Elegant Survival

Stylish Living on a Shoestring
Since 2006

M-J's Miscellany

M-J's Water-Wise Cacti Garden

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 2:40 PM



Cactus flowers are rare. Nobody seems to knows why some cactus buds open and others do not. These cactus flowers bloomed in my water-wise Mojave Desert garden on April 28th, 2015. I consider it a miracle!
©M-J de Mesterton 2015

Water-Wise Moss Rose

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 8:25 PM



Moss Rose, an Elegant Flowering Succulent

also Called "Portulaca"

Photo of Moss Rose/Portulaca Copyright Melody-Jeanne de Mesterton

Home-Grown Radishes

Posted on July 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Tasteful Garden Furniture

Posted on July 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM
Plastic furniture is all right indoors, especially if it is in the high-styled modern idiom, and was created by or emulates that of 1950s and 1960s designers such as Eero Saarinen. But outdoors, one ideally will have garden or patio furniture made from wrought iron or of teak-wood, which will not deteriorate from exposure to the elements. Wooden and iron furniture exists in perfect harmony with landscaping and nature, especially when made in greens, browns, and other earth-tones.
Here is my old garden courtyard, where I had outdoor dining furniture by the now-defunct, elegant wrought-iron furniture company Lyon-Shaw, and a smaller chat-table in iron, wicker and tile, by Alfresco Home.
My garden furniture, constructed of wrought iron and wood, blends well with nature.

June Gardening, Northern Hemisphere

Posted on June 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

There are good and bad days for certain gardening activities, according to the moon.

June, 2011

5th-8th These are bad days for planting. It's now a good time to eliminate pests, and to cut down brush.

9th-11th Good days for planting seeds for above-ground food-crops and flowers.

12th-13th Very good days for planting leafy greens. Any above-ground crops planted during this period should do well.

14th-16th Avoid all planting. These are good days in which to do hay-cutting, perform administrative duties and to engage in general farm-work.

17th-18th Plant root-crops such as potatoes, celeriac, carrots and beets.

19th-21st Poor days for any sort of planting. Kill plant-pests, fertilize, and do general farming chores now.

22nd-23rd This is a good period in which to plant late root-crops and vines. Set strawberry plants now. These are favourable days during which to do transplanting.

24th-25th These are barren days on which it is favourable for plowing and cutting hay.

26th-27th Good for planting root-crops, and for transplanting.

 28th-29th Do no planting during these days; seeds planted now will likely rot in the ground.

30th June: this is the best day of the month for planting root-crops, and will be excellent for sowing seed-beds and all transplanting.

Boulder Landscaping

Posted on May 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Boulder lives up to its name, with nearly every local house and institution employing rocks, gravel and boulders in their gardens, together with plants and grasses. Rocks are beautiful permanent and abundant natural resources. Stones do not require water, and can look very elegant. Xeriscape is a trademark of the nearby Denver Water Department, and means gardening with the minimum of water-usage. ©M-J de Mesterton May 11th, 2011

Elegant Auguste Renoir Roses

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 7:10 PM
A trio of Auguste Renoir roses from my garden sit in green glass vases on the kitchen windowsill. (When does a Jalapeño Tabasco bottle become a vase? When it has an elegant rose in it.) ©M-J de Mesterton 

Elegant Outdoor Furniture

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM
Plastic furniture is all right indoors, especially if it is in the modern idiom, and was created by or emulates that of 1950s and 1960s designers such as Eero Saarinen. Outdoors, though, one ideally will have garden or patio furniture made from wrought iron or of teak-wood, which will not deteriorate from exposure to the elements. Wooden and iron furniture exists in perfect harmony with landscaping and nature, especially when made in greens, browns, and other earth-tones.
Here is my old garden courtyard, where I had outdoor dining furniture by the now-defunct, elegant wrought-iron furniture company Lyon-Shaw, and a smaller chat-table in iron, wicker and tile, by Alfresco Home.
©M-J de Mesterton

Planting Advice for the Rest of April

Posted on April 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

April 26th-28th:

These are favourable days for sowing grains, hay and fodder-crops, and for planting flower-beds.


The 26th and the 27th of April are especially good for planting tomatoes, beans, corn, melons, squash, and other above-ground crops.


The 28th of April is propitious for planting root-crops such as potatoes, beets, celeriac and carrots.


The 29th-30th of April are also favourable days for planting root-crops like beets, carrots, radishes, Turnips, peanuts, cabbage, and  horseradish. These two days are also propitious for planting cauliflower, lettuce, kale, celery, and all leafy vegetables.


~~M-J

M-J's Gardening Tips

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Gardening with M-J





Cucumber as Pest-Repellent in the Garden and Home


The health-promoting, diuretic, eye-freshening cucumber holds a drastically different meaning for certain garden and household pests.

 

 

Raccoons and skunks don't like cucumbers, in fact they are repelled by them, therefore planting cukes at the outer edge of your vegetable garden is a wise plan. There you are also easily able to provide cucumbers with a surface on which to climb, such as a fence or trellis.

 

 

Cucumber skins placed about the kitchen will naturally repel cockroaches. These hard-shelled bugs are a perennial problem in New York City and Paris, where even the most posh apartments are afflicted with roaches. Las cucarachas detest the bitter compound called trans-2-nonenal that is inherent in cucumbers.

 

 

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2010


 

Gardening Tips for the 21st of April


This is a good day to plant tomatoes, beans, peppers, corn, cotton, and other above-ground crops. These are also fine days on which to plant seedbeds and start flower gardens.

 

 

According to the Old Farmers' Almanac, April 20th and 21st are propitious days on which to

bake, cut firewood, cut hair to increase growth, mow grass to increase growth, dig post-holes, wax floors, and to get married.

 

 

Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007


Conserve Vegetables in Your Refrigerator

Posted on February 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Instead of throwing out vegetables that you cannot use, learn how to make refrigerator pickles with them. It's easy; all you need is vinegar, salt, sugar and a sterile glass jar with a lid.


Autumn Harvest, by M-J de Mesterton

Posted on September 29, 2009 at 9:43 AM

M-J's Gardening Tips

Posted on March 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Gardening, Spring 2009

Assorted Tips from M-J


Buy eggs in cardboard cartons, rather than in styrofoam ones. Fill them with dirt, and start your seeds in them, one per egg-cup.  Then, when the danger of frost has ended, you do not need to transplant each seedling individually. All you do is dig an area and set in the egg carton (minus the lid, of course, which you tore off earlier). Cover up the edges with soil. The cardboard egg carton will bio-degrade inside your garden.


Spray a solution of 30% hydrogen peroxide and 60% water on your seedlings and plants to give them an oxygen-boost.


Mix a little Epsom salt into your watering can. Epsom salt is a tradtional fertilizer in England, whence it came.