Our Children's Earth

Your One Stop Shop for Eco Ideas, Crafts & Gifts.

Recycled Memories from Times of Past while Planting your Tomatoes March 31, 2013

Filed under: Interview — Our Childrens Earth @ 2:14 AM
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One of the most amazing things about having Grandparents is that they can share their old memories and we can recycle them into new ones or use them just the way they are.  I love my Grandparents and my children’s Grandparents.  They are full of ideas from a long life fully lived.  I thought I would share some of these great ideas in my blog from time to time.

English: My Grandparents Bill & Binkie Loxton ...

English: My Grandparents Bill & Binkie Loxton in the 1970’s. From our Family Photograph Collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since it is Spring I thought I would share one of my Grandparents ideas.  They have been life long gardeners and have many to share with me.  One that I am going to get ready to use has to do with planting tomatoes.

Beautiful Red Tomatoes are Healthy

Beautiful Red Tomatoes are Healthy (Photo credit: epSos.de)

They swear by adding eggshells to your tomatoes before you plant them.  First you dig a hole put your crushed up egg shells in the hole then plant your tomatoes on top of them.   They say it helps them to be healthier and helps keep the bugs away.  I started looking around on the web and everywhere I looked they agreed with my Grandparents.  Here is a great site: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-best-growing-tomatoes-eggshells-for-5992370.html  with further information about what the egg shells actually do to help your plants grow.

Good luck with your tomato plants and a Happy Spring!



Ogden Nature Center Garden Tour 2012 July 25, 2012

Filed under: Our Children's Earth Updates — Our Childrens Earth @ 12:19 AM
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The Ogden Nature Center puts on a Garden Tour once a year.  Their website says “The Ardent Gardener Landscape Design is pleased to host a Summer Garden Tour on Saturday, July 14th from 9am until 3pm.  Gardens in the Ogden Valley will be featured. Tickets can be purchased at the Ogden Nature Center, 966 West 12th Street, or at each of the gardens on the day of the event, or online at www.ogdennaturecenter.org.”.  We also had a great write up in the paper about it: http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/07/07/more-tour.  They had this to say about the Garden we were at:  “ The Donahoe Garden, 3837 Elkridge Trail, Eden Designed to blend with the natural environment, the garden is filled with native shrubs and flowers. Boulders found on-site are used for retaining walls and planting pockets. Boulders were also used to create a spiral herb and vegetable garden.  Art by Our Children’s Earth will be for sale in the garden. Free food samples from Zucca Trattoria.”.  Here are some of our great pictures from our fun day.

My boys helping me to set up our booth for the Garden Tour:

One of the garden paths you could take:

Beautiful and natural garden:

Another path:

Love all of our friends that came to visit:

Beautiful music at the garden by Lezlee Monroe:

Let it rain:

What a wonderful day at the Garden Tour.  I just love to support the Ogden Nature Center!!


Ogden Area Garden Tour for Saturday August 9, 2011

We made it in the newspaper for the Garden Show.  I am so excited!   Here is the link:


Here is another story about some of the gardens.  It is very interesting to read some history about Ogden

Ogden gardens in all of their glory

By Becky Wright

Standard-Examiner staff

Tue, 08/09/2011 – 9:04am


NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
The backyard area of the Starla and Scott Stanley residence, once owned by Clark and Dorothy Rich, is one of three homes whose yards slope to "The Hollow."
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
The Ruando Spa at the Calton Garden, once owned by Ruth and Willard Eccles, is a focal point of the garden tour.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Pink flowers grace the yard at the Colton residence, 2745 Fillmore Ave., Ogden.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A mermaid fountain hangs on a wall in the pool area at Starla and Scott Stanley's home at 2733 Fillmore Ave., Ogden.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
The backyard area of the Starla and Scott Stanley residence, once owned by Clark and Dorothy Rich, is one of three homes whose yards slope to "The Hollow."

Related Stories

It’s always time to leave the worries of work behind at Ruando Spa.

“The clock says ‘5 p.m.’ on every hour,” said Alison Calton.

Ruando Spa, built by Ogden’s Eccles, Rich and Browning families, is a private retreat with a pool, set in a secluded hollow. A glimpse of this little slice of heaven can be had during the Ogden Area Garden Tour.

The tour, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, is a rare opportunity to see nine gardens in Ogden’s East Bench area. Three of the gardens used to join together at Ruanda Spa.

Ruth and Willard Eccles bought a lot, at 2745 Fillmore Ave., in the 1930s when the street was mostly just mud. Willard encouraged his friends, Dr. Clark Rich and wife Dorothy (also known as Doll), to buy the lot to the north, at 2733 Fillmore. Val and Ann Browning purchased a house at 1528 28th St. The three yards met at the bottom of a gully the families called “The Hollow,” where they joined together to build the pool and pool house after World War II.

The Eccles, Rich and Browning families no longer live around The Hollow, but many of the original touches still exist in the gardens.

“The pool itself, and pool house, are original,” said Calton, noting that they have been replastered and remodeled. “You can see in the cement patio of the pool where the original owners put their names.”

Calton now lives in the house Eccles built, and the yard includes the Ruando Spa area.

“They made a pact that the last man standing would inherit,” said Laurie Van Zandt, coordinator of the tour. Eccles was the last still living in one of the three homes, so the property became his.

Ruando Spa

The pool and pool house were named by contest.

“Sally Rich, the daughter of Dr. Rich, won the contest,” said Starla Stanley, whose family now owns the Rich home. “She came up with the name ‘Ruando’ by combining all three wives’ names — Ruth, Ann and Doll. … For winning, she got a free operation from Dr. Clark Rich, a hundred-dollar bill from Bill Eccles and a shotgun from Val Browning, but she never collected.”

The pool still has some original tiles, with fun images of fish. The original decorative ironwork and “Ruando Spa” clock — a tribute to Eccles’ banker hours — are on the pool house.

Because the pool was built in the bottom of a gully, the path down was steep.

“We have an original tram, or trolley car, that goes from the back patio of the house down the hillside,” said Calton. “It could transport people who might have a hard time going down, or supplies.”

The “Hil-A-Vator,” built by Dwan & Co. of San Francisco, could carry up to four people at a time. It’s not currently in use, and plants cover the tracks.

“We’d have to have an elevator permit, because it’s a full cable car,” said Calton, adding that the cable needs replacing. “We don’t feel the need right now, but all the working parts are there.”

Blending old and new

The Stanleys kept the original stone staircase down to the hollow, and there is still a stone staircase leading from the hollow to the Browning home, now owned by George and Mary Hall.

The Stanley yard has been through many changes over the years, and now features a treehouse, pool and vegetable gardens.

The Halls maintain the 1950s rose garden, but have recently completed new landscaping that includes extensive stonework and steel sculpture.

The Caltons kept the original house’s patio, with its dragon fountain, and the stone steps from the patio down to the hollow. They also kept the wrought iron gate on the north side of the house, and found new iron to match in other parts of the yard.

When the Caltons tore down the old garage and workshop to put in a new garage, they excavated an old stone retaining wall.

“We had to match the old wall that was built by the Army Corps of Engineers way back when,” Calton said. “It was a challenge to find a mason that could mimic it, and cared to mimic it correctly.”

The wall matches a bridge on either side of Fillmore Avenue, where a stream enters the hollow.

“The stream that runs through the yard used to run through the middle of the grass, and was a dirt ditch,” Calton said. “In the back, we moved it to the north side of the lot so the grass wouldn’t be cut up.”

They also lined it with rocks.

An overgrown hillside has been transformed into a grass path, lined with flowers, and another path was created using bricks from the old garage.

Calton says the best thing about the garden is the sense of privacy and quiet.

“When I’m in the backyard, it doesn’t feel like I’m in the middle of the city,” she said.

But she’s agreed to open the gardens for the tour, to give back to the community.

“It’s fun that all three houses will be on the tour at the same time,” she said.


WHAT: Ogden Area Garden Tour

WHEN: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine

WHERE: Nine gardens on Ogden’s East Bench; park behind The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1643 26th St.

TICKETS: $20, in advance at Ogden Nature Center, 966 W. 12th St.; www.ogdennaturecenter.org; or at the gardens on tour day. 801- 621-7595.