DIY Shabby Chic Rustic Planters

DIYSHABBYCHICRUSTICPLANTERDETOUR RANT: It’s so annoying. They turned off the electricity in our entire neighborhood for some stupid repairs to transformers or something and that means no internet, which means I had to seek out a public location and buy a carrot/celery/beet/wheat grass juice so I can use their wifi.

This is NOT one of my favorite things to do, especially in the summer when tourist season is in full swing and the entire downtown area is jammed up with whiny children and obnoxious parents WHO DON’T SEEM TO KNOW HOW TO SAY NO.

I’m trying to ignore the coughing and sneezing (please keep them home when they’re sick, OK?) and whinging and FOCUS.

OM.

Also, ‘rents? If you could PLEASE teach your children NOT to put their dirty shoes on sofas where people sit, that’d be great.

Back to today’s post after the brief ranty detour to once again complain about untrained parents. It’s hard to blame the kids when the ‘rents ignore them to stare lovingly at their smartphones.

What a sad generation of neglected children we’ve created.

OM.


#1 You know by now that I never throw anything away without first trying to find another use for whatever it might be.

We all have variations of those caddies that swing awkwardly from the shower nozzle with those worthless little suction cups, right?

What else are we supposed to use to contain shampoo and conditioner and scrubs?

They’re useful but after a while, the paint flakes off and they get rusty and need to be replaced.

Don’t throw them away!

Instead, transform them into an EASY wall planter for drought tolerant succulents or other plants if you’re lucky enough to live in a rainy part of the world.

I transplanted donkey tails and a variety of other succulents clipped from around the garden.

When these little plants grow and fill in, they’ll cover the plastic containers and spill over to add interest to the fence right off the deck.

I like the rustic look and I didn’t spend a single penny!

showercaddy

#2  When I completely purged my son’s room (Empty Nest Moms, This One’s For You) I found this obsolete artifact from the 90s, a CD holder (remember those?) and tucked it away into the garage until I could conjure up another use for it.

Three little plastic containers (saved from purchasing seedlings) fit perfectly.

Another planter!

So easy! Turn it on its side and line the bottom with a coconut planting mat cut to size (I think I bought the mats at a dollar store.)

More drought tolerant plants, added some Spanish moss, and attached to the fence.

CDplanter

The moral of this story? Don’t throw anything away EVEN if your husband tries to sneak it in the trash. Almost everything can be reused, reharvested, and upcycled.

Namaste.showercaddy3

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No Rain But Maybe a Tugboat Man Sighting?

I’m STILL trying to finish up the EMPOWERING series about my recent camping trip and what it’s like to go on a road trip with an adult son and daughter-in-law (funny),  but got news late last night that my erstwhile tugboat man MIGHT be flying home TOMORROW — what’s up with not giving any warning??? — and that changes everything in my world.

I don’t have flight information yet, but all signals point to a positive outcome.

Sheesh, he better not get called back again while we’re driving home from the airport. THAT wasn’t any fun at all. I know that’s the life of a merchant mariner, but it still sucks.

He says he misses me, and I’m sure he DOES, but there’s a HUGE south swell coming this weekend from Hurricane Blanca– we all know what he really misses is SURF.

Ha ha.

No, REALLY.

Now that we’re down to watering only two days a week and no rain, the grass is already brown and all the other plants look stressed and thirsty.

SoCal gardens might not be as lush as those of yours who have enough rain, but there’s a bit of color to be found if you search for it.

Mandevilla

Mandevilla mandevilla2

Artichokesartichokemay2015 Purple Sagepurplesage1 PurpleSage2015 White Sage

whitesageflower2 WhiteSageFlowers1

Lily of the Nile

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Silver Shield: Graceful But Hardy Native From Australia

A long, graceful spire of lilac-hued florets.

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Multiple flowering spikes.
silvershield
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Jagged sage-like leaves.silvershield4 Lovely for height and texture.silvershield5silvershiled3

I cut this one back severely, and it’s just starting to grow again. Look at thick trunk; it almost looks like a tree.silvershield6

More fence-line plantings. The leaves of the mulberry tree are turning yellow and falling.
I need to rake them up and add to the compost bin.

silvershield7

Native to Australia, drought-tolerant Plectranthus argentatus.

I found this plant in our neighborhood on one of our walks to the beach. I surreptitiously snapped off a small piece to experiment with propagation. Lo and behold, it started to grow immediately. That was about ten years ago, and now my entire yard is ringed with Silver Shields, and I’ll share a cutting with anyone who likes them. They are super hardy, beyond easy to grow, and just need to be cut back because of a tendency to spread and get leggy,

It’s raining now and the garden is loving it. Happy Sunday!

PlantPlay Nursery in Carlsbad. A Gardening Oasis.

#things to do in Carlsbad #Carlsbad #gardening

In my not-so-little town of Carlsbad, nestled between all the destruction from too many years of overbuilding, you can still find beauty if you look for it.

plantplaysign

If you live anywhere near San Diego, you really need to drive up the coast and experience this most unique and beautiful garden shop.

PlantPlay Nursery at 4915 El Camino Real in Carlsbad is tucked away in a corner near Kelly Drive, south of Tamarack Avenue.

If you remember the old Country Store with the chicken on top of the building, you know exactly where it is.

Walking into PlantPlay is like entering into a secret garden  —  winding pathways, thousands of unusual plants, garden decor, the sweet melodious harmonies of strategically placed water features — birds chirping, and chickens (yes, chickens!)

It’s also chock full of drought tolerant plants and exotic specimens.

Owners Mike and Sergio know EVERYTHING about plants and planting.

This is Mike.

PlantPlay1Here’s Sergio and his baby girl.plantplaysergioLook at this sweet face!Plantplay2 plantplay4This chicken is so soft and feathery.
plantplay5The prettiest chicken I’ve ever seen!
FYI, the chickens are PETS, ‘cos Mike and Sergio LOVE animals.

plantplay6 Dutchman’s Pipe, strange but beautiful!plantplayweirdplant plantplayweirdplant2A rose, of course.plantplay7rose This camellia is as fragrant as it is pure and velvety white.plantplaycamellia

plantplay8plantplay9plantplay10plantplaysucculentOld wagon on the hill. There’s not much left of the charm of old Carlsbad, so this is an especially poignant reminder.plantplaywagonWhen you visit Sergio and Mike at PlantPlay Nursery, tell them Princess Rosebud says hello!

 

Blooming Blossoms in the Midst of a Drought

Apparently, we’re  in the middle of another drought in Southern California.

Winter is usually our rainy season but iIt hasn’t rained since December.

Water is very expensive; even though we plant a lot of drought tolerant plants, they still need to be watered occasionally.

With fires in Los Angeles started by stupid people who decided that eighty-five degree sunny weather was the perfect time for a campfire, and the howling winds stirring up dust and drying out my garden, I was still able to find a few colorful flowering plants that are strong enough to survive these crazy record high temperatures.

Anyone else thinking climate change thoughts?

Orchid FlowerorchidflowercloseupFlowering Succulent succulentflowercloseupSweet AlyssumsweetalyssumcloseupYellow Perennial Daisy
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Easy Like Sunday Morning

Birds are singing, the sun is out, the sky is blue, and there’s a gentle breeze.
It seems like the perfect time for a couple of Sunday morning songs and a few snapshots of our backyard and a street view.

Agave with Nasturtiums

agave

Clematis and Sweet Pea Vine
Arbor

Baby Apples

Baby apples

Jupiter’s Beard

jupitersbeard

Heart Shaped Leaf

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Pride of Madeirapride of madeira

Baby Artichokes

artichokes

We created a drought tolerant front yard: California natives with a smaller lawn
Yard front