At various times and places, purple has been the color of royalty, rock stars, and rebellion. It has represented bravery, as well as overwrought prose. A shade of purple—mauve—was even used to describe the 1890’s, a time when the invention and widespread use of aniline dyes made purple fabrics and clothes widely available.
Victory Gardens inspired millions of Americans that had never gardened to grow food to feed their families. Everyday people learned to garden on a homesteading scale. And, my family was no exception. My maternal grandparent’s Victory Garden taught them to fend for themselves and eat well when wartime rations were most limited.
Poet John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” And a spring carrot is truly a thing of beauty, if even if it is covered with dirt when pulled from the ground. Wash off the dirt and take a bite of that carrot. You will discover its inner beauty. Time spent in cool spring soil gives home-grown carrots a fresh sweetness that store-bought varieties will never have.
A well-planned vegetable garden will sustain your family with a variety of fresh produce from spring to late fall. Serious gardeners will even cold-frame garden into the winter months for a steady stream of fresh greens and root vegetables. Sustenance vegetable gardens save money and ensure produce is organically grown. Careful planning and timing are essential for season-long garden-fresh produce for eating, canning, freezing, and drying.
Banana plants (Musa spp.) are tropical, tree-like perennials that produce some of the world’s best-loved fruits. In their native regions, they often soar high into the sky, crowned by giant paddle-shaped leaves, which can be 6- to 10-feet long, and pendulous bunches of fruit. A mature plant bearing a bumper banana crop is an inspiring sight.
But, bananas don’t have to reach the stratosphere or live in the tropics. Dwarf and compact favorites can […]
Fall and winter – when most of the vegetable garden is slumbering – is a great time to get a jump on next year’s onion, scallion, and shallot crop. Most members of the onion tribe (known botanically as Allium) are hardy perennials and biennials that tolerate winters in most areas of the U.S. Garlic (as discussed elsewhere on this site) is one well-known and often-grown example – but winter onions and shallots are […]
Nothing’s better than a happy, fruitful tomato, but keeping pests and diseases at bay can be a challenge.
All winter long, tomato lovers suffer, eating supermarket fruit with the taste and texture of foam packing peanuts. Finally summer arrives, bringing a harvest of tart, sweet, sunshiny tomatoes. You can buy these edible jewels at the local farmers’ market, but there is something incredibly satisfying about growing your own. A just-picked tomato, still warm from […]
Bonfire is the most popular patio peach with its maroon-purple leaves, small size, and sweet little peaches.
Do you want to grow your own peaches, but lack a place for a full-sized peach tree? This is not a problem, thanks to a slew of recently introduced peach tree varieties that mature at a shrubby 4- to 6-feet in height. Ideal for containers, urban gardens, and patios, these dwarf peaches bring big possibilities to the […]
Garden borders and paths can make it easier to teach dogs to stay out of beds.
You love your dog. You love your garden. Sometimes, though, your dog and garden just don’t get along, and it is harder to feel the love. The dog follows his instincts and digs, pulls up plants, romps over delicate specimens and relieves himself in the wrong places. You follow your instincts and get frustrated.
The delicate white flowers of cilantro develop into coriander seeds. (Image by Jessie Keith)
Several key herbs and peppers create the foundation of Mexican cuisine. Everyone knows and loves cilantro and chile peppers, but have you ever tried epazote, Mexican oregano, or Mexican mint marigold? Add some authenticity and good flavor to your Mexican dishes this season with these herbs and spices!
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