About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Favorite "Green" Cleaning Tool

I'm always a fan of "green," or sustainable, cleaning products. Many of these you can make at home. Google such products and you'll find bathroom cleaners and laundry detergents and much more made from simple ingredients usually on hand at home.

My new favorite green cleaner is actually a tool I picked up at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
It's called a bath stone. It has a yellow sponge on one end, perfect for gripping, and a pumice-like stone on the other that literally erases mineral buildup and hard water stains. (By the way, no manufacturer is paying me to tell you how great this product is. It is just great. And enviro-friendly.)

I have struggled for years to find a cleaner that would remove the hard water buildup caused by our super-mineralized well water. No cleaners are needed with this tool. You just scrub with it until it disappears.

Now that I know how excellently it works, I have to travel back to the store and buy another one for the toilets. (No way am I using this on my sinks and toilets at the same time. Gross!)

Give it a try. At $5.99, I thought the price was pretty affordable. The amount you see missing from the stone is how much it took to clean one of my bathroom sinks.

Hope you like it as much as I do! It has erased one of my household problems.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Survivors and Goners

I thought I was doing something dreadfully wrong this year. Here in the South, we love our impatiens and they have always been reliable to fill my large deck planter which is smack under the shade of several large oak trees. It's the one place I can plant impatiens that the deer won't eat.

This year, I faithfully planted white and lavender impatiens in my deck planter. A few days later, I noticed they were all dying, top down. It looked as though the deer had gotten brave overnight and come by for a snack.

So I put out a few deer deterrents and hoped for the best.

And this is what I ended up with.

Here were last year's impatiens.
A few impatiens struggled to survive.
Then I thought maybe the chicken manure in the compost was a little too strong.

So after a while, I replanted some new impatiens. And within two days, they started dying, too.

So I traveled back to another garden center and began looking for replacements other than impatiens this time. I finally asked the knowledgeable gardener on staff what I was doing wrong.

And bingo! Just like that, he worked it all out for me.

"Nobody has impatiens this year."


It appears some insidious moldy disease has killed impatiens up and down the east coast. And the saddest part is that it is probably going to be YEARS before we get these stalwarts back in our gardens. Meanwhile, researchers are trying to propagate a variety that is not susceptible to the killer disease.

Here's a video that explains what is going on with this impatiens killer.

Gardens all over the South are crying right now.

I'm looking to begonias to fill in this year. We gardeners know flexibility is rule #1 if we want to have a pretty landscape.