Houseplant Revival – The Jungalow Trend

I just came across an article on Facebook about Millenials and the Jungalow trend. #Jungalow, #urbangarden, #monsteramonday are all popular hashtags on Instagram. Why? Because Millenials have caught onto the houseplant revival. I was pretty stoked to read this, because I’m part of a microgeneration called “Xennials” that isn’t quite Gen X and not quite Millenial, and it made me feel super cool to know I’ve been ahead of a Millenial trend for once.

houseplant

Last spring one of my good friends, Joel, at stayheavyblog.com, gave me a beautiful monstera that he no longer wanted. It was in a tiny pot and when I went to repot it, the poor thing was so rootbound I didn’t know if it would survive when I carefully cut away the plastic pot liner. But that thing has absolutely fluorished in my little house in a big south-facing picture window in the living room. It’s kind of gigantic, and honestly I have no compunction about walking around naked with the curtains open because the plant is basically a window covering itself. It’s like I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden! Really all I need is a snake and some fruit and I’m set.

houseplant
My daughter’s first selfie!

After writing my last post on the DIY indoor potting bench, I’ve felt a renewed interest in blogging. I kind of lost my passion for gardening starting in March last year, which is a story I’ll save for another post. Right now I’m going to go with my rejuvenated creative flow and post about indoor gardening, which seems appropriate considering it’s almost winter here.

What’s your favorite houseplant? Were you around for the years of macrame plant hangers and other funky 1970s plant paraphenalia? I remember my mother having a few that I think she made herself. I’ve seen them on anthropologie’s site recently and that tells me they’re back in a big way. Do you consider yourself an indoor gardener? I’d love to hear about what you grow inside! (Yes, we can talk about cannabis as long as you don’t get baked and forget to use your burner account.) Seriously, though, if you have casual houseplants or an indoor herb garden, or hydroponic tomatoes please share in the comments!

Crates & Pallet DIY Indoor Potting Bench Reveal

Hey guys! I’ve recently partnered with Crates & Pallet to build a DIY project using their extra large crates. I decided to make an indoor potting bench for the fall and winter that doubles as a console to hold gardening books and knick knacks, so it has some aesthetic appeal as an indoor furniture piece.

crate & pallet

This was a really fun project, and easy! All you need is some paint, furniture legs, a drill, crates, and a couple days of enough free time to paint and assemble, and voila! You’re a brand new indoor potting bench maker and owner.

crate & pallet diy

Not only are crates good for storing things, they would also make a great seed starting station. My plan is to (come February or so) install a couple grow lights and start my seeds for next spring. How awesome will that be?! I did purchase a few new plants for this project–at a total of $17 for two orchids, ($5 each at Lowe’s in their houseplant clearance section) a couple small potted succulents, and two African violets. The violets were not in great shape, but came back to vibrancy with a good watering. The orchids may or may not survive–I took an orchid class a couple years ago but have since forgotten most of the material on how to care for them. I’ve added orchid care to my list of things to re-research!

Note:  I did not attach each crate to the other. They’re simply stacked on top of each other so that they’re easy to disassemble and move, or reconfigure to make different setups. I love the versatility this project offers. I used Basic acrylic paint, some of which I already had on hand, and chose the color scheme to go with that super mellow Jerry Garcia painting.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments or find me on social media!

Kids Sunflower Art Project

This summer my daughter and I planted a dwarf variety of sunflowers, and when they reached maturity and bloomed we thought it would be a good idea to bring some inside. Then we decided it would be a good idea to paint them. Then I decided it would be a good idea to learn about a famous artist and his Sunflowers painting. The painting was inspiring; his wiki page was not. Van Gogh had issues, man.

Sunflower art

Miss Alexandra turned 5 this past May. I’ve never featured her much on the blog because she didn’t understand what it meant to give me her permission to post photos of and stories about her previously. It’s important to me that she’s cool with being on the internet and obviously I’d like to keep her safe from weirdos, but we live in a different age of technology now and I also don’t want her to feel left out if I’m NOT allowing her to have some sort of internet presence. Anyway, on to the art project…

Kids sunflower art project

We hauled our sunflowers and zinnias inside and made our little still life setup happen on the dining room table. That’s a $10 tablecloth from TJ Maxx, in case you were wondering if I was crazy enough to paint on some fancy flaxen table dressing. Next, we made our outlines with black paint and basically colored in from there. The blue background was applied last.

Kids sunflower art project
Pretty sure this was Van Gogh’s same technique.

Our paints were a hodge podge of Basic acrylics and children’s washable paints, and our brushes were some Crayola and whatever I’ve found at Michael’s over the years that were in my art bin, which is super well-organized; in fact, it’s so perfect I’m not even going to show it to you. Just look at Pinterest photos some other mom has taken of her perfectly curated art/craft closet and you’ll see what I mean, wink, wink.

The whole project took about an hour from start to finish. And I only know this because I was looking to fill my hour of anxiety on a Sunday evening before her father was due to pick her up. It worked, and we successfully avoided the yuckies while making something beautiful with things we had grown ourselves while spending quality time together. I hope if you have kids that sometime you can find the time to paint something from your garden with them. And if you didn’t grow anything this year, paint some rocks as plant identifiers for what you want to grow next year!

 

Garden Blogger Ghosting

Hi everyone. I feel like I ghosted this blog and its readers the past 12 months, and while I’m not ready to really discuss things, I thought I would just post an update about my current garden. Hopefully it will suffice til I start blogging regularly again.

So, it’s August here in zone 6b, and I would love to say I’ve had a wildly successful garden this year, that would be a lie. Here’s what:  I have zinnias that are off the chain, cilantro that wouldn’t stop until it did (no surprise), basil growing like weeds next to tomatoes I never staked, and peppers that are 1/3 still thinking about producing.

I’m going to continue the blog, but I’m probably not going to be all LOOK I POSTED about it for now. I do have a lot of updates I want to write about, so if you’re still following I hope you enjoy.

 

Japanese Hand Hoe — How to Weed Your Garden Fast!

Japanese hand hoe–it’s a legit tool that makes weeding super easy. I’m so enthralled by it that I took video with my phone and created a YouTube channel so you can see how it works. The Japanese hand hoe cuts under the soil and cuts the roots of the weeds. As a follow-up to prevent them from coming back you just need to cover up the soil with black weed paper, mulch, or straw.

japanese hand hoe

I didn’t know this tool even existed until my landlord, who is an organic farmer, saw me weeding by hand one day and took pity on me. He brought me his and loaned it to me. I’m looking at some on Amazon when I decided to get around to ordering my own. They’re not expensive; the ones I’ve looked at are anywhere from $10-$25. 

What do you think? Have you ever used one of these? If so, why didn’t you tell me about it?!

 

How Many Seeds Does It Take

To grow a garden? I don’t know; has anyone ever counted the number it takes to grow a garden in xyz amount of space? That seems unlikely.  Here’s what I do know:  I bought about 30 packets of seeds today. (4/6/17)

UPDATE:  (4/26/17) Shortly after I began this post, my landlord decided for me that I couldn’t handle a garden that large and seeded 2/3 of it with grass seed. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions as to how I felt about that.

I’m now working with an apparently much more manageable area and have seeded one plot with different varieties of zinnia, and sowed marigold seeds (that I saved the past two years) all around the border of this newest iteration of backyard garden plot.

This weekend I’ll be re-mapping this garden. I had everything mapped out about 8 weeks ago, but life happens and things change and landlords have other ideas and…there you are.

 

April Showers

It’s April, and we have definitely had some showers. I sowed spinach, kale, and radishes a few weeks ago and they are popping up in the garden. Last Friday the Kroger outdoor display of pansies sucked me in and I bought some to brighten the front porch. The entire yard is full of violets anhad dandelions, and every other house I pass has tons of daffodils and hyacinths in bloom. Spring has sprung.

As I get back into the swing of blogging regularly again, I’m just going to post pretty randomly. Sometimes I’ll have time to upload and edit photos and sometimes I won’t. I’d rather post more frequently at this point then worry about SEO and whether something is post-worthy, and spend extra time making sure it’s perfect. I worried a lot about those things with my first attempt/first few years writing this blog and it was pointless. I’m just going to have fun with it now instead. It’s good to be posting again!

Aaaaaand I’m back!

Whatever happened to Her Emerald Thumb? I’m sure this was the question on everyone’s mind since last October, because it was just another boring fall with no election or anything.

A lot has changed in my life during these past few months, and I’m excited to share with you my new garden and adventures within it. The first iteration of Her Emerald Thumb is lost as I let my web hosting lapse, but if you would like to dig up any old posts, let me know and I can help you find them through the Wayback Machine, or you can search it yourself.

Stay tuned for lots of exciting additions to this site.