'Annabelle' Hydrangea

'Annabelle' Hydrangea

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Garden Bling--Landscaping With Recycled Glass Mulch

This faux stream is made of bright blue recycled glass mulch from American Specialty Glass, Inc. (Photo Sources=American Specialty Glass, Inc. website)

The cracks in this patio shimmer with recycled glass mulch. Just add sunlight!

This photo shows a more formal look for recycled glass mulch from American Specialty Glass, Inc.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Garden Bling

(Photo) Sapphire blue recycled glass mulch shines in the Krohn Conservatory in Ohio. (Photo Credit=Tony Yunker)

More and more gardeners are bedazzling their landscapes with 100% recycled glass mulch. Everything from firepits to fountains and pathways to planters can always use a little extra sparkle!

Recycled glass mulch comes in almost every color of the rainbow, and in different shapes and sizes.

Mulch made from recycled glass is environmentally friendly. According to online vendor EnviroGLAS of Plano, Texas, over 40 BILLION bottles are made each year. This business, and others like it, take old wine bottles, beer bottles, pickle jars, industrial glass, etc. headed for landfills and tumble them in machines until there are no sharp edges left. Yes, you can actually walk on broken glass!

EnviroGLAS claims that their glass mulch is not just neat and shiny: It will reduce weeds, moderate soil temperatures and won't soak up any of your plants' water. Plus, it (almost) lasts forever. Another bonus is that it will keep slugs off your hostas! EnviroGLAS recommends you put down landscape fabric first when using the mulch for purely decorative purposes.

Contact your local recycling center for information about the availability of recycled glass mulch in your area. Unless you find a free source, recycled glass mulch tends to be more expensive than traditional types of mulch. Visit these online vendors for additional facts, as well as price lists:




This article featured in The Miami Herald will give you even more ideas about how to make your garden gleam:


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Watermelon Blues

(Photo) Moon and Stars Watermelon is an old favorite.


I probably officially started gardening at age 2. That's when my parents separated and my mother and I moved in with her parents. I was their only grandchild together. Well, you can imagine how that turned out for me--pretty good! My first memory of growing something on my own was maybe about 4 or 5 years old. My granddaddy would put me up to these schemes to play pranks on my grandmother. They usually backfired on us both though:

One season my grandmother decided to grow watermelon. I didn't believe that they would really grow in our garden. They seemed too perfect of a fruit--so sweet and juicy--they had to come from some other place.


In order to get me not to eat seeds my grandfather told me a horrible story.

Once, he caught me eating seeds while I was eating an orange. I was a very inquisitive child so I asked why I could eat the orange and the white stuff but not the seeds. He led me to believe that an orange tree would grow out of my mouth. Well, I knew that wasn't true. I had eaten plently of seeds of all kinds that he didn't know about. However, he convinced me that soon I would have enough fertilizer and water in my stomach and those seeds would start to germinate down there and an orange tree would start grow straight up through my stomach, into my throat, and out of my mouth.

After hearing that, I didn't eat seeds of any kind. To this day I still pick them out of most all of my fruit. That "lesson" gave me my first training in growing plants. They need water and fertilizer. So when my grandmother planted those little watermelon plants I knew exactly what they needed, or so I thought.

After informing my granddad that I knew how to grow those watermelons he suggested that I should grow my very own.

He held a watermelon growing contest between my grandmother and me. She only had a week's start on my plants and I was undaunted. Oh, to have the confident naivety of a 5 year old again!

The weeks went by and the plants were growing beautifully. I had put the proper amount of lime in the soil (according to granddad). I watered in the mornings, and once a week I was allowed to give them some Miracle Gro. I was even given my very own watering pail.

Then one morning the plants had some real live growin sho nuff watermelons on them! I was so happy and I asked granddad if there was something to be done to beat Mama's plants.

Wait for it...

He said, "Well, if you want to have the biggest, sweetest watermelon then you need to give them sugar water."

Oh, what a novel idea! That was it! Of course, they will eat up the sugar just like they eat the fertilizer from your stomach if you eat the seeds.

Sigh...I remember that whipping like it was yesterday. It was the day that my grandmother finally solved The Great Disappearing Sugar Incident. A 5-pound bad of sugar supposedly lasted in my grandmother's kitchen for at least a month, but that summer she had to buy sugar each week.

Now remember these were folks who didn't buy new seed each year. They grew what they harvested from the last season's crops, so buying sugar so often was breaking a pattern--and the budget. I got caught redhanded filling my watering pail with the sugar from the bowl on the kitchen table. You were punished first then asked questions later. It was then she learned why I had been stealing her sugar and who had put me up to it.

I don't remember an apology afterward. I do remember both my granddad and I nursing our bruised egos on the front porch.

It was these experiences that shaped where I am in life today in many ways. The most profound being how to respect nature and be a good steward of what God has given you. The most productive is knowing how to grow things. I learned that as a 5 year old.

(A lot of) Years later, I keep learning more and more about gardening.

What I do know is that it's simple! Gardening only takes patience from us, nature does the rest.

So, while my friend should share her stories about dating after 40, I should share mine about gardening simply...

Meet Jaye

(Photo) Sipping Honeysuckle is a popular pastime for many Southern children. (Photo Credit=Will Cook)


I had lunch on Friday with a friend who informed me that she had been teased that she should start a blog about dating after 40. The stories she told me were comical and intriguing. I wonder if she will actually do it though?

Blogging is an enigma to me. I don't really understand how it's done, but I do believe that one must have a passion about what they are blogging about...and I have a passion.

I can truthfully say that I have been gardening for most of my life. My mother remembers the first time I set out into the grass as a baby. She said that I immediately started to pick flowers, bees, ants, spiders, and other creatures that were unfortunate enough to cross the sweep of my tiny hands.

I do remember a fascination with clover and honeysuckle. They both have nectar in them that you can eat. How wonderful! The purple clover had better nectar, or juice as I told it to my cousins, than the white. Honeysuckle on the other hand didn't matter...Both the yellow and white blossoms were equally good. I later learned from a botany class that wasn't true. One flower was older than the other, so the nectar couldn't be the same.

Nonetheless, I knew from an early age that I enjoyed being outside in my grandparent's vegetable garden. I learned about insects, how to pick up snakes, how to nurture a living creature so it would grow strong and be fruitful...And I learned that there were things that I could do for myself that others couldn't. There were no boundaries or rules from the adults outside which made being in the yard so magical.

Living with my grandparents in a neighborhood without any children my age left me at a disadvantage. I was an only child and my only playmates were my grandfather and my dogs.

I didn't fit in well with other children.

The only place that I did fit in was in the garden.

My grandparents had a fairly large garden each summer and raised the same vegetables each year. I remember my grandfather would dry the largest and best produce each season to get seeds for next year. He NEVER purchased seed. Tomatoes, corn, okra, squash, beans, and salad greens were all left to either dry on the plants, in the sun on special screens, or in the case of the greens, left to bolt for seed. As a child, I didn't understand what was going on. I just knew that grandaddy would put the seed up in jars in the cupboard.

The Garden Glitterati

(Photo) The Moon Gate at UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens. (Photo Source=UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens Website)

We are two friends, both born and raised in North Carolina, who love gardening. We met years ago on a hillside while planting columbine and other native wildflowers for the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens.

One of us started singing "Jingle Bells" at the top of her lungs, even though it was mid-spring. The other stood and stared in silent disbelief...And then a true friendship took root.

Since that day we've swapped all kinds of horticultural advice, traveled to flower shows, frequented our fair share of garden centers and bonded over quite a few glasses of wine.

Now, we've decided to write a blog. We'll cover our favorite things: gardening, entertaining, traveling, cooking, crafts, fashion, libations, gracious living--basically, everything under the sun.

We each bring different experiences and ideas to the table, and together we think we make a pretty good team. We hope you'll enjoy reading our blog just as much as we hope we'll enjoy writing it. Let the adventure begin!

Visit our old stomping grounds at:


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Garden Glitter


Stop and stay awhile...