Spring Gardening

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


The gardening season got off to a slow start this year. After a very warm and dry April, May was cooler and wet. This caused a slight delay in getting my plants into the ground for the season. I did plant my earth boxes just a few days later than normal – the week after Mother’s Day as opposed to Mother’s Day weekend. So far we have had a nearly three-month spring (VERY long for this area), but I think summer may have broken through this week.

Things have moved along rapidly, however, and all signs point to a productive tomato, bean and cucumber season. The jury is out on the peppers as you will see below.

I once again used my hanging basket hack on the patio. It makes life soooo easy!

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


The patio has a lot of flowers in baskets, some hens, and chicks (I will transplant them to the ground at the end of the season), and even a fake plant that looks so very real (see above). It is amazing how far they have come with faux plants. There was no way to give a real plant sunshine under the awning, so faux it is!

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


I was reading a local garden newsletter last week, and blackberries are supposed to be back this year. Last year’s blackberry crop was nonexistent, and what did produce was extremely bitter. I will say my blackberry bushes do look fabulous right now, so I am hopeful! I miss the large blackberry production in my own backyard.

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


Oh my poor, poor peppers. This year I planted 12 pepper plants, various types. Six went into an earth-box knock off from Home Depot (they were cheap so Hubby bought me two to try), and six went into the ground. In spite of seeing that small bud, I have zero hopes for these plants.

The peppers inside the city pickers seem burned. The green peppers in the ground were a rabbit smorgasbord. We have had a ton of rabbits this year (multiplying like bunnies I guess) and Max just seems to want to coexist with them instead of chasing them out of the yard. However, the rabbits have been scarce this past week and I noticed a few large birds in the area (although no owls), so the rabbits may be laying low… or have become a hasenpfeffer dinner for those large birds (that look suspiciously like some type of hawk).

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


I planted some scallions next to the chives per Hubby’s request. This is my first time planting an onion in this backyard, so we shall see how it goes.

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


The earth boxes have cucumbers (although only a few after last year’s cucumber invasion) and green and yellow breans. Hubby and I love beans and eat them raw, make oven roasted parmesan green beans, blanch and freeze them, and if we have enough, can green beans.

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


The second city pickers box has roma tomatoes. I planted two in the ground, and two in the city pickers box to see what would happen. So far the ground tomatoes look terrible, and the city pickers box roma tomatoes are thriving. We shall see how the season progresses and if tomato blight is finally done with New York State.

In addition to the roma tomatoes (planted specifically for freezing tomatoes later), we have a patio tomato plant. We make cucumber caprese salad all summer long, so these, and a reasonable amount of cucumbers, will be used as they ripen.

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


The corners of the yard have been rock-based for years. We had three evergreen shrubs on the left side corner, and the evergreen bush on the far left side (of that left side) has been replaced three times. It died (again) so I decided to give up and just live with two shrubs. But that meant we had a “hole”.

Hubby and I laid more river rock to fill in the (real) hole left behind by removing the shrub. Hubby then moved the birdbath over from the right side rock area. That left nothing in the right corner though! (We had never had plants on the right side as it is much shadier there.) Hubby mentioned he has an old, seasoned wheelbarrow at one of his properties, so we picked it up, placed some cement blocks inside that old wheelbarrow for height, and then bought two hanging baskets and placed them inside!

Spring Gardening. Spring planting, earth box planting, ground planting of fruits, vegetables and flowers for a wonderful and productive garden harvest.


I love how it turned out.

Hubby suggested we go with light colored flowers in the corner as it is very dark there surrounded by the arborvitae. I could not disagree, so bought white petunias with a touch of light purple flowers to match all the other purple plants on the patio.

I still have a little more to do before we have the backyard “party ready.” I purchased a few solar lights including a few of these butterfly hanging light (wow have those come a long way!) and would like a few more plus some solar light strings for around the patio awning.

How is your garden growing this spring!


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Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe. This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!


Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe

This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!


Notes:

• This is a super easy recipe you can customize with nuts (pecans) or no nuts if your family prefers.
• You can add a half a cup to a whole cup of chopped pecans if your family enjoys nuts in their sweet breads.
• You can substitute butter flavoring or pecan flavoring (or extract) for the vanilla extract. There is even butter pecan flavoring available, and would be a great substitution for the vanilla in this recipe! However, most people have vanilla extract in the house, so that was used in this recipe.
• If you use a vanilla cake mix, add chopped pecans and substitute butter flavoring (or pecan or butter pecan flavoring) for the vanilla extract (otherwise it will just be a vanilla sweet bread).

Doctoring boxed cake mixes is a time honored baking tradition! If you would like more cake mix recipes, try these Black and White Cake Mix Cookies Recipe (easy and sooo good!), Chocolate Christmas Cake Mix Cookies Recipe (great for holiday gift giving!) or perhaps this Mini Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe!? (Oh so good!)

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Ingredients:

• 1 box Butter Pecan Cake Mix (15.25oz)
• 4 Bananas, small, very ripe
• 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
• 3 Eggs
• ½ – 1 cup Pecans (optional)

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Mise en Place:

Loaf Pan
Parchment Paper
• Shortening (to grease the loaf pan)
• Flour (to flour the loaf pan)
• Handheld or Stand Mixer
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons
• Spatula

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe. This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!


Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Directions:

• Preheat oven to 350º.
• Grease and flour a loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside
• In a large mixing bowl, smash your very ripe bananas.

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe. This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!


• Add the cake mix, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix well (use a stand or handheld mixer for ease).
• Add optional nuts by folding in my hand.
• Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan.
• Bake in a preheated 350º oven for approximately 35 – 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick into the middle of the sweet bread comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe. This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!


• Turn out loaf from the tin.
• Allow the Butter Pecan Banana Loaf to cool completely.


Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe

This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 box Butter Pecan Cake Mix (15.25oz)
4 Bananas, small, very ripe
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs

Directions:

• Preheat oven to 350º.
• Grease and flour a loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside
• In a large mixing bowl, smash your very ripe bananas.
• Add the cake mix, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix well (use a stand or handheld mixer for ease).
• Add optional nuts by folding in my hand.
• Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan.
• Bake in a preheated 350º oven for approximately 35 – 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick into the middle of the sweet bread comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
• Turn out loaf from the tin.
• Allow the Butter Pecan Banana Loaf to cool completely.

Makes 12 servings Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf Recipe. This simple cake mix based sweet bread recipe comes together quickly. Make this delicious, easy butter pecan loaf recipe tonight for dessert, or to have for breakfast tomorrow. Your whole family will love it!


• To print the Easy Butter Pecan Banana Loaf recipe click here.


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• For more Recipes on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day – or anytime really since it is an “American Flag”. It is a cute way to add Americana decor and get crafty all at once.

Wooden signs have become quite a big trend over the past few years, and many people make their own. You can find tons of them in stores to choose from but many people enjoy making their own – customization!! It is super simple to decoupage a wooden sign, and even easier to customize this with the exact shades or red, white and blue that you like.

For the sign itself, you will need to either use some scrap wood you have around, and put your own hanger on the back, or buy a plain, pre-made wooden sign at your local craft store. The one shown in this craft already had the rope hanger tied to it so it made it super easy. You could also use twine or a red, white and/or blue ribbon if you like.

If you are looking for other patriotic flag crafts, check out this Easy DIY Flag Wreath (it is one of my favorite crafts on the blog!), this Americana DIY Picture Frame (simple to make) or this easy Flag Wineglass DIY! Need a 4th of July breakfast idea? Try this homemade Flag Waffle Recipe.

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign Materials:

• Scissors
• Magazines – 2 or 3 is probably all you will need
• Elmer’s Glue
• Wooden Stars
• Paint Brush (for applying glue)
• Wooden Sign – pre-made or upcycled wood
• Ribbon, Twine or Rope and stapler (to make a hanger on the back of your sign if you did not buy premade)
Mod Podge
Mod Podge Spray Sealer

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign Directions:

• Go through your magazines and hunt for American themed items you can add, as well as general red, white and blue pages. You will want a few different shades of each color. It helps to layer the pieces on and have a variety. As you are pulling pages out and cutting your shapes, put them into piles by color to make it easier for when it is time to glue. If your sign has separated pieces of wood the way the one in this tutorial did (it is not handmade), you have the stripes already laid out for you. However, if your wood is a solid you will need to decide before you glue how thick you want the stripes to be. Use a pencil and ruler to draw guidelines.
• Wipe down the wood on the sign to dislodge any dust of debris.

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


• Begin fitting your pieces together along the lines for the stripes. Make sure you plot these out before you begin gluing. Using Elmer’s glue begin gluing down the first section of red, then the white stripes. Alternate the stripe colors as you go. Keep yourself on track so as not to overlap a stripe into the next color’s area. It is easy to keep going and pass up the line if you are not careful.
• Do the same for the left blue corner laying out the pieces of blue first so you can make adjustments, and then gluing down. Use your finger to smear the glue over the edges too, to help the pieces lay flat. The Elmer’s glue dries clear.

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


• Paint your wooden stars white if you like, or leave them natural. If you do not have wooden stars, cut out a white star shape from your magazines and use that as a star (or glue it to the wooden stars instead of painting them!)
• Glue stars to the sign. Allow to dry completely.

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


• Use your paintbrush to brush on a thick coat of mod podge over the entire sign – paper, stars – cover it all. No need to worry about brush strokes as that is part of the charm of the project.
• Let the sign dry completely.

This DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign can be hung on your front door or inside your home or displayed on your patio for Independence Day - or anytime really since it is an


• Spray your finished project with a clear coat of Mod Podge Spray Sealer. It comes in several finishes from matte to high gloss, so you can choose the finish look you would like.
• Display as you like!

• To print the DIY Decoupage American Flag Sign instructions, click here.


Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for the Ann’s Entitled Life weekly newsletter, and never miss another article!

• For more Craft posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.



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