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Right now parkseed.com has a great deal on strawberries. You can get 25 strawberry plants plus two growing bags (a new way to grow plants) for only $13.45. If you spend $25 on the their website and use the code BERRIES you can get 25 more strawberry plants (this offer ends on March 17th). That’s 50 strawberry plants and two growing bags plus whatever else you got for only $25 plus shipping. My shipping cost was around $10.

Oh and if you love fruit check out this deal they have right now. You can get 3 blackberry, 1 blueberry, 3 raspberry and 25  strawberry plants for $39.95 which isn’t too bad. It is called the “Basket of Berries” collection.

http://www.parkseed.com

25 Strawberry plants plus 2 growing bags item code is 42009

For 25 Free Surecrop Strawberry plants with any $25 purchase use the code BERRIES (ends 3/17/2010)

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I’ve expanded my vegetable garden area by 7 feet so this year I can grow even more!  Below is a list of everything I will be planting. Some of the herbs and veggies will be mixed together because they can be good companion plants like basil and tomatoes.

Veggies

Sweet corn, Roma and Razzleberry and Beefsteak Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cucumber, Pole Beans, Peas, Summer Squash, Carrots, Buttercrunch and Iceberg Lettuce, Green and Red Cabbage, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Okra and a variety of sweet and hot peppers

Herbs

Rosemary, English Thyme, Catnip, Lavender, Chamomile, Italian Basil, Dark Opal Basil, Peppermint, Catmint Felix, Oregano, Chives, Garlic Chives, Lemon Basil, Dill, Sage, Spearmint, Parsley, Red Rubin Basil

Flowers

Cleome, Cosmos, Statice Bright Rose, Butterfly Bush, Heather,Coleus Mix, Foxglove Foxy, Linaria Flaming Passion, Aster Lilliput Blue Moon, Zinnia Candy Stripe

Fruits

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Cherries and Muscadines.

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.” William Wordsworth

http://www.nature.org/

http://www.plantabillion.org/

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The last Cleome flower from my garden this year.

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Make a diluted mixture using these essential oils to make a natural insect repellent. (recipe below)

  • Mosquitoes – Catnip, citronella, clove, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, litsea cubeba, tea tree, eucalyptus
  • Fleas – Lavender, lemongrass, rosemary
  • Spiders – Patchouli, peppermint
  • Ants – Cinnamon, tea tree
  • Ticks – Rosemary, lemongrass, lavender
  • Lice – Tea Tree, peppermint, cedarwood
  • Moths – Cedarwood
  • Chiggers – Lemongrass, lavender
  • Gnats – Patchouli

A good recipe is (this is like making a tincture)

  • 3/4 C vodka
  • 2 tbsp aloe vera juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp of essential oil (you can blend oils together)

Store in a spray bottle

Since this is a natural insect repellent it won’t last as long as a store bought one. Reapply the mixture every 45 minutes while outside. Don’t forget to wear sunblock either if you’re out in the sun 🙂

Do Not rely on any single book or source when figuring out information about an herb. Spend a little time going through multiple sources.

Learn if the herb is poisonous or edible.

Buy it – if its legal in your area.

Use in a cooking recipe – if edible. If you’re not sure Do Not consume it until you have found out.

Draw it in a sketchbook.

Learn its scientific and common name.

Write detailed descriptions of the herbs aroma, texture, color, etc.

Make an herbal tea – if applicable.

Using multiple resources, determine its magickal properties such as love, luck, protection, etc.

Learn which herbs have similar magickal properties.

Grow the herb – if possible.

Read stories and mythology that mention the herb.

Burn as an incense – if applicable.

Learn the herbs that be can used to substitute it if your herb is ever out of stock or not available.

Learn to recite 5 to 10 useful facts about the herb.

Make an herbal sachet – if applicable.

My Photos

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This is my youngest cat, Sam
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This is a plant known as impatiens psittacina or Parrot Flower. It is rare and grows only in northern Thailand.

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1. Fencing and Walls

It was common for medieval gardens to be enclosed. The enclosure could range from anything such as a dirt mound, fencing, a wall built of brick or stone or any type of structure that would be at least two and a half feet tall. The taller the better.

2. Trellises

A trellis can be made out of anything. A simple one can be made by making a tall frame out of boards (a rectangle) and then nailing chicken wire to it or you could use lattice to make it look prettier. Leave at least two feet at the bottom without any trellis so you can stick it in the ground or nail it to something for support. The size is up to you. Medieval gardens loved vines that had pretty blooms or a fragrant scent. You can place the trellis along your enclosure, near entry ways or gates, in your garden bed or in a corner.

3. The Garden Bed

Raised beds were used because they provided the best irrigation and also for appearance. An easy way to make a raised garden bed is to buy 3 – 10 by 2 by 8 foot boards and cut one in half. Again the size depends on you. Keep in mind that you don’t want to make your garden more than four feet wide because it might be difficult to weed or get to your plants. Once you have your boards pre-drill three holes at each end where the screws will connect to another board. Use decking screws and not nails for this. You’re basically putting together a frame and it requires little skill (but you’ll be so happy when you see what you’ve built). Once you have your raised garden bed positioned where you want it, lay down a few layers of newspaper to keep weeds from growing. Fill it in with dirt and then add your plants. If you want more than one raised garden then position them in a design or pattern.

4. Walk Ways and Water Features

Walk ways can be made out of concrete, gravel or stones. You can purchase individual types of walkway steps at stores like home depot. The patterns can range from brick to stone and might be cheaper than making an concrete walkway. Its up to you though. Place the walkway around your gardens, seats or fountains. Be creative with it. A water feature can be placed anywhere but a perfect place would be to put it in the exact center of your garden if its not too large or by a seating area. You can use a fountain, a small pond or a water garden as your water feature.

5. Trees

If you have room then consider planting a fruit tree as these were common in higher and lower class medieval gardens.

6. What to plant in your Garden

Medieval gardens did not labels plants as herbs or vegetables. They were labeled according to their uses such as food, dyes, medicinal, religious, pleasure, etc. When planted in the garden they were also grouped together according to their purpose.

A Food garden would include plants such as cucumber, carrots, leeks, lettuce, marshmallow root, nettle, onion, radish, sorrel and lovage.

Here is a short list of other trees, plants and herbs to include in your medieval garden:

  • Sage
  • Vervain
  • Rose
  • Violets
  • Marigold
  • Iris
  • Primrose
  • Apple
  • Grape
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Pomegranate
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Tansy
  • Feverfew
  • Agrimony

This was taken today

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These flowers are lovely. They are called Jonquils. Once planted they will return year after year and are usually the first flowers to appear, at least in my yard, in the spring. I saw them start appearing a few weeks ago but today is when the blooms started to open. In a few days the blooms will open completely. Jonquils can grow in full sun or in partially shaded areas. I planted mine in the corners of my yard, around trees and shrubs and as a border to a walkway.