Reuse & Recycle: Spring Flower Pot Ideas

By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff

With Mother’s Day around the corner and the weather getting pretty nice, many of us are just getting ready to plant our summer hanging baskets and deck planters. Here’s some tips on how to reuse many of our plants, hanging baskets, and deck planters so that you save money while having beautiful flowering decorations all year long. Plus reusing old plants helps make a much more varied hanging basket or deck planter.

Clean Up and Reuse Old Baskets and Flower Pots
Clean, paint and add fabric to add a new look to your old flower pots. Old hanging baskets where the hanger breaks can still be used as deck planters. Remove the root clumps and reuse half the soil from your old basket and put in new soil, mixing it thoroughly with the old and with manure. Plant them early with spring blooming bulbs, then reuse the planters by replacing the bulbs with your summer annuals after May. If your hangers break on your hanging basket, reuse an indoor plant cord to hang them or set them on the stairs.

Reuse Ivy and Other Ground Cover in Flower Pots
Split Ivy, Hostas, Ferns, and other long lasting leafy plants and reuse chunks of them to add contrast to my flower baskets and deck planters. When planting a hanging basket, use the largest you can find, I will plant a tall flowering plant in the center, then plant a ring of four to six starts around it, alternating by twos or threes. Use two bundles of leafy plants per hanging basket and position them on the edge. When you pick up your spring starts, this will save you a lot of money.

Reuse Last Years Garden Perennials as Your Center Flower
Stick a tall perennial in the center of a large 10″ hanging basket or deck planter, then add a petunia on each of two sides and greens or Lobelia on the sides since they drape rather nicely. Lobelia is one of the least expensive hanging basket plants and often comes in a six-pack sold for under $2.

Remember that gardening is a wonderful breast cancer recovery therapy.  Gardens have been proven to be therapeutic while offering both comfort and hope for breast cancer patients and their families.


Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at if you have questions.

The Simple Pleasures of Chamomile Tea

Chamomile flowers are full of chemical compounds responsible for a wide range of healing actions.

Chamomile Flowers are full of chemical compounds responsible for a wide range of healing actions.

By Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG)

Sometimes simple things result in dramatic changes. One of my favorite examples of this is chamomile. One of the most popular herbs in the world, it is found in almost every tea blend sold in the US. It is cultivated in just about every country in the northern hemisphere, and has been used for hundreds of years and for good reason.

With its pleasant aromatic flavor, slightly reminiscent of dried apples, chamomile flowers are full of chemical compounds responsible for a wide range of healing actions. In fact, chamomile is my first herb of choice for just about any situation. Why? Because it gently relaxes the nervous system, something we can all use as we ride the waves of overstimulation in our daily lives. Think of chamomile tea as a way to turn down the volume on stress and it’s damaging effects.

When you experience stress, whether it is generated by positive or negative events, your endocrine system generates a cascade of chemicals designed to help you react quickly. In response you stop digesting, your immune system becomes less vigilant, the muscles of chest and stomach contract to restrict breathing and, well… you get the idea. In time, the over production of stress-generated chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, will have a damaging effect on just about every aspect of your health.

This is where chamomile comes in. By simply stopping in the course of your busy day to sit down and drink a cup or two of chamomile tea, you can counteract the damaging effects of stress.

Specifically, chamomile gently simulates digestion while it relaxes any tendency towards spasms or cramping in the stomach and intestines. It exerts this same soothing activity on almost every muscle in the body to relieve tightness in the neck and shoulders, low back pain, menstrual cramps, and tension headaches. The volatile oils found in chamomile are anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Pain and inflammation caused by stomach flu, respiratory infection, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, food allergies, gastritis, gastric reflux and ulcerative colitis, are reduced when you sip a cup or two of warm chamomile tea.

And chamomile is extremely safe for children and babies, pregnant or nursing women, and the elderly. So the next time you feel that life is moving just a bit too fast, sit down with a cup of chamomile tea and savor the simple pleasures of this gentle, calming herb.

Photo Source: Proverbs 31 Woman

Patricia HowellPatricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with more than 20 years experience and the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. A member of the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, she is founder and director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, located in the mountains of northeast Georgia.

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