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How are you weeding your garden? Self-care for mom!

I was weeding my garden last weekend and I realized that it used to be a job that brought me satisfaction. I love the smell of the earth and the dirt in my hands. I find joy in the reward of plants growing!

But as life’s demands keeping DEMANDING my time and attention, I find myself in the garden less and therefore weeding less. Even if you’re not a gardener you know what that means – more weeds. And not just more weeds, but stronger, more deeply rooted weeds. A task that used to be satisfying is now dreaded because I know the long and tiring time ahead of me will be difficult and more lengthy than necessary.

Gardening has been exhausted as an analogy about life lessons and my observation is not designed to rock your world, but simply to get you thinking: how are you weeding your own proverbial life garden? The longer you wait to assess and take action, the more difficult and lengthy the process will be.

As mothers, it’s easy to get caught up in our responsibilities and forget that we also need to care for ourselves. Wait too long to care for yourself and… you guessed it… the weeds grow-up. {And your children do too!} The weeds of unhealthy friendships, poor eating habits, lack of self care, and isolation from activities we once enjoyed begin to grow around our feet and work their way up our legs and soon choke out the ability to live and thrive.

It’s time to do some weeding. Walk through the garden of your life regularly and assess the soil. Make this a pattern in your life so that you can grow up into the person you were made to be! And be an example to your children and others that it’s important to care for yourself so that you are capable of caring for others (because that my friend, I would like to humbly assert, is where we will find our greatest joy).

Life is full of choices. Ask yourself this: am I choosing to grow worthwhile things in the garden of my life (joy in friendships, hobbies, leaving a legacy of goodness & faithfulness for your children)? Here’s another way to ask this question: Am I spending my time on the things that matter most?

Once you’ve established the answer to that question and pin-pointed a few things that are worthwhile (and hopefully identifying some things that need to be repositioned {or sent to the garbage pile} to make room for what matters most) consider how you’re going to rework your garden to maximize it’s fruits!

Only you know the answers to these questions. I realize that this is so easy to write about and much more frustrating (and sometimes downright painful) to execute. But when it comes to your life, NO ONE is more invested than you are – you have control over your choices.

Jenna lives in Littleton and is a gardener is progress. She is in love with her raspberry bush that is finally bearing fruit, but is sure she won’t see a single tomato this year.

How My Withered Garden Still Inspires Bountiful Preserves (with recipe!)

It’s August and the drought drones on…*heavy sigh*. I’ll admit that the heat beat me up this summer and left me listless on the couch with the swamp cooler on high. The unrelenting heat has so intimidated me that I shied away from gardening this year. I feel guilty. 

On top of that, I’m assailed by headlines and news reports declaring a drought induced low supply of fruits, veggies and grains paired with a high demand from the marketplace (that’s me) creating a predicted scenario of high prices and food scarcity in the months to come. 

I’m not one to panic over news reports but this news does make me think what a higher grocery bill will do to my monthly budget. It’s a dark thought filled with painful screams from my checking account and an echo in my pantry. 

Quiz: How to Tell if your Garden Gnome was Stolen or Ran Away

Answer the following as honestly as possible. Choose A or B as you think about life before he went missing.

1. When backing out of your driveway in recent weeks or months, you’d notice your Gnome...

a. Silent and still, but you knew he was thinking, “Goodbye, Friends!”
b. Stubbornly avoiding eye contact

2. Have there been any surprise financial shortfalls lately?

a. No, everything appears to be in order

Get Tipsy Turvy In The Garden With This Quick And Easy Project!

A good portion of my garage is filled with pots – terracotta, plastic, wood, enameled, painted. It seems I enjoy collecting gardening pots yet many a year goes by that I don’t use them. This year I was inspired to get creative with my collection of pots and overcome several reasons why I haven’t used them.

Sizzling Summer Science Activities to Keep Your Kids Learning

I saw a report that said the average child sits in front of a monitor for over seven hours a day. No one wants to spend the summer with the kids in front of the television. Get out, enjoy the sunshine and do a little science. Here are some science activities to do outdoors this summer.

Water Conservation in the Garden
Backyard and container gardens are popular activities for families who want to save a little money and grow their own food. Garden centers now sell polymers called Water Jelly Crystals. The crystals start out as a small pebble and when soaked in water, absorb the water and grow. Place a handful of Water Jelly Crystals in the dirt under the roots of your plant in gardens or containers. To make a raised garden, we placed cinder blocks over turned up dirt in the garden. Mix a handful of Water Jelly Crystals into the dirt and place the roots halfway down. Then fill to the top with dirt. As the Water Jelly Crystals dehydrate, they will keep the soil moist. The roots won’t dry out and excess water will run off. The best part is you won’t have to water the plants as often.

Growing Plants in Test Tubes
Have you taken the time to show your kids

The Gardening Mama Visits Miller Farms!

If your garden has met the end of its season or if you just can’t get enough of the sweet, succulent, goodness that is Colorado-grown produce (garden or no garden) then take a trip to Miller Farms and harvest a crop of nutrient-dense and ready-to-eat fruits and veggies. The annual Miller Farms Fall Festival is in full swing! Head on up to Platteville and be ready to work. The reward is a bounty of fresh food to gobble up or put up for the winter!

Urban Agriculture: Serving a Diverse Community in Need

Celebrating the pinnacle of the garden season, now is the time we see mammoth zucchini, squash that actually look like pumpkins and bushels of tomatoes! Denver Urban Gardens took advantage of the lush, green growth of summer to lead a tour of multicultural gardens in Aurora this past Saturday highlighting the glorious abundance of thriving gardens that support communities working together to survive.

Composting: How to create gold in your own backyard!

Google “composting” and you will have over 16 million websites at your fingertips – brought to you in 0.10 seconds. Search on the Arapahoe County Library website for “compost” and 30 books will come up all talking about composting and gardening in one way or another from “idiot’s guide…”, to “complete guide…”, to kids picture books and even one with the mysterious title of “the secret life…”.

That’s a lot of attention and devotion to rotting food and plants. Most people would call that trash but, a gardener calls it gold.

How do you get your hands on this elusive gold? A popular question these days. The answer, as always in the world or gardening…patience and persistence, young grasshopper.

Get your Garden Clucking with an Urban Homestead!

Last month the city of Denver made it easier for residents to own backyard livestock. Now it seems that everyone wants to own a few chickens! A friend of mine has been raising chickens for over 2 years so I took a trip her house in Littleton to find out what all the fuss is about over urban livestock.

What makes backyard chickens so appealing? Aside from getting your morning eggs from the coop everyday, why is everyone so eager to get their own flock and start an urban farm, even in downtown Denver?

Loelle’s flock of hens

Make a Splash with Water Gardens on the Cheap!

The sound of water gently trickling into a pond is pure tranquility and absolute beauty. There is something so calming and peaceful about a gentle fountain of water bubbling into a pond filled with green plants and even fish! It’s something you can find only in garden centers and the homes of those with gardeners to care for it, right? Surprise! Anyone can have a water garden in short order and even on a small budget.

Zanza and her husband Harry have three water features in the yard of their Aurora yard with the most expensive and largest pond having cost about $250 in total. Neither one of them set out to have a lavish pond with it’s perceived huge amount of unkeep – especially Harry who came home to find a hole dug in the garden!

Zanza got it in her head one day that a small pond would be a beautiful addition to the garden. Not really knowing the in’s and out’s of the process but with a whole lot of determination she convenience her nephew and his friend to dig the hole. Several hours and a 7-foot deep hole later, Harry came home and knew something was amiss! He told the boys that they weren’t going home until the hole was filled. They filled and he went to Wal-Mart to buy a small pre-formed pond liner.

The pre-formed liner required a hole only a few feet deep. The liner and the pump were purchased new and was the biggest expense of the project. Pumps can be purchased for as little as $30 and go up from there depending on the size of the pond.