Fertilizing With Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizers

Hello all Dragonfly friends… check out my new post at The Detroit News, The Good Life blog! Timely info on fertilizing!
See you there!
Click the link to take you right there,


Planting guide: Get started with spring veggies and herbs

Here’smy new article at my blog at The Detroit News, The Good Life… enjoy friends!


This is a photo of my Potager or Kitchen Garden... follow the link for an easy how-to!

This is a photo of my Potager or Kitchen Garden… follow the link for an easy how-to!

Enjoy friends… and be sure to leave me a comment!
Happy day,

More Garden Junque: Delightful Doors and Yummy Spinach Pie

The sun’s warmth is shining brightly and it is a delight to my soul. I took a stroll through the gardens yesterday to find my tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths are up. Day lilies tips are bright green and the lilacs are budded out… the roses and other shrubs are showing signs of life… spring has finally arrived here at The Garden Gate Farm… and I am so happy!

We’ve been looking at one of my favorite topics lately- garden junque. Today lets look at some ideas on what we can do with doors. Be sure to go to For Dragonflies And Me’s Facebook page… https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-Dragonflies-And-Me/550000798362651 for links to my other articles at The Detroit News, The Good Life blog and several others.

Old doors are a delightful find to the cottage gardener looking to create a whimsical feel in a garden space… maybe a new ‘garden room’ or a back drop to a patio. What about using one at a picket fence for a gate? The idea’s are endless only with your imagination.

Here are some ideas on how-to use old doors inside as well as outside… after all, our gardens should be a reflection of our home’s interior inside.
Indoor Idea’s:

Now that's a privacy wall!

Now that’s a privacy wall!

I took the regular door off my office and replaced it with a really neat old door I picked up at an antique shop. I had wanted to do this for some time, but was waiting for just the right thing. Of course I had an idea in my mind of exactly what I wanted and wouldn’t settle for less!

This is my office door that I found at an antique shop!

This is my office door that I found at an antique shop!

Make a head board out of doors to your bed! Trim the bottom off of two or three doors till you are satisfied with the height and have a one of kind head board that your friends will wish they were dreaming beside.

Outdoor Idea’s:

Place a door on the side of a building and add a decorative touch to it. For example: a basket with flowers, a star or even a wooden garden angel. This door has an interesting ‘potted plant statue’ displayed in front of it!

Very cute idea!

Very cute idea!

If you need to surround your garden with fencing to keep pesky animals out, here is a great way to use an old door for the entrance to it!

What a great entrace into this garden!

What a great entrace into this garden!

Use an old door as a table top in a patio area.

Here I took a french door and placed it on the back of my potting shed. It adds a cute element, especially when I put a living wreath hanging on it.

This is a shot of the back of my potting shed.

This is a shot of the back of my potting shed.

A wooden door can be used to create a back wall for a potting table.

Here is an old door that I simply leaned on the side of my front arbor… just because. I added a sign that welcomes all my family and friends!

My front arbor

My front arbor

Doors can add a lot of charm to any space… like I always say, make it say it’s yours!

With spring comes greens… lots of yummy greens that we can eat fresh or cooked in other yummy ways. Here’s a really easy recipe to test on your family! Enjoy friends!
Yummy Spinach Pie

6 cups baby spinach, trimmed
1/4 cup sweet onion chopped
2 eggs , beaten
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Colby jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. salad dressing
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. celery salt

1. Rinse spinach; chop and place in a large saucepan over medium- high heat; Cook covered for about 3-5 minutes, or until wilted; Drain, pressing out as much of the liquid as possible.
2. Combine remaining ingredients; fold into spinach.
3. Spoon mixture in a well greased 9″ pie plate; bake at 375 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Life is good, then you garden!

More Garden Junque Ideas: Garden Bikes and Yummy Fresh Chive Topper

“All winter long, I envision what beautiful blooms I’ll have…I can even smell them, their scents as wonderful as in my mother’s garden.” – Author Unknown

Now you’ve had a little peek into my heart… this quote is the essence of my soul… it’s what I long for all winter. I don’t think I could have said it more eloquently then this if I’d thought on it all day. When I gaze out the windows and longingly look at my gardens it makes me feel anxious… this yearning rises up in me, and no matter how hard I try to put it at bay, it knows what it wants. The touch and feel of the dirt in my hands… the rainbow of colors feeding my visual senses… the aromas wafting in the gentle breeze as I rock on my front porch… spring and her promises.

My front porch in early spring a few years back... I can't wait to sit a spell.

My front porch in early spring a few years back… I can’t wait to sit a spell.

I woke up to rain drops pattering on our steel roof… ‘more rain’, I thought. It’s been raining for five straight days with a little break here and there, it rained most of last week as well. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a complaint… just a fact. Although blue skies definitely make me and most others feel lots more cheery, we need the rain. The robins are happily splashing about in the puddles and gobbling up the worms as they come up for air from their water logged burrows. Although the sparrows look a bit tired of it ;-)….

I thought it would be fun to do a series on ‘Garden Junque’ with a special focus on several items that cottage garden lovers adore. Today lets look at ‘Garden Bikes’.


Bikes aren’t just for riding anymore… we love old, funky, big seated bikes and even cute, rusty tricycles. Leaning on a potting shed or picket fence… propped in a garden bed with a basket of cascading petunias, happy are we who have one.

What do you do with them once I find one? Well here’s a few tips:

*Where do I find a garden bike? The best places to go are antique shops and outdoor flea markets. Estate and garage sales are always hit and miss, but worth a try. Watch for auctions and of course check on line- Craigs List http://www.craigslist.com and eBay.

What a stunning display of petunias on a neat little shed.

What a stunning display of petunias on a neat little shed.

*What kind of bike do I look for? Well you want something old, not a new ten speed or dirt bike. It has to have character that can only come with age. Look for old tricycles and bikes. Big seats and baskets are a real find.

*Where do I put my new bike? Your imagination is the only limit you have, but here are some ideas: lean on a tree, potting shed or picket fence. Prop in a garden- to secure, use a step in T-post pounded into the ground and then lean on that.

Beautiful display of a bike rested on a tree

Beautiful display of a bike rested on a tree

*The paints all chipped, what should I do? Decide if the distressed look is what you’re going after or do you want a bright, eye catching color. If that’s your choice by some spray paint and doll it up.

Perfect paint job... personally I like a little bit of rust!

Perfect paint job… personally I like a little bit of rust!

*Should I put any plants on or around it? Absolutely! If it’s in a garden, use short plants all around the bike so it flows with naturally in the space, rather than sticking out or being lost. Attach a basket, properly lined with a cocoa fiber or moss and plant with petunias or pansies on the handlebars. If it has a rack for one over the back tire to secure one on and plant up as well!

Nice example of using a burlap bag to plant in.

Nice example of using a burlap bag to plant in.

Please go to my blog at http://www.fordragonfliesandme.wordpress.com to see lots of inspirations…

Some of our herbs are starting to come though and tempt us… here’s a yummy recipe to use on the last of your root storage potatoes!
Fresh Chive Topper
Use on baked potato, scramble eggs or anything else you like Sour Cream on!

Blend all ingredients:
1 c or 8oz container Sour Cream
1/4 c shredded cheddar or Colby cheese
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

Happy Day,

Gardener of the Month Award

Well I don’t feel quite worthy of this honor, especially from someone who gives so much to the community in the way of gardening knowledge and food saftey.

Gardening Tips & Tricks has generously awarded me April’s Gardener of the Month…
Check out the wonderful post about me and my life and be sure to give em’ a like while your there. Leave a comment to let me know you came from WP!


Happy Day!

Spring To-do List, Using Old Ladders In Our Gardens, Yummy Soft Boiled Eggs in a ‘Green’ Nest

Spring is a time of new birth and rejuvenation. It’s when we look around and simply stand in awe at the beauty surrounding us… forsythias vibrant yellow… the sweet aroma of apple and cherry blossoms… lavender lilac bouncing in the breeze carrying the scents through the open windows… searching out the first tips of rhubarb and asparagus.

This is a hedge of 'Miss. Kim' lilacs we planted in our front yard three years ago.

This is a hedge of ‘Miss. Kim’ lilacs we planted in our front yard three years ago.

Spring… there isn’t quite anything as perfect in my mind.

Yesterday I was walking to the greenhouse when my feet went ‘squishhhh’ in the mud… I loved it, especially wearing flip-flops. Yes, I know it was cold, but it was almost 85 degrees in the greenhouse when the sun was shining! Neil was helping me and his feelings were a tad bit different… more of exasperation from the heat- he likes the cold. I’ll take the heat and a sweaty brow any day of the week over bundling up to keep warm.

Spring is also a time ‘to-do’ lots of stuff! As most of my dragonfly readers can testify, I strongly encourage lists- for everything! Garden and yard projects are no exception. I love the feeling of making the list and scratching off each item as it’s accomplished. I’m a visual person and I think that’s why lists make so much sense to me… plus they keep me on track.

This photo is of my chalkboard in my office where I keep my 'daily' lists.  I add sticky notes below as things need to be done.

This photo is of my chalkboard in my office where I keep my ‘daily’ lists. I add sticky notes below as things need to be done.

Scanning through my yard and gardens I’m seeing the multitude of things I need and want to get accomplished this season. I have a couple windows of opportunity before and after my ‘busy’ times, so I must utilize that time wisely. I thought it would be interesting to share this years list with all my dragonfly friends… now don’t be alarmed when you see it… I have lots of helping hands around our farm!

My list of outside jobs to do this year…

back of garage
potting shed
front of greenhouse
back of hoop house
repaint back door where dog scratched

2. Fix arbor in front of hoop house- put new lattice on sides and top
3. Put post up at small herb bed for wisteria
4. Move raised beds from beside hoop house to cut flower raised bed garden
5. New flower bed around potting shed

6. Plant:

Pink climbing roses at back corners of potting shed
Rose of Sharon at back corner of house in back yard
Rose trellis on front of house at living room window

7. Finish Patio:

floor and sides

8. Ladder trellis on side of garage over tea bed in Potager

Here is the photo I mentioned a few blog posts back. I got a photo of it the other day.  I'm so excited to do this on my garage this summer!  Can't you just see it covered with pink roses!

Here is the photo I mentioned a few blog posts back. I got a photo of it the other day. I’m so excited to do this on my garage this summer! Can’t you just see it covered with pink roses!

Number eight is one of the topics of this post. I often talk about my love for garden junque, it’s one of my favorite things about cottage gardening. I love being able to artfully incorporate what I absolutely adore, even though some people consider it trash. There are oodles of items that can be used, but lets look at old wooden ladders today.

A few posts ago I mentioned this ladder trellis- well I stopped the other day and took a photo of it… not the greatest, but you get the idea. I plan on doing this on the side of my garage over the tea bed in our Potager and planting… you guessed it, a climbing rose… but first I have to find them! So if you read my guest post at Flea Market Gardening ( http://www.fleamarketgardening.org/2013/04/04/flea-market-windows-how-to-make-a-decorative-mini-greenhouse/ ) you’ll understand how patient I can be!

Uses for ladders…
*Ladders can also be used in your flower beds to put potted plants on (see photo).

This is a really cool old ladder that I picked up at a garage sale for a couple bucks... so cut with pots!

This is a really cool old ladder that I picked up at a garage sale for a couple bucks… so cut with pots!

*I also have a ladder on one of the columns on our front porch that a climbing rose uses.
*Lattice/ trellis- I have a few ladders that go across the top of my pergola for the vines.

To many they are just something to climb up, but on my list, they have a much higher calling 😉

Spring is here and greens are coming in abundantly… and so are the eggs! Here’s a yummy recipe to use what you have- Enjoy friends!
Soft Boiled Eggs in a ‘Green’ Nest

Farm fresh eggs just laid in one of our farms many nesting boxes!

Farm fresh eggs just laid in one of our farms many nesting boxes!

1 Bunch of Chard, Kale or Spinach, stems and ribs discarded
1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Red Pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 Eggs

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Chop your greens into bite size pieces and toss in the oil and seasoning to coat evenly. Spread evenly in the bottom of a 10″x10″ glass baking dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes, till crisp. Remove from oven and divide into 2 bowls and create a ‘nest’ with a hole in the center.
2. While greens are baking, bring a 2 quart pot of water to a rolling boil and gently lower eggs into water, turn off heat and cover. Let eggs sit in water for 6 1/2 minutes for soft boiled eggs.
3. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and let sit for about 1/2 minute. Working carefully and quickly, peel eggs, and place in center of nests. Season and serve immediately.

Be sure to come on over to Dragonflies Facebook for lots more photo’s and extra info plus tons of great links to other interesting sites. Hope to see you there…
Happy Day,

Flea Market Windows: How to make a decorative ‘Mini Greenhouse’

So thrilled to announce my EXCLUSIVE GUEST POST at Flea Market Gardening… They have a lovely site that I am sure all of you will enjoy. Please be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you thought… tell me you came from ‘WP’… hope to see you there! Follow the link below the photo to go straight there!

This is my mini window green house. It's so happy!

This is my mini window green house. It’s so happy!


Happy Day,

Country Cottage Gardens: Top 10 cottage flowers and more


Hi all my Dragonfly friends… I have a new post at The Detroit News, The Good Life blog… check it out! Be sure to give it a like and leave me a comment that you came by from WP!

Here’s the direct link:


Enjoy Friends,