Weirdest Garden Ideas for 2021

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If 2020 saw a rise in gardening across the nation, 2021 will likely only see even more gardening take place. I'm predicting lots of funky and weird ideas as creative people stay home and try to find new ways to have fun. I'm already doing some pretty weird stuff in my garden arena this year!

We cut up our Christmas tree and made a bunch of tiny evergreens in our outdoor pots! It looks so cute and people who've passed asked where we got the little trees! Sure, they will die eventually, but for now they are green and pretty. I also painted my own pea gravel! I didn't like the color so I went with black and made a new, bold look in our rock garden.

How about you? Any weird gardening ideas for the new year? 

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Weird House Plants You Want In 2021

I'd love a pitcher plant!

As someone who totally kills plants and once killed a poor Venus flytrap by giving it too many bugs before researching its needs, I really think that some plants just aren't for all zones, no matter what you do to create an artificial environment. Some plants just like their zones better than any other and that's how nature intended them to be.

That said, it's so hard to not want really cool and weird plants, especially my current favorite: the pitcher plant! These plants are so creepy and fun looking. They remind me of the Batman character Poison Ivy. I know I probably would just kill one, which is why I haven't bought one, and yet...

What weird plants are you tending? How do they fare in your home?

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January Gardening Tasks

What's on your list?

Our Douglas Fir is collapsing on itself. We got our tree late in the game and had to pick from the bottom of the barrel, and the tree was already not the top choice. It's also not my favorite kind of tree; I'd much rather get a Frasier Fir. But since I have all of these falling branches at my disposal, I've been slowly chopping them off and using them to create cute greenery displays in my pots outside!

Yeah, it's a little weird, at least for me, but it's 2020. Why not? I've also sprayed a few dead plants silver and made them look really festive! They could definitely still be used for New Year's decorations. But in terms of the garden itself, I don't do a lot in January, especially since I don't keep a winter garden. That said, we've been saving some windows to make a little greenhouse for that purpose, so I thought I'd find out what tasks you do in the winter time.

What winter chores, prep or other work do you do in your garden?

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Plants As Gifts

How do you give them?

In my family, plants get passed around more than anything else. Between my parents, sisters and aunts, we tend to pass around a LOT of stuff, from household items to food we don't like that we bought, but plants are passed house to house at least on a monthly basis. My baby sister and my aunt in particular have huge windows and what appear to be greenhouses in their homes!

It got me thinking about how I'd go about giving a plant as a gift. We give them to one another so often I'd want some way to make it special. I'm so sad that we won't be making our annual pilgrimage  together to the nursury for the January plant sale next month, but I thought I could get everyone a plant.

How do you go about giving plants as gifts? Is there a special way you jazz them up to look extra fancy?

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Evergreen for Days

What are you making or decorating?

There are around 15 million real Christmas trees sold every year and some people estimate that this year there will be even more sold as local farms run out weeks before Christmas. But there are also lots of people who make gorgeous tree swags, wreaths or even decorate real trees in their own yards, and I love it all!

There are so many different styles and every year it seems there are cool new trends to check out. Flocked trees, which are trees with their ends covered in snow, are big this year. Did you know you can make this look with a real tree by brushing on artificial snow powder with water?

How are you decorating your evergreens this year? I'd love to hear about them in the chat.

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Radishes Growing on International Space Station

Cool gardening news from NASA!

Most of us would like to heal the planet we're on before we attempt to colonize elsewhere in space, but whether or not we agree with it, it's definitely a possibility scientists are exploring.

One barrier to space exploration is the availability of food, which we've met with lots of innovative ideas over the years, including fresh lettuce. Now NASA is exploring the possibility of growing even more veggies in space, and they've demonstrated that it's possible.

Fresh radishes have now been grown on the International Space Station. They're in cold storage to be analyzed for the time being, but we know it's definitely possible. Radishes aren't only filling and nutritious, but they're a fast-growing crop that are actually tasty as-grown. They are the perfect food for space travel.

Have you read any other cool gardening news this week? Share it in the chat.

Holiday Decorations in the Garden

What are you doing in yours?

As the holiday season arrives, I'm left with so many pots and empty baskets that I just don't know what to do with them. 2020 saw an increase in gardening for me, so I have even more than I'm used to around here and while I could just store them in the basement, I was thinking... would they make decent Christmas decorations?

I put doll heads and other spooky things in some of my planters for Halloween, so why not do the same for winter holidays? I'm sure I could find some fun, festive things to put in them, but would they look as good as the Halloween ones did, or would I need to paint them or something first? I'm already spray painting some dead mums silver so why not?

What do you do to decorate your garden or patio this time of year?

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Distilled Water for Indoor Plants

Yay or nay?

My houseplants have been happy all year on regular old tap water, but lately I've had plants die and I have no idea why. Maybe some of them just do during this time of year. Maybe some of them don't like the heat being on in the house. But my aunt swears that it's the water I'm using.

May aunt, who has a green thumb, sears by distilled water for her plants, and that by simply letting my water sit overnight before using it, it will help my plants survive. It looks like research supports her experience, with plants that enjoy distilled water growing better than plants who receive house water drinks.

I'd love to know about your experiences. Do your houseplants like distilled water better? 
 

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Great Gifts for Nature Study

What are you sending this year?

Whether it's a favorite hobby or a comforting activity taken on in recent months to cope with being homebound, gardening is a big part of many people's lives these days, and getting kids hooked early on through nature studies is a great way to spark their interests. Nature studies can be as simple as logging observations in a notebook, but you could always create a cool nature study gift for the young person in your life to send to them this holiday season.

This list has some fantastic ideas you should check out. My personal favorites in the past have included monarch butterfly hatcheries, milkweed seeds, sunflower seeds and other cool projects that allow kids to both interact and study nature while also supporting it. Sending items one needs to certify a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat, such as feeders and native seeds, is also a great way to do this.

What are you sending your nature lover?

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Getting Rid Of Pests

Share your tactics!

After bringing plants in for the fall and winter, sometimes we notice some unexpected guests joining us in our living space. Last night, my little terrarium, which used to be an open container of succulents outside, had one such guest in some kind of little millipede that pretty much kept me from sleeping.

Yuck. I would love to keep my plants bug-free, but the odds of them existing in any and all of the plants we bring inside is certainly possible. So what do you do to get rid of them, prevent them or otherwise deal with these pests?

Share your tips in the chat!

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