The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden

by Angelique on December 17, 2014

a bunch of floribunda orange roses in the green dream garden - "The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden"Arizona gardens are never dormant. Some plants can’t take the heat; others can’t take the cold, such as it is, but there’s always something that will grow, even flowers. Here’s what’s going on in the Green Dream Garden this December.

abundant orange floribunda rose bushes - "The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden"

I planted these roses last spring. Their blossoms were pale and short-lived through the summer, but with the cool weather, look at them now! They’re staying a nice orange, and look how large they are for such a little plant! I keep a layer of alfalfa pellets around the base of my roses; as it gets watered in it makes a steady, low-nitrogen fertilizer. I’ve also given then some high-nitrogen Mexican bat guano, and after high winds or a lot of rain, I spray their canes and leaves with a hydrogren peroxide mixture to kill fungus.


A pot filed with pink and white striped petunias -- "The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden"

The petunias like the cool weather, too!


a geranium with buds in a pot surrounded by three red petunias -- "The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden"

None of my geraniums survived the summer, so this fall I bought a new red one. It’s in the center; you can see it has some new buds. It was originally surrounded by four nice red petunias, but after a series of rain-and-wind storms, they all wilted dramatically. I thought the problem was too much water from the rains, but the nursery told me that the real problem was probably an airborne fungus. Only one survived. I removed the other three and dug out the entire top half of the soil. I treated what was left with hydrogen peroxide and replaced it with new soil that has better drainage. Let’s hope the two new petunias are happy.


a cherry tomato bush growing in a clay pot - "The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden"

This was our tomato crop just before we harvested them at Thanksgiving. They were delicious! I was happy with the crop, considering I had just planted it as a baby in August. I don’t know how it will do over our “winter,” but I’ll put a frost cloth over it on cold nights, and I expect it will give us lots of great tomatoes in the spring.


A funny ladybug metal scuplture hanging from a short stand between two large clay pots - "The Green Dreamhome Winter Garden"

And what’s a garden without a little art? I bought this cute ladybug at the Tempe Art Festival. She has bells on her feet!


Shower Enclosure Installation for the Chemically Sensitive

December 14, 2014
Thumbnail image of a blue tang fish

Our master bath is technically finished! We still need to install the drawer pulls and the glass shelves in the medicine cabinet, and the carpenter has to finished the wood door and window trim, but now that the shower doors are up the bathroom is entirely useable.

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The Green Dream Kitchen Holes get Bigger and Deeper!

December 13, 2014
Thumbnail image of the hole in the green dream kitchen floor

A hot water line leak makes a mess, but the process of fixing it makes an even bigger mess!

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Efflorescence: What It Is and How to Remove It

December 11, 2014
Thumbnail image of efflorescence -- mineral salts -- on the cinder block wall of the green dream kitchen

Now that the Dream Green Kitchen has been remediated, and we’ve been drying out the cinderblock walls with space heaters, we’re finding a white powder on the cement. What the heck is it? It’s mineral salts left behind when water within the block comes to the surface and evaporates.

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Drying the Green Dream Kitchen Walls and Floors

December 9, 2014
Thumbnail image of a range with egg fried rice cooking | greendreamhome

The burst pipe in the Green Dream Kitchen soaked the cement block walls, so we’ve been using space heaters to dry them out. Here’s what that looks like:   Even though the walls were obviously drying out, we were still getting a nasty smell from the area, and yesterday I found out what that was: […]

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The Green Dream Bath is Almost Finished

December 8, 2014
Thumbnail image of the Green Dream Bath shower wall showing the niche and plumbing fixtures

Some of you have been wondering what’s going on with the bathroom we had to remediate and remodel. After delays due to changes in materials, vacations, a busy contractor, and most of all, record-breaking rains that flooded our den, the bathroom is nearly done!

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Crockpot Shantytown!

December 5, 2014
Thumbnail image of crockpots in the Green Dream Garage

What happens when you don’t have a kitchen? A crockpot shantytown appears in your garage! Here are two pot roasts ready to be cooked. For those of you who like recipes:

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The Green Dream Kitchen Shell is Cleaned

December 4, 2014
thumbnail image of the green dream kitchen with bare studs and an electric range

Yes, my range is plugged in! At least I can cook on the stove top! Sadly my lower oven is broken. I’m going to buy a new one right away, believe it or not. What better time for it to off-gas than when I need to keep the windows open anyway?

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The Green Dream Kitchen is Demolished!

December 2, 2014
thumbnail image of workmen in tyvek suits putting up a plastic barrier

Okay, demolished is a little strong, because only a section was dismantled. Here’s some of today’s action.

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The Green Dream Kitchen Must Be Remodeled

December 1, 2014
Thumbnail image of the green dream kitchen before demolition

Twenty-five years ago I designed this kitchen, and after all these years I still love it. Tomorrow morning it will be gone. The reason? A broken pipe. I don’t know how I will rebuild, because I can’t imagine it any other way. Read all the posts in this series! 1. The Green Dream Kitchen Must […]

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