Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My Fairy Folks - Path of Success

I received a message recently from one of My Fairy Folks. In this message she explained how she was motivated based on my Garden A Day Challenge to do something in her garden each day of July. She settled on cleaning up an overgrown path in her yard. She counted the pavers and divided the work equally throughout the month. The foliage was thick and covered the walkway making the pavers not visible. 


The pavers shown above were once obstructed from view by dymondia margaretae, a ground coverage plant that is more commonly known as "Silver Carpet." According to Gardenia.net, this plant sprouts small, yellow flowers in the summer and is drought tolerant but will grow quickly when watered. A benefit of having Silver Carpet in your yard is that it is a heart plant with deep roots that tolerates foot traffic well and also grows to be a thick mat that prevents weeds from sprouting.

"I never would have got the project finished if I hadn't divided up the work one day at a time because of my bad knees." 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and I'm so glad I was able to inspire at least one person out there! If you have any projects you've completed that were inspired by this blog, please feel free to send me information so I can feature it during this monthly spotlight.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Welcome Yellow

This decorative paver was a gift from my daughter probably 20 years ago when I first began gardening. Since then, it has sat out in the yard under a tree. The elements took their toll on this sentimental piece but I knew a new paint job would bring it new life. I also decided it needed to have a more prominent position in my garden.

I began with one base white coat.

I covered that with two coats of yellow paint.

Now this piece is what welcomes people to my food garden.
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Friday, July 13, 2018

First Salad Harvest of 2018


Last month we took a look at the beginning of my food garden, specifically the area where I started my salad garden. This was how the main area looked back in February. 
These young cherry tomatoes grew quickly and have been thriving (unlike some other plants).
By April, my salad garden had filled out significantly, including the cinder block area and three separate pots for leafy greens.
When it came to harvesting the salad, I just couldn't keep up! My granddaughter would come over once or twice a week for a full bag of salad but could have easily made an extra trip each week at the rate my garden was replenishing!


This full salad is made from butter lettuce, red romaine and cherry tomatoes, all from my very own back yard!
These baby carrots are also from my garden - very few grew but they were delicious. Unfortunately the heat of June killed off all the leafy greens (the spinach held on the longest). The tomato and carrots are still holding strong thankfully.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Four Years Together


Here we are at yet another anniversary post. One more year gone by with more experience under our belt and exciting things ahead. The fourth anniversary flower is the hydrangea which is what I used to create the banner above and the garden below. Unfortunately, mother nature didn't realize this week was so important to me because she decided to scorch my lovely anniversary flowers with temperatures reaching 112 degrees. 

Based on last year's review, here are some numbers for comparison. In the last year I've made 108 blog posts, 40 of which were published last month alone thanks to my Garden A Day Challenge. June 2018 saw more posts published than in either 2016 or 2017, each of those years only having 46 posts in them!

Google + is still pushing along with 544 followers. Since last year, my YouTube channel has gained over 50 uploads (124 videos) and the views have more than doubled at just over 10.5k! I'm pleased to say that my YouTube channel now has cleared the 100 subscribers mark. The most viewed post in the last year was Season's Greetings in December with 189 views which has a long journey to cactch up to the overall most viewed video from M&M Nursery back in 2015 with 578 views. Since last year, my granddaughter helped to get us connected on social media including Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I began pushing these accounts in May 2018 and currently have 17 Twitter followers, 40 Pinterest followers and 83 Instagram followers.



Numbers aside, we had many accomplishments in the past year. Most recently was the Garden A Day Challenge, my first attempt at anything like this. I feel like this challenge did a great deal for me personally (cleaning up my garden and allowing myself to be creative quickly and cheaply) as well as helped my online presence (social media numbers grew significantly). 

The blog has seen very little of the food garden - which will change - but my YouTube views have really seen an improvement thanks to my edible garden updates. I also attribute a rise in YouTube viewership to a few of my new monthly features including my shopping hauls and unboxing videos. I still don't understand why "the haul" is such a big deal to people but I'm glad my grandson told me they were popular and we have been able to benefit from it.

On the topic of monthlies, we have been doing a DIY fairy garden class each month for quite some time and have slowly begun to add new staples to the blog which I hope you will look forward to. The monthly list includes fairy garden class, My Fairy Folks - a visit to one of my follower's garden each month, Gifts for the Garden - a look at the gifts I receive from followers and family each month, unboxing posts (currently Seed Bank Box and My Fairy Crate which may change in the future), shopping hauls, food garden updates and garden projects that will including repainting and lights as a main feature. Whew!


That's all quite a lot of accomplishments but according to last year's review, our biggest goal was to put together a contest. Unfortunately, we were unable to make that happen in the last year, however you may be surprised to know that planning has been underway for a while! There is a lot that goes in to something like that (especially technical web type stuff that I don't know about), but actual progress is being made on making it a reality. We are hoping to begin the contest before the end of this year and will reveal details soon.

What I'd currently like to announce is the fact that my blog has it's own url now! In March I purchased the name GardenWithGrandma.com and if you type that into your browser now, it will bring you right back to this blog. In the future, it will host our contest and blog posts. I felt this was an appropriate move since it would allow us to possibly make money through ads (which will help continue to fund all things fairy garden and food garden related), allow us to host the fairy garden contest and anything else we'd like to do in the future all under a website name that is easy to remember and access.



If you can believe it, I think our goals for the year ahead of us are even bigger! The previously mentioned contest is our biggest and scariest goal! This is uncharted territory for myself and any of my grandchildren but we are determined to make this happen. I was inspired to do this contest since the one I used to participate in (The Magic Onion) has not been active for years. I felt that there were a lot of people like me who were just hoping to find a similar contest and decided to take it upon myself to just create one. Also on the horizon for the next year is expanding the food garden and adding new fairy garden areas. I plan to make the front garden more kid friendly since my great-grandchildren are getting older and I'd love to have them over more. I plan to visit more local stores and nurseries to showcase fairy garden accessories and hopefully add this to my list of monthly features. 



There is talk of getting the fairy garden class back out to an actual location, allowing me to meet up with My Fairy Folks and have a lovely morning of creativity. November 2015 was the last time a physical class was held at Sunshine Growers Nursery in Yucaipa, CA. It is a favorite nursery of mine and they have increased the stock of fairy decor as well as miniature plants since then, so I think we will be setting ourselves up for success upon our return. We have not set a date just yet, but if you'd like to sign up for our email list to stay in the loop, please send me an email with the subject "Fairy Garden Class" to grandmasefg@gmail.com and feel free to make class theme suggestions. We are hoping to get this started before the end of 2018.

My immediate future holds a day trip this week with my granddaughter to participate in a Fairy Garden Class hosted elsewhere. Follow me on Instagram to keep track of Thursday's events and look forward to my review on the location and event later this month. If you have any suggestions for me or would like to say hi, my contact and social media information is at the bottom of this post.



Finally, I'll leave you with this photo of Prince Finn Mac Fidaig, seated in front of our anniversary hydrangea with an inviting setting for tea.




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Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Rocket's Red Glare


The lovely pigweed plant is back after re-seeding itself. The other splashes of color are red and blue salvia and white petunia. This holiday scene comes together thanks to the pigweed which looks like fireworks exploding!


All of this independence day decor is from my stock. 


This little guy has aged quite a bit due to the sun. If you click here, you can see how young and brown he used to look. I think it's time to purchase a new centerpiece for these celebrations. He usually comes out for July 4th and Memorial Day.

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Garden A Day Challenge - Day 30, Finale!



These 4 dwarves gathered together to celebrate the end of our Garden A Day Challenge! Alyssum surrounds them to the left and right and pink lily fills up the background. In a few months I'll be transplanting the lily to a larger container because it's quickly outgrowing this one. All decor was from my inventory and the plants were already in this container so this is a no cost container garden.

That's the end of 30 days of me meddling in the yard, disturbing the fairy community's peace and quiet - but we all got through it! I hope you enjoyed the spoils of this month's efforts and I hope to have inspired some of you to challenge yourself in your own garden! 



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Unboxing - Seed Bank Box - June 2018


My Seed Bank Box for the month of June came with eight seed varieties. Unlike last month, there are no flowers in this haul but there is no lack of color and quite a lot of uniqueness.


Peaches & Cream Corn - This corn will grow white and yellow kernels on each ear of corn. They will not be ready for this Summer's BBQ, but this is something I'm looking forward to growing. The previous subscription box came with some blue corn but I read that it requires a grinder so I didn't plant it (yet).

Slow Bolt Cilantro - Cilantro is an herb I use often in my dishes so this was a great surprise. With the number of seeds I received, I plan to plant a few each month so I will always have cilantro ready.

Jester Squash - This fun looking squash is a variety of acorn squash according to the information card and is meant to be harvested in the fall. It will have a sweet and nutty flavor, similar to it's appearance! 

Sugar Baby Watermelon - With receding real estate for plants, I'm happy to be able to grow watermelon that is manageable. These babies will grow to be 5-10 lbs and will also be a welcome treat at next year's summer BBQ.

Red Rubin Basil - The name is red but the color is purple. Basil, another herb familiar to my kitchen, will look lovely in my yard. The information card suggests making pesto to please your dinner guests.

Golden Squash/Zucchini - Yet another summer plant, this squash will brighten up my food garden with it's golden glow. And did you know the blossoms are edible? Time to look up some new recipes!

Bronze Fennel - The feathery leaves of this plant should add some unique texture to the look of my garden. This will be my first time planting fennel but I'm looking forward to it.

Orange Habanero Pepper - One of the hottest peppers in the world, this vibrant habanero will spice up any dish. A little goes a long way with these hotties and I'll have to take the advice of the information card and wear gloves when harvesting or preparing these.

If you'd like to watch the unboxing video, click here.


If you'd like to have your very own Seed Bank Box delivered to your house to brighten your garden and kitchen table, use this code that Seed Bank Box gave me just for My Fairy Folks! 
https://www.seedbankbox.com?rfsn=1330031.b0ef5

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