Category Archives: Gardening

Hello, Little Birdie!

A few months back, Walker and I made an awesome upgrade to the backyard and have been enjoying it ever since. Inspired by our grandfathers, who were both avid bird/animal lovers, we decided to bring some of our feathered friends to our little patch of green in the city by adding a few different kinds of bird feeders. Although it took the birds a week or so to find the feeders, now the birds (mostly sparrows, finches, mockingbirds, and the occasional bluejay) come in flocks of 10-20 to eat! They don’t even care if we are sitting out there anymore… they have gotten pretty brave!

My handsome man setting up the feeder pole :)

My handsome man setting up the feeder pole :)

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The hummingbird feeder is located in the tree above the other feeders but it doesn't get much action. So we are moving it to the other side, near the hibiscus and grape plants.

The hummingbird feeder is located in the tree above the other feeders but it doesn’t get much action. So we are moving it to the other side, near the hibiscus and grape plants.

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We also started to gather a squirrel following (which I was not pleased about… those idiots were eating all the bird food and breaking the feeder), but a simple feed switch to “F.M. Brown’s Bird Lover’s Blend — No Squirrels… Just Birds” did the trick. The food uses chunks of hot chili peppers in the food, which the squirrels find insanely spicy since they are mammals, but the birds can’t taste the spice at all (and the chilies are actually quite good for them!). Plus, instead of sunflower seeds, it uses safflower seeds, which the squirrels find bitter and unappetizing. We haven’t seen a single squirrel since the day we switched the food (months ago)! Yippee!

Anyway, call us old people but we have really enjoyed listening to and watching the birds. There is something so soothing about having them around. :)BirdFeeder8

DIY Heart-Shaped Concrete Planter

As promised, I want to explain in a bit more detail how I made the DIY heart-shaped concrete succulent planter for Walker’s Valentine’s Day gift. While I could have easily gone to the hardware and craft stores for all of the supplies for the project, I chose to simplify my life and buy a “Cast Your Own” planter kit from NativeCast for $10 that included the exact supplies I needed (and the concrete is “green!”).

Photo Source: www.nativecast.com

Photo Source: www.nativecast.com

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If you decide to go find the supplies yourself, you will need to find a small bag of concrete mix (good luck on this one… concrete mix is usually sold in large bags of 50 lbs. or more! Keep your eyes peeled for a smaller “patching” kit) and a cardboard mold (craft stores sell cardboard craft boxes like the one pictured above in many shapes/sizes). Thankfully, my kit included just the right amount of concrete mix for my little planter so I didn’t have to hunt it down.HeartPlanter2

Start by wetting the cardboard box mold to ensure that you will be able separate the mold from the concrete after it dries. Then, following the instructions on your concrete mix packaging, add the appropriate amount of water to the mix so that you get a pliable paste.HeartPlanter3 HeartPlanter4

My kit came with a little wooden spreading tool but you can use a disposable spoon or something similar to spread the concrete along the inside of the cardboard mold, adding a drop or two of water to the mix if it becomes too dry.HeartPlanter5

Once all of the concrete has been spread out in the mold, use the spoon to smooth out all of the edges and make a small hole at the bottom for drainage. Set aside your project so that the concrete can dry according to the directions (mine took 12 hours but I left it for 24 hours to be sure).HeartPlanter6

Once the concrete has dried, tear or cut the cardboard mold away from the concrete. If any of the cardboard sticks, use a wet cloth to soak away the remaining pieces.HeartPlanter8 HeartPlanter7

Your planter is done! How easy was that!? I added soil and succulents to my heart-shaped planter before giving it to my valentine. I love the rustic look and the handmade feel of the concrete planter. We may have to order a few more kits and make a bunch of these for our backyard! :)HeartPlanter9_new HeartPlanter10HeartPlanter2 HeartPlanter1

**I was in no way compensated for this post by NativeCast… I just think their product is awesome! :)**

Green Sunday Fun – Fall 2012

Hello all! I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, candy-filled Halloween yesterday! :)

After a long, hot Los Angeles summer, some of our plants have been looking a bit lackluster. So Walker and I decided to take a trip to the garden center and then do a little gardening this weekend. He replaced a few of our succulents and I worked on a makeshift wire trellis for our honeysuckle vine. Still on the to-do list for outside is to get our lilac vine under control as well because it decided to grow THROUGH the fence instead of on it.

Short and sweet post today but enjoy the pictures, courtesy of Walker! :)