A garden is a love song, a duet betweena human being and Mother Nature.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Potted Butterfly Garden

Not only do butterflies need food but they need a place to lay eggs and have food for the larva. So we have made a garden just for that...plus some sunflowers thrown in for fun.
First, find out what type of food butterfly larva in your area need. This book here "Beginner's Guide to Butterflies" By Donald and Lillian Stokes list them. For us we have allot of swallow tail. So we are planting Dill and fennel (they also like parsley) and some short Sun flowers. And a good night time read is "The Hungry Caterpillar."
Add a really cute helper with a big hat...just for some fun.

These are some pots we bought a few years ago that the kids painted then stamped. We replaced the soil and sprinkled some seed starter soil on top...about an inch. The kids drew a circle in the middle and that is where they planted the sunflowers.

Each of my kids are very different gardeners, one wants to get it done and onto the next and the other looks for perfection. Trinity just sprinkled the dill and fennel all around.  Alex divided up the soil and very carefully placed his seeds. Two very different gardeners showing how really opposite they are.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Toadstool Tips

Toadstool Tips
(extra info)

Usually seedling started indoors are susceptible to tummy aches (fungus and mildew). And what better way to fix a sour stomach than a spot of Chamomile tea. Just make a pot as you would yourself, let it cool, and fill your sprayer. This is good for all your plants just give them a mist of tea.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Starting with Seed

For me gardening is as much of a therapy as is meditation itself.
I wanted to share with you all my knowledge, triumphs, lessons, crafts, discoveries and musings on the subject.
Let us begin with the seed. They are wonderful little things, full of life. Allow me to slip in here that most of my projects are suited for children and I would recommend a favorite book of ours at this most appropriate time.

"The Trellis and the Seed" By: Jan Karon. Is an inspiring tale of a timid seed, a friendly lady and encouraging earth. Read this the night before any seed preparation...you'll be glad you did. It will bring about that lovely world of wonderment, questions and inspiration from you children as you work with your seed.

Another book I would add at this time would be a good seed book. I use "The New Seed-Starters Handbook" By: Nancy Bubel. This book is a good reference guide and will help you on your way to great success with seed.

Not only is growing from seed economical it is great fun...what a wonderful feeling when they start popping out of the ground.

OK Sharing time.
Trinity and I got busy with some "Seed Trickery." We got those little things believing that it was Spring in February, of course having an unusually nice day for such behaviour helped.

We started with Nasturtium.

Trinity and I did a little scarifying with nail files. No it didn't include Halloween masks. Scarifying is the practice of scratching the seed coat to hasten germination. Gently file the surface a bit...perfect for little hands.

Then we plopped them in a cup of hot water and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Pre-soaking cuts several days off germination.

While she and I sat busy with seeds, Alex fresh out of the tree prepare our containers. He added a layer of compost (to feed the Hostas sleeping...we are tricking them as well) then he put a layer of a light weight soil, you can get seed starter soil. He pressed the seeds into the soil then sprinkled some more seed starter over the pot and watered.

Another sneaky seed trick. Keep them warm. The wagon holds my big pots, resting in a warm garage at night and sunbathes during the day.

We repeated this with hanging planters.
The hanging baskets keep us company on our sunny school room porch till spring.