You Can Still Plant That Dream Garden

Each spring, a majority of women in their late twenties get bit by the gardening bug.

They Pin, plan, and dream up their ideal raised beds. And then, something happens...SUMMER. All the pool parties, the bonfires, the non gardening responsibilities. Swoosh. Just like that, those little packages of seeds are thrown to the wayside for much better things...rosé with girlfriends

 

 

Well guess what? Come mid August, you get to start over! You see, now is the time to plant your fall garden, which happen to be the same thing as your spring garden! Same rules apply as they do in the spring, except maybe water your seeds a bit more if it is still pretty hot where you live. 

Hint: There are two types of veggies. Cold loving plants and heat loving plants. If you plant your cold loving seeds now, it will be chilly by the time they sprout up! 

Here are the easy fall garden plants to try:

  • Lettuce- SO EASY. If you just wanna give this gardening thing a shot, start here. Grab a little bag of lettuce seeds (pretty much any type will do) and start to sprinkling. You can even just put them right into your flower bed! 
  • Spinach- Same concept as lettuce. Actually, is spinach a type of lettuce? Either way. Easy peasy.
  • Peas- Speaking of easy peasy, peas. Now, they do take some kind of trellis system but if you have a fence, these are perfect! I love to grow snow peas and freeze them for winter. For an easy trellis, just grab two-three tall sticks, wrap fishing wire around them, TA-DA.
  • Carrots- Pop these seeds in the ground near your lettuce. They will be ready to pull up in October. Perfect timing for all those stews you are about to make. You can also freeze carrots to save for a later use.
  • Radishes- These are a favorite of mine. They don't take long to grow and are so pretty. They also go well mixed in with the lettuce patch.

 If you are feeling crazy, plant a row of any of the above vegetables one week and then come back on Labor Day and plant another row. This will help your harvest last a little longer! 

One fun thing you can plant over the winter? GARLIC...but that is another blog for another time.

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So, send your kids off to school, get those extra vegetable seeds out, and get to making your dreams come true. And of course, send us your pictures once you get your little garden patch going! Do you have a specific veggie you are hoping to grow?

You've totally got this!

With Love,

The Lavenders

Ps. These photos are from Bunker's produce selection last summer. They were taken by our lovely friend, Kaitlyn Vosler, who cared for the crazy garden I planted just weeks before the accident. 

Houseplants 101

I’ve got all my life to live.
I’ve got all my love to give.
And I’ll survive,
I will survive, hey, hey.
— Every Houseplant

If you take three steps into our apartment, you will quickly realize one of us has a thing for plants. This slight obsession started a few years ago and our collection has continued to grow.  So keep reading and you will discover a few of our favorite houseplants and care tips to make life a little easier on you:

Monsteria    Looks department - 8  Ease of care - 7.8  Sunny spot - 7.5 These big boys who are pretty easy to manage. They love a good window spot and multiply like crazy. They are poisonous to people and animals, so make sure to place high or away from dogs, babies, and my 25 year old brother who ate a leaf to see what it would do to him. Hint- A call to Poison Control was placed and the operator asked how old the child was who ate the leaf.

Monsteria

Looks department- 8
Ease of care- 7.8
Sunny spot- 7.5
These big boys who are pretty easy to manage. They love a good window spot and multiply like crazy. They are poisonous to people and animals, so make sure to place high or away from dogs, babies, and my 25 year old brother who ate a leaf to see what it would do to him. Hint- A call to Poison Control was placed and the operator asked how old the child was who ate the leaf.

Mother-In-Laws Tongue (Snake plant)    Looks department - 7.2  Ease of care - 9  Sunny spot - 4  Talk about laid back. If you start looking around the waiting room at doctor's offices, you will notice these Snake plants. They are very easy and basically live anywhere. The only thing they don't like is to be overwatered, so pace yourself.

Mother-In-Laws Tongue (Snake plant)

Looks department- 7.2
Ease of care- 9
Sunny spot- 4

Talk about laid back. If you start looking around the waiting room at doctor's offices, you will notice these Snake plants. They are very easy and basically live anywhere. The only thing they don't like is to be overwatered, so pace yourself.

Aloe Vera    Looks department - 7  Ease of care - 6  Sunny spot -6  For some reason, these fellows are so tricky for me but I love the way they look. And remember that time as a child you burnt your arm on a cookie sheet? Well, I bet your mom clipped off a small piece of this plant and rubbed it on there! They are a win win!

Aloe Vera

Looks department- 7
Ease of care- 6
Sunny spot-6

For some reason, these fellows are so tricky for me but I love the way they look. And remember that time as a child you burnt your arm on a cookie sheet? Well, I bet your mom clipped off a small piece of this plant and rubbed it on there! They are a win win!

Fiddle Leaf Fig    Looks department - Shawty is a ten  Ease of care - 3  Sunny spot - 8  These are those trendy plants you see in hipster restaurants, Fixer Upper episodes, and probably every Mom blogger posts. Rumor has it Walmart and Lowes do occasionally carry these guys BUT worst case scenario, swing by your local garden nursery and ask for one! 

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Looks department- Shawty is a ten
Ease of care- 3
Sunny spot- 8

These are those trendy plants you see in hipster restaurants, Fixer Upper episodes, and probably every Mom blogger posts. Rumor has it Walmart and Lowes do occasionally carry these guys BUT worst case scenario, swing by your local garden nursery and ask for one! 

Devil's Ivy  Looks department - 5  Ease of care - 7  Sunny spot - 5  If you need a nice, easy houseplant that trails, these are a very safe bet. You can place them on top of your cupboards, counters, and in hanging pots. I am basically attempting to kill on that I have had for 4 years and they do not go down easily. Trust me.

Devil's Ivy

Looks department
- 5
Ease of care- 7
Sunny spot- 5

If you need a nice, easy houseplant that trails, these are a very safe bet. You can place them on top of your cupboards, counters, and in hanging pots. I am basically attempting to kill on that I have had for 4 years and they do not go down easily. Trust me.

Fern    Looks department - 9  Ease of care - 7  Sunny spot - 6  Yes, I know this isn't your typical houseplant but don't be afraid to think outside of the box! I love ferns but do not have a good outdoor space, so I brought one inside! 

Fern

Looks department- 9
Ease of care- 7
Sunny spot- 6

Yes, I know this isn't your typical houseplant but don't be afraid to think outside of the box! I love ferns but do not have a good outdoor space, so I brought one inside! 

A couple hints:

  • Name your plants. It helps you remember to take care of them.
  • For plants that don't need a lot of water (like a succulent), just pop an ice cube on top.
  • If your plant starts to turn yellow, gut reaction is too much water.
  • Try watering a little less and talking to it a little more. 

If you are struggling with getting started on your houseplant game, my favorite spot to head is Lowes. They usually have great selections and some funky plants. Just remember to read the tag correctly and pick one that goes best for where you image it being (aka low sun or high sun). Don't fall in love with a cactus and just plop it no where near a window...give that fellow a chance!

Good luck to you and your houseplant!

With Love,

The Lavenders

 

 

Bunker's Grill That Pizza Recipe

"Pizza makes me think that anything is possible"
- Henry Rollins

 

Back at Bunker, this was our summer go-to meal. It was the one thing I could make that had tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, and olives in it and he couldn't be mad because he got to make his own! So, plan a family pizza night with this recipe and let us know what you think! 

Ps. Personal pan pizzas make a great party meal. Have everyone bring their favorite topping, you provide the dough, cheese, and meat! 

Bunker's Grill That Pizza Recipe

Dough:
Makes 6-8 personal pizzas

1 2/3 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt

Here's the deal. Don't get scared off with "yeast" and "knead". Guys. It is so easy. Run to the store and buy a thing of yeast which should be in the the baking section. With kneading, there are all sorts of YouTube videos...but honestly just grab cutting board, spray it down with some oil, and start pushing your palms into the dough...that is my very unprofessional way of explaining kneading.

Mix warm water and yeast together in large bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes until you see the yeast start to dissolve. Stir in oil and then add the flour & salt. Knead the dough on low speed with dough hook for 5-7 minutes, or knead by hand on counter for 6-8 minutes. 

After kneading, your dough should form a ball that springs back when you touch it. If it is still really doughy, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. 

Now. Pull apart the dough into 8 lumps and lay them on a cookie sheet that has some olive oil spread on it. I roll the lumps around on the sheet so they are covered in olive oil. Next, cover the sheet with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for at least an hour. Your dough balls will soon rise with gusto!

Feel free to use immediately or pop in the fridge (or freezer) for another time!

Toppings:

Grab your favorite pizza or just spaghetti sauce
All your favorite toppings:
Spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, corn, mushrooms, zucchini, basil, pineapple, jalapeños, onions, all the cheeses, or basically anything else. 

Squish out your little dough balls to make a personal pan pizza and throw them on a heated up grill (medium high heat). Let them sit on each side for about 2-3 minutes (when each side is slightly tan) and then pull off grill.

Get your sauce and toppings on.

Gently place back on the grill for about 10 minutes.

Boom. ENJOY!

See? Healthy!

With Love,

The Lavenders

That Taco Salad Dressing

This post is all about TACO SALAD DRESSING...Wait, don't go so fast...

Growing up, I took for granted my mom's fantastic taco salad and the dressing that made it so tasty.  It wasn't until a year ago did I realize what a little gold mine I had been sitting on. All my friends were asking for the recipe and I was just hoarding it for myself.

So, the days of using whatever dressing you have laying around is over. The perfect dressing to go with the ever confusing taco salad:

Donna Jean's Taco Salad Recipe

Grab your blender and pop all of these ingredients in there:

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil (Canola)
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoon mayonnaise

Now make me feel better. How many of you follow a recipe to the tee and how many of you just sprinkle a little bit of this and a little bit of that? I just learned that it drives Derek crazy that I do the latter. 

Ps. Our Taco Salad musts? Lettuce. Hamburger. Corn.  Peppers. Tomatoes. And any other veggie that is about to expire in the fridge. 

Enjoy friends. Enjoy. 

Fillers, Thrillers and Spillers

We've all been there. You're watching a Lowes commercial and BAM. There is a sweeping panoramic of a stone mansion, a small puppy and overflowing flower pots. Although I won't be able to help you with how to get the mansion or the puppy, I can help you with how they did those planters! The key to a great flower pot, box or planter is fairly simple.          

Think filler, thriller and spiller.

A plant either fills up space, grows tall to grab attention, or spills out over the planter. A great pot will include one of each. You better believe I have high hopes for The Quarry's flower boxes and pots. I have been dreaming and scheming all week, so I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites:

Thriller- 

  1. Angelface® Blue Summer Snapdragon
  2. 'Pink Micro Chip' Butterfly Bush
  3. Petit Pink Rose

Filler-

  1. Herbs
  2. Scarlet Coleus 'Kong Jr.'
  3. Sundaze Blaze (Strawflower)

Spiller-

  1. Sweet Potato Vine
  2. Bacopa
  3.  SUPERTUNIA® Flamingo

Ps. We get the keys to The Quarry TODAY! 

With Love,

The Lavenders

And You Thought Your Kids Were Picky

Fiddle Leaf Figs are all the rage. If you are a hipster, visit coffee shops, or have a Pinterest account, you have seen these plants. You probably googly eyed them and then rushed to the nearest nursery to get your hands on one of these beautiful giants. 

I will warn you, Fiddle Leaf's aren't for the faint of heart. They will run anywhere between $50-$100 and when you spend that much money on a plant, the last thing you want to do is kill it.

 So, here are 5 tips to care for the pickiest plant I've owned:

1. They like a warm, sunny spot. Place them there and then don't touch them.

2. When I said don't touch, I meant it. Derek's friend came over and was rubbing all over my little fiddle leaf and kept saying "Wow! Is this real??".  After a few minutes, I tried to politely steer him away because I didn't want to sound like a crazy plant lady. But sure enough, that weekend I lost 5 leaves. These plants aren't great if you have a hyper dog, a hyper child, or a hyper friend.

Ps. Along with minimal touching, they don't like the breeze. So try to avoid a spot in your house with open windows or ceiling fans.

3. Water trick. If you fiddle comes in a plastic bucket from the nursery, keep it in the bucket for at least 4-5 months before transplanting. When it needs watered, you will notice the soil around the edges of the pot pull away. Fill up your sink with water and place the fiddle in there overnight. This allows the plant to drink from the roots instead of you accidentally drowning it by pouring too much water on top.
Ps. This is a great way to water most of your plants.

4. Every few weeks, wipe the leaves down with coconut oil! These guys (and most house plants) can get very dusty which can hinder photosynthesis (yes Mr. Cassidy, I was listening in your 9th grade Biology class).  Get the dust outta there with a paper towel and a light coconut oil bath. 

5. Rotate the pot about once a week and take lots of pictures. A beautiful fiddle really is something to show off.