias (air plants) get their common name from the fact that they do not need soil to survive. However they do need water! They thrive in many environments from extremely high altitudes to the heart of tropical rainforests.
How to care for your air plant:
Spritz plant thoroughly with water or gently run under faucet 2-3 times per week. Always water in the mornings as evening watering disrupts the plant's nighttime respiration. Be sure to keep your air plant where it will receive plenty of filtered light- not direct sunlight! Direct sunlight will quickly burn the plants, causing irreversible damage. Keeping them within 6 ft of a window is ideal.
If kept as houseplants, temperature is not an issue as long as they are never exposed to frost. So, if you don't live in an igloo, air plants will grow just great in your home!
Once a month, spritz your Tillandsias with watered down orchid fertilizer (available at all nurseries).