Friday, April 24, 2009


"Take thy plastic spade,
It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are thy colours."
~William Mason, The English Garden, 1782

Yesterday, Violet and I spent all day out in the garden. We had a great time and got a ton done. We spent most of the day mulching the perimeter of the row garden and my flower bed, with a load of mulch that we picked up from the sawmill. It is going to make a big difference in keeping the weeds down. Organic gardening can be such a challenge when you are battling with Bermuda grass on a constant basis.

First, we laid down feed sacks, old blankets or sheets of plastic. Then we put the mulch on top of it. On the one end of the garden, which I am turning into a flower bed we planted dahlias, zinnias, purple day lilies and a pot of chocolate mint that I picked up from Rosewood nursery in Mountain View. We also mulched the strawberry patch with straw from the feed store. Violet and Kalin's Mama gifted me with the plants last year. They make pretty pink blossoms, and are really doing good this year. I want to get a few more to add to the bed, but they are hard to find.

Violet was a such a big help. She really worked at it all day with me raking and unloading mulch, hauling rocks, planting, and running errands. Before we headed out to the garden we watched a few videos on Mary Jane Butter's website to gain some great inspiration. She is truly a remarkable lady. We decided to tie on some aprons to wear in the garden, in the true Mary Jane spirit. Violet decided to turn her mushroom apron into a garden apron. I tied on an old vintage apron that Mimi gave me. It had lots of pockets. Perfect for filling with bug repellent (a must in the Ozark Mountains...yikes the multitude of insects are emerging quickly), cell phone, gloves, lip balm, and a package of Emergen-C.

After the work was done I picked a salad to take to my woman's meeting that night. I also picked mint and lemon balm for iced tea. The drive out to my friends farm was so lovely. It had cooled off a bit and the mountains were bathed in golden light from the setting sun. Another wonderful day in the Ozarks. The only thing that would have made it better, would be to have you all here to enjoy it with us!

To make your own herbal tea:

Pick a couple of good sized handfuls of herbs. Mint, lemon balm, lemon grass, and chamomile are good ones. Fill a two quart sauce pan with water. Bring to a boil. Turn off burner. Throw in the herbs and let them steep. Sometimes I boil the herbs a bit for a deeper flavor,especially if I
have lemon grass in the mix.

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