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Botanica Gardens

Today's THV

View the Latest Chris Olsen Television Segments. . .



July 11th, 2012


Most of us love butterflies in the garden, but with the hot summer and lack of flowers, they may not visit your garden. Butterflies feed on nectar and get their nutrients from soil, rotting manure and fruit.  They also feed from hummingbird feeders but usually that nectar is too thick for them plus they have trouble inserting their feeding tube, or proboscis, into it for a drink. Chris likes to make his own 'Buttlerfly Snack" and pour it onto a sponge or paper towels in a saucer. Or you can sprinle some over a dish or sand or soil. Butterflies will land on the surface and can easily sip the nutrient-rich liquid.
Stir a 20 oz. sports drink (Chris uses Vitaminwater) and 2 cups of sugar together in a pan.  Bring the mix to a boil and remove it from the heat. After it cools, add 2 Tbsp. of regular soy sauce.   Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three months in a covered jar or container.


Whether you have a fish pond, birdbath, or even a pool for that matter, add life and color with your very own floating island. Easy, unique, and totally different, you can now own your very own island for little cash. The size and variety of plants is up to you. Just remember to use low maintenance plants that require minimum care. If you have a skimmer as part of your water feature, then you may want to anchor your living island to something heavy to prevent it from blocking the skimmer's opening.

Sheets of Styroam (1/2" thick sheets about 10" x 12")
Straight edge
Greening pins
Assorted rocks
Assorted moss and moss clumps 

1. We are going for a rounded rectangular shape for our island. You can make yours any size and shape you want...what is important is the layering. On the underside you want to start with a large piece of foam and 2 smaller pieces. Center the smaller pieces in the center and pin with greening pins. This will allow the larger base piece to float above the water.

2. Now flip your foam over and break off the corners. Pin the corners to the top. This will create levels for us to build on.

3. Add a few more small pieces to create additional levels, pinning as you go.

4. Once you have everything pinned in place, tie some twine around the center. This will insure that everything stays in place. Leave an extra long tail that can be used to weight your island down.

5. Now lay your island, face down in the middle of a piece burlap. The burlap will hold everything in place and keep the dirt from getting into your pond filter. You are going to wrap the burlap around to the back leaving the top layers uncovered , and pinning in place. We curled up our twine and pinned it down so we don't accidentally cut it off. Cut off the excess burlap as you go.

6. Choose your plants carefully. Make sure they can handle the shade or sun and alot of water. We used mini mondo grass, ferns, begonias, and mazus.

7. Begin planting your plants, adding dirt as needed. Use pins to pin plants roots to styrofoam so they stay in place. Continue adding plants, adding dirt. Once you have all your plants in place,
cover the entire island with moss and pin in place.

8. Add a few assorted mosses, rocks, and other natural items and you are done! Now remember that string you tied up underneath your island? You can unpin it and tie a chard of pottery or a small rock to the end. When placing your island in your pond this weight will help keep where you want it.

July 4th, 2012 - Zesty Corn Salad - watch now

June 27th, 2012 - Decorating for July 4th - watch now

June 6th, 2012 - Wild Animal Containers - watch now

May 23rd, 2012 - Fruit Smores are a healthy snack - watch now

May 16th, 2012 - Sweet Smelling Shrubs and Growing Citrus in the South - watch now

May 9th, 2012 - Mother's Day ideas - watch now

May 2nd, 2012 - Summer Color - watch now

April 25th, 2012 - Terrariums and Glowing Containers - watch now

April 18th, 2012 - Beet and Apple Green Salad and Deer Proofing - watch now

April 11th, 2012 - Make potted containers hot and Pots with a twist - watch now

April 4th, 2012 - Easter table and Heat tolerant plants - watch now

March 28th, 2012 - Easter Nest and Yard Art Bunny - check it out

March 21st, 2012 - Made in the shade

March 14th, 2012 - Get Ready for Spring

March 7th, 2012 - Spring Flower Delights! Watch the videos!

February 22nd, 2012 - Using PH to alter plant colors - watch now

February 17th, 2012 - Planting Winter Vegetables and Spring and Summer Color - watch now

February 1st, 2012 - Great Valentines segment - watch now

To view more Today's THV segments click here.



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