Friends, Community & Musings

  • Summer Mornings, Simple Pleasures

    Another simple summer pleasure is what I have termed “Basil Toast” or “Dill Toast.” Along with a cup of tea, it is a perfect way to start my day. What is Basil Toast or Dill Toast you ask? Well, let me tell you.
  • Ode to the Tulip

    Nothing shouts spring like a beautiful tulip! So many colors, so many shapes and sizes. I have been painting a canvas inspired by the spring garden, full of tulips. So I thought I would share some tips I have found with my tulips.
  • Iris Borer

    If you’re like me and you don’t notice iris borer until mid-summer, you have more work on your hands. If you are seeing yellowed leaves and rot at the base of the iris stalk, you have to dig up the plants to inspect them. Knock off all of the dirt. Cut away rotten parts with a sharp knife (and remember to throw these in the garbage). Place the remaining rhizomes in a bucket of water that is 9 parts water and one part bleach. Let the plants soak for 5 to 10 minutes. The borers will drown.
  • Art of Gardening, Winter Reflections

    If I am willing to admit it, winter has become a respite for me in some respects. There is no pressure to wake up first thing and go to the garden. I can lollygag in my pajamas with a cup of tea and “Instagram.” I can appreciate what the garden brings without the need to fix, mind or tend. I can enjoy the memory. I can find new inspiration.
  • Messy Garden Club

    Everywhere I read online is talking about being a lazy gardener, a messy gardener. Why? It turns out this is good for your garden and the ecosystem! All that winter interest I left (branches, dried leaves, spent flowers and seed pods) are the egg nurseries for all kinds of beneficial bugs. These are also where the adult guys spend their winter hibernating. Leaving the clean up until it’s officially warm (Wisconsin = July, lol) allows the eggs to hatch, a new generation to be born and the hibernators to emerge. (I guess the magic temperature to wait for is 50 degrees!)
  • Homestead in Summer

    Who knows the secrets of a homestead in summer but its owner?
    I know where the blackberries grow.
    Under the pines; and when they will be ripe.
    Oh to be eaten by mosquitoes in July picking tonight's dessert. Just a bowl or two. With honey and walnuts. Enough but not plenty.
  • Unexpected Herbal Teas from in and around the Garden

    One of the great joys of gardening is herbs.  They are easy to grow and if you read my earlier post, drying them for use in cooking or teas is uncomplicated.  I like to dry enough herbs to have a supply on hand to sustain our household through the long Wisconsin winter.  One of the best uses of the herbs is tea.  There is nothing like a hot cup of tea from your own dried herbs on a cold winter night.  And if you study the medicinal qualities of various herbs, you can use them to relieve ailments and symptoms.  For me, herbs can also include plants that some consider weeds. 
  • The Visitor

    She had her nest
    In the climbing rose out front
    She carefully guarded her roost
    Morning and day
  • Stonecrop AKA Sedum

    Sedum comes in a wide variety of choices. Most commonly we see the upright variety which forms in tall clumps and blooms in the fall in pink tones. You will also find low-growing, spreading varieties in the rock garden.  It’s perfect to plant in hard to grow spaces; even in poor quality soil where sedum is most at home. Too rich of soil and sedum can become gangly.
  • Winter Herbs

    Winter is the time we reminisce about the garden, especially in January. It’s this time of year, I am glad for my stash of dried herbs. Herbs that I’ve managed to quickly and easily store for cooking and herbal teas. The benefits are myriad, and the time spent collecting is easy.