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painted-gourds

Getting Houses Ready for Purple Martins

Believe it or not, they know us.  Not just that but they get all happy, they come out and sit on their perches, talking and greeting when they see us coming. Nothing animates a quiet day in the garden like a colony of purple martins.  These migratory birds have long lived in association with people. … Read More

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Left to Right: Justina Bieber, Jenks, Buck.

Winter Cover Crops for Farm, Yard or City Garden.

On the farm, we do all the work by hand; no tractors, no plows, no till.  Our crew includes interns, volunteer kids from down the dirt road, city cousins and some well trained farm animals.  But we  also use plants to do lots of work. All year long, cover crops do the tilling, pest control,… Read More

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One of my freaky Crinum bulbispermum selections.

Plant Evaluation — Selecting New Crinum Varieties

I’m a tough critic when it comes to plants.  Since I’ve been growing crinum from when I was a pre-teen, I’m particularly tough on those bulbs.  Nothing floppy, nothing wimpy, nothing that doesn’t make a great all around garden plant. Yes, I have my personal collection of quirky crinum, but that’s about love and memory… Read More

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Tom took lots of pics hoping to document what sort of creatures might eat anyone bold enough to wade out...

Garden & Dog Road Trip

Thousands of pictures wait to be edited: high end malls with extravagant palm plantings, blue water swim days at the dog beach, vine laden tropical gardens, and brilliant displays of plants at the Tropical Plants and Landscape Show. Friends and gag pics.  Dog profiles and gardens. A 1,700 mile road trip to south Florida with… Read More

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Conjunction Junction; A Lady who Loves Her Function….

A young family who’s trying to mix modern needs into the garden of a historic Mediterranean Revival home. An 86-year-old gentleman, from the wrong side of the tracks, who enlisted in the US Navy at 16 having lied about his age. The person who organized fundraising events and presentations for the New Orleans Botanical Garden…. Read More

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Larkspur & the Old Chicken House (now packing shed)

5 Favorite Flowers to Seed-In Now for Spring Flowers

As with fall leaf veggies, seeding in spring annuals, now, gives you green ground cover and texture over winter; then flowers come in the spring time.  There’s just no better value; in Deep Rooted Wisdom, I tell the story of a mentor who bought a pack of red poppy seeds in 1959 and still has… Read More

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Curly Parsley in the fall

5 Favorite Salad Greens to Seed-In for Fall

Easy-to-germinate cool season leaf crops yield beauty as well as nutrients.  There may be lots of choices in seed catalogs, but over decades of gardening, I’ve weeded out the the ones that take too much work.  With these easy fall and winter greens,  scatter the seeds then make sure the little seedlings stay moist. Then… Read More

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How Do You Clean the Fuzz of Young Gourds?

Our friend Sue Ban taught us how to cook with gourds.  I love this because yellow squash are so hard to grow without synthetic chemicals.  And this is a more tasty but similar thing. One complication is that the young, tender gourds are fuzzy.  And unlike peach fuzz, this fuzz is difficult to get off.  … Read More

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Yucca-rostrata

People Who Show Us The World

In 1938 Buzzy’s second grade teacher made his class listen to Wagner and walk through gardens of neighborhood ladies and gentlemen.   Some of the boys sneered.  Buzzy, always sensitive , pretty much shocked me when he said, “Once or twice, on the playground, I found the boys who laughed and interrupted and  I, (he whispers… Read More

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