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November 2009
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  • Snapdragon Shrubs November 25, 2014
    Life in the Southwest is unique in many ways, and tops on the list are plants you don’t find anywhere else on earth. One of these is a shrubby member of the snapdragon family, the Leucophyllum. Native to dry, calcareous areas of Chihuahuan Desert in the states of Texas USA and Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, […] We love hearing from you! Please click here t […]
    Jacqueline Soule
  • Create a Portable Composter November 24, 2014
      Now that fall is winding down, you might want to begin thinking towards next year by taking on this project now. Do you do home composting? Have you often wished you had a portable composter? This is a inexpensive project ($20) that can be completed in less than an hour. First you need to […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beaut […]
    Joni James
  • The Monarchs of Venice, California November 22, 2014
    The morning sun rose over the canals of Venice, California, its soft yellow color reflected in the water, as I stood watching the Monarchs, already up and about.  The pocket park they were visiting was still mostly in shade, so I didn’t expect to see the orange-winged beauties until hours later, when the sun would […] We love hearing from you! Please click h […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • Balance in the Garden: Ichneumon Parasitic Wasp November 21, 2014
    Sometime ago I talked about how some wasps keep a garden in balance by using other arthropods as their larval hosts, laying eggs to hatch and feed off the caterpillars of moths or butterflies or beetle larvae.  It’s Nature’s way of ensuring you don’t get too many of one species.  The food chain in action. […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to se […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Thankful for Nature November 20, 2014
    As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, my list of things to do grows. My mental list of what I am thankful for is in progress as well, and always at the top of that list are the gifts that the natural world has given us. From tiny pollinators to towering oaks, our world would […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos […]
    Ellen Honeycutt
  • Saying Goodbye to All the Plants in My Front Garden November 19, 2014
    Well, it’s digging day. A day I’ve known was coming since we bought our house 14 years ago. Seems that over 100 years ago when my house was built it was considered a good idea to use clay pipes to carry away the sewage from the houses in this neighborhood. Think about it. You know […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photo […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown
  • Teaching native habitats with trout November 17, 2014
    It might seem fishy to set up a 55-gallon fish tank and say you’re going to use to it to teach outdoor education, but so far raising brook trout has been one of the most exciting and engaging projects we’ve taken on at the elementary school where I work. In the local school system, animal […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautif […]
    Stacey Evers
  • Aphids are Good? Wait….WHAT??? November 14, 2014
    Down at my pond recently, I waited patiently for a flower fly to land for a photo op.  I use a point and shoot camera and have yet to find that the sports setting is effective at getting close-up photos of insects so I don’t use it.  I took a random shot or two while […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us k […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Winter Citizen Science Projects November 12, 2014
    Winter is a fabulous time to participate in a wide variety of citizen science projects to help biologists and scientists gather data for conservation planning and further our knowledge of ecosystem health and population abundance of different types of wildlife. I’m working on building a comprehensive list so I’m going to ask for your help […] We love hearing […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown

#GardenChat

Weekend Update

Another busy weekend in the indoor garden. A Saturday check of the plants revealed herb roots peeking out of the sage and basil pots, lavender sprouting (The envelope said 21 days for germination, it’s been one week.), and FRAGRANCE! The scent of Thai basil was lingering in the air as I entered and, for a moment, I forgot I was inside in November. Add to that the scent of Silver Fir Tree tomato foliage as I rotated the pots and I was reminded this truly is a garden, regardless of location.

silver-fir-tree-leaf-heirloom-tomato-seedling

Silvery foliage of heirloom tomatoes.

organic-Thai-basil-seedling

Thai basil seedling.

organic-creeping-thyme-seedling

Purple creeping thyme.

herb-sage-seedling-indoor-garden

Wrinkled foliage of common sage.

Saturday also brought the mailman to our door with books. The weather is quickly changing and a few new reads aren’t as much a luxury as a necessity when the snow flies. New to the bookshelf:

  • “Second Nature” by Michael Pollan. Chosen by the American  Horticultural Society as one of the 25 greatest books ever written, it is (to quote Frank Levering) “…Part autobiography, part gardening book, part intellectual odyssey…”. A quick flip through the book and I’m already convinced Mr. Pollan and I share a gardening spirit.
  • “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan. The entire book expands on seven simple words delivered at the very start, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” A revelation of how food was reduced to only selected nutrients and the effects it’s had on society.
  • “Food, Inc.” a guide by Participant media. The movie will change the way you look at food.  This book re-caps the movie’s messages as well as providing 13 original essays by experts illustrating the issues and providing challenges for the consumer to promote change.
  • “Restoring American gardens” by Denise wiles Adams. A hardcover encyclopedia of heirloom ornamental plants from 1640-1940. Full of vintage photos and glossy pictures as well as the history and culture of over 1,000 plants including trees, roses, annuals and perennials. Invaluable and beautiful.

pollan-schlosser-adams-books-organic-gardening

This weekend also blessed me with a gift from my hubby, a membership to Seed Saver’s Exchange. I’m thrilled to be a part of a network of grower’s all over the world dedicated to collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds. Please consider joining a reputable seed saving organization or co-op or giving a membership as a gift. Help protect bio-diversity and our gardening heritage for our future and the future of our children.

seed-saver-exchange-membership-pamphlet

seed-savers-exchange-inside-membership-pamphlet

Finally, Sunday was jam-making day with fresh cranberries mixed with frozen strawberries saved from summer for Christmas Jam.(Recipe here.) Bright red and sweetly tart it’s perfect for toasted home-baked bread on snowy winter mornings. I like to tuck a few jars away for a delicious handmade gift. Now that I think about it, everything here would be a welcomed gift. They were for me!

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