I realize this reduces my chances of getting one, but I must tell you about Mood Swing Studio’s Abloom collection of necklaces, earrings, and broaches. My favourites are the necklaces, each is one-of-a-kind and lovingly crafted by Kristen using vintage enamel flowers re-appropriated from old-school jewelery. With titles often referring to popular culture or songs, Kristen’s names for her pieces are almost as interesting as the pieces themselves. My current fave is called “Dance This Mess Around” which I am guessing (and hoping) is a reference to The B-52′s.
Photo by Mood Swing Studio.
Please note that items are listed in U.S prices.
1. Extreme Close-View Monocular – $16.95 A small, pocket-sized viewing scope that magnifies objects 7x from 10″ to infinity. Perfect for the geeky gardener or amateur naturalist in your life who enjoy getting a closer look at insects and flowers in the garden. It’s also really helpful for identifying bugs and disease. Of course, some may prefer to see those things from way back here, thank you very much.
2. Earthly Paradise Calendula Salve – $12.99 I make my own but if I were going to buy hand salve I would buy it from Earthly Paradise who just happen to make a killer salve. A healing hand salve is an absolute necessity for gardener’s like me who prefer not to wear gloves since the soil can really sap the moisture right out of your hands.
3. Oak Nail Brush – $12.36 It’s become a ritual: Returning from the garden the first thing I do is scrub my hands and nails with a bar of my favourite oatmeal soap and a good nailbrush. This beautiful oak brush is handmade using white tampico bristles — I have no idea what that is but it sounds terribly posh! And really, at that price it kind of is.
4. Richter’s Pot Maker – $12.95 Make your own seed-starting pots using newspaper — recycled and free you’ll never complain about running out of pots again.
5. Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan – $11.20 This isn’t a how-to guide but a book ABOUT the act of gardening and a “…manifesto for rethinking our relationship with nature.” A great thinking book for any gardener and one that I have personally gone back to many times.
6. Kitchen Compost Pails – $16.95 Again a Lee Valley item. I have seen these pails available elsewhere however they tend to be priced at a few dollars more. These buckets act like a sort-of purgatory for kitchen scraps, a holding station between produce and the compost bin. Believe me, being frugal-ish people we were resistant to purchasing a special container just to hold kitchen scraps on our counter, juggling an assortment of yogurt containers before finally taking the plunge. It was so worth it. This baby holds a lot and the handle makes it easy to carry out to the composter, especially given that we often have to carry ours a few blocks to our community garden plot!
7. Modern Birdhouses – $195 Like their human-sized counterparts these birdhouses modeled after real Modernist houses designed in the Case Study Houses Series are not cheap. But say I had a lot of money, and say I had enough that I could splurge on a very fancy birdhouse, I’d get the Richard. Just saying.
I desperately need to clean up my rooftop garden. Desperately. Double desperately. It’s horrible how long I’ve let it got this year really. The warmer Fall temperatures were wonderfully evil and I just went with it pretending that Fall would continue forever. I rewarded myself for cleaning up at the community garden so early this year. I can put it off a little longer, I said. It will be just like last year, I said. There will not be snow until January and by then everyone will be freaking out and talking about the blooming crocus and dandelion flowers and how the end of the world is neigh and it won’t matter that some of the pots weren’t empty or that the strawberries never did get replanted from the big pot into the ground.
And now I am in this dilemma. It has already snowed. The ground is probably frozen. I say probably because I haven’t had the courage to check. I would take a picture and post it here for you to see what I am talking about but that would mean having to look and I can’t bear it. I avoid looking out there entirely preferring to pretend it doesn’t exist. From memory and the occasional tiny peek I do seem to recall an assortment of clay pots that are usually emptied, washed and put away by this time every year prior to this one. I’m pretty sure that tender Echeveria I’ve been over-wintering indoors for years is now dead. The shiso was never harvested. Lifeless bean stalks cling to string and a few remaining lantern-like tomatillos hang from leafless branches.
Today would be the perfect day to get out there and do it already. The sun is shining, the temperatures are above zero, and anything that was recently frozen is probably melted after yesterday’s torrential downpours. I could cut back the plants, remove and wash the terra cotta and be done with it. And I would be totally on it too, I really would, except that I have come down with a terrible cold complete with body aches and a nose that runs like a faucet. So instead I will go back to bed with a pile of hankies and a warm tea, putting those self-preserving powers of denial to work for one more day.
Yay! After an unexpectedly long production schedule the You Grow Girl 2008 Calendar is finally here. I’m really proud of this one. Once again my goal was to produce a calendar that is a nice balance between rich imagery and inspiring information that I hope will keep you excited about turning each page through all 12 months. Here are the details:
Get inspired through 12 months in the garden. This full color calendar features 30 rich garden and botanical images along with a selection of organic gardening tips, growing techniques, and creative ideas. Learn about pretty heirloom pepper varieties, growing orchids, deciduous citrus trees and more.
All photography and text is by me with the exception of the cover and August. Those photos were taken by Davin Risk.
Copies are now available directly through the printer. However, I have ordered a batch of copies and am selling those directly through our store. You can reserve your copy through me now but these copies have not yet arrived at my door so shipping will be delayed slightly until they do. I will sign these copies and shipping should be cheaper, especially for Canadians who usually get hit by heavy International Shipping Fees through Lulu.
Garlic Shown: Stiff-neck which tends to be hardy and stores well over the long term.
Sitting down to write this, my first thoughts are to apologize for the slow down in updates recently. I consider writing to assure you that the slow down is merely a glitch in workload and I will not stop writing here during the winter season because gardening is a daily thing for me that does not stop it merely shifts with the seasons. While I’m at it I want to apologize for the header that still says “early Fall” when we all know it is proper Fall now. As I sit here a list of assorted lagging details run through my mind and I entertain the idea of apologizing for each one like something in the room that needs to be acknowledged before our relationship can move on. Or a clearing of my throat. “Ahem. Hi. Is this thing on?”
I wonder what it is about internet writing that brings that out? Is it the feeling of an informal and personable context? Is it the assumption that I am sitting down to speak directly to you and you back to me? When I sit down to write an article for a printed magazine I don’t think to begin with apologies and casual shout-outs. “So… Uh, sorry this is my first time writing for this magazine but you know how it goes, I had other stuff going on and insert excuse here. Before I kick this off I just want to say hey what’s up to so and so whom I met last week at such and such event.”
Okay, enough banter. Let’s talk about garlic.
I should preface these instructions by stating that I am not a garlic eater however I love to grow the plant. I think it is a beautiful plant worth growing regardless of personal taste, requires little effort to produce a good crop, is self-perpetuating (you can use this year’s harvest to produce next year’s crop) and it is especially useful as a pest repellent crop warding off insects like aphids and Japanese beetles. You can also crush garlic cloves in water and make an organic pest spray. Because garlic is easy to grow it also makes a good crop for trading with other food gardeners and friends.