Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garden Whimsy - Joy of the unexpected

I enjoy putting a little surprise into my garden through the use of unexpected items. 
Each of the items shown below were secured for free or at very low cost from garage sales, craigslist of freecycle. 

Here are a few examples.

I have a few of these "plastic" gargoyles.  They move around the garden and hide in different spots. They neighbor kids have fun trying to find them!

Gargoyle in the West Garden
Antique Bed Frame as architectural element

The antique bed frame looks really great in the winter when the foliage has fallen.  Last summer it looked much better when the plant in front of it was smaller too!  Nonetheless, it's an unexpected element in the garden. It helps add some interest to all the green, and break up the vertical element of the evergreens behind it.

Old Bronze pump / fountain

This bronze fountain I literally picked up from the side of the road. I first noticed the shine, then the little faucet.  It was in three pieces - but I thought there was some use for it.  After trying to convince my helpers to reassemble it and make it a functional fountain, we agreed that more standing water in the yard was not a good thing. So we just assembled it and put it into the garden.  Here tucked up in the shade, it adds a little visual interest. 

Wire Sculpture
This last picture is of a wire sculpture. We have had several discussions on what exactly this is supposed to be used for.  Options range from plant stand, ivy form, to just plain art.  I have these in the hosta bed on my porch. I was able to pick up two at a garage sale for only $15.  They flank the bay window nicely and add structure and visual interest. 

Gardens - not just for plants :) It's a canvas to your creativity.

Teresa Marie

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Easy Fruit Fly Trap

I'm starting to harvest from my vegetable garden and that always means fruit flies in the house.  A few years ago we stumbled across this simple trap.

All you need is:
- A glass or vase
- A piece of paper (8x11 or larger)
- Tape (any kind)
- A piece of fruit or vegetable peels

Simple Paper cone with hole at the bottom
Here are the instructions:
1) Put the fruit or vegetable into the bottom of the glass
2) Roll the paper into a cone shape so that it fits easily into the glass, flush with all sides, while still keeping a hole at the smallest end of the cone (see picture below)
3) Tape the side of the paper cone so it holds it's shape
4) Place the cone in the glass.
5) Sit back and relax while the trap catches the flies
6) Empty the trap and change the fruit out periodically.

The flies go into the glass to get at the fruit and cannot get out!!! For the most success you must minimize other distractions for the fruit flies - clean kitchen, no fruit or vegetable waste available.
Every day, and sometimes a few times a day, I release the fruit flies outside.  I also periodically replace the fruit at the bottom. The older the fruit gets, the more aroma it puts out that attracts the fruit flies.  But I also worry that as the flies might be laying eggs in the fruit - I could be generating them as well. So I like to change it out!

Completed Fruit Fly Catcher
Success - lot of trapped flies :)

I have a bumper crop of cucumbers - anyone have recipes?

Happy Day!

Teresa Marie