We had a fire in our back yard a couple weeks ago. It was a pretty scary night. Our back yard plus three of our neighbors were damaged by the fire. We lost 2 sheds, a pool, and a 4×4 truck. Plus all of our tools and belongings that were in the sheds. One of our neighbors lost their whole shed as well. And two other neighbors had some damage to their sheds but they are able to have theirs fixed. Four fence lines were also damaged or completely burned to the ground. It was a very sad scary night for all of us. The neighbors included. Fire is powerful and destructive. The smell and burnt debris that is left behind is awful.
My string of hearts and both of my big beautiful Wandering Jew plants also have severe heat damage. All of my huge sunflower plants died in the fire. A few days before the fire I started to harvest a few of them so thankfully I will have seeds for next years crop. I have been slowly trimming all the damaged leaves off of my plants.
We have put up new fence lines and have removed over 12 tons of burnt derbies from the backyard. There is a blank canvas back there now. And I am excited to create something new from the ashes. I am also very grateful that my family, animals and our house survived that massive fire on Sept 7, 2018
I have created a little area on my patio that I call my propagation station. I like to use saucers that normally sit under a pot. I fill them with soil and I put leaves all over them. Then I sit them on a table and leave them alone. Every now and then I will squirt them with a squirt bottle. But you do not really have to do that. The leaf will provide water to the pup until it shrivels up and dies. Once the pups begin to grow bigger I put them into a tiny pot. Then I place them into a tiny green house. Once they establish themselves with a nice little root ball I move them into a bigger pot with other little succulents. When I create my succulent arrangements I use the little succulents from the pot of many.
I just love to propagate succulents. I think its really amazing that you can reproduce a new tiny plant just from a leaf. I mean you can even accidentally break a stem and place it in soil and it will grow roots. Just like magic another plant forms. The tiny plants growing from the leaves are called pups and the broken stem i mentioned is considered a stem cutting. I normally let the stem cutting sit for a couple days so that it forms a callous. Once it has callused I place it into soil and it will eventually form roots. Be patient sometimes it takes a while for roots to form.
Every time I go to my local hardware store i check out the floor of the nursery and pick up the random succulent leaves that seem to always be on the floor. I always ask whoever is working what they do with them and they always say we sweep them up and throw them away. Then I ask if I can have them. They always give me a weird look and say sure. I mean I cant help but see a leaf and think of the future plant that it can be.
Went on a road trip last week. Drove from California to New Mexico. I love the desert. All the cacti, agave and yuccas that grow wild every where. Looking out and seeing the natural land without the human hand. It is magnificent. The clouds seem to be so close that you might be able to touch them. I will have to say it was a great adventure. I highly recommend a south west desert adventure. Especially if you are a lover of the cactus/succulent world.
I collected so many cool rocks. Some of them have small little crystals growing inside them. They are going to look wonderful in my flower bed. I love to collect rocks from every where I go an add them to my flower beds.
The yuccas are every where. And they have recently flowered and their stalks make wonderful walking sticks. So I cut like 6 stalks. I will post another blog on the process of turning them into walking sticks at a later time.
There is so much that you can collect and turn into amazing little creations. I also collected a couple dead/decayed cacti. They can basically be used in the same way as drift wood. Perfect for some succulent pups to grow up in.
I grow a lot of herbs in the back yard. My favorite thing to do with the herbs that I grow is to make tea! There are so many health benefits involved with simply having a glass of tea. The plus side of this healthy liquid is simple. Tea is pretty delicious. I just love the idea that I am drinking the juices of a plant. I read somewhere that juniper tea was really good and had a lot of health benefits. So I wanted to give it a try. But I don’t grow that in my back yard. And finding organic juniper berry tea in the local store was a bit difficult. But lucky for me I already knew an amazing place to purchase organic teas.
Buddha Teas is a place I trust. I mean it is not walking in the back yard and harvesting your own fresh pot of tea. But when you don’t grow it and want to enjoy it. Buddha is the way to go. They offer the convenience of purchasing tea at your fingertips. So I ordered a box of Organic Juniper Berry Tea. And I had a cup. It was tasty. And it was full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. My body was very grateful for that cup of liquid love. The more I research about this wonderful herb the more greatness is revealed to me. So thank you to whoever peeked my interest in Organic Juniper Berry Tea. I love it!
Did you know that juniper berry is the main flavoring agent in gin? If you enjoy gin maybe it time to thank a juniper tree for being alive. I am certainly grateful they are alive!
I found some cool driftwood the other day while I was rafting on the river. I collected it and loaded it up on my raft. I just knew they were going to make great succulent displays. I used crushed rose quartz and crushed purple amethyst as well as crystal quartz in each. I tend to use my little pups from my leaf propagations for all my projects with driftwood. I like to watch them grow in. Would love to see what everyone else does with driftwood. Feel free to share photos!
UPDATE: We have used the spray in the kitchen area, and definitely see a difference. The spray is so much nicer than the typical sprays available. Smells better and works as good, I will be making more.
We are testing the theory that orange peels soaked in vinegar for two weeks in a dark cupboard will produce a solution that will eliminate ants. In two weeks you drain, throw out the peels and add water 1:1. If you have a cup of vinegar you add a cup of water then put in a spray bottle. Made ours today and will update in two weeks.
Having Garden Fresh Herbs always adds a unique flavor and look to your salads and other dishes, some make fantastic teas. It also adds just a little bit of protection from most health problems we all develop in later years. If you have, a nice sunny yard or window try growing a herb garden. They are one of the easiest gardens to grow and will do well with container gardening for those who have no room for a garden. [More]
Essential oils are the concentrated oils extracted from plants. The oils are often used in aromatherapy via diffuser, home made candles, lotions, shampoos and soaps. Aromatherapy is a pleasing and natural way to boost both your physical health and your emotional well-being. Our bodies take in the benefits of these concentrated oils through breathing the oils or applying it to the skin with lotions. more
Made some smudge sticks tonight with rosemary, sage, lavender and oregano. They were easy to make and smell good. The use of sage is for healing, the smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal. Lavender smoke is used to invite the spirits and rosemary is for cleansing, peace of mind, and to release all kinds of psychic, spiritual and even physical purification. Oregano fosters happiness, harmony, love, peace, protection, psychic development, growth, and tranquillity.