ALL POSTS IN Gardening

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Alix Adams

One of the many things that I lack proficiency in is keeping plants alive. Watercolor, making spaghetti and enduring to the end of Top Gun are not really my strongest skills either. But I must say, I am particularly terrible at trying to keep a plant healthy. This is true for all potted plants, except for succulents and cacti (which, I like to consider a cactus a succulent, but with a sassy attitude). Yep, succulents are one difficult ornamental plant to kill. You need only water them every-other-week. They like lots of sunlight in my windowsill. They don’t care if my house is a mess or if I forget to shave my legs. Succulents are just there to cheer you up and add some green to the scene.

The best part about a succulent is that they can grow in almost any container. At my local hardware store, I have had my eye on some sassy-looking glass light covers for some time now; so when succulents went on sale I scooped up a few plants and a few light covers to create an inventive (and inexpensive) succulent garden for my mantel. You really can’t believe how fun a round light cover looks filled to the brim with succulent-ness. Time to make one of your own, I think!

Let’s Get Started

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I decided to grow my own vegetable garden a couple of years ago — and despite a lot of trial and error (and I mean a lot) — I’m pretty happy with it. Kale is a new and favorite addition to my garden this year— it’s crazy and a little scary how different fresh veggies taste. So, what about you? Have you tried your hand at vegetable gardening?

If you plan to start a vegetable garden this year, your best option is a raised garden bed. A raised bed prevents weeds and some pests from reaching the soil while providing good drainage. Plus, it extends growing season because soil above ground is warmer, and it prevents gardeners from straining their backs.

Raised Garden Bed

Making a raised bed is really easy — if I can do it, you can do it! All you need are a few tools and landscape wood. I had my local home improvement store cut wood to size. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to build your own bed. Get the full instructions here>>

And to help you get started on planting, follow our easy steps on how to grow potatoes, which grow best through summer. Get the full instructions here>>

Happy Gardening!

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Wow, that was some kind of crazy winter, right?! For those of you still suffering through the winter that just won’t die — my humblest apologies — but for those of us in warmer climes: Yay, spring’s here! And, for me, the arrival of spring means it’s time to head outside, scissors in hand, to find any early bloomers that I can bring inside to brighten things up.

First to flower in my backyard is hellebore  (a.k.a. lenten rose). Their heavy, droopy blooms on short stems are best displayed in a vase with a small opening. Here, I have them in what looks like an expensive Wedgwood vase but it’s actually an old Avon bottle that I found at an estate sale for the irresistible price of … wait for it … 10 cents!: Spring Hellebores in an Old Blue Vase

Joining the hellebore in their winter-banishing crusade are tiny, delicate crocus placed in an antique salt shaker:
Spring Flowers on a Bedroom Nightstand

The cardinals that have reigned unchallenged in my backyard this winter have been joined by a variety of other birds, including robins. I love the idea of using bird’s nests as a spring decoration but would never want to deprive some poor bird of their handmade home so I simply DIY-ed my own bird’s nest complete with tiny robin’s eggs. You can make one too while watching your favorite show. Get crafting with my step-by-step instructions>> How to Make a DIY Bird's Nest for Spring

You can make your nest any size you like — even big enough to act as an Easter basket: Handmade Bird's Nest as an Easter Basket

This is also the perfect time of year to force a branch to bloom indoors. Good candidates for this include fothergilla, witch hazel, Bradford pear, cherry, quince, redbud, lilac and my favorite: forsythia. Here’s what the forsythia branches in my backyard looked like when I cut them; the buds were just beginning to swell: Forsythia Branches Just Breaking Into Bud

And here they are just 1 week later, adding a happy shot of color to my living room:Cut Forced Forsythia as a Spring Arrangement

 Are you as ready for warmer weather as I am? How will you spring-up your rooms?

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I can’t fully say spring has sprung here at HGTV Headquarters, but we had some pretty incredible spring-like weather over the weekend. And with Plant a Flower Day coming up on Wednesday, the timing couldn’t be better. Yahoo web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse said users are already searching for spring flowers, and some of the top-searched picks  are everything from sunflowers and carnations to lilies and irises. Clearly you can see where my inspiration for today’s board came from.

Mood Board Monday: Sunflowers Hair | Flower Heart | Print | Fashion | Bouquet | Dress | Child | Arrangement

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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The weather may be less than ideal for outdoor gardening in much of the country right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun to be had until spring. If your green thumb is getting itchy, why not channel that energy into some totally cool crafts made with old gardening tools and accessories? Here are some inspired ideas I spotted (with some help from MacGyver veteran, Briana)…

garden watering can planters

Dented or leaky watering cans can become the perfect vessels for the plants they used to water! Take a look at Nancy Ondra’s other ideas for stunning, low-budget container gardens here.

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I take a lot of pride in my home. If it was up to me, everything would be cute, right down to the light switch and outlet covers. But sometimes, it’s hard to find an attractive solution for your most basic and utilitarian essentials. Luckily, Garden Glory has risen to the occasion for at least one of those ugly little problems. They offer gold, white, neon pink and black hoses, but I believe the matching antler holder is my favorite part. Even better? Animal decor is right on trend for fall!

Antler Hose Kit

Babble

More Ways to Use Animal Decor:

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Is anyone else a fan of decorating with books? I tend to squeeze a book or two wherever I can find the space. Unfortunately, I’ve always had to rely on interior book decor. But now, the style of beautiful, old books can be extended to the garden. These unique and stylish brick books are a super cool way to show off your love of books without damaging a classic. And there are so many to choose from, you’re bound to find an old favorite.

brick books

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I’ve always known that it was good for your health to keep plants in the house. It perks up your attitude and improves air quality. However, I was not aware that some plants do a better job of purifying the air and improving the overall smell in the home. Some of these plants also happen to be delicious herbs that would be great for adding to meals or making a cup of tea. That’s smart planting!

air purifying houseplantsRosemary | Basil | Geranium | Jasmine | Woodbine | Coffee Plant | Lavender | Mint

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Last weekend, I decided I wanted to liven up my home with a few (or maybe 11) houseplants. However, when I got home to distribute my new plants, I quickly realized I had gone overboard. I just didn’t have the space for all my leafy spoils. But with this adorable mini indoor greenhouse, several similar plants can be grouped together, and they look right at home. It looks like it’s time for a trip to IKEA!

mini indoor greenhouse

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