Category Archives: Bargains

The Rosemary and Lavender Took

Two weeks ago I tried my hand at propagating 2 of our woody herbs: rosemary and lavender.

The shallow pan is filled with vermiculite (perlite and peat moss would also do).

The shallow pan is filled with vermiculite (perlite and peat moss would also do).

I filled a 9-inch disposable aluminum pan (from the pantry) which came with a plastic lid with vermiculite.

My biggest problem will be looking too soon -- impatient I am.

My biggest problem will be looking too soon — impatient I am.

It’s been difficult for me not to check the rooting everyday but since the plastic lid acted like a mini-greenhouse I could see everything was still moist.

The roots had begun to grow.

The roots had begun to grow.

I took a look at one of the rosemary sprigs and it had some short roots.

It took 2 weeks for the cutting on the left to grow roots.

It took 2 weeks for the cutting on the left to grow roots.

I asked Charlie if he had any small pots so I could plant each sprig in its own pot.

The new tiny plants look healthy.

The new tiny plants look healthy.

When I came home from work he had planted them up.

As they grow I'm going to try to train these little plants into topiaries.

As they grow I’m going to try to train these little plants into topiaries.

From the 10 original cuttings all 5 rosemary made it but only 3 of the lavender are in good shape. Hopefully they’ll continue to grow.

Do you think this would work with olive tree cuttings? Any other suggestions?

Propagating Rosemary and Lavender

While I had all the ingredients out to make cuttings and grow more plants I decided to try my hand at propagating 2 of our woody herbs: rosemary and lavender.

The space between the lamb's ear and the fence should be filled with lavender.

The space between the lamb’s ear and the fence should be filled with lavender.

I would like to have enough lavender plants to fill in the entrance to the potager.

his is the end result I'm looking for in a rosemary topiary.

This is the end result I’m looking for in a rosemary topiary.

I would also like to start some rosemary plants with the purpose of making lollipop topiaries.

New growth (green) and old growth (brown) on the same stem.  Use the new growth.

New growth (green) and old growth (brown) on the same stem. Use the new growth.

Just like I did for my hydrangea cuttings I snipped sprigs from the new growth.

Short sprigs are enough to start new plants.

Short sprigs are enough to start new plants.

Lavender and rosemary cutting need only be about 2.5 to 3 inches.

Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone.

Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone.

I trimmed the leaves from the bottom of the stem and dipped it in rooting hormone.

The shallow pan is filled with vermiculite (perlite and peat moss would also do).

The shallow pan is filled with vermiculite (perlite and peat moss would also do).

I filled a 9-inch disposable aluminum pan (from the pantry) which came with a plastic lid with vermiculite.

If everything goes well I'll have ten new plants.

If everything goes well I’ll have ten new plants.

There was plenty of room for five cuttings of each: rosemary and lavender.

Hoping this pan and plastic lid acts like a small greenhouse.

Hoping this pan and plastic lid acts like a small greenhouse.

In order to make the plastic lid fit (like a small greenhouse) I also trimmed the tip of cuttings.

My biggest problem will be looking too soon -- impatient I am.

My biggest problem will be looking too soon — impatient I am.

I’m keeping this on the side porch so its not in the hot sun. I’m hoping the lavender and rosemary stems will begin to root in a couple of weeks so I can transplant to pots.

Are you a patient sort?

Hydrangea Cuttings

I have been dreaming of a hydrangea hedge around the east side of the house for a long time.

Wall of hydrangea via Pinterest

Wall of hydrangea via Pinterest — this is my dream.

When we moved the 3 bushes in 2012 to make room for the renovation I always had the intention to put them back  (which we did) and abundantly grow Nikko blue hydrangeas along the east side of the house.

A cutting to use for rooting should not be from a flowering stem and should bee green, not woody.

A cutting to use for rooting should not be from a flowering stem and should be green, not woody.

Now seems the perfect time to clip some stems and transplant them.  I gave Charlie a hint about this a couple of weeks ago but Charlie only deals in edibles so I decided to try it myself.

A small bag of vermiculite costs about $5.

A small bag of vermiculite costs about $5.

A small jar of rooting hormone will last a long time.

A small jar of rooting hormone will last a long time.

Using the instructions here I purchased some vermiculite and rooting hormone.

I measured and found my cuttings were about 10 inches long so I cut them down to the requisite 6 inches.

I measured and found my cuttings were about 10 inches long so I cut them down to the requisite 6 inches.

I cut 6-inch stems from our 3 healthy plants and stripped the bottom leaves.

Rooting hormone clings to the stem.

Rooting hormone clings to the stem.

Damp vermiculite will hold the stems upright.

Damp vermiculite will hold the stems upright.

I dipped the stems in rooting hormone and plugged them into damp vermiculite.

The large hydrangea leaves can be cut down.

The large hydrangea leaves can be cut down.

I trimmed the remaining leaves to about half their size so the plant can put its energy into rooting and not keeping large leaves alive.

The plastic bag should keep the moisture in but I'll check in a day or two to see how it's doing.

The plastic bag should keep the moisture in but I’ll check in a day or two to see how it’s doing.

I covered the entire pot with clear plastic and put it in the by the foundation near the hydrangea bushes.

The paint drying rack on the east side of the house is a good spot for the rooting hydrangeas.

The paint drying rack on the east side of the house is a good spot for the rooting hydrangeas.

I’m hoping to transplant them either this fall or next spring.

Do you propagate plants?

Not Pink

I’ve been looking for new king-sized sheets at a good price in PALE PINK.

New sheets

New sheets

I finally ordered a set from Amazon.

The quality and feel of the sheets are nice.

The quality and feel of the sheets are nice.

Although pretty they’re not really pale and they’re decidedly not pink.

I washed these sheets with Charlie's pale pink shirts and these are much peachier.

I washed these sheets with Charlie’s pale pink shirts and these are much peachier.

The color is named “blush” and they’re more peachy than pink. Although they do go well with our fishy duvet cover I’m still on the hunt for pale pink.

The yellow sheet had seen its better days.

The yellow sheet had seen its better days.

After receiving this sheet set I took one of our old, shredded sheets and made it into soft cotton rags.

Do you love the feel of old sheets on the bed? Or do you prefer crisp percale?

Bloggers Meet Over Broken Dishes

Last week one of the blogs I regularly read, Cape of Dreams, started a new project.

Jessica has started a mosaic on the foundation of her house.

Jessica has started a mosaic on the foundation of her house.

Jessica is covering the foundation of her house with a broken-dish mosaic.

You know I'm a dish lover.

You know I’m a dish lover.

She solicited more dishes from her readers who live nearby.  Little did I know when I offered some dishes she was already in my neck of the woods (Maryland).

Jessica, Jo, and Jessica's mother.

Jessica, Jo, and Jessica’s mother. (Where’s my smile?)

Jessica and her mother stopped by The Glade on their way back north. They’re cheery and chummy.  I hope you get to meet them one day, too.

Each of these dishes had a chip or crack.

Each of these dishes had a chip or crack.

She took a box of dishes which I hope will become part of her mosaic.

I hope these mostly white with green accents dishes will work into Jessica's color scheme.

I hope these mostly white with green accents dishes will work into Jessica’s color scheme.

In the meantime it was so great to meet someone I feel I already know after reading her blog posts.

Have you ever met someone long-distance then met them in person?

A Few Odd and Ends

These past few weeks have not been very productive in terms of working on the house.  I have a 9-5 job which keeps me busy during the week.  I’ve also started going back to the gym before work so when I get home on these 90+ degree days I’m fairly tuckered out.

The plants are beginning to produce teeny tiny vegetables.

The plants in the garden are beginning to produce teeny tiny vegetables.

Charlie has been concentrating on the potager.

Thankfully we've been storing the casing in the house or else the lumber yard would refuse exchanging it.

Thankfully we’ve been storing the casing in the house or else the lumber yard would refuse exchanging it.

He did find time to call our local lumber yard and plan for the wrong trim switcheroo which is supposed to happen today. (We’re switching the wrongly delivered colonial trim with ranch casing, not because we like it better but because it matches the rest of the house.)

Item #2 is being replaced with something less ornate.

Item #2 is being replaced with something less ornate which, oddly, is higher priced.

I also emailed the lumber yard to get receipts for our recent phone orders.  While I can see the debit on our charge card I always like an itemized list.

Even before I perused the sample books I walked around the store looking for a deal.

Even before I perused the sample books I walked around the store looking for a deal.

Last weekend I spent the morning at the wallpaper store and yesterday I placed my order.

This wallpaper should be casual and coordinated.

This wallpaper should be casual and coordinated.

I ordered six single rolls (@ $34.99 each less a 30% discount) of Blue Strie by Blue Mountain.  The salesperson at the store told me the company is discontinuing this paper and only has 14 rolls in stock, happily I only need 6.

My paper is on page 114 of this swatch book -- the first book that caught my eye.  Wonder why??!!

My paper is on page 114 of this swatch book — the first book that caught my eye. Wonder why??!!

Wallpaper is priced per single roll but is packaged as double rolls so we’ll be receiving 3 double rolls shipped directly to the house.

I hope this wallpaper looks really BLUE when it's up on the walls.

I hope this wallpaper looks really BLUE when it’s up on the walls.

Now that the wallpaper is ordered I’ve made a list of supplies I will need on order to be prepared:

  • 6″ taping knife

    Taping knife used to hold wallpaper while trimming with razor blade.

    Taping knife used to hold wallpaper while trimming with razor blade.

  • wallpaper primer
  • plumb bob or long level
  • wallpaper wetting tray

    Since my paper is pre-pasted I'll be using a wetting tray to moisten the paste on the paper.

    Since my paper is pre-pasted I’ll be using a wetting tray to moisten the paste on the paper.

  • razor blades
  • straight edge
  • tape measure
  • seam roller

    A seam roller is used to give extra pressure at the seams -- often the first area to fail in wallpaper.

    A seam roller is used to give extra pressure at the seams — often the first area to fail in wallpaper.

  • bucket
  • sponge
  • paper smoother

    A smother helps remove all the air bubbles under the paper.

    A smother helps remove all the air bubbles under the paper.

I’m sure we already own the items in green above if I can locate them in the chaos of the dining room. Tonight I’ll get or find the other items.

The dining room has been the catchall as we've been working in the conservatory.

The dining room has been the catchall as we’ve been working in the conservatory.

This weekend I’ll clear out the dining room and prime the upper walls with wallpaper primer while (hopefully) the guys work on installing trim.

Have you stalled on a project? What got you going again?

Ticking Again

We have 2 battery-operated ceramic clocks.

My ceramic frog clock was a gift from my mother.

My ceramic frog clock was a gift from my mother.

The conservatory clock.

The conservatory clock.

Both of them stopped ticking.

The clock runs on a single AA battery.

The clock runs on a single AA battery.

I changed the batteries but they still would not work.

When this blew apart I knew I couldn't put it back together.

When this blew apart I knew I couldn’t put it back together.

I took them apart and found they were both corroded. And the whole mechanism popped apart.

Clock movement from a craft store.

Clock movement from a craft store.

For $8 each I bought replacement clockworks at Michael’s craft store.

I unscrewed the old movement from the clock.

I unscrewed the old movement from the clock.

They’re not difficult to put together but they take a little finesse to get the hour hand, the minute hand, and the second hand to all work.

I used a 3/8 inch mechanism -- they also come in 1/4 inch and 5/8 inch sizes.

I used a 3/8 inch mechanism — they also come in 1/4 inch and 5/8 inch sizes.

On the first try the hour hand was moving ahead an hour about every five minutes.

Follow the instruction on the back of the package as to the order of pieces.

When the battery is inserted in the back the clock started ticking.

I took it apart again and reseated all the pieces.  Tighten the screws only finger tight; using pliers will bind up the mechanism.

I darkened the hands with a Sharpie.

I darkened the hands with a Sharpie.

I used new hands on the frog clock and colored them black with a Sharpie to make them more visible against the clock face.

The old hands were usable but needed a tiny adjustment with some pliers.

The old hands were usable but needed a tiny adjustment with some pliers.

On the dolphin clock I used the old hands since they were smaller and more appropriate (and cuter) than the ones that came with the movement.

Love this clock.

This clock hangs over the pantry in the kitchen.

Both clocks are now back on their hooks and keeping time.

The dolphin clock hangs in the conservatory.

The dolphin clock hangs in the conservatory.

A reasonably cheap fix. By the way, fixing clocks is not my cup of tea.

What craft do you enjoy?