September 27, 2013
If you’re anything like us, you love great garden tours and all things getaways. When we tour a special garden, hike in an amazing forest or visit a great park, we try to share our experience through words and photographs for you. And, we’ve been doing this for several years now. So, to make it easier for you to find the great spots we’ve shared, we’ve put together this easy-to-use guide to gardens and getaways we’ve loved to share.
Do bookmark this page as we’ll be adding in more great stories and images of places every garden lover wants to experience!
Bloedel Reserve: Coming soon. This is a must see historical destination. The Parrotia over the lake is outstanding. The architecture is gorgeous. The zig-zag boardwalks over swamp lanterns and pitcher plants ensures no evil spirits will follow you here.
Bon Secours Healing Garden: Coming soon…This special garden offers respite to those staying at or visiting the Bon Secours hospital in Richmond, VA. It provides food for the hospital chefs, a place to heal in nature for patients and their loved ones. And, it even provides some unexpected habitat for wildlife visitors.
Dunn Gardens: Dunn Gardens is an historical hideaway treasure in Seattle’s north end. Its original early 1900 design by the famed Olmstead brothers is still evident today. (Open to the public seasonally. Tickets are required.)
Elizabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden: Coming soon…The formerly private gardens of renowned horticulturist “Betty”, this special place is a gardening wonderland. (Open to the public seasonally on a limited basis. Tickets are required.)
Garden Mentors® : Scenes from our home garden during our 2013 private tour. (Private by invitation only.)
Getty Center: The Getty Center is the more modern of the two Getty museum and garden locations in Los Angeles. Part museum. Part architecture. Part plants. All amazing. (Open to the public by reservation.) (more…)
Growing and preserving food from your garden isn’t as hard as you might think. With a bit of help from our food harvesting & preserving guide, you’ll master any challenges and soon be putting up your garden-fresh veggies, fruits and herbs to enjoy well into winter.
Be sure to bookmark this page; we’ll be updating it as more articles become available. And, please let us know if you’re in need of something specific that you don’t see in our list. We’ll do our best to help!
Asparagus: (Coming soon)
September 26, 2013
Gleaning is one of my favorite fall garden clean up chores. Sure, raking piles of leaves and jumping into them and then filling up compost bins with all those organic tree droppings is great. But, there’s nothing like salvaging the last bits of summer edibles from the garden before slugs, rain, cold, or rot make them inedible.
Gleaning dates back to the beginning of agrarian culture. The practice allowed the poor to follow the main harvest to gather — or glean — what they could from the remaining detritus.
In my garden, I glean for our table. Those last few scrawny eggplants, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes usually are enough to create a small pasta sauce. And a fistful of basil, stripped from near-finished plants, is plenty to flavor it. (Well, I might add in a bit of garlic from the cellar too.) Sometimes, as I clear away foliage, I’m surprised by a stray cucumber or squash I’d completely missed when the garden was lush. If I’m lucky, that squash is a spaghetti squash over which the gleaned primavera is poured. And those bitty cucumbers, chopped over fresh fall spinach or lettuce, pairs as perfect salad — topped, perhaps with the last strawberries or blueberries from our late-bearing shrubs.
So, take it from me — and I have been doing this for a lifetime now — if you’re daunted by all the work ahead in your garden this fall, begin with the easy stuff like gleaning. It’ll get the fall clean up ball rolling, removes a lot of spent material, ensures very little food goes to waste, and reveals otherwise hidden wonders in your beds.
Besides, bringing in a bowl of food is a pretty fantastic reward for all your hard work. And, it sure beats rotten tomatoes everywhere!
Have you ever planted a tree for a loved one?
Recently, our talented graphic designer friend Vince Dean of Pixelube got in touch to ask for help selecting a tree to plant for his son’s first birthday.
In the past, we’ve been asked for help selecting a tree to plant in memory of a loved one — usually human, canine or feline — but we’d never been approached with Vince’s idea and unique goals. So, we took a look at his location together, paired that with his goals, and landed on Styrax japonicus (Japanese Snowbell tree).
These trees perform well in sunny sites. They bloom beautifully with delicate fragrance in late spring, attracting hummingbirds and honeybees. Plus, they provide summer shade and lovely yellow fall color before losing their leaves for winter.
Within a decade we hope this tree will grow into a sturdy, robust youngster that will support the active climbing young Vinnie will probably be doing by then. For now, he’s dancing with joy at the foot of this baby tree he’ll be growing up with.
Maybe if we’re lucky Vince will send us an annual birthday photo showing how this boy and his tree grow up together!
If you love our logo and/or website, don’t miss out on Daddy Vince’s services over at Pixelube. We’d be nowhere without him.
Want to plant your own tree to grow on or mourn under, get in touch to discuss your options and place a tree order today! Fall, much of winter, and spring are great times to select your tree, prep your site, and plant your own fledgeling forest.
Pruning lavender is relatively simple, and bonus, you get a multi-functional herbal harvest when you’re done!
Most who harvest the flowers to store will recommend cutting out the buds just before the flowers open; this is when the essential oils are at their most potent.
However, if like us, you prefer to enjoy the flowers and all of the pollinators that visit them in the garden, it is okay to wait and prune your shrubs to harvest their essence later in the season. The oils won’t be as strong, and the dried buds won’t hold as tightly once they have dried. But, if you’re looking for flower bits to sprinkle on your carpets or stuff into packets to freshen drawers or the laundry, cutting after blooming is just fine. And, in fact, it can easily become a part of your early fall garden cleanup practice. (more…)
I’m all for buying local flowers for beautiful, seasonal, organic (ideally) arrangements. Supporting local growers and florists who offer seasonal flowers to markets and venues close to home isn’t less valuable than buying foods from local farmers and ranchers. I endeavor to support them all. But recently, while I was shopping at my local farmer’s market for this week’s groceries, I saw a locally grown arrangement that gave me pause.
In this seasonal bouquet were several gorgeous stems of one of my favorite blue autumn bloomers — Aconitum or Monkshood (also known as Wolfsbane). While I adore this flower in the garden for its tall, blue, late season blooms and for the hummingbirds it attracts, I also know that almost the entire plant is highly toxic to non-hummingbirds. Some have terrible reactions to the bulbs. Others can get sick simply by taking a whiff. And here I was watching a young couple sticking their noses deeply into their newly acquired bouquet and inhaling deeply. Yipes!
So what to do?