D is for Dandelion on the A to Z Blogger Challenge

D is for Dandelion and the Dandelion is the Common Weed of the commonweeder blog. I consider the dandelion an important element in my Flowery Mead. The Extension Service might call my lawn a typical weedy patch, but I take a different view. The Flowery Mead also sports many violets which I just learned are important in supporting certain butterflies, clover, ground ivy and hawkweeds. While many despise the dandelion, they do have many uses. My Swedish grandfather…

B is for Bee Balm on the A to Z Blogger Challenge

  B has to be  for Bee Balm because a post I did about Bee Balm in 2009 is one of the most popular posts I ever did. I don't know quite why. Maybe I did some SEO magic without knowing? Maybe because ABC Wednesday still remains very popular, running through the alphabet for six years now? In any event, bee balm, more properly known as Monarda didyma, is an American native that has it's own place in…

Most of the Garlic Harvest on Wordless Wednesday

  • Post published:08/01/2012
  • Post comments:5 Comments

The Garlic harvest is drying. We have already used some. I will be picking out the largest heads and cloves of garlic to use for seed planting in late October. For more Wordlessness on Wednesday click here.

Chamomile or Pineapple Weed

  • Post published:07/19/2012
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Chamomile is an herb used in many herbal tea mixtures designed to relax and lure the drinker to sleep. I first heard of chamomile tea when I was read Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. After Peter returned from his adventures with Mr. McGregor his mother dosed him with chamomile tea and put him to bed. I tried making chamomile tea when I was a young child, but having no access to real chamomile my attempts were unsuccessful and…

Salvia – Annual, Perennial, Shrub

  • Post published:06/06/2012
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  Salvia is a large genus of plants that includes shrubs as well as perennials and annuals. I have the beautiful Salvia May Night in my Lawn Bed, but I also have culinary sage, Salvia officinalis, in my Herb Bed. There are many reasons to love salvia. It is an undemanding plant that will bloom again if it is sheared back after that first springtime bloom. There are also many cultivars, many in shades of blue, some in…

Herb Garden in a Strawberry Jar

  • Post published:05/20/2012
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Container gardens seem to be more and more popular for ornamental plantings, and even for vegetable plantings. No matter which there is an opportunity for container shopping, ceramic, terra cotta, resin – all kinds of handsome containers are available at garden centers. This spring I succumbed and bought a terra cotta strawberry jar, not because I wanted to plant strawberries, but because I thought it would make a good looking herb garden in a pot. I bought a…

A Sign of the Early Times – Coltsfoot

  • Post published:03/23/2012
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Coltsfoot started blooming three days ago on the Rose Bank. This is the first flower in my garden and this year it is much earlier than usual. I wrote about Coltsfoot's properties as a medicinal herb here on April 17 in 2009. Coltsfoot is also known as Coughwort and is known as a remedy for coughs and other respiratory ailments across several culture. I wrote about it as a wildflower here last year on April 26. I wonder…

Timber Press and a Spring Giveaway

  • Post published:03/17/2012
  • Post comments:2 Comments

I spent today at a wonderful Spring Symposium organized by our local Master Gardeners who do so much to help us all improve our skills while offering us lots of inspiration. I bought a copy of the Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook by Ron Kujawski and his daughter Jennifer, who live near by. I know Ron from his days as a Cooperative Extension educator (and my days on the Extension Board). This sturdy spiral bound book published by Storey Publishing…

Must Have Plants – What Are Yours?

  • Post published:03/10/2012
  • Post comments:3 Comments

When I asked readers to tell me about some of the plants they absolutely had to have in the garden, I got a variety of answers. Linda Tyler said she had to have coral bells, heucheras, in her garden because there is such variety in the foliage color and size. Tyler did not specify which varieties she has in her garden, but a quick look through the garden catalogs like Plant Delights Nursery shows photos of Tiramisu with…

Agastache and Nepeta – Deer Repellents

  • Post published:01/09/2012
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Fine Gardening's photo of Agastache 'Cana' has got me all excited. Recently I read somewhere (I wish I could remember where) that some plants were not only deer resistant, they were deer repellent. Deer have a sensitive sense of smell and some plants have such a strong scent that deer are actually repelled and avoid them. I am thinking of strategically planting some attractive deer repellant plants among my garden beds in the hope this will discourage deer - and…