Here's something to grow on your desktop; suited to you and I, the garden lovers. The lovely peach dahalia in this photo is from this location. They are free:


Free gardening newsletters are available many places. Here's a sample of some I've found:

P Allen Smith's Garden Home

Backyard Gardener

Burpee seed company (subscribe in lower left corner of page)

The Garden Glove


A "Miracle" Liquid

Every gardener knows that water is as essential to plants as it is to all of life. It seems ordinary probably only because it's so common. Yet it is able to absorb and dissolve many things into it. This makes it a great conduit for nutrients. It also changes form without significant loss of its essential charactertistics. It changes its state constantly in many cases, absorbing and releasing oxygen, nitrogen, minerals, nutrients and various other substances.

It's the only substance known that expands when frozen rather than contracting.

Want to see how much you know about water? Here's a quiz:


I'm happy that I got 9 out of 10 correct. Number 7 is the one I got wrong.

I planted two types of onions, red and sweet white, last week. The week before last I put in daisy gold potatoes; according to the vendor (Burpee) they are nematode resistant.

A tip: put the seed potatoes or cut pieces in a paper bag with agricultural sulfur and coat them lightly. It can help to protect them against fungal diseases and perhaps other problems. I found gardening sulfur at Lowe's. Besides the application on potatoes, it can be added to soil that needs to be more acidic.

I need to put in my blueberry plants soon. They need acidic soil.

(Source of tip: The Vegetable Gardener's Bible)


Signs of Spring

The people from New York set up their annual tent to sell Easter flowers. It's up every year in the mall parking lot. This means that Patchwork Farms' nursery stand is not far behind!

The days are longer and the snow doesn't lay on the ground very long. I saw a flock of geese flying northward a few days ago. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the first day of spring. This means the Earth will slowly begin tilting its Northern Hemisphere into the sun.

Clothing stores are selling colorful items made of lighter fabric. Garden departments of various stores began stocking seed packets, seed-starter kits and gardening tools in the last month in their displays.

You can't get out in the garden yet, perhaps. So, here's a little virtual fun to entertain you -- at least for a little while. Thanks to my friend Mary for sending it to me! That's her hand holding the flower in the picture below!! (tee hee)

Click on the link below. You will get a black page.


Click your mouse anywhere (& everywhere) on the
page & see what happens! If you click repeatedly on the same spot you will get multiple blooms!
Better yet, click & drag
your mouse over the page... Enjoy!!


So The Plot Thaws

I've been thinking of the smell of "fresh" soil since I visited my plot yesterday afternoon in the 51-degree, sunny conditions. By fresh soil I mean earth that has thawed after winter's coldest phase, with enough moisture to make it rather workable but not muddy. I only went to dig the remaining leeks out of the ground. I wish that on my day off tomorrow (Sunday), the weather would not just be barely above freezing as is forecast. That's probably too cold to do anything. Instead, I'll be indoors, starting plants from seed.

Many of the remaining leeks had "leaked" their innards and become mush. Still, I harvested one healthy root and two partially healthy ones. I intend to try a recipe for leek and potato soup I found here: curried potato and leek soup with spinach. I shall use soy milk, just as one of the people who commented mentions. This will elimate lactose intolerance issues for me.

They feature recipes for Irish Soda bread due to St Patrick's Day on Monday. I made it once, and it wasn't bad. I prefer scones.

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Some Fun

We're all waiting for the weather to change, seeds to sprout (if started indoors) and soil to soften -- that is those of us who are "growing" types. We've had some pleasant days between cold periods. If an uncharacteristically warm day in fall is Indian Summer, would an uncharacteristically cool day in spring be Eskimo Winter?

What Kind of Flower Are You?

I found this quiz at This Garden Is Illegal. What a great name for a blog, eh?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

The options for some questions were not enough, and some others I could have chosen more than one option:

When you retire, what kind of house do you want to live in?

A nice cottage

Your indoor plants are:

Making babies and threatening to overwhelm my apartment

The number of late bill payments you had in the past 30 days is:
Bills? I knew I forgot something.

Your idea of a fun dinner is

Eating alone
Eating with a significant other
Eating with a few friends
Eating with your entire family (this is the option I chose for the quiz)
Inviting every person you know over for a barbeque

In your garden you:
Hired no one and did everything with your own two hands.

Your workspace (at home) looks like:

the paper volcano erupted

(at work, for the quiz) There is enough open space for your drinking cup and a few essentials

When you paint a room you:

paint a mural on the wall
Well, I'd like to.

When you have a headache, you:
Pretend you don’t feel it
(eventually, I take something if sleeping, resting or relaxtion doesn't get rid of it)

How many steps does it take for you to do your hair in a typical morning (including steps in the shower):

Your friend wants you to lie to their spouse about why they came home late the other night, you:

Ask why they need the alibi and then decide if you will lie.

Which kind of movie is your favorite
Science fiction or adventure
(but for the quiz I picked "something gets blown

When you cook, your favorite cooking instrument is:

A good saucepan

When a friend needs help moving

You offer to help them move without them asking

When you need to talk to someone about something important, you

Call your best friend
Call a few good friends

How do you most often get from place to place?

A car
(I walk quite a bit, too)

When you are not gardening, which of these things would you prefer to do in your spare time?

Read a book
(or go for a walk)

Your best friend needs to borrow $100, you

Wish you could, but money is a little tight so you can’t

Your idea of a really good gift from your partner is:
Who needs a gift?
A bouquet of flowers
Your favorite CD
Something handmade
The most expensive thing they can find

(all are equal to me; I picked the flowers for the quiz)

Your favorite flavor of ice cream is

Peanut butter mocha chocolate swirl


Looking Forward to Spring

Yesterday was in the 50s. It was sunny! I wanted to "popcorn" the way my guinea pigs do when they're happy. There's more winter to come, but I'm ready for spring!

While browsing Country Woman Magazine's site, I found some information that may be useful to gardeners. If you want to start selling items at the local farmers' market, they have some advice. You can find the article on their website:

To Market

There's also an interesting article about a flower farm here.

Links to help you sell used books (go to the header that reads "Page 50):

book resale

Here's a pretty scene to set you at ease.

Graphic from: http://www.glitter-graphics.com/graphics/111063