And just like that, spring is springing! I am very pleased to announce that I have been hired as a featured gardening expert as a part of HGTV’s new online garden initiative, HGTV Gardens.
In the coming months I will be writing a weekly column answering pressing and seasonally relevant garden questions sent in by readers (YOU!). The first one is dedicated to a problem we all have at this time of year: starting seeds on a windowsill. I may have a “fancy” (not really) seed starting setup AND a basement now, but for 15 years prior I crammed most of my seedlings onto old, wobbly windowsills and made due. I know how to make a windowsill work! And because I can never have enough space for seeds, I’ve found that I am still cramming the windowsills despite the “fancy” (not really) lighting setup. A bunch of alpine strawberry seedlings are growing there as I write this.
With each weekly column I hope to offer encouraging, practical and thrifty solutions, along with a few nuggets from my own experiences dealing with said problems. Since my answers are only as good as the questions I receive, I’d appreciate it if you’d head over there and offer up some questions to the HGTV team that I can write about in the coming weeks and months.
Hooray for spring!
You may know fellow garden addict, writer, and general all-around badass Margaret Roach through her well-loved books, via the pages of Martha Stewart Living magazine (she was the first garden editor there), or through her superlative website, A Way to Garden. Today, I am thrilled to announce that Margaret and I are in the process of creating a marketplace of green friendly and relevant products and services that will appear on both of our sites simultaneously.
Last month marked 12 years since I launched YouGrowGirl.com. Throughout that time I have tried a variety of advertising options and platforms as a way to help support the work and out-of-pocket costs incurred in keeping the site going. Doing that without selling products, companies, or services that go against the values that I espouse has been nothing short of difficult and last year I severed the last service I was using out of frustration. Since then it has become apparent that in order to find balance and navigate the lines between my own personal integrity, the real demands of running this site, and my commitment to you to create an environment that is transparent and uncluttered with garbage, I would need to take matters into my own hands.
I have a ton of respect for Margaret and the work she does. She’s a wonderful writer and a really cool woman that I am proud to have as a friend and colleague. We are very in tune in regards to our views on gardening, green living, and the environment, so teaming up together in this way to help support each other professionally makes perfect sense. I am so thrilled to be doing this with her!
What this means:
- Small ads will appear simultaneously in the right-hand sidebar on both of our sites.
- All ads are vetted by us collectively.
- We promise to do our best to only feature products and services that we either use ourselves in our home gardens and homes and that are in keeping with our values. No Big Chemical sponsorship or unconscionable ads have ever appeared on this site, and never will.
- The revenue generated by these ads will help to cover the operating costs associated with the running of our sites and allow us to grow the content we can create and publish.
Yesterday I posted about the Cyclamen coum I was gifted by my friend Barry, and later that day I visited his cold greenhouse where his were in bloom along with many other botanical delights, including these Crocus biflorus ssp. isauricus ‘Spring Beauty’ (aka snow crocus) that he grew in a pot. The dark purple underside really makes them. I planted 20 in the ground last fall and can’t wait for my own to make an appearance.
Assorted and Sundry:
- Easy Growing is now available on the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.
- Sometime this month, YouGrowGirl.com turned 12 years old. I wanted to say more about it but 12 is an awkward age and my interest in acknowledging it beyond a hasty mention has fallen away. About a month or so ago, I wrote a longwinded piece chronicling what my life was like when I started the site, but I can’t find it on my computer now and it’s just as well as it suffered from a touch of navel-gazing-itis. Speaking of which, just yesterday I discovered that someone has posted the documentary television show about me online. I find it intolerable to watch myself now and won’t offer a link. If you find it, please be kind… it was shot 4.5 years ago, practically a lifetime has passed since.
- E-Junkie: Top 11 Garden Blogs
- Book Page Review of Easy Growing
- For those in Toronto, I will be selling books at the Scadding Court Seedy Saturday this coming weekend (12-5) as well as the following weekend at the Brickworks Seedy Saturday event (11am-4pm).
There are some events and so forth coming down the pipeline that I thought I should mention.
Interviews and Such:
Up and Coming Events and Appearances:
- Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I’ll be hosting an hour of herbs and edible flower madness. They will also be giving away one free copy of my new book, Easy Growing: Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces
- Monday, February 27, 2012
Parkdale Horticultural Society
I’ll be giving a presentation on herbs and edible flowers.
- Saturday, March 3, 2012
Seedy Saturday (Scadding Court)
I’ll be selling and signing my books.
- Note: I may also be doing the Brick Works Seedy Saturday on March 10. To be confirmed…
- Saturday, March 16, 2012
Rochester Flower Show
I’ll be speaking on growing food in small spaces, with a book signing afterward.
Rochester, NY, USA
I was on Martha Stewart Radio today to talk about my new book about growing herbs and edible flowers. The question was asked, “What is your favourite edible flower?” and I replied, without hesitation, “Nasturtiums, hands down.”
Of course, now as I am typing this, I am hesitating, “But wait… what about roses? You really like roses. Don’t forget violas! You lose your mind over them in the springtime. Scented geraniums… you can’t live without them.” And so on…
Were I stranded on a desert island with only one edible flower at my disposal… I’d probably choose lavender. Okay, bad example.
No, really. I often choose nasturtium when asked this question and I think it comes down to the unexpected. Most people expect edible flowers to taste kind of sweet, floral, and a little bit weird, which is how many flowers smell. When I hold out a nasturtium, which does not have a particularly strong smell, and ask a friend to eat it, no one ever anticipates that their tongue will be met with a burst of sweetness and a spicy, radish-like kick.
Nasturtiums are fun, perhaps more-so than other flowers.