Category: DIY

Garlic planting & vampire proofing

According to folklore, Halloween is the perfect time to plant garlic. The bulbs get tucked in the ground before the coldest part of the year and your home is vampire proofed at the same time. Win, win.
Planting garlicIf you’ve never grown your own garlic, I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s a low-to-no maintenance plant yet produces much better tasting garlic than you’ll ever find in a store. Here’s what to do:
Purchase a bulb, or many from a garden centre or nursery – not the grocery store.
Gently pull each clove from the main bulb keeping as much of the papery covering on as possible.
Plant in a sunny spot with the pointy end up and the flatter end facing down. Holes need to be about 3″ deep so that each clove is covered with 2″ of soil. Space each clove about 6″ apart. Cover with leaves or other mulch.
Bulbs and plants don’t normally need any watering. Just be sure to mark their spot so you don’t disturb them if you add to your garden later. Putting them at the back of a plot is ideal.
Planting garlicSprouts will appear late winter and your garlic is ready for harvesting mid-summer. Each individual clove will produce a bulb like the one it came from.
Don’t have a sunny spot or room in your garden? Me either, so I actually plant mine in pots. I like to put 5 cloves in a large planter that I can move to a sunny spot. I add annual flowers in the spring – garlic loves flowers!
Planting garlicWere you expecting a planting-in-the-dirt photo? Nope, I’m waiting until tomorrow to do that – it’s my only Halloween tradition. Get yourself a garlic bulb today and make it your annual ritual too!

Hanging baskets – Fall edition

Fall hanging basketsSo, it’s totally Fall now. While the trees in my neighbourhood are looking spectacular in their autumn glory, my little garden is pretty dismal. The hanging baskets that flowered all summer and well into September have called it quits. It’s sad and pathetic.
Before-fall basketsI was taking them down to retire them for the season but decided to try giving them some new life instead. I’ve mentioned before that these hangers give a bit of privacy between me and next door and also, I just like color. So when I saw these ‘Coral Bells’ (Heuchera is the botanical name) on sale at my grocery store, I had to bring them home. They’re not really a typical container plant, but at $4 each there’s no big risk!
Fall hanging basketsOut with the old shrivelled bits and in with the new bells. I managed to keep the white trailing plants and added a few sprigs of ivy – which may or may not have been pinched from next door. Hey, if it’s growing on my side of the fence, I consider it fair game.
After-fall basketsAbout 15 minutes and a good watering later, I’ve got pretty new hanging baskets. The mix of colors and textures is just the ticket. I’m not sure how well the plants will do in pots so I’m prepared to put them in the ground if needed. For now, they’re making me smile. It’s the little things, right?!

Pebbled boot tray

pebbled boot tray DIYFall has definitely arrived! The flip flops are going away for awhile and boots and runners are taking over my front entry. The layout of my home is that you open the front door and *bam* you’re in the living room. I’ve tucked a mat and boot tray behind the door to create what little ‘mud room’ space I can. So yeah, you see it while lounging on the couch and even from the kitchen.
pebbled boot tray DIYIn my ongoing quest to make functional also pretty, I lined a plastic boot tray with pebbles. And I’m loving it! The messy corner looks a lot better and the wet and dirt from shoes falls to the bottom of the rocks. It’s cleaner, tidier and very west coast.
pebbled boot tray DIYI’m embarrassed to say that I bought the rocks – seriously, I live on the beach filled west coast – because I wanted them to be clean, glossy and similar in color and size. I got 3 bags and spread them in an even layer inside a plastic boot tray. That’s it.

Beauty and function? That may be pushing it a bit, but I like it and it works. Good enough!