Low cost containers

Container gardening doesn’t have to cost a fortune, just only a little imagination. You could find beautiful garden containers at your local garden shops with rays of rainbow colors that are eye-catching, but can be expensive. Luckily, you don’t have to empty your wallet to create a beautiful container planter with materials that you already have around the house such as; baskets, boots, and buckets. By recycling an item into a new and different use can create a quirky and add personality to your flowers.  

Loved boots… you might have walked many miles in your boots that you have worn holes into the soles, if you haven’t; drill a few small holes for drainage in the bottom. Fill the boots with a good potting mix.  Next, choose an upright focal point plant for example a small primrose with an ivy plant that could cascade sideways over the boot. You could add fillers like violas for a color accent. Water and make sure your plants have enough sunlight to help your flowers bloom.

Blooming basket.. The basket filled with herbs can brighten a sunny balcony or porch and add flavors to your favorite recipe.  Find a basket that can be wide enough to add at least 3 herbs. At the beginning you should add a shallow plastic container pan inside the basket to help hold the soil. Next, fill the basket with a potting mix. You can add short and bushy herbs such as sage, parsley, and thyme. Water and make sure your herbs have enough sunlight to flourish. 

Cascading bucket..  A barrel of flowers cascading into your garden is a clever way to pack color into an area of poor compact soil. YOu can choose to use colorful blooms or even colorful succulents.  To create, set the bucket/ barrel down on its side on landscape fabric to serve as a weed barrier. Position it so it blends naturally into your garden. Drill holes in the bucket that will have the soil pressed into it. Add fresh potting mix soil inside the bucket and then add your plants by cutting a slit into the fabric for the plant roots to go into the ground. Once the bucket/ barrel is planted, water with liquid fertilizer to help your plants flourish. 

These simple and easy containers can give a unique personality to your garden. You can read more container gardens in our garden blogs…Gardening with Junk

Cottage Witch Teas

Herbal teas are teas made from plants, seeds, flowers, roots or fruits .They have been used as natural home remedies for thousands of years.  Making and drinking tea with intentions can help replenish your body , mind , and soul. Discover below 3 teas that can be made easily in your kitchen.

Tea with Hearth Witch “ Spiced Chai Tea” create this warm tea by using: 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoon of Chai tea, 2 cinnamon sticks, ½ teaspoon dry ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and simmer then serve in your favorite tea cup.

Goddess Witch Tea “ Honey Herbal Tea” Create this sweet  tea by using: 4  cups of water, 2 tablespoons of Chamomile, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh blueberries. Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and simmer then serve in your favorite tea cup.

Cottage Witch Tea “ Roseberry Tea” Create this aromary tea by using: 4 cups of water, 4 tablespoons of food grade dried roseberrys ( found online) or in herbal grocery stores, 1 tablespoon dried or fresh cranberries. Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and simmer then serve in your favorite tea cup. 

  *If you decide to use herbs for any health condition, even the minor ones, with herbal remedies, always consult your doctor. Teas that may be completely safe to some people may cause serious side effects in others.

DIY REED DIFFUSERS

Create an easy natural diffuser for any space in your home or office. No need to light a candle to fill your space with scent, creating  these diffusers  will continually release their delicate scents. 

Display your reed diffuser in a high traffic area where the fragrance can disperse throughout the room with air circulation. It depends on the essential oil fragrance because some reed diffusers are not meant to scent an entire room! Think of reed diffusers like a flower bouquet — you’ll periodically get random whiffs of fragrance. To refresh the scent you would flip your reeds for more fragrance throw, the more reeds you flip and the more often you flip them the faster the fragrance oil will dissipate.

What you will need:

Twigs

Essential oils

Almond oil

Glass or plastic jar/vase

First collect small dry twigs that will fit perfectly inside your jar/ vase

Secondly, bake all collected twigs at 200 F for 45-60 minutes. 

Third, let twigs cool after baking and then use a peeler to peel bark off each twig

Fourth, mix ¼ cup of almond oil and 6 tsp of any choice essential oil and then pour into your jar/vase

Fifth, Insert your peeled twigs into the mixture jar/ after 15 min flip twigs

Then enjoy your own special fragrance 

  •   Use caution when flipping reeds over furniture, fragrance oils can leave marks. I suggest flipping reeds over a sink or trash can & Flip twigs every 3 days to refresh the scent
  • As twigs draw the oils they may change color, this is a sign they are working and filling your room with fragrance- exactly as they were designed to do!

You can create this with little cost and it is an easy way to bring nature into the home!

Our Etsy shop: Printhousedesign1 will be offering DIY diffusers kits starting in Sept.

Bluebonnet

Did you know that there are actually six native species of bluebonnet that grow in Texas and that all six of them are collectively classified as Texas’ state flower? There’s Lupinus texensis, of course, which is the bluebonnet that we all know and love. However, according to the Native Plant Society, Texas is also home to four other species: Lupinus subcarnosus, Lupinus Havardii, Lupinus concinnus, Lupinus perennis, and Lupinus plattensis

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Texas bluebonnets are annual plants, meaning they go from seed to flower to seed in one year. They germinate in the fall and grow throughout the winter, and usually bloom around the end of March to the mid-May. Around mid-May, they form a seedpod, which is green at first but turns yellow and then brown.

Texas bluebonnets are adapted to the rocky, alkaline soils of the Hill Country  and to its frequent droughts. In fact, they thrive in heavily disturbed, poor soils and full sun.  As for watering your bluebonnets, if possible, using light, well-spaced waterings. Although bluebonnets require some moisture to germinate and grow, they do not like saturated soil. If fall or winter rainfall is low, an occasional watering will help ensure success.  As you know nature always has a way of surprising us. Just when you think you have something figured out, nature throws you for a loop every time. For example, bluebonnets are quite simply blue and white flowers, correct? Wrong. Most bluebonnets are blue and white, but the flowers actually come in varying shades of pink, purple, and white as well! 

We will be adding more blogs about this beautiful Texan flower next week!

Native Texan Flowering plants

 Did you know that Texas is home to 5000-6000 species of native plants. As a state,  it is responsible for the conservation of approximately a quarter (25%) of the North American native flora. There are many  Perennials that are native to Texas, such as; Angel Trumpet, Blackfoot Daisy, and Coneflower, and Calylophus which can be grown within your garden beds to add a beautiful pop of color! 

The  Angel Trumpet is commonly grown as ornamentals in frost-free climates and in greenhouses. The large pendulous flowers have a fused trumpet-shaped corolla and can be white, cream, yellow, orange, red, pink, or greenish in color. The flowers of some species can reach up to 50 cm (20 inches) in length. Most species are fragrant at night and attract moths for pollination, though the red angel’s trumpet lacks scent and is pollinated by hummingbirds.  The Blackfoot daisy is a slowly creeping perennial that blooms almost full time! Blackfoot daisies like alkaline soils. It’s great for rocky areas and to complement other low-water use plants. It loves full sun, but also does well in light shade. The plant can get 6 to 12 inches tall.One of the best flowering perennials for sunny sites, echinacea, commonly called coneflower is native to Texas. They are heat and drought resistant, easy to grow, bloom for months, make great cut flowers, and attract birds and pollinators. Calylophus berlandieri (Sundrops) A long living evergreen, low-growing woody-based perennial (technically a subshrub) that grows to 1 foot tall and spreads to nearly 3 feet wide with dark green narrow fine-textured soft foliage and bright yellow 1 to 2 inch wide flowers in spring and early summer. 

These  Texan native flowering plants can be perfect for any small garden and actually can grow well in other warm spring and summer states.  You can read more about coneflowers in a previous blog :  https://the-dirty-hoe.com/2021/08/31/planting-echinacea/

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