Category Archives: Gardening

NWF Butterfly Heroes

Be a Butterfly Hero. Submit a Photo and Help Save the Monarch Butterfly with NWF

Are you a National Wildlife Federation member?  If not, you should look into becoming a member, and if you are then hopefully you know about NWF’s Butterfly Heroes program that is going on now.

When Madelyn saw the Butterfly Heroes spread in the most recent NWF publication she got so excited.   She read that if she submitted a photo of her showing the sign language sign of the butterfly on NWF’s Butterfly Heroes website, she would be mailed a free butterfly garden starter kit.  Despite the fact that we already have butterfly bushes and butterfly attracting flowers in our gardens, the idea of having her very own butterfly garden kit was very exciting.

So Madelyn became a Butterfly Hero.. and here is her photo..

NWF Butterfly Heroes

The majestic monarch butterfly is in decline and needs our help. National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is giving away 50,000 Butterfly Heroes Garden kits to help save the monarch butterfly.

NWF’s new Butterfly Hero Campaign, launches March 4, 2015, and asks people to submit a photo of themselves making the international sign language sign of the butterfly on NWF’s Butterfly Heroes website, at: By taking the pledge, participants will be mailed a free kit (while supplies last) and if entered by May 15, are eligible for a chance to win a trip for four to Walt Disney World. Botanical Interests is supporting the campaign with a donation of native milkweed seeds.

“We can each be a part of saving the monarch butterfly. The simple act of planting milkweed with your family provides monarchs with a place to lay their eggs, and helps ensure this iconic species has a future,” said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation.

NWF Butterfly HeroesMonarch butterflies spend winter in Mexico or Central and Southern California, and then migrate north in spring into neighborhoods across the United States. They need places to rest their wings, drink flower nectar, and lay their eggs on milkweed which their baby caterpillars eat. Monarchs are losing this habitat, and without it the Monarch cannot survive. NWF is asking that people across the United States to plant milkweed to preserve the monarch’s habitat. Learn more about NWF’s monarch protection efforts at and

NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provides food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries.

The brand new Butterfly Heroes Campaign is organized by NWF and is a part of a number of programs designed to inspire people to get outdoors, help wildlife, and become more aware of the nature in their neighborhood and community. NWF has worked to connect people with nature for decades, inspiring people through Ranger Rick magazine, working with educators to get kids greening their schools and learning outdoors.

National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

I hope you’ll consider joining NWF and submitting a photo of your child making the butterfly sign language sign so you can be part of saving the Monarch Butterfly too!

– Alicia

Spruce Up Your Backyard With A DIY Pergola + 10% Coupon Code!

It’s getting warm outside and the kids want to play outdoors all day but don’t you want to sit under something beautiful and relaxing?  Garden Craft LLC specializes in “Do It Yourself” outdoor furniture and kits.  Garden Craft makes it easy for the “weekend warrior” to do what used to be only reserved for the experienced carpenter… build a pergola!

With Garden Craft products, you will be sure to have years or even decades of enjoyment!

Garden Craft Pergola
Photo Source: Garden Craft Facebook Page

Discount offer: 10% Off all items in store.

Use coupon code: quick10

Expires: January 1st, 2015

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This is not a paid or compensated advertisement


Get Inspired with Miracle-Gro – ‘The Gro Project’ Inspirations

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.

Now that Spring is here and the trees and flowers are starting to bloom I want to plant pretty flowers and make the inside of my house like the outside all pretty with colorful flowers and plants!

I am very inspired by Spring but I have no idea where to begin!! Miracle-Gro is helping me with that this Spring with The Gro Project. The Gro Project helps me to understand that garden projects should not be complicated!  Miracle-Gro is simplify gardening for for people like me and showing  that it can be easy, fun and enjoyable!


They have fun garden projects on The Gro Project site to get you started.  Some of the projects are a Toyarium, Ukulele Garden, and Origami Garden.

I really want to try the looks like something that is easy enough for me to handle.

Make a toyarium

What you need, to get started:

  • Fishbowl or other glass container
  • Your favorite succulents and cactus
  • Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control Potting Mix
  • Plastic toys or figurines from your kid’s room
  • Rocks
  • A spoon


1. Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of rocks.
2. Fill it about 1/3 full with potting mix.
3. Use the spoon to plant succulents in the potting mix, adding more mix to create your landscape.
4. Set the scene with your toys. Careful not to over water! Use a spritzer to moisten only when it gets very dry.
5. Add a little imagination and watch it come to life.

See..that’s not hard right?  Just remember depending on what project you do make sure you use the recommended products like the LiquaFeed All Purpose Plant Food Advance Starter Kit and Shake’n Feed All Purpose Plant Food for your fun garden projects.
For more fun projects and and share gardening stories follow the Miracle-Gro Pinterest page.


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Scotts Florida Select Mulch Helps Your Yard Spring Forward!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s the time of year when we have to get the shovels out of the shed, head to the store to buy gardening supplies like Scotts Florida Select Natural Eucalyptus Mulch and pretty flowers!  I love thinking about planting new flowers each year and what our yard will look like once we are done.  We have a pretty big pool in our backyard and right now there is not a single plant around it!  Here’ are some pictures of ideas that I would like to implement in our yard…. consider these photos my inspiration!

Landscape inspiration
I love the bright flowers in this landscape and the pathway is adorable!
Pool landscape inspiration

The rock and plant landscaping around this pool is gorgeous!

Another inspirational pool landscape

This is for the jungle woman in me!

Inspirational landscape
Don’t you love the flowers and lighting?

Scotts Florida Select Natural Eucalyptus Mulch is made from 100% Florida-grown Eucalyptus and is not just for Florida yards!  Apply mulch around trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables after seeds have germinated and plants have developed to help keep weeds from growing and to keep your flower beds and landscape looking clean and tidy.

Scotts Florida Select Natural Eucalyptus Mulch is the best option for your landscape because it is:

SUSTAINABLE:  Are you concerned with sustainable gardening?
Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.*

NATURAL: Made from 100% plantation-grown Eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus Mulch is guaranteed free from any construction, demolition, pallet, or other waste materials.

EFFECTIVE: Prevents weeds naturally** while helping to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature.


Scotts Florida Select Mulch is LOCAL: 100% Florida-grown – helps support your local economy.

Scotts Florida Natural Eucalyptus Mulch

I have a hard time remembering when is the best time to spread mulch.

When and how to spread mulch:

  • Apply around trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables after seeds have germinated and plants have developed. Spread the mulch 3 inches deep.
  • Make sure to keep mulch several inches from tree trunks and house foundations or other wood structures.
  • A 2 cu. ft. bag will cover the following: At a depth of 2 inches, 12 sq. ft of bedding area. At a depth of 3 inches, 8 sq. ft. of bedding area. At a depth of 4 inches, 6 sq. ft. of bedding.

Don’t live in Florida?  It’s ok!

Scotts Nature Scapes mulch is a great option for your landscaping needs! Scotts Nature Scapes mulch comes in three different colors, they’re natural forest products – no waste wood, and come in a variety of textures. Scotts Nature Scapes mulch helps to maintain moisture, prevent weeds, and create a great looking landscape all year long!

Scotts Nature Scapes Advanced Classic Black photo ScreenShot2013-04-04at13618PM_zps99d72d69.png  photo ScreenShot2013-04-04at13630PM_zps587e6b17.png Deep Forest Brown photo ScreenShot2013-04-04at13636PM_zpsf0e45903.png


*Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.
**A three-inch layer of Eucalyptus Mulch naturally helps prevent weeds by blocking growth and access to sunlight.


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We Have a Green Lawn, Thanks To TruGreen! Before and After Photographs

This post was written by my husband, Timothy.

When you’re young you have ideas and expectations about how things are going to be when you reach adulthood.  Getting married, having a family, a great job, a flying car, and a dream home with a beautiful green yard for my kids to play on, were some of my dreams.  I know what you’re thinking, one of those dreams is just that a dream and nothing more.  Having a beautiful green yard in a time of constant running around is just not possible..or is it?

Between full time jobs, school activities, after-school activities, weekend commitments, and everyday errands, how in the world does one find time to do all that is needed to achieve a green yard?  Read on to find out!

I consider myself to be a do-it-yourselfer, like many guys do.   During the eight years that we’ve owned our house repaired the roof when a tree went through it, fixed pipes under the house in the crawl space, replaced the waterline to the house, and built a swing set of my own design in the back yard.  With a list like that it sounds like there is nothing I can’t tackle. Oh, but there is!
A beautiful green yard.

Sure, if you were to drive by our home you would see a green yard but as you got closer, the truth would reveal itself.  Until the last two weeks, our green lawn was only about 28% grass.  The majority, about the other 72% of our yard, was a variety of weeds, each their own unique shade of green.  I say majority because spread out in no particular pattern all over the year, are dirt patches.  The yard doesn’t look like this because of a lack of trying by any means.  I’ve aerated the yard, reseeded, used fertilizer, added lime, watered, raked, had heartfelt talks, and even played music.  Granted I may not of done all of these things the exact way that they are supposed to be done but give me a break I’m only one guy.

I thought about getting a service but at the point when I should sign up, the cheap stubborn part of me speaks up.  “You can do all of the things they are going to do and you can do it cheaper!”  For years I listened to that voice, but not any more.  I figured that if I can be wrong about things like thinking that as long as the lawn mower is working why get it serviced, I mean I do check the oil level and put gas in it, that’s all that matters right? Sadly no, but that’s another story.

It turns out that my inner voice and I were wrong about a lot of things.  When you compare the price of the materials, the act of creating a lawn maintenance schedule and following it, along with all the work it takes to do it all, using a service is a great deal.  The amount of time that is saved alone is worth every penny.

TruGreen Lawn Care - Plant Grass

So far our service with TruGreen has been exceptional.  During the first visit a TruGreen manager walked me through everything that was an issue with the yard.  He pointed out all of the different kinds of weeds in our yard, and there were quite a few.  It turns out that even what I thought was grass was mostly weed.  He pointed out the areas that were heavily shaded and suggested that I remove a few branches from the surrounding trees so more light could make its way through to the yard. He discussed what needed to be done to the yard in order for it to become the beautiful green yard full of grass I dreamed of having. He talked for awhile about the process and the different things that would be applied to the yard but to be honest that’s about the time my ADD kicked in so I only got about half of it.  That’s how much information our TruGreen representative gave me!  When he was done I asked “what do I need to do to make all of this happen?”, trying to play off the fact that I checked out for a few minutes.  His reply was “nothing.”  Now that threw me off.  Surely there was something that I needed to do, to help.  He assured me that the only thing I needed to do was make sure the yard was watered as needed and when the time came to aerate and overseed, I would have to rake the yard to get it ready.  Wow, that was wonderful to hear!

I put customer service pretty high on my list of priorities as a consumer.  I’ve left stores because the employees were too busy talking to each other to acknowledge me.  Having said that, TruGreen has provided great customer service.  Everyone from TruGreen that I have come into contact with has been courteous and knowledgeable.  Even the techs that come when I’m not home leave a note saying that they were sorry they missed me and included detailed information about what they did to the yard and what I need to do to maintain their work, if anything.

After the first few visits from TruGreen the weeds were almost all gone.  Since the yard was mostly weeds though, this posed a small problem.  The dirt patches were growing in size and increasing in number.  They offered to put down some rie as a filler but I opted not to.  Soon after, the time came for them to aerated the yard and overseed it.  Since then, for the last two weeks, I have watered the yard like my life depended on it and it is paying off!  The grass seeds are sprouting and the dirt patches are slowly changing to green grassy patches. Words can not explain the feeling of joy that I’m feeling!

Because the grass is getting a good start before winter arrives, it will form a solid root system during the Winter.  Come Spring, it’s on!  Next year the green Easter eggs won’t be so easy to find.

If you are struggling to create a green lawn for your family, I highly recommend that you call TruGreen today!

Written by Timothy Hagan