Category Archives: Gardening/Plants

For Sale! Part 2

I had a very successful first sale day at the Farmer’s Market!

Many people were interested in my photography, and I passed out a lot of “business cards.” I say this with quotation marks because I haven’t gotten my cards yet! Luckily though, I had the forethought to bring a small pad of paper and a pen, so I was able to spread the word about my online Photo Gallery, and generate some interest in placing orders.

Soon though, I will have my very beautiful business cards that I designed, so I can hand those out at the next Farmer’s Market!

For anyone that is interested in ordering online, I have created an order form to make this a quick process.  To give a little more detail on the ordering process, here goes:

You can order prints in 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, or 16×20. The panoramics are either 6×18 or 8×24.

I prefer to print on metallic paper, because it makes the photos look much more 3 dimensional; however, the Professional Print (on glossy paper) looks fantastic as well.

If you would like the photos to be matted, there is also an option for that on the order sheet.

If you are interested in ordering photos online, feel free to send me an email at mywildhoodphotography@gmail.com, and we can discuss it further!

And, so you don’t have to search for them again, here are the photos that I have for sale right now!

ALSO, I ALMOST FORGOT TO MENTION THAT I TAKE PAYPAL! Secure payments made online, so you don’t have to worry about sending cash or check!

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Summer Project: Greenhouse

I started writing this post in September (which was still later than I would have liked to be writing it), but circumstances have prevented me from continuing until now. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, but hopefully that will all be changing soon!

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I have wanted a greenhouse for the longest time, and I finally had Hubby on board for putting one together, but he wanted to wait until Fall so it would be cooler.  Well, I found one online for a REALLY good deal that I couldn’t pass up, so we bought it and had it delivered in June instead. So much for putting it together in the cooler weather!

The plan was simple – move the shed out from behind the garage and into a different part of the yard. That detail was not important.  It turns out that we also had to move A LOT of other stuff from behind that garage that we didn’t realize was in the way until we started to measure.

This took longer than it looks like it should have.
This took longer than it looks like it should have.

See that plant growing in front of the shed? My main goal was to build the greenhouse around that plant. I believe it is a mimosa, but I’m still not sure because I have never seen it bloom. However, before we bough the house the previous owner had tried to kill it multiple times, and it continued to grow, so I figure it needs to be there for a reason. So we were going to build the greenhouse around it.

After we moved all the stuff into the yard….

I didn't look like it took up that much space when it was behind the garage...
I didn’t look like it took up that much space when it was behind the garage…

We decided it was a great time to get rid of some things.  The pile of wood in front is a burn pile – rotten logs and a bunch of small shrubs that had starting growing behind the shed, mostly.  Also, Hubby and I were planning on sticking the shed somewhere else in the yard but it was much bigger than we thought it was. He called his parents, and they wanted it for the goats. Yes, they have goats, and the goats needed a new goat house.

I’m not making this up.

So Hubby power-washed all the mildew off of it, and we loaded it up onto their trailer so they could take it home.  We had to take down a portion of out fence to get the thing out of the yard in one piece, but it was surprisingly simple with 4 people!

The shed, loaded up and going to a good home.
The shed, loaded up and going to a good home.

Then we went to the Grown-Up/Homeowner Toy Store (Home Depot) and bought I-don’t-even-remember-how-many bags of sand and rock for the floor of the greenhouse.

So many bags...
So many bags…

We got some weed blocking fabric from our neighbor, let’s call him “Ben”

Almost enough!
Almost enough!

We had almost enough to cover the entire footprint of the greenhouse. Notice how we cut around the weed blocker for the “mimosa.” And then we put down the sand and gravel for the floor.

Floor is finished
Floor is finished

I know it looks like it in the picture, but those orange flowers aren’t coming from my tiny “mimosa” tree – those are my neighbor’s on the other side of the fence.

Hubby was smart and had this set up while we were working!
Hubby was smart and had this set up while we were working!

After the weed block and the rock were put down, we had to wait for delivery…

The giant Semi-Truck backing down my street to unload the greenhouse.
The giant Semi-Truck backing down my street to unload the greenhouse.

Of course I had been anticipating this forever, but it was a day later than I was told it would be, and then the delivery guy called me lost, driving around town unable to find my neighborhood. He had apparently driven around for a long time, because he knew all of the landmarks/buildings around me! Then, he said they are just supposed to leave it on the curb for delivery, but since he was late he would take it up to the garage for us. I wanted to say, ‘you would leave a 200+ lb. package on the curb? When we have to be present to sign for the delivery?! How does that make any kind of sense?’ But the guy was nice, and I know he doesn’t make the rules, so I kept my mouth shut.

The greenhouse was delivered on a Tuesday, and Hubby and I had talked about waiting to build it until Saturday.

That didn’t work.

I got home from work on Wednesday, and Hubby already had the bottom frame built! It came together a little at a time every day, and by Sunday it was done. I’m so glad we didn’t wait until Saturday to START.

Day One
Day One
Progress
Progress
Almost there....
FINISHED!!

After we built the greenhouse, we of course had to FILL IT with stuff, and we had some shelves that we took out of the shed (the goats said they didn’t need shelves) and got some shelves from Hubby’s wonderful uncle Bubba. First thing we did was power-wash the shelves, and then I painted them.

Short shelf: Before
Short shelf: Before
Tall Shelf: Before
Tall Shelf: Before
I LOVE THIS COLOR.
I LOVE THIS COLOR.

I just bought a quart of this paint because I was sure it wouldn’t take that much to paint two short shelves, but I thought I was smart when I bought the paint to include primer in it, so it went on REALLY thick.

Short Shelves: After
Short Shelves: After

I realize that I don’t have an “after” picture of the tall shelves, but I had run out of the blue paint, so I just used the last bit of green paint from when I painted the kitchen after we bought the house. It looked great, and I had JUST ENOUGH to do 2 coats on the tall shelves before I ran out!

So here it is, in all its glory! The greenhouse, mostly full and beautiful ❤

TaDa!
Ta-Da!

Vacation Oddities

When we go on vacation, we go before the big tourist season in order to avoid a lot of crowds and it’s easier to get discounts and free upgrades that way! For a little more on that, check out the guest post that I wrote for my sister, here!  However, because of that, there were a couple days that we couldn’t dive because there weren’t enough people signed up for the dive boat. So one day we decided to spend the day checking out the rest of the town.

First we tried out the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical Gardens State Park, which turned out to be….interesting in the least…

I think what happened was it was a state park that lost its funding, but the state didn’t want to close it down completely. So instead, cars are not allowed in the state park, and it’s really cheap for people to get in. You don’t even give your money to a person, you just put your money into a little metal tube that they check periodically.  So when you are on your little walking tour of the park, you get to see the native plants labeled, which is what I was looking forward to learning.  Except because the park isn’t really operational anymore, a lot fo the labels weren’t legible anymore, or you weren’t sure which plant was the one they were marking.  And none of the plants were in bloom, so it wasn’t a very pretty walk.  And while Hubby and I decided to go on a “hike” (it’s in quotes because it was more walking than anything) it was great until the biting flies drove us back to the car in a frenzy!

Pelican Patient

After the Attack of the Biting Flies we went to the wild bird sanctuary, that I hadn’t read good reviews about this place, but I thought we should check it out anyway.  The best thing about TripAdvisor is you get honest opinions about places, so you should probably take that advise, is all I’m saying…

The wild bird sanctuary was sort of a sad looking place that tried to have nice enclosures for the birds, but it just seemed like they didn’t have enough funding for the number of birds that they had.  There were tons of pelicans, and a bunch of them were loose, making me think that they weren’t really patients, but just learned that this is a good place to get free food.  There was a very large enclosure containing multiple pelicans, and one of the workers had just come from that direction after feeding the pelicans and seagulls.  Hubby and I walked to the pelican enclosure and I saw a pelican that was stuck in the ropes of the enclosure! It was a wild pelican (not a patient) that was looking for a free meal and crashed into the ropes that created a sort of ceiling over the enclosure.  When the pelican landed on the ropes he couldn’t get his legs back under himself and his wings were spread out from being in the flight position, so he couldn’t get himself out of the ropes.  We watched him for a few seconds, and we were sure that the worker who had just been in the area had noticed him, and went to get something so he could get the pelican out of the rope.  We walked around the enclosure, trying to enjoy the sanctuary, and then I saw one of the pelicans inside the enclosure pecking the trapped pelican in the face.  Needless to say, I ran back to where we saw the worker and told him what was wrong.  He got the pelican out of the ropes, I held open the enclosure door for him, and he took the pelican into the hospital to rehydrate with fluids.  He thanked me for helping and told me that the pelican had a band on his leg indicating he had been a patient at a different animal hospital in the past, which probably means that he knew where to get a free meal.

I guess it’s good that we were there when we were, because who knows how long that poor guy was stuck in the ropes, laying in the sun and the heat.  I’m just glad he would be okay after they got him out of the ropes!

Not all parts of your vacation are going to be perfect, but the lesson learned here was to trust TripAdvisor!  People take their time to write out their opinions after they have experienced something, and you get the chance to live vicariously through them.  It’s very valuable information!  So follow advise from Fellow Travelers like me!

Lovely sunset
Lovely sunset

Why I Prefer Dogs to Humans

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Last night, after a wonderful dinner with some great friends, I pulled into the driveway to find my plant pot missing from its place in the front yard. Now this is not just any old plant pot. This was a plant pot that I had taken the time to paint our house address on, and put a plant in it! I got the idea off of Pinterest, and I was do proud of myself. Not only did I pick out something from Pinterest and ACTUALLY do the project, but it turned out well! I have even gotten compliments about it from the Chinese delivery guy!

Well apparently someone else liked it too, because it was stolen. I couldn’t believe that someone had actually taken it out of my yard, especially because we live at the end of a dead end, so it probably wasn’t someone just happening by, but it was probably someone visiting one of my neighbors.

This is why I prefer dogs to humans. Dogs are loyal, every day is the best day of their life, and they know how to make you feel better when you are blue. Dogs have evolved with humans for thousands of years, which is why they are so utterly loyal to humans. This is why I don’t trust people who say they don’t like dogs. Obviously they haven’t evolved correctly.

But with the loss of my plant pot, it just gives me another project to do to display our address. Trust me, it is VERY IMPORTANT that the Chinese delivery guy know my address!

Happy Earth Day!

Hello Fellow Travelers!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do anything specifically “earth friendly” yesterday because I was traveling all day long to Oklahoma instead of being at home (which is also why I didn’t have time to write this until Earth Day was over). But to make up for it, I planted some new plants in the front yard to beautify the front of the house over the weekend.

However, I would love to hear what YOU have planned for Earth Day? Have you gone hiking? Did you walk to work? Donated your time and/or money to a conservation organization?

One great thing that you could do is sign a petition to help shark conservation, or teach a child how to start a compost bin.

Really, there are so many ways you can help the earth, and although we should treat every day like Earth Day, one day at a time is a good way to get people, who might not otherwise participate, to take a step towards conservation, recycling, or sustainable energy use.

So, what did you do for Mother Earth today?

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Home Inprovements #4

Hubby and I have the same birthday. So to celebrate, we usually do one day for me and one day for him, in which we choose something we each want to do. On Saturday, I decided I wanted to be outside taking advantage of the beautiful day and garden!

Don’t judge. I may still be in my 20s but I love to garden and don’t have enough time to do it!

I finally planted my loquat babies, Hubby knocked out a bunch of stumps from those awful builder shrubs, and I repotted some plants that I was neglecting taking such good care of that they were outgrowing their pots!

Also, a couple weeks ago, Hubby planted a navel orange tree and now it already has flowers on it! Yay for yummy oranges!

And since I’m out of town a lot, Hubby likes to keep himself busy. So he built a fire pit in the backyard! Our yard is great for bbqs, and everyone knows I’m going for the cantina vibe, so a fire put that everyone can gather around is a great addition!

And, BTW, I finally painted the backdrop for our dart board, so now we can officially keep score!

Not too shabby for a girl who never has time to do anything at home!

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Home Improvements #3

Finishing the rock garden took a little while, but Hubby made it back to his uncles house to get another load of free rocks. While we were waiting for a reason to go there, I was slowly driven insane by the dogs’ persistant digging exactly where I didn’t want them to.

Bad Dogs
Apparently they were trying to dig UNDER the garage.

But evenutally, we got the rocks, and I was able to finish my project completely!Finished Product

We also had a super crazy wind storm here, which almost NEVER happens, and our two pine trees were looking a bit hazardous in the wind. I have ALWAYS hated these pine trees, so I was glad to have a reason to cut them down, other than, “they are useless, they put out no shade, they litter all over the yard, and they are taking up precious real estate in the backyard, that could be filled with beauty!” And we got a really good deal from the guy who trims our trees, so it was pretty perfect.

Here are a couple photos of what the yard looked like when we moved in:

The Pine trees are against the fence, and the shrubs were ugly and useless.

The Pine trees were against the fence, planted by squirrels and allowed to propogate for the last 20 years, and the shrubs were ugly and useless.

The yard was full of vegetation, but it was full of those ugly, builder shrubs that don’t bloom, and look sticky and sick their whole lives.

These vines were climbing everything, and were eventually going to kill our amazing oak tree!

These vines were climbing everything, and were eventually going to kill our amazing oak tree!

The vines climbing up the tree and garage are where the rock garden is now. Apparently a strangler vine was the only thing that would grow in this spot, which is why it is NOW a rock garden.

So now, after we took out the ugly shrubs and finally took down the pines!

A Blank Canvas

Now I have a blank canvas to plant my baby Loquot trees! I am waiting until it is offically spring, even though it’s 80 degrees today. I am sure if I put them in the ground we would get a freak snow storm. At the moment, this is all I can do until the days get longer. I only see daylight on the weekends at my house, so yard work is not always an option when I get home. But soon I will have my loquots planted, happy, and fruiting, and I will probably be giving away baby loquots for the rest of my life! So stay tuned! It might be sooner than you think!

Hondo laying on the rocks enjoying the sun, and watching for squirrels.
Hondo laying on the rocks enjoying the sun, and watching for squirrels.

Home Improvements #2

(Disclaimer – this is the first time I have tried to use the WordPress App with my phone, and upload the pictures. If they look weird, it’s because they EXPLODED in size, and I had to shrink them down manually. Sorry ’bout that. Still learning.)

There is a space in our backyard that the grass will never grow. When we bought the house the area was covered in an awful ground cover vine that was making the garage rot, and would eventually have killed the oak tree it was climbing up. We ripped out the ground cover, but then we were just left with dirt. I found some awesome flag stones in the front flowerbeds and turned them into a walkway in the backyard so we wouldn’t have to walk in the mud, but the area was pretty much useless, except for our redneck dogs that decided to dig holes all over it. So, Hubby and I came up with an awesome idea – lay rock in the area. The dogs wouldn’t dig there, it would be a nice flat space for me to put my potted plants, we wouldn’t be tracking dirt into the house constantly, etc. So we decided to gather native rocks from Hubby’s uncle’s house in the hill country. There, it’s easy to find nice big, flat rocks, and they were…what’s my favorite word?

FREE!

Now, I’m sure Debbie Downer would say, “you had to pay for the gas to get there, so they aren’t free rocks.” Except for the fact that we were also visiting family, which was a great, fun trip, so we would have probably done it anyway, even if we weren’t getting rocks. So there. FREE.

When we starting scoping out the property for rocks, we saw the biggest, flattest rock we could manage, and I HAD TO HAVE IT.20121205-122630.jpg

So what did Hubby do? He hooked up a chain and dragged it out!

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(Ok, so that’s actually a picture of his uncle pulling out the rock, but Hubby hooked the chain around it)

We loaded up our small trailer and the bed of the truck and headed home. We only had an hour to work before we lost the light, but I HAD to get some work done!20121205-122908.jpg

I arranged most of the stones the way I wanted them (more or less), and with the Super Mother Rock as the centerpiece, I mosaiced around it.

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I ended up not having enough rocks to finish, but we will be going back to his uncle’s house soon so we can get the rest.

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To fill in the gaps between the rocks, we spread pea gravel.

That way, we (hopefully) won’t have water pooling around the rocks, and it will drain better. That’s the idea, anyway.

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So…Ta-Da! (Sort of) finished product! (This was right after it rained, it it was covered in oak leaves). Actually we will probably really and truly finish this project this weekend.

Next on my list of this to do to make our backyard even more awesome: see that dart board on the garage? I’m going to paint the plywood backdrop for it with chalkboard paint so we can keep score and write dirty jokes. Because that’s how we roll.

Rain Barrel Update

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And to make the rain barrels even better, Hubby set up the third barrel while I wad out of town for work! Now we have three barrels, and they are built around the corner of the garage.

This way, they take up less space, and when we build the greenhouse they will be easily accessible for watering all of my future plants! Hubby even put in an overflow hole on the third barrel which will flow into the original concrete downspout collection thing, to prevent erosion of the soil below the rain barrel. Best. Husband. Ever.

Rain Barrel DIY

I have been wanting a greenhouse for the longest time, and finally Hubby and I are in a position that we are price shopping, and trying to get ideas for building one. This is incredibly exciting for me! I plan on having a beautiful greenhouse that has room to store all of our yard tools like the lawn mower and weed eater, as well as my extra pots, shelves for potted plants, a sink for washing out my used pots, and an area to store my composter, because one of the dogs has decided that is HIS. And trust me, no one else wants to touch it after he has “claimed it”.  So, inside the greenhouse it goes!

We had a great weekend planned.  Saturday we were going to the City Wide Garage sales that Needville does twice a year. It’s pretty great – they print out a map of all the houses that registered to have a garage sale that weekend, and they even have a little description of what will be there. So much fun! However, the sales in the Spring are usually better (Spring Cleaning and all) so the ones last weekend were pretty disappointing. We spent a whopping $0.75. I bought a necklace for $0.50 and Hubby bought a meat thermometer for the grill for $0.25. I know. Big Spenders.

But after the garage sales, we made the best of it by getting some barrels to make rain barrels. We know of a man who owns a car wash and always has his extra plastic drums for sale. This time he didn’t have any of the big 55-gallon blue drums.

 

All he had were three 15-gallon plastic drums that contained car wax. All we had to do was wash them out and they were good to go! And the best part was, he could never find anyone that wanted those containers, so he gave them to us for free! My favorite word!

We set them off to the side as a “we’ll get to it” project, and went tra-la-la through the rest of the day. The next day, I had tickets for the Houston Home and Garden Show. Yes, I was dragging my husband to the Home and Garden Show, but the idea was to get Greenhouse ideas, and hopefully speak with a greenhouse company, to get some ideas on pricing, design, and where we can save money the best.

There was not a single greenhouse company there.

There was ONE landscaping company there.

That was the ONLY “garden” related vendor at the Home and GARDEN show. We were so disappointed. Instead, we got hasseled by every salesman asking if we wanted to replace our windows, build a new home, remodel our existing home, built a deck, or put in a jacuzzi. We were there for less than an hour. So again, to make the best of our day, Hubby tried to find any kind of greenhouse company we could in the GPS (no, we still don’t have smart phones, get off my back!) but couldn’t really find much. So instead we went to Home Depot and got all the stuff we needed to make rain barrels!

Spigots, a down-spout funnel, 1 inch PVC, approx. 2 feet long, and Epoxy

$26 later, we had what we needed to make 2 super awesome rain barrels.  We had a third container, but didn’t think we would need it. Our plan was save it for later, or give it away, but we would figure it out later.

As we planned this out, we realized how easy this really would be. I pointed out where I wanted holes drilled, and Hubby drilled them.

The spigots didn’t fit right off the bat from drilling because the drill bit measured the inside diameter of the hole in the pipe, not the outside diameter of the pipe itself. So we had to do some redneck engineering on that, but got it done.

A little redneck engineering never hurt anybody

After we got the holes to the right size in two barrels, I mixed up the epoxy and squished the spigots into place, and Hubby drilled screws in also, to cover all the bases. While I was doing that, Hubby was attaching screen to the top of the barrel to prevent debris from getting into the barrels.

Ready…Set…Cure!

Next we cut holes near the top of the barrels to attach them together via PVC pipe, and put them outside to hook up to the gutter.

Hubby, flattening out the area where we were going to put the barrels.

Once we got the down-spout funnel attached to the gutter, we attempted to use caulking and glue it to the top of the barrel. Then we caulked the PVC pipe on the outside of the barrel to prevent leaking.

Then it started to rain.

Rain filling the rain barrels

We thought, ‘wow what a perfect time to test them out!’ Of course, the caulking hadn’t had time to dry, but it turned out not to matter. The rain barrels filled up and began to over-flow within just a couple hours! We sat on the porch watching the rain, enjoying how much water we were going to save by watering the yard and my plants with rainwater, when the first barrel filled and began to run over into the second barrel, just as we planned. We were over-joyed! The project worked, it was easy, and cheap! And then the second barrel started to over-flow. ‘Good thing we have that other barrel!’  And then we hooked up a hose to the second barrel to let it drain into the yard. And then the first rain barrel started to over-flow. We ended up having to leave both spigots open and draining into the yard to that we wouldn’t get a massive flood into the house because of the barrels’ location! For several hours, Hubby and I would run outside into the pouring rain, check to make sure nothing had broken loose or that there wasn’t about to be a tidal wave of rainwater headed toward the house, and then run back inside, laughing hysterically.

We are planning on going from car wash to car wash asking the attendants for empty containers, and lining the garage and probably the fence with rain barrels. Or at least making the one we already have into a rain barrel. Baby steps, people.

Step one toward building an amazing greenhouse, get a water source to that part of the yard. Check. And apparently, very successfully.

Step two toward building an amazing greenhouse, find a greenhouse no one wants, and take it 🙂

Think that’s how it will work out? Who knows….people get rid of weird stuff

 

Shiner standing in the rain, wondering why we are standing in the rain and yelling at him to get out of the rain.