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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Finally, Milkweed Flowers

In 2011, I collected some milkweed seeds along a rural road in our area.

They were planted that fall and sprouted in the spring of 2012.

Each year the plant grew a little larger.

This year, I have flowers!




Monday, June 8, 2015

Aloe Overload

My aloe vera plants have been doing quite well.  Too well.  They are almost falling out of their pots.
Time to divide and share.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June Tour 2015

Front Garden

Forest

Back Garden




Side Garden

Vegetable Garden

Patio

Alley


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blooming "Poppy In The Path"

The garden received regular rains throughout May.  Amazing what rain will do to perk up a garden.  The June tour photos will be quite lush!

My wonderful husband and I took a little time away last week to celebrate our anniversary.  I didn't even need to think about asking someone to water the garden.  Found a little wind damage when we returned from a storm that blew through, but in general the garden looked better than when we left.

I had to put in a few squash seeds as only a couple sprouted from the first planting a few weeks ago.  Too cool and cloudy I guess.  That never happens.

As I try to get back into work mode for tomorrow morning, here's a photo of 
the "Poppy in the Path."  It's blooming!!




Thursday, May 21, 2015

Golf Ball Ladybugs



A friend shared the basic instructions for these cute ladybug garden decorations with me this past winter.  I think they are adorable.  I started scouting out the materials right away.  I had some of the paint, but only two golf balls.  I asked people I knew who golfed if they had used golf balls they'd part with.  I found most golfers use golf balls until they die or they lose them.  To keep my hope of giving some as gifts, I had to refrain from asking the people who were on the list of potential ladybug recipients if they had any golf balls available.  It is hard to explain why you want a bunch of golf balls when you don't golf without revealing your plan.  So, I started looking for places to purchase used golf balls.  Our local driving range had some, but I wanted a better price.  I found a bag available online at half the price per golf ball than at the driving range.  96 golf balls were shipped to my house.  When they arrived, I discovered I had received 97 golf balls.  Add in my two, and I had 99 golf balls.  I needed more paint.  After a shopping trip to a craft store and a hardware store, I had everything collected.  I worked on them as I found time.  Our guest room looked like a ladybug factory for a while.  Eventually, all 99 golf balls became ladybugs.  I just couldn't paint them all red.  I wanted a little variety.  They were Mother's Day gifts for many moms we know and love.  A good number of them are roaming my garden as well.

Here are the materials and the process I used.  Making 99 of them was a bit insane.  You might be happier just making a few.

Materials:
golf balls
primer
acrylic paints
sealer for outdoor items

Tools:
bucket
sand paper
soap
water
towel
cardboard box
newspapers
paint brushes
paper plates
Styrofoam
T pins

Since they were all used golf balls, the finish on them was already scuffed, but I gave them a little sanding anyway.


Some soapy water to clean the golf balls and then a run through the rinse cycle.


A towel helped get most of the water off the golf balls.


I let them sit out on a warm sunny day to dry well after being cleaned.


I put the golf balls in a cardboard box, sprayed them with primer, let them dry, shook the box and repeated the process a handful of times.  Eventually, I did look at each golf ball to make sure there were no spots with no primer.


I stuck T pins through some Styrofoam to make a drying rack.  I saw this as a way to dry dyed eggs at Easter time.


I was really careful at first trying to paint around my fingers with the plan to paint the spots I was holding after sitting the golf ball on the pins.  Eventually, I just rolled the golf ball around on a paper plate while painting it letting myself get paint all over my fingers.  Then, I touched it up after picking it up off the paper plate and touched up the last two places where I was holding the golf ball after sitting it down on the pins.  That was much faster!


I didn't start out with the cardboard box under the drying rack, but after one of the golf balls fell off the drying rack and threatened to roll across the table getting paint everywhere along the way (thank goodness I had newspaper on the table), I realized I needed a corral to contain the runaways.  I let the golf balls dry overnight after each coat of paint.  I gave them two coats of the body color.


A head, a stripe and dots were added after the body color was ready.  Two coats for these as well.


I kept the drying rack full.








Lady bugs in various stages of painting.










The drying racks got reused to hold the ladybugs while giving them a few coats of outdoor sealer.





All 99 ladybugs for the group photo.


Little packages of cuteness to share.


Golf ball ladybugs in the garden containers...






Golf ball ladybugs in the house on the plant stand...



Who knows where they'll roam to next.  :-)

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