Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Kumquat Tree!

Greetings! I hope you are almost ready for Christmas!! :) It's coming so fast...

Today I want to share photos and a story of the beloved kumquat tree with you! Technically, it is my significant other, Jon's tree...

(It is currently a houseplant!)

Jon rarely eats fruit, but he loves kumquats!! So I got him this tree earlier this year as a housewarming gift.

However, for whatever reason, it was not doing so well in his backyard. (Perhaps it was because he wouldn't water it every day?) ;) Anyways, we moved it to my house so I could pay more attention to it...

Get this: When we got it from the nursery, it had about 10 small kumquats on it. After a month of being at his house, almost all had fallen off. The very next day after transplanting it to my backyard, there were 30 kumquats!!! Granted, they were smaller than my pinky nail, but they were still kumquats!

It is currently neighboring the Christmas tree. :) It will go back outside when spring arrives.

Do you have any "outside plants" that become houseplants in the winter?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Happy December! Have you decorated yet? :)

 The Fig Tree...

...is now a Charlie Brown Tree! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

The First Snow!

Yesterday morning, the backyard was covered with a light dusting of snow!

It was sooooooooo cold! But I managed to snap a photo of the mint, which has invaded the backyard... (my mom was not kidding when she said make sure to never let it get out of the pot!) I don't know what happened...

Apparently, it lives on through at least several freezes (and now snow!)

Anyways... welcome winter! Please bring lots of snow this year! Maybe even a white Christmas? :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Day the Leaves Fell!

I must say... I have thoroughly been enjoying my daily walks around the neighborhood. :) Especially because I  ♥  Fall!

Since the moment Fall arrived, I've been walking almost every morning. It's amazing what just 20 minutes walking outside in nature will do for your well-being!

Thanksgiving was the day the trees in the neighborhood finally lost their leaves! The night before, the temperature dropped to around 19 degrees F. Brrrrrrrrrrr!

The sidewalks were completely covered...

My mom and I had a blast crunching through them! It was a perfect Thanksgiving morning. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Last of the Bell Peppers

Good morning!

Does anyone have anything left from their summer garden? I don't (aside from the perennials)...

These bell peppers were the last vegetables to be picked! (They needed to be picked before it was too late!)

About these bell peppers:
For some reason... back in August, they were not really "taking off." The plants had plenty of leaves, but just a couple (and very tiny) bell peppers.

So, on a whim, I decided to cut off most of the leaves along the length of the stems, leaving only the ones near the tops of the plants... 

My mom thought I was crazy for doing this!

I was thinking that with less leaves to worry about, the plants could put more effort into growing the peppers...

And, I am completely serious... the very next day, the bell peppers began to grow!

About a week later, there was an almost-full-sized pepper on one of the plants, and many others that were almost just as big!

Learn by doing! ;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nature Inspired Gifts!


Today I want to share a nature-inspired gift idea with you...

White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Candy

Last minute, I realized I could make it to a "going away" party.

Even though the couple requested no gifts, I still wanted to bring them a little something. ;)

It took simple ingredients and just minutes to make...

  • Almonds
  • Dried Cranberries 
  • White Chocolate Chips

Spread almonds and dried cranberries over a baking dish (covered in wax paper or aluminum), melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler, pour chocolate over pan, then sprinkle a few more almonds & cranberries over the top. Let cool (I set outside!) and cut into pieces when solid.

Idea inspired by Disney's "Family Fun" magazine.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Indoor Gardening! Perfect Year Round...

Indoor gardening is great year round... but it's even better when it is cold outside!

Earlier this year I picked up some cleanrance rack! plants. They were 50% off!! I will admit, they were not as vibrant as the others, but after a little attention and water... they completely came back to life!

My favorite is this Golden Pothos plant... it is making its way across the room!

Did you know that houseplants even have benefits?
  • They improve air quality.
  • They provide a calm & relaxing atmosphere!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Is it Really November?

Is Thanksgiving really less than 3 weeks away? This week the temperatures have been in the mid-80's!

(The average for this time of year is 70 degrees F.)

The garden seems to be just as confused as I am... The roses are still in full bloom!

And so are the marigolds...

At least the fig tree is showing signs of the season!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ready, Set, Go Plant Garlic!

It is the time of year to plant garlic bulbs!

I just picked some up from Home Depot today! And I have something to admit... (and I may not be the only one!)

Until this year, I had no idea (or ever really thought about) how garlic grows! I even image-googled "garlic plant" because I didn't even know what it would look like!

(I guess I am a perfect example of how disconnected one can be from their food when you depend on the grocery store for everything. Earlier this year, while watching an episode of Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution," I was shocked to see school-aged kids not knowing the names of simple fruits & vegetables... and of course did not know where they came from.)

When planting, apparently you break apart the bulb and plant the individual cloves 5' apart. They should be ready to harvest by mid-spring!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Cauliflower is a cold-season crop, and apparently has a reputation for being hard to grow. It prefers a soil pH of 6.0 - 7.0. (I have not yet actually tested my soil; usually I will just add some coffee grounds if I want it to be more acidic.)

Anyways... I've never attempted to grow anything during the cold months (never really thought about it!)... but here goes! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Last Days of Basil...

The temperatures are dropping, especially at night. It is inevitable that the basil plants will eventually see their final day...

So I want to enjoy them as much as I can while they are still outside growing! I know I've said it before, but I will say it again- If I had to grow just one plant... it would definitely be basil!

I came up with a list of some of my favorite ways I've used basil this year:

    Let me know if you have any other ideas! I need to use up a lot before it freezes... :)