Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's almost February - where has the long dark winter gone?

I know that the northern readers are wanting to come down here and give me a talking to about my thinking that winter is almost over. My tongue is planted firmly in my cheek, because I know the worst is yet to come. I like to think about spring though. It makes winter more bearable.

To be honest, I'm not much of a seed starter. Lancaster County is awash with greenhouses, herb farms, and the month of May (and parts of April and June) is crammed with herb festivals and herb farm open houses. It is a gardener's dream, and when I read of the people in other parts of the country who have nothing much except a hardware store or big-box store selection, I appreciate it even more.
So mostly, that is how my garden comes to life. Mostly I transplant what others have started and nurtured to a point that it might actually survive me.
What manages to survive my forgetfulness usually falls victim to the roving gangs of bunnies or the insatiably gnawing hunger of the unstoppable groundhog. Then there are the giant deer hoof prints I find in the garden, and the birds that sit waiting for the berries to ripen. But never mind that. If I think about that too much I might give up - and gardeners NEVER give up. So where was I?Oh. Right. We were talking about seed starting. There are parts of the country (and thriftier people than I) where seeds are the way to begin the garden. Many people wouldn't think of purchasing adolescent plants, and if they are vigilant, seeds will pay them back many times over.

We were talking on the Yahoo Group for The Essential Herbal Magazine, and some of the favorite seed sources can be found below:

They all have lots of great information, and I could spend several days just visiting seed websites. I DO grow most of my vegetables from seed. Things like eggplant, where I only need one or two plants, and melon, which takes forever to grow, I will buy the plants. Everything else in the veggie garden is from seed. Come to think of it, this should be a post about PLANTS! Maybe later.

While you're thinking about gardening, consider our book, The Essential Herbal ~ Under the Sun. There are several articles on different types of gardens, how to create good soil, how to care for seedlings, and get rid of pests.
We also have the CobraHead tool available on our website. This is one tool you don't want to be without when you are out there doing battle with the dandelion, the sour dock, and the bladderwort. This baby is ergonomically designed to help you get more bang for your buck. Less wasted energy, more effect. And it is one of the few tools that can take me through season after season without rusting, bending, or breaking.

And before the season gets started and you need something for those tired muscles, head over and get your supply of Gardener's Soap, Arnica Rub and Gardener's Tub Tea from our sister site: The Sibling Group!
Credit for the pansy picture goes to Deborah Stiffler. Deborah, of Scent-sational submitted this photo for the cover of the May/June '07 issue of The Essential Herbal.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Operation World Smudge

Yesterday I received an invitation to join Operation World Smudge. Anyone can participate. Maybe you'll want to, too! Here's the info:

Smudge where you are! Participate from home!

Smudging is a Native American tradition that involves the burning of herbs such as: sage, sweet-grass, tobacco and cedar for the purpose of purification. Join in the WORLD SMUDGE event and smudge your home, office or land on Inauguration Day. Help clear out the old administration and prepare a clear space for change.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Creative Work Spaces

Okay the holidays are over, winter has decided to visit North Georgia, so there is not a lot to do outside. This years Burpee Catalog came in the mail yesterday, and I have plans with a hot cup of coffee and a recliner later this evening pouring over the tomatoe section. I will report on all the great new vegetables and flowers tomorrow on my gardenchick blog

HOWEVER, today was the day to start crossing off the to-do-list, which is part of my 2009 goals. Today, clean and organize my office. I plan on making this years garden, and my Gardenchick business my priorities this year. I don't know about ya'll, but I can't think in clutter. I also have to have inspiration around me. Since I collect junk, what a great place to put it all together in my office downstairs. My son has almost finished painting (who would have known that the earlier green on the walls would have needed THREE coats of light yellow to cover it up.).

The computer hutch is filled with my gnomes, the 1950's pixies I just love, and old concrete dwarf I paid a whole dollar for at a flea market. On the top shelf you will see a picture of my mother and her sister in a cornfield (1930's). The red cabinet holds some 1950-1960 paint by number pictures, an old rose care kit, and other odds and ends.

But just in case you thought I had conquered the clutter I included a "left to do picture".