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Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

First of the Original Living Green Tips: Mulch and Uses for the Yard

1. Yard waste and leaves are good mulch; there are various methods to create mulch with them. If you live by ravines as I do, you can rake them to the edge of the ravine to mulch the flowers and plants there and to help build protection against erosion. This is a video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzktwZ3F9agere from YouTube on making mulch for free. Note, not to get too close to the roots, it causes rot. The video tells you how to apply mulch corrctly for various plants. Local papers and catalogs are full of ideas for mulch. Logees. com is a great place to buy plants, but also to get tips. I have posted histories of plants and flowers before on this blog. Tip: Big box stores are currently discounting their summer plants. Many will even be free. Supplies and tolls will also go on sale, as will yard ornaments. Now is the time to look. I had more luck keeping weeds down in my flower beds with miniature rocks covering the ground, but mulch has been a big help, too. Both are attractive. Remember coffee grounds are useful, even if you have to dig them out of your Keurig. Tip; to make Keuring coffees last longer, use a bigger cup! There are also many craft ideas for yard clippings and leaves including but not limited to: a. hot gluing twigs to make trees for doll houses nad miniature scenes b. natural wreathes c. ornaments from leaf prints, with a stamp made from leaves or from pencil rubbings made from the leave itself, ornaments from seed pods, or dolls and small items including baskets made from woven leaves and grasses, decorated with seeds and small rocks d. mud pie recipes and mud pies e. mud clays f. Luther Burbank experiments for kids who may want to pot a few wild plants, even weeds, and create a garden to observe what they do when they grow. g. Starbucks gives away bags of coffee grounds for use by gardeners. Take them! They are really great h. Natural pest control: I buy dried blood at Wal-Mart or local garden centers; it keeps away squirrels who love to dig and also provides good fertilizer. i. Beautiful sculptures of people, and fairy doll furniture are made of twigs, acorn caps, tiny burrs and straw flowers. Corn Dollies, discused in a previous post, are this type of doll. Cornhusk dolls, baskets, and crafts are made of the husks cornsilk, and sometimes cobs, usually thrown out. If you don't want to make crafts with these things, mulch them. j. Sea shells, sea weed, Spanish moss, and dried flowers abound in natural food and craft stores. I love making cards by ironing flowers between sheet of wax paper. I also make wrapping paper with them, book covers, pictures, scrapbook paper. You can also use them to keep a garden journal from year to year. If are moving, you can take it with you, and with some seeds and cuttings, try to recreate your beloved green space. Here is a link by Samantha Greene for drying flowers. "How to Dry Flowers," http://www.proflowers.com/guide/how-to-dry-flowers. Google "how to dry flowers" to find many more links. Here are some more links for ideas for mulch and flower crafts: Green Natural Crafts on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/planetpals/green-nature-crafts/ Nature Crafts for Kids; http://crafts.kaboose.com/nature-crafts.html This has great ides for recycling, bug crafts, clay, etc. I love the pet rocks idea. Michaels crafts also has great newsletters and patterns for these ideas, and Dover has free sample pages from its books that it will email to you as a newsletter. One member of our local Popular Astronomy Club did a presentation on crafts that teach asronomy to chidren, using ideas similar to these and simple toys. Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts is another good place to look.

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