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I have also seen them eating dogfood. I used to keep a bowl of dogfood on the deck and I can tell you more birds eat dogfood than you would believe. In addition to the bluejays, titmouses seemed to find the dogfood quite tasty. Maybe it has to do with the protein in the dogfood.

Now, along with sunflower seeds I throw out a handful of dogfood when the weather is very cold and I want to feed the birds-especially the bluejays. Previously when I have made the pots, I used a one part peat moss, one part portland cement, and one part perlite recipe.

This time I used a 2 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 3 part concrete mix. I thought using less perlite would give my pots a finer texture, whereas using more of the concrete mix would compensate for not having straight portland cement, or so I thought.

The first pot, pictured above still in its mold, fell apart when I finally tried to remove it from the mold. Lesson learned, use real Portland Cement. My next attempt at making hypertufa went much better. I was successful in creating several new pots using Portland Cement. The recipe I used in making these pots was: The pots are all in varying degrees of drying and the colors reflect the degrees.

Normal hypertufa will dry a light gray. The two large rectangular pots in the upper left of the picture were colored with brown concrete stain. I am very interested to see how they finally dry.

The other six pots were colored with buff concrete stain, though you really can't tell either from the picture or from the pots themselves. I think the darker colored stains work best on this type of pot and will not use the light colored stains anymore.

After you mix whatever recipe you use together there are tons of recipes out there , mold it to your mold but be sure to spray the mold with some cooking spray or coat the mold with plastic wrap. Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of your pot.

Add small stones and decorations as desired then cover the whole thing with plastic and let it sit for at least two days. Gently unmold the new pot and place in the garden when fully cured. My new pots are currently safely enscounced in my garage to continue to cure.

Curing can continue for several weeks, though curing can be accomplished in the garden. I only have mine in the garage because it has been so cold outside. These troughs should last for a long time and the designs are limited only by your imagination. The hardest part making a new garden for me is removing and transplanting the sod. I get so impatient I sometimes start planting before all of the sod is removed.

It is a bad habit I have had to work on. I am doing better and enjoy it so much when the garden is done all at once and is completely ready for planting and planning. Then the fun part begins with designing and planting. I almost never plan a garden on paper. I used to diligently plan the vegetable garden on paper each year, but now have a procedure of rotation which does not require and in depth plan.

Thank goodness because I really just want to dig. Thursday, January 31, Puppies and Babies. As some of you may know we recently fostered some adorable little golden retriever mix puppies here at the Ramsey home.

I have found puppies and gardens do not go together. Specifically, my little garden. It may never be the same. Generally I love wild things in my garden, the birds, cats and the dogs. Puppies ARE dogs, are they not? Puppies are babies; which are VERY different from dogs in my opinion. Jimmy and I brought them home on Monday night.

Even though my backyard is fully fenced, I was still nervous the little ones would find a crack and wiggle out or get lost in the backyard.

Since my vegetable garden is almost completely fenced with rabbit fencing, I decided to block off the three gates and safely place the pups in the vegetable garden. Turns out that was not such a great idea for the garlic the entire yard smelled of garlic and let's just say no vampires will bite these pups. The garlic will be fine. I am not worried about it or the perennials though I would still rather they not eat them all.

It was when they got to the woody ornamentals that I really, really became worried. Talking to the babies, uh hum, puppies, wasn't working. I had two very nice vines in my vegetable garden growing up a large arbor. One was a sweet autumn clematis, and the other a double Carolina gessamine.

I say had, but honestly I think they are still there-somewhere. When spring comes we will see. I decided the vegetable garden was not a good place for these little pups, out they came.

Maybe the whole garden would be better? More distractions and less of a chance for any one woody ornamental to take the full brunt of the puppies teething assault. Not a good idea either. Whenever one puppy attacks a shrub something I have a lot of , ALL six pups join in. What to do now? Well, I tried to do what anyone would do with babies when they want to change the baby's point of focus-distract them! This worked for awhile. I would try to persuade the little ones to attack my tons of plastic plant pots, which are not important and might even feel good on the puppies teeth.

That worked, for about five minutes. Oh yeah, babies don't have long attention spans either, do they? On to the plants then and all those gardens.

Oh dear, what next? After about an hour of playing in the garden I finally decided the what next was a playpen, in the form of a huge doggie crate in the middle of my small living room. Getting all six in without losing one or two into the house was not an easy feat. Especially since early on Jimmy and I had to carry all six up the deck stairs.

It never fails to amaze me how when a baby, or in this case, a puppy is able to do what he or she wants to do, but not when we want him or her to do it. These puppies can climb stairs when they want to come in the house and to their playpen, but when we call them and we want them to come, they of course can't climb. Isn't that how it always works? The above picture is of only four, but there are a total of six. Jimmy named three and I named three.

The other two are Baby and Mia. Oh yeah, no sleeping through the night tonight. Links to this post. Gardens , Life , Pets , Puppies. I am posting this funny post just for my mother in Maine. I hope she enjoys it. Recently BOST had a board meeting in my back yard and I was asked to be hostess and to bring the snacks. The time was set for late evening and I had the snacks prepared and set out. The first to arrive was Sally House Sparrow, who lives in my carport. She was happy to be there, but I was at first thrown by her singing cheep, cheep, cheep.

I thought she meant the snacks, until I realized that was always her song! You could tell I was a bit nervous about this meeting! Sally Sparrow buzzed close by with her wings as a way of greeting and landed on the snack table. Then others began to come out of the woods behind my yard, the Robins, Blue Birds, Wrens, Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Hummingbirds, Purple Martins, Goldfinches, Juncos and the Sapsuckers The Crows, Grackles and Ravens descended from the phone lines and came as a group and joined with the Blackbirds, it was very hard to tell them apart, except the blackbirds had a purplish sheen to their heads.

The Woodpecker cousins were there, Hairy, Downy and Red. Kind of made me think of another famous trio, you know, Larry, Moe and Curly, but these three behaved themselves.

Several Wood Thrushes came in and sat by themselves on a small rise and began to practice their song. Lastly Barn-ey Owl arrived and everyone became silent. He met all with a dark eyed glance, then nodded to Martha Mock-ing Bird who swished and swayed her feathers as she flew into place. She began to sing and all of a sudden, several others joined in with her, I found out later they were the Dixie Chick a dees and were a bit late, but they sounded good together.

The Wood Thrushes accompanied them with their flute like sounds. Afterwards, they got down to business; that is when I got my name, Robin Wren Although, there was quite a discussion as the Goldfinch thought Goldie was a fine name and the Rubythroated hummingbird thought Ruby was quite lovely. Then they got serious and wanted me to bring you all the following message: In spite of the differences between them, they have four 4 absolute needs in common: Find out what we like to eat and serve it often and do not forget when the weather turns cold.

Some of us don't leave this area. As essential as food. Quality of the water is also very important. It MUST be clean, unpolluted and uncontaminated or it will harm rather than help.

Need safe perches and cover in severe weather. That means trees and houses. Tree branches to scan the area before coming to eat and houses for shelter from the hot sun, cold wind, rain and sleet. I thought this and shelter were the same: Nope, we need a lot to make a nest, not only a place shelter but materials to make that nest.

No matter where we choose to go, we need materials to form the nest. Twigs, grasses, leaves or mud, soft string, bits of yarn, lint from the dryer, dust balls from the vacuum and other fibers. The blackbirds love to line their nests with dog hair and the bluebirds like feathers and Martha Mockingbird wants more strips of paper for her nest. She thinks that since she had a Famous Movie named for her and she's the TN state bird, she deserves special attention.

She also mentioned that I could put her out more red apples as she thought they were better than the green apples! One last comment, The Northern Cardinal, our regional bird came over and sang to me after the meeting. Made me feel so good when he sang "purty, purty, purty".

I promised I would bring this info to you all and I hope I've made the birds a little more familiar to you and that you'll all go home and make a point of remembering that BOST-Birds Of Southern TN-needs your support all year round. Then maybe the Northern Cardinal will sing for you too-purty, purty, purty!!! Those of you who are above a certain age will certainly know what 'Silent Spring' means; for you, this post is more a refresher, but for the for the younger set it may be educational.

Silent Spring should actually be written Silent Spring , because it is a book by author Rachel Carson. I am not old enough to remember the book, but I am old enough to benefit from the consequences of the book. One of the classes I am taking this term is Pesticides. Ferguson Publishing, , are: I always thought pesticides were products used to kill insects. I had never heard of Silent Spring before taking this class.

Jim, the instructor is very knowledgeable and enhances his student's learning with companion videos. Jim showed the class a video on Rachel Carson and her book. All through history, books have been instrumental in changing societal concerns and consciousness. The Jungle served to change conditions in stockyards and Uncle Tom's Cabin helped to spur the north to change its attitude toward slavery.

Silent Spring changed the country's opinion concerning the use of pesticides. The specific pesticide the book addresses is DDT. Silent Spring was published in Jim says you can look at the history of pesticides in two periods, prior to Silent Spring , and after Silent Spring. Indiscriminate use of pesticides prior to caused major fatalities in the natural world of living things. Not only were insects killed, but the birds and fish which feed upon the insects were also killed.

After , the government got involved with regulating the chemical companies; which were making millions of dollars from selling pesticides, including DDT. DDT was marketed to target certain insects considered pests. The problem with DDT was it didn't stop at only killing pests. It killed just about every living thing in its path, and had long range consequences by upsetting nature's perfect balance. You see, when you kill everything, both the bad and the good insects are killed.

Good insects are the ones which prey on the bad insects. Nature has established a predator and prey system of pest control. The environmentally friendly way of controlling pests prey is to encourage the good insects predator. When insects were poisoned then eaten by birds and fish, the birds and fish then also became poisoned and perished. Can you imagine a silent spring? One devoid of the singing of the birds or the trilling of the frogs or the chirping of the insects?

I can't, and thankfully I don't have to thanks in part to Rachel Carson's book. Her book led to stricter environmental laws regarding the use of pesticides in the environment. The EPA is a governmental agency charged with enacting and enforcing environmental laws. Additionally, states have laws that govern the use of pesticides within their jurisdiction.

Today the indiscriminate use of pesticides is highly regulated and controlled. No longer would we as a society or an individual tolerate mass spraying of our homes, parks, gardens, fields and cities with potent chemicals all in the name of killing a bug or a weed. Countless generations have Rachel Carson, a very brave woman, and her book Silent Spring to thank for the regulation and concern for the natural order of our world.

The picture is of Ricinus communis , aka castor beans. I didn't realize how ideal this picture was when I added it to this entry, but the fact castor beans are poisonous ties in with this post. The nerve gas Ricin is derived from castor beans.

These castor beans are growing in my very good friend Gerianne's garden. Be careful if you plant these and make sure no living thing like pets or children eats the beans or any part of the plant. Tuesday, January 29, Garden Paths. Garden paths are a necessity in the garden. We all have to get from one spot to another when traveling.

The most logical way to move around in a garden, is going to be on a path of some kind. Can you see the two paths in this picture? I bet everyone can clearly see the round cement circle path through the garden, but what about the grass path between the swimming pool and boxwoods in the left corner of the background?

Can you see that one? It is there just as surely as the concrete circle path is there. Actually, the concrete circle path empties out into the grass path around the pool. Looking at these two paths one has to wonder where they will eventually come out. I like paths that provide a little bit of mystery and help to guide the waunderer on his or her way. I want visitors to my garden to not be able to see the entire garden all at once.

The destination should be just as fun as the trip. Just be sure the paths take a logical route and don't have unnecessary or artificial curves in them just for the sake of making curves or aesthetics. Try to look at the big picture and integrate the path into the landscape so the walker can comfortably navigate around the garden.

But leave the destination a mystery. Paths can be made from many different materials and are fun to play with. Grass and cement stepping stones are but two types of materials you can use to make paths. Other materials can be: Formal paths and paths used to transport equipment should be at least four feet wide. Informal paths used in mainly for moving around the garden, like the circular one above, need not be wide, but should be well marked and easy to traverse. My gardens are rather large so instead of stepping through the garden, I use paths in strategic areas to help me be able to maintain the garden without trampling it.

Paths this time of year in the garden are especially welcomed since the soil can get so wet the gardener can sink up to her ankles in dirt! So, while paths are a necessity in the garden, make them fun and a little mysterious to add a fourth dimension to your garden. Sunday, January 27, Leaf Litter. Composting is nature's way of recycling. Leaf litter is Mother Nature's end result of her attempt at composting. Humans don't even need to do anything for nature to compost.

Just look at the ground the next time you walk through the woods. What do you see? What does the ground you walk on feel like? Does a forest smell different than a farm field or your backyard? While walking through a forest with both deciduous and evergreen trees, you should see the ground covered with leaves, pine needles, maybe some fallen and rotting logs, and lots and lots of leaf litter.

Leaf litter is a collection of the detritus which falls from trees and other plant material onto the ground. Leaf litter is a great addition to garden beds and nature's ultimate success at recycling. Leaf litter and compost are nearly the same thing; the difference being what is included in the finished product. Leaf litter will contain only the organic matter from the trees and plants in the forest, whereas compost will contain organic matter from not only the trees and plants in the forest if you have it available , but also organic matter from our homes and gardens.

Why is leaf litter a great addition to your gardens you ask? Because in addition to the organic matter it adds to the soil, it also adds millions and billions of organisms which process the leaf litter and develop communities between the soil and leaf litter. These communities then help maintain soil fertility and structure.

Our goal as gardeners should be to have great soil, not just great plants. The ground will feel like it has some give to it. It will not be hard packed clay like we have in our backyards.

The softness underfoot is due to the leaf litter on the ground. As all of the leaf litter decays it becomes spongy and soft providing cushioning for a very comfortable walk through the forest. A forest will usually smell earthy. The earthy smell of course comes from the earth. Essentially the communities within the leaf litter are working with the soil to improve the ground. Since leaf litter is usually not disturbed the earth smell can be more pronounced in a forest than in other places, such as farm fields.

We too can compost just like Mother Nature. For me composting is a way of life in the garden. I, like Mother Nature, kind of take a hands off approach to composting. I have three bins each measuring 4'x4'. I toss in lots of detritus like: I am a passive composter I guess you could say.

If I turned the compost the debris would decompose a little faster, but I usually have some compost available for use at all times due to the large amounts of detritus I compost. Communities of all sorts of organisms almost immediately begin breaking down the detritus into fine black organic material, something I call 'Black Gold'. Gardeners can't get enough of it.

The above three pictures are of Skeeter's new compost bin. The first picture is of the woodpile with which she used logs from to build her compost bin. The second picture is of the finished compost bin. The third picture shows an up close picture of the compost bin full of detritus just waiting to compost into black gold, or maybe some leaf litter judging by the amount of forest detritus she has put in the compost bin.

She and the Saint will soon have lots of compost and leaf litter to add to their beautiful gardens. If you have a picture of a compost bin you would like to see on here, just send it to me at ramseytina5 gmail.

I will compile them and do a posting on the variety of compost bins and how compost helps the particular owner of the compost bin. Even if you don't have a compost bin and maybe just have a pile of detritus-that could work too! Bluejays are so welcomed in my garden that every time I see one I have to stop and talk to it. Sounds funny but I think they listen to me, though they never talk back.

If they aren't listening they sure are studying me, because they will sit close by and observe me for a good few minutes. Birds , Blue Jays. Saturday, January 26, Hypertufa Troughs. Wintertime is a great time to do crafts for the garden. Another project I always wind up doing besides building flower carts, is to make hypertufa troughs. I have made several before but I find I can never have enough of these unique little plant pots.

Hypertufa is a manufactured version of tufa. Tufa is a porous rock formed as a deposit from springs and streams Merriam- Webster's Online Dictionary. Like tufa, hypertufa is porous. I like the fact hypertufa is porous, but you would not want to plant moisture loving plants in them. I use mine for hen and chicks and sedums and other succulents. Friday, January 25, Tip Day. I have been receiving lots of emails from gardeners with some great tips.

I think starting next week I will try to dedicate Tuesdays to tip day from gardeners. Don't hold me to it on this specific day, but I will try.

There is one good thing about not earning money from writing this blog-I can be my own boss and set my very own schedule! Do love that part of it and getting to know everyone! Any gardeners who like to share with me through email and allow me to do a post on your tips, such as Lola did, just let me know!

Even if you don't want a post on your tips, you are more than welcomed to share. It will be in the same similar format as I did Lola's post for great tips.

I find gardeners not only want to share tips but stories sound familiar to go with the tips, so I will dedicate one post to one gardener. Crepe myrtles are my favorite small tree.

I have talked about them before in previous posts and will talk about them in future posts as well. They are such diverse and beautiful trees that bring so much color and interest to southern landscapes that they will inevitably take up a big part of this blog.

The fact crepe myrtles are so diverse can be their downfall. There are so many varieties in the nursery world that it is hard for the average gardener to know what they are purchasing. Even when the gardener knows what he or she wants and is purchasing, there is no guarantee the tree purchased is labeled correctly. I have already told you the story about going to a certain big box store and finding crepe myrtles on sale.

Of course I was going to buy one of each variety since I am not one to pass up a sale on my favorite small tree. All the labels said the trees grow to feet high with an equal spread. Since this is not a perfect world, these trees will not all grow to the height and width stated on the labels. This is where a little research up front will save much heartache later. There is nothing worse than planting a tree next to the house that you expect will only grow to about 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide, and finding out the tree will actually grow to 20 feet tall by 15 feet wide-when it has outgrown its spot!

It is too late then. The only alternative you have is to either take out the tree or prune it down to size-regularly and forever. And believe it or not, there are people who do prune their crepes down-to practically nothing! One of my friends who shall remain nameless says, "Well Tina, you know they get SO big-like 20 feet tall-What am I supposed to do? I am not going to change anyone's opinion about pruning trees, but I hope I can give you some alternatives to pruning which can, with a little foresight, prevent this practice from continuing on such a widespread basis.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to prune trees to the right size for the rest of my life and its life. I want to plant the right tree in the right spot the first time around. This is not always as simple as it sounds and I have made my fair share of mistakes. The tip is to plant the right tree in the right spot the first time. Of course, to be fair many, many people inherit overgrown trees.

As in the case of my friend. She truly loves her crepes but they are too big for the space they are planted in. She doesn't want to take them out so she feels cutting them back is the best option. Maybe so, but to have to cut them back for the rest of her life, or let them go to grow out of control is just an option I don't see as viable for the long term.

Eventually they will have to be taken out. That is the only solution for her since the landscaper or a previous homeowner planted the right crepe in the wrong place or planted the wrong crepe in the right place. It is too bad. Just because that person is not around to deal with the problem does not mean it is OK. I feel like when we plant plants, especially trees, we need to be responsible and think long term.

Trees will be with us a very long time and it is unconscionable to plant trees in the wrong place but it happens ALL the time. That being said, I do have a disclaimer and a secret, I plant plants in the wrong place all the time!

Yes, it is sad but true. Fortunately, I am able to move my plants around, but trees, there comes a point you cannot move them so think carefully before you plant! To help you all understand crepe myrtle varieties before planting, please do not rely on the plant tag to guide you when purchasing. This advice applies to other plants as well, but I am specifically addressing crepes because there are so many cultivars and varieties that one has to know what they are purchasing prior to buying and planting.

If you buy without understanding what you are getting, then research the cultivar when you get home to understand the plant's growth habit and ultimate size. A favorite website I use in order to understand the different types of crepes can be found at: Using this website and researching your crepes will save many a tree from crepe murder, and you, the homeowner or gardener or landscaper from needless pruning. There is no valid reason to ever prune crepes down to mere nubs.

Crepe myrtles bloom on new wood and it may seem like the tree is neater and has more blooms, but the pruning is hurting the tree and making the off season really be an off season for crepes. I want to thank my accomplice, uh um, helper Skeeter, with getting me some pictures of murdered crepe myrtles in another state. I thought it might be a little uncomfortable asking if I could take some pictures of badly pruned crepes around town here in Clarksville.

We have our share, believe me. That is why my hat's off to Skeeter for bravely snapping these super pictures of our beloved 'murdered' crepes. Not only are homeowners guilty of crepe murders, but many, many business owners as well. All of the murdered crepe pictures above were taken at businesses out of state. Skeeter especially thought the fifth picture above was ironic.

Notice the neat pile of red mulch stacked behind the murdered crepe? I find all of the pictures to be shocking but the first murdered crepe picture of the very mature crepe cut down to about two feet is the worst one for me. The natural form of these crepe myrtles would look something like the first and last pictures on this post which are of the very same tree.

This tree is growing in a friend's Lola garden here in Clarksville. She and her husband planted two many, many years ago. Lola told me she and her husband only lightly prune out suckers at the base and keep the inside tidy.

Basically pruning, dead, diseased or damaged and crossing branches only. I am not sure which variety this particular crepe is as I have not seen it in bloom.

But it is obvious this crepe will grow upright in a broad vase shape. Some crepes naturally grow in a low shrub form, or upright spreading, or rounded, etc. The website will tell you the type of shape a particular crepe will have. Can you just imagine all of the blooms on this crepe in the summer? So many more than on murdered crepes.

As a bonus with this crepe, you can clearly see the power lines above the tree. Crepes are generally small trees, and according to my research you will be lucky to find one taller than feet. I have never seen one taller. Not even in Virginia and North Carolina, where you will not find finer specimen crepe myrtles, have I seen taller crepes. If this crepe were of the large variety and I believe it is , it will not reach those power lines.

This crepe will not grow much taller and there is still enough clearance under those wires. Crepes are one type of tree I recommend planting under power lines. But that is another post and this one has been quite long already. Crepe Myrtles , Pruning , Trees.

Maybe you all can help get the word out. The TRTA is a fairly new and loosely formed group of dedicated individuals who love trees. They try to educate the public on the value of trees, sponsor tree activities, work with the Clarksville Tree Board, the Extension Agent Karla Kean and the Clarksville City Forester, and are an information network of informed individuals willing to help the public with specific problems concerning trees.

The majority of the active members in this organization are Tennessee Citizen Foresters. To become a citizen forester you must attend 40 hours of training and complete a 25 hour volunteer requirement within one year of completing the training. Citizen foresters are normal citizens, we just have a little more training to go with our passion for living things and trees in particular. There are some really dedicated people in this organization but they need more interest and involvment to truly make a big difference in Clarksville.

A big difference that most people don't even recognize, but I guarantee you that if all the trees in Clarksville were cut down, citizens would take notice. Conversely, planting more trees the right one in the right place and beautifying the city and county are going to make a big difference too. The difference may be subtle but newcomers and long time residents will subconsciously appreciate landscaping and shade and beauty and be more likely to resettle here and stay here for the longterm.

Trees are important but without some guidance their importance may turn into a negative item, such as with topping or blocking or destroying roads and homes and power lines. Citizen foresters help to ensure trees do not become problems while espousing their uses in our community.

For more information about the Tennessee Urban Forestry Program click on the following link: Karla Kean is a point of contact for information and can be reached at Additionally, this year's training to become a good tree citizen is scheduled to begin February March 11 from 6: Classes are held on Tuesday weekly, but in case of imclement weather which forces the Montgomery County School System to close, classes will also be cancelled.

Karla is currently accepting registrations. Go sign up and spread the word around. Citizens from surrounding counties and I am sure states are welcomed.

Community , Groups , Trees. Saving Poinsettias and More Great Tips. There will be two posts today, as I want to get out some information later on regarding an important organization and meeting next week.

Look for it this afternoon. Lola, a faithful reader in Florida, writes she has saved this poinsettia by repotting it in the spring and placing in outside in dappled shade.

It sure looks beautiful and it is not too late to still save those poinsettias for those readers up here too! Repot and leave in the house until May or so, then put into the garden and I bet you too might get some really nice blooms like Lola.

I introduced Lola a few days ago, but it bears mentioning again. She is originally from Paris, Tennessee and used to pass through Clarksville on her trips between Florida and Paris.

Sadly, her days of traveling are few and far between due to a hip injury-but gladly she still gardens and promises to share some great tips-just like some of you other regulars out there! She tells me she has pots all along a chain link fence which she fills with flowers, mostly petunias.

She also uses large black tubs nursery's sell trees in to do some vegetable gardening. Some vegetables she grows are: Like Skeeter, Lola has spider plants coming out her ears amongst impatiens, geraniums and others.

Another great tip Lola has is to use wreath holders to hang flower pots up. The hook works great. Lola is a proud greatgrandmother to two little boys, Nicholas and Anthony. I love those names Lola. When I was pregnant with my twins I was told I would have a boy and a girl.

The boys name was to be Nicholas Anthony! Had I had two boys, it would have been Nicholas and Anthony, I am sure. I especially enjoyed Lola's email because she talked about her grandchildren and teaching them about gardening.

Her grandson was just five years old when he planted, tended, harvested and ate corn all by himself with a little help from grandma in the form of guidance. Her youngest grandson was in awe when he first learned carrots come out of the ground.

Brings a smile to my face because it is such a special picture. We can all probably see it in our minds or perhaps these stories bring some memories of our own to the forefront of our minds. Thank you so much for sharing Lola. I look forward to many more stories and pictures.

I plan to do a post on children and gardening. Families , Memories , Tips. Wednesday, January 23, Plants Get the News. One of my favorite things to use in my garden beds, is newspapers. Clean face with cold water. Cornmeal helps in effective removal of dead cells and blackheads from the skin.

The minute granules of the cornmeal polish the skin in a gentle manner. Cornmeal face scrub is especially effective for oily skin because it removes excess oil and sebum from the skin without drying it.

Mix 2 tablespoon of cornmeal with 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice and yogurt and apply on face. Gently massage in circular motion with your fingers for 2 minutes. Leave it on the face for minutes and cleanse with water. Applying wheat flour on the skin can help in improving skin tone, fade away dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Make a paste using 2 tablespoons of wheat flour and water and apply on face. The paste should not be too thick. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash off with water and get softer and brighter skin.

There are some packs which come with a mission to make your skin pigmentation free and keep you glowing with ease. The yogurt and tomato pack is one such pack!

Packed with bleaching properties, it can not only brighten your skin tone and shrink your pores, but also reduce the chances of your face dripping with oil, and all this, thanks to the goodness of good old tomatoes and lemon juice. Yogurt makes your skin uber soft and supple. A wow pack for sure! Here is what you need to do, mix 2 tablespoons of tomato pulp and a generous tablespoon of lemon juice and yogurt each in a bowl.

Dab dry to experience visibly tan-free skin. This age-old remedy works really well to remove sun tan marks. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties which remove sun tan marks easily. The lactic acid content of the milk, meanwhile, has bleaching properties.

Together, milk and turmeric prove to be a foolproof method to get rid of a If you are just home after an exotic holiday by the sea, this remedy can help you get back your natural skin tone in real quick time. Here is what you can do, take a small amount of raw milk in a bowl and add to it a pinch of turmeric.

Apply this solution on your skin particularly affected by the sun tan and allow it to dry properly. Finally, rinse off with water. Filled with vitamins A, C, and K, it has anti-inflammatory properties which work well on tan marks. Here is what you can do, take out 2 big leaves from the outer portion of the cabbage and keep it in the refrigerator.

Once it is cold, put it on your face so that the entire face becomes covered. Keep this for at least 20 minutes and try to relax. You can try it again with fresh leaves.

Out of all the unusual sun tan remedies, this one takes the cake! It works great for your stubborn sun tan, especially because it is high in anti-oxidants. If it is a regular feature in your weekday menu, then it is time you make it part of your beauty regime too. Here is what you need to do. Juice the vegetable and apply the juice on the affected areas.

Massage the solution for a minute or two on your face or affected skin and let it stay for minutes before washing it off. It cools, soothes and heals tanned skin, and before you know it, you will get your original skin tone back with an additional glow. It improves the circulation of your skin, which is the reason why you get such improved skin quality. Here is what you need to do, blend the Multani Mitti with rose water to make a smooth paste. You can use chilled rose water to provide relief to your skin.

Apply the pack on the face and neck, and keep it on for 15 minutes. Remove the pack with cold water and then rinse off.

The beauty of home remedies is that they are so easily available. Additionally, sometimes they give similar benefits to that of expensive jars of creams and lotions. The wheat flour remedy is a case in point. Your tanned and parched skin gets a quick reprieve, as soon as you start applying this easy on the pocket, remedy. If de-tanning is your objective, you will get just that, along with improved skin quality as an added bonus. Here is what you need to do, make a thick paste of water and wheat flour.

Apply it thickly on your face or affected skin areas and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cold water. Bengal gram flour works great as a natural exfoliator. It sloughs off the dead cells and reveals fresh, glowing skin. A great pack for de-tanning, it is a secret beauty aid that even actresses swear by! Blend a pinch of turmeric, two tablespoons of Bengal gram flour and adequate amount of rose water.

Apply this pack on the affected areas and leave it on the skin for a good 20 minutes. Once the pack is suitably dry, moisten your skin with water.

Then scrub your skin first clockwise and then in the anticlockwise direction and wash off the pack. They are a crunchy delight to add to your morning smoothies, but do you know almonds can really be great for your skin as well?

The high vitamin E content is what works in your favor. Also, almonds are natural bleaching agents, so it helps get rid of your tan really fast. Here is what you need to do, grind almonds with rose water to get a coarse paste. Add lemon juice to this mixture and mix well. Apply this paste on the tanned areas and scrub for a few minutes. Leave the scrub to dry and then rinse off with cold water.

One of the coolest sun tan removal methods , it is a strange way of getting rid of your sun tan. But even if it is strange, if it works, we will take it. People with large areas of sun tan can apply this twice to get great relief. Strawberry and milk cream is an excellent sun tan removal method as it gives quick and effective results. The delicious strawberries have skin lightening properties. They also help reduce other beauty marks like pigmentation and freckles. Milk cream, on the other hand, provides deep nourishment to the skin, imparting a dewy moisturized look.

Here is what you can do, crush 4 strawberries and add two tablespoons of fresh cream in it. Blend it well and massage the concoction onto your tanned skin. Let it sit for a good 30 minutes and then wash off with water.

Well, it is as easy as applying lemon juice on your skin. Yes, the natural bleaching properties of the lemon juice can get rid of the sun tan pretty easily. But you need to be careful when you use this method as lemon juice can dry your skin, so it is advisable you dilute it with water. If you keep at it, your tan marks will be gone soon! Here is what you can do, slice up the lemons and rub them on the tanned region, or you can juice half of a lemon and dilute it with a little amount of water.

Leave it on for a few minutes, and then wash it off. Looking like a shade card is not what you want, right? So what should you do? Yes, instead of browsing yourself silly trying to look for the perfect answer to the question how to get rid of a sun tan , get this remedy on your to-do list. In fact, cucumber is excellent to soothe tanned dry skin. Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of cucumber extract and 1 tablespoon of rose water.

Apply this concoction generously to all the affected areas. Rinse after a few minutes. This pack can be tried every day till you get results. Raw papaya is one of the top sun tan removal remedies. Let it stay on the skin for minutes then wash off with cold water. You can continue with the remedy till you get results. Are you sipping green tea for weight loss? Well, now you can use it to remove sun tan too! Since it is full of antioxidants, it soothes your skin and makes it blemish-free.

Here is what you need to do, brew a small amount of fresh green tea and let it cool down. Apply the freshly brewed tea on the tanned skin with the help of a cotton ball. Let it stay for 10 minutes and then rinse off with water. We are sure you have lots of questions to ask us about a sun tan and its remedies. It is very important to apply a good sunscreen with a broad spectrum, high SPF, above 25 sun protection factor to protect you from ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Ideally, you should choose a sunscreen which is paraben free, so that it protects your skin in the real sense of the term. If you are persistent with the home remedies mentioned above, you can get quick results in as soon as two weeks. A good sunscreen is a must; apart from that, you have to keep applying the sunscreen every three hours if you are continually out in the sun.

A little bit of tanning is pretty harmless, getting your dose of vitamin D is important. But too much of tanning can lead to serious health consequences like skin cancer. What if I go to the beach and swim in seawater? Will applying sunscreen help? Yes, it will, if you apply waterproof sunscreen which has a high SPF such as These days you get both the sunscreen and sunblock in one single formulation to protect you from harmful rays of the sun.

However, it must be remembered that skin tanning is a problem that takes time to heal, and bleaching is the only instant solution. Therefore, occasional application of these natural face packs is not enough, and they have to be incorporated into your daily skin care routine for effective results.

Prepare these easy face packs at home and provide the skin with the pampering care and nourishment that it deserves. She is the chief advisor and full time contributor at the Fit Indian and has the final say on all the segments under the Fit Indian paradigm, such as beauty, fitness, home remedies, diseases, diet tips, weight loss, weight gain and so on.

When she is not sharing her valuable knowledge about food and fitness, she likes to spend quality time with her family members, do some healthy baking and listen to soft soulful music. This will help reduce the tan- Mix a tiny amount of turmeric with two tablespoons of Bengal gram flour, milk and one-tablespoon rose water. Apply to tanned areas and leave it be for minutes before taking it off. Hi mam i m 20 years old, whenever i go infrnt of sun.

Mix a tiny amount of turmeric with two tablespoons of Bengal gram flour, milk and one-tablespoon rose water.