Friday, June 22, 2012

"Circle of Roses" award pin

FGCI president, Darla Kickbush awarded 'Circle of Roses' pins to those nominated by their local garden clubs for service and dedication to the club @ the state mtg today.

Sandra Susie Chrisman was unanimously nominated by Knoxville Federated Garden Club for the award.
And my friend, Jennie Clay from the Garden Study Courses where we earn our Garden Consultant certification was also pinned by Darla for her service to others and to her local garden club as well.  Congratulations, Jennie.

Many others were "pinned" today from across our state by FGCI president, Darla Kickbush. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Aunt Barb brought me an old 1950 type bicycle serveral years ago.  I finally got at it, and got it planted just a couple weekends ago after finding back baskets at a garage sale last summer.  Then found an old freezer basket that was my grandma's for a front basket.  I'm lovin' those orange impatiens.  It's just for fun!!

AHS National Hosta Convention Artistic Design Award

 Russ O'Harra Hosta Society sponsors the Artistic Design Award @ the AHS national convention annually.  In the past we have given a beautiful lead-cut glass vase.  It was time for a change.  Potter Bob Andersen of Sunflower Pottery, Pella, IA designed and created a "Hosta" vase for us.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012


It was so exciting to receive my 1000 hours Master Gardener pin @ the spring meeting of the Marion County Master Gardeners.  The hours were accumulated since I first became a MG in 2004.  I love my felllow Master Gardeners.  They are good people and we have fun serving our communities through gardening.

If you would like to learn more about the ISU Master Garden program in Iowa click

Saturday, March 10, 2012


"How to Make a Miniature Container Garden"
"Try to think of it as landscaping in a pot on a smaller scale."
"Bucket Bowls" by Marlys make perfect containers for these miniature landscapes & succulet gardens.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Master Gardener Terrarium Workshop

Master Gardener Terrarium Workshop was great fun this morning at De Bloemen Hof.  Thanx! to my good friend & fellow Master Gardener, Mary Dee Dykstra for doing this with me.  And thanx! to the gals that showed up for the fun and laughter.  You ladies are the best!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012


What are “Bucket Bowls”???

“Bucket Bowls” are trough gardens, dish gardens, planting bowls, and containers created out of Papercrete from Marlys' Garden, Pella, IA. 

Why are they called "Bucket Bowls"???  

Papercrete is made in 5 gallon plastic buckets at Marlys’ Garden.

What is Papercrete??? 

Papercrete is a mixture of shredded newspapers, Portland concrete, & perlite.  The paper is soaked in water for 48 hours and then turned into paper pulp by stirring with a paint mixer blade using a powerful drill, or another appropriate mixing blade.  Perlite filler is added, and then Portland concrete is mixed in.

The mixture is then molded into planting bowls, dish gardens, planter troughs, or other forms of garden art.  Only the artist’s imagination limits possibilities. The mixture dries slowly taking up to 10 days to cure.  The end product is light weight and durable.  Experts say Papercrete containers hold up for an average of 10 years if properly used and stored in freezing winter weather. 

Good drainage is a must when growing plants in containers thus large drainage holes are made either when wet with a finger or later with a drill.  When filling with soil simply place a flat stone or piece of a broken terracotta or glass flower pot over the drainage holes.  Water will find its way out but soil will stay in. 

Dish gardens & troughs are particularly well suited for growing cactus & succulent plants that require arid growing conditions.  Any type of plant may be grown in these containers however they may require more frequent watering than if the plants were grown in a glazed or plastic pot.  Miniature Gardens and Fairy Gardens are also very well suited to Papercrete trough gardens.

To learn all about Papercrete see: 
This is the web-site of my mentor, Lee Coates of Peggy’s Flowers in Highlandville, Missouri.  Or see:  “Marlys’ Garden”