Strawberries, like tomatoes, are one of those crops elevated to legendary levels by gardeners. Home-grown berries are nothing like the dry, bland, hard red things you get at the store. You really haven’t lived till you’ve tasted one warmed by … Continue reading
Here is the hugelkulture right before planting. See past blog posts for more info. I filled this area against the retaining wall with half rotted logs, then a layer of sticks, then a layer of foodscraps. Then my wonderful husband … Continue reading
During South By Southwest Eric and I enjoyed free music at the Historic French Legation. We had a good time watching Speedy Ortiz and other bands rock out with blooming redbuds as a backdrop. This pic of the singer from … Continue reading
Just got this kit for the Sunfield Community Garden at http://www.butterflieswelcome.com. It is so cool, handmade in Austin and came in a beautiful box. Would make a great gift.
I am excited to tell you about this new book by Dee Nash, The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff. During a phone conversation Dee told me a few months back that she is concerned that younger people are losing the opportunity to glean the gardening knowledge from elder generations. That concern was the inspiration for her new book. I am honored to be included in the chapter about community gardening because of my experience as manager at Sunfield Community Garden.
I was happy to help Dee because I see people my age and younger struggle as new homeowners and new community members. When it comes to gardening and other home-making skills, young people often don’t even know what questions to ask before embarking on an oft-bumpy voyage of discovery. Having a book like Dee’s goes a long way to empower people who are just starting out. The book’s introduction is particularly personal, encouraging and compelling.
A few years ago I taught a basic organic vegetable gardening class with my friend at her home garden. I was very surprised and delighted to see that all of the class attendees were 20 and 30 somethings. Many of them were new mothers and teachers who wanted to learn to garden while exposing children to the sources of our food. Clearly there is demand for this kind of knowledge and Dee’s book fills that niche.
I was also excited to see that she interviewed gardeners from Sunshine Community Garden where I used to have a plot about 10 years ago- still one of my favorite places. I try to get over to Sunshine during the first Saturday in March every year for their annual plant sale. They carry plants that are hard to find elsewhere and I always bump into old friends!
I learned to garden at a young age from my parents who both had vegetable gardens and lovely yards. Terms like ‘annual’ and ‘compost’ were a part of my childhood. Dee does a great job with defining gardening terms for new gardeners in her book’s glossary. Many garden books skip this important section for beginners.
Dee advises gardeners to start small with container gardening, which is a great idea. As with community gardening, starting small in a container is a good way to find out if you like gardening to begin with before you invest tons of time and money in gardening stuff. I just gave the same advice to a self-proclaimed “brown thumb” friend recently. As Dee puts it, “No one is born with a brown thumb”. Gardening teaches us that trying something new is important, and passing time doing something you enjoy is more important than achieving a final goal.
If you are new to gardening and live in Central Texas, I offer consultation services to help. Visit www.redwheelbarrowplants.com or call 512-217-6955 to learn more and set up an appointment.
As part of the book launch cyber-party I am having a giveaway. Leave a comment on what your biggest gardening challenge was and how you overcame it. If you comment you will be entered to win one of two fabulous prizes:
Garden Girl USA’s Gardening Shorts are cool, comfortable and loaded with practical features including Garden Girl’s signature Wonderfit side stretch panels, generous fit for easy movement and multiple deep reinforced pockets. Garden Girl apparel is designed by women for women. The result is smart design: for example the leg length of GG shorts can be adjusted shorter or longer via smart fold-up-or-down cuffs with a button tab. Available for suggested retail price of $69.99 at www.gardengirlusa.com and select retailers.
To celebrate Dee’s book we are having a cyber-party with other bloggers that Dee knows, so take a gander at their blogs too. They are really cool. They are all having prize giveaways as well.
Niki Jabbour at Niki Jabbour, The Year Round Veggie Gardener.
Carmen Johnston at Carmen Johnston Gardens — Garden Girl pants with knee pads and a David Austin rose, ‘The Alnwick Rose’ catalog link for ordering bare root roses.
This tree was given to us by a friend who moved overseas. Note the caddy with wheels, plus the large saucer to catch water. The pot is elevated inside the large saucer by other very small saucers that are upside … Continue reading