DIY Mason Bee House

Insects like butterflies and bees are fabulous pollinators and are incredibly important in helping our gardens grow!

Mason bees are the busiest bees of them all. It only take a few female mason bees to pollinate an established apple tree! Unlike the pompous honey bee (just kidding, we like them, too), mason bees will work in inclement weather. Another perk? They’re less likely to sting than a honey bee. The male mason bees don’t have stingers and the females will only sting when squished.

So with how amazing these little guys are, why not put out a welcome mat? You can buy a mason bee house OR you can have some fun and build one at home.

What you’ll need…

  • tin can (label peeled and can rinsed)
  • paint (optional)
  • hollow bamboo, straws, or rolled up scrap paper
  • hammer and a nail
  • twine (to hang)

First, using your hammer and nail, put a hole in the bottom of the can near the edge (this will help hang your mason bee house). Spray paint the exterior of your can and let dry. Thread your twine through the bottom of the can and out the top allowing enough length to hang. Insert your bamboo, straws, or rolled up paper tubes (kids love to help do this!).

That’s it! All you have to do now is hang your new mason bee house near your garden and wait for your guests to arrive!

For more ideas on attracting pollinators, visit our Pinterest page!

Easter is just around the corner, folks! Get ready for chocolate bunnies, overflowing baskets, and beautiful, fragrant Easter Lilies! These gorgeous trumpet-shaped blooms come in a large rainbow of vibrant colors and have a very sweet floral scent.

Easter Lilies generally bloom early to mid-summer around June or July. However, they can be grown indoors until the weather warms up. Here are a few tips on caring for these beautiful plants.

Plant care…

Normally, when Easter Lilies are given as gifts, they have a pretty foil wrapped around them. Remove this as soon as possible to prevent water-logged roots.

Easter Lilies need bright, natural light. However, be sure that it’s not placed in direct light as direct light can burn the plant.

After the last frost, your Easter Lily can be planted outdoors. Plant them in a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Root rot is common with this plant so well-draining soil is essential. You can also cover the soil around the plant with mulch to prevent the roots from getting sunburned.

Good to know…

Forgo this plant if you have feline friends.The toxins can cause kidney failure even when ingested in small amounts.

While most folks enjoy the distinct fragrance of Easter Lilies, they may not be a great Easter gift for a pregnant woman. Some expecting women experience a heightened sense of smell and strong fragrances (good or bad) can lead to nausea and/or headaches).

Visit our Pinterest page for more festive Easter ideas!

Easter ‘Carrots’!

At our Mad Hatter Tea Party, I just couldn’t resist trying these amazing “carrots”!

The recipe called for filling them with egg salad, but since we had so many children attending, I used chicken salad.  You can’t get any simpler! Just buy a can of crescent roll dough. I found the little cream horn forms at the kitchen store at the Dayton Farmer’s Market. 6 for just $2.69!  

I was intrigued by the idea of painting my carrots so they’d be that brilliant orange color, but in the end, I chickened out.  I think they turned out great with just a simple egg wash. 

Here’s a tutorial I found helpful.

Happy Easter!

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Crafty Garden Markers

It’s not always easy to remember what’s what in your garden. Here is a fun garden marker idea that will help you and your family remember what you planted. They also add a bit of pizzaz!

Animals in the garden…

Your kids (and probably, your inner-kid) will love these! Have your kids pick out their favorite plastic figurines. We found great options like dinosaurs, horses, and reptiles at the local dollar tree.

Time to paint! After protecting your art surface with newspaper, lay out a few cheap paintbrushes, some plastic cups for brush cleaning, and your paint. If these are for an outdoor garden, be sure to pick a type of paint that can hold up to the elements. We like FolkArt Multi-surface because it’s a hardy paint and it comes is soooo many amazing colors!

Depending on the material of your figurines, you may need to do two coats of paint. Allow paint to dry completely between coats.

After your figurines are dry, you can use paint or a black permanent marker to add the name of your plants and/or flowers. We used one color on each, but you can be as creative as you want to be and add stripes, polka dots, etc.

All you have to do now is place your awesome new markers in the garden!

Visit our Pinterest page for more garden bling ideas!

Milk Carton Garden

Milk carton gardens are a fun way to create a kid-friendly container garden and recycle at the same time! We like them best for herb gardens as most herbs are small and don’t require too much space.

What you’ll need:

  • Milk cartons (as many as you like)
  • Decorative duct tape
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Potting soil
  • Herbs (whatever your little heart desires)

First, ask all of your family members to save their milk, juice, and creamer cartons for you (grandparents come in very handy when collecting crafts supplies). Rinse your containers well and drain as nothing ruins a gardening experience more than the pungent scent of soured milk.

Cut one side of the carton out for an opening (this is a job for grown-ups or older kids).

Then add patterned duct tape along the cut edges. This will add some flare to your planter as well as prevent paper cuts. You can usually find tape with fun patterns at any dollar store in the hardware section.

Next, using your screwdriver, punch a few holes in the bottom of the containers for drainage.

The rest of your project is best done outdoors so that you can get as dirty as you want without messing up the carpet. Fill your carton half way with soil. You can add additional soil around your plant as needed.

Plop in your herbs (we chose thyme and parsley because we use it a lot in the kitchen). All you have to do now is water your herbs and enjoy!

For more container garden ideas, visit our Pinterest page!

 

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