Category Archives: Something to entice you

Spectacular Spring Driveby

 

Hello! Hope this Spring season is bringing you joy.  Last week when I left the farm, I exited towards a very windy road and to my surprise I came upon an embankment full of Spring Ephemerals.  Ephemerals are plants that come to the spring party for a short visit, enter with a WOW appearance and then vanish!  They do not die but they do go dormant till the next year, so when they are present they deserve your attention. Let’s just say I gave my attention and risked danger to myself on this windy and steep road, making a quick turn around and then having the nerve to get out, and get up and close to take in the beauty before me.  As they say ” Don’t try this at home” shaking my head.  After I got back in the car I quickly came back to my senses and could not believe I did what I did in the moment of horticulture intoxication and how quick I did it all. The turn around, the pull over and then the exit to photograph and then jump back into the car. Total madness but check out the details below:

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See it was worth it.  And who might this be.  Well, let me introduce you (BIG GRIN) this is Sanguinaria canadensis aka Bloodroot. Now just picture this all over a steep woodland hillside it was spectacular, especially in the darkness of this ecosystem the road was under a canopy of very mature trees so it was like driving in a woodland tunnel spotlighted with these little beauties. Bloodroot gets its name for the dark red sap in the  stems and roots of the plant which resembles blood. The colored juice from these areas of the plant can be used to make red, pink and orange dyes.  It is also use medicinally as a salve to treat skin cancers and is quickly becoming hard to find and reaching the point of extinction in certain areas of the United States because of this medicinal purpose. Since it is a fighter of bacteria and inflammation it helps with many ailments such as toothaches, breathing problems, fever, skin problems, headaches, muscle and joint pain. In the Fall the root and rhizome are collected for use in medicines.

Bloodroot adores damp soil but it can be naturalized in the drier areas under trees; allow these woodland plants to be planted in rich soil receiving spring moisture and summer shade.  It grows in the eastern parts of the United States and Canada.

This wildflower ephemeral will definitely be the star of your early spring garden, make you stop in the midst of whatever you are doing to enjoy it up close and heal you both physically and spiritually.  So put it on your invitee list for the Spring dance, it will appear early, dressed to impress and then quickly exit leaving you longing to be in its presence till you meet again.

 

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Thanks Sanguinaria for the dance and the magnificent dip while we embraced, till next time sleep well.

 

CSA anyone?

Summer is here, summer is almost over and summer has been a bountiful time for an abundance of flowers and veggies a gardener’s season to see their labor of love all come together. With the distractions of my favorite season, summer; I realized I needed to send out those two blogs I promised. So I thought it would be fun to share with you one of my happy, happy joy places “The Farm” it’s second to the beach for me on my take me away from reality places and warms my heart every single time!

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This summer I was asked specifically by Farmer Dan to work the CSA at Coverdale Farm, this invitation I’m sure was given because he knows the joy this place brings me when I’m here throughout the year teaching others about the farm in many ways from leading programs on the farm such as :Farm Life, Farm to You, Yoga on the Farm, hikes and holding special and private cooking events. This place keeps me busy in a good way!  But, back to the CSA and why I thought it would be great to share on our garden blog; I have never in all my life been inundated with soooo many vegetables, when I return home my family is just like WOW more vegetables, its been discussed that we now need a full size refrigerator to just house the harvest that comes thru the doors in my arms, bags and baskets LOL It’s Veggie Palooza over here for sure- giggling.

So what is CSA you might ask, it’s an acronym that stands for Community Supported Agriculture many farms in our area have CSA programs. The local farms grow an abundance of food to share in the community, the community in turn pays a fee and buys a share into the farm; either in the form of a half share or full share. This allows families to get the best fresh produce from May to October and the opportunity to try traditional and unusual vegetables and fruits.

Which by the way has been my new lesson on the farm to all that visit, is that what we think are vegetables are really fruits and in the culinary world they are really called botanical fruits not vegetables! A true vegetable is that which is a root, leaf or stem (potatoes, carrots, rhubarb, onions, etc…) anything else especially if it has seeds is a fruit; so yes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, corn (yes corn), and string beans to name a few are fruits not veggies people, LOL.   Fruits are the ovaries of a flowering plant that develops after its seeds are fertilized or in some cases not fertilized. And don’t challenge me by saying broccoli and cauliflower are fruits because they are not, they are actually undeveloped flower buds that never opened so they are vegetables. And if you really want to get technical bananas and grapes are berries since they come from a single ovary with multiple seeds, and while we are in this debate, let’s go there and know that strawberries are NOT a fruit ( I know this is crazy, too funny) but they are really fruit parts called a fleshy receptacle, just a few things I have researched and learned by teaching on a farm part time, LOL.

Bottom line if you are not eating local fresh food please at the end of this blog, gather your peeps (slang for people aka your family) get in the car and go for a nice summer drive and pick up some fruits, veggies, berries or whatever you thought it was until I just made you scratch your head and question all produce, and enjoy God’s natural blessings to us, they are true healers of our bodies, safer than commercialized produce and they makes us get to know the wonderful people who grow our food with love and a purpose. They do this, to do good by us all when it comes to wholesome delicious “old school” food. And if you are growing your own food that’s even better, for the first time this year I grew tomatoes (that actually produced fruit:) with some help from Farmer Dan, even in my mostly shady garden.  Let’s just say; I did a dance when I harvested my own tomatoes and put them in a meal for my family, it was a good day indeed!!

As the summer comes to an end and I go to play in the sun for vacation and to celebrate a summer birthday, I hope this end of the summer blog finds you happy, healthy and surrounded by those you love amidst the heat and humidity, sticky sweet fingers of something frozen dripping to cool your soul, sandy toes, dancing in the rain (whenever it comes, LOL) looking at a summer sunset on or near the water or just out your back door, enjoy what’s left of this precious season and till next time when the world is a little cooler grab some local produce, visit a farm and be a true gardener and ingest your harvest!!! Peace to you all.

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Snowdrops… need I say more

Well as promised, my new friends are here and I can’t wait to have them naturalize in my garden like the picture above.  I think I might be becoming a Galanthophile (a what?!) in layman’s terms a person who collects snowdrops and has an ardent love of them.

The common name: Snowdrop, botanical name: Galanthus, group: Bulb; a Galanthus nivalis  is a small white end of the winter flower that gives all it’s glory this time of year.  It is a member of the lily family and closely related to the daffodil.  They are a welcome assurance that the bright sunny days of Spring are on their way.

So at the beginning of the month my husband and I made the trip up to the most magical shade garden in Bryn Mawr, PA to pick up my snowdrops given by Carolyn of Carolyn’s Shade Garden.  Last Spring Carolyn invited me to join her snowdrop list, I have always wanted snowdrops in my garden so I thought of course sign me up! And oh boy what a list indeed, she sends a massive snowdrop order list mid December and its on like hot butter popcorn, LOL!!!  Within in minutes specimens sell out I was lucky to be able to  order G. Elwesii – giant snowdrop, G. nivalis- common snowdrop and G. nivalis Flore Pieno-double common snowdrop.  In the end the G. Elwesii was damaged by disease and her whole supply had to be thrown out, a big disappoint since that’s the one I really wanted the most.  But I graciously walked away with G. nivalis IMG_4278and Flore-Pieno which is truly a beauty, I just love double flowers and this one is a keeper for sure.  IMG_4276

Carolyn in her sweetness agreed to a picture with me

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so I could show her off and  ensure you she is real and her garden is real and she laughed when I said I had been singing like a canary about her secret garden.  It truly is worth the trip I have visited it in all seasons and it amazes me every single time, it’s just fabulous!!!

Treat yourself and take a road trip and visit on one of her open houses.Carolyn’s Shade Garden

If you would like to be an enabler of my new addiction and own snowdrops in your garden please do share, the more the merrier and it will also be even more of a blessing to have a piece of your garden in mine; that way I can think of you as I will of Carolyn when my new friends emerge next year. Someday I hope to be the one that shares these little jewels.

So, if you haven’t considered snowdrops give them a try I’m sure they will bring a smile to your face and no doubt be the sweet little reminders that Spring is near and snow days are a thing of the past.