simple is beautiful

Gardening Essentials

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I spent most of my time outside last weekend.  Mr. and I finished the deck (pictures soon!) and the rest of the time, I pruned shrubs and flowers, cleaned up beds, and planted a few flower pots. There is still a long list of things to do, but I'm happy to take it slowly and really try to enjoy the process.  As I was working in the garden, I started to think about all the things I reach for over and over, year after year.  The tools, my favorite gloves, fertilizer, etc.  I thought my gardening readers might find it useful for me to share these things.



When I work in the garden, I have certain things I cannot go without.  1 - Thankfully our yard has lots of shade, but if I plan to work in a sunny area I try to wear a hat for protection.  Any hat will do, but this one came from here.  2 - I've always worn gardening clogs and recently had to retire my Smith & Hawken originals (not the Target version, but the original S&H, RIP).  Mr. gave me a new pair of sloggers last year for Mother's Day and I wear them every time I garden.  I also really like these!  One pair will last a very long time!  I like that they are water proof and are super easy to slip off & on for those quick trips into the house.  3 - Mom gave me a pair of these gloves and they are perfect!  I like a glove that is thin allowing me to feel what I am doing, and one that is also breathable, all while protecting my hands.  At this price, you may as well stock up!

1 - I use this tool to edge around beds to create that neat border between the bed and the lawn. 2 - This is my favorite tool for pruning boxwood.  The handle is adjustable making it easy to get to those out of reach spots.  3 - Every gardener needs a trowel.  They are especially handy for small jobs and containers.  4 - There are many pruners on the market, but Felco is my favorite!  Mom has always used them and what's good enough for Mom...



1 - I like to use clump moss to top off containers that aren't full of plants and also to top my houseplants. You can find moss at most craft stores and I've even taken it from the woods.  2 - Osmocote is the key to pretty containers!  One scoop lasts up to 3 months and the plants are never burned.  Each time you water a little more fertilizer is released.  Can also be used around shrubs. Osmocote can be found at most home improvement stores.  3 - We usually add pine needles to all our shrub beds in the fall.  A little man comes around our neighborhood in a truck carrying long leaf pine needles from South Carolina.  Other parts of the country prefer mulch and actually remove fallen pine needles, ha!  4 - Soil conditioner is what I use to top flower beds.  It's fine texture and color makes flower beds look finished.  I usually get mine from Lowes.


Last but not least, there are a few other miscellaneous things I use when gardening.  1 - A watering can is a must!  There are times when I just don't feel like pulling out the hose and my watering can comes in handy.  It is also good for mixing a batch of miracle grow for plants that need a little extra TLC.  2 - I'm notorious for planting things and forgetting what they are - so plant markers come in handy, especially in the vegetable garden.  3 - When the veggies start to come in, I grab my basket and pick something for dinner - can't wait to do that this summer!



12 comments:

  1. One of my biggest gardening mistakes was not planting groundcovers at the start. Now, I'm still having to do the mulch thing 3 decades later.

    Big mistake.

    Wish the groundcovers had spread, they certainly had the time !! But, NO, I didn't plant them in the first layer of garden plantings.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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    1. Gardening is often a trial and error process isn't it? Part of the fun I suppose :).

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  2. You must've read my mind b/c I have been on the hunt for some gardening tools. With Spring starting so much sooner here than the east coast, I find myself venturing out and gardening quite a bit. I'm going to take you up on your recommendations! Thanks!

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    1. I'm sure there's quite a difference between Kentucky and the north. Hope you are enjoying it Fran :).

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  3. I need to invest in some pruners for my boxwoods. I just discovered how handy they can be last fall when I borrowed my neighbors.
    Thanks for the reminder ;)

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    1. Having the right ones is key! I was using no-no electric pruners for a while and can tell a huge difference.

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  4. I also use and love the Felco pruners -- a lot of florists use them too. Really glad to read about the Osmocote. Fertilizing is always so confusing to me! This seems like a good multipurpose one.

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  5. I bet your garden is just gorgeous Rene. I think you and I share the same passion for gardening. Isn't Osmocote amazing! I need to pick up some of those markers. I'm know for forgetting what I've planted, too. I keep a binder with photos of the garden and write the names down but the markers might be easier. I've started my vegetable garden this year and am excited for fresh
    veggies!

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    Replies
    1. A binder is a great idea. Each year I think I'm going to start a gardening journal, but it hasn't happened yet.

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  6. Great advice! I usually clip my boxwood with the electric ones (oops). Definitely purchasing your recommended trimmers (I love boxwood). I'm an osmocote fan as well - so easy and great results. Thanks for sharing your tips (I need to look into the bedding edger too)!

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  7. Oh and I think your header should be Rene Zieg Interiors and Exteriors bc I'm just as in love with your exteriors as your interiors. Can't wait to see your finished space (the paint looks great).

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    Replies
    1. Aw, how sweet of you :). Thanks!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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