For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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More Garden Junque Ideas, Window Pane Mini Greenhouse, Seed Packet Calendar Box and Yummy Rhubarb Upside Down Treat

Ryan and I were transplanting more tomatoes in the green house yesterday... he enjoys playing in the dirt~ after all he is a boy.  He got 14 flats done and was quite pleased with himself, especially with him earning fifty cents a flat and it didn't even take him an hour!  Work is an ethic that needs to be taught when they are young and being able to earn a little bit on the side isn't all that bad either.  Afterward, I was watering in the hoop house and was just standing there looking at all the neat rows of lettuce and tomatoes and taking in the deep earthy smell... I love to be outside, in the gardens in the fresh air... how much better when it's with my children!  We'll talk on a bit more about how to utilize garden junque and cute-sifying your gardens today!

More Garden Junque Ideas!
As I was talking yesterday about garden junque and other neat items to add interest to your gardens, I got thinking about the outside of our homes and how much better the windows look if 'dressed' up as well!  Once again, flea markets, rummage sales and antique shoppes are probably your best bet to find some neat stuff.  Here are some more junque items to watch for & ideas on how to use them.
*I have a really neat old door that I attached to back of the garage where the kitchen garden is, put a distressed wooden primitive type star with grapevine on it and presto- no more bare wall!  I also have a french door type on the back wall of my potting shed with a neat shelf over top and antique farm tools  on either side it.   
*Window boxes are a must or putting a neat old barn wood shelf to house your pretty pots (see photo) is really cute too! 
*Neat wooden drop leaf table or enamel ware tables to put on your porch and decorate with flower pots.
*Old metal wash tubs make great planters once again adding height and dimension into the garden.  You can also use it for entertaining- just fill it up with ice and then put bottled water, soda or juice in- too cute!
*Double burner caners- now here's a find- I actually found one of mine at a junk-yard.  Now it is a planter in my flower beds.
*Tree stumps make wonderful places to set a pot of flowers on or even to make a cute rustic bench to stop and take a break and enjoy your flower beds- simply get two stumps relatively the same size and place a board- barn wood is best and place across the two stumps- instant bench!
*How many times have you driven past a home getting brand spankin new windows put in and there is a whole pile of the old wooden windows laying a the curb?  Well, I've seen a lot where I live and there is no way I can just leave them sit there, especially if they are paned~ what a find!  I put one of course on the side of my potting shed and then added three old tin pails as planters right under them... pansies look perfect, right beside one of my garden bikes. (see photo)
~ I also have one on the wall on my front porch above a table I decorate up with plants and other stuff!
*Window Pane Mini Greenhouse~  (see photo) I am sure many of you who love to page through magazines like Country Gardens have seen really cute mini green houses made out of... you guessed it~ old window panes!  Of course I had to have one and my dear husband willingly obliged to construct it for me.  Here's a simple how to!
~SUPPLIES:  First you will need to find 6 window panes, preferably paned for the cutest effect.  They should be the same size, unless you or your spouse are very creative!  You will need screws long enough to go through the wood part of the window and into the other window.  One piece of angle iron cut to the length of window- this is what will attach the two roof pieces, drill and metal drill bit.
~Next do any repairs that you think necessary- like re-caulking/glazing any loose panes or re-painting.  I like the chipped paint look- aka as distressed!
~Choose one pane and put down flat, this is the floor of your green house
~Next choose two panes for the roof.  With someone helping and holding the two panes as to make a tee-pee, put angle iron across the two and screw it on to hold the two pieces together.
~Choose the 3 side panes- the front will be open; Attach the back wall by screwing it to the bottom side of the floor window; take one side and screw it to the side of the back wall and the bottom of the floor; repeat for other side wall.
~Once the sides are securely attached to the floor carefully lift the roof onto the base~ you will have to find a spot to carefully screw through to attach the roof to the base- this will depend on the size and type of window you use.
Well now your mini greenhouse is done and all you need is the perfect spot to put it... and I am sure that you won't have a problem doing that! Put a big metal or enamel ware bucket filled with petunias in it and stand back and awe!

Gift giving can be as fun as one makes it.  We all have friends and they all have birthdays and some unfortunately even move away.  Here is a great gift idea for any occasion you want!  This gift is great for a cook or gardener.
Seed Packet Calendar Box
Supplies you will need: 1 pretty 4"x6" or larger recipe/file box, 12 plain subject index cards to fit; Index Cards to fit your box, colored with no lines are cute; seed packs- at least 12. Optional items include cute letter and theme stickers
1. Either write or use letter stickers to put the months of the year on the index cards.
2. Buy seed packets for each month of the year.  Place the packets in the index for suitable planting times.  In colder climates where some months may be inappropriate for planting outside, include seeds that can be started indoors.  for cold climates write instructions for how to start seeds indoors.  In cold climates when even starting seed indoors would be ill advised, give a gift certificate from a local nursery or florist for an indoor flowering herb, plant or perhaps some bulbs like paperwhite or narcissus, to be planted in pots and forced for indoor blooming.
3. Consider in which month you gave herb or veggie seeds and when they would be ready to harvest; write recipes for using those herb or veggies- be sure to file in appropriate month!
4. Include fun ideas and gardening tips or even a 'what to do this month' list in each month.  Martha Stewart has these type of lists on her web site as well as her magazine. 
Here are a few ideas for cold climate areas to give you a head start:
*Lavender seeds would need to be started indoors in cold climates in January, give a Lavender Short Bread Cookie recipe in June when it is in full bloom.
*Peppers and Tomatoes should be started indoors by the end of February- Find a Brushetta and Stuffed Peppers recipes to add in the months of August.
*A gift certificate to any store that sells bulbs could be added in the month of September so they can be planted in October to enjoy next spring.
*A gift certificate for the month of April will give your gardener friend an opportunity to get a grape vine, raspberry or fruit tree started.
*If your friend is a gardener who has a veggie garden, give a gift certificate for the month of September to purchase a blueberry plant.
... Of course there are many other options, so just have fun with it and watch your friend smile! 

We know it's good for us... really it is!  Some of us~ including me, just can't get beyond the stringy sour... well here is a winner that even I like!  Give it a try!
Yummy Rhubarb Upside Down Treat

3 cup rhubarb, diced
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 - 6oz package strawberry jello
1 can pineapple rings, juice reserved
1 box yellow cake mix (18 1/2oz pkg.)

1. Layer the bottom of a slightly greased 9"x13" baking pan with pineapple rings.
2. Combine rhubarb, sugar and jello in bowl and mix; pour over pineapple rings- set aside.
3. Prepare cake batter according to package directions substituting liquid with pineapple juice- if not enough add water to make proper amount; pour batter over mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes; let cool then invert onto a cake plate to serve!

Happy Day,
Jean
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