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  • Trilliums April 21, 2015
    There is not much more thrilling than hiking through the woods and finding a patch of native wildflowers. Some are minuscule, not of bright color, others can knock your socks off. Trilliums fill the bill for knocking my socks off! In the picture above, you see White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, about to bloom in one of my gardens. I’ve […] We love hearin […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Help for Hummers April 16, 2015
    Putting up a hummingbird feeder is a fun way to bring hummingbirds close to a viewing space like a window. Like other types of bird feeders, it is often the first step in developing a love of our feathered friends and a desire to nurture them. So once you’ve taken the first step, I’d encourage […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the be […]
    Ellen Honeycutt
  • Native Plant Appreciation Week, Osceola County Florida April 10, 2015
    Today’s article is going to be about promoting the use of native plants, mostly because I forgot that today was Friday and didn’t do any critter research. I’ve been busy promoting The Central Florida Native Plant Sale (3rd annual) which is today, April 10, 2015 from 4-7 p.m. and tomorrow from 8 a.m. – 1 […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Ladies of the Day April 3, 2015
    Notwithstanding their common name, I’ll start by clarifying that they aren’t all ladies.  After all, in North America the order odonata need male and female to reproduce. I’m not clear how these insects acquired their common name.  Damselflies are an interesting group of insects. Predatory in both larval and adult stages, these are insects you […] We love he […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Skink Wars and More on These Sleek Lizards March 28, 2015
    I was on the patio late one afternoon and the trashcan was rocking.  I glanced over since you never know what creature of nature will be visiting my place.  I figured that maybe a black racer or water snake had slithered underneath the wheels setting the rocking in motion. Then I heard thrashing and a […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see al […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Spring Garden Care March 26, 2015
      Spring Garden Care People who care about attracting wildlife to their gardens usually learn over time about best practices for fall cleanup and especially the fact that it’s really beneficial for our birds if we refrain from relentlessly cutting perennials to the ground before winter. But what then happens in the spring for garden care?   Here in […] We lo […]
    Jesse Elwert
  • Downy Woodpeckers March 24, 2015
    A welcome visitor to my garden, throughout the entire year: the Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens. They are small woodpeckers. In fact, they are the smallest woodpecker native to North America. The Downy is generally about 6 3/4 inches long. The picture, above, is a female. She is dressed entirely in black and white, while the […] We love hearing from you […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Spring has sprung at Cincinnati Nature Center March 23, 2015
    My family spent the day hiking the trails at the Cincinnati Nature Center in Milford, Ohio this past Saturday.  It was a beautiful, perfect day to get some fresh air and snap photos of all the new life popping up in the woods and at the ponds. The amphibians have already been busy laying masses […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the b […]
    Judy Burris
  • Bluebird Babies Shepherd in Spring 2015 March 20, 2015
    Big doings at my Central Florida home today.  First day of spring and what could be more rewarding than having the first brood of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) hatch?  NOTHING! I saw mom and dad doing a bit of back and fourth to the nest box early this morning. Such activity is a sure sign […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the be […]
    Loret T. Setters

#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.

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Thai basil seedling.

organic-creeping-thyme-seedling

Purple creeping thyme.

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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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