Transforming A Birdbath Into A Planter

We try to encourage birds to visit our garden, so we have four birdbaths. Three of them are easy to clean.

And then there’s this one.

The concave walls of its heavy bowl make it impossible to clean without removing it from its base.  So, I didn’t clean it nearly as often as the other birdbaths. Maybe the birds knew it was dirty or they didn’t like the location but, for whatever reason, I’d never seen a bird use it.

Recently, I decided to repurpose it into a planter. My garden is still in need of its spring cleanup, so I was hoping that planting this birdbath with fresh, colorful pansies would add some cheer.

But turning a birdbath into a planter is not as easy as plopping in a few plants and adding soil. There are some things to consider.


Things To Consider When Converting A Birdbath Into A Planter


Unless they have a deep crack or other fault, birdbaths don’t drain.  So, drainage would have to be added by drilling a hole in the bottom of the bowl.  I wasn’t ready to take that irreversible step with this birdbath, so I would have to find a work-around.


Birdbaths are usually only a few inches deep so, even if drainage is added, most plants would become root-bound and dry out quickly in such a shallow container.

My Plan

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The birdbath has a 12-inch width on the inside of the bowl. So I decided to find a 12-inch container to set into the birdbath. The birdbath itself would become the saucer for the container.

I could have just set any 12-inch plant container into the birdbath and called it good. But I wanted to do something a little more fun and natural-looking.

I started with a 12-inch wire hanging basket cage that I had been storing in my greenhouse for years.

Painting The Hanging Basket Cage

I painted the hanging basket cage green to minimize its appearance.  This project would be all about making the cage recede as much as possible.

I used “Eden” Rust-Oleum satin spray paint because I had it on-hand.

I knew I wouldn’t be using the whole cage (more on that below) but I wasn’t sure yet just how much of it I was going to use. So I just painted the whole thing.

Cutting Down The Hanging Basket Cage

I finally decided that I would only be using the widest part of the cage. I used bolt cutters to cut the cage down to about a third of its original depth.

I’d never used bolt cutters before, but they made the job very easy.

Only the two widest rings of the hanging basket cage would be needed for this project.


Drilling Holes Into A 12-Inch Saucer

Then I found a 12-inch, high-walled plastic saucer.  Happily, it fit snugly inside the birdbath.

I drilled drain holes into the bottom of the saucer. (The saucer I used is similar to this one except in color.)

Drain holes drilled into the bottom of the saucer.

I also drilled eight smaller holes at [more or less] evenly spaced locations near the upper rim. (The drill I used was similar to this one.)

Attaching The Wire Cage To The Saucer

Then, making use of those eight holes I’d drilled around the circumference of the saucer, I attached the wire cage to the saucer with green garden wire.


Lining The Cage With Sheet Moss

Then I lined the inside of the cage with sheet moss, trying my best to press the sheet moss tightly against the walls.


Lining the Inside With Landscape Fabric

It seemed like a good idea to add a little reinforcement to the sheet moss. I had a few scraps of lightweight landscape fabric, so I cut it to size and lined the back side of the sheet moss with it.

Adding Soil

I added soil.  I packed it tightly against the fabric on all sides. This was to force the sheet moss to sit firmly against the wire cage.

Now I had a “container” deep enough for planting the pansies.

Planting the Flowers

The cheerful pansies that I’d found at a local nursery were the inspiration for this project.  And now it was finally time to plant them in their new container.


The Result

The new “planter” felt surprisingly solid and stable as I carried it to the birdbath and set it in.

(Before setting it in, I had cleaned and leveled the birdbath.  To help with drainage, I also placed a 1/4 inch shim in the birdbath bowl just to allow a small gap between the birdbath and the bottom of the planter.)

Once in place, it bugged me a little that the rim of the plastic saucer was visible, so I circled the rim with dried Spanish moss.

The birdbath sits in the flower bed next to my front porch. So now, instead of seeing my perpetually messy birdbath, visitors will see this little scene.

This weird and whimsical planter should not be harder to maintain than any other garden container. It will really be fun once the pansies grow more and drape over the sides.

A birdbath transformed into a planter

As you can see, we still have fall’s leaf mulch in the flowerbeds and dried seed heads still standing. It looks messy, but it provides food for the birds and places for beneficial insects to overwinter. Soon the daytime temps will be high enough for those beneficial insects to emerge, and then we can finally begin spring clean up.

More With Hanging Basket Cages

I’ll close this post with a little reminder that hanging basket cages can be used for all kinds of fun projects – like this hanging garden sphere.

Or this mound of baby tears.


So let your imagination be your guide.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


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How to Improve Your Backyard: Tips for a Beautiful Outdoor Space

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Your backyard is an extension of your home. Just like you would take care of the inside of your house, it’s essential to take care of the outside as well. A beautiful and well-maintained backyard can be a great place to relax and escape the stresses of everyday life. This post covers a few design tips for improving your backyard and making it into a space you’ll love spending time in.

1. Start With A Plan

Before you start making changes to your backyard, it’s important to have a plan. What do you want your backyard to look like? What kind of activities do you want to be able to do in your backyard? Once you have a vision for your backyard, you can start to make changes that will help turn that vision into a reality.


2. Choose The Right Plants

One of the most important aspects of creating a beautiful backyard is choosing the right plants. Not all plants are created equal, and some will be better suited to your specific climate and soil type than others. Doing some research on which plants will work best in your area will go a long way in helping you create a backyard that looks and feels amazing.

3. Elevate The Yard With A Walkway

Consider adding a walkway if you want to add some visual interest to your backyard. Walkways can be made from a variety of materials, including stone, Mexican saltillo tile, brick, or even concrete. They can also be designed in a variety of different styles to suit your taste. Adding a walkway to your backyard will not only make it more visually appealing but will also make it more functional.

4. Add Some Shade With Trees Or An Awning

If your backyard doesn’t have much tree cover, consider adding some shade. Planting trees can provide much-needed shade in the summer months, and they can also add some beauty to your backyard. If you don’t want to plant trees, you could also add an awning or pergola. These structures will provide shade and can also be used as a place to hang plants or lanterns.

5. Create A Focal Point

Every great backyard has a focal point. This usually draws the eye and serves as a starting point for the rest of the backyard design. A fountain, statue, or piece of art can make a great focal point. Alternatively, you could use a fire pit or outdoor kitchen as your backyard’s focal point.

6. Add Some Privacy With Fencing

If you’re looking for ways to improve the privacy of your backyard, fencing is a great option. There are various fence types and materials to choose from, so you can find something that fits your taste and your budget. A well-designed fence can also add some visual interest to your backyard.

7. Work With What Space You Have

If you have a small backyard, don’t despair! There are still plenty of ways to improve it. Instead of trying to fit too much into your space, focus on creating a few key areas. For example, you could create a seating area for entertaining, a spot for gardening, or a place for your kids to play.


Taking the time to improve your backyard can be a great way to make your home more enjoyable. These tips should help you create the backyard of your dreams!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

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Lighting Tips For Designing A Warm And Welcoming Outdoor Living Space

The following is a collaborative post.  For more on my collaborative posts, please see this page.

Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy your outdoor living space! A well-designed outdoor living space can be a great place to relax and entertain guests. If you’re looking for some tips on how to create a warm and welcoming outdoor space, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss some of our favorite tips for creating an inviting outdoor living area. So, read on and get inspired!

1. Enhance Your Overall Outdoor Living Space Look Through Event Lighting

Photo by Greg Gulik from Pexels

One way to really enhance the look of your outdoor space is by incorporating event lighting. This can range from string lights hung overhead to lanterns placed around the perimeter of the outdoor area. Event lighting creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for entertaining guests. Additionally, it enables you to use your outdoor area later into the night.

What types of lighting should you be using?

– globe string lights

– outdoor lanterns

– outdoor sconces

– solar lights

If you’re looking for some tips on how to create a warm and welcoming outdoor space, event lighting is a great place to start. By incorporating globe string lights, outdoor lanterns, or outdoor sconces into your design, you can create an inviting atmosphere that is perfect for entertaining guests. Solar lights are also a fantastic choice if you want to enjoy your outside space later in the evening. Therefore, don’t be scared to experiment with various lighting options to see which one suits your environment the most.

2. Light Up Your Patio

Photo by Nehongraphy from Pexels

Another great way to make your outdoor space more inviting is to add some outdoor lighting. There are a number of different ways to do this, so you can really get creative. You could install outdoor sconces along your patio, hang lanterns from trees or eaves, or even place candles around your seating area. Whatever you do, just be sure to add enough light so that your guests can see and enjoy the space.

There are a few different things to consider when choosing outdoor lights for your space. First, think about the overall atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you want a more relaxed vibe, candles or string lights might be the way to go. But if you’re looking to light up your outdoor space for entertaining, you’ll need something a bit brighter. Second, consider the practicality of your outdoor lighting choices. Will your guests need enough light to see while they’re walking around? Will you need extra light for cooking or grilling? Keep these things in mind as you make your selections.

3. Add Landscape Lighting

Photo by thanhhoa tran from Pexels

If you have a garden or other landscaping features in your outdoor space, adding some landscape lighting can really make the space shine. Path lights are a great way to light up walkways and gardens, while spotlights can highlight special features like sculptures or water features. You can even use string lights to create a magical look in your garden. No matter how you choose to do it, landscape lighting is sure to take your outdoor space to the next level.

Which types of lighting should you use? Well, that depends on the overall look you’re going for. If you want a more natural look, solar lights might be the way to go. But if you’re looking for something a bit more dramatic, electric lights will give you the bright illumination you need. Just be sure to consider the cost and maintenance of each type of lighting before making your final decision.

4. Ambient Lighting For Comfort

In addition to outdoor lighting, another great way to make your outdoor living space more inviting is to add some ambient lighting. This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most popular is to use outdoor string lights. You could also use lanterns, candles, or even tiki torches to create an ambient light source. Just be sure not to go overboard- too much light can be just as off-putting as too little.

When it comes to choosing an ambient light source, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the overall mood you’re trying to create. If you want a relaxed atmosphere, candles or tiki torches might be the way to go. But if you’re looking for something a bit more festive, string lights would be a better choice. Second, think about the practicality of your chosen light source. If you’re using candles, for example, you’ll need to make sure they’re placed in safe locations where they won’t start a fire. Tiki torches also need to be used carefully, as they can be a safety hazard if not used correctly. Keep these things in mind as you choose an ambient light source for your outdoor living space.

5. Post Lights Or Flood Lights For Privacy And Security

If you’re looking for a way to add both privacy and security to your outdoor living space, post lights or floodlights are a great option. These lights can be placed around the perimeter of your patio or deck, and they’ll provide enough light to deter intruders while still allowing you and your guests to enjoy the space. Just be sure to place them in strategic locations so that they don’t become a nuisance.

When it comes to choosing post lights or floodlights, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the overall style of your outdoor living space. If you have a more modern aesthetic, sleek and simple post light would be a good choice. But if you have a more rustic space, antique-style floodlights would be a better option. Second, think about the level of light you want. If you’re looking for a bright light source, floodlights would be the way to go. But if you want something a bit more subdued, post lights would be a better choice. Keep these things in mind as you make your selection.

We hope these tips have inspired you to create a warm and welcoming outdoor space of your own. Be sure to experiment with different lighting options to find what works best for you. And don’t forget to have fun! After all, that’s what outdoor living is all about. If you need professional help in imagining your outdoor space lighting, a service such as Blingle! can help you transform your outdoors.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

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10 Ways To Give Your Garden A Makeover

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Does your garden look a little lackluster? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. With a little time and effort, you can have the luscious landscape you’ve always wanted.

All you need are some basic gardening tools, a little know-how and, of course, some inspiration.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 10 landscaping tips that will give your garden the makeover it deserves.

1. Get Rid of Dead Plants and Weeds

The first step in giving your garden a makeover is to get rid of any dead plants, tree branches, or weeds. Not only do they look unsightly, but they can also spread disease to healthy plants.  Roll Off Containers are a convenient option for disposing of large amounts of garden debris.

2. Plant Some Trees

Trees are not only beautiful, but they also provide much-needed shade and privacy. If your yard doesn’t have any trees, consider planting a few. Just make sure to do your research first, so you choose the right trees for your climate and space.

3. Add Some Color

Flowers are a great way to add color and life to your landscape. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these flower gardening tips.

4. Create Interesting Borders

Edging is a simple way to create visual interest in your garden. You can use stone, brick, or even metal to create borders around your flowers or other plants.

5. Use Mulch

Mulch is a great way to protect your plants and keep your landscape looking neat and tidy. It also helps prevent weeds from taking over your garden bed.

6. Put Up a Fence

If you’re looking for privacy, consider installing a fence. There are many different styles to choose from, so you can find one that fits your landscape and your budget.

7. Install Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is not only functional but it can also be used to create ambiance in your backyard. Use string lights, lanterns, or solar lights to brighten up your yard and make it feel more inviting.

8. Add a Water Feature

A water feature is a great way to add visual interest and the sound of running water to your landscape. There are many different types of water features to choose from, so find one that fits your space and style.

9. Clean Up Your Deck or Patio

If you have a deck or patio, make sure to give it a good cleaning. Power wash it, scrub it down, and remove any furniture or decor that looks worn out. Then, add some fresh touches like new outdoor cushions or potted plants.

10. Add Some Comfortable Outdoor Furniture

After you’ve put all this work into your landscape, you’re going to want to spend some time enjoying it! Add some comfortable outdoor furniture so you can relax and enjoy your beautiful backyard.

There You Have It

With these ten tips, you can give your garden a much-needed makeover. A little time and effort will go a long way in creating a landscape you love.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

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Growing Ground Cherries Just For Fun

Last summer, I was browsing a local nursery. Most of their 4-inch vegetable starts were on sale because it was a bit late in the season to plant summer vegetables and have much success. But I felt sorry for a scraggly little ground cherry plant and bought it anyway.

I didn’t give it much hope, but the plant soldiered along and sporadically produced a few ground cherries, not many, over the course of the summer. It was enough to intrigue my then-kindergartner nephew. He sought out the fun little husk-wrapped fruits whenever he visited, and their flavor was sweet enough for him to enjoy. That alone made the plant worth it.

So, this year, I bought a healthy-looking ground cherry plant early in the season.

Treating The Ground Cherry Like A Tomato

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The plant itself looked a bit like a tomato plant to me, so I treated it like one:  I kept it in my small greenhouse during our unseasonably cold Pacific Northwest spring and early summer.  During its stay in the greenhouse, I moved it to a larger pot where I planted it deeply in the soil – as the plant tag suggested, and as I would do with a tomato plant.

It turns out my suspicions were correct: According to my research, ground cherries and tomatoes are both a part of the nightshade (Solanaceae) plant family.

After just a little while in the greenhouse, the plant was starting to show a few blossoms. They looked insignificant, but they quickly began to take on the telltale paper lantern shape of the husk-wrapped fruits.


Ground cherry blossoms and developing fruit
Ground cherry blossoms and developing fruit

I moved the ground cherry outside in late June. Now, in late July, it is about two feet tall. Like a tomato plant, I have it in full sun and give it regular water. Other than that, it’s been very easy care.


Why Ground Cherries Are Fun

Ground cherries get their name because you know the fruit is ripe when it falls to the ground.  No guesswork here – just check the ground for these little gift-wrapped surprises that the plant seemingly sheds only when no one is looking.

ground cherry fruit ripened
Ground cherry – ripe fruit falling to the ground

This year’s harvest from this one plant has been moderate but steady.  I’m getting several little gift-wrapped fruits a day.

ground cherries

I can’t decide whether the fruit (which is semi-sweet) has a mildly nutty flavor or a vaguely pineapple-y flavor.  Maybe it has both. At any rate, this fruit is not like anything else I’ve ever had.



I’ve been removing these cute little gems from their bio-degradable “wrappers” and using them on salads.

ground cherries

But many of them never make it that far.  Like little candies, they are eaten on sight by either me or my visiting nephew. I think he likes unwrapping them just as much as he likes eating them.

Ground cherries are also good in jams, salsas, and pie fillings. But that would take more of them than I am getting from this one plant. I’m not sure why I almost never see ground cherries at farmers’ markets or anywhere else.

A Couple Of Not-So-Fun Things About Ground Cherries

It really is important to only consume the ripe fruit. The ripe fruit is the only part of the plant that is not toxic.  So, if you grow ground cherries, never consume (or let anyone else, including pets, consume) any other part of the plant. And never consume a fruit before it is ripe.

The other not-so-fun thing about this plant is slightly less terrifying: The plant itself just isn’t very interesting to look at.

ground cherry plant

Yep, pretty boring. To me, the fruit is the most attractive part. But, as of today, the plant is still producing fruit and even forming more flowers.


What I’ll Do Differently Next Time

I read that I could grow a ground cherry plant in a 5-gallon container but, next time, I will either use a larger-capacity grow bag or plant it directly into the garden – but away from the overhead sprinklers. The plant doesn’t necessarily look unhappy, but it could probably have done better in optimal conditions.

And I will grow more of them because they really are fun and yummy, and I’d like to try out a few of the recipes I found.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

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Container Plantings For A Porch With Microclimates

Have you ever had something for so long that you didn’t really “see” it anymore?  I’ve had two lemon cypress plants in large pots on our front porch for several years – one on the north front corner and one on the south front corner.  For color, I underplanted them with seasonal annuals.

But, this spring, I noticed the trees had become ratty and were outgrowing the pots.

They were so rootbound that even daily watering didn’t satisfy their thirst. As a result, anything I planted with them suffered from the dense root mats and dry soil.  The south pot received more sun and seemed to dry out more quickly than the north pot.

Nothing I’d ever planted with these lemon cypresses really thrived for long.  But was it all the trees’ fault or was there something else going on here?

Recognizing The Porch’s Microclimates

Our covered front porch has an eastern exposure. It starts the day in full sun (if the sun is out) and ends the day in full shade.

So, as the day progresses, the front sides of the pots receive more sun exposure than the back sides. But also, the planter on the sunnier south corner of the porch receives more sun overall than the planter on the north corner.

It was time to try a new planting strategy for these pots. But, because they anchor the corners of my porch and add to the symmetry, I still wanted them to look identical – or as close as I could get to identical given the fact that they receive different levels of sunlight.

Preparing The Pots

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The roots of the cypress trees had pretty much taken over the pots.  I thought I might need help removing the trees, but it turned out that all I needed was patience, a little muscle, and my trusty hori hori garden knife.

And, of course, some silent coaching and moral support from Eddie.

“When is she going to stop working? She is really disturbing my nap.” – Eddie

Once I removed the trees, I added fresh organic potting soil to the pots.


The New Plants

I wanted a fun mix of color, texture, height, blossom size and, since we often sit out on our porch, even fragrance.

Here are the plants that I used and their preferred sun exposures (according to my research):

    • Heliotrope (full sun or sun with afternoon shade)
    • Coleus (morning sun and afternoon shade)
    • Dusty miller (full to partial sun)
    • Trailing lobelia (full to partial sun)
    • Ivy geranium (full sun)
    • Fuchsia (morning sun and afternoon shade)
    • Creeping jenny (full sun to partial shade)

These plants usually do well as annuals in my garden zone, which is 8b. But the creeping jenny is actually a [slightly invasive] perennial ground cover in my yard, so I shopped my own flower beds for the ones I used in the pots. I bought most of the other plants early in the season, as inexpensive starter plants, and kept them protected in my tiny greenhouse until I needed them.

Since they would (hopefully) be the tallest of the plants, the centerpieces of the plantings would be the heliotropes.  Heliotrope is wonderfully fragrant.  They look a bit delicate to me, so keeping them protected in pots on the front porch seems like a good idea.


Then I began experimenting with plant placement. Because of the afore-mentioned microclimates, I tried to place the more shade-loving plants to the back and the more sun-loving plants to the front (and, in the case of the south pot, to the south).


Planting a sun-loving geranium in the same pot as a shade-loving fuchsia was not something I would normally do, but I was looking forward to seeing if it would work.


The Result

At first, the containers seemed sparse.  I was tempted to add more plants but now, roughly a month after re-planting these pots, it’s crazy how much the plants have filled in.

The ivy germaniums weren’t blooming when I took these photos, but I’m hoping they will come around.

Mixed container planting
South planter


Mixed container planting
South planter


Mixed container planting
North planter


Mixed container planting
North planter

It will be interesting to see, at the end of the season, if both the north and south planters were successful or if one of them suffered from too little or too much sun. For now they seem to be doing equally well.

mixed container planting
Varying colors and textures add interest


Mixed container planting
Layers of color and texture



The pots are not drying out nearly as quickly as they had when the lemon cypresses were in them. I’m hoping that these plants continue to do well and that the ivy geranium will in fact bloom. Time will tell.

Thanks for visiting today, and happy gardening!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.



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How To Make A Small Outdoor Space Beautiful

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Many cities are becoming denser and, as a result, gardens are becoming smaller.  But, with a little creativity and vision, a small outdoor space can look beautiful and serve many functions.  Almost everything that makes a larger garden look stunning can, to some extent, be done in a smaller space – even landscaping or adding aesthetically pleasing garden furniture.

If you have a small outdoor space, the following tips provide a little inspiration to help you transform it into something special.

1.  Add Planter Boxes

If you have a few plants in small pots dotted around your outdoor space, consider replanting them into one or two large planter boxes.  Using large planting containers in a small space might seem counterintuitive but, if done right, it can add dimension and scale to even a small garden without overwhelming it. And you can customize the planter boxes by painting them any color you like.  

2. Consider Gravel

If your small-space lawn is patchy and sparse, consider replacing it with pea gravel or crushed rock. Gravel is an eco-friendly option because it is water permeable.  And, when coupled with some well-chosen potted plantings and whimsical outdoor furniture, gravel can give small outdoor spaces a sophisticated look – often at a more affordable price than pavers or concrete.

3.  Use Bamboo To Create Chic Borders

One way to create a more contemporary yet organic look for your garden area is by investing in some bamboo fencing. You can even install it in front of your existing fencing for an attractive border that makes your backyard look breathtaking.

4.  Invest In Practical Furniture

Garden furniture makes enjoying any outdoor space more pleasant and comfortable. However, it’s not always practical to use standard garden furniture in smaller outdoor spaces. Thankfully, there’s a solution to that problem: Buying practical pieces that serve multiple purposes.  

For example, you can purchase benches that double as storage units or tables with fire pits in the middle of them.

5.  Add Interesting Details

In a large garden, charming details are easily overlooked or overpowered.  But, in a small outdoor space, every little detail shines. Use this to your advantage by adding fairy lights, using colorful textiles on garden furniture, or making an interesting antique the center of attention.

Or simply by potting up plants with stunning foliage.

The list of possibilities for adding interesting details to a small garden is endless.

6.  Think Vertical

Remember to think vertical as well as horizontal in your small outdoor space.  Consider hanging succulents or baskets of herbs from a wall or fence.


7.  Install A Deck

Even in a small back yard, installing a wooden deck can be an excellent way to create a defined area in your garden.  A raised deck also provides an ideal space for entertaining even if you have a sloping garden.  


With a little creativity, you can transform any small outdoor space into an attractive and inviting retreat for your and your guests.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

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Pampering Plants In The Greenhouse

If you need me, I’ll be in my greenhouse avoiding responsibility.  I might say that I’m in there “gardening,” and I might even believe it myself.  But in reality, I’m just there to delay having to do any actual work in the garden.  The greenhouse is my adult version of a playhouse – my cozy and cheerful domain.

So come on in and see what I’ve been playing with.  I’ll also show you some of the practical ways that I use my small greenhouse.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.


Uses For A Greenhouse

Having a greenhouse is very helpful, but don’t despair if you don’t have one.  Often an indoor space with adequate light can serve as a mini-greenhouse if you’re willing to devote the space to that purpose (and as long as you don’t mind the possibility of a random insect or two occasionally coming in on a plant ride-along).  One of the best tomato gardeners I’ve ever known grew his tomatoes from seeds inside his house.  And, before I had a greenhouse, I sometimes used my mudroom to overwinter plants.

Anyway, on to our practical uses for a greenhouse.  We’ll start with . . .

Coddling Summer Annuals and Tomatoes

My tiny greenhouse is bursting at the seams right now with the summer annuals that I bought in pony packs from garden centers.  Pony packs usually have four to six small plants per pack.

Once in the greenhouse, I take each plant out of the pack and move it into its own 4-inch (or larger) pot.  And there they stay until I’m ready to plant them outdoors.

It takes a little time to repot them from their pony packs, but there are some advantages to the plant, including:

  • Plants moved to larger pots are less likely to become rootbound;
  • Plants don’t dry out as quickly in larger pots; and
  • Once in larger pots, the plants grow very rapidly without crowding one another.

And, of course, the advantage to me is that I save money by buying plants in small starter packs instead of buying larger versions of the same plants at higher prices.

If I’d simply taken the plants from these pony packs and planted them directly outside a few weeks ago, when I bought them, they probably would have been stunted by the cold. They would have suffered a setback instead of the head start that they are receiving by being pampered in the greenhouse until the weather is warmer.

This year I assembled another hanging garden sphere for my front porch.  I just put it together yesterday, so it’s currently in the greenhouse sink draining excess water and soaking up a little heat before it goes outside.

Impatiens, moss, and a small maidenhair fern make up this year’s hanging garden sphere.


I ran out of counter space, so the impatiens that will go in our shed window box are on the greenhouse floor.  I’ve already transplanted them into pots that fit inside the window box, so all I have to do once it’s warm enough outside is just plop them into the window box.


I also keep my tomato starts in the greenhouse.  Like the annuals, I move them to larger pots so they have room to grow.

Oregon Spring Tomato and Yellow Cherry Tomato "Blondkopfchen"
And Oregon Spring Tomato and a Yellow Cherry Tomato “Blondkopfchen”

These two will be moved to even larger pots when they’re placed outside. The “Blondkopfchen” yellow cherry tomato will need a huge container, so this year I’m going to try a large fabric grow bag.


Cherry tomato "Oregon Cherry"
Cherry tomato “Oregon Cherry”

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s commonly said that tomatoes can be placed outdoors in May.  But to me that seems too early.  I keep mine in the greenhouse until at least June.  For more tips on growing tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest, check out my post Tomato Tips From Mr. B.

Starting Bulbs

I love big showy begonias.  But rather than buying established plants, I go the thrifty route and buy bulbs (usually in March or April).  I start them in pots in the greenhouse.

They don’t look like much yet, but hopefully they will grow quickly now that they have emerged.

Starting them in the greenhouse is also a good way to make sure that a bulb is actually viable before planting it outside.

Begonia bulbs emerging
Begonia bulbs emerging

Around the holidays, I also use the greenhouse for starting paperwhites.

Starting Seeds

I hadn’t intended to do very much growing from seeds this year, but my adorable kindergartner nephew visited me recently, and he brought along several seed packets.

So we started planting.

zinnia seedlings
Zinnia seedlings

While we were working, he found my garden journal, which I hadn’t used for a long time, and he made a list of everything that we were planting that day.

(I especially like the “All dun” he added to end after we’d finished planting.)

We used stickers to create a coding system so that we could keep track of which variety of seed we’d planted in each flat.

It was a nice little exercise in writing, planting, teamwork, and organizing, and it just goes to show that gardening is fun at any age.


Overwintering Tender Plants

The greenhouse is also a good place to shelter plants that would not survive the winter outdoors.

Late last fall, I brought in a few succulents that wouldn’t have survived the winter.  I also brought in a myrtle topiary that I’ve been cultivating for a few years.  The myrtle may have been okay outside but, with all the work I’ve put into training it to be a topiary (albeit a short topiary), I wasn’t going to take that chance.

It’s back outside now.

Myrtle topiary
Myrtle topiary


Until recently, a golden Boston fern also had refuge in the greenhouse.  Now it is still somewhat protected in its new spot on the front porch.

Golden Boston fern

Small Improvements

Lately we made just a couple of small improvements to the greenhouse.

A Simple Shelf

Chris cut and finished a piece of plywood to serve as a shelf over the back of the soil basin.

Wooden shelf at the back of the soil basin

In this small greenhouse, it’s nice to have a bit of extra storage right where I’m likely to use it.


A Door Screen

If it’s not too cold, I keep the greenhouse door open during the day.  I recently installed this door screen to keep our mason bees and other small critters from getting trapped inside the greenhouse.

It was very easy to install, and I should have done it years ago.

Sunglo greenhouse with after market door screen
Sunglo greenhouse with after-market door screen

I also keep unwanted insects, especially ants, out of the greenhouse by spritzing the threshold and the floors with organic peppermint essential oil.  A few drops of the oil mixed with water in a spray bottle usually does a fairly good job.  Since the flooring is concrete pavers, I don’t worry too much about spritzing it with a little essential oil.

Thanks for coming along on this short tour of my greenhouse.  You’ve really helped me out since another way I avoid the responsibility of actual gardening is by writing about it.  But now I have no more excuses.  It’s time to close my laptop and put on the gardening gloves.  Right after another cup of coffee.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.



Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.





Gifts For Gardeners

With gardening season upon us and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day quickly approaching, this is an excellent time to think about gifts for the gardeners in our lives.

Below is a little round up of gifts, from practical to fun, that gardeners might enjoy.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

Keeping Tools Sharp

Cutting tools like shears and clippers are very important in gardening.  A dull cutting tool can make a project much harder than it needs to be.  That is where a good blade sharpener can come in handy.


SHARPAL multi sharpener

A Lightweight Blower

Keeping walkways and patios clean can be a big job with just a broom.  But some blowers can be heavy and cumbersome to use.  I was gifted this lightweight Ryobi One cordless leaf blower a few years ago, and now I don’t know what I’d do without it.


Fabric Grow Bags

Recently, I’ve become intrigued with fabric grow bags. They are available in varying sizes, and I plan to try out a couple of large grow bags this summer for tomatoes and pumpkins. They aren’t much to look at, but they are said to help plants grow healthy root systems.  And they store flat when not in use.

Oppolite 20-gallon grow bag

A Tool To Keep Gardening

For the gardener who has a few aches and pains but doesn’t want that to limit their time in the garden, a garden kneeler and stool can be exactly what they need to keep doing what they love.


Outdoor Entertaining

When it’s time to host those summer garden gatherings, a practical and well-appointed bar cart can be very useful.

EROMMY outdoor wicker bar cart

Herb Garden

Herb gardens can be as attractive as they are practical.  And they get bonus points if they are easy to use or if they work in small spaces.  This FOYUEE Raised Planter Box hits all those marks.

Animal Succulent Pots

Recently I bought these adorable Ceramic Animal Succulent Plant Pots for my neighbors.

And I’ve had so much fun finding just the right little plants to dress them up.  They didn’t come with saucers, so I added those too.

Self-Care For The Gardener

Gardening can take its toll on hands and feet.  This gift set by Burt’s Bees brings healing to hands, feet, and lips.  Best of all, the products are climate pledge friendly – which is something many gardeners care about.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




Gardening Basics That Will Help Keep Your Garden Green

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Many of us daydream about having the perfect garden.  But a beautiful garden always starts with the basics.  In this post, we cover some of the basic garden tasks that will help you keep your garden green.

1. Mulch your garden beds.

Mulching is the process of adding a layer of organic or inorganic material to the top of the soil. Not only does mulching help retain moisture in the earth, but it also helps suppress weed growth. There are many different types of mulch available, but consider using an organic variety that will decompose over time so that it can continue to feed your plants. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, consider using tree leaves as mulch. They make a great addition to compost piles too!

2. Water your plants regularly.

It’s essential to water your plants regularly, especially during the summer months when temperatures are high, and rainfall is low. Be sure to water your plants early in the morning or in the evening so that the moisture can soak into the soil instead of being evaporated by the hot summer sun. You can use a garden hose or sprinkler system to water your plants, or you can purchase a drip irrigation system that delivers water directly from slimline water tanks to the roots of your plants. Consider using a moisture meter (a device that measures the amount of moisture in the soil) if you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of when you last watered your plants. 

3. Fertilize your plants regularly.

Fertilizing your plants is an essential part of keeping them healthy and green. There are many different types of fertilizer available, so be sure to choose one suited for the kind of plants you have in your garden. Depending on the season, fertilizer may need be applied monthly – and sometimes more often if growing vegetables or fruits. If you’re unsure how to fertilize your plants, ask your local garden center for advice. They will recommend a specific fertilizer product and tell you how much to apply per square foot.

4. Prune your plants regularly.

Pruning your plants is another important way to keep them healthy and green. Pruning helps remove dead or diseased branches, which can help prevent the spread of disease. It also helps to improve air circulation and allows for better sunlight penetration. Be sure to prune your plants at least once a year, but more often if they grow rapidly. Also, remember to prune plants immediately after they finish blooming to encourage new growth.

Following these simple tips will help you keep your garden looking good all year round! 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel