Gardening Tips from Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer

Thelma’s garden always had a bumper crop of vegetables. She says she started growing her own veggies for two reasons: to know they were free of pesticides and because the kids would be more likely to eat them if they helped grow them. Follow her tips to help your harvest and to get more veggies on the plates in your home.


When it comes to radishes, Thelma swears by the Farmers’ Almanac. It says that you have to plant them by the dark of the moon or they’ll go to tops. She says the only thing she follows the Farmers’ Almanac for is her radishes. When she doesn’t follow it, she doesn’t have radishes.


While the stalks are delicious, rhubarb leaves are poisonous if eaten, so be sure kids and pets don't eat them. Thelma has found a great use for them nonetheless – keeping aphids away. Put a pound of chopped rhubarb leaves in a pot and add a quart of boiling water; let the mixture sit overnight, strain it and add a tablespoon of deter gent. Then place the liquid in a spray bottle and spritz your plants with it ever y now and then.    


Never count out the seeds you’ve planted. Thelma once waited years for parsley plants to grow from seed. When they finally sprouted, she was tickled.


Thelma grows onions every year, and since they’re hardy perennials, they keep going without any maintenance. She likes to put them in her garden next to her beets and carrots to help keep the bugs away.


To prevent weeds and rotting, Thelma keeps her cucumbers mulched with rhubarb leaves or grass clippings. There’s no need buy mulch when your garden provides it for free!

Tomatoes and Peppers

Thelma’s advice for tomatoes and peppers is to water them about an inch a week. With the right amount of sun, they’ll grow like the dickens!

Give Mom a Mother's Day DIY

Homemade Mother’s Day gifts are as old at the holiday itself. But this year, instead of adding to Mom’s macaroni necklace collection, consider making her something beautiful for her home. With these impressively easy-to-make projects, for once it will be more than just the thought that counts.


This fun project gives new life to vintage lace doilies. Ask Mom before you use hers or pick some up at a thrift store. Then, all you need are a few supplies and a little time before your bowls are ready for gifting. For an extra treat, fill them up with chocolate or something else Mom loves.

Make It


Mother’s Day breakfast in bed will be a little fancier with this embroidered pillowcase. Just take any plain pillowcase, a needle and some embroidery thread, then let your creativity go wild. Choose colors that match Mom’s bedroom décor for a truly personalized result.

Make It→


Potted plants make great gifts, as they’ll be around a lot longer than any bouquet. With this DIY hanging planter, you can add a handmade component to your handpicked gift. All you need is a long nylon cord and some scissors. We’ll show you how to knot it up to create a handy holder for Mom’s new plant.

Make It

Get Inspired by Nature with this Earth Week DIY


The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and it’s time to celebrate Earth Week! It's a great time to think about ways you can help the Earth, and also appreciate the beauty it brings. This fun project uses flowers and greenery to create blooming decorative letters you can bring to life in your home.

Materials & Tools

  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Floral tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Small flowers  


wire H

1. Cut your wire using your wire cutters and use the pieces to shape together letters with the pliers. Once you’re happy with your letter shapes, use the floral tape to hold your wire sections into place.




H in progress

2. Use scissors to separate your flowers from the rest of your greenery. Then, use the glue gun to attach them to your wire letter shape. Start with leaves and stems, using your flowers as colorful accents.





finished H

3. Line up your letters to spell out your family name or word like Recycle that relates to Earth Week. 





When you’re done, share your creation with us on Instagram by including #HomegrownInspiration in your post.

A Clean Day Every Day

If you’re not careful, messes can pile up and ruin a perfectly good Saturday. Especially when you have nine kids running around like Thelma did. That’s why she created a weekly plan to keep things tidy. With a different task for each day, the work gets done and there’s still time for fun.

After taking a break from cleaning on Sunday, laundry is a good way to ease into the week. Do a few loads and feel good about having nice, clean clothes for the week.

Now’s the time to wipe away the wrinkles from yesterday’s laundry. Look for anything that needs mending. If anything is beyond repair, cut it into rags to use for cleaning.

Tackle your vacuuming and dusting today. Be sure to clean the windows, too. Then change out the bedding and look forward to sleeping on crisp, fresh sheets.

Never brave the grocery store on the weekend if you can help it. Instead, grab your list and head out on a Thursday evening to enjoy a chaos-free store.

Wash the windows and floors, then vacuum the sofa and carpet. Don’t forget to dust off the electronics and clean the glass on the TV. For a finishing touch, polish up your decorative bowls and frames.

These rooms get oh-so-grimy! Thelma’s advice? Get up early and get them done. Throw a little elbow grease into the counters, sinks and floors, and call it your weekend workout.

A Q&A with Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine


How do you find inspiration in your daily life? What’s your most surprising source of inspiration?  
Inspiration can come from so many different places—a smell, a taste, or a color. Window-shopping is a great source for me. If I have a really big idea or tough problem, I think best in the bathtub. A soak in the tub never fails to help me think things through. It’s also why I always keep a notebook and pen beside my bath.

What are you most looking forward to this spring? Are there special things you do to get your home ready for the new season?
Some warm temperatures! I’m not a big fan of the cold. My friends always say to me "Oh, Paul, you’re from Norway. You must love snow and cold.” I don't. I’m a bad Norwegian! I was NOT born with skis on my feet and can't even ice skate! You can imagine my delight when the weather warms up and the snow melts. 

However, spring brings that revealing sunlight. I look around and see the dirt and grime from the long winter. Everything just screams, “CLEAN ME!” I’m not the biggest fan of cleaning the house, but I don’t mind doing spring-cleaning. It’s such a reboot and refresh for everything.

A few tips:

  • Good music. Put on some loud and high-tempo music—it really helps.
  • Don't over do it. Take on one room at a time. Rome was not built in a day.
  • Treat yourself. Let's face it, everything (even cleaning) is better with a few rewards or indulgences.

What homemaking habit would you consider your biggest strength?
No matter where I live, I’m always able to make a home that’s cozy and inviting for me, guests, and loved ones. I can also make some mean cocktails!

Which room in your home is your favorite?
I love my bedroom. Mainly because I like to spend time in my king-size bed. My favorite time of the week is Sunday morning when I’m in bed drinking coffee and hanging out with my family, with the Sunday papers scattered everywhere.

Share your best piece of no-nonsense advice with us.
Don't strive to be perfect! No one is perfect and it’s not important. The important thing is that you love and are loved.

Please answer this sentence: The one sign that tells me spring is finally here is…
The first day when the air starts to feel a little warmer. You can smell the cold retreating and a hint of spring flowers.

How have friends and family in your native Norway responded to Sweet Paul? Are there recipes or home décor ideas that are more/less popular here in the States than in Norway?
They love it! There is actually a Norwegian edition of the magazine sold there. The funny thing is that all of the classic Norwegian food and traditions are making a big comeback in Norway right now. I’m delighted that my friends in the US are getting to discover Norwegian culture for the first time, and that my friends from home are welcoming Norwegian recipes from the past back into their lives.

What’s the one food/dish that takes you back to your childhood?
Anything with salmon or smoked fish and my Mormor's (Norwegian for “grandmother”) pancakes. Her pancakes were wonderfully thin with no sugar in the batter. We would roll them up with fresh blueberry jam in the middle. It’s my ultimate food memory.

If you had unlimited time and budget, what would be your ultimate DIY project?
I would love to learn how to weave on a giant loom so I could make some huge wall hangings and linens. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to purchase but can’t seem to find it. I just know I could create really beautiful things myself.

Which Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day product scent could you not live without?
The whole Basil scented product line is the KING of my kitchen. I use it every single day. I’m not kidding when I say that people often comment on how wonderful my kitchen smells. I know for myself how clean it is, too!