Thursday, January 6, 2022

Midwest Gardening: Wintering Indoor and Outdoor plants

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With Christmas finally put away, I moved all my house plants and some of the plants I'm wintering over around in the house to get the best light.


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Our house is really made for plants. With the outdoor temps now hovering at 5-10 degrees and worse windchills here in Chicagoland, saving some plants inside is GREEN and cost effective.  This is an Hibiscus with orange flowers I severely cut back and stuffed in a pot and brought it in the house, late in November. I knew it had been nipped by frost so the cut back was necessary. Hibiscus have quite woody stems, so I crossed my fingers. 

We are getting new growth now.

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The top four leaves and the nubs are all new...Yay!  They aren't horribly expensive, but definitely not cheap.

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This grass was from our pond grass. Very few garden centers had water plants this year, but I was told this was for both water or dirt. I don't remember the name as I split the pot into four chunks. Now, it's doing very well in the planter, and is thick and deliciously green.

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This is a very old plant---I sacrificed and only brought in a couple of pieces to restart. It is actually my mom's plant from my grandmother's funeral from  early 1990's. It crawled through my mom's kitchen curtains and actually attached to the wall---it was that vigorous. It hasn't done that well since I cut it back this year. I will fertilize now and see if it gets some new growth. It has very leathery leaves from being outside. The very hot temperatures this summer were hard on many plants.

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My herbs have been cut back pretty heavily from use. I've never had much luck with basil inside, but the Thyme is doing well. So nice to have tasty fresh herbs in the kitchen in winter.

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We had a pig roast in September, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas where I used almost all my Rosemary. Hopefully it will re-sprout when I fertilize.

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My one year-old Christmas Cactus, bloomed the week of Christmas. We had a dozen large blooms or so. It really was pretty. I'm going to put it in a big pot in Spring and fertilize then. 

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This is from some cuttings on my Purple Heart plant I have in the bedroom. I'm doing the cuttings for a friend, and it is on the kitchen table. Our kitchen gets lots of light and in a month we will be starting seedlings and all these  plants will end up in the living room. I change the water often because we have iron laden well water. Very hearty and healthy, but prone to iron 'bloom' in sitting water. 

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This gnome is going to the garden, it's an adorable gnome on a Corgi, my friend painted for me. He looks great as a  kitchen decor item. I'm not totally ready to give up my 'Winter' gnomes, and they are sprinkled about the kitchen.

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In the bedroom I have two Mandila hanging from the ceiling. All the plants will get fertilized later in the month when there is more light coming in. Try not to fertilize plants when they are stressed. We did very little fertilizing last summer because plants were barely able to maintain the leaves they had---or grow new ones.

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One of the hanging pots also has a Sweet Potato Vine. It's usually much darker burgundy, but with limited light, it has stayed lighter. I covered the pots with some gift bags in blue to blend nicely in our blue bedroom. This is a southern exposure, but lots of trees block the afternoon sun...so I supplement with grow lights.

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Here's a Philodendron and a huge Ivy Topiary-'Tomato Cage Tree' that went bonkers last summer, and is still growing fiercely in the house. It's really huge and full now and was lovely with little seed lights on in the extra bedroom for the holidays. The pot has grown very light in weight, the ivy has basically 'eaten' the dirt. I will have to transplant again, and I will do a light fertilizing once a month to help replace the nutrients lost from the disappearing soil.
How to make an Ivy Topiary Tree, HERE.

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While it was there, I had this grow light on it and another lamp on all night long.

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This is the light I use in the blue bedroom to help on cloudy days. They are temporary and rubber covered handles which don't harm the wood cornices.

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The lowest pot on my shelf is the shade loving Rex Begonia. The scraggly green is a New Guinea Impatiens, I'm going to try and make cuttings and see if I can propagate a few plants when we do our seedlings. 

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This plant is a form of 'Purple Heart Plant' or Tradescantia. It gets very purple with lots of light...you can see it struggling here (North side) under the lamp. As soon as the Christmas Tree is packed up (IT TAKES DAYS) to pack it up and wrap all those ornaments, and everything else is down, I'll move it to the living room. anyway, it keeps growing.

PLANTS improve the air quality in your home. They basically remove toxins from your environment. Not to mention, anything Green is always a mood lifter during the winter months. 

Plants I no longer bring inside:
Springerii (Asparagus Fern)inexpensive and too messy.
Spider Plants (you can always get a spider plant free from someone)
Rubber plant (Too big, I gave them to my d-in-law)
Dracena (they just get too big for my small home)
Spike plants (inexpensive and take up too much room)


How are your plants doing this Winter?

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Thanks  ALWAYS  for visiting,
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. Please do not use my photos without permission. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts, or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thank you for your cooperation,


Sandi 

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Top 10 posts for 2021---6 are Midwest Gardening!!!

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I wish I had started blogging twenty years ago...then I would have a personal record of the climate changes here in the Midwest. 

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Years ago, I remember planting the garden in March. Springs have become cold and late. 

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Last year we had to water the yard in April---unheard of in all my years--a drought in April. We often have had drought years---but it seems to have become the standard for very hot and dry June-September now, besides the dry late Spring. 

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If we did get rain, it was a deluge and ran off the hard earth instead of soaking in causing even more havoc in an already stressed environment.




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I also had a huge influx of readers on old Barbie posts as well as Canning Tomatoes, and Canning Zucchini, and Sweet and Sour Soup, from years past. The sources for these most viewed posts appear to come from Pinterest for anyone interested.

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Pandemic not withstanding, we were all anxious to get back out into the real world after our vaccinations. My excursions were very limited: a few lunches, a wedding, a funeral, antiques and thrift stores, and a visit with cousins. Other than immediate family and a handful of friends, I've stayed home like most everyone else.

Anyways...here are my TOP TEN posts for last year.(Posts that were original to 2021). 

10. Antiquing: I Found my Marbles

This little side-trip was lots of fun, and I'm sure the eye-candy was the reason for the popularity of this post! Still enamored with all the enamelware!

9.  Midwest Gardening: Finally Crops and Garden Food

Well, who could resist this scrumptious looking bunch of fresh veggies...!

8.  Favorites:Identifying Blue and White Plates

I talked a bit about porcelain marks and sources for English Pottery. I have so many pretty pieces, I can't have them all out at the same time!

7. Midwest Gardening: July and after the Rain

I think gardening was a challenge for so many across the country this year. I show the good and bad of what works and then what doesn't. Our Phlox were outstanding this year, apparently they love the heat, and of course our constant watering!

6. Fall Update and Midwest Gardening: October-Windows, Pumpkins and Minis!

Construction is always an issue. I really didn't really address all the issues we had with this project. It was hot and miserable working on this. Poor hubby had problems with products, so no extra posts. Making something new blend in with a fifty year-old house is always an issue. And it was completed quite late---so no  final post. More to come this Spring!

5. When Does Furniture Painting Become an Art?

I ventured out with two cousins to one of their favorite haunts up in Wisconsin. This store was a real hit with readers...and the owners painting of furniture was an art. 

What I didn't tell, was how lost I got on the way home----seems Google Maps uses road numbering system, while small communities use local names for 'country roads'. Winding through the 'lakes' district in S.Wisconsin and N.Illinois is not something I will do again. 

4. Our Tradition Updated and a Veterans' Program

We had all these deer in our kitchen right before Thanksgiving. The update was a huge hit with readers and with our neighborhood in our Christmas lighting. 

3. Midwest Gardening:Snow, Critters and Squirrels

We don't have any pets which is guaranteed successful blog fodder. So, I posted a bit about the critters we have visiting here--the photos of the huge NAKED possum that visited our porch in Fall at night, wrecking havoc with the pumpkins didn't come out...LOL.

2. Midwest Gardening: July 31, 2021

More gardening posts...we really did get a lot done in the yard. Hubby rebuilt  the fire pit after this photo and we actually had a pig roast, which I didn't even post---too busy dodging wasps that day to take photos! Nasturtiums are on my always plant list now---they never quit blooming.

1. Midwest Gardening: Our Front Yard and New Plants

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Late Spring and Early Summer we all have dreams of a gorgeous garden. Hope springs eternal. These gorgeous hydrangeas never did lift their heads off the ground, and the plants barely grew at all??? 

Now, what to post in the New Year??? Apparently, I have to continue post gardening, antiques, and also create, repair, and redo! 

Hugs to you all, Dear Readers...
May 2022 bring more moderate weather across the country, health, prosperity and happiness for us all! 

If You enjoyed this post please FOLLOW IT in the upper right hand corner, to get just one email of each new post.

Thanks  ALWAYS  for visiting,
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. Please do not use my photos without permission. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts, or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thank you for your cooperation,


Sandi 






















Thursday, December 23, 2021

From our Home to Yours


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Our Home isn't a showcase, it's small by todays' standards, it isn't new, it isn't full of all the LATEST TRENDS. 
When I started blogging, I promised myself I would stay true to myself. We have Vintage-which really means OLD stuff, LOL, a few NEW things, definitely a lot of GREEN gardening and recycling, and some REDO...fixing what might otherwise be thrown away.

As children of Depression Age Parents...this is the way we were brought up!

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Entering our home--this is the first thing you see. Our sons' two hand plaques from 1976, and our grandgirl's  from 2016. Our home is about Family and friends.
The small angel picture was a gift from a crafter I did shows with. We would often share a hotel room, or even camp-out in the van together to save expenses, for years.

My mother and grandmother kept a home as museums, except for the kitchens. Nothing was to be touched...admired but not touched. 

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Our home, I hope, is more welcoming. I move things around, and I display items which mean something to us.  And everything is able to be touched and used.

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Our holiday mirror display---really a hodge podge, but a curated hodge podge.


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The Fish is my husband's favorite ornament. The bells play continuous music when plugged in, I know we have had those since the early 70's. The horse was handmade by a friend, the reindeer was a gift in need of serious repair job. She is sweet and had been dearly loved, but was in need of rip repair, and an eye, and lots of love.

The brass box is an Arts/Crafts movement piece I picked up maybe 40 years ago. 
The small house is an exact match to our first home in N. Wisconsin. It was a drafty 3-story limestone monstrosity, which we never could quite afford to manage to totally restore---! It was gorgeous though, but a nightmare money pit.

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This stocking was a Hallmark item, Grampa (Hubby) came home with---and plays "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year". The ears flap up and down...and you just can't help but smile when it plays.

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These items are up all year round...I forgot the holly sprig and ribbon I put on the old car horn, found in my grandmother's stash of stuff. (From an early car in the 1910's or so, possibly my great-grandfather's.) The wall is uneven and the mirror had to be hung on a stud, so I have to constantly adjust the balance of items here. 

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This guy is one of a trio of pieces of assembled Vintage put together by a crafter. It makes me smile. The bells were vintage(60's) in a goody bag in a thrift store. I strung them on some green string...just so cute. 

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I love vintage images and old postcards. I have them here and there in the house.


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This little girl I found in a thrift store for $.99. She was broken and her packages had separated. A little hot glue and she's so sweet again. Singing from the Julbok, or Christmas songbook. She's probably Swedish---
but carries a cute little elf (Nisse) too.
She's ME, white hair and all.

Around the corner is our Victorian China Cabinet. 

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This is when thrifting becomes an illness...I bought several at thrift stores and Hubby brought a few home, too. Massed together they are quite fun. I love that these are all the traditional Nutcracker faces. The Majolica Biscuit jar is filled with greens and one poinsettia, and of course lights.!

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The television cabinet has brass candlesticks, some snow and lots of North Pole Polar Bears. Royal Copenhagen bears were gifted from my grandmother early in our marriage (50 years or so ago).

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The white porcelain RC Ermines play in the snow. And a thrift store Snow Baby reads stories to some ducks/penguins?

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Of course the North Pole has to have Santa...this is automated and recites the entire, 'Night Before Christmas.' The reindeer move, it's adorable...another thrift store find for $6.99, it's too much fun and we will play it on Christmas Even.  I filled my stoneware pitcher with greens of ivy and pines, and some snowballs.

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The shelf above the TV has lights and an elf---I have 4 of these made by a crafter and they are just mischievously tucked here and there in the living room.

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I have one girl and 3 boy elves. The ceramic and porcelain dogs are from left: paternal grandmothers', small Terrier was in my grandfather's things, right Spaniel was my maternal grandmothers' and the white Scotty was at my parent's cottage. Not sure where he came from. The Vase is Royal Copenhagen and was my grandmother's. 

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Well it's time for me to move back to the kitchen. I have lots of cooking to do.
The Christmas Pig, has to be cooked, the rice pudding, red cabbage, stuffing, yada, yada, yada!!!

I've already made stuffing, and now have to start on vegetables. We have a refrigerator repair man coming tomorrow---and I can't count on having a space to work. Our fridge is at the end of the island...and well, that's  where we all stand when working at the counter, in front of the fridge!

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Hope everyone has a marvelous Holiday. I'll be taking some time off to play with dolls. You can reach me at my doll blog: 
and Blessings to you All!

Sandi, from OUR Home to Yours!

If You enjoyed this post please FOLLOW IT in the upper right hand corner, to get just one email of each new post.

Thanks  ALWAYS  for visiting,
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. Please do not use my photos without permission. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts, or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thank you for your cooperation,


Sandi