Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to Mer-Sea & Co for sending the Cotton Tassel Wrap for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

As spring warms up and teases with hints of summer, I’m trading long sleeves and jackets for short sleeves, sandals and lightweight layers. I love to throw a wrap on as I head out the door. It provides a bit of that fun boho style that I so adore.

So when Mer-Sea & Co offered to send me one of their amazing cotton wraps to try, I immediately answered yes! I didn’t even care which color wrap they sent. I browsed their website and loved all of them.

Mer-Sea & CO Cotton Tassel Wrap

The Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap Arrives

When my box from Mer-Sea arrived, I felt a thrill of anticipation. Which wrap did they send? What color?

Opening the box, I fell in love with this company. The wrap arrived in a cotton bag…with tassels! I am in the process of limiting one use plastics, which includes straws, shopping bags and plastic packaging that’s torn open and tossed.

Not only is the cotton bag cute, it’s reusable! This company captured my interest and my appreciation before I even saw the wrap.

The bag hinted at which wrap waited for me inside…the blue and white striped one edged with tassels. I was delighted.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

The Mer-Sea Company

While I watched for a sunny day, to do an outdoor photo shoot, I researched Mer-Sea.

The company was founded by friends Melanie and Lina who share the belief that life should be simple, like life at the beach. This attitude is reflected in all of their products, where utility, tranquility and simplicity reign.

From Melanie and Lina,

“…the sea represents a place to play, unwind, recharge, and chase adventure. We are dedicated to the travelers, the dreamers and the doers – because we really do believe ‘the world is your oyster.’”

I love that philosophy. It resonates deeply with me.

Mer-Sea & Co offers mindful products such as artisan soy wax blend candles, travel accessories, bath and body necessities and beautiful sweaters and wraps, crafted in the colors of the sea. All of the product bags are hand sewn, locally.

And Mer-Sea gives back. All profits from the sale of the Sea Change candle goes to water.org. This organization provides access to safe water and sanitation for millions of people in need.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Wearing the Cotton Tassel Wrap

Mild temps and ample sunshine today presented the opportunity to try out the wrap. The Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap is versatile, with multiple ways to style it.

Fresh from a shower, my wrap first functioned as a sarong. The wrap is a generous 77″ x 43″, making it perfect for wrapping around the body or snugging around the waist over a swimsuit. I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the cotton sarong while drying my hair and applying makeup.

To show off the wrap as part of my outfit today, I wanted to honor the foundational beliefs of the company. I needed a body of water as a backdrop for my photo shoot.

Being landlocked in Missouri, and a city dweller too, my water options are limited. However, a nearby park features a small but pretty lake with twin fountains. With Greg serving as my photographer, off we went to take photos.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Photo Shoot Featuring the Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Late afternoon was perfect for taking outdoor photos. I could have waited another half hour, for the sun to sink lower in the sky. However, we tried out different locations around the little lake. We strove for just the right spot, to avoid bright sunlight on my face….which makes me squint…and shadows.

I recently experienced a professional photo shoot, so I picked up tips from that wonderful photographer! Avoid bright light. And watch out for telephone poles, buildings and people in the background.

Persistence paid off. Locations on the south and north side of the lake offered just the right amount of light. The wrap was fun to wear, as we circled the lake. I loved the way the breeze fluttered it. I could gather the lightweight material around me…or allow the wrap to slip off my shoulders as it played with the wind.

For the photos I modeled the garment as a wrap, and as a scarf. On cool days the scarf could circle the neck and shoulders, providing light warmth and protection.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Mer-Sea, Mercy and Merci

After a fun photo shoot, I enjoyed wearing the cotton tassel wrap to the grocery store. Truthfully, I am often chilled while shopping, due to the air conditioning. And that’s not the only place that makes me wish for a jacket, even on warm days.

The movie theater, airplanes, and many other retail stores are so cold. I loved wearing my wrap as I shopped. It made me feel comfortable. I’ll be toting this cotton garment with me to the theater and it will accompany me on my upcoming trip to Scotland. Even in July that gorgeous country is cool and rainy. How perfect to slip on a wrap against the chill. And I have the cute little cotton bag to pack the wrap in.

As I began tonight’s blog post, I had a sudden realization that made me laugh.

Melanie and Lina named their company intentionally. Mer is the French word for “sea”. And Mer-Sea, spoken aloud, sounds like merci, which means “thank you”. The park with the water feature is Mercy Park. Mercy is the act of showing kindness, grace and compassion.

Doesn’t it all come together beautifully?

Mer-Sea, merci, mercy. That’s a lot of thankfulness and grace associated with a wonderful company that focuses on travel, simplicity, beauty and helping others. I’m grateful for the cotton tassel wrap, and for the company.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Please check out the Mer-Sea & Co website! They offer amazing products, an awesome blog and a MerSea Rewards Program.

Mer-Sea & Co

 

 

 

 

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10 Shade Garden Plants

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Not all areas of a yard or garden space receive full sun. For many plants, six to eight hours of sunshine is a requirement for growth and vibrant blooms.

However, shady areas can contribute their own unique beauty. The north side of a house or garage, the space beneath leafy trees or spots overshadowed by taller plants are perfect for these 10 shade garden plants.

10 Shade Garden Plants

Shade Garden Perennials

Like their sun loving kin, these perennials return year after year, however they thrive in partial to full shade.

Hosta

Available in a variety of patterns and hues of green, these magnificent plants often anchor the shade garden. Although they are known for their showy leaves, hostas bloom too. They produce tall stalks of white flowers in the summer. These plants can grow to be three feet in diameter so give them plenty of space.

Coral Bells

These beauties put up masses of tiny pink, white, red or coral bell-shaped flowers. Although the delicate flowers are pretty, coral bells show off with gorgeous foliage as well. The leaves vary from dark green to purple to bronze. The low mounding plants stay under two feet tall.

Hydrangea

This shrubby plant appreciates light shade and tolerates morning or late afternoon sun. Hydrangea produces large round clusters of flowers, in pinks, blues and white. This plant can grow up to four feet tall.

10 Shade Garden PlantsCoral bells, hydrangea and hosta share space in my shade garden.

Ferns

Have you ever walked through a forest and noticed wild ferns growing beneath the trees? Ferns thrive in cool, shady, damp conditions. In the garden plant beneath trees or other taller plants. Or place ferns in containers and hang or display on covered porches. They come in a variety of shapes with colors ranging from bright greens to deep earth tones to purples.

Astilbe

This showy plant is one of the most popular for the shade garden. They send up plumes of flowers in pink, lavender, red, white or salmon above fern-like foliage. They range in height from six inches to five feet, depending on the variety. The smaller astilbe plants do well in containers.

10 Shade Garden PlantsThis lovely Japanese fern thrives in my garden where it is shaded by ornamental grasses, clematis and irises.

Shade Garden Annuals

These annuals provide color even in the shade. Fill in any gaps in the shade garden with these easy to care for plants. Or place in containers on covered porches and patios.

Polka Dot Plants

Also called freckle face plants, these common plants produce colorful foliage. Colors vary. Some plants show off green leaves sprinkled with pink dots while others produce red whorls on a green background. Although known for their foliage, polka dot plants bear tiny pink or white flowers on slender stalks in late summer. They make ideal container plants and generally stay under a foot in height.

Coleus

Another plant with colorful foliage, coleus comes in a wide variety of leaf sizes and shapes. Leaves are typically variegated in reds, greens, browns, yellows and pinks. Easy to care for, these plants grow quickly, up to 18 inches tall. Coleus makes an idea container plant. Place them in darker corners of porches to brighten up the space.

Impatiens

These adorable flowering plants are available in so many colors. Use them to create a monochromatic shade garden, using all white or all pink flowers, for a dramatic touch. Or tuck a combination of colors into containers and place them in shady spots. I use these versatile flowers in containers in darker corners of the garden, on the porch, and in containers on the north side of the house. They wilt easily so keep them well watered.

10 Shade Garden PlantsNew Guinea impatiens, coleus and a polka dot plant in containers beneath the red bud tree. Rilynn is my garden cat. She loves the flowers.

Foxglove

These beautiful plants create interest with their bell shaped flowers on tall stems. Reaching a height of six feet, foxgloves thrive in partial or full shade, making them a very versatile plant. In cooler climates they even do well in full sun. (Check your planting zone on the map HERE.) The clusters of flowers range in color from white to yellow and lavender to pink. Like most of the shade loving plants, keep foxgloves well watered.

Begonia

One of the easiest plants to grow and maintain, begonias boast attractive foliage and pretty little flowers. Both can be a variety of colors. The leaves may be pale or dark green or bronze, while the flowers bloom in white, reds and pinks. Begonias do well in the shade garden as a low growing border plant. Or pop them into containers and place them anywhere a shot of color is needed.

These are my favorite plants to fill my vintage red wooden box, that belonged to my aunt. I use a variety of clay pots to group the begonias together. Keep these plants well watered as well. With shade garden plants, a good rule of thumb is to water them every day, especially during hot weather.

10 Shade Garden PlantsBegonias make excellent container plants and look wonderful grouped together.

Backyard Garden Series

From perennials to annuals, herbs to shade gardens, I’ve got you covered with the Backyard Garden Series. Check out some of the other posts below:

Questions about gardening? Ask in the comments below or send me a message!

Check out these awesome gardening products:

 

 

 

 

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Create a Personal Manifesto

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Recently, the idea for a personal manifesto popped into my head. I scribbled some notes….and tucked them away.

This is one of the things I love about my life. When something is important, it cycles back around. I receive gentle nudges to pay attention to what’s important.

Such is the case with this project. A couple of nudges in the last couple of days reminded me of my intention to create this visual representation of my life. As always, it’s up to me whether I turn my attention toward that which calls to me. I’ve learned from past experiences that it’s to my benefit to do so. I returned to my notes.

You might want to create a personal manifesto too.

Create a Personal Manifesto

What is a Personal Manifesto?

A manifesto is a statement of intentions and ideals that sometimes includes a call to action. Think of it as a mission statement or a declaration of beliefs and desires.

A personal manifesto helps us to evaluate where we are in life, and provides clarity on where we want to go. It can provoke change, encourage shifts and inspire forward momentum.

I like to look at the development of words and check out their origins.

Manifesto originates from the Latin word manifestus, which means “make obvious”.  It later become the Latin word manifesto, meaning “make public”.

I love that. Manifesto carries the meaning of making the obvious public or known. In the case of a personal manifesto, it’s making what is obvious to me, in my life, public, for the purpose of inspiration and guidance.

Each person’s manifesto is uniquely his or her own. They reflect journeys, beliefs, desires and wisdom.

However, here are general suggestions to create a personal manifesto of your own.

Create a Personal Manifesto

How to Create a Personal Manifesto

Get inspired

Discover what you love. Collect quotes, memes, art, photos and objects that help to clarify beliefs and where you are in the journey. Pinterest is a great online site to create boards where ideas can be “pinned” for inspiration. Boards can be set to private so only you can see what’s pinned there.

Pinterest is more a search engine than a social media site. Use the search bar to type in key words such as travel or gardening or dogs or art quotes, to find meaningful photos and posts.

Add quotes, colors and photos that capture your heart and make you smile. If you don’t connect with it deeply, don’t pin it to your board. I named mine Mood Board.

Create a Personal ManifestoOne of my favorite inspirational quotes.

Make Notes

Grab a notebook and a pen, type on a computer or use the notes app on your phone to make notes in several categories.

Write out…and Ask Yourself

  1. I believe…. (What are my views toward life?)
  2. I desire…  (How do I desire to live?)
  3. This is true for me… (What words of wisdom have I adopted?)

Use your notes to create a personal manifesto that expresses your beliefs, your desires and your wisdom. This is a framework for your life, a compass pointing to your true north.

Write in the present tense. Use descriptive language and keep the words uplifting and positive. Don’t make the manifesto so long that you can’t read it in a few minutes.

See my example at the end of the post.

Display Your Personal Manifesto

Once it is created, place the manifesto in an easily accessible place, for daily reading.

Print it out. Write it in calligraphy. Create art with it. Frame it. Hang the manifesto on the refrigerator, above a workspace, or place it on the table next to the bed. This is your current Owner’s Manual. Don’t tuck it into a drawer and forget about it. Read your personal manifesto, every day.

Create a Personal ManifestoThis quote from Alan Rickman inspired a whole year of my life and continues to have an influence. Of course it made it into my manifesto.

My Personal Manifesto

For the purposes of the blog, I’m presenting my own manifesto grouped into the above mentioned categories:

I Believe…

  • in Divine guidance  and having a personal relationship with God
  • in a daily, ongoing conversation with the Divine
  • I am created to live an extraordinary life, beyond the edges, free from fear and playing small
  • it’s important to love myself deeply and completely so that I can offer unconditional love to others
  • life is big, mysterious and enchanted
  • all people are children of God
  • in making life a little more tender and art a little more robust (thank you Alan)
  • I can do anything that I desire to do
  • everything is energy
  • nature laughs in flowers

Create a Personal Manifesto

I Desire to…

  • follow curiosity
  • surrender to the flow of life
  • embrace my gifts and my quirks
  • allow passion to fuel my life
  • engage in new experiences
  • travel, both inwardly and around the world
  • offer to others while walking alongside them
  • express creativity in a multitude of ways
  • see the good in people and situations
  • live a healthy, vibrant life by adopting a plant based lifestyle

Create a Personal Manifesto

My Life Wisdom…

  • I accept that for me, the veil between this world and the Spirit world is thin
  • I’m 100% responsible for my life
  • happiness starts within
  • I am open to everything and attached to nothing
  • others have the freedom to be exactly who they are
  • I create change in my life by shifting my thoughts and beliefs
  • my outer world is a reflection of my inner one
  • I am the Queen of my own kingdom
  • life is art (thank you Helena Bonham Carter)
  • be who I am created to be, no matter what

Create a Personal ManifestoGet a similar mug here.

This Owner’s Manual Changes as We Do

As we grow and learn and shift, our personal manifestos change as well.

One of the values of reading the manifesto daily is to see if it is still in alignment with who we are. When something feels out of sync, it is time to update the manifesto so that it continues to reflect current beliefs, desires and words of wisdom.

My intention is to create a work of art with my personal manifesto, after I’ve pondered on it for a few more days. I’m drawn to paint a watercolor and add the words. Or perhaps I’ll print out the words and then create a colored pencil sketch over them. Whatever I create, I’ll share it!

What would your manifesto look like? What beliefs, desires and words of wisdom belong on your document or work of art? I’d love to see it.

Create a Personal Manifesto

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

Create a Bee & Butterfly Garden

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Today, May 20, happens to be World Bee Day. Founded to bring awareness to one of the world’s most important pollinators, World Bee Day seems perfect for a post that offers tips to create a bee and butterfly garden.

More than half of the world’s flowering plants require a pollinator to reproduce. Pollinators include butterflies, birds, beetles, wasps, bats, flies and bees. When a bee, for example, lands on a flower the sticky hairs on its body and legs collect pollen. As the bee flits from flower to flower, it transfers pollen, as it collects more, which is crucial for the plants’ reproduction.

Without pollinators, our whole eco-system is in danger. And, unfortunately, pollinators, especially bees, are declining in numbers.

We can help by creating bee and butterfly gardens, to attract and nourish these important species.

Create a Bee & Butterfly Garden

Create a Bee and Butterfly Garden

The best way to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden is to offer a variety of flowering plants and herbs. As the pollinators do their important work of gathering pollen, they feed on nectar from the flowers.

A great suggestion, from The Honeybee Conservancy, is to feed them throughout the growing season, by including plants that flower in spring, summer and fall.

 

Create a Bee & Butterfly Garden

Spring Blooming Plants

These early bloomers are crucial as food sources at the beginning of the growing season:

  • crocus
  • hyacinth
  • calendula
  • lilac
  • pansy
  • sweet violet
  • spiderwort
  • dianthus (mini carnation)s

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenLilac bush

Summer Blooming Plants

Many plants bloom during the warm summer months, providing ample food sources for pollinators. Add any of these flowers and herbs to a bee and butterfly garden:

  • bee balm
  • cone flower (echinacea)
  • snapdragon
  • hosta
  • lavender
  • marigold
  • chives
  • basil
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • lemon balm
  • black eyed Susan

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenHostas in bloom

Fall Blooming Plants

These late bloomers will keep pollinators coming to the garden after summer flowers fade away. Include a couple of these:

  • zinnia
  • sedum (live forevers)
  • aster
  • witch hazel
  • chrysanthemum
  • pineapple sage
  • Russian sage

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenPineapple sage

Additional Tips to Create a Bee and Butterfly Garden

Try to include flowering plants from all three groups, to offer a continuous feast for bees and butterflies, hummingbirds and wasps. The plants can be grouped together, in a dedicated space. Or spread the plants throughout the garden space. The pollinators will find them.

No yard? No problem. The flowers and herbs listed do well in containers, turning a small balcony or patio into a bee and butterfly garden that will attract and nourish as well as a large space.

Bees and butterflies need a water source. Place shallow containers filled with water throughout the garden. Add twigs for insects to rest upon while they drink, or place containers near ornamental grasses or other upright plants. A bird bath works as well.

Butterflies and wasps enjoy mud puddles. They need the salts and minerals found in the mud.

Do not use pesticides or herbicides in the garden, as they kill pollinators. See Ecological Garden Hacks for natural ways of dealing with pests.

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenCone Flowers

A Home for Many Creatures

One of the things that I most enjoy about my garden is that it is full of life. The plants grow and bloom and multiply. They not only bring me joy and provide healing for me, they offer sanctuary for many creatures.

Along with the plants, I provide natural elements so that beneficial insects and allies make my garden their home. Tree stumps serve as cute, natural containers for flowers, and they allow insects to take up residence there too. Ornamental grasses offer hiding places and blades of grass to rest upon. I have toad and spider houses tucked into my garden and shallow discs that I fill daily with water.

Bees, butterflies, lady bugs, praying mantis, wasps, dragonflies, frogs, toads, spiders, ants, earthworms and many other little critters co-exist in this backyard paradise. They are important to the health and wellbeing of my garden, and to the earth.

I do all that I can to welcome them and create a supportive environment in which they can thrive.

Won’t you join me, for the good and wellbeing of all, and create a bee and butterfly garden?

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenThis amazing painting featured at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

Backyard Garden Series

Check out these other posts, in this gardening series:

 

Click on photos below, to order packages of flower seeds that are perfect for creating a bee and butterfly garden:



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The Liebster Award

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I am honored to receive the Liebster Award, for my blog!

This award, from blogger Amy Braun, of Ai Love Music, encourages people to discover new blogs. Liebster, in German, means “sweetest, kindest, dearest beloved”. The word is an endearment. Taken in context with the blogging community, the Liebster Award encourages us to support and applaud each other.

I appreciate Amy. She shares her knowledge and her passion for music on her blog. I learn so much about different genres and artists, reading her posts.

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award Rules

As with all the blogger awards, this one has rules. They are:

  • Thank the nominator and link to his or her blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked.
  • Come up with 11 new questions for the new nominees.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for the award.

My Answers to Amy’s Questions

  1. What is your favorite song, and why? This changes all the time! Currently I’m still enjoying Queen’s music, largely due to the recent film Bohemian Rhapsody. I purchased the soundtrack after watching the movie.
  2. What does music mean to you? Music is the beat of my heart and the utterances of my soul. It inspires me, encourages me and often guides me in Divine ways.
  3. Have you met someone famous before? Musically, I’ve met various Christian artists and bands. I have met other celebrities. Most recently my grandson and I had the pleasure of meeting David Tennent and Matt Smith from Doctor Who.
  4. Have you ever had a life changing moment involving music? Music is vital to me. Every year I am given a song that represents my upcoming journey for the year. My song for this year is Ever, Ever After.
  5. What are you listening to right now? The song I woke up with this morning is More Than Words, by Extreme. I’ve been listening to it all day.
  6. if you could tell about your life in a song, what song would it be and why? I consider the song, Where My Heart Will Take Me to be my life song.
  7. Is there a musical genre you don’t listen to? I don’t care much for rap.
  8. Have you ever been to a concert? I’ve been to several. My favorite was a Michael Bolton concert. I love that man’s voice.
  9. Who do you want to meet in the future? Musically, I’d love to meet the remaining Queen members.
  10. Are you musical? Do you play an instrument or sing? I sing, privately, all the time. I used to play the piano and the drums.
  11. What’s your favorite lyric? Right now I’m loving the lyrics from Ever, Ever After.

The Liebster Award Concert

The Liebster Award

Questions for My Liebster Award Nominees

  1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  2. How long have been blogging?
  3. What’s currently the biggest challenge with your blog?
  4. Who most inspires you?
  5. How did you come up with your blog name?
  6. What is your favorite go to drink?
  7. If you have a free afternoon, what do you love to do?
  8. What’s your favorite movie?
  9. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  10. What’s your favorite meal?
  11. If you could travel to any destination, where would you go?

The Liebster Award

My Liebster Award Nominees

Nicole with Souloving is a holistic self-care coach who loves encouraging women to be the best they can be.

Pauline shares traveling tips and helps with itineraries from a home based travel agency in her blog Little Frog Blogger.

Erin from Lullaby Lark helps discouraged mommas find hope and healing in Jesus.

Maria has the awesome motto: be more, want less, gain quality. Check out her blog Literally Simple.

In Queen’s Domania, Mary empowers women to achieve financial independence and a queen consciousness.

In his blog The Side Hustle, Hensel offers financial tips and ways to make money online.

Andrea provides fun accelerated learning methods for kids in her blog, Simply Outrageous Youth.

DeShena shares ways to improve the self, build wealth and live an extravagantly best life in Extravagantly Broke.

In the blog Wednesday Morning Whispers, Wendy shares life experiences and celebrates simple joys.

LeTisha helps women live a simple life through tips on budgeting, cleaning and parenting in her blog Mommas Simple Life.

Kevin teaches personal protection techniques, inside and outside the home, and ways to make the home secure in Pew Pew Guru.

Please check out these fine blogs and show them some love!

The Liebster AwardAppreciation

I’ve come to deeply appreciate the  blogging community. There is such support within this group of journeyers who happen to share their perspectives and experiences through the written word.

However, our writing is for naught without our dear readers. I also deeply appreciate those who take the time to read our blogs, leave comments and share posts that resonate with them.

From a full heart I say, “Thank you”, to Amy for this Liebster Award nomination, to my colleagues and to my readers and followers. You all bring such incredible joy to my life.

The Liebster Award

Other Blogging Awards

Check out the other awards Cindy Goes Beyond has won:

 

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Easy Container Gardening

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Container gardening is a great way to add color and interest to the garden. For apartment dwellers, containers create a space to grow flowers, herbs or veggies on a balcony or patio. Although I have a large backyard garden full of perennials and herbs, and a raised bed veggie garden, I love including containers. I can change the annuals in the containers each year. And I can use a variety of interesting and often repurposed items in my garden space.

Use these easy container gardening tips, to create your own unique containers.

Easy Container Gardening

Choose a Container

I have more than 30 containers on my front porch and scattered throughout my garden. A few of those are classic clay pots or traditional plastic flowerpots, however most of them are repurposed containers. For container gardening, I love finding new uses for objects, in my house and in my garden.

Here are possibilities that can be converted to garden use:

  • metal containers of all kinds, including toolboxes, buckets, colanders, deep trays, boxes, water troughs, wash tubs and watering cans. If it can hold dirt, it can serve as a container for flowers. Metal baskets, attached to fences or walls can hold containers.
  • plastic containers including boxes, tubs, and bowls
  • wheelbarrows
  • wagons
  • wooden objects such as boxes, drawers, chests, and for holding containers, chairs and tables
  • Natural objects such as tree stumps

Drill drainage holes in the bottom of metal, plastic or wooden containers so that the dirt doesn’t stay water logged, which is bad for the plants. If the container is deep, this isn’t necessary.

If the container is very porous, add a coconut liner to hold the dirt in and allow water to drain more slowly. Purchase a roll of liner and cut to fit the container.

For less porous containers, add a layer of pebbles to the bottom or line with coffee filters, to slow drainage. Fill with potting soil. The container is ready to plant.

Easy Container GardeningA variety of clay pots grouped with maple tree stumps, all holding colorful vinca.

Easy Container GardeningThis grouping is composed primarily of metal containers, including buckets, colanders and a metal shelf holding three containers. They hold tobacco plants, portulaca and polka dot plants. The old chair serves as a holder for a bucket. A minnow bucket, hanging above the chair, becomes a candle holder.

Easy Container GardeningA copper watering can holds a Trailing Mazus. I hang this container from a shepherd’s hook, in the hosta garden.

Choosing Plants

There are many easy to grow and maintain plants to choose from for containers. Check out 10 Low Maintenance Annuals and 13 Easy Herbs to Grow for ideas. Or visit Lowe’s Garden Center for inspiration.

In addition to those, other great container plants are:

  • coleus
  • polka dot plant
  • tobacco plant
  • salvia (low growing)
  • verbena
  • lobelia
  • sweet potato vine
  • African daisy
  • succulents
  • ivy

There’s no right or wrong way to plant a container! Group different colors of the same plant or create a monochromatic grouping. Plant two or three flowers in small containers and group them together on a baker’s rack, bench or in a wire basket. Or combine a variety of plants together in the same container.

One idea is to plant a taller plant, such as Miscanthus, a small ornamental grass, in the center of a large container. Add mid height plants such as coleus or geraniums around the taller plant. Fill in along the edge of the container with a vining plant or one that spills over such ivy or lobelia.

Have fun creating the look that suits your container and your space.

Easy Container Gardening Begonias and coleus in clay pots, within a vintage box and on a bench. These shade loving plants thrive on a covered porch.

Easy Container GardeningRed pentas are surrounded by white and purple lobelia in a large oval metal container.

Easy Container GardeningSucculents in a metal colander.

Caring for Container Gardens

Once they are planted, container gardening truly is easy. Know whether the plants require sunshine or shade and place them accordingly. My lists of plants indicate this.

Water as needed. My well established perennials need very little watering during the summer. As long as it rains once a week or so, they are fine. However, containers dry out quickly. During the hottest part of the summer watering containers is a daily chore. Choose mornings or evenings so that temperatures are cooler and the plants can enjoy a long drink of water.

Even plants in shady areas need to be checked frequently, although they may not have to be watered daily.

Remove spent blooms on flowering plants, to encourage continued flowering. And some plants benefit from an occasional light application of fertilizer or plant food. Watch for some DIY plant care products in an upcoming Summer Gardening Tips.

With very simple, basic care, you can enjoy the rewards of container gardening! Those traditional or repurposed containers will provide color and scents throughout the summer until the first frost.

Backyard Garden Series

Check out the rest of the posts, in this informative series:

Spring Garden Tips

Ecological Garden Hacks

13 Easy Herbs to Grow

10 Super Easy Perennials to Grow

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to Grow

Growing Clematis Babies

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent

Easy Container Gardening

Here’s an assortment of fun containers, to get you started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

When my children were young, I loved to surprise them with scavenger hunts. While they played outside, I wrote creative clues and hid them. Each clue led to the next clue and the next, until at last they discovered the hidden prize.

It was fun to hand the kids the first folded slip of paper and then watch, with delight, as they searched and reasoned their way through the clues to the prize.

A few days ago, I enjoyed figuring things out as I realized I was on a unique scavenger hunt of my own, arranged by the Divine, a scavenger hunt for a queen.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

The Scavenger Hunt for a Queen Begins

Preparing to leave the house to run errands, I picked up a store catalog that arrived the day before in the mail. I intended to toss it in the trash, since I had no intention of shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond that day. On a whim, or perhaps because of a Divine nudge, I opened the catalog at random and glanced at a page.

An image immediately caught my eye. The cute mug featured a gold crown with a pink heart and the words, “Queen of Everything”.

I smiled. Queen is my symbol this year, specifically the queen chess piece. Anytime the chess piece or a crown or the word queen pops up, it’s a gentle soul reminder for me. Since I’d be near Bed Bath & Beyond, I made a mental note to stop by and check out that mug, IF I had time.

I didn’t yet realize that the scavenger hunt for a queen had begun.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

An Enchanted Clue

One of my errands involved exchanging a shirt at JC Penney. Customer service is located upstairs, meaning I got to ride the escalator to the second floor. Parked near the base of the escalator, a large poster type sign snagged my attention. The words read:

Enchanted

Disney Fine Jewelry

Let your happily ever after begin at JC PENNEY

I walked past, with a laugh, and then circled back around. Enchantment is my word for this year. Ever, Ever After is my song. My awareness raised, I paused to consider the meaning of these synchronicities. I believe everything happens for a reason, even turning to a random page in a catalog and walking right by a large “sign”.

Within 30 minutes I’d seen a representation of my symbol, my word and my song for this year. Enchantment was underway.

I browsed for a moment, at the fine jewelry counter. Not surprisingly, the jewelry in the Enchanted line sparkled with silver, gold and diamonds, in lavish fairy tale themes. I felt the stirring within that let me know something bigger than running errands was unfolding.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

Do What You Love

Upstairs, as I quickly made the exchange, I allowed wonder and curiosity to expand. Thoughtful, I almost missed the next clue, as I walked to the down escalator. Arranged on a narrow table, next to the low wall overlooking the escalators, the framed print caught my eye.

The gold and silver words, within the simple gold frame, read:

Do What You Love

Is it crazy to get teary eyed, while on the top floor of JC PENNEY? Oh, I knew now that something magical was happening. Standing there, snapping a quick photo of this clue, I first thought the words, “scavenger hunt”. Clues were leading me to an as yet unknown prize. I opened wide to Divine guidance. Did I want to play? Yes! Yes I did.

The kingdom I am building this year has as its foundation that very desire expressed on the print. Doing what I love is central to my being at this point on my journey. I am shifting and growing as what I love shapes me and guides me, step by step. I didn’t need to purchase this little framed print. Clue received, I excitedly acknowledged the scavenger hunt for a queen.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

The Rest of the Clues

In rapid succession, the rest of the clues arrived. Purchasing that Queen of Everything mug now became a priority.

Pulling into the parking lot, at Bed Bath & Beyond, the last word in the company name suddenly struck me. Beyond carries much meaning for me. My life is lived on the edges, beyond fear, beyond limiting beliefs and beyond playing small. This blog is called Cindy Goes Beyond to remind me of my daily intention to live an extraordinary life. How appropriate to discover the queen mug in this store.

At home, as I brewed a cup of peppermint tea, I checked Instagram. Two posts popped up in my feed. One featured a single image, without words. The second one featured words only. Both resonated with me, encouraged me, made me smile.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

These two clues suggested that the scavenger hunt for a queen truly was intended for me. The simple crown graphic signaled “pay attention”. The post following it contained words I needed to receive. Good things are coming. All that I am doing, all that I am building, all that I am dreaming of, felt blessed with those words. Keeping going, Queen, good things are coming.

The Prize

The clues in all scavenger hunts lead to a prize. For my children, simple treasures such as a favorite snack or a small toy like silly putty or a dollar bill were their rewards for unraveling the clues and searching diligently.

What was my reward, in this scavenger hunt for a queen?

I sipped my tea, in my new mug, and allowed the answer to my question to arrive as a string of thoughts. I felt watchful anticipation and the warmth of Divine delight, as I reasoned things out.

Is the life I desire the prize? No, that’s not it. The “prize” is deeper than that, bigger than that, and not easily defined. I am the prize, or rather, who I am, who I am becoming, is the prize. The clues given to me, on this enchanting scavenger hunt, all point to me recognizing who I am and what I am here to do. Remember who you are, they seem to say.

I am the Queen of my own life, the Queen of Everything that I touch, the Queen of the Kingdom I am building.

The region near my heart expanded as I received this prize, the gift of knowing absolutely who I am.

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes came to mind, as a final confirmation that I interpreted the clues correctly. On this scavenger hunt for a queen, I am well on my way to my throne. I held my head high, took a deep breath and adjusted my invisible crown.

Scavenger Hunt for a Queen

Pick up the soundtrack to Enchanted, featuring the song Ever, Ever After HERE. Or watch the charming music video HERE.

And check the JC Penney Enchanted Fine Jewelry line.

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to Grow

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

While perennials form the foundation of a garden, low maintenance annuals provide the pops of color that create interest all summer long. These plants bloom and shine for a single season, rather than returning year after year.

There are advantages to adding annuals to the garden. They fill in gaps among perennials. Annuals add variety as the plants can be changed every year. Cost wise, they are cheaper than perennials. And they are perfect for containers.

Try out the following low maintenance annuals. They can be tucked into the ground. Or use them to create a container garden on a balcony or patio.

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to Grow

Marigolds

For many gardeners, the brightly colored marigold was the first flower they ever planted. Available in warms shades of yellow, gold, orange and red-orange, dependable marigolds have a distinctive aroma that helps to repel insects. They range in height from 4 to 24 inches, making them perfect in a flower border. Scatter seeds or plant marigolds in well drained soil, in a sunny location.

Geraniums

In warmer climates, the geranium is actually a perennial. For most of the US, however, it is grown as an annual. Planted in containers, geraniums thrive when moved indoors to winter. Colors range from red to pink to white and they grow up to 18 inches tall. Place geraniums where they can receive morning or late afternoon sun and shade during the hottest part of the day.

Zinnias

This easy care flower comes in a broad range of colors and varieties and grows to a height of 3 feet. Zinnias appreciate full sun and well drained soil. They can tolerate some drought making them a great annual for hot summers. To encourage continual blooms, pinch off the flowers as they fade. This plant is easily grown from seeds.

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to GrowZinnias in metal containers near my brick patio.

Petunias

Another very common flower, petunias are perennials in zones 9 – 11 and considered annuals in the rest of the US. (Find your zone here.) These colorful flowers do extremely well in containers, tolerating heat and blooming all summer. Keep them in full sun. Some varieties of petunias vine while others mound. Remove flowers as they fade to keep them blooming until fall.

Calibrachoas

These flowers resemble little petunias. Like petunias, they are perennials in zones 9 – 11 and annuals elsewhere. Calibrachoas come in a variety of colors and do especially well in hanging baskets and containers. They prefer sunny locations although light shade, such as on a covered porch, is tolerable as well. Water regularly to keep the soil damp for the best performance and remove faded flowers. If the vines get too straggly, pinch them back to encourage fuller growth.

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to GrowPurple and yellow calibrachoas growing in a wash tub.

Vincas

These low maintenance annuals bloom profusely throughout the summer, adding pops of color to borders and containers. Hues range from reds to pinks to lilacs to whites. Vincas grow up to 12 inches tall and attract bees and butterflies to the garden. Plant in well drained soil, in full sun. These flowers don’t have to be removed as they fade. Vinca blooms drop on their own.

Portulacas

Also known as moss roses or purslane, this annual thrives in hot dry conditions. Their trailing stems make them ideal for containers and hanging baskets. They also work well as ground cover. Portulacas come in a broad variety of colors and can easily be started from seeds. Although considered an annual in most of the US, they often self seed, producing new plants the following summer.

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to GrowVincas, portulacas and petunias in containers on my potting bench.

Pentas

These sun loving flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Reaching a height of 12 inches, pentas bloom in shades of red, pink, white and purple. They prefer well drained soil. Plant them in containers or flower borders.

Impatiens

Colorful impatiens come in a variety of bright or pastel hues. These low growing plants prefer lightly shaded to full shade locations and damp soil, making them perfect for hanging baskets or containers on a porch or covered patio. The blooms do not need to be removed as they fade. This favorite will flower until first frost.

Begonias

One of the easiest of the low maintenance annuals, begonias come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. They grow 8 to 10 inches tall and bloom in shades of red, pink and white. Foliage can be green or bronze in color. Although they can thrive in full sun, most begonias do best in light shade. Keep the soil damp by watering frequently. The hardy plants do well in containers or borders and attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Begonias bloom throughout the summer, until it frosts.

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to GrowWhite and red begonias fill containers on my covered front porch.

Backyard Garden Series

If perennials seem too daunting, I hope this list of low maintenance annuals gives you ideas for your own garden. The beauty of these easy care plants is that they can occupy a variety of containers, bringing color and delightful scents to small spaces.

Or have fun mixing perennials and annuals together. In my outdoor spaces, most of my annuals fill containers scattered throughout my garden. I change the annuals each year, trying out new varieties and different colors, which adds to the fun and keeps things interesting.

For more garden ideas, check out the other posts in the Backyard Garden Series. And, happy gardening!

Spring Garden Tips

10 Super Easy Perennials to Grow

13 Easy Herbs to Grow

Ecological Garden Hacks

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent

Growing Clematis Babies

10 Low Maintenance Annuals to GrowPentas growing in a vintage metal bucket, next to an old minnow bucket repurposed into a candleholder.

 

Order packets of low maintenance annual seeds by clicking on photo below:

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.