Cultivating a Culture of Gardening™

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love promised me

 8 hours of yard work without a complaint in the air!
(as soon as he gets off the phone and quits playing with the puppy...)
Is this where we say, "It's the thought that counts?"

Twas The Night Before Apocalypse

Twas the night before apocalypse and what I have in my focus -
Twenty-eight teenagers are laughing and playing and causing a ruckus.
There’s chocolates and cookies and goodies galore;
Funny gifts, Elvis’ Christmas, and non-stop kids through the door.
Their plan is to bring tomorrow, whatever it brings - 
Stay up all night long until the first birdy sings.
New puppy is roaming, lapping up all the crumbs,
Guitars are strumming and, are those bongo drums?
Fresh out of school, Christmas still pending
None seem too worried that the world may be ending.
So on they continue with the gaiety and fun
But I’m off to bed to be up with the sun.
Cause no matter the parties or threat of a world gone berserk,
My boss is still expecting me tomorrow to show up for work! 
So I doubt I'll get more than a short winter's nap
But I'm not too worried that my patience will snap, 
Because the rustle, commotion, and clutter and fun 
Remind me the world is still turning and life will go on! 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 7

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love said he'd give to me
Quality plants for your container
Rain-mat Place these mats down in the growing medium at root level as you plant each basket, hayrack or planter. These mats soak up water as rapidly as Rain-Gel but provide a stable reservoir which the roots will actually grow into.
The most vital ingredient in your container planting is your  soil.
Good quality containers - with holes in the bottom them for drainage - like these from Campania International. 
A Hori-hori knife that has a heavy steel blade that is dished, with a serrated edge on one side and a sharpened edge on the other, perfect for loosening the root balls of your plants, opening bags of potting soil, digging out last season's plants in my pots.

Finish off planters with decorative sand, stone, or  bark.
OMRI-listed biological fungicide with iron and humic acid for use in greenhouses, nurseries, landscaping, and turf. Use it as a soil additive to prevent, suppress and control root and damping off fungi such as pythium, rhizoctonia, pythophthora, fusarium, etc. Actino-Iron's active ingredient is Streptomyces lydicus strain WYEC 108, a naturally occuring beneficial soil bacterium. When applied to the soil, it grows around a plant's root system, and protects them from harmful soil pathogens. It also produces powerful antifungal byproducts that are highly destructive to disease-causing fungi. Additionally, this microbe will act as a predator and attack and disable certain fungi. Its root colonization ability, antifungal byproducts production and predatory action together make it a powerful weapon in pest management. However, this fungicide also delivers more! Iron for long-lasting greening of your plants without fear of burning, AND humic acid, a food source for the microbe to help it produce robust, healthy roots and vigorous plant growth.

7 vital ingredients to make my container gardens successful.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day 6

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 

Six gardening getaways for the year!
For the gardener who loves to be pampered a little while still enjoying an interactive gardening environment, it's hard to beat Lake Austin Spa Resort's Gardening for Life week in April 2013. Enjoy walking in and learning in the gardens and hear from Trisha Shirley, the Director of Flora and Fauna.Trisha Shirey's 28-year association with Lake Austin Spa Resort has resulted in organic herb and vegetable gardens, an organic orchard and a wealth of flowers to enhance the grounds and brighten the delicious low-fat dishes served in the dining room. Plantings are designed to be Texas tough, but beautiful. Despite the foraging deer, flowers are in evidence year round. Many of the gardens are designed to delight butterflies and hummingbirds, which are seen in abundance.

Callaway Gardens's 27th Annual Southern Gardening Symposium  January 25-27, 2013. Callaway Gardens’ Southern Gardening Symposium has been the South’s premier gardening event for a quarter of a century. Whether you’re a professional gardener or just a beginner, there’s simply no better place to immerse yourself in the world of gardening than among our woodland paradise!

Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2013 Feb. 20-24 in Seattle, Washington. "There's a little garden in all of us."
The Chicago Flower and Garden Show.... I can hardly wait!!
This one is on my bucket list!
Longwood Gardens International Trials Conference - Sept 16-20. Plant nerd mecca.

A year's worth of great garden trips. Nothing says "I love you" like a plane ticket to go look at plants.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love could give to me
Five Golden Shadows Dogwood trees! These compact dogwoods are like sunshine in a shady moist garden area, with white blossoms in the spring, dark blue berries in the fall. I use them in my fall/winter containers because of their beautiful form.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4

On the fourth day of Christmas I hope my true love gives to me -

Four Corona Tools that I've been needing for my gardening endeavors:
Long Reach Cut'n'Hold Pruner - these would be wonderful for pruning and dead-heading windowboxes and hanging baskets.

Forged Dual Cut™ Bypass Pruner - 1 in - it is hard to get good work done in the garden without a good pair of pruners. These are a staple in my garden tool basket. I just want a pair to keep in my truck!

#12 Scoop Shovel - Steel - When I get my dumptruck load of composted manure for the garden, I'm planning on this shovel cutting my wheelbarrow loading time in half.

eGrip Trowel - I've been using this trowel for over a year in my home gardening and LOVE how comfortable the grip is. Once again, I'm hoping to have one to keep in my truck. I want to always be ready for random acts of planting. 

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 3

On the third day of Christmas my true love might give to me
three Dutch hens...

One of the aspects of gardening and farm life that I have never experienced is that of raising chickens. This summer I received a copy of Jessi Bloom's "Free-Range Chicken Gardens" book and have been hankering to have this added benefit into my gardening as I learned how chickens can help my garden grow and thrive. 

I then found this wonderful P Allen Smith video on building a mobile chicken pen and have been ever so subtly been dropping hints to hubby about how many benefits there are to having chickens.

P Allen Smith and Mimi san Pedro at Moss Mountain Home with Allen's heritage chickens
With encouragement from my garden blogging friend and chickenista, Kylee Baumle, I'm hoping this third day of Christmas brings me at least the promise of three French, Dutch, or just any healthy live free-range chickens.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

On the second day of Christmas my true love should give to metwo sets of Barbara Sanderson's glass artwork for the garden.
I love the vibrant colors of Barbara's work and whimsical detail. So if you are interested in ordering some of this beautiful artwork and they receive your orders by midnight Monday December 17th they can get your items to you in time for Christmas. You can shop on their online store here: or through their Etsy Storefront here:

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

On the first day of Christmas my true love should give to me (thus begins my online Christmas gift list for those of us who are unashamedly plant nerds):
A Garden Girls gift certificate!

If you haven't ever seen this Garden Girls website and you are a gardening gal who loves to work hard and still look as cute as you can when covered in dirt and sweat, check out these adorable duds. I could   buy every thing they make!  Goovy boots:

Flattering overalls:
Practical essentials:
So for the first day of Christmas, I want my garden attire to be as fashionable as well as practical.

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