4 Easy Tips on Potted Geraniums

I have been growing geraniums for about 8 years now. I picked up a cheap little one at a farmer’s market when we lived in San Diego. It was pink and cute so I thought I would give it a try. Obviously, the sensational climate in Southern California prompted that tiny Geranium into growing about 10 times its size and flourishing with bright pink blooms year round. I kept it in a pot since we lived in an apartment, but I eventually had an entire balcony full of them. Even in our neighborhood there, Geraniums grew on the side of the streets and in open fields. Beautiful!

Fast forward to living back in Texas, the climate is not perfect at all. In fact, we have more hot or cold days, then mild. So, all my beloved potted Geraniums needed much more love and attention here in Texas, especially surviving the scorching hot summers. So, I have learned some tips and tricks over the years to growing healthy potted Geraniums.

I’ve noticed that the literature on gardening can get confusing if you don’t know the lingo. I took horticulture classes in college and was able to understand the technical terms, but it took awhile. But don’t worry, these tips are for anyone!

tips1. They hate too much water!

  • It is best to let them completely dry out before you water again. Then water in the morning until soil is damp.

2. They love sun, at least 6 hours a day.

  • Choose a spot that gets morning and early afternoon sun. If you live in an area that gets incredibly hot in the summer (like me!), make sure they are in a spot with good afternoon shade.

3. They love to be deadheaded and pruned.

  • Always deadhead (just a gardening term for cut or pinch off) blooms that are on their last leg. I also prune leaves that look yellowish. The more you get rid of spent blooms, the bigger and more full it gets. If I don’t like the shape of mine, I will even go in and remove leaves that are catawampus (askew or crooked haha).

4. They do like a little bit of fertilizer every few weeks.

  • I’m not a zealous fertilizer user for my potted plants, but I do like to add some in the spring months to get them off on the right foot. You can use natural like epsom salt ( 1 tsp per about 1 gallon water). Or just pick up some miracle grow. Add 1 tbsp per 1 gallon water, and add a bit when you water your plant every 2-3 weeks. I don’t normally fertilize in the really hot months so I can avoid burning the plant ๐Ÿ™‚

Bonus Information: Winter inside by a window with sun with very little water unless they look like they need it. Geraniums get root rot very easily, so never over water. Use a large pot with room for drainage so they have room to grow!

geranium5alexis

Vintage Weekend

My favorite time period is the Victorian Era. I am totally captivated by the customs, etiquette, architecture, fashion, and lifestyle in general. If time travel were possible, I would transport myself there in a heartbeat! This weekend I planned an intimate little bachelorette party for my best friend of 27 years (friends since we were 1!). I did some research for something unique and special, and stumbled upon a vintage tea at The Ashton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. I immediately knew it was the perfect thing for us to do. We are both lovers of all things vintage and nostalgic for those by gone days. I grew up around Fort Worth and have never heard of this, so I was thrilled to get a chance to try it out. I could do a whole post on the history of The Ashton Hotel, but most people wouldn’t find that very interesting ๐Ÿ™‚ But I will tell you this structure dates back to 1915!

ashton1 2015-04-18 13.46.31-1They include valet parking which is always a good mark in my book. Then we spent a few minutes inside the sitting area of the lobby to be called for tea. The waiting area was the perfect blend of vintage and modern, so we were delighted in the ambiance.

ashton4 ashton5The tea itself was incredible. The treats came out in courses, and all the food was delicious…but the scones were absolutely to die for! They had a large amount of tea selections too with your own little tea pot.

ashton2 If you are ever in the Fort Worth area, I highly recommend making reservations for a Saturday afternoon tea!

alexis

Recycled Paint Can Turned Planter!

Recycling is something I have always had a knack for. Even as a kid, I was coming up with ways to reuse things without having to throw them away. Throwing items away is something I always feel guilty about, especially when they have so much potential. That being said, I also hate clutter, so don’t worry…I’m not a pack rat ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been watching flea market shows for years and my affinity for repurposing continues to grow. This past winter, we put up a wood privacy fence and stained every square inch of it. It took about 7 gallons total!

I never could bring myself to throw those cans away, I knew there had to be something special for them. I’ve been eying them for weeks, and today I decided to turn one into a planter. I see cute little tin can planters at chic thrift stores selling for at least $10. This was an almost free version. All I had to buy was the paint!

2015-04-15 15.17.50First, you need an old paint can. Remove the label. This label came off pretty easy, but if you need too, soak in hot water, then scrub off. Make sure surface is clean and dry.

Next, make sure you poke holes in the bottom to allow proper drainage. I used a screw driver and hammer. Poke at least 5 or 6 holes. Now, spray a good outdoor paint over the entire surface. I used Valspar outdoor anti – rust. It took about two coats.

2015-04-15 17.46.37Plant anything you like! I recommend filling the bottom with some rocks to allow good drainage, then fill with potting soil. Stick with something smaller that will fit perfect inside.

2015-04-15 17.48.53

I plan on doing some more in different colors, then lining them up on our back yard wall! You can even put it on a little shepards hook, like I did above.

So, there you have it. An almost free, simple little flower pot. ๐Ÿ™‚

alexis

Pinteresting

Pinterest is a huge source of creativity and inspiration for me! Here are some of my favorite pins from this week:

21ffea14641856f00a93f396c035ad70This cupcake saying is perfect for a chemist like me ๐Ÿ™‚ I love cafe press gifts. Click the link for their website.

be4465be2aafe154908a99a56e79c2b0Pink Roses are the best!

e03ba4a98b0a910315dcd1558135dcdeWhat a great idea! My laundry room is fairly small so I think I will try this out!

13785070_f7KtOFCu_cAnd lastly, this wonderful looking strawberry iced tea…this makes me very excited for summer!

As always, click the picture for the original source! Have a good Thursday!

Low Calorie Vanilla “Milkshake”

The upcoming sultry summer days call for a refreshing, cold drink to enjoy on the patio watching the birds and soaking up the sun! One of my favorite drinks to enjoy is a vanilla milkshake, but not so much with all the fat and calories…

This vanilla “milkshake” is a great breakfast, snack, or even a night time treat. I read in a magazine years ago that adding some cottage cheese to smoothies was a great way to get more protein in, and I was surprised how THICK they were! Almost too thick to drink…so I decided maybe having cottage cheese as a base with some other flavoring would create more of a dessert. Many flavors are good, but I really love vanilla! And I promise, you won’t actually taste the cottage cheese once it is blended ๐Ÿ™‚

Low caloria vanilla milk

Low Calorie Vanilla “Milkshake”

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese ( I like 2% with a brand that only has a few simple ingredients)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla extract (depending on how strong you want the flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 packets truvia
  • 1-2 cups of ice
  • Optional: 1 tbsp sugar-free dry vanilla pudding mix or your choice of sugar-free dry cake batter mix, or any other kind if you really want to make this rich (although this choices aren’t as healthy :))

Directions: Blend everything until smooth! I add the chia seeds last, then just pulse them in.

I love chia seeds as an added boost of nutrition to snacks like this. Chia seeds are full of protein and fiber. Chemistry fact โ†’ they contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is a plant based omega 3 fatty acid. There are numerous health benefits to ALA’s, but I love chia seeds in particular because they are filling and low in calories! They also help thicken the shake a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you enjoy!

alexis

Five Spring Inspiration Ideas

Spring is such a invigorating season especially after a long, cold, gray winter. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than the sight of plants budding, birds chirping, and sun shining! Obviously we are well into spring by now, but I still have some projects I would like to complete before the intense Texas 100ยบ weather comes to stay (which can even happen in May ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ). We have lived in our house for about a year, and no landscaping has been done before. So, we really want to focus on sprucing up the backyard. Spring and summer around here are full of cooking out in the backyard, dining al fresco, and enjoying the view from the patio at night which is a woodsy area that is blanketed in fireflies in the summer! Now, on to the list…

1. Create a new flower bed/landscape area in the corner of our new fence. We put a wood privacy fence up this winter and it definitely needs some fluffing. Here are some ideas we have (click on picture to go to original link):

wood-privacy-fence-styles-designs-800x800Flower-bed-with-compostWe definitely want to add some vine up the fence. And do a corner bed with some plants. I will show you the project as we get started on it!

2. Get some outdoor garden storage for bird seed, tools, chair cushions, etc. Still on the lookout, but I really like this idea:

41Fw3mdE1zL._SX466_3. Add some more flowers to the patio. Some of my plants didn’t make it through winter, and I would like to add some more color. My favorite potted plants are geraniums and hibiscus.ย  Here are some of my hibiscus plants from last spring:

2014-05-27 18.30.542014-10-16 16.40.43

5. Lastly, we want to add some fun, inviting lights to enjoy during those warm summer nights under the stars. Here’s some inspiration for that:

Decorating-Holiday-Lights-Throughout-YearI will make sure to update you with how the backyard turns out soon! Thanks for reading!

 

 

DIY Rose Trellis

Some say I’m an “old soul” and I would have to agree. I’m an old soul for many reasons, but one of those would have to be my intense love for gardening. My passion for flowers began at a young age when I would help my dad with yard work on warm summer mornings. I was particularly obsessed with the pink mimosa blossoms on the trees. To this day, just seeing a mimosa tree transports me back to those long summer days when I didn’t have a care in the world.

One of my favorite plants in my landscape is roses! I love everything about them. I took Horticulture in college and learned many tips on growing them. Here is my first rose bloom of the season

2015-04-13 09.38.32-1Now, on to an easy DIY rose trellis. I have two climbing rose bushes in the backyard. They are fairly close together, but I wanted to incorporate a trellis that would connect them as they grew taller, making almost a wall of flowers. I didn’t like the rose trellis at the garden stores, so I decided to make my own.

You need:

  • 1 long piece of regular wood lattice – 8 ft long (mine was about $14 at Lowe’s)
  • 3 wooden stakes with pointed tips – at least 36 in tall
  • Wood screws
  • Black spray paint (or any color you choose)

All it takes is screwing the stakes onto the lattice (I used a drill). One on each end, then one in the middle. The stakes don’t need to go all the way up to the top of the lattice, but high enough to be supportive. Spray paint it the color you choose. I used Rust-Oleum flat black. This helps with wood rot resistance. Then hammer into the ground a few inches, or at least until the lattice is sturdy. Here’s how ours looks…

2015-04-10 16.10.03 2015-04-10 16.10.09

To train my roses, I use a zip tie to secure them at a 45ยบ angle. Obviously, as these continue to grow taller, we will add more height to the lattice. These roses are a little over a year old. They will bloom bright red soon!

And as always, my little helper was there to make sure it was done right!

2015-04-12 12.28.54