I was in Home Hardware last week and browsing the garden section
when I saw this most awesome tomato planter, which by the way,
Mark Cullen (famous Canadian gardener) endorses.
Given the fact that it was almost $17.00 and I'd spent my budget last month
on soil and mulch, I passed on buying it...but couldn't stop thinking about it.

Along comes my friend Maureen, who gives me a unique tomato plant which her
neighbour gave her.  It's an Ugly Tomato from Italy.  Not sure if that's the real name
or not, but that's what she called it.  She said it was really ugly, but oh so sweet!
It doesn't look so ugly right now?
I thought to myself...what am I going to do with this ugly tomato?
I've already planted out my Romas and Beefsteaks in the veggie garden, so
where should I put it?  When, aha!  I'll make my own damn
upside-down tomato planter!

I took two hanging planters, one a size smaller than the other...
Almost everyone has some of these kicking around in their sheds right?
I then, cut out the bottom of the large one (the base).
Slipped my tomato plant through the opening upside-down, then
filled up this pot with potting soil.
I took the other pot and filled it with potting soil and quickly inverted it upside-down on
top of the filled pot.  (You may have to get someone to hold the bottom planter
with the tomato hanging out the bottom when you do this...I did.)
Attach the plastic hanger and voila...you can water through the top of the
smaller planter and grow your tomatoes upside down!
I didn't count on that happening when I watered the plant!
Thank god it landed against the fence instead of falling the other
way and totally falling apart!

Plan B!
You'll also note that the plant is already almost touching the ground.
I plan on putting some hooks placed strategically across the fence line
to swag the tomato plant over!
Cross your fingers it works for me!
I'm so excited today!
Not only am I revealing a large portion of our gardens out front, but also
I'm guest posting the reveal over at My 1929 Charmer in honour of Cathy's
"1st Blogaversary!"
Cathy is such a sweetheart and if you don't follow her or know who she is,
you definitely need to visit and check out her blog because she will inspire
you to create things you didn't think you could!
I'm pretty excited for you all to see the hard work we've put into getting
our perennial beds ready and hope you'll find the look as
soothing and blissful as I do!
Enough Said!
Please ENTER HERE to begin your tour of
Herballistic Garden Spring 2012!

I finally cleaned the garden soil off my hands and knees and
allotted some time to post something!
It's ridiculous this time of year how busy you get in your gardens and
the day flies by because you think...just one more section of weeds or
I'll just water these wee plants or perhaps I should transplant these.
If you're me, you end up having a day like today where I really "can't" do
anything because my mind wants to step outside into the sunshine and garden, but
my body isn't co-operating!  Is anyone else like that?

Okay, onward....
We purchased this wrought iron delight a couple months ago at an antique store for $47.00.  It might seem like alot for this, but I fell in love with it and knew exactly
where I wanted to put it....after I spraypainted it, of course.
You would have had a better idea of how gold/brown/black it was BEFORE, if I had
remembered to insert my memory card into my camera prior to doing a
big photo shoot and then spray painting one side of it already.
But...this is what you're getting!
These are the after shots....I simply love how this looks hanging from our porch beam!
What do you think?
I really like the simple elegance of it now!
Our front gardens are all coming together now and Cathy from My 1929 Charmer
has asked me to do a guest posting later this week in honour of her 1yr Blogaversary!
Come on over and see the unveiling of the completed portion of my perennial gardens!
I'm posting there on Friday, May 25th!
I'll meet you there!
I don't like Spiders and Snakes....
but the fact of the matter is if you are possessed by the Gardening Bug,
(talk about an oxymoron),
then you have to deal with them, right?

I thought I'd share my gruesome snake story with you today.
(Inez...don't read this)

One time (at band camp...no...wrong story) approximately two years ago, Dan & I were
clearing out the east side of our garden.  This entailed pulling out shrubs, weeding
and just generally stripping it for a clean slate.
It was beautiful when we moved in, however, the shrubs were placed so close together that it quickly became a little forest in the front yard we couldn't keep up with!
So, there's Dan getting rid of the Juniper bush in the middle of this space and
he is cleaning out around where the trunk of it was when he pulled out
a bunch of straw/hay, fluff, etc.
Dan says, "Hmmm...there must have been bunnies living under this bush."
I say, "Huh."
Off he goes to the garage for something or other and I continue to do my
part...raking, when out of the corner of my eye I spy a movement.
It was a SNAKE slithering up the stairs of our front porch!
Not your average garter snake....Oh nohoho!
This snake was like 3 "inches" wide by about 4 "feet" long!
Now picture this....
I'm standing about 15 feet away from it and saying tremulously,
"Da-a-an!  Can you co-ome quick?"
He saunters ever so slowly across the garden path in my direction, shaking his head
and looking at me with a sparkle in his eye and I know he's thinking,
"Oh...poor Wendy has found a little snake or spider...here I come....your hero
to save the day...don't be scared wussy girl."
He came around the corner by the porch and his eyes widened (I'm sure his pupils dilated as well) and I watched the shock permeate his being.
HAH!  Wussy boy!
photo from pawild.net
Unfortunately, I was not a blogger at that time and we were in so much shock, we
neglected to take a photo of our snake, but this is what it looked like....
With the help of our neighbour, Michael, they picked it up with a rake and
Dan then grabbed it with two hands and walked it down to the riverbank and let it go
into the brush.  We actually thought it might be a rattler, but it wasn't.
It's an Eastern Milk Snake common to Southern Ontario, however, none of our
neighbours had ever seen one quite so large.
To all the people who frequent our home....don't be scared...we haven't seen even a tiny
version of this snake since that day two years ago!

On to Spiders....
I posted about this last year, but in relevance to my title of I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes, I'll share it quickly with you again....just the photo!
Argiope Aurantia
Yup...found this baby on my basil last year.
If you want to know more about the Argiope Aurantia, please click the photo or name
to be taken to my past posting about this particular lovely.

Just another day in the life right?
Graphics Fairy
I was on Facebook a couple days ago when I came across one of my friend's posts
and it's been thought provoking to me ever since.
We all know that some families have need of a food bank for one reason or another, but it never crossed my mind that a food bank is good for another reason.
If a family requires a food bank, it only makes sense that there isn't enough
money for a child in that family to purchase a gift for mom on Mother's Day.
Audrey (my friend on facebook) asked that everyone look under their bathroom
vanities or in the closets for those gifts you received or bought yourself
but never opened.  You know, the ones that are a lotion and a perfume or perhaps a manicure set you never opened.  The list is endless and I'm sure we all have unopened
toiletries we could donate for gifts on Mother's Day.  Wrap the gifts up and drop them
off at a food bank close to you so that a child can give mom something special
on this Mother's Day!  When I told Maureen about this idea, she had the idea that not only is this a great gesture for Mother's Day, but also birthdays!  Dropping off lightly used or new gift wrapped toys with a description of what's inside would probably be welcomed as well, don't you think?  Maureen's thought was there's always a Christmas Drive every year, but what about somewhere where there could be a Birthday Drive?
And hey!  Let's not forget about Father's Day!
If you don't have the time to donate for Mother's Day, there's still plenty of time to
do this same gesture for kids with dads!

Graphics Fairy
When I look into my closets, I see stuff I've never used or worn that would make
lovely gifts for someone who just can't afford it right now.
I happen to have some bathsalts in fancy bottles which I made that haven't been used.
Tomorrow, I'm going to drop some stuff off at a food bank.
How about it?  Can you donate something so a child can feel like they are pleasing mom?
Thanks Audrey for this epiphany!
Happy Mother's Day to all!
Today, I'm guest blogging at "It's All Connected"
My subject matter is very light....like popcorn, because it's about popcorn!

It's not the actual popcorn, it's the method used to make it delicious and healthy!
The reason it's a relevant subject to guest post over at Maureen's Blog is
that her most recent posting "Hope For Alzheimer's Disease?"
includes not only her poignant tale of 22 days of lucidity near the end
of her mother's illness a few years ago, but also information
about a breakthrough book regarding coconut ketones, written by Dr. Mary T. Newport,  that actually does relate to my new method of making popcorn....quite coincidentally....
Please take the time to read Maureen's story "Hope for Alzheimer' Disease?"
because almost everybody knows or knows of someone in their lives with Alzheimers and if this can help just one person, Maureen & I will be thrilled.
And, don't forget to read how my Popcorn relates!
My favourite section of my Pinterest account is "Garden"!
I could spend hours perusing other people's garden sections and have many times.
This particular pin caught my eye several months ago and I
waited eagerly for the spring season to begin so I could put my husband to work.
(he loves that....lol)
This is so cool.
Instead of sprawling potato plants taking up precious space across your veggie
garden, you can grow them vertically.
Make a box like the one shown above, plant 8-12 potatoes below it, then fill in with
soil to the top of your first level.  When the plant grows to about 12"
above this level, screw another four boards above the bottom one and add soil
to cover 1/3 of the exposed plant.  Continue this way until you've reached the top!
Follow the directions for harvesting!
Remember to use screws so you can easily unscrew the bottom board first
to retrieve your first batch of potatoes.  Replace the soil and boards and
next time use the second board as access.
Here's the one Dan built and he just used old wood that was hanging
around not doing anything but taking up space....how great is that?
We are so excited about this potato box...doesn't take much....that Dan has now
been offering to make friends and family a replica for their very own.
I'll definitely keep you posted on how great (or not great) it works.
In the meantime, we have way more room to grow that awesome new
vegetable I discovered last year...Okra!  Yum!
Okra 2012
Yesterday, I did some weeding and today...I'm paying for it.
Stay tuned for more Woes from the Bad Back Girl.
Thank goodness it's a yucky foggy day...so far...or I'd be chomping at the bit
to go outside and weed more, while knowing I COULDN'T!!!
Get working on your potato box!
110lbs!  Can you believe it?
Thanks tipnut.com!

Potato Box Experiment Update...
     Click on the photo to see the      progress as of only one month after this posting!

June 4, 2012.

Bleeding Hearts - 2012 HerBallistic Garden
Spring is truly the most overwhelming season don't you think?
It's like you get an illness...a bug....to DO things!
Why is it that when you could have painted all winter, the fresh spring air
makes you want to freshen everything up and start painting?
While at the same time, you have gardens to prepare, seedlings started in your
kitchen (because your greenhouse from hell is inadequate for the new seedlings), you're looking at your windows and thinking a redo is in order for the curtains, and then....
you are also trying to enjoy the beautiful weather and kick back with friends.
Never mind the fact that you're dieting so you'll look good this summer in your shorts!
I have sooo many projects going on right now...I'm in a dither as to where to begin.
Magnolia Tree - 2012 HerBallistic Garden
So, what do I do?
I putter from one thing to the next saying "tomorrow, I'll do this", "on the weekend I'll do that"....and so on, and so on.
You make plans in your head like The Friendly Giant about your chair
placement in your outside space...or replacement.
You want to wash all your windows and walls and do a thorough spring cleaning!
But, you don't know where to begin!
Does anyone else feel this way?
We have 4 cubic yards of mulch coming in the morning for the new side of
our front garden and it will be dumped in our driveway....staring at us...
yelling at us actually....saying "Spread me on the garden!"
We need a yard boy.
Any takers?
Pasque Flower - 2012 HerBallistic Garden
I'd much rather just wander aimlessly in my gardens checking out
the new blooms for 2012 than have to actually think about
how Overwhelming this Season really is!
Anyone else agree?
Okay, okay....I'm going to paint now....a wardrobe I've been putting off forever!