Category Archives: Plants

I hope they like plants!

It’s that time of year. Trying to remember all those adults and teenage helpers who are involved in the kids’ lives.

Little do these people know, we have been thinking of them for quite some time. This summer the kids help pot some smaller planters, knowing they would gift them for Christmas. These planters were outside all summer and then put on the shelf in the greenhouse this fall.

Today we brought them upstairs, cut all the dead stuff away, accessorized them with fun picks, gave them a thorough watering, and packaged them up.

I have the kids decorate brown bags and I give the plants a wrap in newsprint, sans print. I then staple a care sheet to each one and hope for their success. Being established plants, they should do well.

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Today we were able to gift the Sunday school teachers and classroom helpers. Also Ms. A had studio time, so I sent her in with gifts for her beloved dance instructors.

People who are new to our family are surprised with the gift, especially when the children explain each plant and how they put them together and planted them all by themselves. Those adults who have been involved with us for several years now, know what to expect.

I just hope they like plants!

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A vacation planter

I got back into my greenhouse today after a long hiatus. I really haven’t done any gardening with my planters this entire summer other than the occasional watering. My mom was a big supporter of my little business and she had great love for my plants. I kind of let it fall aside when I started sitting with her in the mornings. After she passed away I didn’t have it in me to do anything. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t even make anything for her funeral.

Today is the first time since June that I dug into my dirt barrel.

My dear friend came back from a summer vacation with a project for me to do. She purchased a natural sea sponge and wanted me to make a planter for her.

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An interesting container to use I thought. I placed a coffee filter in the base, added soil, and started planting.

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I am curious to see how it does. It has a unique look and she was pleased with the results.

It felt good getting my hands dirty again. I still have a huge inventory of pottery and several flats of succulents growing. Not sure what to do with them. I can’t let them just sit there. I better start working again.

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My Sharecropper is back!

Things have started to settle down a bit. The kids are back in a better sleep routine. We are eating meals at the appropriate time of the day. We are slowly getting ready for the return of our school schedule….Yeah!!

Our new routine has Opa, the sharecropper, coming over for dinner now. It is so nice to have him share our meals and the kids so enjoy seeing and spending time with him. With our almost daily visits, we get talking about my plans for the yard. This year the garden is a bust. We just couldn’t keep up with it. If we are lucky, we might get one harvest of beans and tomatoes. Everything else looks sketchy.

Opa then made mention that he would be able to help out on some of my other yard work since we are giving up on the garden. I jumped all over that statement and accepted his offer before the sentence even got a chance to leave his lips.

My current project….I have a HUGE pile of rocks at the end of my driveway that seems to be growing, instead of shrinking. Their original purpose was to extend our dry rock riverbed around our bog. Hubby has now learned to never allow me to order bulk yard material. One yard…two yards….a small dump truck load….. I thought the quantity I ordered would be the right amount….I was sooooo wrong.

I was able to finish the project with plenty to spare. Mr. D loves climbing on the pile and Ms. A loves sifting through it to find pretty rocks. Hubby is just tired of seeing it.

Future note to myself, a dump truck full of anything is a lot!

So…Opa and I looked around to see what we could do with all this rock. We decided to dig out all the plants and mulch beds that ran the length of the driveway and replace them with rock. This solved two issues. Every time it rained, I would have mulch wash down the driveway. Also, the beds near the garages would be saturated in salt during the winter with the snow pile from the plow. This made them do so poorly and look bad no matter what I would do.

We worked about two days and managed to finish the project…Of course, we have plenty of rock to spare.

While Opa was loading up his supplies in his car, I took a peek in the trunk of his car. It seemed like he was pulling things out of his car like Mary Poppins was from her carpet bag. Tools, clothes, shoes, you name it, he seemed to have it in the trunk.

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It’s not often you see a spade next to a set of golf clubs. I guess you have to be prepared for whatever the day has in stored for you.

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Last day of School!

We are getting ready for the last day of school and the last week of dance classes. Ms. A brought home an overflowing backpack from school today. All the treasures she hoarded in her locker and desk were promptly dumped on the kitchen island. I just cringed when I saw the state of her belongings.

I had the same pencil case and lunch box my entire elementary career. I took so much pride in my school supplies and everything was tidy and neat. Ms. A is proudly known as the messiest girl in the class. I told her that there in absolutely no pride in that title. Her school supplies are down to stumps and mismatched set of utensils. Each start of the year we pain stakingly label each item in hopes that they would last the school year. I have brided her with rewards if her supplies could make it through the year. I have also threatened her with no supplies for the following year if things don’t make it through. Neither way worked, I have tried everything…..

She is her father’s daughter. She is like a walking tornado. When she comes home there is a trail of belongings that literally fall off of her like a trail of breadcrumbs. Her room is a collection of “treasures”. Everything she gets, she starts collecting. I have tried to keep her organized. We do mandatory throw-outs. I give her containers and shelves, but you can only put so many “things” in a 10 by 12 room.

Oh well, I just keep showing her the way to tidiness and hope one day it will stick….

Anyway, back to the preparations for the last day. Most of her supplies are back home and tomorrow they need to bring a throwaway lunch, so no need for her bag. We already gave the bus driver her gift……I absolutely love this lady. Not only did she change our bus stop, she picks the kids up at the end of our driveway. We use to have to walk a quarter mile to the bus stop at the end of our road. Not an easy task to do with Mr. D “refusals to go to school” tantrums. She has gone above and beyond, by having a stuffed animal waiting for Mr. D when he got on the bus. This gave him something to look forward to and she would rotate her collection. He never knew who he would get to play with for the ride. She would rarely be absent. Thank goodness, because the first time he refused to get on the bus for a stranger. She then worked out a plan for these rare occasions and the sub would know his routine and keep it. Needless to say, she made life a little easier, so we always give her a thank you gift. Lucky for me she likes plants!

Now Ms. A gave her school teacher a candle today and tomorrow will be the gift day for her three dance instructors and the teenage helpers. The dance instructors will get…..

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….Big surprise, planters. The teenage helpers are getting gift bags full of candy. Ms. A informed me in the nicest way….teenagers don’t like plants.

I agreed and candy it was.

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Oh, the teacher gift!

School is out for Mr. D.

He, of course, gifted his two teachers with some planters he had planted. They were happy to receive them and they turned out nice. He picked out blue planter dishes, his favorite color, and selected the “scariest” looking plants in the greenhouse. I guess it beats getting teacher mugs and “apple” stuff every year.

Ms. A has a few more days still to go. So, in preparation for the last day, I asked her if she was interested in giving her teacher a gift. You never know when kids will start thinking that it’s not the cool thing to do anymore. She said yes and asked me to find a stuffed hippo for her teacher. I looked at her like she was crazy. First off, where would I find a stuffed hippo and why would I purchase a gift when there are racks of potential gifts sitting in the greenhouse. She then tells me that her teacher doesn’t do plants. I questioned her, since her assigned teacher is the science teacher. Ms. A insisted that her teacher has killed her Christmas planter and she did not want her teacher to be responsible for the death of another innocent plant.

A bit dramatic I thought, but it was her teacher.

I told her that she then needed to go to the gift closet….yes, I have a closet that has a stockpile of gifts. You know, the things you find on super sale and are kind of generic in nature. I once had a great deal on travel mugs and it seemed like everyone got a mug that Christmas. Currently there is a large selection of Yankee Candles. I hit a huge sale with coupon and buy one get one free deal.

In conclusion, Ms. A will be gifting an apple candle to her teacher. I cringe at the apple theme, but at least it is a great smelling candle.

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Opa’s Garden

My Dad….Opa……the sharecropper, in his element. His garden!

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Planters for Mom

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I have been back in the green house digging in my dirt and creating planters….I missed my green house plants….. I didn’t realize how long I had been absent from them.

There were a few request for planters for the upcoming Mother’s Day, so I did about three late nights this week. I managed to complete about twenty new planters and then spend some time on reworking – replanting some that were already done. Whenever I get into a planting mode, every surface in our home (that is Nala safe) has a planter. They take on a whole different appearance when they get put in a home environment, versus the racks in the green house.

I was able to do a delivery this week to our local bank. The banker that started my small business account is a big supporter of “My Little Green Thumb”. ┬áHe always puts in an order for every holiday and tells me to bring extra planters to the bank when I deliver his planter. He manages to sell off every last one of them to his co-workers. I really need to start cutting him a commission check.

Overall, I love my little business, but…… I just can’t seem to make a success out of it. I made the hard decision to take down the internet store. The running cost and shipping cost didn’t make sense. Right now, I am just making them per request and as gifts. Thank goodness my inventory can’t go bad. It just grows bigger.

Hubby doesn’t say a word….I had this grand idea and it didn’t go as planned. I’ll just keep plugging away at what I still have and see what happens.

The above picture is of two 6 inch planters currently living in my family room until they go to their new home.

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