Sunday, April 24, 2005

Propagating Herbs

I've been spending a lot of time in my little “shade house” doing some propagating. I am happy spending hours taking cuttings as long as I have my little Fiskars scissors. These scissors are totally useless for such tasks as cutting paper or fabric but are perfect for cutting softwood and neatly and precisely trimming off leaves. Which is why it is a puzzle to me that these scissors are frequently found in office supply stores/departments or fabric stores/departments but almost never in garden stores/departments.

If you want to learn more about plant propagation and be inspired by gorgeous photos as well, pick up a copy of "Making More Plants" by Ken Druse. I have to say I learned more from this book than the Plant Propagation course I took in college. Plus the enthusiastic writing and photos offer so much more than our dry textbook ever did.

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Herb Magazine

New on the magazine racks: the premier issue of Flowers and Herbs. Rosalind Creasy is Editor as well as photographer. Rosalind is the author of The Edible Flower Garden, The Edible Herb Garden, and Herbs: Country Garden Cookbook and was the photographer for Exotic Herbs: A Compendium of Exceptional Culinary Herbs. Lots of good herb articles with super-saturated colorful pictures in this first issue:

Combining Herbs and Flowers with Flair
Lovely Luscious Lavender (with recipes)
Scented Geraniums (more recipes)
Magical Fairy Garden (makes me want one)
Plant Your First Herb Garden
Create a Magic Herb Circle
Mini Italian Herb Garden (with plants in colorful Italian tins – I love those funky planters)
Basil – Queen of the Herbs
Landscaping with herbs Made Easy
Sage Advice

All in all, as an herb lover, I liked it and it’s heavier on the herbs and lighter on the flowers than I expected when I first picked it up.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Garden Report

The aristolochia is looking good

as is the porterweed.

The Don Juan roses have never looked better, filling the arbor with the first big flush of flowers since I severely pruned them in February.

The spirea is still beautiful but starting to decline

and the purple tabebuia has only a few flowers still refusing to let go and litter the sidewalk.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Garden Critter Blogging

I was showing visitors around the butterfly garden when we spotted this snake winding its way in and out of the holes in the gothic top of the fence. Luckily my camera was nearby. That's the snake's head toward the lower right smiling for the camera. As best as I can tell from my Audubon Field Guide to Florida, it's an indigo which is a threatened species. Well, he's not threatened in my garden; we love him! By the way, that's an aristolochia vine sharing the fence. A great host plant for the pipevine swallowtail which I rarely see and the gold rim swallowtail which is the most abundant butterfly in my garden.