Gardening: out with the old & saving some dough!

If you’re like me -eyeing the chrysanthemums at the local grocery store over the past few weeks but feeling guilty about getting rid of the overgrown, ragged although not yet dead planters on the front stoop, here’s a tip I discovered that might inspire:

It’s been cool here over the last couple of days and so I broke down and headed over to my local greenhouse and purchased three big healthy purple chrysanthemum plants for $8.99 each.

As I began yanking out the old summer plants, I realized they looked very similar to a house plant I purchased at home depot a few months ago.  Turns out Kong Rose (or Solenostemon scutellarioides) along with other leafy plants many of us use to add dimension to our flower baskets, pots and borders may not survive the winter months but they do very well indoors as house plants!

House plant potential: What’s left of the summer plants after I yanked them out of the planters on my front stoop.

So before pitching those summer plants in the trash or the compost pile, salvage or snip of any parts of the plant that are still healthy looking.  Fill a container/vase with water and drop them in.  After a few days you should begin to see root tendrils… after three weeks there should be large enough roots to replant the stem in dirt.

You could also keep them permanently in the vase.  The roots will keep growing so you will need to change the water often (and eventually trim them back), but it’s a really pretty not to mention inexpensive alternative to fresh flowers on your bedside -or even your thanksgiving table this year!

Want to check out more photos of these outdoor planters? For spring click HERE.  For winter click HERE. Christmas click HERE.  For Valentine’s click HERE.  Thanks and happy gardening!

Also published on Bob Vila Nation September 21st, 2012 and The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette September 26th, 2012

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Easy and budget friendly weekend project: a front stoop

Easy and budget friendly weekend project: a front stoop

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Levelling the subsoil is as easy as using a level and a scrap piece of wood.
(Gazette, Julie Cadieux)

by Julie Cadieux

Lack of a proper front porch on a new home construction in St. Lazare prompted the owners to take on this budget-friendly design which consists of slate-lookalike patio stones and grass. The result? A small gravel front walkway has been turned into a larger and more formal patio area.
An edger, a level, sand, measuring tape and a bottle of chalk was all that was needed to complete this “do it yourself” project.
After raising and compacting the area with fill and topping it off with topsoil, rolls of grass were installed. Next the slatelike stone pavers were laid out in a desired pattern, making sure each one was spaced the same distance apart. Chalk was then sprinkled along the edge of the stone and once removed, the chalk outline remained on the grass making it simple to remove the grass with an edger. The bare area was levelled with sand and compacted using a scrap piece of lumber.
The process took several hours but the result was well worth it when combined with complementary landscaping for a unique, inexpensive and easy DIY project.
Julie Cadieux’s home styling advice is available at http://www.julieloveshome.wordpress.com

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A chalk outline on each faux slate tile allows for easier edging.
(Gazette, Julie Cadieux)

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Setting the squares is time consuming, but placement is forgiving.
(Gazette, Julie Cadieux).

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The result is a front walkway that looks like it was professionally installed.
(Gazette, Julie Cadieux)

The Hudson St. Lazare Gazette, June 29 2011