Fine Paints of Europe: Dutch Door Kit

This is the most reflective paint I've ever seen! I'm at it again! My mom came to visit me and it's been crazy! We cut down two trees with a chainsaw. It was the above ground growth on an incense bush and a pomegranate, that died back during our horrible freeze. My 20 year old … Continue reading Fine Paints of Europe: Dutch Door Kit

Curing An Extra Itchy Case Of The Gardening Stupids

I would bet that most gardeners have a list of a few things that they do, out of habit, that are counterproductive. For me it's gardening without gloves or long sleeves. I almost never wear gloves or long sleeves. I love to work the soil with my hands, I weed bare handed and I harvest … Continue reading Curing An Extra Itchy Case Of The Gardening Stupids

Watering In High Heat

The most expensive part of my garden is the city water that we're on. Our city water is piped in. The aquifer that our land is over does not have good water. We're near an air force base, started in the 50s and I wonder if over the years, that aquifer has been polluted from … Continue reading Watering In High Heat

Food Forest

Nonastringent Persimmon I started working on my perennial food forest about eleven years ago. Gardening is my hobby, not my job, so those eleven years took time I might have used for other things. That time I chose to use in my garden created a solid foundation in feeding our family, outside of the grocery … Continue reading Food Forest

Ever Had Spiced Hibiscus Flower Tea?

One of my favorite plants to grow down here is hibiscus. It is truly a beautiful plant and the flowers are breathtaking. I am not the only one who appreciates hibiscus. We frequently have hummingbirds in the garden sipping hibiscus nectar. My favorite part about the plant though, is that it's edible. Hibiscus is high … Continue reading Ever Had Spiced Hibiscus Flower Tea?

Summer Sun And The Fruits Of My Labor

Summer is officially bearing down on us down here in South Texas. Boy, is it hot! If you garden: you sure don't want to do it in the middle of the day when it's over 100°F! However, all the things down here that I choose to plant will usually sail through the heat as long … Continue reading Summer Sun And The Fruits Of My Labor

Show Stopping, Southern Shrubs

I live in the South. Where I am: summer ends up getting really hot (above 100° Fahrenheit) with little to no rain for months at a time. In summer we get moisture that blows in from the Gulf of Mexico and that humidity (without rain) is a real problem. There are weeks where we don't … Continue reading Show Stopping, Southern Shrubs

The Greatest Green You’ve Never Eaten: Sweet Potato Leaves

I'm always looking for new ways to use my garden. After years of growing sweet potatoes I came across a recipe that called for the leaves. Sweet potato leaves are edible? Yes. Yes, they are.The sweet potatoes slips I got this year were supposed to be a bush variety. While they haven't thrown vines out … Continue reading The Greatest Green You’ve Never Eaten: Sweet Potato Leaves

What To Grow In Spring and How To Use It

I have a very short spring, especially this year. Usually I get my summer corn out in the beds in late February and harvest by late May. This year was an odd one. We froze all the way out into March and it was heavy freezes, too. Very bizarre for my part of the world, … Continue reading What To Grow In Spring and How To Use It

Saving The Harvest

Spring is full of heavy lifting, digging holes and amending soil. I usually build or renew my beds in spring and then switch on and off between: planting/watering and harvesting the first spring veggies. It's usually beautiful outside and I enjoy the time I'm out there. I end up in a meditative state. I can … Continue reading Saving The Harvest

Melon Trellising

I usually grow my vining melons on a trellis. Trellising makes them easy to care for and the plants themselves are healthier. Getting melon vines off the ground keeps the powdery mildew under control and I can easily spray the leaves when the inevitable aphid explosion comes. Since I like to research things, and I'm … Continue reading Melon Trellising

Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.

Flowers are beautiful examples of sexual reproduction. We gather them, we create bouquets, we stick our noses into a plant's sex organs and take a deep breath of intoxicating fragrance. The idea of sex (at least when we look at our own species) seems to be incredibly more complex and inherently immature. I will point … Continue reading Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.

Pre-summer Checklist

Right now I am finishing up the main chores I have left until our summer is in full swing. Our days are already in the 80's and 90's but we are still cooling off at night (and when it rains) so it's not officially summer weather for us. I have to hurry to get everything … Continue reading Pre-summer Checklist

Building The Perfect Raised Beds

Cardboard and paper trash is a gardener's treasure! This is a Hugelkulter/Keyhole cross, garden bed. I have grown in beds of this design for close to 10 years and I love them! I can grow an endless amount of things in these beds. This is a banana in the background and okra up front. Overwintered … Continue reading Building The Perfect Raised Beds

Moroccan Sweet Potato Fritters with Ras El Hanout Yogurt Sauce

Sweet potatoes, beet roots (These are chiogga beets. White, yellow or striped beets have a milder flavor than solid red beets), beet greens and spring onions This is my recipe for using up spring veggies before the heat of summer ends their season. I grew all the veggies except the sweet potatoes (which are not … Continue reading Moroccan Sweet Potato Fritters with Ras El Hanout Yogurt Sauce

How I Restored My Antique Iron: Two Methods

Both of my grandmother's had cast iron collections. These were things they either purchased in Kansas or are my family's heirlooms. My family on a road trip to Washington DC. My granny on my mom's side married a jerk, (to say it mildly) after my grandpa died. He made her get rid of her antiques, … Continue reading How I Restored My Antique Iron: Two Methods

Best Damn Rainbow Fruit Skewers And Dip Out There!

This Easter we went to our family's low country shrimp boil in San Antonio. I love the food every year! This year though, was a bit different. I discovered last year that I can't eat wheat. I've developed an allergy to it, and it's pretty serious. I'm not gluten intolerant, either. I can eat other … Continue reading Best Damn Rainbow Fruit Skewers And Dip Out There!

Growing Your Own Mushrooms.

Black pearl oyster mushrooms from field and forest. I was perusing some of my favorite nursery catalogs this winter and saw mushroom spawn. I have wanted to try growing my own mushrooms for years but never got around to doing it. This year I decided was different. I looked around online for a company that … Continue reading Growing Your Own Mushrooms.

Garden Planning

It's spring in south Texas! It has been unusually cold. The last two nights froze and we've had many nights like that since our first freeze of the season. This is really unusual. In zone 8b we usually have nice weather peppered with freezes. Not this year, though. Spring has sprung down here! Usually I … Continue reading Garden Planning