Wooden Shelf Makeover – New Zealand

My wooden shelf makeover was a inspiration really. It was offered free on my local neighbourly, which is a wonderful site to find things in your neighbourhood in New Zealand.

Wooden Shelf Makeover

I got it to use as extra shelving in our shed, but it wasn’t that stable and a shelf was missing. It was sitting in front of our house waiting to be fixed when my husband suggested it would make a great shelf for my potted plants sitting around by the front door. I mainly have succulents in the pots because they don’t need so much watering and maintenance.

Shelf turned upside down

As you can see I turned the shelf upside down to fit in the area, but there is a electric metre box in the way so I had to move the now top shelf up. The metre reading man needs to open it to read the metre! Fortunately it only took removing some screws and sliding the shelf up. Then I tightened all the other screws to stabilise better.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Next I painted it in one of my favourite paints Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre

Finally, I painted just one coat this time and there was no need to wax as I am using it for outside. Not too worried about wear and tear here.

Finished shelf

It was wonderful to get all my plants off the ground, I love how it turned out! I also used it for a time growing my lettuces, which was a great spot and super easy to pick them when needed.

Growing lettuce

It made my front of the house look so much better, much tidier and it is easier to water the plants now.

I hope my wooden shelf makeover inspired you! Thanks for reading my post!

Andi

 

 

 

How to make a bay leaf wreath … last minute

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Bay leaf wreaths tend to quickly dry out in the summer heat, so I left it till the last minute to make one.

I picked some branches off our bay tree in the garden and used what supplies I had at home to keep things simple. At this point I am trying to avoid going to the shops and enjoying just being at home with the family.

Supplies needed:

twine (you can also use florist wire)

wire coat hanger

scissors

bay leaves (or any greenery you have should work well)

Instructions:

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First take your coat hanger and make into a circle.

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Next cut your bay leaf branches to the right length and place around the coat hanger.

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Tie the branches onto the wire.

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Continue add leaves until the wire is covered and you have the amount of leaves on the wreath you desire.

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Finally, wrap the twine around the coat hanger wire hook at the top.

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This was really quick to make and I am hoping it will last really well throughout the  Christmas holidays. It will also be great to have so many dried bay leaves for cooking now! This wreath would be easy to make with other greenery from the garden or neighbourhood, whatever you can find!

Thanks for reading my post.

Andi

 

Simple branch Christmas tree…New Zealand

A simple  branch Christmas tree is so quick to make, looks fantastic and can be a great alternative to a traditional tree…

If you are like me and looking for something different this year, don’t have the time or even the space for a traditional tree try this:

I was on my way home this afternoon and stopped to have a look at a local reserve where I knew there would be pine cones. I was excited to find some great branches on the ground that could be made into a branch Christmas tree. It had some lovely moss on it which was even better for this purpose.

There were some natural things for decorations as well and when I got back home I picked some little crab apples from the garden to add some red colour to them.

Supplies needed:

Branches

Pine cones

Decorations

Scissors

Galvanized bucket (I brought mine at Kmart)

Floral foam (optional)

Twine

Instructions:

Start by placing your branches in floral foam (if you have some, I already had some left over from a florist bouquet in a little burlap bag, so I used this for convenience).

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Galvanized bucket

Galvanized bucket

Then carefully place into the galvanized bucket. Or a large jar would work, as long as it doesn’t topple over everything is on the branches.

Put the pine cones on top.

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Next using twine tie up the berries, nuts, natural decorations onto the branches.

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Finally, add any other decorations, I used my burlap hearts and stars, which I made in a previous post, see instructions here.

And some cute little decorations I brought from trade aid, it is always nice to buy things from companies that support third world countries.

trade aid Christmas ornament

trade aid Christmas ornaments

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Thanks for reading my post! I have also made a pallet Christmas tree, see here. Have you made an alternative Christmas tree this year?

Andi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 pretty herb bouquets in New Zealand

9 pretty herb bouquets in New Zealand.. can be a great alternative..

Herbs bouquets can be a wonderful way to decorate your home this Christmas! I am trying to be a little bit greener and this is a great way to do it.

First, here are some different herbs with red berries from my garden. The other great thing about using herbs in your home is they not only look good, but also smell amazing!

Rosemary and red berries

Rosemary and red berries

Bay leaves and red berries

Bay leaves and red berries

As you can see I love using my ironstone jugs and mason jars.  I am happy to have now found a great use for this vintage silver trophy cup, which had been sitting in a box for years. Do you have any silver trophy not been used at your place?

Parsley, rosemary and red berries

Parsley, rosemary and red berries

Herb bouquet with irises

A wonderful way to bless a friend is give them a bouquet of herbs and flowers when they come around to visit.

Bouquet of herbs and flowers

Bouquet of herbs and flowers

Herbs and flowers

Rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley and flowers

Herbs are really easy to grow, even inside. See my post about growing them in tin cans on your window sill here

Mint and lavender

Mint and lavender

Parsley and daisies

Parsley and daisies

Parsley, rosemary and flowers

Parsley, rosemary and flowers

Roses and bay leaves

Bay leaves and white bramble roses

Mint, roses and lavender

Mint, roses and lavender

It is really easy to buy herbs these days in the supermarkets, at the market, at a plant nursery, garden shop. When you plant them most of the time they grow without much attention. Some water in the summertime if outside, but water all year around if inside. You do have to keep picking them otherwise they grow into flowers and seed. But, the flowers and seeds can be pretty as well.

I am growing a rosemary topiary for Christmas, see my post about it here. They make really lovely Christmas decorations or a gift for a friend.

Thanks for reading my post!

Andi

Have a blessed Sunday….Havelock North, New Zealand

Have a blessed Sunday … Havelock North, New Zealand. It is another beautiful spring Sunday here in Havelock North. Thinking of everyone who are preparing for Thanksgiving this week.

Here are some shots of my post I am working on for next week…aren’t they beautiful!

Roses from my garden

Herbs and roses

Herbs and roses

Bay leaves and roses

White bramble roses

Herbs and roses

 

Roses, lavender and herbs

Feel so spoiled to have all these flowers growing in my garden. I am blessed!

Have a blessed day wherever you are  reading this!

Andi

It’s a beautiful day to walk the dog in New Zealand!

Welcome to Thursday! It’s a beautiful day to walk the dog in Havelock North, New Zealand!

I took Rodeo our fox terrier puppy out for a walk this morning, in the neighbourhood. It is such a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining and the birds are amazing. I wish I could record all the native tui lovely melody, with their loud flapping wings. We saw some quails and native wood pigeons.

These native Pohutukawa trees are everywhere. Love their red flowers!

Native Pohutukawa tree flowers

Pohutukawa tree

Rodeo amongst the daisies

Rodeo walking amongst the daisies

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Palm tree

These large palm trees are amazing. Our native wood pigeons love to live in these. The tree across the road from us must have about 20 of them living in it – it’s very noisy!

Bramble white rose

Back home checking out the garden and the weeds!

Garden

Bramble white rose

This is a beautiful bramble white rose in my garden. It is so large that it’s held up by old wooden support structures.

Beautiful rose

Look at this beautiful rose

Roses in the garden

Native flax flowers

Native flax flowers can be yellow, red or orange

Tui in the flaxs

Tui on the native flax, see my previous post about them in our garden here

Thunder, Lightening and Hail

I have to laugh we had such a lovely walk and now as I type this post up the weather has changed dramatically. There is thunder and lightening outside, we probably only get this about 5 times a year in our area. It is also hailing!

Hail on our deck

Hail on our deck

Hail on our deck

I am sure it won’t last long and the sun will come out again. It will be back to being a beautiful day. Have a wonderful Thursday!

NATIVE TUI IN THE GARDEN THIS SPRING SUNDAY – HAVELOCK NORTH, NEW ZEALAND…

We have a so many native Tui in the garden this spring Sunday in Havelock North, New Zealand.

They love the nectar on our flax at this time of the year. Tui are very noisy birds, with loud flapping wings, but we hear them singing really lovely melodies in the trees around our place all day and unto the night on days like this.

Tui in Hawke's Bay

Tui in Havelock North

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Tui feeding on nectar

Native bird feeding on nectar

Flowers in the garden

I love spring Sundays in Havelock North they are so beautiful. Our garden is an old established garden with a combination of native trees and bushes. But it also has many old rose bushes and plants that just flower beautifully in spring. Really enjoy our rather overgrown garden.

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Thanks for reading my post. Have a blessed Sunday!

Andi

Simple steps to repaint wrought iron furniture…

Spring is here and it is time to repaint the deck furniture. I was excited to purchase this old table and chairs set for only $25 on Trademe earlier this year. Now that the weather is sunny outside it was time to work on getting rid of the rust and repaint it. These simple steps to repaint the wrought iron furniture is something that can be done in a couple of hours.

Repaint wrought iron furniture

My son Elisha and Rodeo enjoying the sunshine

My son Elisha and Rodeo enjoying the sunshine

First it is necessary to wash it all down with water and dish detergent to get rid of dust and dirt.  Then I used steel wool and a wire brush scraping and rubbing off the rust. This is quite a messy job, but it does come off easily. Next I washed it clean again. Time to paint!

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I just brought green gloss enamel spray paint from Mitre 10, (under $20 a can), but I did need 4 cans. It was already painted green, so to make it easier, I kept to the same colour. I made sure it contained zinc for rust protection. This paint dries quickly within 15-20 minutes, but needs 24 hours to cure. It is important to always follow the instructions on the can to get the best results and safety.

Spray Paint

Spray Paint

Our wrought iron table and chairs looks great now – ready for sunny spring days!

New World Little Garden Seedling Kit Collectables

I just want to tell you about the New World Supermarket Little Garden promotion recently – we so loved them. They were little seedling kits given out with every $40 spent in their stores. They were just so cute and such a great idea!

New World Little Garden

New World Little Garden

My daughter Serah just loved collecting these vegetables and herbs. They were exciting to open, plant the seeds, then watch them germinate and grow.

Seedling Kits

Seedling Kits

The kits contained a little pot made of wood pulp and peat, bio-degradable, made in Denmark. The seeds came from a Dutch company and the soil tablets are made of coconut husks from Sri Lanka, but produced in the Netherlands. All organic!

Seedling Kit

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It was wonderful to see Serah so excited about growing vegetables.

Little Garden plants in the vegetable garden

Little Garden plants in the vegetable garden

Thanks for reading my post!

  Andi

 

 

GROWING A ROSEMARY TOPIARY IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS…..

Growing a Rosemary topiary in time for Christmas in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand …

October is not too late start growing a rosemary topiary in time for Christmas! But if you read this post and it is after Christmas start a topiary anyway, because you will love it.

Rosemary

I love rosemary, I use it a lot in cooking, so I like to keep it inside in a jug of water. Something about the smell of it is really wonderful and fills the whole room.

Rosemary in a ironstone jug

Rosemary in an ironstone jug

 

In my garden I have lots of rosemary bushes growing, one of them is incredibly old with really gnarly roots.

Gnarly roots on rosemary

Gnarly roots on rosemary

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Since I have never grown a topiary before, I decided I would start one with the idea it should be looking good enough to bring into the house to decorate in time for Christmas. They look great with even a simple bow around as a decoration. Or they can make a great gift!

So I decided to try growing and pruning a couple of rosemary. One had been growing in a pot for some time and I just had to cut it back to the main vertical shoot. Then trimming off all the shoots and cutting the top off.

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The second one I brought from a nursery and transplanted it to a terracotta pot.

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Then I proceeded to trim the shoots of the main shoot and cut back the top.

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Keep them watered, but not sitting in water. Turn them around to make sure they get plenty of sunlight.

White lavender

Today I  found in a friends garden white lavender with flecks of purple. I managed to get a cutting, so that went in a terracotta pot as well. I trimmed off the flowers and the stem and now we will see if it grows. I will let you know how I get on!

White Lavender

White Lavender

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White Lavender

White Lavender

Growing a rosemary topary

Growing toparies

Growing toparies

Thanks for reading about Rosemary. Please come back and find out how my toparies are getting on!

Andi

 

 

 

 

Succulents in teacups, little pots, concrete pots….

Succulents in teacups, little pots….

When asked to have a table at a Christmas craft fundraiser for an Alzheimer’s Day Care I immediately said yes. I had a few months to get prepared so I started collecting succulents of all species. Asking friends and families for cuttings, raiding gardens whenever I saw a succulent. Then I hit the Thrift stores collecting teacups, little pots and any pot that looked pretty and was a reasonable price.

I even experimented making some concrete pots painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Duck Egg. My son Elisha helped me making them, we certainly had fun, but that is for another post!

Then I collected tin cans of various sizes and brought some burlap and twine to decorate them. Using a hot glue gun I stuck the burlap on the tins. I even made my own little tags.

This was a really fun project as I love succulents. They have become so popular, probably because they live inside and outside and are very hard to kill.

It took some time, doing all the preparation. But I finally got all the succulents into the right teacup or pot and left them outside to grow for a few weeks. I had to kept them watered regularly as it was hot outside, fortunately they all survived and made it to the Fair.

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Don’t they look beautiful?

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This is my favourite succulent, called Jelly Bean or Pork and Beans.

Jelly Bean Succulent in a teacup

Check out some of these cute teacups

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Some pretty pots

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The tin cans with tags

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And of course my concrete pots painted with chalk paint.

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The day was an incredible success and a lot of fun. Fortunately I only had to bring one home!

Thanks for reading my post. Please come back to find out more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

   Andi

 

 

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