October 23, 2017

Send a Card To A Friend Day – 3 Reasons To Celebrate It

February 7th is “Send  a Card to a Friend Day”.  Now if that sounds to you like one of those frivolous holidays, it’s not and here’s why it’s important.

Send a friend a cardThink about what you felt like last time you went to your mailbox and found that someone had sent you a card.

I’m talking about that feeling you got when you opened your mailbox, swooped out the pile of envelopes and realized that someone had sent you a greeting card?

Didn’t that feel wonderful?  If it wasn’t your birthday or Christmas or some other time that you were expecting a card, it was even more of a surprise and might have even intensified that warm fuzzy feeling it gives all of us when we know that someone was thinking about us and took the trouble to actually act on  it.  When was the last time?  Do you remember it?  Wouldn’t you like to give someone you care about that feeling too?  I know you would.

Now if you can’t think of a reason to send a card to someone, let me help you with that.send a friend a greeting card

Reason #1 to send someone a greeting card.

You are thinking of them.  This is called a prompting.  You are thinking about them and you have an opportunity right now to let them know that.

Reason #2 to send someone a greeting card.

You want to show Gratitude to them for their support or something they have done for you.  Don’t put this off.  All of us need to feel appreciated and too few of us receive the appreciation we deserve.

Reason #3 to send someone a greeting card.

welcome cardTo welcome someone.  Whether it’s to welcome a new member to a club you belong to or to a new neighbor who just bought a house in the neighborhood.  A special welcome from you will make them feel especially welcome.

There’s an easy way to do this.

I’ve got something to share with you.  It’s about a service that I’ve been using for years and one I think you might enjoy as well.  It’s called Send Out Cards.  With Send Out Cards, you completely avoid the hassle of sending a greeting card.  You don’t have to drive to the store, select a card, look for the address, address the envelope if you can find it after all that stress looking for the address that you KNOW you saved somewhere, find or buy a postage stamp, and mail it.  They take care of all that for you.

With Send Out Cards, I can go online, create a card with my personal photos or choose one of over 15,000 premade cards, and click send.  They print it, stuff it in an envelope, address it, put a real postage stamp on it, and mail it for me.  All for under $1.00!!  I love the service so much that I bought a wholesale account so I could use it for my business too.

Send a free card.

I’ll tell you what, I can show you much better than I can tell you.  Why don’t we do this:  I’ll arrange for a gift account for you and you can go try the service for free.  I’ll give you two cards to send including the postage.  My treat!

Then, if you like the service, you can continue using it.  For most people, the cost is under $10.00 a month.  That is a small price to pay to keep you from procrastinating the next time you think of reaching out to someone.  It takes away all of the hassle and even better organizes all your contacts so that you’ll never miss an important day again.

If you want to remember someone with a gift, you’ll also be offered the opportunity to select from a wide variety of gifts and gift cards.  There is something for everyone.

Here’s all you have to do to take me up on my offer.

  1. Go over to my page at Send Out Cards by clicking here.
  2. Choose option 1, Send A Card
  3. Click Yes, when asked if you would like a walk-through and Send Out Cards founder and President, Kody Bateman, will walk you though how simple it is to use the service.

Let me know if I can help you get started or if you’d like to have your own Send Out Cards account.

Wishing you a fabulous day!

Leigha sig

 

 

P.S.  If you miss Send a Card to a Friend Day, don’t let that stop you from sending someone a card and making their day.  Go ahead, stop procrastinating, there won’t be a better time than now.

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Electrical Plants and Art

electrical plantsNot your regular electrical plants with transformers and surrounded by chain link fences.  These electrical plants that have actually had electrical current passed through them making them into works of art.  These may not be for IN the garden but they are certainly garden decorative items.

I found an interesting article at the Mail Online website in the Science and Tech section with some amazing plant photos like I have never seen before.

Photographer Robert Buelteman sends 80,000 volts throught his flowery subjects and then literally paints photographs of the outcome.

See more of these beautiful photographs by visiting the Mail Online site at either of the links above.


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If You Can't Stand the Heat…Get Out of the Garden!

Simple Strategies to Keep your Cool While Gardening

Heat Index Chart

Heat Index Chart

I had an unpleasant experience while gardening yesterday and I believe it’s one that many gardeners have experienced.  Heat Cramps.

Heat cramps are just one of several heat induced conditions that may be experienced by gardeners who subject themselves to working in hot and humid conditions.  Here, I have listed the most common and given you information as to how to avoid these conditions as well as identify and treat them.

I have experienced Heat Cramps a few times since I moved to the Southeast.  It gets so hot and humid here and although my intent is to work outdoors in the morning while it’s still cool, I often end up working in the heat of the day in order to get everything I want to do done.  Sound familiar?  The first time it happened I was scared enough to pay a visit to the emergency room where they diagnosed the problem and also gave me a scolding about using sun screen.

First, let me address that I am not a doctor or a medical professional.  All of the information I am about to post is from my own experience or was gathered from resources on the internet.  Should you experience any of these conditions and are not sure what they are, see a doctor!

However, after doing some research, I found several other heat induced problems worth posting in hope that if you are savvy about strategies for handling the heat, there’s no reason to put your garden projects to the back burner in the summer.  However, when temperature soar, watch for the following heat induced problems.

Heat Cramps are brought on by profuse sweating and the loss of body salt, heat cramps are painful spasms of the abdominal, leg, and arm muscles.  Cramping usually goes away when you firmly press on the area with your hand, apply warm wet compresses, and sip slightly salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to a pint of water), at 15 minute intervals.  It’s best not to resume gardening until the cramping has totally subsided.

Heat Rash – This condition, commonly called “prickly heat,” results from a temporary blockage of the sweat pores when skin gets waterlogged with perspiration.  The sweat damages cells on the surface of the skin, forming a barrier and trapping perspiration beneath the skin, where it builds up and causes the characteristic bumps.  As these bumps burst and sweat escapes, you may experience the “prickly” or stinging sensation that gives this condition its familiar name.

The rash generally appears on the torso and thighs, or in folds of the skin, especially if there is friction from clothing.  Because moisture aggravates the condition, it’s best not to garden in wet or damp clothing.  Symptoms of prickly heat may include itching, irritation (prickling), small blisters, or large red patches.

If you have heat rash, don’t apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your skin because they may further aggravate the rash.  Also, don’t use thick creams or ointments, which further block your sweat ducts.  Instead, make your own cooling lotion from equal amounts of witch hazel and rubbing alcohol.  For a soothing bath, add 1/2 cup each of cornstarch and oatmeal to cool water.  After bathing, blot, don’t rub, your skin dry.  If you keep the affected area cool and dry, most cases of heat rash will clear up in two or three days.

Heat Exhaustion – Caused by exposure to heat and excessive perspiration, this condition results in the loss of vital body fluids and minerals.  Unlike heat stoke, a far more serious condition caused by prolonged exposure to excessive heat, heat exhaustion isn’t usually associated with high fever or cessation of sweating.  One way to tell the difference is by the feel of the skin, which is hot and dry in heat stroke and cool and moist in heat exhaustion.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, paleness, nausea, headache, and muscle cramping.  If you experience any of these telltale signs, immediately stop gardening, get out of the heat, and drink plenty of fluids to combat dehydration.  Apply cool compresses to your skin and rest in a cool area.  With fluids and rest, symptoms generally subside within several hours.  It’s wise, however, to take it easy (translation, STAY OUT OF THE GARDEN!) for the remainder of the day, even if you do recover quickly.

Dehydration – To avoid the effects of dehydration, drink lots of fluids.  Especially cool water.  Drink a tall glass, 10-18 ounces, thirty minutes before gardening.  Then continue sipping (not gulping) 4-8 ounces every fifteen minutes while you work.  As a reminder, keep a pitcher, thermos, or bottle of water nearby for easy access.  Add freshly squeezed lemon, orange, or other citrus to the water, or try crushed mint leaves to enhance the taste.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty or weak.  At that point, you’ve already become dehydrated.  When gardening for long hours in high temperatures, you may want to increase your salt intake. (Ask you doctor if this makes sense for you).  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a quart of cold water or lemonade, or drink a commercial sports beverage which already has the salt added.  You can also replenish lost fluids and electrolytes by drinking diluted fruit juices.  your body absorbs beverages better when they’re cold, not iced.

Remember too, that humidity, like we have here in the Charleston, SC area, challenges your body’s cooling mechanism even more than high temperatures alone.  That’s because it’s more difficult for your body to get rid of extra heat.  So be as aware of decreased sweating as well, which can be a sign of serious dehydration.

Stay Cool Strategies

  • Garden in a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Tie a damp handkerchief around your forehead and moisten it periodically.
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing in fabrics that “breathe” and wick perspiration like cotton.
  • Be prudent regarding when and where you garden.  Try to work in the morning hours or late in the afternoon.  If that’s not an otion, plant yourself in the garden’s shadier areas when the sun is most intense.
  • Try a “Minted Cooler” recipe below
  • Remember, many plants require full sun, but YOU do not!

Recipe for Minted Cooler

2 cups diced cantaloupe

1 cup diced honeydew melon

1 cup diced seedless watermelon

1 cup white grape juice

6 large Mint leaves

4-8 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and enjoy!

Stay Cool!

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Garden Calendars

Today, while browsing my Twitter feed http://twitter.com/alison_dale , I found these very pretty and printable calendars from The Week-end Gardener’s site.  Each month gives you lots of gardening tips including what to plan, plant, prune, maintain, plus weed and pest control and fun projects for each each month of the year.

http://www.weekendgardener.net/do-list.htm

Enjoy!

Alison

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Revive Your Tired Annuals

Impatiens

Impatiens

July is the time that many exhausted annuals, such as dusty miller, impatiens, and petunias, respond well to being cut back, fed, and watered this month.

A good rule of thumb is to cut plants back by half, or locate little bulges, called secondary buds, low on plant stems and prune 1/2 inch above them.  They will produce new stems.

Apply an organic or controlled-release fertilizer, allowing plants to recover over several weeks.

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Add drama to your summer garden with pineapple lilies

Pineapple Lilies

Photo courtesy of: B & D Lilies - Snow Creek Gardens

Add drama to your summer garden with pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp., Zones 7-10).  This tropical beauty has 15″ spires of tiny greenish-white or wine-colored flowers and broad strappy leaves.

Native to the rainy, mountainous areas of South Africa. The plant has a base rosette of long lance-shaped leaves. The blooms appear on a long spike topped with a tuft of smaller leaves. These leaves and the appearance of the flower spike while the flowers are still in bud make the flower head look like a pineapple, thus the name.

Pineapple lilies come in several different varieties. Variegated Pineapple Lily (E. bicolor) has leaves with wavy edges and flowers that are pale green with purple edges. E. autumnalis is similar, but the flowers do not have purple edges. Wine Eucomis (E. punctata) have flowers that are pink to purple or white. The undersides of the leaves of this species have purple spots.  To purchase these beautiful lilies visit B & D Lilies, Snow Creek Gardens at http://bdlilies.com/eucomis.html

For a spectacular show this summer, follow these tips

Plant: Pineapple lilies are summer bulbs, available in spring as bare bulbs or potted plants.  Once soil warms, plaint in containers or in garden beds with well-drained soil in full sun.  Pineapple Lilies will grow 1-2′ tall and wide.  Pineapple lilies grow best in a well-drained, fertile, sandy soil. Use a mixture of sandy loam, well-rotted manure, and sand. If the soil is not well drained, the bulbs will rot, especially in the winter. Put one or two inches of mulch over the soil if you are in an area where the temperature gets less than 20 degrees. Plant in full sun.  Pineapple lilies will tolerate a partly shady area in the garden. However, they bloom best when they get at least 6 hours of sun per day. Give them midday shade though, as they may wilt if exposed to the noonday sun. If they wilt, water them quickly and thoroughly and they should perk up.

WaterPineapple Lilies the plants well once they are planted. Pineapple lilies need constant moisture in the summer. Cut back on watering in the winter, as too much water will cause the bulbs to rot.

Fertilize regularly with fish emulsion or liquid kelp once the plant starts growing. A dressing of well-rotted manure or compost will help keep the soil fertile.

Contain it.  Keep potted pineapple lilies in the background in early summer, then move containers forward for prime viewing during their July and August bloom time. Pineapple lilies will start to form flower buds in July in North America. They should be in full bloom by August, filling your garden with tall spikes of colorful flowers.

Watch thePineapple Lilies second act.  After bloom, pineapple lilies put on a stellar second show.  Their dried seed heads are as gorgeous as their blossums.

Store over winter.  In colder climates, dig up bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place through the winter.  Plant them again early next summer. Pineapple lilies may be grown outdoors year round to Zone 7. They grow much better when left in the same spot for several years. In more northerly zones, you should dig up the bulbs and store them indoors for the winter. Store them in a pot of soil similar to that in the garden. Let the pots dry out before storing and keep them dry during the winter. Keep them in a place that stays between 55 and 68 degrees.

To divide, in early spring or fall, dig them up making sure to get as much of the roots as possible, and divide by hand or with a sharp knife. You can lightly coat any open wounds with fungicide if available. Eucomis is a little more sensitive to root disturbance than some bulbous plants, but if you are reasonable gentle with them, they will do fine.

Propagate:  You may propagate pineapple lilies by removing offshoots of the plant in the spring. Gently pull the new plantlet off the original  plant and put it into another part of your garden or into its own pot.

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Rockport Has an Excellent Idea!

Just a short post to tell you about an idea that I think is amazing.

This morning I came across a post that I thought might be a great way for me and my fellow gardeners to make a difference in our cities.

Rockport is asking it’s citizens who garden to plant an extra row and donate the goods to their local food pantry.  I think this is an easy and excellent way to do something towards helping out our neighbors in need.

Please join me in doing this.  It has always been my view that if  you aren’t part of the solution to the world’s problems then you may be part of the problem.

Read the article here, it’s about half way down on the left side:  http://www.gloucestertimes.com/pulife/local_story_166223035.html?keyword=topstory

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Welcome to My Blog! I know it's not just about the garden decorative items.

Hi, I’m Leigha and I am the owner of The Decorator’s Garden Supply Store.

I am passionate about gardening and recently opened a little  store selling garden decorative items, bird feeders, and the like.  All that being wonderful,  I wanted to do more.  After all, there is much more to gardening than adding some garden decorative items here and there!  In most cases, garden decorative items are the final touches.  It’s true, some of them are functional things, things that will make your yard and garden look better and are useful, but as a rule, everything that happens before the final touches are what really matter.  I wanted to share my knowledge about gardening, teach you how to attract birds to your yard if you want them, help you with your do-it-yourself projects, and talk about whatever else happens to be on my mind.  I also wanted to have the opportunity to learn from you, my readers and fellow gardening enthusiasts, so please feel free to comment.  Dive right in, all are welcome and perhaps we will all learn something together.

My long time friend Alison Dale, has agreed to manage this store for me and she has many great ideas to bring you.    She already has a long list of topics she wants me to cover in this blog.  I am lucky to have her and it is my hope that we will become a trusted resource of great gardening information to you.  You can find Alison on Twitter @Alison_Dale.  UPDATE: Alison’s husband has been transferred and I’m now on my own.

Once again, Welcome to our blog “It’s Not Just About the Garden Decorative Items”  If you have questions, comments, or ideas on what you would like to see posted here, let us know.  We’ll do our best to find the answers and resources for you.

Happy Gardening!

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Garden Decorative Items & The Empty Nest
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