Tag Archives: dollar princess

Gardening Projects 2014 July Update

I figure that it’s about time to admit my mistakes, and also what I’ve learned from the projects I’ve attempted this season. While they were small undertakings, I still didn’t do very well! But this is how we learn, right?

Fuchsias in Hanging Baskets

Winston Churchill fuchsia
Winston Churchill fuchsia

The Winston Churchill fuchsia variety is hanging in the back yard, and getting the perfect sunlight. The Dollar Princess variety I had put out front and just wouldn’t admit that it was getting too much sun. After a few scorching days where even the ones out back were injured, I finally admitted defeat and moved the Dollar Princesses to the back yard, and what’s left of them are doing much better than they ever did out front – the color is much deeper and prettier than I thought!

Fuchsias are very touchy. When it rains, it might not have rained enough, which is usually the case in the Pacific Northwest. When it’s hot, you might need to water an extra time or two. You definitely cannot leave them for a day without watering, particularly when it’s warm out. I feed them fairly regularly and I believe the spray mixture I’m using is correctly measured.

Dollar Princess fuchsia
Dollar Princess fuchsia

Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden

Basil and parsley - hanging in there!
Basil and parsley – hanging in there!

This hanging herb garden project was a big whoopsie from the get-go, with the poor instructions I was following being the first part of the problem. The second issue was my placement. They weren’t getting proper sunlight where I mounted them.

Another issue was drainage. A good tip to add to the original plans might be to put rocks in the jars first, below the soil, to help with drainage, and also so you can see if you’ve overwatered!!! Whoops. I have since taken them off of their wood mounts and placed the jars straight in another window sill where they get full morning sunlight. 😉

Brussels Sprouts vs. Cabbage Moths

What's left of my Brussels sprouts...
What’s left of my Brussels sprouts…

Oh, the Brussels sprouts…I have lost that war so badly it’s not even funny. I QUIT! And to make matters worse, the cabbage moths also got my dwarf kale and broccoli, too, and those were in cages to protect them from critters (obviously not tiny butterflies!). I am going to have to research and see if I can plant something that is a natural deterrent for cabbage moths if I want to grow any produce they enjoy next year. 🙁

I have let the grass and weeds go in the kale and broccoli box since they are ruined by larvae!
I have let the grass and weeds go in the kale and broccoli box since they are ruined by cabbage moth larvae!

Pink Dahlia Murder Recovery!

Hoping this dahlia will make a comeback with tree gone!
Hoping this dahlia will make a comeback with the walnut tree gone!

I’m still caring for my dahlias, which DID spring back from the slug massacre, I am happy to say! I had a black walnut tree trying to grow and drown out one of the dahlia bushes (thanks, squirrel!!) so I pulled that out the other day and am hoping that dahlia survives. I am not 100% on knowing my dahlia leaves yet, so I had let the tree grow far too large, unfortunately, before asking for help identifying the thing.

Dahlias making a comeback; Crocosmias are the orange bushel tied up
Dahlias making a comeback; Crocosmias are the orange bushel tied up

I also had one dahlia plant not grow at all this year. I discovered from a friend that the tubers actually need to be dug up yearly, so who knows how long it has been since these have been dug since I did not do it last year. I dug them up anyway, pulled out the icky looking tubers and am hoping that maybe next year the ones I replanted will spring back. *Fingers crossed!*

Another dahlia bush was being drowned out by my over abundance of crocosmias. I tied the crocosmias out of the way since they are blooming and the bees are loving them, and will dig them out completely post-bloom. It seems like the affected dahlias are starting to stand up straight again and I am hopeful for a few flowers before summer is over!

My largest dahlia bush
My largest dahlia bush


That is probably the end of my gardening “projects” for 2014. I will be armed with Sluggo and better produce planting information next year since we hope to have built at least one raised bed and do this gardening thing for real!! This year was just a test with the produce I did attempt to grow, and I’m glad it wasn’t full-fledged or I would have been sorely disappointed. It would have been my own fault for not researching more, however!


I will be digging up as many bulbs as I can as things die out at summer’s end (these crocosmias are never-ending, I tell ya!), and I definitely plan to get at ALL of the dahlia tubers to try and ensure their livelihood next year! I am smart enough to know that my yard will never be done, but am happy with the progress I have made this year. It’s fun to look back and see what it used to look like when we first moved in and how much I’ve already accomplished!


Fuchsia Saturday

Alright, confession time. I want to upgrade my blog site because I want the ability to have a little more organization and tabs so that I may also share recipes I have tweaked as well as gardening information! I have learned SO MUCH about gardening in just the last year and continue to learn more every day, and have found that a lot of my friends want that knowledge, too. So why not share! Plus, another confession, it’s SPRING and all I have is yard work on the brain, so it’s REALLY hard to focus on researching appliance information. I’m sorry! I really am working on a juicer blog!
So here is a peek at what happened in my garden this weekend!

Fred Meyer’s Fuchsia Saturday Ad


For one thing, I think I will finally remember how to spell fuchsia. YES! We moved into our house a little over a year ago and the previous owners left us a lot of trash, but also a lot of helpful items, too. Two nice black metal hanging baskets were left behind and I saw an ad for Fred Meyer (in the Kroger family of grocery stores) advertising for Fuchsia Saturday last year. Bring your own planters (up to 8), buy some flowers, and they will give you free Black Gold dirt. I took my baskets in and was smart enough (I thought) to arrive fairly early. They were already sold out of the fiber planter inserts you need for the baskets. Grrr. Home I went. Probably best that I save money for other projects anyway, right?
Fiber planter insert

This year, I am prepared! I bought the inserts at Lowe’s in February! Ha! I also got an ad that directed me to this video link they provide on how to plant and care for fuchsias, which totally helped me pick out the proper number of starts to purchase for my baskets. You want to have about an inch around the perimeter of the basket or pot, and you can just kind of set the starts on top of a little dirt and fill in around them until they are lightly packed in.

I probably could have stretched it to six, but I did five per basket. I did “Winston Churchill” in one and “Dollar Princess” in the other. And of course, I still arrived early and it was buzzing with action already, so I think that was a wise choice!

They need morning light and evening shade, so I ended up buying a new hook to install on the front porch. Which might get too much light. We’ll see! Hopefully by next year I will learn more about annuals and hanging basket arrangements, haha!
Miracle Gro Liquafeed system

You’re supposed to feed them often, so now I’m trying to figure out how to use all of the Miracle Gro Liquafeed refills the previous owners left behind for us in a normal spray bottle, versus the hose attachment you’re supposed to use. (My preference would be to spray them with a bottle versus changing the hose head just for two silly planters! I live in the Pacific Northwest – I rarely require Miracle Gro!)

I am going to trust this information I found on a gardening forum: “The Liquafeed refills are the same product as the 12-4-8 Liquid All Purpose Plant Food, which says to apply at 1/3 capful per 2 gallons. A capful is about 4 tbsp or 12 teaspoons, so 1/3 of that is 4 tsp/2 gallons or 2 tsp per gallon.” Hopefully that works!

I will definitely make this an annual event to take advantage of the free dirt and free labor to plant my stuff for me! I will also be sure to bring other planters if I have any more to fill next year. I am hoping to fill two with succulents (this year? Maybe…), so I may not need to.

Winston Churchill in my back yard

I will definitely share pictures if and when these babies bloom! Oh, and another tip from the video is to squeeze above the flower when they die so another flower will grow. Hopefully I make it to that point!! 🙂

Other than that, I got new gardening gloves while I was at Freddy’s! They are lovely! I divvied up two different varieties of daffodil bulbs that were getting overcrowded and had stopped blooming for this year. I planted some of the extra bulbs in other places in my yard and set the rest aside for a friend who is filling her new yard with goodies! I’m so glad I have someone to give all of my extras to – goodness knows I have plenty more to share when I get around to digging everything up!
Weed B Gon

My brother spread more weed and feed on the lawn in trouble spots. It worked really well last year on our front lawn/dandelion garden so this year we only have random spots to deal with. We had dug up a ridiculously large pile the two weeks previous to this, so it was high time for chemical warfare. I got a spray bottle to put my Ortho Weed B Gon weed killer into (because I didn’t store it properly and the hose must’ve clogged up over the winter. Whoops! Read the instructions, kids!) I did all the silly dandelions growing out of the cracks you can’t possibly dig them out of. Die, weeds, die!

My biggest weekend project was pressure washing our deck, which we inherited in pretty terrible shape! (Ah, the things you don’t pay attention to when buying your first home, hahaha!) Surprise – there’s wood under there! Next will be weather-sealing it. I’m so glad we’re finally getting around to doing this because we have to ice skate across it anytime it rains (which c’mon, we’re in Oregon, people, it’s always raining!) and I don’t want someone getting injured out there.

Pacific Northwest problems…

Phew – I am exhausted! I hope you all had a productive or else relaxing weekend! 🙂

Dollar Princess on the front porch