BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Marching into March

I have been away for a few days. I have seen beautiful things. I have been with beautiful people. I am refreshed. I am now very ready for spring. And with the weather we are having, I am tempted to do too much. High temps one day and low temps the next. There’s much to be said about March … In like a lion … out like a lamb. Yes, March is a jam-packed month… Calling us to spring forward, participate in March Madness (Indiana), beware the ides, don our green for St. Patrick, and usher in SPRING! 💐

BOOK GIVEAWAY 

On March 1st the winner of the GARDEN MAKER by Christie Purifoy was selected. Sherry Lewis, our winner, will be receiving her new book soon. Congratulations Sherry!

Thank you to all of you who shared your favorite book both on social media and the blog. I wish I could send each of you a copy of this delightful book. If you are interested, you can read more about it or purchase here. 

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

We are all winners with the great book ideas that came in! Several of you had the same favorites! Over the next few weeks, I will share some of the books you recommended.

TASHA TUDOR

Several mentioned Tasha Tudor books. Tasha is a very favorite of mine. She certainly lived life her way and inspired us with her journey. Although she was born in 1915, she chose to live a lifestyle of the early 1800s. Her garden is a legendary work of cottage garden art. These books are in short supply so best to buy them as used books. Often they can often be found on Amazon reasonably. If currently available, I provided a link. 

Tasha Tudor’s Garden by Tovah Martin

The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Richard Brown

The Tasha Tudor Cookbook by Tasha Tudor

ANOTHER RECOMMENDATION…

Empress of the Garden by Michael Shoup (Owner of Antique Rose Emporium)

Jolene Angelos shared…  “This is a very large book filled with beautiful photos, interesting facts, and histories of an array of roses.” 

I don’t have this particular book but I do have Mike’s book on Landscaping with Antique Roses and it is fabulous.  Link here.

ABOUT MIKE SHOUP

Mike Shoup has a deep and profound love of the rose. We chatted about his fascinating rose story on Rose Chat last year. I just love to hear him talk about roses! Did you know he did a Ted Talk about his rose story? I think you would enjoy the podcast!

ROSE CHAT PODCAST

ROSES THE ULTIMATE GARDEN PLANT with Mike Shoup

In this episode, Mike Shoup, author of several books and creator of the Antique Rose Emporium, takes us on a creative journey with roses and gives us their history and the ways they complement every garden. You can listen here.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

As you know, I have several dahlias on order but I found 2 packs of Dahlia tubers at WalMart and 1 pack at Lowes that I couldn’t resist. They are potted up and doing very well. I couldn’t believe how quickly they sprouted. I also potted up one that I wintered over but so far no sprouts. I have much to learn about the overwintering process.

The Lisianthus I started a few weeks back were big enough this week to move up into individual pots. Look at those roots – even on the tiny ones. Fingers crossed these all make it through the rest of the seedling processes!

I also have a new plant I am very excited about… an Easter cactus. I picked it up at a favorite local garden center, Country Harmony. There were so many beautiful plants there!

Easter Cactus… the blooms are just stuning

Friends, wherever you are I hope your days are filled with sunshine and all the excitement that March can bring to a gardener! We are on the home stretch now. SPRING IS SPRINGING!!

🌱🌸🌱💐🌱🌼🌱

Love this!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SOWING, BOOKS, AND A GIVEAWAY

Winter sowing has finally begun. Probably, like you, February is a month where my plans for the garden and the reality of summertime and energy clash.

Starting seeds inside under grow lights is extremely fun for me but, there is a lot of time between start to finish on that process and the end of that process gets a little tricky and requires the gardener to be very engaged.

So, in comes winter sowing! Seriously, it is a very easy and economical way to get a ton of seedlings up and ready for planting with minimal work for the gardener. Last year was the first time I tried it although so many of my fellow master gardeners raved about the process! At first, I was concerned that my garden would look “unsightly” with all those water jugs strewn about. But this year I am embracing the milk jug garden art even more than last year. Every time I see them I am giddy with anticipation of what is to come. If you’d like to know more about the Winter Sowing Method and what I did last year, read on here.

My cutting garden is the main focus of winter sowing. The cutting garden is a raised bed directly behind the herb garden that will be home to the dahlias I chatted about last week. In my “winter gardener’s dream state,” I see hundreds and hundreds of blooms to pick! Oh, did I forget to mention the zinnias? Well, I think they are getting a new space so there’s more room for them to be their best selves. 

IN THE WATER JUGS ARE…

  • Lavender
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • Candytuft
  • Delphinium
  • Daucus
  • Scabiosa
  • Verbena
  • Orlaya 
  • Nicotiana
  • Larkspur
  • Phacelia
  • Poppies
  • Foxgloves

If these all do well, I’ll have enough for the cutting garden and to add to the borders! A bit later in the season, I am going to try sowing tomatoes using this method. 

Potting day process looks like this…

In other potting shed news, the basil and Lisianthus seeds are up and looking sooo sooo cute. 

REALITY CHECK: CRITTERS (or varmints as my dad would say)

We’ve talked about how all the critters from miles around showed up to have lunch – regularly. I have Mr. G working on some sort of easy to move around fencing so that my babies will have a better chance of survival against the cats, groundhogs, raccoons, o’possums, rabbits and deer. Yes, our critter cam caught all of them munching on my babies last year or in the case of the cats … having way too much fun scratching around – if you know what I mean. 😏

I also purchased several mesh wire wastebaskets (Link) to use as cloches for protecting small plants. I know my parsley will need extra help and the Daucus. Everyone loves anything in the carrot family!

BOOKS AND GARDENING

This quote says, “if you have a garden and library you have everything you need”. Well, that is isn’t quite true for me, however, books are a huge part of my gardening experience. 

In January I pull out some of my favorite books where the author takes a month-by-month approach. The best one is Rosemary Verey’s, A Country Woman’s Year. When I read her words, I am transformed to her time and place. And want to be where she is and meet who she meets and see what she sees.

Rosesmary’s words from “FEBRUARY”…

Philip Miller, gardener to the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries at the Botanic Garden at Chelsea, wrote in 1732 that December was the darkest month of the whole year. Adding up the hours of darkness I am sure he must be right but for me February is the most dreary month. We are almost at the end of the tunnel and perhaps it is the accumulation of dark days that do their best to get me down. Luckily they do not succeed as there are wonderful promises to come. Yesterday as I drove down Welch Way, a 200 year old lane near our village, I got out of my car to examine the nut trees. They grow on each side of the lane making a wonderful canopy, joining hands in the middle. At night, headlights full on, you feel as though you are driving through a magic tunnel.


Okay, who wants to join me for a trip to see the nut trees? 


Another author who has the ability to transform me with her words is Christie Purifoy

GARDEN MAKER … Growing a Life of Beauty & Wonder with Flowers

I liken her new book to walking at daybreak in the morning fog, coffee in hand to take in all the nuances of the quiet garden. Few things are more enchanting to me than foggy mornings. Christie’s book is filled with all the feels of an enchanting morning stroll with a friend where there’s endless time for garden talk.

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Garden friends, I would love to give one of you a copy of Christie’s book. Actually, I’d like to give all of you a copy but of course, I can’t do that. All you have to do to be added to the drawing is leave a comment below and share a favorite garden book. Deadline March 1. (US addresses only.)

A SNEAK PEEK INSIDE…

Friends, have a wonderful week, and don’t forget to leave a comment about your favorite book! Happy Valentine’s Day.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Don’t Wait!

One of the things this season of our world has taught me is don’t wait. 

Last year I experienced…  “Sold Out” on seeds and other garden supplies and shortages of ingredients for holiday favorites. From the look of the aisles in the grocery stores, I’m thinking waiting could be risky business. This week the grocery aisles were very skimpy. 😳

One ingredient that is absolutely necessary for our holiday meals is Pepperidge Farm Herb Classic Stuffing Mix. Following in the tradition of Mr. G’s mother … Our family “dressing” is a mixture of the Pepperidge Farm mix, dried bread, butter, broth, eggs, herbs, celery, and onion. This speaks “holiday” in our family like no other! 

Sometimes this mix is hard to find!  During the original COVID lockdown, I looked and looked and finally was able to order online! You can imagine my delight when last week our local Kroger had all I needed! Let’s say I bought plenty!!!

What food says “holiday” to you?

DAHLIAS / SEEDS

In the spirit of not waiting, I have placed orders for Dahlias and seeds. #priorities 🙄 I didn’t want to see the “sold out” banner again. I am happy to report seeds are already here safe and sound and waiting their time to shine. Dahlias will come in the spring. ☑️ ☑️

DAHLIA ORDER … FROM SWAN ISLAND  

Swan Island was recommended to me by John Hefner. If you know John, you know that he and Donna have the most amazing garden filled with hundreds of roses and yes beautiful dahlias! There are so many beautiful ones to choose from. My greatest challenge is to NOT buy pink ones because I have so many pink roses.  💞 Here’s a link for Swan Island Don’t wait!

The dahlias below are on order and there are “only” a couple more I am still trying to find. ☑️

THE ROSE WITHOUT A NAME

The Rose Without a Name is a children’s book that shares the story of the Peggy Martin Rose. The book beautifully and thoughtfully weaves a story of hope from hurricane and devastation to rebirth and beauty. I can’t wait to read this book to my grandchildren. 

Read more about this book or purchase here.

HOW ROSES TOUCH OUR LIVES

Speaking of books, a good friend, Teresa Mosher, has written her second book, How Roses Touch our Lives. You can listen to her story of the book and of being a gardener of 40 years. (Pssst: She currently cares for and maintains 42 flower beds, around 200 roses, 1500 perennials, shrubs, and trees.😱) LISTEN HERE

Here is my beautiful friend standing in front of her beautiful rose
‘Perennial Blue’. She loves purple!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Beautiful visitor
The Potting Shed Window Box is now dressed for the season.

COMING SOON

November is almost here. And, don’t judge us but that will usher in Christmas music season around here. Mr. G makes sure all our favorites fill the airwaves around here! And I bet if we listen closely, we will hear the sounds coming from a home in England that houses 4 little boys. We may be a house divided on how we feel about fall, but this family is a big fan of Christmas. Maybe not the commercial parts but definitely in the celebrating Christ’s birth with loads of family, friends, food, twinkle lights and watching “White Christmas”. Never too many twinkle lights or Bing!

DON’T WAIT

Yes, these days, if you need something it is best not to wait. Supplies for our everyday lives are important but this unpredictable season beckons us not to wait on other more important things too… to say what’s on our hearts … whether it’s You are special, I love you, I’m sorry or something in between. Don’t wait. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: It’s Not Too Early

It is definitely not too early to be thinking about what you will grow this spring and buying seeds. For me, now more than ever, keeping busy in the positive pursuit of spring is healing.

I keep remembering last year when it was so hard to get seeds and even plants due to the lockdown and also due to the number of people planting a garden – many for the very first time. Plants and seeds flew off the shelves and from the online stores.

Aren’t seeds just the most fascinating things. They do the miraculous. Most are very small yet they are packed with everything a plant needs! I doubt I will ever loose my fascination with the process. When you start plants from seeds, you have a front row seat to the miracle.

My front row seat last year …

I placed my first seed order in December to Renee’s Garden. I highly recommend Renee’s Garden as they have a great selection of seeds – many old fashion varieties and the seed packets are so pretty. Their website is full of how-to videos and fact sheets as well as recipes. My recent order was for sweet peas: Blue Celeste, Zinfandel, April in Paris and French Alouette Larkspur.

Larkspur is one of my very favorites However, it has not done well for me in recent years. Last year I did have one area where a few self seeded! That seems to be the key — if they self seed and make it through the winter they are strong and gorgeous. They love a good cold period…. If not toooo cold. Yesterday when I was walking in the garden I noticed that last year’s larkspur has self seeded and the area is thick with baby larkspur.

Our local Lowe’s already has their seeds in stock – the earliest I ever remember. I hope there is as much excitement about planting this year as there was last.

Another thing that does my heart good are these sweet boys. Here they are learning about seeds last year. As you can see, their momma is a very creative teacher. She’s been inspiring me her entire life.

If you want to know more about seeds, I have a book to recommend. My friend, Julie Thompson-Adolf’s beautiful book….

STARTING & SAVING SEEDS … grow the perfect vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for your garden.

This book makes you want to grow all your plants from seeds and with Julie’s help we just might be able to do so! Each page is filled with beautiful images and helpful information … practical information … real gardener information. I particularly like the Trouble Shooting section and info on saving seeds. I always save a few but it is an area I want to do more of.

Whether you are a newbie at growing from seed or have been doing it for years, I think you will find this book inspirational and helpful. More book info here.

THE YEAR OF …

The National Garden Bureau is celebrating 100 years. Congratulations!

Each year the NGB selects one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop, one edible and one shrub as our “Year of the” crops. Plants are chosen because they are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse, and versatile.

2021 NGB YEAR OF PLANTS…

Year of the Hibiscus
Year of the Garden Bean
Year of the Hyacinth
Year of the Monarda (Very excited about these!)
Year of the Sunflower

This year I am declaring the Bloom Thyme Cottage Garden Year Of…

BASIL

Yes, this year I am taking a new look at all varieties of basil due to a random purchase of a “new to me” basil. I bought it because it was available when others were sold out last spring. I don’t even remember it’s name. Oddly I don’t have the tag and I keep almost every tag. I believe it was a Thai basil. Needless to say, I will enjoy several varieties.

We used more basil last summer than ever before. We fell in love with a tomato salad and the “unnamed” basil was perfect in the salad.

I am preparing my Burpee order and have several basils on the list.

Proven Winners has new basil out that I hope to find … Amazel Basil. It is said to be resistant to powdery mildew (which would be so nice) and it’s sterile – meaning that the plant will continue to produce shoots and leaves and is less likely to lose its flavor when the flowers come.  More about Amazel Basil here.

Do you have a basil that you particularly like?

Here is the yummy Tomato Salad Recipe

GARDEN JOURNALS

Several have asked me about garden journals. I have one that I can definitely recommend. I actually bought it last year but didn’t use it. The first quarter of 2020 I was super busy and traveling, then BOOM March came and lockdown came with it. I got busy in the garden but the journal somehow seemed too pretty to use with the current world vibe. BTW, I did keep an almost daily list of LIFE & GARDEN observations through all of 2020 and have started that again. Sort of a highlight and “lowlight” listing. When I look back, I can hardly believe some of the things I wrote. What a year.

A YEAR IN THE GARDEN … A GUIDED JOURNAL

This journal gives you practical spaces to create, plan and record but also encourages you to be a better observer of things around you and jot down your observations.

I am a self professed page layout snob. And I love the pages of the journal and the illustrations. It is soothing just to open. I love the prompts too. I am not waiting another year to use it. It is a go now. It’s on Amazon here.

Friends, thanks for joining me today. It has been a difficult week for us all. I find garden friends and garden work whether inside or out helps me better cope with the world around me and I am grateful.

I hope your garden world is comforting to you as you begin planning for what will come this spring. And for those of you in warmer places  – enjoy every minute in your garden. A special thanks to those who are sharing beautiful, colorful pictures on social media. You give us hope and bring us joy as we make our way through the grayness of winter and these tumultuous times.

Until next time…  be well and be safe. xo

Come to me, all who are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Sometimes by Step

Today is a Potting Shed Day and I am thinking about all the steps in our lives right now. We are carefully going through steps to avoid COVID-19:

  • Stay Home
  • Wash your hands
  • Don’t touch your face

I am also going through steps to see that my seedlings have the very best chance at making it into the garden to flourish.

All of these steps remind me of one of my all time favorite songs Sometimes by Step by Rich Mullins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAhw1Fq1ZLo

Rich Mullins’ music is my go to music and has been since the release of SONGS in 1996. I have it blaring in the Potting Shed today. This is my go to music in good times, bad times and when I need an extra measure of closeness to our Creator. Every song speaks to me. Do you have music that speaks to you at a time like this – when a pandemic rages around us?

My job today is potting up my seedlings. Some have needed this for some time. 🤦‍♀️ 

Let me go back and tell you about my original plan as far as seeds were concerned back in January … Plant a few tomatoes, some zinnias and a few things for FUN!

Practically every day since the pandemic hit our daily life, I have pulled out more seeds. I am so thankful for my hoarding tendencies when it comes to plant containers and seeds. I bought a few things this winter but not what I would have bought if I had known. It is probably good to note that my last trip out before quarantine was not the grocery story – it was Lowes for a few extra seeds and pansies. I WISH I HAD BOUGHT TONS MORE! While on that Lowe’s run, I was caught by my daughter who called and asked where I was. I couldn’t lie. Her reaction was, I WANTED YOU ON QUARANTINE YESTERDAY – now go home! 🙄

Now that I’ve confessed all that, let’s get to the tasks for today. I’ll take you through my process since several have asked but know this – I have never done mass production before. Some of these STEPS are not tried and true because I am using what I have on  hand.  Thanks for going through this experiment with me. I’ll share reports later.

Click on an image to open the gallery…

There are still many steps to go and pitfalls to avoid before we are successful –  like damping-off and too much “outside” too soon. Damping-off is a real issue for me as I tend to over water – which I equate to over loving.

These are scary times friends, but we are learning so much from the experiences too. My son put on social media his thoughts on how we can emerge from this…

As I struggle with all of this – the virus, mandatory closings, the lock down.. I am trying to be hopeful. I am trying to see this as a precipice.

I want to think that we can emerge from this as…

  • people who slow down
  • people who are passionate about our local community
  • people who cook at home more often
  • people who support local restaurants and farmers
  • people who think about where our food and goods come from
  • people who garden
  • people who go on walks
  • people who communicate better with our friends and family
  • people who check in on our neighbors

Changing behaviors and routines is one of the hardest things, but they say it only takes 21 days – we happen to have been given a whole month.

Yes, we can turn the scary into blessings.

BLOOM THYME

There is a lot of Spring springing here. I’ll post pictures tomorrow on Bloom Thyme Friday.

Today I’ll close with another of my favorite Rich Mullins’ songs – While the Nations Rage …

 

Celebrating the Arrival of February

I think it is time for celebration when you survive January. Seriously, isn’t it the longest month. 40 days at least.

February is here and it is the month of love and Mr. G’s birthday. 🥰 Definitely a reason to celebrate!

TODAY I AM LOVING…

My trip to Dammann’s Garden Center (link).

What started from the desperate need for something spring and the desire to walk through greenhouses that smell like dirt and are alive with the hustle / bustle of spring work, turned into a delightful morning. I met and had a wonderful conversation with Kathy who is in charge of the houseplant section and is so knowledgeable. Don’t you love conversations with those who love what you love? Just being there was renewing. Add to that a little sunshine today and I am renewed and energized.

I came away with little 3 beauties I’ll use in the same pot:

  • 2 Haworthias (Aloe family) native to Africa, Arabia and Madagascar
  • 1 cute little waxy trailing Crassula to compliment the spikiness of Haworthias.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…

SPEAKING OF AFRICA … Hudson’s African Violet is going on 5 months of continuous bloom. NO JOKE. Talk about ‘Bang for your Buck’. What started as a tiny leaf 2.5 years ago is a major winter buster. It is in the potting shed where it gets “some” light but not much! Our winters are dark.

First blooming in September (Thank goodness for image time stamps.)

How it looks this week…

Here’s H potting up another beauty he found rooting in water in Grammy’s potting shed. He’s so small. Now he a big boy in school. 🥰

Tomorrow is Mr. G’s birthday so I need to put plants aside and get to baking. He wants a Black Forrest Cake. Hope it’s yummy. I don’t bake that much so wish me luck and wish Mr. G a happy birthday! He’s the best.

He’s the best. … she is too. 🥰

FUN CONTINUES:

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Carmolli of Proven Winners on their new releases, some gardening trends and PW plants that will be great as rose companions.

The podcast will drop on Sunday evening. Check out all Rose Chat Podcasts here.   (Easy to remember: rosechatpodcast.com) If you haven’t listened to Michael Marriott’s podcast, it’s fabulous too. Check it out while you are there.

Monday I am speaking to the Johnson County Garden Club. What fun to talk gardening especially this time of year. A room full of people excited for spring… FANTASTIC!

CURRENTLY:

I’m making lists of plants by height to find new plants to add this year! Once that project is done, I’ll probably need a few more seeds. You’ve seen my treasure trove of seeds in previous posts, so I won’t need many, right?

Only a few more weeks and we can begin to start seeds. Ahhhhh …. I don’t want to miss any of the “spring things.”

Bloom Thyme Friday: It’s Painfully True

Yes, it is painfully true that I have an over the top case of the garden gimmies – I want way too many plants for spring. Mamma Berenstain Bear would be taking me to task about it too. And, I would plead my case while I submit these pictures for review….

Are you with me? All of these catalogs are just yummy but the David Austin catalog this year is a work of art! It just came yesterday so I haven’t had a chance to go page by page, but I will. #gimmies Wish me luck. Or not. 😍

BLOOM THYME:

Roses on Order…

ROSES UNLIMITED

MOTHER OF PEARL
I ordered two more to add to the two I have in the garden now. Remember those from last summer…

Beautiful.
Easy Care.
Light Fragrance.

PALATINE ROSES

I hear from Paul Zimmerman (Paul Zimmerman Roses) who grows a number of the Delbard roses that they, “some of the finest roses you will ever grow.” They are easy care, fragrant and show-stopping beautiful. They are not as easy to find in this country yet, so if you are looking for Delbards, try Palatine (while they last) and Roses Unlimited (864-682-7673) (while they last). All of the roses I have received from these companies have been high quality!

PAPI DELBARD (CLIMBER)

I happen to know that Palatine is now sold out of this rose but they have so many other beauties!!

SOEUR EMMANUEL DELBARD

 

GHISLAINE de FELIGONDE

Because I can’t get enough of roses that ramble! This rose is shade tolerant — a very good thing in my garden as I watch my tree get bigger and bigger each year. Roses, in general, need 6 – 8 hours of sun. And all do better if they get that much sun I believe. So I will try to put her in as much sun as possible. She is also fragrant and a repeat bloomer. I CAN’T WAIT!! And look at those colors. Yum!

LAGUNA CLIMBER

This climber is from the Kordes collection known for hardiness, beauty and fragrance. I plan to station Laguna at one of the entrances to our garden! Bill Kozemchek tempted me with the rose from his garden last summer….

If you want another great suggestion for a climber, try Jasmina. I have 2 baby ones and they have done very well. Another Kordes that is beautiful, easy to care for and fragrant.

Bill’s Jasmina is not so small anymore. Look at this gorgeous one. Hopefully, mine will grow leaps and bounds the year!

To see more of Bill’s garden you can follow him on Facebook HERE.

HIGH COUNTRY ROSES

Another source of outstanding roses from old garden roses to modern! I bought 2 Veilchenblau from them last summer — when it was so hot and they arrived in wonderful shape and did extemely well when added to the garden!

I have another Harison Yellow and a Madam Plantier coming from High Country.

And then there are SEEDS!

There are several seeds on my list too. So far I have only purchased Zinnias when I found what I believe will be the perfect color. Last year we had some Zinnia “color issues”. My California Giant mix was very prolific and beautiful but many of them were orange tones … not the best look with all the pinkness going on in my garden. I hope these pretty Enchantress Zinnias will be enchanting and fit right in.

Gimmies??? Yes, because I want most of the roses I see, and plants and seeds, but I’m working on it and Mr. G is helping with his “looks.” Not quite Momma Berenstain bear looks, but effective. 😉 I have more than one gift certificate and they make all the difference. My family and friends know what to “buy” me!

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Last weekend, I was scheduled to go to St Louis to speak to a rose society, but instead, I was home with Mr. G watching the snow fall. The postponed invitation was extended again for today… We are home again waiting for even more snow.

If you are in the Crown Point, IN area on Feb 8, I will be speaking to the Lake County Master Gardeners about NEW ROSES FOR TODAY’S GARDENS. Come join us!

GOD’S ARTISTRY

While we wait for spring, God shows us that “to everything, there is a season.” — A BEAUTIFUL SEASON! And, we are grateful.

Girlfriends and Girdles

I know it isn’t polite to talk about girdles in mixed company (I’m originally from the south and am aware that this could cause swooning) but, before you swoon, let’s take a look at the burlap girdles that my friends, Carol and Kerrie, designed.

The Friends

Chris (The Redneck Rosarian, Carol, Me, Kerrie and Mimi!
Chris (The Redneck Rosarian), Carol, Me, Kerrie and Mimi!

I have been cyber friends with Carol and Kerrie for about 3 years and have learned so much from them about seeds. You can learn from them too just follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

This  spring I had the great pleasure of spending some time with them at Garden 2 Blog at P Allen Smith Garden Retreat. We had a blast!

This fun loving duo have come up with all kind of things to make gardening a whole lot easier and more fun! Please don’t miss the seed keeper boots in the pic above. Gotta love those!

The Girdles

images
Cute packaging!

Back to the girdles … I am so in love with these girdles (grow bags). They are light weight, come in 3 sizes, are easy to store, easy on the budget and look fabulous in my natural setting.

Most of you know how crazy I am about burlap and twine, so you are not surprised that I love these. Here’s how they look on one of my potting benches…

KeeperGirdleesFor more about the burlap girdles, read on.

The Seed Keeper Project

I am also very impressed with their Seed Keeper Project where they recognize school gardens across the country and award a Seed Keeper Home Farmer and a Certificate to a school in every state highlighting their dedication to gardening. Read more.

The Seed Keepers

Never hunt for your seeds again.” If you collect seeds and want to keep them organized, you need one of Carol and Kerrie’s Seed Keepers. They come in 3 sizes and they also come with all kinds of stuff that makes seeding keeping so much easier like dividers, plant markers, seed saving envelopes and more.

I actually have two of the deluxe models and fill them to the brim!  Take a look…

All my seeds can be alphabetical and organized. I just love it!

The Boots

Okay I have to share just one more picture of THE boots …

419610_10150717197213436_452163874_nAdorable!

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It’s seed thyme!

I love getting seed catalogs and I love it when the garden centers have seeds! Yesterday we were at Lowes and yes the seeds were out! I found a few Burpee gems that I am very excited about…

PURITY ZINNIA: 5″ white dahlia-like flowers that are “wonderful for bouquets”!!! These are going to look so good with the roses!

MILKMAID NASTURTIUM: This delicate cream-colored climber is the closest thing to a white nasturtium that exists.

EXQUISITE ZINNIA: A spectacular Burpee-bred heirloom. Large 4-5″ blooms open red and age to soft pink. I bet these will be fabulous vased with my pink & red roses!

KALEIDOSCOPE MIX LARKSPUR: A blend of Larkspur species: D. ajacis, D. regatlis, D. ambigua and D. yunnanense. Larkspur is a wonderful companion to roses!

KALEIDOSCOPE MIX CARROT: Mix includes 20% each of Atomic Red, Bambino, Cosmic Purple, Solar Yellow and Lunar White. FUN!

LITTLE FINGER CARROT: Tiny gourmet carrots that grow only 3 1/2″ long, perfect for serving whole. YUM

I will add these packages to my very organized (thanks to my Seed Keeper) seeds left over from last year!

Seed Collage

Now back to the seed catalogs to search for more treasures. Another one I must have is Nigella!

What seeds are you excited about this year?