Tuesday, December 31

What to Plant in Your Garden First Thing . . .

Winter lettuce, of course!

I have planted lettuce in January and harvested it in March here in Michigan, zone 5b. Of course I had to baby it with keeping it warm with low tunnel and radiant heat, but to have something green and delicious so early! So I had the camera out during the whole process of planting the lettuce from seed to harvesting it. I have my first of three videos uploaded to YouTube. Check out step by step on how to start your lettuce from seed. I will be getting the whole "winter lettuce project" uploaded to YouTube soon, so make sure to subscribe so you don't miss it.

Thursday, December 12

Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments. . . from Gourds!

I just uploaded a video to my gourd art YouTube channel about making ornaments from small gourds. I show how I decorate them with melted crayon wax. You got to see it!

Saturday, November 2

What do you think of when you think of apples?

I hope you think of something tasty! 

Today one of my brothers and his son stopped by for a visit. Haven't seen them in over a year. Zach (that's my nephew) asked his dad (my brother) what's his favorite apple. Brother said: "An edible one." What? I thought. Well, it's true. Many people just haven't experienced good apples. They are mushy from being months in storage, picked green because demand forces the commercial growers to get the apples moving, or an apple was bred and sold for its appearance only, leaving the taste factor (the important part) to the wayside.  

I am spoiled beyond compare I think. Because when I think of apples I think of (besides lots of work) a myriad of flavor, sweetness, tartness, and texture combos. My dad has accumulated over 30 years worth of apple varieties in his orchard - that's over 100 varieties! And I tasted (and harvested) them all! I can experience the cream of the crop, picked right off the tree at the optimum picking time. Lucky right? 

Apples are really amazing compared to any other fruit in the world. I say this because there is no other fruit that can transform its texture and flavor like an apple. You can have a lip puckering tart apple like the Calville Blanc D'hiver or you can have a candy sweet apple like the Tolman Sweet. No other fruit that is "in season" for so long. From July to December you will find certain apple varieties just starting to ripen. Besides apples being unique and yummy they also pack a big vitamin punch. Eating healthy and apples should really be synonymous. Read about the health benefits HERE and HERE. Oh, and guess what, my dad wrote descriptions of many of the apples he grows. Read about them by downloading the PDF booklet HERE.  And if you are in the Newaygo, MI area, stop by at my family's farm and see and taste the apples in person! 

So, what do you think of when you think of apples?

Again I hope it's something tasty - or at least I hope you will soon discover it to be something oh, so yummy!

Wednesday, September 11

DIY Video Woodburning Project - Woodburn a colorful Sunflower, monogram, and favorite Bible verse on Wood

It sure has been quite some time since my last YouTube video! I finally was able to edit this particular project I completed last year as a Christmas gift for a friend of mine. She loves sunflowers (see the pattern I made for you to woodburn! http://bernadettesgarden.blogspot.com/p/woodburned-sunflower-with-monogram.html) so I decided to go have a sunflower as the focal point. I want to personalize it a bit more so I included the first initial of her last name. She is a good Christian friend so I thought she would appreciate the Bible verse, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

Tuesday, June 11

DIY Gardening Video: How to Grow Watermelon from Seed

Watermelon has been a staple crop at Magicland Farms, my family's farm and roadside market, since the beginning. My dad direct seeded them late Spring, when the soil were toasty warm, and crops of huge, delicious watermelon were the result. However, demand for watermelon encouraged my dad to try planting watermelon much earlier, for earlier harvest. He found cold soil just doesn't work and poor germination or no germination ensues. Furthermore, any attempt at direct seeding seedless watermelon was futile. So, later on we found that starting watermelon in pots and then planting out was a good way to get early watermelon as well as the ONLY way to grow seedless watermelon. In this five minute video I made I share with you the method we use to start watermelon seeds in pots.

Saturday, June 1

Ink Garden Coupons and Promo Codes

Ink Garden is the place where I purchase my business cards, as well as personalized gifts such as mugs, thermoses, calendars, notebooks, and other little things. I wanted to share with you some money saving codes and cookies for your next Ink Garden purchase.

For those of you who are newbies, make sure to click this link: 50% Off Your First Order at Ink Garden! Use Code: SPECIAL50 (Sorry, S&H is not included and it cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.)

10% cash back at Inkgarden.com if you go through Mrrebates.com. Click on banner to become a member and start saving!

Mr. Rebates

For Father's Day - Custom Deck Of Playing Cards - Just $5!

Tuesday, May 28

Painted Gourd Birdhouse DIY YouTube Video

Hi everyone!

I completed another gourd crafting video for you to enjoy and make something beautiful for your garden. It's a birdhouse painted in green with a checkered board roof and decorated with ladybugs and daisies. In the video I show how I painted the birdhouse step by step so that you can follow along with me or take my tips and apply them to your own cheerful summertime design. Have fun with it. Any questions? Just leave a comment here on my blog or leave a video comment on YouTube.

Thursday, May 16

How to Start Your Own Tomato Plants from Seed YouTube Video

I have completed another gardening video! I have started so many plants from seed this year (would you believe in the hundred thousands?) and it made me think that I should be sharing what I've learned with all of you. So I made a step by step video on how I plant tomato seeds for optimum germination. I chose tomatoes because I know everyone loves tomatoes in some way, but also because I believe that when you've grown your own tomato seedlings you will want to start all your plants from seed!

You may wonder why not just purchase tomato plants. I'll give you two good reasons--they are so expensive and you are very limited in variety and flavor. Growing your own tomato seedlings has everything going for it! I know it may seem somewhat of a challenge if you haven't grown anything from seed before, but believe me, it's much easier than you think.

So, let's get started!

Friday, May 3

Daffodil Blooming Time Lapse Video with Bushnell Camera

I did a fun little video of my family's early blooming daffodils. In an average year they would have bloomed in early to mid-April, in time for decorating the table for my parents' anniversary. This year they didn't fully bloom until April 29. I started the Bushnell Camera on April 2nd, and had it take photos every 15 minutes during the daylight hours - a whole month of photos into a minute video. Hope you enjoy! Make sure to visit my YouTube channel for more gardening and crafting videos.

Friday, April 26

Quick and Easy Raised Garden Bed

Years ago my sister, Rebekah, made a raised bed to grow some annual cooking herbs. Although the bed is still looking good, she hasn't kept up with the herb growing. Instead, she has a new found passion - cut flowers that are deer resistant. We have a large family of deer who like to devour everything around the house, herbs included, so I have been helping her figure out which flowers deer will leave alone. I thought of daisies and asters because a species of both grow wild on the farm - so my guess deer don't particularly like them. I chose gaillardia, mainly because they are such a tough plant with tons of blooms. A little deer browsing shouldn't hurt. Rebekah may add some more plants, but those three are the ones we figured out so far and have started them from seed indoors (to get a head start). I am eager to see the flower beds in bloom and will post a photo of the results.

As for the quick and easy raised garden bed. Photos! I wanted to show you how we built it step by step so you can make one yourself.

We made the frame of the raised bed using scrap 2x4s, which we pounded in the ground in an L shape. We took slag wood (lumber yards and mills have piles of leftover pieces from making standard lumber. You can purchase them on the cheep) and screwed them into the 2x4s as shown. Pre-drilling helps and 3" long deck screws are the easiest to use.

Friday, April 12

Hundreds and Thousands Tomato - Collecting Tomato Seed

Photo taken from http://www.dobies.co.uk
I've heard so many good things about the Hundreds and Thousands tomato that I had to grow it myself. Last year I searched all over (eg. catalogs, online) for a place that sells this tomato. Sadly, I found that it just isn't available here in the U.S. It is mainly a British tomato phenomenon, but I still wanted to get my hands on the seed somehow and see for myself see what all the rave was about. A nice lady from Canada sent me a few leftover seeds she had purchased from overseas. Even though it was late by the time I received the seed I decided to plant them right away. They came up quickly and grew fast. I transplanted them into hanging baskets (that's what I heard they do over in Britain with this particular tomato). They did produce a good amount of fruit even though

Wednesday, April 3

Delphinium Blue Lamp Makeover DIY Youtube Video

I recently completed a two-part video tutorial about how I took an old lamp from the basement and up-cycled it into a beautiful, elegant, and feminine desk lamp. This makeover was for my sister Rebekah's computer desk. She was looking for a blue lamp so I made sure to paint the whole base blue. I am especially taken with the base and am so happy with how it turned out after taking two broken vases and "texturizing" them with plaster. As for the lampshade, I added a little glamour by spray painting the whole shade in silver. I personalized the shade just for my sister with a silhouette border of her favorite flower, the delphinium. Then, I penned some of her favorite movie quotes in various fonts - just a way to make her smile each time she turns the light switch.

Sunday, March 24

Mary Garden - Honoring the Blessed Mother with Flowers


Since I was born my parents have placed statues of Mary all around the property and house. Around the time I was born my parents bought life-size statues of Our Lady of Fatima and the three shepherd children and placed the set in front of our house facing a large lake. We also have a statue of Mary at the entrance of our long driveway, a statue of Mary in our apple orchard, and I have my own Mary garden located in a little clearing in the woods. I have always been drawn to honoring Mary in this way -- through flowers and plants and gardens. Mary gardens are certainly not a new thing; I've read that they began during the Middle Ages using flowers named by Christian botanists after Mary's life and virtues. This way of honoring Mary using specially named flowers intrigued me.

Wednesday, March 20

Trying out a Night Vision Trail Cam

On January 16th of this year we set up our new Bushnell Trail Cam at our farm. We wanted to have some fun with it so we tied it to a tree overlooking an animal den. My intentions were to capture a fox on the camera, but was surprised to find a whole party of animals that night. Check out the video I put together on YouTube. Click on the embedded video to see it larger on YouTube.

Friday, March 15

Seed Swaps DO's and DON'Ts

It is a great time of year to start getting your seeds together and begin planning out your garden. I say seeds, because we all know how expensive plants are, so starting your own plants from seed is really the way to go if you are on a budget. For my family's farm we plant all our annual crops from seed, including tomatoes, peppers, and onions, which we start indoors.

Friday, March 1

Growing Lettuce in Winter - Part 2

We spaded the ground in our unheated greenhouse, removing weeds and debris. To spade, push your shovel in the ground and lift a shovel full of dirt out of the ground. Turn your whole shovel over and let the dirt fall back into the hole you just made. The point of doing this is to bring relatively untouched soil from under the ground to the surface, bury the organic material that was on the surface, and to break up the compacted soil.

Sunday, February 24

Blessed Virgin Garden Outdoor Statue Restoration

I've been wanting to show you the restoration process of my family's Mary statue and thought today was a good as time as any. Perhaps you'll be inspired to restore one of your own garden statues. If you have any questions about the process just drop me a line. I'd love to see the before and after photos and post them on the blog for others to see.

This is the before shot of our statue. My parents bought it in 1989 after a large hail storm hit the orchard a year earlier. They placed the statue in the middle of the fruit orchard and built a garden around it. The statue has seen a lot of weather since then and it was time for a makeover. My sister Catherine and I took on the restoration project and we began by chipping away at the old paint with a steel brush.

Tuesday, February 19

Online Vegetable and Flower Seed Companies Reviewed

Growing up in a fruit and vegetable farming family, seed catalogs were plentiful. Some of those companies have closed down or have been bought up by other companies that are . . . how should I put this . . . not so reputable. Yet, there are still some great ones out there and through searching and experience I have found more companies to add to my list. I wanted to review some of the online seed companies my family purchases fruit and vegetable seed from; as well as review the companies where I purchase (or obtain) flower seed for my nursery and garden.

Wednesday, February 13

Blooming Amaryllis Time Lapse Video captured by Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera

This beautiful, bright red flower brightens the dreary winter scene from our bay window. In a span of almost two weeks I let our Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera capture a photo of our budding Amaryllis every five minutes during daylight hours. January 27 at 10 o'clock in the morning the first photo was taken; and on February 6 at 5 P.M the last photo was taken.  

Camera Info: 8mp Bushnell Trophy Cam Trail Camera with Night Vision. Model: 119436C

This video sparked my interest to do a little research about this flower. See related post about what I "dug up." :)

Saturday, February 9

Profile of a Plant: Hippeastrum or Amaryllis


  • Common Name(s): Amaryllis is actually the common name even though it is the generic name for another plant that looks similar, but is a hardier specimen from South Africa.
  • Scientific Name: Hippeastrum (hip-ee-AS-trum) from the Amaryllidaceae family. Hippeastrum is Greek for knights star. The common name, Amaryllis, is taken from the Greek word amarysso, which means "to sparkle," but there is no concrete story behind the name of this plant. Still, I do enjoy the shepherdess story that is circulating across the Internet. In Greek mythology, Amaryllis was the name of a shepherdess who shed her own blood to prove her true love, and in so doing inspired the naming of this bright red flower.

Friday, February 8

Guess the Photo Revealed

 The cropped photo from last week is actually an Amaryllis bud, just beginning to open! Want to learn more about Amaryllis plants? I'll be posting a plant profile tomorrow so take note of that and stop by sometime tomorrow. Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, February 1

Guess the Photo Contest and Giveaway

Can you guess what's in the photo below? I cropped it out, but I'll show you the uncropped photo next Friday. The first person to have the closest guess will win a beautiful and original photo that you can use for personal or commercial use. Send your answers to: gardeningwithbernadette@gmail.com
Start guessing today!

Monday, January 28

Gourd Craft Video Tutorials by Bernadette's Gourd Creations

I put together a Pinterest board in order to collect all the videos I made about gourd crafting into one place for you to view.
1. I show you how to clean the outside of the gourd.
2. I show you how to cut open the gourd and clean the inside.
3. I show you how to use embossing powders on gourds.
4. I show you how to make a Art Deco inspired gourd with wax relief technique and coin shell stitched rim. 5. In my most popular video I show you how to woodburn a gourd with a roof.
6. In this video I show you how to make a decoupaged bird feeder with an original Robin motif.
7. I give you tips on how to attract specific birds to your gourd birdhouse.
8. I show you how to make a real simple birdhouse for Purple Martins.

Saturday, January 26

Quick and Simple Weekend Woodburning Project

Quotes or special words painted on the wall have always caught my interest, but because it is difficult to repaint when the time comes I never cared much for applying the word art myself. However, I recently realized a decorative wooden name plate would be a perfect substitute for directly applying the wall quote. So, after gathering a few supplies I was able to complete the whole project in about an hour as a gift for my sister.

Thursday, January 24

Home-canned Tomato Sauce vs. Store Bought? Any difference?

I just finished reading a post my dad wrote about homemade tomato sauce vs. store bought and thought to share it here on my blog. My dad makes a meatless spaghetti sauce and yesterday we enjoyed a pot full. It was one of the best batches - he even added big chunks of carrots which are stewed in the sauce and pick up all the wonderful flavors for one delicious bite!

See my dad's post here: http://blog.magiclandfarms.com/?p=462

See my sister's take on our homemade spaghetti sauce and a delicious Spaghetti bread recipe: http://sabbathsupper.blogspot.com/2010/12/we-call-it-spaghetti-bread.html

See how we make our homemade tomato sauce on the farm's YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/eDi6tRZOueA

Sunday, January 20

Growing Lettuce in Winter: Part 1

Starting lettuce in winter was successful for us. We transplanted it into a raised bed inside our unheated greenhouse. We covered the raised bed in a low tunnel as well, we then snaked a heating cable through the bed and set out a heat lamp that turned on when it got close to the freezing point. Step by step photos below will show you how we started the lettuce from seed. The interesting thing about this "lettuce-in-winter escapade" is

Saturday, January 19

Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera in action

Bushnell Trophy Cam was found under the Christmas tree this year and we've been checking out the animal night life around here with not much luck. Although we did catch two kitties on video! Yet, over the weekend we set it up in our woods and took video of some deer. Big deal, right? But it was quite entertaining . . . you can see it on my family farm's YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe, too!

Wednesday, January 16

Three DIY Craft Projects in Time for Valentine's

I made three more videos for Prime Publishing, each of them with a subtle Valentine theme. In the playlist below you will find how I made a Faux Etched Mirror with spray paint, how to make a decoupaged heart with pressed flowers, and how to make a hanging flower pot holder with an ice cream bucket. Check them out:

Monday, January 14

Tips and Tricks: Reusing Silica Gel

You know those little packets of silica gel that come in shoe boxes, furniture kits, and many other things you've purchased? Well, I collected a whole bunch of them over the years thinking I would use them to dry flowers without pressing them. I still may do that, but something a bit more practical came around and I found myself needing some silica gel to store clothing and stuffed animals. So, I took those packets I've been collecting for years, poured them all in a foil lined baking pan and dried them out in a 250 degree oven for 4 hours. I then took coffee filters and folded them into little bags, stapling the sides. I filled each bag with about two spoonfuls and closed it up with more staples. I think these will do the job just fine! ♥

Saturday, January 12

My Sisters' Recent Yarn Haul and Their Plans to Knit me a Scarf and Socks!

My sister Rebekah has been knitting and crocheting for quite a few years now and just this year my sister Catherine is getting into the yarn craft as well. They bought a bunch of yarn and did a couple fun little videos of their yarn haul. And guess what, one of Catherine's first projects will be a scarf for me, or more specifically a cowl! Plus, Rebekah's first pair of socks she plans to make are going to be for me - aren't my sisters sweet?

Friday, January 11

Photo Friday: Free Photo Effects to Transform your Garden Photos into Art!

Some photos of your garden are "masterpieces" and others not so much. There is this great online tool that can transform photos using some really neat effects. Why not have some fun today and transform some of those not-so-nice photos (and even a few of those "masterpieces") into some works of art in their own right?

Saturday, January 5

FREE Original Flower Silhouettes and how to make your own

I wanted to make a silhouette of a lily to use for this blog as a post header for one of my regular features. I would like to share with you how simple it was for me to do.

I used Corel Photo-Paint x5 for this, but I've used quite a few other photo editors and the procedure is pretty much the same.

1. Choose a photo with a plant or flower (or whatever may be the subject) that is easy to distinguish the edges.