Thursday, June 2, 2011

Closing down shop...

Hey all,
I've been trying to hold on to this blog while also working, being a mom, keeping up Clara's own blog, etc... but it's more than I can commit to for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I'm closing down shop, and will only be posting at our family blog now - Tales from the Zoo ( I will be posting gardening stuff on there sometimes, and would be delighted if any of you wanted to stop by and say hello. I'll definitely still be visiting your blogs. Thank you so much for your readership of Law of the Land these last few years! I never imagined anyone outside my family would read it, and I've come to know so many wonderful people in the garden blog-o-sphere.
Take care and happy gardening!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The veggie garden is all green in May

I'll have tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, purple hull peas and more soon... but for now, everything I'm cutting from the garden is green.

Basil, green beans and parsley, all cut for meals on Sunday.
It was so nice to have an extra day to spend with Clara this weekend! Hope you all had a great weekend and remembered our soldiers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

REUSE - making baby toys

I'm planning to make all of Clara's solid foods, sew some of her clothes, and make her some toys. My in-laws gave me a sewing machine for Mother's Day (awesome), and this baby block project was the first thing I did with it.

Only I had a twist! Making it an eco-friendly project by reusing discarded/unused things around the house. The fabric is from cloth napkins my mom had in the 70's and hadn't used in decades. Sewn inside the soft blocks are old cat toys (my cats never liked these bell-in-ball toys, but somehow we ended up with a bunch of them) or nicely crinkly packaging (from a wipes package and something of unknown origin I picked out of the trash - ha) - I was especially pleased to be able to use these things because they couldn't be recycled, so they would otherwise just be tossed.
Clara likes them!

What have you reused lately?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Second R, and a daylily question

As stated in my Earth Day post, I've got recycling down, but need to work on the first two R's. This quick redo of some nasty old plastic yard chairs is an example of reusing. I was seriously tempted to chunk them after scrubbing them and realized they weren't just dirty, but stained.

supplies: stuff to clean the chair as best I could, Valspar plastic spray paint, baby monitor

I decided I'd try some of the new plastic spray paint instead. Spray paint certainly isn't eco-friendly, but I reasoned it was better than (a) chunking these chairs into the landfill and (b) buying new plastic yard chairs when I already had two perfectly functional ones.

I'm pleased with how they turned out. It took 2 full cans of spray paint and the coverage isn't absolutely perfect since there was so much dark staining... but the spray paint worked fine (just like any other) and numerous people actually stopped at the side of the road and told me how good they look!

(bowl of just-harvested sugar snap peas on the table. yum!)

On an unrelated note, I transplanted a bunch of daylilies last week. I know you aren't supposed to transplant perennials that are about to bloom, but I had no choice. Now they are all yellowed and look terrible. Will they put out more growth this year after that dies back? Is there anything I can do to help them look better and get reestablished quickly?

Hope everyone's having a great week! 2 more days until the weekend - WOO HOO!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Expanded bed progress and a BIG thank you!

Scott spent all afternoon removing sod and monkey grass for the expanded bed. Both are being replanted in the desolate backyard (where if the monkey grass takes over, more power to it!).

We'll be roughing up the dirt with a pickaxe and adding in a little Miracle Grow Garden Soil I already had laying around, then will cover it all up with a layer of pine straw (we can't use hardwood mulch because of termites).

There were some daylilies entrenched in the old monkey grass, and I pried most of them out to be replanted. I will wait to transplant many of the perennials from the back of the bed to the front until they have bloomed. I wasn't going to do much else with this bed in the immediate future since it's not a great time of year to establish perennials, and of course we just became a one-income family....but then I just won Dave @ The Home Garden's awesome contest --- a $100 Lowe's giftcard and biodegradable weed-block fabric!!! I am ridiculously excited about both of these things and will let y'all know how the weed-block does. I will probably use the Lowe's card to buy a bunch of annuals to spruce up this bed until I can plant perennials in the fall. THANKS, Dave!
Clara supervised us working in the yard today.

The bluebirds who have a nest nearby were NOT happy with our lengthy presence. We felt bad, but what can you do? At least they found some delicious bugs to swoop down and eat in the newly exposed dirt.
Gratuitous Clara close-up... (for some reason, these Clara pics are fuzzy scaled-down, but you can click them for a clearer pic if you want)

Hope you're all having a GREAT weekend! Thanks for your suggestions and advice for this bed on my last post.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bed advice, please - and a slight change of focus

I don't have any photos, but when I moved into my house, the below bed (a) did not have that monkey grass border, or any border at all between that bed and the ever-encroaching grass, (b) was home to only a few very sickly and sunscalded azaleas and a crippled boxwood that was beyond repair. We moved the azaleas to the backyard and cut the boxwood remnant to the ground. Someone then suggested I plant lorapetalums because they were pretty cheap and could take the heat and drought. This same someone gave me a TON of monkey grass to use for a border...

I planted perennials in between and around the shrubs, and it worked ok for a few years, but now the monkey grass and the shrubs are totally crowding out the perennials and it looks like a mess. So, we're expanding the bed out to the sidewalk. Then I can have the evergreen (or ever-purple) shrubs for interest in the winter, and perennials in front of them in the summer. Here's my dilemma: we're obviously going to dig up the monkey grass, but I don't really want to reuse it at the new front of the bed. It's just too tall and too thick and vigorous. I'd like something shorter and gentler, something like catmint but evergreen, or creeping thyme but bigger. Any ideas?? The new border plant will need to be able to handle extreme heat and drought.


On an unrelated note... I'm going to be expanding the focus of the blog just a bit to include some craft/diy posts. I probably won't rename it but may change the subtitle...
Here is my childhood desk that I recently refinished for Clara. It was even featured on a modern children's design blog!

Hope you all have a great week! -Ginger

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Annual Easter Egg Decorating Contest

First for a gratuitous harvest photo...

and a disturbing find at our feeder (cowbird)...
Our family has had an annual Easter Egg Decorating Contest since I was a little girl. You can see past eggs here and here. Here are the 2011 entries:
My little cousin Cammy's Nemo:

My favorite by far -- Scott's Frankenstein w/operating table.

Clara's first ever egg (with a little assistance from mommy):

Aunt Penny's scuba divers

My mummy:

My father-in-law's "little girl":

My cousin Caleb's chicken and worm:

My mother-in-law's "Clara the Fashionista" - best in show!

My cousin Erin Raye's sheep and shepherd:

Which is your favorite?