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Give Nesting Birds a Helping Hand

Tips for Providing Birds with Nesting Sites and Materials The coming of spring heralds the time when birds are “twitter-flittering” and building their nests in preparation for their eggs. We’ve been welcoming birds into our garden since we bought our home in 1993, and encourage them to call our garden home as well. We do that… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • March 25, 2015

Eliminate the Lawn – Part II

Create a Master Plan! There’s nothing like going to a major garden show in the middle of February to get me thinking about what I want to do in my own garden. When we bought our house in 1993, we created a simple master plan for our grass-only, extra-large lot. At the time, we decided… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • February 20, 2015

Waxed Grape Leaves

Create a Natural Cheese Display for Autumn Entertaining Decades ago I saw paper “grape leaves” advertised by Williams Sanoma to display cheeses. They were pretty—very French—but expensive! Once I got a grape arbor in my garden I saw what beautiful colors the leaves turn in fall. I thought back to a craft project from preschool… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • November 4, 2014

An Abundance of Basil

75 Plants Yield a Year’s Worth of Pesto and More! Early September is still harvest season in Seattle. That means I’m spending more time in the kitchen processing our bounty, and less time at the computer working on this blog. To top it off, June was drier than normal this year, followed by hotter than… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • September 16, 2014

The Waning Garden

Revel in the Change of Season It’s that time of year when some might think my garden looks a little sad. Blooms fade. Leaves yellow and wither. And the fruits and veggies are putting on their clearance sales before shuttering their doors for the season. I’m not one for annuals—except for a few mums in… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • September 3, 2014

Tasty Cucumber Salad

Simple Side a Snap to Prepare Once our cucumbers start coming in, we find ourselves inundated before we know it. Hence, I am always looking for new things to do with them. We love them raw in salads or sliced thin to add crunch to a sandwich. I’ve even added them to veggie smoothies! But… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • August 17, 2014

It’s Time to Make Lavender Wands!

Bring Color and Natural Fragrance to Your Home When the bees take over my lavender plants, I know the blossoms are ready to harvest for drying. I wait as long as I can, so the bees can have their fill of pollen. My lavender attracts a variety of pollinators: honeybees, three different bumbles, sweat bees, and a… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • August 4, 2014

Create Garden Art from Giant Leaves

Casting Everlasting Garden Memories     by Guest Blogger Dominic Diaz In a gardener’s world, the work is never done. And most of the “leg work” takes place at a time when non-horticulturally inclined folks would least expect it—in the dead of winter! It’s during this time—when we are cooped up in the comforts of… Continue reading →

  • Words by Guest Blogger
  • August 2, 2014
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