sundays in the garden
9 September 2012, by gj
The beauty of social networking is that it gives you the opportunity to e-meet people you might never have run into.
Take Jayne Locas, who grew up not far from us- but now lives on the other side of the country.
She’s such a wonderful gardening enthusiast, that we thought you would enjoy getting to know her.
well just bless my bloomers!
How did gardening get your interest?
I have never “not been a gardener”. Our whole family gardens in some way, we joke that “we have dirt on our jeans because we have gardening in our genes.” Some of my earliest memories are related to gardening. My father had a huge garden that fed our large family, our extended family and neighbors. Since my father was born before the turn of the 20th century, he grew up in a culture where you raised or hunted what you ate. He passed those skills on to his children and we have in turn passed the love on to ours. My father grew the fruits and vegetables and my mother canned them. Flower gardening was mostly her department as well, but she did not have much time left over to grow a lot of flowers. We always had daffodils, tulips, nasturtiums, daisies and flowering shrubs. After they retired, my father had only a small vegetable garden but really spent a lot of time with flowers. Growing things has always been a way of life for me. It is not something that I think about or make preparations to do; it is just something that happens.
Are you primarily an edible or an ornamental gardener?
Where I am living now I have only a very small sunny area so I grow mostly flowers. Last year I squeezed in a few veggies here and there but with such limited space it is easier to buy from the nearby farmers market. I do grow a lot of herbs and plants with scented foliage that can be used as edibles. I love to experiment with plants and see how well they will grow and where. Last summer I grew a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes in a rain gutter. Previous to living at this house I was in the country with a gigantic vegetable garden and many lush flower beds. Twenty years ago I was growing heirloom tomatoes when hardly anyone knew what they were. Having grown up gardening I was familiar with a lot of the different varieties. My guests were always amazed to find that they were eating salsa made with white tomatoes and that the green tomatoes I offered for their burgers were ripe!
What is the most interesting thing you have grown?
I think probably one of the most interesting things I have grown was when my kids were small and we grew luffa sponges. I also do a lot of garbage gardening. Avocados from pits and pineapples from the top of a ripe pineapple are always a lot of fun.
What do you think is the hardest to grow?
I don’t think of anything as hard to grow. But I do have trouble with orchids, I don’t always give them what they want and need. But for gardening in general, I evaluate before I start to grow something to see if I have all that the plant needs. I think I lot of people have trouble gardening because they might ignore some basic rules before they start, like the amount of sun, their zone, and time to plant; but the biggest reason many gardeners do not succeed is because they don’t spend 90% of their effort on improving the soil before they spend 10% planting in it.
What do you think is the easiest to grow?
Anything that I can cut off a piece of and stick in the soil and get a new plant!
bees and blooms at Bless My Bloomers
What are you most passionate about in your garden?
I am passionate about keeping whatever I am growing as healthy and happy as possible. I even cultivate weeds and they look beautiful, and no one recognizes then as weeds. A growing plant is a miracle and I want to treat it as such.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a garden?
First of all believe in yourself and don’t fall for that brown thumb stuff. We are all capable of growing something. Don’t set your sites too high. Start small, crawl before you run. Gardening is a learning experience. For your first attempt don’t plant too big a plot. If you have never grown anything from seed, try buying your plants until you have the growing part understood, then learn to sow your own seeds. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting more than you can possibly know how to do. You can grow a green thumb!
pretty purple pepper
More about Jayne:
She lives in Paradise California at just under 2,000 feet, in the foothills about 90 miles NE of Sacramento. She’s a member of the Paradise Garden Club and creator of Daffodils Across the Ridge- to date they have planted more than 120,000 daffodils in the community. She was 2012 Elks “woman of the Year” for the daffodil project.
For ten years she a wrote gardening column called “Gardening by Trowel and Error”and most recently was the “Wake UP and Go Green Gardener” for Channels KHSL12 and KNVN24.
She still writes and speaks about gardening across northern California. Her real passion is photography.
You can find her beautiful photos here.
Follow her on the Facebook page Bless My Bloomers.
Categories: gardening people, places & things, sundays in the garden
1 July 2012, by gj
Let me introduce you to some delightful people I have e-met on Facebook.
Holly and Joey Baird are the gardeners next door so to speak- not only are they straightforward with their tips and in their videos, they keep it simple and on the cheap.
Two qualities I love in gardeners.
I asked them a few questions so you can get to know them too:
-How did you first get interested in gardening?
We both were raised by parents who grew vegetables. Joey grew up on a grain & livestock farm so they had quite a large garden. Holly was raised in the city so we had a much smaller area to grow. Both of us enjoyed it as a hobby so we decided to keep going with it.
-What would you say you like most about growing your own food?
It saves money and its also convenient & sustainable. Most food travels about 1500 miles on average from farm to table. When you grow it in your yard you don’t have to worry about relying on someone else to provide it for you.
-I just love your videos- what inspired you to make them?
We had a pretty good following on our Facebook page and we knew we could help people further by also showing them. We wanted to do videos with segments and formatting which you don’t typically see a lot of.
keeping it simple
-What advice would you give to a first time gardener?
Keep trying. Keep it simple and start small. Use what you have and know. Also, don’t always compare yourself to others. Just because your neighbors can grow one thing doesn’t always mean you can. You don’t need a ton of space to grow either. Just start with a few containers if that’s all the space you have
-What do you think is the easiest food crop to grow?
Zucchini. You just put the seeds in the ground. As long as you choose a sunny location and give it lots of water you will have more than you need.
-And the most difficult?
For us, its broccoli and cauliflower. But with everyone else it could be different. We always encourage people to do research and find out what you can do to help yourself to grow a crop you may find difficult.
keeping it easy
-How might you encourage others to try their hand at gardening?
A misconception is that people feel you have to have a ton of space & money. Yes, if you have both that would be great. But for just a small amount of money and space you can produce enough food to consume throughout the growing season. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are a ton of Facebook pages & groups dedicated to growing food & sustainability. Check out your local library. Even co-workers, neighbors, family, & friends may have the advice you need. Keep it simple.
For more information and to check out their videos, visit their website and Facebook page:
The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener website
Categories: gardening, sundays in the garden
8 April 2012, by gj
Good fortune has given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful gardeners and garden writers.
This new series will further afford me the chance to pass them along to you.
Part of her lovely gardens.
Friends, let me introduce you to:
Donna Abel Donabella
Immediately her name got my attention (she is on my Top Ten Best Names Ever List- but that’s a different story.)
She’s a creative and enthusiastic gardener from New York, so in order for you to get to know her better, I asked her these questions:
How did gardening get your interest?
I have always loved digging in the dirt and watching my mom plant flowers and grow veggies. Her father grew beautiful flowers as did my dad’s aunt. The fever hit after watching garden shows in the 1990s and thinking I might be able to create lovely gardens.
Are you primarily a flower, herb or food gardener?
I am an eclectic gardener. I started off with flowers and a few herbs. Then I started with some pots with herbs and veggies and graduated to a few raised beds. Now I am growing flowers, herbs and veggies from seed. I add something new each year to further test myself and learn more. I am now gardening more for wildlife and using more native plants.
What’s your favorite thing about gardening?
I am not sure I can pick one thing. I love being outside in nature and watching wildlife. I find it so peaceful in the garden. But I think the most important thing about gardening for me is the lessons. Certainly I have learned lessons about growing, soil, wildlife, seeds and the like, but more importantly it is the life lessons. My garden has taught me so much as I journey through life and I don’t know what I would do without it.
How do you share your enthusiasm?
I share my love of gardening by blogging. I love sharing my favorite plants and life lesson on my blog Gardens Eye View. I also blog as part of the team at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. My Tuesday posts share my love of favorite native plants and wildlife I find in my garden.
How would you entice others into gardening?
I believe education and modeling are the best ways to entice folks. I have built many gardens around my house that I hope give folks the fever to garden. Again through my blog posts I also share my favorite tricks, tips and plants. I also love to talk gardening whenever I can. If someone asks me about gardening I am happy to share my expertise and plants.
a wonderful view
Recently I have started a garden design business, Purple Door Garden Designs, but I will have to wait until I retire from my current job to devote more time to this endeavor.
Categories: sundays in the garden