THE ARTISTIC LIFE – Living the creative life in everything we do

Posts tagged ‘garden’

Carolina Jasmine on My Mind

Carolina Jasmine
With a mild Winter and early Spring this year, yellow blossoms are just bursting on our deck this week. These Carolina Jasmine vines were planted about 3 years ago in our mostly shaded, partial sun backyard. The small plants were placed in the ground, and spaced according to where the vertical posts of our pergola are. The first 2 years consisted of lots of watering and training the vines to work up the sides of the deck, around the posts, and finally to the top of the pergola. Although it still has a long way to go to create a thick pretty covering from the sun, it has now grown enough that we can reap enjoyment out of our lovely yellow flowers and thick green vines. The scent and blooms this week are lovely!

Goji Berry Christmas Gifts

I’ve gotten an early start (for me) with my Christmas gift-making this year. Although I do my share of online shopping, I like to make a certain percentage of my Christmas gifts each year, both for economic reasons as well as creative reasons. Plus, many people appreciate a gift that the giver took the time to actually make. One of my gift ideas for this year, which I am not actually “making”, but am putting some creative effort into, is Goji Berry Plants.

If you have any friends or family members who like to garden and enjoy healthy eating, a starter Goji Berry Plant may be the perfect idea. It is unusual (I don’t know anyone personally with a Goji Berry Plant in their garden), but they are apparently quite hardy to grow in most gardening zones (zones 4-9) and may even be adaptable to other zones. I ordered some plants from Garden Harvest Supply, and soon after received several plants that resembled twigs with roots in the mail. I’ve planted these five “twigs” in some potting soil in terra cotta pots and kept them indoors, so far for 10 days. Goji Berry Plants like a lot of sun. My living room doesn’t provide full sun, but there is  plentiful ambient sunlight from all of the tall windows. I water them each day, because they like to be kept moist, especially as they’re establishing. They are sprouting like crazy, each at slightly different rates. Since it is only November 1, I hope that by Christmas gift-giving time, they will look like attractive little plants. I will add an instructional tag with each plant and tie each pot with a ribbon. My friends can then decide to either transplant them into larger 5 gallon pots or plant them outdoors in the ground. Read more instructions on growing Goji Berries here.

Goji Berries have a lot of health benefits, including large amounts of antioxidants. They have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, eaten raw, in teas or juice. Apparently both the berries and the leaves can be used. Not a bad plant to have around when one is fighting cancer!

Photobox Setup and ‘Springified’ Deck

Spring plants and hanging baskets
Our “Springified” Deck

Hope you had a great weekend. I was able to accomplish what I set out to do for this weekend, despite some setbacks….devastating tornadoes and storms were in our area and knocked our power out for awhile, but luckily, Carrollton was spared from the tornado’s path. I feel for those who weren’t so lucky, though…

After our local garden center cleaned up its mess from the storm, I picked out some plants for hanging baskets and potted plants to “Springify” our deck (see above).

I also entered photographs into a photography competition…I don’t usually give much stock to these competitions, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed….

Studio setup for homemade photobox for microstock photography

My studio setup for homemade photobox for microstock photography

I worked on my stock photography photobox setup (above), and took a few photos which I submitted to Fotolia. The results on whether or not they are selected usually takes a couple of days. If they’re not accepted, I’ll try my backup microstock site, BigStockPhoto. My setup includes a macro lens on my Canon 50D, a tripod, macro ring light for a little frontlighting of the products, my homemade photobox, and two hand-me-down lamps used for side lighting and are  currently not serving any other purpose. I think some additional light would benefit this setup, so next time I will find another lamp that is just sitting around. Not bad for FREE – using materials I already had.

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