Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

The season of love is upon us. Have you embraced it? Or are you struggling to find something cute but not cutesy. Or something non-red or pink? Today I have a tutorial to show  you how easy it is to create a heart shaped topiary. Keep it for yourself or give it to the one you love. As the vine continues to grow, the heart will be embraced by the leaves and fill out.

In late Autumn, we had a final blue bloom on our hydrangea bush. I clipped it and brought it inside before the impending cold snap arrived. To keep the hydrangea company, I put a few snips of variegated ivy into the vase too.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Over the winter, the ivy grew a healthy root system. Ivy is an easy plant to root. Simply put some clippings in water and keep it watered. After the ivy has rooted, you can create a beautiful topiary plant for a kitchen window sill.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Begin by collecting your materials.

Materials:

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Ivy with roots
  • Copper water line or thick wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pot
  • Rocks
  • Sand
  • Potting Soil
  • Trowel
  • Water

Optional: string, floral wire or a twisty tie

Instructions:  Read more

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirlWORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

A few months ago WORX sent me their WORX Lithium Cordless Chainsaw with Extension Pole for a product review. Our property is very wooded and we have so many trees that I’ve lost count. I do know that they need pruning and maintaining on a regular basis (at least every six months.) I knew our yard was a good test environment that would put the JawSaw through a rigorous test on our hardwoods and ornamental trees.

Recently one of our smaller trees died and needed to be removed. I charged up the JawSaw battery and snapped it in place after it was fully charged.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

As is always the case, as I got closer, that little tree didn’t look so small. I honestly doubted I’d be able to use the JawSaw for this task. But, I was pleasantly surprised when the jaws fit around the trunk.

To work the JawSaw, you have to push the button with your thumb and pull the trigger at the same time. To start the saw moving, you push the handle in towards the shaft.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The blade easily cut through the tree trunk. And within about fifteen minutes I was able to cut the tree down and cut it into manageable pieces.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

Next I added the pole attachment to trim branches up to 12 feet high. The pole slides into the slot near the black handle. The handle snaps into the handle clamp on the pole. The JawSaw handle needs to be pressed into the shaft and the red bar is inserted into the bottom to lock it in place.  The power pack slides into the battery slot on the JawSaw. The battery pack is then inserted below the handle on the extension pole.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The pole extension has a 12 foot reach, but you will need to position one hand on the black shaft to operate the JawSaw.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

After positioning the JawSaw “jaws” around the branch…

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

…pull back on the black shaft to set the blade in motion.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The JawSaw does all the work for you while you remain safely on the ground. I also like the JawSaw because it gives the user a safe distance from the blade. With a regular chainsaw kickback is always a concern.

Logs and branches can be cut directly on the ground because the “jaws” blade guard holds the blade just above the ground. You can’t do that safely with a regular chainsaw.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

The only negatives about the JawSaw is that you will need to have a battery charged ahead of time (but I much prefer the cordless vs. a corded yard tool.) And you are limited to a 4 inch cutting diameter.

Using the JawSaw on the extension pole is a bit awkward, but I don’t have the strongest arm strength. However, once the jaws are around the branch you don’t have to support the saw the entire time.

WORX JawSaw Review | PrettyHandyGirl

Overall, this is one yard tool that I’m happy to have in our tool shed. It is invaluable for safely removing limbs and cutting up small trees. I highly recommend the WORX Lithium Cordless Chainsaw with Extension Pole for tree trimming and small tree removal over a chainsaw.

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Disclosure: This is a product review for the WORX JawSaw Cordless Chainsaw. I was provided with the tool at not cost to me. However, I was not swayed to write a positive review or write anything at all. This is NOT a sponsored post. As always I am very particular about the brands and products I choose to showcase on this blog.  

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is here and I can’t keep shoes on the kids…

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

…or clothes for that matter.

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

I think my kids inherited it from me. I have fond memories of running around our backyard as a child barely clothed. I also have a not so fond memory of stumbling upon a yellow jacket nest. I ran until my little legs gave out and I hit the ground face first as those little devils stung my backside several times. Nothing puts a damper on summer fun like a bunch of yellow jacket stings on your hiney. Two years ago, my oldest son had the unfortunate experience of stumbling upon a nest in our yard. If I could have taken the stings for him, I would have. Lucky for us, he didn’t experience an allergic reaction on top of the stings. But, allergic or not, yellow jackets are not welcome in my yard!

That summer that I got stung, I learned to tell the difference between yellow jackets and honeybees. Do you know how to tell the difference? It’s important to stop and take a moment to identify which you are dealing with. Did you know that honeybees and yellow jackets are very different in appearance? Once you know what to look for, you can easily identify them: Read more

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Container gardening is easy and great for instant color gratification. But, it’s especially fun to find “unconventional” objects to use as a planter. You may have noticed my little red wagon planter in the Landscaping 101 post. My 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter is sure to bring color to your landscaping while also providing some fun and whimsy. Plus, it’s easily rolled to a new spot if you want to change your view. But, the best part is, you can make this planter in 3 steps!

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Large drill bit
  • Little wagon or other container
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Hand trowel

Instructions: Read more

how_to_recover_outdoor_pillows

When Lowe’s challenged me to give an outdoor spot a mini-makeover, I knew exactly where to turn my attention.

Our small paver patio is where we sit on warm spring days to eat lunch, take a break or sip wine after dark. The winter months wreak havoc on the furniture and the pillows I neglected to bring inside.

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dirty_chair_pillow

Cleaning the furniture was as easy as a quick sponging with a Mr. Clean magic eraser.

cleaning_patio_furniture_Mr_clean_magic_eraser

Then I hosed them down and was done in less than 10 minutes. The pillows weren’t as easily cleaned. I tried to wash them, but they were still a little dingy. So, I headed to Lowe’s to look for new ones.

As I entered Lowe’s with my complimentary gift card in hand, I found myself wandering down the curtain aisle again. (Do you gravitate to this aisle too? With all those colors, patterns, and textures it’s hard for me to stay focused on my shopping list.) Read more

potted_clover_tutorial

Valentine’s Day is in one day, right? So, what am I up to? I’m getting ready to celebrate the return of spring and St. Patrick’s Day of course.

In North Carolina, the trees are starting to bud and a few have flowers. I’m super excited for the arrival of spring. In addition to the flowers, the weeds have also started to pop up. But, there is one weed that I don’t mind sticking around for a little while.

Wild_clover

Although clover is technically a weed, it is also is a beneficial plant for your yard. It encourages bees to visit and help pollinate your flowers. Clover also produces nitrogen which is good for your lawn. And finally, it is a low growing evergreen plant, which means more green in your lawn. Read more

Welcome back to the Spring Olympic events. We are here in Handy Stadium which is home to numerous sporting events including: football, soccer, 25 yard dash, off-road cycling and you can’t forget father/son wrestling.

As you can see, we have yards and yards of pristinely manicured blades of grass.

Wait a cotton pickin’ minute, is that a….

Read more

Welcome back to another day of the DIY Talent Parade! Do you see that flurry of pink activity? You know what that means, it is none other than Kelly from The Pink Hammer Blog!

Kelly is the gal behind those rockin’ pink tools. With a drill in one hand and a hammer in the other, there isn’t anything she can’t do! Take this bathroom renovation for example:

She took it from dark and dingy to sea-inspired-licious! The transformation is impressive, don’t you think?!

Today Kelly is going to whip up some creative containers for planting. And, boy oh boy does she have some creative ideas!  Take it away Kelly!

Read more

How to Root Plant Clippings

I have a bush in our yard that is a pure delight to me.

How to Root Plant Clippings

It has the distinguished honor of being the first flowering plant in our landscaping after a long winter. In the winter, it has pretty dark shiny evergreen foilage. When these little white blossoms open, they produce the most heavenly lemon smell.

How to Root Plant Clippings

My angelic plant is a Daphne bush (maybe the star white variety ) and it seems to like the shaded spot it holds under the protective canopy of oaks over it. If there was ever a plant I want more of, this is it. So, I decided to try to root some clippings this year using rooting hormone. Read more

Installing Your Own Sprinkler System

Last week I shared with you how to grow a better lawn based on what I learned from my education at Pennington Seed. Part of growing a more beautiful lawn is learning how to water it properly. Did you know that the majority of homeowners overwater their lawn and plants? Typically your yard only needs 1 inch of water per week (1/2 inch waterings two times a week) If you install your own sprinkler system with a timer and a rain gauge, you can insure that your lawn and/or landscaping gets just the right amount of water.

When we lived in our old house, Pretty Handsome Guy and I received a quick tutorial on installing a sprinkler system in our yard. Our neighbor — the previous owner of our current home (Yes, it’s complicated like that.) — showed us how to piece together pvc pipes, add spray heads and set up a timer to water our lawn. Now I’m passing this information on to you.

Here is the Pretty Frugal Girl’s method for installing your own sprinkler system! Read more