Borage in bloom in the pocket-sized kitchen garden. Scientists have found that Green Lacewings often lay their eggs on the stems of borage when given the chance. Could it be because of the hairy stems, which would be a great protection for eggs?
What would I do without my garden?
What would I BE without my garden?
As many of you have reminded me, I DID promise to pull the give-away winners out of the hat on March 25th–and I DID. I just haven't had the time to post a blog. Chalk it up to my clay feet, which is truer than true. This garden of mine is mired in a gooey clay after the wonderful and welcome rains we just had. No matter that I've been feeding and topping the soil for six years; it still hasn't succumbed to my coddling.
Looking from Mockingbird Studio toward the kitchen garden (tin tubs are filled with mini-gardens planted by grands). Spring glints off every shimmering new leaf.
Artichokes, rhubarb, arugula, chives, calendula, and so much more in this little pocket paradise.
Please check the end of this entry for the winners and for the upcoming give-away for this new posting. Remember, members of my Grimy Hands Girls' Club will receive a bonus give-away if drawn as the winner.
Ok, now it is time for me to admit that I am CRAZY about scented Pelargoniums (often called Geraniums) and have collected them for too many years to mention. I think I was a teenager when I bought my first, which was an Attar of Rose. You will become addicted to these easy-to-grow and little plants. When you look at some of their blooms, you'll swear they are as glorious as orchids (my humble opinion).
Peppermint scented Pelargonium is famous not only for its scent, but also for the big (sometimes five inches across), softly furred leaves. This thrives in the shade here in San Luis Obispo. I have had this plant in all my gardens since my son Noah bought it for me for Mother's Day decades ago. This one is about five feet wide and three feet tall. I take starts to grow indoors, too. This produces a tiny, white flower, which I add to fruit salads and cold summer drinks.
What a sweetheart. This is Apple, scented like its namesake, and the flowers are about the size of a dime. These flowers, mixed with others more colorful, look lovely sprinkled over custards, salads, cheesecake, homemade ricotta or yogurt cheese. Both the apple and nutmeg are great diminutive plants for containers.
Nutmeg looks similar to apple, but the scent is very different. Though I must admit that if you've ever grated fresh nutmeg, this doesn't really smell like it. Use these flowers as above.
Oh, that garish Mrs. Taylor. She always was a show-off (in the world of scenteds). Lipstick red and proud of it.
This Coconut is the tiniest, with blooms smaller than my baby fingernail. This actually does smell a bit like coconut. I have only been able to grow this from seed. It self sows prolifically.
Village Hill Oak scented gets large. I cut these for floral arrangements, and they last for a week. Look at those dear, splotched faces. I love them. The leaves have a dark center splotch.
Lime. The name says it all.
Lemon crispum (aka fingerbowl because it was once floated in fingerbowls at fine feasts). This photo belies the small size. This little charmer looks great in a pot. Mine has been in a big terra cotta container for a dozen years. I constantly cut this for bouquets and cooking. Yummy.
Skeleton Rose, with its finely cut, rose scented leaves, is delightful. I use this bloom in my homemade yogurt cheeses. It is lovely.
Ok, remember that I have clay feet. I might have gotten some of these names wrong, but I'm fairly sure that things are correct. I labeled them as soon as they were planted.
I could show you about another 30 of these scenteds, from apricot to ginger to cinnamon, mint to Lemon Balm, but I think you get the picture that I love these members of my garden family. If you're thinking you might be hooked on scented Pelargoniums, let me recommend the FABULOUS catalog and web-site of Mountain Valley Growers, which is the nations' largest provider of certified organic herbs, perennials, and veggies. I have dealt with them for many years, and they never let me down. The way they ship their plants guarantees that there won't be any fatalities.
Part of a large order of plants I received from Mountain Valley Growers. These arrived in compartmentalized cardboard boxes and not one was damaged. Fabulous!
My pal Karen Weir-Jimerson's book So Much Sky goes to Jeri Landers of Hopalong Hollow Gazette. This seems very fitting since Jeri leads the same sort of life as Karen. Congratulations, dear Jeri! We will send out your book this week.
Congratulations to Laura from Cottage and Broom. You've won the fabulous kneeler from Gardener's Supply Company in Burlington, Vermont. They'll ship the kneeler directly to you.
Good-bye for now and enjoy every minute of your spring. Remember to be kind and don't let anyone get your goat.
P.S. Because of the enthusiastic response to my last postings, Gardener's Supply Company is donating ANOTHER fabulous kneeler for another give-away. Leave a comment on this posting. Gardener's Supply will ship your kneeler directly to you. This is a great, 100 percent employee owned company.
Also, the wonderful folks at Peaceful Valley Farm Supply are offering FIVE of their tin seed collections as give-aways to five of you who comment on this blog. Peaceful Valley will ship directly to you and will include an up to date catalog of their great offerings.
Drawing for both the kneeler and the five seed tins will be the day of my next posting. Notice I'm not giving you a date so you can't chide me about being late.