Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

"And the Great Pumpkin will rise up out of his pumpkin
patch with his bag of toys for all the good children"
Charles Schultz,It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
Don't know what to do with all those pumpkin seeds after you have carved the pumpkin?
Wash the seeds to remove the pulp. Spread on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt or a seasoning blend. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Take out and sprinkle with any popcorn seasoning you like.
Excerpt from China Bayles Book of Days
Susan Wittig Albert
Happy Halloween
I am off to Gatlinburg with my Girlfriends (some who can be a little witchey!)


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Friday, October 24, 2008

fall garden chores

Finally, cooler weather is here! This is my favorite time to be out in the yard and there is still plenty to do. My perennial bed is well.......pitiful. the heat of the summer and frankly, just not enough time, has left the bed needing some attention to put it to bed for the winter. Other fall chores on my "to do" list include:

Plant a cover crop on the vegetable garden to add nitrogen to the soil. In the spring, it will be tilled under.
Harvest herbs for winter use. If you live in the south like I do, perennial herbs such as lavender, rosemary, oregano, and sage, can be gathered and placed on a wire tray to dry. If it is damp outside, they can be placed in a 250 degree oven until dry. Don't cut back to much, only about a third of the plant so it can overwinter safely.
As I was planning this years garden earlier this year, I added ornamental bulbs as something I wanted to plant this fall. Daffodils and tulips are on my list to purchase. Fruit trees and two or 3 more blueberries are going to be planted in the next couple of weeks. By the end of October, we could have a frost sneak up on us, so I need to get that done.

Plan next years garden! Start collecting ideas for next years garden. This garden journal which is found on my website, makes a great place to store all those loose pictures, drawings, seed packets etc., and contains some great recipes. buy it here


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Monday, October 20, 2008

An organic and sustainable lifestyle

Whether you live in an apartment, a suburban home, or a country farm, there are simple solutions for all of us to move toward a more sustainable and organic lifestyle. Maybe you don't have room or restrictions prevent you from having chickens or large animals such as cows, but you can buy locally and ethically raised eggs and meat.
Plant a garden. Use raised beds if room is limited
Grow or buy locally raised vegetables and preserve for winter use.
Bake your own bread
Plant fruit bushes vines and trees. Small fruits such as blueberries and grapes can easily fit into a suburban lot. Check with your local nursery and farmers market for dwarf and patio tree varieties.
Buy from local craftsmen for gift for others and yourself. Instead of driving to the mall, check out local shops which carry handmade gifts. Not only will they be unique, you are contributing to the local economy instead of China's.
Here's a great blog I found that I think you will enjoy

Can't find a local store for what you want? There are plenty of great craftsmen and craftswomen at and let's not forget

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

New GardenChick Products

My friend Shawn at Silo Studios allowed me to place some of my Gardenchick products in her show. I wanted to bring a couple of new things so I created a couple of new products.

Monster Spray was developed with my three year old granddaughter Kendall, who has been seeing too many Halloween products in the store. She told me there were monsters in her room, but she "blew" on them and they went away. Essential oils of lavender and sweet orange were added to distilled water. Lavender and sweet oil were used because of their properties to help relieve insomnia and nervous tension. My friend Julie at BluePrint Designs created the cute label with great colors just for kids. It's on my website at :

The spa kit was developed with my girlfriends in mind. (we have a fall getaway trip scheduled for the end of October). These kits contain enough salts, cocoa mango and island plumeria fragrance oil and tubes to make four bath salt tubes. These would be great gifts for teenage girls, maids of honor, or for that girls night in.
Check them out at
By the way, that's Kendall the monster slayer in the previous post. The Mackenzies Garden Label is for her older sister (5) Mackenzie.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Garden

It stills feel like summer even though fall has been here almost a month. the mornings are cooler, but by midday, temperatures are in the 80's. Our garden has been cleaned out, but several of my herbs are flourishing in these cooler temperatures. Here are pictures of my lavender, sage, and pineapple sage. The pineapple sage is full of red flowers which the butterflies love. Before the evening temps got cooler, I saw a number of hummingbirds around the bush.

If you would like to know more about pineapple sage
Recipes? Heres a couple for pineapple sage

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