Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pink Scabiosa Trialers Needed

I need four gardeners who are willing to trial "pin cushion" or scabiosa in their garden. We need to determine if the scabiosa that is presently a lovely pink will grow out as 'pink' since we also grow Chat Noir. Today we collected tons of seed from the pink scabiosa and have replanted it to determine if it's stable. However, it would be great to have a few others doing the same thing since Chat Noir has such a prominent presence in our garden.

Please post a reply or send a private email if you are interested in receiving a free packet of seeds. The only caveat is that you must agree to provide us with direct feedback on the status of the seed, the color and quality of plants generated as a result.

UPDATE (12.16.09): I am still seeking trialers. Please feel free to contact me, if interested.

We'll post an update when we can't accept any additional requests.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Outstanding Reasons for Saving Heirloom Seeds!

Recently visited the Irish Seed Savers site and could immediately appreciate their 10 reasons for saving seeds:

Food Security
Self Sufficiency
Environmental Sustainability
Global Change
Cultural Heritage

This made for a really compelling reason to save our own seed! Read for yourself.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seeds, Seeds and More Seeds

Starting January 2009, we'll make one varietal per month available for free, on a first come, first served basis, to about 20 people via a self-addressed-stamped-envelope (SASE).  In an effort to encourage more home gardeners to 'grow their own' edibles and flowers we will happily share some of our saved seed.  Postings will be made here as to what's available, the quantity of packets and the specifics.  We'll do our best to make at least 20 packets per month available and we'll update the posting when no additional are available.

In return, we request you to let us know where and when you grow the seeds and how well they grow on.  We'll still make our list of seeds available to those wishing to obtain something very specific from our list.  However, due to the economic climate around the world, we really want to do everything we can to share what little we have and encourage people to begin the process of actively growing their own edibles and happy garden flowers.

Want to trade seeds?  Absolutely!  Look below for further details:

SASE Requests:

1. Availability:  Anyone can request a free packet of seeds. If you are located outside the continental United States we must ask for US$1 since a self addressed stamped envelope from other countries is not valid in the United States.

2.  Email : You MUST send us an email before sending us a request. This enables us to make sure we have a packet available in the event there are more requests than we have seed packets.

3.  Limitations:  Seeds are available on a first come, first served basis.  As with many freebies, people will often make requests and never send their SASE.  We will request each person send their SASE within 7 days of their acknowledged request otherwise, we'll move on to the next person who has made a request to make sure all the packets available get sent to people who truly have an interest. 

4.  Confirmation:  We will send a confirmation via email once your request is received and placed in the mail.  Make sure to include your email address with your SASE.

Questions? As always, contact us anytime via this link or via email.

Trade Requests:

Note, we are always willing to trade for heirlooms to try in our garden.  Here are the list of items that are abundantly available for trade and are from our garden:

Want List

Trade List

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sir Graham

Grows more than 10 feet in the air...and oh so beautiful...sigh.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Carrots Going to Seed

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Favorite Hydra

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Heirloom Roses

An important element in our garden are heirloom roses. Recently, we purchased several roses and paid a premium price for the roses as well as the shipping. What we received was nothing less than a shock - rooted sticks...rooted sticks with big bugs. These so-called plants came from Ashdown Roses. Once they're out of quarantine, we'll make sure to take photos (as it's a rather surprising sight). At the moment they're sequestered in a separate area of the garden in hopes of ridding the massive aphids from the plants; hopefully, the sticks won't rot away.

Now, this was our third rose order of the season. What arrived from the first two orders were lovely, healthy plants - from two different companies.

Two out of three isn't too bad...we won't place another order from Ashdown Roses anytime soon after this initial experience.

Ashdown FINALLY responded to our many, many inquiries and sent us a refund for the sticks which inevitably died.

People have also asked what the other company was that provided us with fabulous roses - the name of the company is Chamblee's Rose Nursery. We're planning to place another order with them in a few weeks (and yes, that statement was made with sheer glee!!!).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beautiful Burgundy Sweet Peas

I am now convinced every home gardener should grow sweet peas. They are one of the most rewarding plants providing highly fragrant blooms. Blooms are durable, delicate and last for several days, making way for the next batch of cut stems.

Burgundy Sweet Pea are some of the most spectacular sweet peas grown in my garden. They’ve volunteered each of the past several years and are simply magnificent! Plants readily produce large, deep burgundy flowers on long stems which make gorgeous, distinctive bouquets. One cutting of six stems easily perfumed an entire room and is always a show stopper. Plants grow vigorously and easily reach 7 feet with support. Flowers are produced over an extensive period of time, particularly if cut frequently.

I hope to grow more varieties and make them available to other home gardeners. Available for those who wish to try them.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bronze Fennel

This is a fairly easy plant to grow although our first year was a complete disaster due to our lack of watering when the plants were seedlings. However, once established they quickly became a prominent addition to the garden often turning the heads of all who entered. The plants are gorgeous, bronzy-brownish-burgundy with an intense fennel fragrance. We used it primarily as an ornamental filler for flower arrangements. The plants bulbous portion didn’t seem to grow nearly as fast as typical fennel, which was great for us, and maintained itself rather neatly in one area. It was extremely drought tolerant and not demanding of space. Plants lasted for a couple of years, with frequent cuttings, without any signs of going to seed. The leaves are lovely, feathery and light and are supported by strong bronze stems. We have found it to be a prolific re-seeder in our tropical environment. The plant is edible. Note, in 2008, we’ve ended up with Bronze Fennel throughout our entire yard. Taking nothing away from its intense beauty…it can be a bit of a nuisance because it’s so incredibly prolific. Since we only use it for salads, we are unable to eat it as quickly as it reproduces. Luckily, I’ve enlisted another neighbor to assist us since fennel is one of her favorites.

If you'd like to grow some in your garden, you're welcome to try it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mrs. Burns' Lemon Basil

I grew this plant several years ago as a trial and was simply stunned by the incredible taste of lemon. The leaves are small and more pointy than the lettuce-type varieties like Genovese and Ruffles but are extremely flavorful and highly fragrant. Slightly brush against the plant and you’re struck by the strong lemon aroma with an after effect of basil. And, it’s delicious! Pesto made from Mrs. Burn’s Lemon is great on pizza. This has a very distinctive lemony taste and fragrance. Frequently harvest the leaves. Plant will become woody if not cut on a regular basis. Plants only grew a few inches tall. Generally, we just grow one to two plants in the garden but this time we're going to make a border of at least eight plants and plant Envy zinnia in the center.

We have seed available for home gardeners who would like to try it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Red Amaranth

Have you grown this variety of amaranth? It has gorgeous burgundy leaves make an excellent salad addition. Commonly used in Asian cuisine. Very ornamental, beautiful plant. Our plants readily self-seed. We have seed available for home gardeners wishing to try it. It would be great to get an opinion for someone living in a different climatic zone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I hate tomatoes...think I've said that before, probably too many times. But, it never fails we start more tomatoes than we could possibly ever plant or consume unless we lived on several hundred acres (okay, I'm exaggerating a bit). This year is no different. Over a week ago, after ordering 50 new tomato varieties, we planted 18 varieties and 54 seeds.

I'm considering counseling...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spring is Springng

If I could express how incredibly happy I am to be able to get into the garden and work, I would but words don't express...what a joy.

Well, the garden is truly a mess but much great work was done clearing out weeds, grass and pulling up plants I'm just really tired of looking at: calendula, peppermint...and a few other things that are currently a blur.

I'll try to remember to take some pictures - which I find more interesting than my words. The colors and the spring blooms are incredible.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Heirloom Club Member Annual Gifts

Incredibly, it's March which means the heirloom seeds purchased a couple of months ago are starting to arrive and will be ready for distribution to members shortly. These annual gifts are available to members who requested packets in the past. The only request is that anyone receiving these heirlooms contact us back to let us know how well the plants grew on, what you thought of each packet you plant, if you'd grow them again and if it was worth the effort (along with any interesting information about the quality, color and size of the plants).

Packets of seeds will be available for shipping the second week of March 2008. Members should forward a self addressed stamped envelope before March 21, 2008 to receive their selections. Include a minimum of .85 cents in US postage. Be sure to send an email letting us know the envelope is on its way so we can notify you when it's received and when we subsequently return it to you.

If there's something in particular you would like to make sure you do not receive because of taste preferences or growing conditions (such as melons because they don't necessarily grow well in colder climates if you live in a colder climate) please send a note with your stamped envelope. International members should contact us and we'll send you a Paypal invoice for $2 for the shipping of the packets.

If you haven't requested seeds in the past then feel free to use the form included on the site to try out a few of the selections available. This annual gift is only available to those who've made a request previously.

Please forward your envelopes prior to April 10, 2008. No annual gifts will be sent after that time.

Feel free to contact us with any questions. Do let us know how they grow!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Stylish Peas?

While I can't believe it's February already, I'm placing several orders for new items to try and came across a reference in a catalog for a 'stylish' pea. Now, come on people. Stylish peas? Delicious peas, yummy peas, even strong peas...but 'stylish'? Good grief, who writes this stuff? Not to take away credit from anyone but 'stylish' isn't really what most home gardeners' look for in a pea. If it wasn't so silly, I'd actually have a good laugh.

Now, this pea is certainly 'interesting' to say the least. It's named 'Blondie' and it's a pale green pea with pale yellow pods. It's quite intriguing. But, since I can't imagine someone growing these to wear with the best shoes, I'd have to defer the 'stylish' for something a bit more fitting like a pair of chic leather garden gloves...

What are people doing in their gardens at the moment? I really need to get into the garden. Am having terrible gardening withdrawls.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

What are you doing in your garden?

Recently I realized how incredibly spoiled I am...I've spent less time in the garden than standing by the heater because it's been a tad too cold for me to pick up a shovel. There's no excuse because it really hasn't been 'that' cold to justify my doing absolutely nothing but nevertheless, that's exactly what I've done.

Amused by the cloudless sky, I decided to go out and garden today. I found myself lingering in the only area that had sun, which was the pavement (standing at a far, gazing at the 2 foot celery I intended to cut back, about 7 feet from the sun). Finally, I gave up and retreated back inside to the heater.

The goal was to:

1. Cut the for-ever growing celery (request some on the seed list - it's amazing stuff - haven't planted celery in years because some part of the garden is always reproducing the stuff and tossing seeds in different areas - so it's absolutely unnecessary to start seedlings).

2. Plant out the Earl Grey Larkspur, Penn State Ballhead Cabbage, Bok Choi and Red Deer Tongue Lettuce.

3. Check the plum tree cuttings.

4. Plant the daffodils and remaining tulips.

5. Transplant the avocado tree.

NONE of these projects ever happened. Just too cold and there was little to no motivation.

Shameful, I know.

So tell me, what are you doing in your garden this time of the year?

...I dream about the day I'm blessed with a larger area of land to grow all of my wild ideas...but I've no idea what I'd do with it if it meant contending with the cold (even though it's really only been an inconvenience for a couple of weeks).

Remember, I started the thread by saying...'I'm spoiled'...

Do share what you're doing. I'm hopeful it will give me some motivation to get off my duff.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gardening Resource Recommendations

I am frequently asked my opinion about which gardening resources are most interesting. I figure I'd ask your opinion. There might be some that should added to my list of recommendations.

Tell me what you think - which book or online resource do you recommend and what do you refer to most often?