Intervention

linden at UGCThe fumes of hundreds of buses and cars fill the hazy air. The fine, sandy grit of the asphalt breaking away with every passing tire, swirls around the ground. Along the front of my studio we extend an invitation to nature by planting a mix of plants in carved out spaces of the concrete sidewalk. Daily it is a hum of bees, hummingbirds and birds flitting in an out. On our gritty urban street in downtown Tacoma, nature just happens.

There are also Linden trees (Tilia) planted in holes along the curb with their base encased by a heavy metal grate. The Lindens are there to perform as their nondescript name of “street trees.” Most would only know them by the shade they cast over a car on a hot summer day. Taking time, over the past weeks to look closer, the trees are shimmering with the sticky goo of aphids. Most of the leaves are a glossed over mess as the debris of the urban street sticks to them.
But something happens this time of year as it always does-the ladybugs come to the rescue.
Right now the two trees are filled with ladybugs in all stages of life, from the sweet little speckled girls to the odd-looking larvae. The lindens have attracted a feast for them. Ladybugs (and their young) are voracious eaters of aphids and will lay their eggs where aphids are abundant so that the hatching larvae will have a good source of food. This is all a real sense of how nature is when allowed to just do and be the amazing nurturer of itself. The disruption is more our human touch applying chemicals and concoctions to stop what we don’t want to see, in this case the sticky aphid remnants. But in our little corner of the world, in unforgiving conditions not known to be a garden, we don’t intervene-we invite. Sometimes, it just takes patience to  let nature intercede.


Herbal Plantings!

silver posie polaroid


A pretty little pest

lemon balm polaroid


Basil-an edible ornamental

redrubinbasilweb


Framed, Vintage Pressed flower page

Make a copy of a page from an old horticultural dictionary.  Use a card stock parchment paper. Center the glass from the frame and cut around it with an craft knife.

Make a copy of a page from an old horticultural dictionary. Use card stock,  parchment paper. Center the glass from the frame and cut around it with a craft knife.

Place pressed lavender across the page. Position it so that it fits into the frame and also across the wording.

Place pressed lavender across the page. Position it so that it fits into the frame and across the wording.

Center the frame and adjust the pressed flower if necessary to fit the frame as well as the wording on the page. Glue the pressed flower in place.

Center the frame and adjust the pressed flower if necessary to fit the frame as well as the wording on the page. Glue the pressed flower in place.

Place glass and frame and secure the back of the frame into place.

Place glass and frame and secure the back of the frame into place.

100_8150Notes on pressed flowers. The flowers must be completely dried.


Make Time!

sugarsLovely thoughts flutter through your mind to hand craft  all of your gifts this year. Just imagine it, Christmas music playing in the background, an area set aside for all your crafting gear (and not having to clear the dining room table for a meal!) …yes, it is nice to dream. Then there is the calendar flipping its days so fast it could make your head spin.  Time is the rare commodity as holiday activities run away with it all. 

Here are a few links to DIY gifts that look like you worked on for days but will take only  a matter of hours from start to wrapping.

Give joy!

 

http://www.pinterest.com/gardenersue/make-joy/

http://creativegardener.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/last-minute-gift-ideas-herbal-scented-sugars/

http://creativegardener.wordpress.com/category/recipes/

 


Spice for the Impatient Gardener

My gardener’s heart knows that to every seed there is a season before it fruits.
But there are times when I crave a fresh dose of greens and can’t want to wait for a harvest from the garden.
Sprouts  are fresh spice for any time of year. They are low in fat, filled with vitamins, minerals, protein and are ready to eat in about a week.
I grab a big pinch of them and eat them as a snack. You can also toss them in scrambled eggs, use in place of lettuce on sandwiches, add to salads and wraps, and garnish the top of hot soup just before serving.
 sproutsSprouting seeds-
Alfalfa is the most common, but there are many that add unique flavors and textures. 
Broccoli: a nice radish-like bite of flavor.
Chia: a bit of a tang, but much like alfalfa sprouts in texture and flavor.
Clover: similar in flavor to alfalfa sprouts.
Fenugreek: a mild curry-like flavor, exotic flavor,
yummy in chicken wraps.
Lentils: a bit of peppery flavor
Mung Bean: the texture is nice a crispy. Pea-like flavor.
Radish: much like the flavor of the vegetable, it will spice up any dish.
Sunflower: a nutty flavor, yummy on a hot cup of tomato soup! 
 
How-to:
Use a clean glass canning jar with a sprout screen as the lid.
Clean, and rinse jar to clean well.
Add  about 1 1/2 teaspoons of seeds to the jar
sproutjoyPlace a fine mesh screen on top of jar and tighten metal ring to hold in place.
Partially fill the jar with warm (not hot) water and swirl around to clean seeds; pour out water. Refill with warm water and soak overnight.
After overnight soak, pour out water and place jar at a slight angle (a counter top dish drainer works well for this) to allow remaining water to run out.  Turn jar to spread seed over the inside of the jar. Rinse sprouts daily, up to 2 or 3 times, with cool fresh water-allowing the jar to rest tilted to drain out excess water. Turn jar to spread seeds on the inside of the jar.  As they get larger,  thicken and green up, place sprouts  in indirect light. Repeat  rinsing until the sprouts are lush and ready to eat,  rinse well and drain before placing in the refrigerator. Keep finished sprouts refrigerated and use within a week.
Remember:
-Rinse often
-Don’t over seed, give them room to breathe.
-Keep moist,-not wet.
-Sprout at room temperature- keep fresh ready-to-eat ones  in the fridge.
-Sprout with joy!
 
Resources for seeds and supplies:
http://www.mountainroseherbs.com
www.sproutpeople.org
http://www.botanicalinterests.com

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,142 other followers

%d bloggers like this: