Let's make a change...

For those of you new to Coloring Nature here is a little background.

I have always been a plant/flower lover. Something about a new plant popping up from the ground gives me joy like nothing else. A new bouquet of fresh flowers on my table, watching the bees buzzing on a shrub, seeing the hummingbirds eat from a newly opened bud....these are all things that I have always loved. In 2009 I made the decision to go back to school for Environmental Horticulture at Lake Washington Technical College. Over the course of a year I learned so much about gardening and my enthusiasm soared. I decided to start my own business. Fast forward over 5 years and my husband, Warren, and I have built a really fun and rewarding business and lifestyle for ourselves.

I have always leaned toward a more "natural" lifestyle. I have been a devoted recycler since I can remember, I sleep on an organic bed without the off gas of many mattresses, I have chosen to eat organic foods whenever possible, I have grown my business around the principle of not using chemicals, and we buy local and used products for our succulents.

It's only natural that when a good friend of mine starting working for a company, Beautycounter, that makes toxic free skincare, I started purchasing my products from her. I had no idea that the products I was using had potential health concerns. I didn't know that the baby shampoo I was using on my newborn son had a chemical in it linked to cancer...the bottle said natural, I was trusting too much.

After a year of being a customer I decided to join as a consultant for this company who's mission is to get safe products in the hands of everyone.

Last night I went to a screening of the documentary, The Human Experiment. I'll tell you that movie upped the level at which I'm concerned. IF YOU AREN'T OUTRAGE, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. Well, I'm paying attention and I'm ready for you to as well. There are safer choices out there, and it's about starting small, with a safer shampoo for your family. Choosing not to buy plastic. Choosing organic food. Throwing away your perfume. Cleaning with nontoxic producst. These choices all come naturally as you get more informed.

FACTS:

Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.

The United States has not passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.

Check out the following links if you're ready for a wake up call...you should be.

To watch the trailor: http://thehumanexperimentmovie.com/
To check out Beautycounter's mission: https://cariann.beautycounter.com/our-story#ourmission
To get informed and involved: http://www.watoxics.org/

Now I'm off to recycle all my plastic containers. Switching to glass.

Propagating Succulents

Many people ask how we get out succulents so small...well, it's no secret. These "miniature" succulents we use are cuttings off larger plants. When you take a cutting the small piece is now it's own plant. Succulents have enough nutrients in their leaves to then create roots. Some pieces you cut off may already have roots on them too. A good rule to follow is to leave the cuttings sitting out for 24 hours before you plant them. This allows the plant to callus over on the end, when you then go to plant it the callus helps to insure that area doesn't rot.

Last night, at a friends house, we did a little planting project with a planter of succulents they had on hand.

And there you have it, they are such fun and simple plants to work with! Post your succulent projects on Instagram, #coloringnature, we would love to see your plants!

Wheatgrass is easy!

What started as a project for Owen and I to make cute tins filled with grass for Easter turned into a healthy snack for my family.

I had seen on Pinterest growing grass in tins for an Easter table decoration and so we decided to try it out. But after I saw just how easy it was to do I decided to look into Wheatgrass and learned about all its amazing benefits. Check out this article for all the info!

We planted the tins up on March 23, three days later the seeds had sprouted and the shoots were touching the plastic wrap so I removed it then. They sat in an eastern facing window until Easter, April 5th. So it only took 2 weeks for these suckers to get this big! (Owen took the plant one night and ate it like a goat.)

  1. Find empty tins to plant in.
  2. Add a layer of gravel base for drainage. If these are going to be used more long term you will want a container with a hole.
  3. Add soil. Organic mix if you plan to eat the grass.
  4. Add a layer of wheatgrass seeds to the top of the soil, no need to cover them.
  5. Sprinkle a bit of water over the top, they want to get wet but not saturated.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a sunny spot.
  7. 3 days later, or once the shoots are touching, remove the plastic cover.

Once you reach this step you can enjoy these for weeks to come, just continue to water every week, cut the grass and watch it continue to grow. You can also learn more about the benefits of wheatgrass and how to use it. I'm going to attempt to start juicing it soon!

Sunshine and Succulents

Fremont Market went great this weekend! The sun was shining, off and on, and everyone was so friendly. Our succulent logs sold so well that we sold out of all but 2! So, this week we will be busy making more for the Fremont and Ballard market! That's right...we are hoping to be vending this Sunday in Ballard too. Because spring came early farmers get first pick of space, but we have been accepted if space is available.

I just updated our wedding section with photos of a gorgeous wedding we did this Fall. We focused on using a lot of succulents, head over to take a look at all the pictures!


Events Update

Spring is here and we are busy making lots of inventory for many exciting markets, shops and events!

Here is a quick update and round up of what's going on in our succulent world:

  • You can now find our plants 7 days a week at the Fremont Vintage Mall. This mall is a Seattle staple if you are looking for vintage finds or handmade crafts.
  • We are continuing to sell plants every Sunday at the Fremont Sunday Market from 10am-5pm. Look for updates regarding new markets soon, including Ballard, Wallingford and Edmonds and South Lake Union.
  • Spring and Summer festivals are coming up... we have applications into a few and with each acceptance will be adding them to our EVENTS page.
  • DIY Class is set for 4/18/15 at 2:15pm, sign up under our EVENTS page.
  • This month we are also going to be part of a photo shoot for a wedding planner, we are looking forward to sharing sneak peeks of this next week.  

ETSY shop

Please check out our ETSY shop if you aren't local and would like to have one of our succulent creations shipped to you!

At this time we have small vertical logs, 3" logs and our magnets for sale.

HAPPY FRIDAY! Enjoy the sunshine, hope to see you SUNDAY at the Market!



Market Place

We are excited to announce this summer we will not only be selling our succulents at the Fremont Market on Sundays, we are expanding to the Wallingford Farmers Market on Wednesday evenings! This market will open in May, more details on start date and hours to come. We look forward to meeting new people and spending our Wednesdays in the park! We are also in the works for a new Saturday set up too...more to come!

This Sunday the rain didn't stop us. We set up shop and had a great time teaching new customers about succulents and seeing familiar faces. Thanks for all those who stopped by and saw us! Please tag pictures of your new plants on Instagram @coloringnatureinbloom or hashtag #coloringnature we would love to see them in their new homes!


Spring is NEAR!

With spring just around the corner (although it feels like it's already here!) Owen and I did a couple of fun Spring themed activities.

I was cleaning up his art table and found numerous broken crayons (our dogs like to get ahold of them) and I remembered seeing on Pinterest some cute ideas for reusing them. Ours turned out really cute!

How to make Crayon "Cookies"

  1. Peel all paper from crayons.
  2. Break up crayons into smaller pieces.
  3. Place pieces in a cookie sheet, like this one, or a muffin tin. Ours was a wedding gift from Crate and Barrel. Perfect spring theme!
  4. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 265 degrees. As soon as the crayons have lost their shape take them out.
  5. Let pan cool, then place in freezer for 30 minutes, crayons should pop right out.

For another fun Spring time activity we made these cute little Easter eggs, which includes our favorite, SUCCULENTS!

Again, another Pinterest idea I had to try!

march 2015 170.JPG
  1. Add a small layer of rocks to bottom of egg shell.
  2. Plant your succulents right into the shell.
  3. Water. That's it, so easy!

Once Easter has come and gone you can place these beauties right in your garden the egg shell will break down and the plants will continue to grow.

I'm thinking of bringing a few of these down to the Fremont Market to sell, what do you think?!

Plant Pick

This week's plant pick is Bleeding Heart, Dicentra spectabilis.

These plants are perfect for the low maintenance gardener who has some shade. You can choose a variety with pink or white blooms. Once it's established you don't need to worry about them, they are so easy!

I have had this Bleeding Heart for over 5 years, it was in a pot for the past 4. I just planted it in the ground this past fall under a Douglas Fir in our back yard. I'll divide it this year.

I have had this Bleeding Heart for over 5 years, it was in a pot for the past 4. I just planted it in the ground this past fall under a Douglas Fir in our back yard. I'll divide it this year.

 

Fun Facts

  • Likes Partial Shade and moist soil, great for shady woodland area.

  • Easy to care for.  

  • Flower's are deep pink or white. 

  • Blooming Time: Normally late spring...this year, NOW

  • Foliage is Light Green

  • Plant Characteristics

    •  Attracts Butterflies

    •  Great in a border

    •  Perfect for containers

    •  Can use as a cut flower

    •  Deer Resistant

    •  Divides Easily  

  • Height: 27-35 inches

  • Spread: 27-35 inches

Perennials that die back to the ground and come up new every year are so simple to care for. You never have to worry about pruning them, they look fresh and beautiful each and every year. This plant you can divide every few years, meaning you can cut if in half and replant the new divided piece.

How to divide:

  1. Dig your bleeding heart plant in late summer to early fall before the plant's foliage dies back. Dig about 6 inches around the base of the plant, loosening it in place.

  2. Cut down through the center of the root ball with a shovel.

  3. Place new section in mostly shady area in a hole at least 6 inches deep. Water regularly. Once established, bleeding hearts are virtually maintenance-free.

In late January it started peeking up out of the ground...this was about a month earlier than normal.

In late January it started peeking up out of the ground...this was about a month earlier than normal.





 


Mini Vacation to BEND

Because of our line of work we are able to take some mid week trips. Weekends are filled with prepping for the Fremont Market and selling our goods. Earlier this month we traveled to Bend, OR. Warren and I had stopped here in the summer of 2011 as part of our honeymoon roadtrip. We fell in love with the place and knew we needed to get back. We packed up our car, loaded in our almost 3 year old, my Mother in law and drove all day Monday to get there. We made a pit stop for brunch and for some plants of course! Little Prince of Oregon is one of the two nurseries we buy our plants from and it was just 20 minutes off of I-5 so we had to stop and visit. We showed up unannounced and while they are not actually open to the public, they greeted us with open arms, gave us a tour of the property and let us check out their amazing inventory of succulents. We shoved as many plants as we could in with our luggage and waved goodbye.  

Bend has so many things to offer, we took a pretty mild and relaxed approach to our four days here. Owen's favorite part was the High Desert Museum. This place had live animals, kids play areas, snow, tunnels, old mills set up as well as the cutest cabin and chickens! If this place was near by it would turn into a regular stop for us.

A highlight for Warren and I was being able to eat at a handful of breweries with lots of good food! We timed it, AMAZINGLY, for Owen to be napping for most of lunch all three times! Our stops were Deschutes, 10 Barrel Co, and Bend Brewing Co. Bend Brewing Co. had the best kale salad I have ever ate and at 10 Barrel it was sunny and mid 60's so we sat outside and enjoyed the fireplace.

One thing that I am SO EXCITED about is a McMenamins that's opening up soon near us. I have a love of old buildings and it makes my heart happy when I see them repurposed instead of torn down. At the Bend location we went to see an all ages music and Owen danced all night long. The food was good, the beer was lovely and the atmosphere had a great vibe. No one seemed to mind the toddler running in circles, some even high fived him every time he came around and at one point he got a cheer. It was hysterical and made us feel at home.

A stop to my favorite tea shop, a small souvenir, a few new toys, lots of walks and laughter. If you haven't been to Bend I definitely recommend it. We can't wait to plan our next adventure...we are thinking San Juan Islands...any recommendations?


Indoor Plant Pick

Indoor plants have always been something I enjoy. I've had several over the years and some take a certain art to keep alive while others are really easy. The nerve plant (Fittonia albivenis)  is one of the easy ones as it tells you when it needs to be watered!

Fun facts about nerve plants:

  • Come in pink, red and white varieties.
  • Likes moisture, soil to be damp at watering and then allowed to dry between.
  • Does well in hanging baskets, pots and terrariums.
  • Likes sun or part shade.
  • Pinch stems often to encourage dense growth.
  • If you grow in a wide pot the low-growing stems will root and spread. The pot will fill up.

Because these plants are so easy I took an existing terrarium I neglected, a bit easy to do, and replanted it with one of these nerve plants.

When you water, make sure the soil is all damp and that there is a layer of water in the rock base.

When the soil looks dry, water. OR - like I mentioned before, this plant will tell you when to water. If you notice the leaves starting to droop, don't fear, just add water and within 12 hours it will be back to its thriving self. While the nerve plant doesn't like to get this under watered it will bounce back, I have had good luck with this for years.

12 hours later it's HAPPY!