How to grow amazing Hostas

I never really wanted to grow Hostas. I mean, they look nice and all but I just wasn't the greenery type. I preferred plants that were full of blooms, useful herbs or ones that produced vegetables. Shade gardening was never really my thing either, till we moved. When you live in the middle of the woods though you have a lot of shady areas to plant in and what better plants to take up space than a hosta?

Grow beautiful hostas

The hostas were already here when we got here though! There were two different varieties of hostas in the one garden bed. One was all green and the other was green and white. I learned pretty quickly that they were easy to care for and filled in large spaces well. That was enough to let them stay when I redid the flower beds and they have remained there for 10 more years.

I also learned that hostas (also known as plantain lilies) are really easy to divide, transplant and move around. They do not require a delicate hand when doing such things although they will recover more quickly if you're gentle! 

Forgetting them in a bucket for a week after digging them out of the garden might not be their favorite activity, but they will survive! Not that I know anything about that. lol

Natural Remedies For Bad Breath

Recently I woke up in the morning and I had the worst taste in my mouth. Seriously horrible! Since I couldn't motivate myself to get up I lay there and wondered what in the world caused my mouth to be so gross today? I mean, if I could taste it then my breath must be horribly stinky! So what causes bad breath and is there any way to actually 'cure' it for good? Better yet...what kind of natural remedies for bad breath are out there? 

Natural remedies for bad breath

Obviously good oral hygiene goes a long way towards keeping bad breath at bay. Still, as many as 1 in 10 people currently suffer from bad breath. There are only a few things more socially awkward than having to keep a lid on your mouth (literally) all the time, for fear of being repulsive. Bad breath can interfere with your personal and professional relationships if you're constantly talking away from people or not getting close for fear they can smell it. 

That kinda pun intended.

One bin, always ready compost method

Having an ample supply of good rich compost is a garden necessity. Compost has many uses, and all of those uses will result in nicer plants. It can be expensive to buy though and making your own free compost can be time consuming and hard work. I'm pretty busy in the summer, so spending hours and hours turning compost piles isn't exactly the best use of my time. Plus I just don't have it in me to manage several different compost piles. Instead I use a one bin, 10 minutes every week, easy method of composting, and it works perfectly!

Easy one bin compost method. Always ready!

I didn't want to mess with a bunch of bins or have a huge unsightly compost pile. I did need my own compost though. Compost is necessary for a healthy garden, especially an organic garden. Instead of the traditional high and wide wooden bins I went with concrete block and a bin that was much shorter and longer. It works out well for me. Here's how to build one...

2 ingredient natural bug bite remedy

Summer is here and with it comes a ton of bugs that love to bite us! Of course those bites itch and we want to stop that itch so we use a bug bite spray or ointment. Unfortunately most of them are loaded with a bunch of chemicals that we just don't need to be applying to our skin. Natural bug bite remedies are a better choice but many of them require a bunch of different ingredients that you may not have on hand. That is why I created a 2 ingredient bug bite salve using things you probably already have!

DIY bug bite remedy

Because who seriously wants to be buying a bunch of ingredients to save money by making something homemade? The fact is though, that there are several herbs that can help take away the itch and sting of a bug bite. If you have them all, then go for it! I actually grow several herbs that are great for this purpose and I'll link down below to some more complex recipes. Today though I wanted to go super simple with 2 ingredients you probably already have.

Caring for and pruning Rhododendrons

When we bought our house there were many perennial flowers and bushes planted throughout the backyard. One one side were 2 azalea bushes and on the other side was 1 rhododendron bush that has tripled in size over the last 10 years! My husband hates that big thing! lol I love it though and it seems like the less I care for it the better it does. Pretty much the only thing I do to care for the rhododendron is to toss some bird seed under it every few days in the summer.

How to prune and care for rhododendrons

Ok, that sounded weirder than it actually is! I have chickens and the little ones like to go under the rhododendron bush. They hide from the adult chickens under there. Obviously while they're hanging out they poop from time to time which delivers a nitrogen rich fertilizer right above the roots. If I didn't have chickens adding fertilizer I would have to do it manually, but as it is chicken manure is great for fertilizing plants!

Thankfully chickens don't usually eat things that are bad for them which is a good thing since rhododendrons are poisonous to people and animals.

Obviously I didn't choose either plant but if I had I would have picked the rhododendron. I prefer it's flower clusters and size to the azaleas, they are mighty similar though and there's a good reason why.