Velvet leaf philodendron

Velvet leaf philodendron, also known as sweetheart plant, is native to Mexico, Brazil and the West Indies where it thrives deep in the rainforest.Velvet-textured heart-shaped leaves that grow bigger as the plant matures. Mature plants can produce green-white flowers.

Plant care tips:

Light and position in the home

Place your sweetheart in bright but indirect light or semi-shade. The more light it receives the more vigorously it will grow and this plant can climb or trail as much as 4 metres! So hang it from a ceiling, trail from a high shelf or provide climbing support. You can even create a living jungle screen by positioning several together.Grow philodendrons indoors in indirect light, as direct sunlight can cause burning on the leaves.

Watering and humidity

Hailing from the rainforest your plant will thrive best in similar conditions of humidity and warmth. Keep the soil moist in the spring and summer and water when the topsoil feels dry in the winter. Mist the leaves every few days or grow in a saucer of stones and water. Use wipes or a clean damp cloth to keep the leaves free of dirt and dust.

Did you know?

If you pinch out the growing tips your plant will branch out and become bushier. If you have any plant care tips please leave in the comment…

From Garden to Pizza

Get kids and loved one interested in gardening by creating a pizza garden!Creating an Italian masterpiece is as simple as running out to the yard to pick fresh toppings for your pizza from a productive, pie-shaped bed.

What to Plant in Your Pizza Garden

  • Oregano. A pizza essential, oregano is a beautiful perennial herb that’s easy to grow in the home garden. …
  • Tomatoes. Tomatoes are an excellent choice for nearly all small gardens because they’re extremely productive. …
  • Jalapeño Peppers. …
  • Banana Peppers. …
  • Mushrooms. …
  • Basil. …
  • Thyme.

Materials Needed

  • a sunny spot in the yard with well-drained soil
  • edging for “pizza” outline (metal, plastic or wood)
  • seedlings of your favorite toppings: tomato, bell pepper, chives (or onions), rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley
  • compost
  • water

Choose a site that offers full sun. Decide how many of each kind of plant you want to grow, based on their spacing requirements (below), and outline a circular bed that will give each enough room. The bed created here is 8 feet in diameter.

Check the tag that comes with each transplant for specific guidelines. Here’s a rough idea for how much space to allow for each plant:

Tomato: at least 2 feet; for larger varieties, 2-1/2 feet

Bell pepper: 12 to 15 inches

Onions: 4 to 5 inches apart

Basil, rosemary: 15 to 18 inches

Thyme, oregano: 10 to 12 inches

Remove weeds and dig in plenty of organic matter like finished compost. If your soil is very dense or hard clay, consider using a raised bed and fill it with a combination of bagged garden soil and compost.

A flexible metal or plastic edging works well for the outer edge. Wood pieces do fine to define the “slices” of the pizza

Start planting

Give the tomato plants the most room. Here, we let them each have the entire “slice.” Place up to three of the other plants in the rest of the sections.Plant the transplants at the same depth as they were in their containers, and firm the soil around the roots. Top-dress each plant with a handful or two of compost.

The exception to the planting-depth rule: Plant tomatoes a little deeper than they were in the pot, or better yet, if the main stem is still very flexible, bend it gently, lay the root ball on its side in the hole and also bury a bit of its stem, letting the stem curve upward till the rest of the plant is pointing straight up. Burying part of the stem in this way—sometimes called trenching—causes the plant to produce more roots and makes for a more vigorous plant.

Water the plants and check back frequently to make sure that the plants receive adequate moisture. Tomatoes need more water than the other plants, followed by basil and peppers; rosemary and thyme will need less water. To reduce the chance of foliar diseases, water the base of tomato plants and avoid getting water on the leaves, especially if you’re watering in the evening.

Growing a pizza garden is a great way to get children outdoors and motivated to plant and eat vegetables & have fun with planting & growing!

DIY Macramé Craft & Project Ideas

Have you fallen in love with those Pinterest pictures of elaborate wall hangings and boho chic macrame hanging planters? Luckily for you, macrame is a skill accessible to everyone and anyone!

What is Macrame?

It’s the art of knotting string or chord into decorative or useful items. There are lots of different knots to learn that will give you a different look and feel!Like any skill, macrame takes time, patience and of course practice! Once you get the hang of things you’ll be knotting up all sorts of cool and crazy pieces of art!

However, everyone has to start somewhere and so below are a couple easy projects.

Making your first DIY macramé plant hanger is a project that may seem daunting at first, but once you’ve learned the basics, it’s actually quite easy! Today, we’ll show you how to make a macramé plant hanger using basic knots and patterns.

Here are the three types of basic knots we’ll be using in the tutorial:

  • Square knot
  • Half square knot or spiral knot
  • Loop knot

Materials:

  • 8 pieces of 15 foot long cotton cord (3.1mm thick)
  • 2” brass ring
  • 2 pieces of 5 foot rope

 Macrame Hanger Tutorial you can watch the video here as well.

How to create a macramé plant hanger:

  1. Gather all 8 pieces of cord, fold in half and loop through the ring.
  2. Using your 5 foot long piece of string, tie a loop knot right below the ring.
  3. Take four strands and tie a square knot. Repeat 6 times.
  4. Repeat this pattern with the next group of 4 cords, and repeat for the remaining cords.
  5. Leave a 2 ½ inch gap and tie a half square knot.
  6. Repeat until you’ve created a 5 inch spiral.
  7. Repeat this pattern for the remaining knot groups.
  8. Leave a 6 inch gap and create a crossover square knot using the 2 right cords from your first group and the 2 left cords from the adjacent group.
  9. Repeat for the remaining knot groups.
  10. Leave 6 inch gap and create another crossover square knot by alternating the cords from the previous step.
  11. Leave a 3 ½ inch gap and tie a loop knot.
  12. Trim off excess cord to create a tassel finish.

Ornaments with macrame yarn

Supplies needed to make macrame ornaments

  • macrame yarn
  • scissors
  • wooden rings
  • comb
  • fabric stiffener (optional)

Start by cutting your yarn. I used 5 pieces of macrame yarn cut at 20 inches long and one small 6-inch piece for a short piece to hang the macrame ornament.

  1. Fold the 6-inch piece in half, knot it at the ends and loop it over a wooden ring with a Lark’s Head knot as pictured below.
  2. Then grab your 5 pieces of macrame yarn and put one to the side for later. Fold 4 pieces in half and also loop the on the wooden ring with Lark’s Head knots.
  3. Grab your 5th piece of macrame yarn and lip the yarn from the wooden ring around the 5th piece with horizontal Half Hitch knots as pictured. Usually, when making macrame you don’t add a new piece of yarn but use the outside string on each side. For this one, I wanted extra string though which is why I added an extra piece.
  4. Continue the Half Hitch knots to the other side of the little macrame hanging.
  5. Then all you have to do is unravel the yarn, comb everything, and trim the ends evenly. This is where you could use the fabric stiffener to stiffen the fringe but this time I didn’t do that.

https://cuckoo4design.com/how-to-make-christmas-ornaments-with-macrame-yarn/?jwsource=cl ( video to help with each step)

If you don’t have time to start a new project and still would love to have a little macramé item, you can find macramé keychains now available at www.printhousedesign.com

Growing Portobello mushrooms

Are you looking to begin growing delicious portobello mushrooms at home, but you don’t quite know how or where to get started? The good news is it isn’t difficult at all. 

Portobellos are actually brown crimini mushrooms (related to the white button mushrooms) that have been allowed to unfurl their 4- to 6-inch diameter caps. Wine cap mushrooms are bigger than portobellos (caps can grow to 1 foot across) and have a brown, almost burgundy color, when mature. They grow easily planted in beds outdoors. Here are two simple techniques for beginning mushroom growers to try, one for indoor growing and one for outdoor growing.

Grow Portobello Indoors

The simplest way to grow portobello mushrooms is to buy a handy kit. These kits sell for less than $50 and come ready to go. All you have to do is open the box, mist regularly, and place them in a cool, dark location. In a few weeks, mushrooms will begin sprouting. But if you’re a gardener you might want a little challenge, right?

You also can buy portobello mushroom spores. Spores are how the mushrooms get started. If you buy the spores, then you’ll have to create the medium or bed for the mushrooms to grow in. This is best done indoors where you can control the environment. It’s a great winter project.

For growing portobello mushrooms indoors you’ll need a growing tray. The tray should be about 8 inches deep to hold compost, peat moss, and the spores. Partially decomposed compost is best. You’ll also need to find a dark room where you can keep the temperature between 65 and 70 degrees F. Purchase portobello mushroom spores on-line. You’ll need about two cups of dried spores per 6 to 8 square feet of tray. Fill the tray to within 2 inches of the lip with compost, then sprinkle the spores onto the compost and press down firmly. Keep the tray moist and in the dark until you start to see white webbing (mycelium) appear in the compost. Then cover the tray with a 2-inch thick layer of damp peat moss and a layer of newspaper. Keep the newspaper misted daily for about 1 to 2 weeks and keep the temperature around 55 degrees F. Check after a week to see if any white pin heads of young mushrooms are forming If you see them, remove the newspaper, keep misting daily, and let them grow into full-sized mushrooms. Harvest when they’re about 4 to 6 inches in diameter. You should get two to three flushes of portobellos over a period of a few weeks.

Growing Wine Caps Outdoors

For those gardeners that want to grow mushrooms outside, wine caps are a snap. Although not as well-known as portobellos, wine caps are large, flavorful, meaty mushrooms that grow well in outdoor beds. The risk of inoculating an outdoor bed is contamination from other fungal spores in the atmosphere. However, if you’re sure of your mushroom identification and only eat the wine caps, you should give this a try. You can grow a large area of mushrooms outdoors and even get them to “naturalize” in your yard under the right conditions. While they will grow whenever the soil is above 50 degrees F, in most areas the time to inoculate beds is in late winter or spring. Here’s how.

Create a raised bed border with rot-resistant wood, cinder blocks, stone, or brick. Fill it 6 to 8 inches deep with a mix of fresh wood chips and partially decomposed compost. Sprinkle the spores on the bed as described in the indoor cultivation method. Cover with a 2 inch thick layer of compost. Keep well watered until the mycelia run and fill the bed. Keep well watered. After a few weeks your mushrooms should be up and ready to harvest. Allow some mushrooms to open their caps and spread spores around the yard. You never know where they will turn up next. I once grew wine cap mushrooms outdoors and had them popping up in the shrubs and perennial garden for months after the main bed had finished. Once the main bed is finished producing, add a layer of fresh wood chips and hopefully, it will produce more mushrooms.

Enjoy gardening in a different way! Have you grown mushroom before? If so, please leave a comment!

DIY Botanical print

Now that you know how to press flowers, it’s time to display all the beautiful varieties you’ve created.

Materials:

  • Pressed flowers
  • Glass frame
  • Paper towel

Step 1: Clean your frame.

Make sure the glass frame is spotless before using it. Remove the backing and wipe it down with a damp paper towel. Avoid using a cleaning solution because it may react with the pressed flowers and ruin them. Let the frame dry completely before using.

Step 2:  Create a design with your pressed flowers.

This is where you get to be creative! There are endless possibilities when it comes to framing flowers. Try a unique pattern or a cute shape like a heart. You can decide to use just the flower buds or keep the stem for a more natural look. Make sure the flowers are facing down when you arrange them in the frame.

Step 3: Carefully return the back to the frame.

Place the back on the frame, taking care not to move your flower pattern. Secure the back. If the flowers aren’t in their desired place, remove the back and adjust them until perfect.

Step 4: Display for everyone to admire!

Pressed flowers are able to maintain their natural color for a very long time, but eventually some amount of fading is inevitable (typically after 5-7 years on average). Some may begin to show fading sooner, while others may last longer.

You’ve created a piece of décor that no one else has. Put this unique piece on display in your home or give it as a gift to someone who loves flowers as much as you do. Pressed flowers can be used in many ways. From botanical prints to crafting cards, they add a unique touch to whatever they are included in. Try adding pressed flowers to a thank you gift to show the recipient how grateful you are.

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