Archive for September, 2009

Sprouting Wormwood and An Interesting Pink Enigma

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It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in my little garden. I finally received my wormwood seeds a few weeks past, but I was reluctant to sow them until next Spring. The nursery I purchased my seeds from suggested I sow them next year, but I did a bit of research and discovered I could sow them now if I kept them indoors. I decided to give it a go, and it seems to be going pretty well so far. My seeds sprouted within a few days. I was quite surprised, but very happy nonetheless.

For those of you who don’t know, Wormwood, or Artemisia absinthium, is a herbaceous plant that is typically used as an insect repellent in the garden. When dried, its leaves are used to repel moths and other insects from indoors. Additionally, it is one of the ingredients used to create absinthe. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make your own absinthe, just to be safe.

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The tomatoes are still showering me with fruit. I am quite surprised. I don’t actually know if this is normal for this type of tomato, but I shall try to find out. My friend who gifted that plant to me must know more about it. Aside from not knowing the plant’s true  name, I am quite pleased with the results. Our wonky tomato plants have been quite successful.

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The lettuce and herbs keep getting larger and larger. The lavender is still running a bit behind, but it’s coming along. The lettuces and onions are growing strongly and very swiftly. Everyday I am stunned at their progress. We shall have a few winter lettuce beds and onions very shortly. I am keeping them all indoors for the winter. I only set them outside for about 30 minutes every day to get a bit of sun and breeze. I water them while they are outside as well. I then place them on a sunny windowsill in my kitchen the rest of the time. It has worked out quite well.

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This lovely character is my Perpetual Spinach. It was described to be as a very hardy plant that would withstand the winter months quite well. I shall have to see how it fares. From the looks of it, I think it is going to survive quite well.

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This little lovely is a mystery to me. It was gifted to me by my landlord on move in day. He is a fabulous chap that has an allotment of  his own. He heard that I loved greenery, and he gave me this as a housewarming present. How lovely of him! Funny thing is, I haven’t the slightest idea what it is. I should probably ask my neighbor, as he is a professional gardener. I suppose I just never really thought to ask. It is such a beautiful specimen, and I just kind of let it be. It seems to be doing quite well without much help from me. I shall unravel the enigma shortly, and post more about this lovely, pink mystery.

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September 11, 2009 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

Colorful, Mixed Media Artwork by Sascalia

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The lovely colors and compositions in her work are certainly something I admire. I am mostly impressed by the textures in her pieces. Texture is something I’ve struggled with. It is incredibly difficult to get it just right, and she hits the nail on the head, as they say. To find out more about the artwork showcased here, visit the Sascalia site. I certainly recommend giving her work a view. It is all lovely.

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Images via Sascalia

September 10, 2009 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Tea Cups, Bows and Dragonflies… Oh My!

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I am going on a hair accessory bender this week. I found these lovely hats and hair clips by Binks The Minx on Etsy. I’ve seen them around Brighton quite a bit, but I never knew where they were from. I’m glad I discovered a source. They add a glamorous touch with an eclectic flare. I certainly recommend giving the Binx The Minx shop a view. Additionally, you can find out more about the artist at Twinklebug.com.

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Images via Binx The Minx

September 8, 2009 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

A Flower Or Two For You

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I realize it might take a very brave lady to wear a flower in her hair as a fashion statement, but I am just that kind of lady. I know there are many of you out there as well, just like Ms. Katie Wilmore from Thimble Kiss. Her very creative headband and hair clips designs are absolutely lovely. To find more information on any of the products below and many more, please visit the Thimble Kiss site.

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Images via Thimble Kiss

September 7, 2009 at 11:14 am 1 comment

Protecting The Future, One Seed At A Time

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As a new gardener, I’ve been quickly learning about different plant varieties I can grow, in what seasons they grow best and how to take each plant from seed to maturity. The first seeds in my new garden have sprouted and are well on their way to maturity. The layout of the garden has been planned, and seasonal, organic vegetable and fruit seeds have been chosen. Everything seems to be in order, or so I thought it was.

A fellow gardener and I were looking over my plans and plant choices when he noted I did not have enough biodiversity in my selections. I had evidently chosen plants that would increase pests in my plots, and I had none that would keep them away. Additionally, some of the plants I wanted to raise together for seasonal and ornamental reason would kill each other if left on their own for too long. This might sound like bad news, but this is why I asked him for help. I wanted to have the right information before I began planting my sprouts into the ground. Now I have a better understanding of what to plant, where to plant it and in what seasons I should start sowing.

After our conversation, I promised to plant a variety of seeds that would not only produce a tasty product, but would help protect my garden and the gardens around the neighborhood. I was able to source a fantastic nursery near my home that specializes in seeding heirloom vegetables and fruits. I found this curious as I did not know what they meant by heirloom. Evidently, an heirloom vegetable is a plant that was commonly grown during earlier years in human history, but is not commonly grown at present for one reason or another. I became fascinated by these vegetables and quickly learned as much as I could. I discovered that many heirloom vegetables are becoming extinct. I was quite appalling to me.

There are a vast number of wonderful and beautiful vegetable and fruit varieties I was blissfully unaware of until now. Knowing of them now is bittersweet as many of them are endangered. Right then I made a promise to myself, and vowed to grow a number of endangered varieties in my garden. One might suggest we simply let nature run it’s course, but I disagree. The more common vegetables and fruits are ones you see at the supermarket. These varieties were often selected because of their tolerance to pesticides, frost and drought. Nutritional value and flavor was usually a secondary concern if at all. I am certain there are exceptions, however, the homogenization of our horticultural world is only increasing the number of heirloom species that are becoming extinct ever year. I might be an in-experienced gardener, but common sense told me this probably isn’t good.

Cary Fowler, a biodiversity advocate and member of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, gave an excellent TED Talk on this issue. I certainly recommend giving his talk a listen. It is incredibly fascinating, and he highlights some very important arguments for maintaining the biodiversity in the Earth’s crops.

I would like to think I am doing my part by deciding to grow a number of heirloom vegetables along with more common varieties in my garden. I have great hopes and expectations for my plot as I have meticulously planned every detail. However, I do realize that the best gardens always come with time and dedication. It is going to be a long process, but I am very excited for the outcome. The most exciting part for me is knowing that I am aiding in the continued existence of endangered vegetables and fruits. That in itself, is all the drive I need to continue with this endeavor.

Video via TED Talks

Image by Carmen Dirica

September 3, 2009 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

Curious Artwork of Jack & Cat Curio

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Jack & Cat Curio are two very talented mixed media artists based in Phoenix, Arizona. Funny, I am discovering a whole world of very talented and interesting people back in Phoenix. I only wish I had known about them when I lived there, but I digress…

Jack & Cat Curio create stunning works of art! I love the multicolored, rustic textures in the backgrounds, balanced by the sharp contrast of each silhouette. Each piece is absolutely lovely.  Their use of typography is a big plus for me as well. I really admire artists who can do this genre well.

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If you fancy any of the pieces showcased, or simply want to learn more about Jack & Cat Curio please visit their website here.

Images via Jack & Cat Curio

September 2, 2009 at 10:02 am 1 comment

Whimsical Bags and Body Adornments by LaTouchables

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I always adore when accessory designers use different patterns and color combinations in their pieces. Such are the designs of the very beautiful products in LaTouchables. Dawn, the artist behind the brand, draws inspiration from her environment and meticulously crafts each piece by hand. Each piece is one of a kind. If you would like more information on any of the pieces shown here, please visit the LaTouchables website.

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Images via LaTouchables

September 1, 2009 at 6:05 am Leave a comment


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