35 Unexpected Things To Add To Your Compost Pile

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I was fortunate enough to have passed down to me an “Earth Machine”…sounds like a space ship right well this will not take you to the moon via rocket boosters & liquid hydrogen/oxygen but it will help you reduce the amount of household garbage you generate by 25% or more. It definitely takes a long time to cultivate “The Mother Soil” but I am enjoying the whole “Hug A Tree” factor.

Starting a compost pile is one of the best things you can do for your garden and the environment. Every piece of garbage that goes into the pile instead of the dumpster saves valuable landfill space and adds much needed nutrients to your soil.

Once you get a good pile going, you’ll start running into the same question over and over again, “Is this compostable?” More frequently than you might think, the answer might be yes. Pretty much anything organic (organic here meaning derived from a natural source, not just stuff from Whole Foods) can go in the compost pile.

Not too surprising…

1. Dead Houseplants

2. Fireplace ashes

3. Tea Bags and Coffee grounds (including the filters)

4. Seaweed and Kelp

5. Stale Bread and other grain products

6. Eggshells

7. Used paper towels and napkins

8. Paper grocery bags (balled up or ripped in pieces)

9. Dirt and grime of the bottom of your shoes and boots (or swept off the floor)

10. Droppings from any of your vegetarian critters: chickens or other birds, rabbits, hamsters, horses, sheep, cows, etc.

11. Paper towel and toilet paper rolls.

12. Miscellaneous cardboard, so long as it’s not waxed and has been ripped into pieces (good job for a bored kid): paper plates, pizza boxes, egg cartons, cereal boxes, you name it!

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When Summer Collides With Fall, Outside Decor Ideas

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Fall is my favorite season for sure…I love the colors, the smells, the crisp air but it is a tricky transition for decorating your yard. Below are a few ideas I use to meld the two seasons in our yard. The first trick is to use color, I use real pumpkins as they are inexpensive. Add color to the entrance of your home. The first thing you see when you pull up to your house…that is where to display Shazam!! A few examples would be…the urn you had a pot full of flowers in, place fake hydrangea (these are quite nice from Michel’s) on the edges of urn & secure by placing a large pumpkin on top. Or place an oversized fall wreath on your garage.
I still have all the succulents outside & a few annuals left…those who follow me may remember the pallet succulent garden which I had to photograph to show you how fabulous this looks towards the end of the season. This project is a no brainer for next year, it has two qualities that I love…”Grand Showcase Appeal” and “Inexpensive”.
With the nice weather in Calgary, we still have roses blooming & strawberries growing. Sweet!

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Green Roof Tops

I feel blessed that I live rurally and don’t have to plant a roof top to be “at one” with greenery….but below are pictures of gr8 options if you are living in a concrete jungle.
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Just planted. In a year, the grasses and sedums will grow together to create a dense carpet. Image by Michael Graydon.

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A green roof in San Francisco

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A 4,000-square-foot green roof installed atop a building in New York City

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A shed converted to an office, with sedums growing on the roof

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A rooftop meadow of sedums

Garden Of Eden Update…A Hit Of Rain & Sunny Days Makes The Garden Grow!

SONY DSCNothing easier to grow then Violas…their meaning “heartsease” which has a long history of use in herbalism. It has been recommended, among other uses, for epilepsy, asthma, skin diseases and eczema.[2] V. tricolor has a history in folk medicine of helping respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and cold symptoms.[3] It has expectorant properties, and so has been used in the treatment of chest complaints such as bronchitis and whooping cough.[medical citation needed] It is also a diuretic,[4] leading to its use in treating rheumatism and cystitis. Sweet…I now know why I like these little beaut’s.
SONY DSCBrown Eyes Susan…a perfect plant for trellisingSONY DSC
SONY DSCDonkey Tail…love the name, love the plantSONY DSCThe Pallet succulent Garden only get’s better….worth a try next year for sure. Portulaca, the perfect plant to bring a pop of color on top.SONY DSCA Cement bowl I made yesterday, then I added plants from my back ground garden…Cost Zero…show appeal PricelessSONY DSCYesterday I went down to the Bow River by my house to collect pieces of driftwood & anything else that looked appealing…adding some succulents, thyme & an angel, voila a master piece
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Another driftwood creation
SONY DSCSONY DSCCornflower & Echincia…two of my favorite annuals & they look Hot together!SONY DSCSONY DSCI found this stump at the river & made a “Succulent Stump”…was created for a skull ornament to lay in that I got for my BDaySONY DSC
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BDay Succulents…Welcome to the garden My Pretty

An Old Log, Succulents & Some Moss

Yesterday I was happy to hang out with a friend in one of my favorite places…my neighborhood greenhouse. They have so many good ideas & beautiful plants. The one thing that caught my eye was a piece of driftwood that had succulents and moss embedded into it. Soooooo I went home and did the same thing to an old log that I scavenged from the riverbed a couple of years ago. I filled crevices with dirt, then I nipped off succulents already growing in my garden, stuck in dirt and surrounded them with moss. Amazingly these little succulents will actually grow without rooting…the best way to grow is to let the stem of succulent callus, stick in dirt & don’t water for a week or so but of course I couldn’t wait & did it “The Cindy Way”. Take a look see.

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This is the driftwood piece from greenhouse…gorgeous!
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This is my rendition…will take awhile to fill in.
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I could not pass by this plant & not buy it…it’s a Wire Ivy! Thought it would look great as a contrast with succulents, as it has a dark stem & dark green leaves. I had a wicker ball, I opened it up to make a hole…filled with dirt and my Wire Ivy now has a home.

Garden of Eden…Part V Back Deck

The last of Garden of Eden posts…the back deck. The back deck is a perfect place for a coffee (sometimes peppered with liquid gold (Bailey’s)) in the morning…facing east, the sun is perfect in the morning. I have vegetables and herbs in this space (I garden in pots & am able to grow peas, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes)…love to use terracotta pots for a Spanish influence. Use typically inside items to make an outdoor space homey…I have a Baker’s rack (it has gotten all rusty from weather which makes it even more cool) which allows me to display ornaments & herbs & creates a space for different eye levels.
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Garden of Eden…Part IV Rabbie Garden

When my son passed away there was no way I was putting him in the ground but I needed a space where I could visit that was full of “him”. Mike had a miniture rabbit when he was growing up & it all kind of unfolded that in a special little place in our yard, a Memory Rabbie Garden was created. Every year a new rabbie is welcomed.

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