Saturday, January 30, 2010

Random thoughts

Looking out my den window,watching the sleet/snow blow over the sheet of ice covering the front yard makes me (1) GLAD for the heat coming from the woodstove, and (2) wish that Spring wasn't so far away. Took my boy out sled riding this AM and we both had a good time. Yeah, even I went down the hill once or twice. Still want to build some more raised beds for the garden. Still planning what I am going to plant and where I will plant it. I am sooo ready to start picking fresh veggies. . . Here is a thot: If you live in a apartment/condo, and don't have the room to plant a garden, try to find a friend or relative that does have the room and offer to do a shared garden. Or find a community gardening site. I wish there were more of the community gardens around. If you know of one let me know, and I will spread the word. . . Any political topics to rail on or comment on ? let me know what you think. . . tell your friends. The more people that read this blog, the more information that gets out there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random thoughts and Kudos

What a beautiful past couple of days!! Spring-like temps and warm sunshine. . .BUT Winter is not over. There are more cold days and nights coming and maybe even snow (my son hopes so). Plenty of time to enjoy a firepit. . just like the one in the picture. We can build one for you.. .The Nursery is mostly asleep right now, but I am eagerly awaiting Spring and selling plants and shrubs to all. We will have some new Color Choice selections as well as some old favorites. . . at prices that will make you smile.Keep watching, and tell your friends. . get on my followers list. You will save money and get great plants!! Time to send a shout out to Marty Hartman, a real friend who has been an encouragement and a great help getting this blog going. . . Also to Daniel Vervaet for my BlucasStoneWorks website and his friendship through some tough times. . . Thanks, guys!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Raised beds and woodstoves

My son AJ and I were building another raised bed in our garden today. Now is the time of year to do that sort of thing, not in the Spring when the mad rush to get things in the ground pushes all thoughts of garden improvement to the back burner. Why raised beds? There are many good reasons for them: your soil warms up quicker in the Spring, allowing for earlier planting, by keeping the beds to a manageable size( 3'wide x8' long is ideal) you are able to reach all parts of the bed, and can avoid walking all over the bed, compacting the soil. If you are planting tomatoes( and who wouldn't?!) you can bury them deep(as you should) with a minimum of effort.You can also keep your plants closer together, allowing for a better yield in a smaller area.The beds can be constructed of almost any material capable of holding in your soil, from stones to concrete blocks, to even railroad ties.The only material I frown on is treated lumber, as the chemical treatment can leach into the soil- not good for you, the plants, or those necessary soil workers, the earthworm. The beds can be anywhere from 6-12" tall. Fill them with a good mix of soil and compost (remember your compost pile) and plant and enjoy. . . Is there anything as good as the heat coming from a woodstove or insert? I don't think so. To borrow a little from the Beatles:" Happiness is a warm . . . .stove." Another benefit is all that good ash that is left after the fire. Sprinkle a little of the ash on your garden, around your trees and shrubs, and in your flowerbeds, and enjoy the benefits of free fertilizer as you recycle and use all your resources. Doesn't feel bad to give the utility companies a little kick in the shorts either, does it?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spring,Haiti, and Preparedness

With the continuing cold, my thoughts go often to the garden, and the chance to start planting. . . no, not planting yet, although you still could squeeze in a few Spring flowering bulbs (like daffodils, hyacinths, or crocuses). I am so ready to plant radishes, beets, lettuce, and onions, and then harvest those fresh organically grown veggies and chow down on a fresh salad. . . . I believe there is a connection between man and the soil, and for those who are willing to explore this connection, great satisfaction ensues. What a tragedy is taking place in Haiti even as I ramble, and my thoughts and prayers go out to friends there, and in fact for all affected .This brings me to my last point: BeingPrepared How ready are you and your family for even a minor natural or "man -caused" (what a bunch of bs!) disaster? Do you keep flashlights with fresh batteries on hand? Do you have any canned /dry goods on hand to feed yourselves for at least a few days? Do you have any cash on hand( I know, I know, I am a Luddite. . . Nobody that is techno savvy and "with it" keeps cash around.) That debit card ain't much good if the computers that run with it are down. How abour 5 gallons of gas? At least you can keep a little mobility. How about a jug of common bleach to purify water if the water system gets contaminated? A flood can put the screws to a water treatment facility real fast. What about a means of self defense? Horrors!! Yes, I am talking about having a gun(s) and knowing how to,and be willing, to use them to protect you and yours. Does this subject disturb you? Would you rather get back to important stuff like American Idol and the latest football/basketball game? Then don't come to me for help when the fecal matter hits the fan. You won't like my reply. . .

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More cold!!

After going through the cold weather this week, I am more ready than ever to get to Spring. It is hard right now to look at all the plants and shrubs that were so alive and vibrant this Spring and Summer and see them dormant, but remember, they will, LORD willing, come back to life in a couple of months. Now is a good time to be thinking about what you will be planting in your garden this Spring. It doesn't hurt one bit to actually draw a rough sketch of your garden to plan it all out.Clean up all the old vines, stems and dead plants and compost them if you can.On a political note, anyone want to take bets on when Tim Geitner will be out the door? If this had been a Republican administration, the media and the democrats would have been screaming for his head, or at least some part of his anatomy. . . On the other side of the aisle, GOP chairman Steele either needs to grow some balls, or hit the road. . who's team is he playing on? Would like to reccomend a good news site: PajamasMedia. You will get a lot of news the MSM ignores. Don't those Oakleaf Hydrangeas look nice? Time to go put another log in the woodstove. . .

Monday, January 4, 2010


Dadburn it, it is cold!!! At this time of year we don't think much about our yards, but there are some things to do. . .If you have fruit trees, now is the time to spray them with dormant oil. This will kill the bugs that like to overwinter under the bark of the tree. Follow the mixing and application instructions on the oil( which you can buy at any garden center,Lowes or Home Depot) and spray those trees and bushes! Now is the time to cut back those Annabelle hydrangeas and hardy Hibiscus (we sell both, by the way) to about 12" above the ground. Throw away or compost(better idea) the branches. You DO have a compost pile, don't you? And now, on a political note: What is it going to take to make this administration admit that these ongoing acts of TERROR are being committed by MUSLIMS and that these rats need to be treated like the murderers and thugs they are?! Shoot these rodent illegitimates and bury them with some pigs. Then let's see how anxious they are to take one for allah. . . As long as these "man caused disasters" are glossed over we can expect more of the same. Your thoughts comments and ideas are welcomed.I may not agree with you, but I will let you speak your mind. So far, we can still do that here. . . Like the fireplace in the photo? We can build one for you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here we go

I have some strong opinions about politics and living . . . for now all I will say on politics is we are in deep trouble as a nation. . .on living, however I am going to let it fly. I strongly believe we should do all in our power to support , all local business, in every way we can. Buy local food and local made products where ever you can, support local tradesmen and merchants, and for pete's sake buy your plants and shrubs locally, especially if the nursery is growing them your area. You will be amazed how much better plants do when they are raised in the area they will be planted in! At Nature Trail Nursery we only sell what we grow here. If we bring in any plants or shrubs from out of state, we acclimate them for at least 2 years before we sell them. the result is a healthier, happier plant with much better chances of vigorous growth and survivability. Just because it is sold locally, doesn't mean it is! Ask before you buy next time, you may be surprised.Stay in touch for tips, ideas and photos. . . send me your ideas, comments, questions, and photos. . .let's get something going. . . locally!