Companion Planting in the Vegetable Garden

Spring is here and it’s time to plan out our gardens! If your hope is to grow an organic vegetable garden I highly recommend looking into using ‘companion planting’ to help. Basically when certain veggies, herbs or flowers are planted near each other, they can compliment each other by producing larger yields or controlling bad insects. There are a lot of companion planting charts online but I found the following guide to be particularly helpful:
Companion Planting Guide

Composting Tip

Does your indoor compost bucket start smelling stinky quickly? Here’s a tip I’ve found to be most useful. If you line your compost bucket with newspaper it helps to keep the odor down as well as making it easier to dump it all out once full. The newspaper can go in the compost along with kitchen scraps. Your compost pile shouldn’t smell much if done correctly. All you need is the proper balance between ‘browns’ and ‘greens.’ The newspaper in the bucket serves as a ‘brown’ in amongst all your ‘greens’ and that’s why it helps. :)

Book Review: I Love Dirt

imageMost of us (adults as well as children) don’t spend the time outdoors that our ancestors did in the past. Because of this we’ve grown rather disconnected from the wonders of nature. Research has demonstrated how beneficial being outdoors is for children’s mental & emotional well-being and yet we may still neglect this part of our lives.
Jennifer Ward has put together a marvelous little book that gives all sorts of creative ways to interact with and explore our environment. Most of her suggestions are simply ways to open our eyes to the details around us. She alerts us to things we may not have noticed before. I know I especially need this. I want to spend time outdoors with my daughter but I oftentimes don’t know what I should be doing out there with her. After reading her book I now have lots of options! Most of her ideas do not require any special equipment other than the five senses. While reading, several art/craft projects did come to my mind that would compliment nicely the activities she mentions. I appreciate how the book is organized by the seasons, so you can just turn to the section that applies to you at the time. In my efforts to live a more simple yet deep life, this book will be most helpful. I plan on purchasing this as one of my primary resources for Emma’s home-school Kindergarten this year. 

Simplicity in Flower Arranging

image More is not always better.

While large flower bouquets are quite attractive and glorious, sometimes the simple displays offer even more. Individual flowers can get lost in a large arrangement and their simple beauty may go unnoticed. The next time you pick flowers from your garden consider picking just a few stems and placing them in separate bud vases. One of the advantages of arranging flowers this way is that you don’t have to have the quantity that is needed for a larger display. You don’t even have to have flowers blooming. Different sprigs of greenery can be relaxing to gaze upon as well. In the winter you can use a single branch or a sprig of evergreen.

Since displaying flowers this way, I’ve noticed that I look at them more often. In addition, my 4-year-old daughter, Emma, has learned the names of each flower I bring inside.

Pictured from left to right: Geranium, Butterfly Bush, Black Eyed Susan

Wordless Wednesday: Peonies

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Peonies are my new favorite flower! 

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