Safe Rose Spray Recipe

My mother loved to garden. Her roses were lush, hearty, and fragrant, and their maroon and pink petals were as soft as velvet. Before I walked to elementary school, she’d cut stems, crinkle tin foil around the bottoms, and tell me to give the flowers to my teachers. I’d walk the whole way smelling sweetness.

Irises and strawberries were also abundant in my mother’s garden, while my father cultivated tomatoes and cucumbers. I’d pick wild raspberries and blackberries which grew on the hill behind my childhood home. Needless to say, roses are my favorite flowers.

Though I share my mom’s love of writing, I did not inherit her green thumb. If the garden in front of my house were my mother’s, the roses would bloom large and healthy. My roses are not. I prune them regularly, cutting off spent blossoms at an angle, and though they smell sweet, their petals are thin and their leaves are being eaten by garden pests. What to do?

I came across this organic pesticide in the article Safe Rose Spray Recipe That Really Works by Meghan Shinn in Horticulture.

Hon, do you have any tips for keeping roses healthy?

More than 5,000 rose bushes grow at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pa., where the gardening staff works hard to keep them free of pests and diseases. They use a chemical spray in the main garden, but they did not want to use this spray in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Instead, they came up with the following safe rose spray recipe, which they’ve found to be very effective.

Horticulture

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (or any other cooking oil)

Directions:

Mix vinegar and water, then add baking soda, dish soap and vegetable oil. Stir mixture into one gallon water. Pour into spray bottle and spray on roses’ foliage. Reapply every seven to ten days or after a rainstorm.

Landscaping Trends That Step up Outdoor Spaces, Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, Winter 2022

The Winter 2022 issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine came out last week and in it are two of my articles. Researching the latest landscaping trends put me in the mood for warmer weather and an update of our backyard. I don’t know what we’re doing with the space that used to house a swing set. No rush, thank goodness, because there are so many ideas to choose from!

Poetry & Blooms–Balms for a Reflective Time

L’Shana Tovah! Happy New Year!

It may be 2021 in the secular world, but according to the Jewish calendar it’s 5782. Every year, as the High Holidays approach and summer comes to an end, I look inward, assessing the previous year’s relationships, family, health and work.

Rosh Hashanah (literally “head of the year” or New Year) is the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur, which comes ten days after Rosh Hashanah, is the Day of Atonement. Together, they are sometimes referred to as the Jewish High Holidays. They mark a period known both as the “Days of Awe” and the “Ten Days of Repentance,” during which Jewish people are supposed to reflect on the sins they have committed during the past year. Rosh Hashanah combines the joy of a New Year celebration and its theme of renewal with the seriousness associated with confronting one’s failings and seeking forgiveness both from God and from those one has wronged. Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the Jewish sacred calendar.

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This year there’s much to be grateful for and look forward to and also so many things to worry about. My husband’s mom’s health is the biggest worry for our family. And days before the holidays started, Hurricane Ida devastated many of my town’s businesses and homes. Sometimes, hon, I can barely take a deep breath.

But vivid colors call to me and I contemplate how a blue sky and white clouds frame bright yellow petals, and I search for words to write and read.

Breathe.

A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky

Lewis Carroll – 1832-1898

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July—

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear—

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?

You Don’t Need a Green Thumb to Create Green Landscaping, Published In Elegant Lifestyles Magazine

Winter may be on the cover, but Spring’s around the corner!

There’s a pretty garden in front of our house but, except for supporting the peonies, pruning the roses, and weeding occasionally, I don’t do that much gardening. There’s lots to learn, especially when it comes to sustainable landscaping. For this article, I found out how to harvest rainwater, upcycle materials, compost yard waste, pave with permeables and, the idea I’d like to add to my spring cleaning list, build a rain garden.

Happy gardening, hon.

DIY Garden Clogs

DIY Garden Clogs
DIY Garden Clogs

I was about to throw away a pair of broken rainboots when “Garden Clogs” popped into my head. Hon, this is probably the easiest DIY project ever!

I keep my recycled rainboots by the door. Not only are they great for gardening, they’re handy for grabbing the morning paper, wearing in the rain and walking the dog. If they get muddy, I just rinse them off.  Voila–they’re good as new!

You’ll need:

–broken rainboots

–scissors

–optional:  Sharpie and ruler

Instructions:

Cut broken rainboots below their break.  If you want to get fancy, measure and mark where to cut.  I didn’t.

Broken rainboots, front view.
Broken rainboots, front view.

Broken rainboots, back view.
Broken rainboots, back view.

Cut boots below the break.
Cut boots below the break.

IMG_7577IMG_7569IMG_7579

 

 

 

 

DIY Floral Arrangement

DIY Floral Arrangement
DIY Floral Arrangement

I love flowers and so does a friend who just celebrated her birthday.

When it comes to flowers, I usually just trim stems and place flowers in a vase.  But I got in the mood to dress up a pretty, ceramic bowl. This easy DIY Floral Arrangement is a perfect birthday, holiday or hostess gift as well as a centerpiece idea.

Happy creating (and Happy Holidays), hon!

Oasis floral foam.
Oasis floral foam.

Carnations and daisies.
Carnations and daisies.

 

 

 

 

 

Oasis cut to fit in small bowl.
Oasis cut to fit in  bowl.

Pretty in Peach!
Pretty in Peach!

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday bouquet.
Birthday bouquet.

Supplies:

1.  Vessel–this could be a bowl, vase, mug, glass or anything else you want to give as a gift.

2.  Floral Foam (Oasis)–can be purchased at a gardening center or craft store.

3.  Flowers–they must have sturdy enough stems to withstand being pushed into the foam.  I chose smaller flowers to complement the size of the bowl.

4.  Tape–the gardening center didn’t have floral tape so I used Scotch Tape.

5.  Pruning Shears or Scissors.

Steps:

1.  Cut floral foam to fit vessel.

2.  Sit foam in vessel and tape in place so it won’t shift.

3.  Trim flower stems to desired lengths.

4.  Insert flowers in foam, carefully, starting in the center and working your way out.

5.  Water flowers by pouring water in space between foam and vessel wall.  The foam will absorb a lot of water.  Holding flowers in place, pour off excess water.

Related Post:  DIY Clean-Lines Centerpiece

Please let me know if you have any floral arranging tips. I’d love to hear from you!

Mischievous-looking gnomes caught my eye at the garden center.
Mischievous-looking mini gnomes caught my eye at the garden center.

 

 

 

Southwest Roadtrip: Rocky Mountain Rainbow

Mountain Poppy
Mountain Poppy

Hon, you know how I’ve been (slightly) obsessed with photographing flowers this spring?  Well, I was so taken with theses mountain flowers, I couldn’t resist trying to capture a bit of their beauty.  Is it the clear mountain air that makes their colors so vivid?  The delphinium with blue/purplish/pink petals is almost iridescent.  I can’t decide which is my favorite?  How about you?

Delphinium
Delphinium

Delphinium
Delphinium

Columbine
Columbine

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Poppies
Mountain Poppies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbine
Columbine

Delphinium
Delphinium

Lupine
Lupine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delphinium
Delphinium

Purple Flower Power at Greenwood Gardens

Allium
Allium

This is my second post featuring purple flowers.  The original Purple Flower Power was seen last fall.  As I mentioned in Pink Flower Power, taking flower photographs has been somewhat of an obsession this spring.  I recently took a photography workshop held by Joy Yagid at Greenwood Gardens.  Not only was I inspired by the flowers, but my imagination went wild when I came across stone royalty (look for them in a future post).  Guess where I’m going to write, photograph and meditate on my dreams?

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Allium
Allium

Tulips
Tulips

lilacs
Lilacs