Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Giveaway - Winter Seed Sowing



One of the best parts of garden blogging is the online friends that you make.  Recently, Monica at Garden Faerie Musings and I discovered each other. Monica is the author of Fun with Winter Seed Sowing.
She is an advanced master gardener, a master composter, writer, and speaker.  Monica, a fellow Michigander, has been published in the Ann Arbor News, Michigan Living magazine, The Washtenaw Gardener, and many other publications.  One of her special projects is a Cat Garden for cats living in a no-kill retirement community, maybe the first and only in the country.  She also designed a fountain garden for an 1860s home near Ann Arbor called Cobblestone Farm, drawing from her knowledge of plants that would have been planted in that era.

Monica's book, Fun with Winter Seed Sowing,  is a different approach to seed starting. Using Mother Nature's original plan, she demonstrates ways to sow seeds in recyclable containers, such as milk jugs and juice bottles, outdoors, leaving your house free of pot and container clutter. This idea utilizes natural light, rain, and snow melt. The seeds remain dormant in the pots until they begin to leaf out in nature's own good timing. By the time they are ready for transplanting, they have already been hardened-off. What a great concept! The book describes everything you need to know using whatever type of container you decide, including the soil type and different ways to mark pots.

Monica has generously offered one of her books as a giveaway. Outdoor seed sowing should only be done until mid-March here in the snowy North, so time is of the essence.  If this new concept interest you, here's how you can enter:


1. Leave a comment about why you would like to win this book.


2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.

If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.


3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.


4. For a fourth chance to win, subscribe to Garden Faerie's Musings and come back and tell me about it..


5. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

Good Luck!!

Open to US residents only, 18+.

Winners will be chosen by random.org.

Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.

This Giveaway ends on  Friday, March 5, 2010 at midnight EST.









Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Antique Garden Books


I love antiques and anything that reminds me of the past; garden books are no exception. Like most of you, I have quite a large variety of garden books, but the ones that are most special are from another era.
Recently my mother gave me a little garden book that was first published in 1945 by Whitman Publishing Company. My parents were married in 1946 so I think it was new to her, possibly a gift - I forgot to ask.

This darling little book is only 2 and half inches high by 4 and a half inches long. Inside the cover is written the price -- 25 cents! Now that's a bargain, but considering my mother made 35 cents an hour back then, it took some careful thought for someone to spend that kind of money on a book. 


The name of the book is "A Guide to Garden Flowers."  It is comprised of 57 pages of prints of flowers and their descriptions, with an additional 4 pages for the glossary and index.  The glossary includes such terms as annual, bulbs, and mulch ; in other words, a real beginners book.

This precious book also had companion books available - A Guide to Field Flowers and A Guide to Woodland Flowers.  Oh, how I wish I could find those.  Maybe someday I'll come across them in an antique shop.

Flower books are eternally up-to-date.  There may be new fertilizers, garden tools, garden clothing, and professional soil blends available to us now, but a particular plant will always and forever need the same amount of sunlight and rain to flourish.  So don't be afraid to collect wonderful  antique garden books; they're such a joy to read. Knowing that my mother studied this little book as a young wife while planning her garden makes it even more special to me.




Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just Hangin' Out


Have you seen this photo going around on email? It's how I feel about winter right now.  Hanging isn't good enough.  It's time for a serious meltdown!!!!  If spring doesn't come soon, I'll have a meltdown of my own.




Please make your car a NO PHONE ZONE!

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Oh, That Orange

While doing this Color in the Garden series, I discovered that I don't really have a lot of orange in my garden, except for daylilies, and I try to avoid buying any more of those.  Orange seems to jump right out and take control of your eye, leading you away from the other beautiful colors.  But if used in small amounts the color orange, or even rust, can be an awesome color.  I try to keep it away from red, but combined with purple or blue, it blows me away.
 I noticed that Mother Nature only seems to allow orange flowers to bloom in the heat of the summer or early fall. I think the pigment is stronger than the pastels and provides protection from the sun.  The way nature works things out is absolutely amazing.
The following pictures are a few of the orange and rust flowers I found in my garden:






Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Passionately Purple

I am passionately in love with purple flowers-- well, not quite as much as my daughter, she loves everything purple and has since she was very young.  I love purple in my garden, all shades. I love the contrast with reds and yellows, and the way it complements pinks and blues.

Can anyone deny that a garden rich in purples is truly majestic? Purple, the color of kings -- the color of sweet grapes -- the color of good wine -- the color of passion!




Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pretty in Pink

I love flowers that are dressed "pretty in pink."
I know we just started the Lenten season, but I am dreaming about Easter day and hoping for some real spring weather in six weeks. Spring also brings to mind those wonderful light pastel colors; especially pink. It brings up childhood memories of Easter bonnets, frilly dresses, and shiny new shoes. I know I'm rushing the season, but this year, in my state of mind, it just can't be helped. 
The following are some of the pink flowers in my garden.  Enjoy!





Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blue on Blue

Blue on Blue, Heartache on Heartache ...... Remember that old song by Bobby Vinton? Oh, how my mother loved the "Polish Prince." It's a sad song about two lovers who are no longer together.
Part of one of the verses says:
Now the trees are bare
There's sadness in the air
And I'm as blue as I can be


Well, I'm blue, because I'm not able to garden. I need to get my fingers in the dirt.  My fingers are itching to dig.  Please February pass quickly!!!

In the meantime, I'll reminisce about some of my blue flowers that are still at rest.


Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yummy Yellow Flowers

Did you notice that I'm on to a new series?  It's called Color in the Garden and Woods.  First I did red, for Valentine's Day and then white for winter.  Now I'm moving on to yummy yellow, one of my favorite spring and summer colors. It reminds me of sunshine and warmth; something I need badly today. Here's my bouquets to you from past pics in my garden.  I hope it brings sunshine your way.


Evening Primrose

Forsythia

Rudbeckia

Tulips

Heliopsis


Honeysuckle

Spring Bouquet






Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter White Wild Flowers

It's about this time of year that I really get tired of the snow and all of the white. I'm ready for color in my world, so I start dreaming of wild flowers in the spring. But I suddenly realized that in the spring and summer, when gardens and woodlands are bursting with color, I overlook white. White flowers make a wonderful accent and look "pure as the driven snow."

Why do I compare the white flowers of the warmer seasons to snow when I am living in a "winter wonderland" right now? I guess the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." In the heat of a warm day, they look cool and refreshing.

I think it's about time I appreciate white flowers for what they are, beautiful and elegant, and not put them in an "extra" or "accent" category. Here are a few of my favorite winter white wild flowers that I can look forward to finding in my native woodlands of Michigan in the next season.

Lily of the Valley


White Yarrow



Dame's Rocket


Queen Anne's Lace



White Clover


Oxeye Daisy


Trillium



Wood Anemone








Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Red!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of my faithful readers! I love you all.
Here are several bouquets of red flowers from my garden in past years. I wish I could send them to you special delivery!


Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.