Thursday, March 24, 2011

Made From Scratch

Following is an excerpt from MADE FROM SCRATCH: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life:

"Don't look at your current situation as a hindrance to living the way you want, because living the way you want has nothing to do with how much land you have or how much you can afford to spend on a new house. It has to do with the way you choose to live every day and how content you are with what you have. If a few things on your plate every season come from the work of your own hands, you are creating food for your body, and that is enough. If the hat on your head was knitted with your own hands, you're providing warmth from string and that's enough. If you rode your bike to work, trained your dog to pack, or just baked a loaf of bread, let it be enough.

Accepting where you are today, and working toward what's ahead, is the best you can do."

This book was a recommendation that I found most enjoyable despite it's lack of pictures. The author spends the chapters explaining the not so apparent pleasures that come from the luxury of a handmade life. The quote above really spoke to me and the place I currently find myself in. I think occasionally we all don't give ourselves enough credit for where we are and the simple things we have done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Transplanting Shrubs

Now is a super time to transplant shrubs and other plants in your garden. For shrubs, you want to try and get them right before they start to wake up. You can tell by being an observant gardener and watching for the buds to swell. Once they start to look a bit green, it is probably too late for all but the most aggressive varieties. Some shrubs will sucker making them good candidates for sharing with friends. If you were thinking ahead you took your shovel and separated them from the mother plant this fall. This gives them a chance to establish some of their own root system before transplanting. If not, proceed as follows:
1) If the plant you are digging is connected to another, sever it from the host plant with a shovel.
2) Next your need to go about digging out the plant. The more soil you can capture around the root ball and not disturb, the better. My soil was very sandy and dry this fall so I was not successful in capturing any. It is better to keep soil on because the soil can pull off tiny roots that are vital for survival if you do not keep the soil intact.
3) Transplant your plants directly to a new area or put into pots to root for later planting and sharing with friends. Be sure to not plant them any deeper in the pot than they were in the ground.
4) Lastly, water your plants well. Both those in the ground and in the pot will need to be gently brought along this summer. Water often as the plants have a minimal root system for supporting the water needs of the plant above ground.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hello Spring!

Hello Spring! It is soooo nice to see you! I look forward to walking in your sun, watching the plants green, smelling the earth warm and delighting in just being outside! The bugs are warming, tree buds are pushing and the spring flowers are well on their way. I can feel the energy of all the activity! This means it is also time for the gardener in you to get busy! This is a good time to start cutting back the dead plants. Some of my grasses were already starting to put on some green. Clip your grasses to about 6-8". Oh yes, and wear gloves! Dried grass tends to give wicked cuts!