Herbs, Veggies and Fruit

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Heirlooms or Not

‘Moon and Stars’ watermelon, ‘Dad’s Mug’ tomato, and ‘Belgian White’ carrots may not be familiar to you, but ‘Casaba’ melon, ‘Brandywine’ tomato, and ‘Danvers Half Long’ carrots probably are. Their common thread weaves horticulture and history together.


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Handling the harvest.

I picked up this tip from Debbie Porter, who grows more herbs than I can count, uses them wisely, and never wastes a leaf!


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Habitat at Home

Like birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to visit your garden? Provide the basics of food, water, cover, and nesting places and they’ll flock to your place. Document your progress and certify your backyard as a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat. For an application form, contact the NWF at 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna VA 22184-0001.


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What's a Garden Room?

When someone first says ‘garden room’ to you, what comes to mind? If you’re like me, it’s an English garden where hedges surround a patio and often obscure the view. But that’s simple American prejudice talking: a variety of garden rooms readily find their place in our gardens from coast to coast.


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The fall garden

I described the scene in my garden in late September for a now-defunct magazine, Rebecca's Garden: 


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The fall garden

I described the scene in my garden in late September for a now-defunct magazine, Rebecca's Garden: 


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What's a perennial vegetable?

First written for GroGroup Garden Almanac, the now-defunct publication of that garden center trade group.


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Herb Vinegar on a Grand Scale

Herb, herbe, ‘erb, or yarb, whatever you call them, gardeners grow more tasty plants each year. Sooner or later, everyone asks the question, "OK, now what do I do with all this harvest?" Make tasteful gifts of herbed vinegars and oils. Then when school ends this year, help the kids bottle ‘em up as gifts for those special teachers.


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Rosemary Sings for Me

I wrote about one of my favorite herbs for the Southern California Gardener newsletter a few years ago. Now that great publication is gone, but an even greater one has replaced it for gardeners in SoCal: The Gardener's Companion.


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Herbs, Kids, and Family Fun

My friends at Parents and Kids magazine asked me to suggest ways to get kids into herb gardening - here's what I said:


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Potatoes, peas, and wet winters

Winter vegetables prove the worth of raised beds. When it's too wet to work the native soil, the raised beds won't stop you! As soon as the soil is dry enough to crumble in my hand, I’m planting vegetables. Red LaSoda potatoes cut in pieces will suberize in about a week and the process helps speed sprouting in damp soil. Planted eighteen inches apart and fertilized twice, they’ll be ready to dig by Mother’s Day. Cabbage can take more cold than its cousin broccoli, so I get Dutch and sometimes a Savoy planted right away.


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Rosemary

If I were Rosemary, I'd change my name to escape the bounty of overdone lore associated with this noble plant.  Everything except dependable mail delivery has been attributed to rosemary... someone somewhere in human history says that it relieves colds and headaches, repels moths, heals wounds, works as an eyewash, a stimulating tonic, a relaxing tea, curls hair, fumigates, inspires fidelity, treats jaundice, improves memory, reduces fever, and prevents both evil spirits and baldness.  Great attributes for any plant, but I'm personally satisfied by its natural beauty and pungent, resinous flavor.