Category Archives: garden

family garden

Organic Gardens and A Fountain Shop

We went to our local organic farm today. They had tables and tables full of organic herbs, vegetables and flowers. It was very hard to stick with our garden budget for the day. I can’t help myself when it comes to herbs….I always want 2 or 3 of each kind!

The Ohio weather provided us with 80 degree temps today, so it was really warm in the greenhouse. The little ladies found the cool breezy spots!

My sister Katrina found a curly plant that matched her natural curls.

We went to quench our thirst at an old fashioned fountain shop. We settled for curly fries and cherry sodas.

We also met Robin’s new friend Eric. This is their first picture together…aahhhhh! Poor Eric spent the day with 6 women! When you get my sisters, my mom, my girls and myself together there are 6 females…..he seemed to survive OK.

New herbs, new vegetables, a new friend and spending time with my family makes a perfect day! I have some dandelion and violet posts in the works, but those are for another day.

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Raindrop Hike

We went outside looking for raindrops this morning and loved how these little droplets of water hung to some of the plants. Our favorite was the Lady’s Mantle, a single raindrop hung to each and every little notch of the leaf’s edge. We were rhyming as we hunted for raindrops and came up with this silly little ditty.

Raindrops on the Lady’s Mantle,

Raindrops on the Pine,
Raindrops on the Apple Blossoms doing just fine,

Raindrops on the Lamb’s Ear,

Raindrops on the Seeds,
Raindrops on the Lilies,

But not on Me!

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Candied Edible Flowers

Today was a very wet and chilly day. We really needed a pick-up and needed to do something springy. We went outside for a little fresh air and noticed our wild violets were in bloom. We picked some to candy.

We also picked Johnny Jump Ups, pansies and geraniums.

To candy your petals you need egg whites (the freshest you can get), fine sugar, edible flowers, parchment paper and paint brushes.

Dip the paint brush in the egg white and coat the flowers.
Dip the flowers in the sugar until they are evenly coated.

Place the flowers on a sheet of parchment paper until they are dry (about an hour). Place the flowers in a container and put in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Fauna likes the candied geraniums the best.

Araina likes the violets.

Make sure you have positively identified the flowers before eating them, many flowers are not meant to be consumed. Also, just because a flower petal is edible, the leaves or roots may not be. For a great resource and list of edible flowers visit What’s Cooking America.

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Monarch Watch and Planting Milkweed

We pulled out our seed box yesterday. It’s full of envelopes stuffed with seeds from our gardens.

We had so much fun going through the box and seeing the gems we had saved in the fall.

Milkweed is the favorite, so we decided to plant these seeds first.

Separating the seeds from the fluff is fun, but you have to be quick or they could fly away.

We are planting a Monarch Waystation this year, our milkweed seeds are perfect for this. The waystation is a safe, organic place for the Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. Milkweed is their host plant; the caterpillars will only eat milkweed.

Visit Monarch Watch to learn more about Monarchs, Monarch waystations and ways to protect this beautiful butterfly.

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Moth Moon Garden

The Hummingbird Hawk moth is one of my very favorite insects. Last summer we had 2 hummers that visited our garden like clockwork, they came around the same time everyday. We always knew what time it was when we spotted a hummer.

The Hummingbird Hawk moth is little different than other moths because it is diurnal and it hovers in the air to feed. It is really fascinating to watch!

We already have a butterfly and bee garden so we decided this year we would call more moths to our garden by planting a moth garden (sometimes called a moon garden). For a moth garden you want light colored plants that have a strong smell and glow in the moonlight. We picked out lots of white and light colored flower seeds for our garden (zinnia, alyssum, chamomile, cosmos, four o’ clocks, moonflowers, evening primrose, lantana, flowering tobacco, and daisies). These are just the flowers for the moths to feed on, we are also going to plant some of their larval host trees and plants. The Hummingbird Hawk moth’s larval plant is Galium verum (Lady’s Bedstraw), we would love to have Hummingbird Hawk caterpillars, so this plant is a must for us!

White Hydrangea photo by Fauna
I had the perfect book to introduce a moth garden to the little ladies, “The Moonflower” by Jean and Peter Loewer. The book teaches us about the moonflower vine and all of the nocturnal creatures that visit this fragrant flower that only opens in the evening.

It was only appropriate to start our moth garden by planting moonflower seeds.

We are big journal writers around here so we recorded moonflower information and the date into our seed journals after planting.

Then we created some of our own moths using pressed leaves and treasures found in the yard.

We still have so MANY more seeds to plant!

flowers garden

Spring Pink Lovlieness

Look what my sweet hubby brought home for me. The bit of spring I sooooo needed!

Thank you Bam Bam!