Category: Plants

Sep 09

Learn How To Make A Vertical Garden From A Wooden Pallet

How To Make A Vertical Garden from A Wooden Pallet (courtesy of

This is Chef Janie Pendelton, and today we’re headed back outside into our garden, and we’re gonna create a really fun project! This one is going to be made out of pallets, so if you’ve got some pallets laying around and you didn’t know what to do with them, come on, I’ll show you what to do! And, you’re gonna love this project!

OK, the first thing you’re gonna need is a pallet.

The 2nd thing you’re gonna need is some landscape fabric.

Now, we’re just gonna use the drill here. We’re gonna pre-drill a hole, because these pallets are usually made of oak or ash or some sort of tough wood. And, what you want to do is, you want to pre-drill a hole. We’re just gonna use these nails. They’re coated, so they should be alright. They’re the same thing you use on plywood siding. And what we’re doing here is, we’re just going to fix the pallet where it’s split and it’s broken. Like right here, we’re just gonna fix it where it’s split and it’s broken here. We’re just fixing this, and so that way, it won’t fall apart on us when we water this and get this wet.

You’re also gonna need some staple guns and some ¼ inch staples and a pair of scissors.

Now, we’re just gonna take our felt and we’re going to double it, and we’re gonna take the folded edge here and we’re going to line this up almost to the top. And then, we’re gonna put a couple of staples in this all the way down. OK, we’re just gonna add staples to this all the way across.

OK, and once you’ve got this stapled really well, we can put this back down. And we’re just gonna staple this down to the other side. You can see here my landscape fabric isn’t wide enough for the length of our pallet. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to find this last board here…hear it? OK, and we’re gonna line the roll up here, so that way, it’s up against the top section of this, alright? And, we’re gonna staple this roll onto this.

Now, what we’re gonna do here, is we’re gonna add another 4 or 5 inches to this, and we’re gonna cover the bottom, and that’s gonna hold our dirt in the bottom. Now, if you like, you can put a plank board across the bottom here if you have to. But that’s not really necessary, ’cause doubling this up – it’ll hold the dirt!

OK, once you get this side stapled and you’ve got your 2nd piece on, go ahead and flip this up on its top. OK, now, once you’ve got this flipped on its top, we’re just going to take the double layer of fabric here, and, we’re just going to fold it over the front and we’re gonna do a nice fold. This will hold that dirt in. And this will allow water to escape down beneath our deck, as well. So, you ready to do a military bed fold on this, John? You’ve got the idea, right there! OK, now, we’re just folding the end over. We’ve cut the excess off, we’ve given it a tuck, and we’re gonna finish stapling across the top, anywhere there’s wood….clear across here…because this is gonna hold a lot of weight! That’s why we’re doubling the fabric and that’s why we’re putting in a lot of staples.

Alright – now, we’ve got this covered, leaving the top open for plants and leaving the face open for plants, and, what we’re gonna do now is we’re gonna finish stapling wherever this meets wood on the back side. Now, we’re just going to staple where our fabric seams meet on that back piece of wood. And, then we’re gonna staple anyplace else where fabric meets wood.

While he has finished stapling this along all the back boards, just to make sure the dirt doesn’t run down through the back, I’ve got this leftover piece of material, here. And I’m going to sew these together, and this is what I’m going to use to make the wreath for my front door…and that will be our next video!

OK, we have this all stapled. Now, we just have to flip it over, fill it with topsoil. OK, so here we just have a little bit of potting soil mix…we have our compost and we have a little bit of builder’s sand. We’ve blended it all in the wheelbarrow together, and now we’re just going to…we’ve laid this pallet on its back, and we’re just gonna fill in the slots. We’re gonna pack this not too full, because there’s a lot of dirt in our plants. And we want to fill it in evenly, so just put a shovel in each slot, so that way, we know we’ve got a good, even mix in there.

OK, now, we’ve got this all filled up with dirt and we’ve made sure to pack the bottom really well, so the dirt doesn’t collapse in to it too much. And then, we’ve left the top open a little bit more, and when we stand this up, to put the plants into it at an angle, we’ll fill the top in with more dirt here.

OK, we have azaleas in all colors, we have orange thyme, we have greek oregano, we have baskets of all kinds of flowers in here. From purple geraniums – some of these neat, new geraniums they’ve been breeding – to the trumpet vines. We have…not impatiens, but petunias of all different colors. We just have a variety of a lot of small-flowering, small-leaved plants.

OK, so, let’s start with these really pretty, purple lobelias here. We’ve got a couple of fresh thymes here – oohh, we have orange thyme! And, this is a unique sage…it’s called Golden Sage. And, here we have a curry plant. This will give it a nice, kind of a frosty color, to our wall garden. OK, so this will be our herb section, and I love, I love this thyme, this French Thyme. Look how it trails!

OK, so just continue to do this, and we’re gonna fill this in, uh, any way you like it! OK, we’ve got our blue and white lobelias, we’ve got all kinds of oreganos and rosemary and we even have curry. We have pineapple thyme…we have all kinds of things buried in this next row, and plenty of things left. So, we’re gonna start with the next row, which is gonna be a purple lobelia. And, we just planted this deep purple lobelia. We have a row of all of our herbs, and we have the white and light blue lobelia. Now, we’re gonna do another layer of herbs.

OK, we’ve just done another row of herbs, and we have 2 more rows left to plant. Then we’re gonna be sitting this upright and planting like a planter box at the top. We’ve got another row of baby blue lobelias, and now, we just have to finish this last row.

OK, now that we have this bottom section of our pallet planted, what we’re going to do now is, we’ve filled in a little bit more dirt up here at the top, and we’ve made a small planter up here, and we’re gonna go ahead and add the rest of our flowers. Now, what we’ve done is we’ve taken our hanging basket plant that we got for free, that they gave us at the greenhouse, and we’ve split this up into several sections. And we’re just going to plant this hanging basket flower, like so, OK? And, you can do what you want at the top. You can even put some vining plants, and let this vine on up the lattice, if you like. But now, this thing is really heavy, and the best thing to do is to water this and let this grow for about 3 weeks to 4 weeks, laying on its back. Now, we’re not gonna do that because of the type of flowers we have in the top, but you really should. And, you can let this grow on the ground, just flat, if you have a bedding place for it, as well. But, we’re gonna go ahead – and, if you want to, you can even line this with some landscape fabric on the inside and just cut your cross holes. But, I just packed it tighter. And you can see, it’s holding the dirt.

So, what we’re gonna do now is we’re just gonna finish planting the planter. We thought about putting a tomato plant in there – what do you think? No? OK, we’re gonna put flowers in there, then! OK, so we’re gonna go ahead and finish putting our flowers in. Are you ready? Whew! It’s very heavy, isn’t it?

OK, now we have this planted on the top section of the planter. And, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna give this a very thorough watering. Now, you can run some sort of irrigation system, some drip hoses down through here, if you like. You can do this at any point in time. Just drill some holes in the side and run your drip irrigation in. That’s probably what we’ll have to do, because there’s no way you’re gonna be able to water these top ones and have it soak all the way through…it’s not possible. I mean, at least, it doesn’t look that way, so…the best thing to do is to, lay this, like I said, on the ground or at an angle, and water it real well.

We have 52 plants in this bottom section and then we have 3 plants at the top. And, this is not only beautiful, but also edible! So, this is Chef Janie Pendleton, out in the garden. Give this a go – A Pallet Planter – Enjoy!


Sep 08

Learn How To Grow Perfect Tomatoes

How To Grow Perfect Tomatoes (courtesy of

If you love tomatoes, then, growing them at home offers you a real treat. Nothing beats the taste of that fresh-plucked, home-grown, sun-warmed tomato! Hi, I’m William Moss, and I’m gonna give you 7 tips for growing perfect tomatoes!

First, let’s talk about the types of tomatoes.

There are the larger, slicing tomatoes, which are used for sandwiches, salads.

There are the paste tomatoes, that are very good in our spaghetti, pizza, for making those sauces.

Then, there are the cherry/snacking tomatoes. They’re a little smaller, but easier to grow, and they also are sweet, so kids love ’em! And, they’re all easy to grow with these 7 simple tips.

Tip #1 – Plant them in full sun. They want about 6 to 8 hours of light. That really gives them the energy to make these big, juicy tomatoes. They like a lot of warmth as well, so, be sure not to plant any tomatoes until after the last frost date.

Tip #2 – Plant in a good soil. Tomatoes need good drainage to grow their best. Adding composte improves the drainage, and also increases the amount of nutrients in the soil.

Tip #3 – Give them some space! Tomatoes need about 2 to 3 feet of space to grow properly. When they have their proper spacing, they can grow big and healthy, and they have the proper air circulation, which helps prevent disease.

Tip #4 – Stake or cage your tomatoes! The easiest way to harvest the most tomatoes is to provide a good support system. Add the cage while they’re small, and they’ll grow up through it.

Tip #5 – Water your tomatoes! Tomatoes are about 90% water, so, to get those plump, juicy fruits, you’re gonna need about an inch a week. And, when you water, be sure to water the soil and the roots – not the leaves. That way, you prevent any diseases, especially those nasty, fungal blights.

Tip #6 – Watch for pests! Just check your tomato out, turn over a few leaves, and you’ll be typically looking for that tomato horn worm. It can eat several leaves in just a night! It’s easy to take care of, though – just pick him off or flick him off, into a cup of soapy water, and you’ll be fine.

Tip #7 – Fertilize your tomatoes. Feed your tomatoes with a slow release fertilizer. You want to sprinkle it all around the roots. That way, it will feed them for a long time.

And, there you have it! 7 tips for growing perfect tomatoes! And, when you have too many tomatoes this summer, you can pass them out around the neighborhood, and you’ll be the most popular person on the block!


Jun 07

How to Get Rid Of Garden Snails Without Pesticides

How To Get Rid Of Garden Snails Without Pesticides (courtesy of


Dec 16

How to Winterize a Pond

How To Winterize A Pond (courtesy of


Sep 17

How to Make a Bridal Bouquet

How To Make A Bridal Bouquet (courtesy of

Welcome to the video library! I’m LeeAnn Kessler, Director of The Floral Design Institute, and today I want to chat with you about the wedding season. Yes, it’s just around the corner. You’re going to have brides at your door soon, if they haven’t already been there. In the classroom, I’m already getting calls – “When is your next advanced wedding class?”, “I need more information”, and “How do I take care of calla lilies?” Yes, flowers go through trends, and there’s always a different popular bloom, and this year, Callas are one at the top. Of course, roses are always popular, but, calla lilies, hydrangeas and orchids, they’re sure to be favorites, and callas have their own tricks when you work with them that will make it so much easier. And, yes, we’ve incorporated callas into our advanced wedding class, because we’ve had so many calls from people just like you, asking “what do I do?”, and, in this video, we’re gonna share with you a fun, calla lily bouquet!

One aspect that can cause a little bit of consternation when you’re working with a calla lily is the fact that it’s face doesn’t always look the way that you want it to. It may be looking backwards from the curvature of the stem – it just doesn’t quite work within the bouquet. You can solve that by letting them sit out at room temperature for about an hour. Let them begin to dehydrate, and then, mold and manipulate by running your thumb down the stem. You can get the curvature to flow – and do this with each blossom before I begin making my bouquet. And I lay them out in front of me so that they’re all parallel, with matching curvature to the stem and the heads facing the direction that I want them to be in the bouquet. With this preparation ahead of time, assembling a calla bouquet is actually quite easy!

Now, I’m going to incorporate a bit of lily grass with this – I just take some and put it in my hand – and l look at the flowers that I’ve laid out, and I think about sequencing. Starting with the littlest one first,, and letting it drape outwards toward the end, and then bringing in another one, and sequencing my way back. And, notice how they curve so beautifully, right with the grass. I can go back and ad a little more grass if I like, and callas. Sequencing them through my hand…a little more grass…and, the biggest calla towards the back, and maybe up towards the top. And then, I’m going to tie this all together – it’s very easy! If you’ve ever fussed with callas, many times it’s because you skip that first preparation step.

Now, I’m gonna tie them off using waterproof tape. I’m just taking a section and taping right around the stems. The reason I’m doing this rather than bind wire or raffia or a zip tie – there’s less chance that they’ll cut through the stems. It’s just a nice, clean binding. I’m gonna do it once more. I’m gonna do it once more, down just a little bit, keeping the stems all tightly bound together. Ready to continue my bouquet!

Now, one of my frustrations with callas is how much difference in price there is from a 30 cm to a 60 cm, so, the shorter they are, the less expensive, and the longer, the more expensive. Well, many times I need that long stem – in fact, I wish these stems were longer…they don’t really balance well to the head – but I really don’t want to pay that price. I want to buy the 30 cm – the shorter ones. And, a wonderful trick when you’re doing a hand-tied – especially in the crescent-style, like this – don’t worry about the stem length! Go ahead and buy the smaller ones, the 30 cm or the 40 cm, because, in fact, I’m gonna cut these down.

Now, those of you who pay for the long ones are sitting there cringing, going “oh no! I can’t believe she cut those off – they’re so expensive!” But then, I want to elongate, and to do that, I take more lily grass and reverse it, placing it against the stems and letting it drape downward. I’m looking to see if I have the same, flowing movement. And then, once again, I tape this in place, using the waterproof tape. Now, no one will ever know if I have long calla lilies or short calla lilies, because they’re all hidden right inside the grass.

So, I’ve got a beautiful crescent bouquet, now, but a very homely handle! Let me show you how to fix that. For my handle – to conceal the mechanics – it’s so quick and easy. I use the lonely bouquet wraps. This one is the linen finish with the pearls – just perfect for the bride to hang on to. Now, how does that work? I bet you never saw the green ones, I thought they only came in white! That’s where being a florist is so much fun – we don’t have to play by the rules. Yes, I started with the the regular bouquet wrap that you see, and yes, it was white. But no, I didn’t stop there. I used the Just For Flowers. It’s a translucent spray – I sprayed it in that pale, pale green, and then, I went ahead and wrapped it around, securing it with the velcro, and it gives you a much softer look, so that I didn’t have that white shining out. Isn’t that beautiful? From both sides? And, oh, so comfortable to hang on to!

Now, you know a new trick for value and convenience in a beautiful calla bridal bouquet. Brides are sure to love it! I have so many more tricks to share with you – check out our website, The video library has many different bridal aspects. Also, we’ve got fabulous DVDs – all on weddings – and, if you love weddings, and you plan to be THE wedding florist extraordinaire, check out our wedding program. Probably THE most fabulous program you’re going to find ANYWHERE. It comes to you in textbook, DVD, with me, and, we learn from the very beginning to the end. From bridal bouquets, corsages, halos, reception, altar – everything is included! If you have questions about it, check out the website, again,, or, call me! 1-800-819-8089. IF you’re shy and you’re not sure that you want to do voice to voice and a little bit intimidated to ask a question, email me. Then you can be invisible. My personal email –

So, now it’s wedding season – almost – it’s just about here! Are you ready? Get some callas, practice, the brides will be there soon! Have fun, and do something you love!


Jul 27

Gardening How-to – Cut Down Unwanted Tree

In this video, learn how to safetly cut down an small unwanted tree in your garden.


May 26

How to Make Cement Pots

How To Make Cement Pots (courtesy of

This is a finished cement pot that has been painted blue. You will need:

A Bucket
Some Mortar

Place roughly 1 part of cement in a bucket.

Place roughly 5 parts of sand in the bucket.

Add enough water to mix to a firm paste. It’s better to add too little water than too much water.

It’s important that the mixture is firm, like the picture here.

Press the cement paste firmly into the base of the pot.

Start pressing the paste onto the sides of the pot. Be patient! If any paste falls off the sides, it may mean the mixture is too wet. If that’s the case, then squeeze out the excess water and push it on the sides again.

Keep building up the pot sides, until you have gone around the whole pot.

Smooth the edges of the pot at the top as best you can, but don’t worry if it’s a bit rough! Roughness is a feature of cement pots. When you’ve finished smoothing the edges of the pot at the top as best you can, let the pot dry.

And, now you will see, this is the finished picture of a painted, cement pot!


Feb 12

How to Grow Orchids – Repotting Tips

Learn how to repot your orchids in this how-to video from


Sep 11

How to Make a Flower Corsage

Learn how to make three different flower corsages in this video from


Aug 15

How to Grow Bonsai

Learn how to grow Bonsai trees with this video from


Jun 27

How to Make a Boutonniere

Learn how to make a boutonniere and save a few bucks on your florist bill with this video from


Apr 01

Wedding How-To – French Spiral Bouquet

How To Make A French Spiral Wedding Bouquet (courtesy of

Today, we’re going to learn how to make a traditional french style bouquet. We’re gonna be using all one flower. We chose roses just because they’re simple, straight-stemmed flowers, and also, because they’re beautiful!

So, the first thing that you want to do is you want to clean all of the foliage and the thorns, in this case because of the roses, off of your flower. You don’t want to have the foliage under water. It creates bacteria and just doesn’t look very clean or nice.

So, take a heavy cloth or bath rag, maybe something canvas or a gardening glove, and just really strip straight down and just pull them off. You want to get a vase full of water ready, and you’d like to probably have some raffia, which we have, or string or ribbon – something that you’re gonna use to bind your finished bouquet.

Okay, you want to slowly choose flowers, and you’re gonna be crossing your stems. This is gonna be our base flower, and you’re gonna slowly cross your stems to start with the center, that’s going to be round and mounded from the middle, and it will slowly spiral out. So, you’re gonna come out with a sort of perfect, half-ball shape, once you’re finished. And, you just want to turn it, always holding with your thumb and pointer finger. I’m just making this really, simple pattern, which is allowing a lot of space around each flower and showing off every one individually.

It’s important to look at it from all different angles. As you can see, I’m sort of making it heavy on this side, so what I do is just sort of turn it around – it can be scary, but you can do it – and sort of just work from that other side.

As you can see here, I have nicely, spiraled stems, and I’m holding it with my thumb and pointer finger as I started out. You want to take your raffia and use your pointer finger to help. You wanna hold that pretty taut, and you want to just wrap it around a couple times – just tight, as you’re holding it – because this is gonna be the anchor that’s gonna keep your flowers in place. So I’ve wound this around – and you want to tie just like a double knot. Nothing fancy – just like you were tying your own shoe. You wanna make sure that it’s not gonna get untied and not gonna go anywhere. It’s a little tricky…you can lean it against your body or do what you need to do. So, we have our scissors here, I’ll just cut that down short.

So, we’re almost done with our lovely, round bouquet. My vase is all ready with the water in it, and, we’re gonna cut this relatively short – probably shorter than you would think. And, you know, you can sort of bring your vase up and figure out, sort of eyeball, where you think you should be cutting it. We’re gonna just cut some stems – you wanna just cut straight across, and this will be resting on it. If you give it a cut on an angle, they have much more of a surface area to drink from.

And, what’s important – with roses especially – but, a lot of flowers that have these – these are nodes from where the leaves were growing out – you always want to cut above it or just below it. But, I’m gonna continue to cut these straight across, and you just want to guide it in there, give it a little tap and poke, and there we have our pretty french, round bouquet – viola!


Jul 29

How to Prune Shrubs and Trees

Learn how to prune your shrubs and trees with this video from Osmocote Garden.


Jul 26

How to Make a Tabletop Biosphere

Learn how to make a tabletop biosphere with this video from Make Magazine


Jun 04

How to Make a Wedding Bouquet

On a tight wedding budget? Learn how to make your own wedding bouquets with this video from

VideoJug: How To Make A Wedding Bouquet


Jun 04

How to Take Care of your Lawn

Learn how to maintain your lawn and keep it looking great all year long with this video from bucslim.


May 05

How to Grow Orchids

Learn how to grow orchids with this video from GardenGuy06.


Apr 27

How to Make Compost From Yard And Garden Materials

How To Make Compost From Yard And Garden Materials (courtesy of

Hi! I’m Pam Bennett, state Master Gardener Coordinator. Let’s talk about how you can turn your yard waste into black gold, such as this.

Compost is a great soil amendment for your garden. It helps to improve drainage, and increase the quality and structure of your garden soil.

Pick an area of your yard that is open, has good drainage and is easily accessible, because you’re gonna be piling up your yard waste.

This is a typical, purchased compost bin, and they’re good for small gardens or small backyards. However, if you have a lot of yard waste, you might consider building your own compost structure. You can use:

Concrete Blocks
Recycled Old Wood Material
Chicken Wire, or Plastic-Coated Fencing Material

For a really big compost bin, consider using this pallet system. One section is for brand new yard waste, another section is for half-composted yard waste, and the final section is for the finished product.

There are 5 essential ingredients for successful composting:

Brown Stuff
Green Stuff
Fertilizer, for the organisms

The first thing you do to build a compost pile is add a layer of about 4 inches of brown stuff. Air, or oxygen, is gonna come from either turning the compost pile, or, incorporating large pieces of wood, like pine cones, large pieces of branches, or anything that gives you a little bit of air space.

The next thing that you do is add 4 inches of green stuff.

After the green stuff, add a light layer of already finished compost. This is gonna provide the microorganisms that are needed to break down the green stuff and the brown stuff.

The next layer is about a cup of fertilizer. This fertilizer is high in nitrogen and, again, feeds the microorganisms that are doing the job.

Then, finally, you want to water the compost pile. Don’t put too much water in to make it real wet; only add enough to make it somewhat of a damp sponge.

Finish building your pile to the top of the compost bin.

When you’re building your bin, the size should be 3x3x3, up to 5x5x5. This is where you’re gonna get the best composting to occur.

After you’ve completed the pile, let it sit for a couple of weeks and let the microorganisms do their job.

Then, take your pitchfork and turn the compost pile. This helps to increase the air circulation, allowing again for the organisms to continue their work.

The 3 bin system makes it really handy when it comes to turning a compost pile. You can start out with the newly composted material and put it in the 2nd bin to break down even further, and then when that’s finished, put it into the 3rd bin to be the useable product.

Fall is a good time to build a compost pile, because you have lots of leaves and lots of yard waste coming from the garden. However, a good rule of thumb is, every time you have the debris, that’s the time to build a compost pile!


Apr 27

How to Grow a Container Garden

Learn how to grow herbs in a container garden in this video from