Using Hops to Shade a Chicken Coop

We wanted to find a fast-growing bine (yes, bine) to help shade our west-facing chicken coop run from the hot afternoon sun. After some research, we went with hops because they are completely safe for chickens, fast-growing and perennial, meaning they come back year after year. I ordered the Top of the Hops Collection from…

Book Review: In Bloom

In Bloom was one of the books on my Christmas wish list that I received from my mom. Published in 2016, In Bloom, Creating and Living with Flowers by Ngoc Minh Jgo features artists, designers and decorators who incorporate flowers in their work. This was the follow up to her book Bringing Nature Home. It…

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum)

In previous years I’ve had trouble with Nasturtiums (or Tropaeolum). This year, however, my luck changed and I had success with growing them from seed. They benefit from scarification by nicking each seed. I think keeping them in an at least partially shaded area helped. They prefer poor soil and at least 1″ of water…

2017 Heirloom Mum Results

This was my second year growing heirloom chrysanthemums from Kings Mums. Read my step-by-step guide with photos that I posted last year. Or read the summary below. Nijin Bigo Summer Tasks After you receive your Chrysanthemum plugs you will need to remove them from their shipping packages immediately and place in a shallow bowl of water….

Chrysanthemum Update

This will be my second year growing heirloom chrysanthemums from Kings Mums and I just love absolutely love it. You have to have a little bit of patience, as my cuttings arrived in May and are just now starting to bloom here at the end of October, but I think its worth the wait. I…

Potting Up Rosemary

Rosemary is a ornamental plant as well has a culinary herb. It is not cold-hardy here in Iowa so I will need to bring indoors or take cuttings. I found a helpful post about growing Rosemary on The Spruce. I found ‘Tuscan Blue’ at Mulhalls a few weeks ago and planted it up with some…

Round Succulent Planter

Succulents prefer well drained soil and plenty of sun. I used my Cactus mix and stuffed this pot full of little plants. These succulents are not hardy in Iowa so I will need to bring this pot indoors before our first frost. They will probably do best under grow lights indoors. I was able to try…

Fiddle Leaf Fig

I am now the proud owner of two Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus lyrata plants. I purchased my first one almost a year ago and just picked up another a few weeks ago. You might have seen these popular plants on popular remodeling shows and gracing the cover of decorating magazines.

Growing Hawaiian Plumeria in Iowa

Various businesses in Hawaii sell Plumeria cuttings that are pre-approved for travel back to the mainland and you can even buy them at the airport! Will they grow back home?

How To: Grow Chrysanthemums

Are you looking at growing mums next year? This was my first year trying these and I had some successful beautiful blooms.