Monday, January 26, 2015

Cleaning-Up the Winter Garden

Happy Monday evening
to you all!

We are having a bit of rain this afternoon
and into the evening.
For friends over on the East Coast,
here's hoping the blizzard that is coming in won't
knock out your power,
that you'll be safe and snug 
inside your warm homes!

Well, this past week and weekend,
I've begun clipping back the rose garden.
I used the electric hedge trimmers and
really thinned out the boxwood
around our central, large planter area
last weekend.

This weekend, it was more about the roses.
Still not done, but getting there!

a last little rose, all mangled from rain and mildew ~ still ethereal!

Cutting roses back for winter:

*For anyone who is new to roses, if you want 
great blooms
they have to be stripped, cut back into a kind-of
spread-out-like-an-open-hand look.

*Also, cut out any dead canes 
(they'll be really brown or black).

*Depending upon where you live, you may have to 

cut your rose bushes back to about a foot or two tall.
Where it gets really cold (0 degrees or lower), you'll need
to cut your roses back to what I mentioned above,
you'll also want to cover them with a good pile
of straw or leaves, then some dirt. You'll uncover them in spring,
after the hard freezes are over.

Here in California,

I can leave mine about 3' tall, and here in So Cal, we don't get
really much under 32 degrees F.,
so we don't need to worry about mulching for winter.
Our mulching comes in the spring/summer 
to help keep rose bushes from drying out!:)

Here in this photograph, I've shown the beginnings
of cutting back the canes to an
outward-facing bud.
 This is where a new branch will develop.

Next, I'll cut out any canes that will cross each other.
These cause canes to rub each-other,
which can damage the plant and allow in bugs
that can damage or kill the plant.

This is one of our climbers, next to the pool.  This photo shows how I cleared all the dead leaves from underneath.

Every year or two,
you'll also want to cut out an old cane or two
to bring in some new canes.
This keeps the plant healthier,
plus old canes get thick and woody.
They are hard to cut! 
Sometimes needing a saw!

Now, for my climbers
I DO leave more of the old canes,
as they help support the new growth's weight.
(Need those thick trunks to hold up all the arching branches.) 

The backyard last week as the fog crept in. Boxwood in deperate need of clipping!

One of a pair of local ducks who come and visit our bird feeder

Our local falcon coming to check out the sparrow and mourning doves

our lettuce and onions, and a few small yellow tomatoes

Do make sure to clean up ALL of the dead and dropped leaves
from your roses,
as much as you can,
as these leaves if left will contribute to diseases lingering
from year to year.
Also, I only really spray my bushes after getting them all 
cleaned up.
Use environmentally safe insecticides and fungicides,
whenever possible.

There are the boxwoods just before their latest trim, photo above.
Mr. Falcon visited our feeder
just after I took a water break.
I didn't even have time to get the camera on the tripod...
Had to go with the blurred photo.

Our resident ducks and our salad greens...

Have a lovely evening,
Happy gardening!
Barb :)

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Thanks ever much for sharing this blog! I do appreciate it. :) ~

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Decorate your Tea Towels

Ever wonder
how companies create those cute dish and tea towels?

Somebody like you or me comes up with a great idea!

My friend Kathy had made some cute
toweling for her kitchen
a number of years ago, so I copied and ran with her idea.

The towel above was decorated with 
leftover fabric 
from a
Rachel Ashwell "Simply Shabby Chic" curtain
that I had cut-up to make
shorter curtains in our master bedroom.
We have five windows 
in our bedroom,
and most didn't need 84" curtains,
so there was
a lot
of leftover fabric!

Here are a couple of other towels I have made.
I am getting ready to make some more
as these are faded.
Though faded... they are still loved!


*Buy some cute unadorned tea/bar towels from a discount, after-market, 
or thrift store ~ wash and dry before embellishing.

*Pick out one of your favorite fabrics and 

cut (2) bands of that fabric about 
3 1/2" wide x the total length of your towels' width, 
plus an inch or so for turning-under along the edges.

*Iron-under 1/4" along each of the band's long edges, pin to towel.

*Turn under and iron the bands' end-edges to meet up with
the towel's edges.
*Sew "in the ditch," or 1/8" from the band's edges all the way around, or
as close as you are able.

Toile from the living room curtains I made. 


I recommend sewing the long edges first ~ sew ONLY in one direction on both long edges
(This is because sewing inherently "pulls" fabric as it goes, and  you want the "pull" to be the same on both edges, not one pulling one direction and the other pulling opposite...)

I tend to sew from left to right, switching the fabric from 
running on the right side of the needle as it stitches
to the left side of the needle.
Do this on the upper, and the same for the lower edge. 

*THEN, recheck, re-press/iron, and sew under the outer edges.
Sew these also in one direction. I generally sew "downward."

*Give a final press to your tea towel and...

Your towel is as cute as a button!

If you wish to add lace trim, just add it underneath the main
band of fabric. 
Mine was the lace trim off of a set of old
Laura Ashley
pillowcases we had that the cases had fallen apart.
So, I cut off the lace edging and left a 1/4" extra of fabric
on the edge
to save for a future project.
This 1/4" edge above where the lace began is what is
under the colorful toile banding.:)


I had those lace pieces folded up in my lace box for
about 10 years...
Really glad that I saved them!

*This post has been updated.*

Sharing with:
The Style Sisters~Centerpiece Wednesday

The Crafty Blogstalker

Over the Moon 119 (spring 2018)
Craft De-Stash Challenge ~ Vintage Southern Picks
Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Titanic China ~ Antiques and Teacups

*Feel free to share this blogpost! Thanks! :)*

Happy sewing,

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