Category Archives: garden

Herb Spiral Watercolor Sketch

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What is an herb spiral?

Well, it’s like a garden bed except instead of a raised box with plants planted in rows, it’s a circle and the plants are planted in a spiral pattern, allowing you to grow more in little space. What you can’t see it that it spirals on an incline, so the center is the highest spot. And guess what?? I made it MYSELF!

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I salvaged the stones from a sidewalk demolition and placed them together like a puzzle, filled the inside with soil and lots of compost, then planted.

I LOVE herbs!!!! I LOVE running my fingers through the leaves and smelling my hands!!!! Ssssmmmmm….It’s the oils in the leaves that give the herbs their aroma. I have used every herb in some sort of meal. My favorite is to put fresh tarragon on asparagus, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and broil for a few minutes. YUMMY!!!

How about you? Do you have a favorite herb recipe?

I first heard of herb spirals in my permaculture class. Permaculture is a way of growing in which you design using patterns from nature, catch and store energy, heal and replenish the soil as you grow, diversify, obtain a yield, and share the surplus with others. It’s better than growing organically. Not only do you not use pesticides, but you put the nutrients back into the soil as you grow.

Anyway…. Look at the rain gauge!!

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It’s my favorite yard trinket and look how nicely it measures rain! Functional. I love it. I’ve had a lot of rain in my area this season. My garden loved it.

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My Fern Has Spots Sketch

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No, it doesn’t have a disease.
Yes, “EWWW” was my first response when I looked underneath the frond and realized I was touching the spots. 🙂

Actually, my fern is fertile. Yay!
The spots under the fronds are called sori (plural). Each sorus (singular) is filled with spores. When there is enough moisture, the spores will release and do their thing in the soil (fertilize itself; each spore contains male and female parts). Hopefully next year I will have more ferns.

Ferns do not produce seed, flower, nor fruit. They, like mushrooms, reproduce by spore. Isn’t that neat! This has been your daily dose of biology class. 😉

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Here is a close up photo of the sori.

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From on top, you would never know what’s going on underneath. This is my first year growing ferns, I hope to fill the shady spots along my fence will baby ferns.

What do you have growing in your yard?

Backyard Garden Sketch

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Do you remember a few months ago when I failed big time on harvesting black walnuts?  My harvest resulted in much work and no payoff. Zip. Nada.
And to tell you the truth years ago that would have been just enough to discourage me from trying again. I would have believed the negative thoughts in my head.

But do we give up when we fail?

NO! N. O.
We never give up. We don’t give up when our harvest fails. We don’t give up when our art fails. And we don’t give up when life seems to fail us as well! We push on with as much force as we can muster and ask God for help and guidance.

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So this year, I’ve constructed a few raised beds in my backyard and dove into as many gardening books as I could get my hands on. This sketch shows my layout for the cold garden bed (carrots, lettuce, and spinach). The compost bin is made out of 3 half-size wooden pallets that I cable tied in the corners. Hay is the bottom layer, then kitchen scraps…etc. A plastic tarp covers the compost bin to help keep rain water out and heat in.

Four weeks ago I started the cold crops from seed and today I have little baby sprouts….awe so cute!

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Garden bed #1 (8’x4′).
24″ chicken wire all around to keep the rabbits from eating everything. Marigold plants do not work…they eat those too! This bed will contain beans and tomatoes later on.

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Tiny Scarlet Nantes (carrots) starting to grow.

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And here we have Bibb Lettuce which has a nice dark green color in comparison to the Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce I planted which is a yellow-green right now. These will have to be thinned out soon.

There are many battles up ahead, I know. With God’s help, we can overcome. Every challenge makes us a little stronger if we don’t give up.