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!
Jean

Houseplant Tips, Season Planting Guild, Name Bookmarks & Yummy Spinach Pie!

This the  Name Bookmark my friend made for me.

‘Tis planting time! How joyous this time is for all us gardener’s!  Gardening is a relief to my soul from the hum drum of life and all the expectations that surround me.  I love to care for all these little plants… nurture them… watch them grow and flourish… and then eventually harvest delicious food that feeds my family… use all the flavorful fresh herbs as well as dry some for winters use…  make lovely bouquets through the season that adorn our home!  Life is good, then you garden!  This month I am going to focus on giving some planting tips, harvesting advise, dividing and transplanting guild lines along with all the fun entertaining & gift ideas and of course lot’s more yummy recipes! So sit back and enjoy from my home to yours!

I am probably not the most likely person to be giving Houseplant Tips, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.  Taylor likes them and I have had great success with my Jade Trees- they require very little care.  Recently Taylor & I were at a house warming party and I noticed the hostesses giant African Violets! I didn’t even know they got that big!  Anyway, I asked if they were some new hybrid variety or something. No she said, they were not.  I marveled and said I have only ever killed them no matter what I tried- by the way, I have never read anything on them prior to this, so I probably didn’t care that much anyway, but these enormous plants amazed & intrigued me.  This sparked a lively conversation on the plants & what tips several of the others had. So here are some Do’s & Dont’s to African Violet Care, I hope they help!
*Do:
~ water them from the bottom by using a deep set plant saucer, using hot water.                                        ~ crush washed eggs shells and put in a bowl with hot water and set the pot in it until all water is      absorbed- this gives them needed calcium.
~ Let them totally dry out and then water deeply.
~ Put them in a window where they will have indirect light.
*Don’t:
~ever water the leaves.
~water with cold water- they are tropical plants.
~dead head- remove spent flowers.
These are just a few of the tips that I thought were most prosperous!

As I mentioned above I have had great success with Jade Trees.  They do not require a lot of care and grow to size according to the pot you put them in. My tree is about 3 feet tall and the trunk is about 6 inches in diameter.  It is quite beautiful and it gets a lot of ooooh’s and ahhh’s when friends come over. Although I will say, mine is small compared to some that I have seen.  Jade Trees are very easy to propagate- make new plants from. You can use one of three very easy methods, here they are-
1. Simply take a branch that is about 5-6 inches long and put it in a glass of warm water.  Give it clean water every 4-5 days and watch for little root hairs to start.  After it gets several root hairs plant in a pot with potting mix and watch it grow!
2. Take a branch as described above, but go ahead and bury about half of it directly in a pot with potting mix; Be sure to strip leaves off of the buried part; keep watered and moist to stimulate root growth.  Within about two to three weeks you will notice new leaves coming out of the stem.  In the meantime some of the original leaves may wither and fall off- don’t give up it will live!
3. If you only have a small plant and want to grow more but there aren’t any ‘branches’ to speak of, you can still propagate.  Take a leaf and lay on top of a pot of potting mix with the stem tip slightly in the dirt; keep moist, do not let it dry out- but don’t soak; a slight misting regularly will be good in between watering’s.  You will be amazed at fast it will take root and start growing.
      
It is time to start thinking about planting garden with all the early spring things that are readily available to you.  Here is a basic Planting Guild that will help you get the basics in your veggie garden through planting season.
Early Spring- that means now! Peas, onions, potatoes, lettuce, radish, spinach and chard.
Mid- Spring- around the end of April to mid May- Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel. You can also do a reseeding of lettuces and radishes to keep a steady supply.
Late Spring- after the last predicted frost- end of May, typically- Beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, squash, and pumpkins.  Some things you need to grow as plants at this time, not seeds- eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Plant your herb plants now too.

If a light frost does touch your late Spring crops you can save them by taking a watering can and sprinkle all the plants BEFORE the sun touches them.  Once the sun touches the plants they are burned and will more than likely die.  Certain things will only get tip burned- lettuce, chard, radishes, spinach and potatoes. These things will grow out of it if they had their true leaves.  Seedlings will need to be sprinkled.
Another easy way to prevent frost damage is to cover with light sheets, or if you want to be fancy, you can purchase ‘fabric row cover’ from green house supply companies.  Most seed catalogs even offer it now, but sheets work just fine for the small home gardener.  Do not cover with plastic though unless you have a way to prevent it from touching the plants.  The plastic on the plants will cause them to be tip burned as well.

A friend of mine makes these charming Bookmarks for all her family members and friends.  They are really special yet simple and easy to make.  She takes the persons name and puts a Bible verse next to each letter as it pertains to it.  I have attached a photo of it for you to get the idea. She laminates them so they will have a longer life and this adds a professional look to them. 

Yummy Spinach Pie
The spinach is in abundance right now and what else do you do with it except add into salads or steam you might be asking.  Well spinach is loaded with iron and is very tasty in many recipes including Italian Wedding Soup, quiches and lasagna.  Here’s one more to add to your spinach recipe folder!

6 cups  baby spinach from The Garden Gate, trimmed
1/4 cup sweet onion from Garden Gate, chopped
2 eggs from Garden Gate, 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.

Happy Day,
Jean