New Addition to the Family

Yesterday morning I stopped in at the Hyde Park Garden Fair.  I’ve never been, but I heard a few people mentioning how nice it is and how quickly the plants go, so I figured I’d check it out. 

I got there around 9:00, and the parking lot was full.  As I pulled up I saw many people with lots of plants heading to their cars.  Do I need any more plants?  No.  Right now I’ve got more plants than ground to put them in.   But…I’m still looking for a mini bell pepper plant because I’m thinking it’s too late to start them from seeds.  The first vendor I asked about it had never heard of a mini bell pepper.  I gave him a little homework to do.  Maybe next year he’ll have some for sale.   Hint, hint!

The next vendor had something I had never heard of.   Rosemary “Prostrada.”  My rosemary seeds didn’t germinate too well, and the few that did didn’t make it (may they rest in peace).  These are ladies that were selling a really nice variety of herbs.  Makes me wish I knew more about how to cook with fresh herbs. 

And here she is, my newest baby.  I think she’ll be gorgeous in a  herb basket or container.

I showed great restraint and that was the only plant I bought, but when I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, they had hanging baskets marked down to $3.  I even showed great restraint there.  I only got two and I gave one to my mother-in-law.  However, I feel  like I’m getting close to a flare-up of plant-a-seed-aholism.  I’ve already started in the house and planted into the garden lettuce, peas, turnips, mustards, rainbow swiss chard, broccoli, brussles sprouts, flat leaf parsley, spinach, onion (sets), Martha Washington asparagus (tiny  but still alive)  and, of course, the yellow squash.  Waiting to be planted and getting shuffled in and out every day are the tomatoes (Brandywine and Sweet 100), bell peppers (green and yellow), jalapeno peppers, muskmelon, sage, basil (patio and big leaf), corn, egg plant (fingerling), bush beans, zinnias, marigolds, second round of mustard greens, second round of spinach, okra, yard long beans, Armenian cucumbers, a couple sugar baby watermelons, and one last squash plant that had a near fatal accident which I’ll tell you about later when I’m sure he’ll pull through.    Everything grown from seed and most things looking pretty darned good.  I did buy a couple plants.  I found a Stevia, literally hot off the truck.  The Bonnie Plant guys were offloading their truck and had just put them on the shelves.  I divided the plant into three pots and I’m still figuring out where I’ll end up putting them.  And I did buy a four-pack of peppers.  Who could pass up a pepper called Big Bertha?  Not me.  And I shouldn’t forget I’ve got the gladioli bulbs and the Jersey Giant asparagus.

Gardening is my therapist and, boy, am I getting a lot of therapy.

Happy Gardening!!


Found a Seed Sale

♫♪Seeds, Glorious Seeds♫♪ 


I’d been saving my Home Depot gift card from Christmas to use on this year’s garden and decided to buy some seeds and seed starting mix.  I paid full retail for the bottom three rows of seeds: 

  • Organic bell pepper
  • Organic Brandywine tomatoes
  • Organic pickling cucumbers
  • Okra
  • Yellow squash (hybird)
  • Brussles sprouts
  • Snow peas
  • Yard Long beans

There were still a few of what I considered unusual veggies I wanted, and in my search I ran across Neeps Lawn & Garden.  Most of their seeds were marked down to half, they had everything I was looking for (except the mini bells, the yellow tomatoes and the super sweet cherry tomatoes weren’t in stock).  But best of all, their shipping is only $2.00.  

I like the way they have the seeds organized.  You can read the characteristics of each seed and compare the different varieties.  I ended up ordering: 

  • Super sweet early corn (giving one package to mother-in-law)
  • Hales best cantelope
  • Pickling cucumbers (giving to mother-in-law)
  • Brandywine tomatoes (giving to mother-in-law)
  • Blue Lake bush beans
  • Sugarbaby watermelon

My unusuals: 

  • Lemon cucumber
  • Carrot Nutri-Red (high in lycopene)
  • Bright Lights swiss chard
  • Armenian Yard Long cucumbers
  • Southern Giant Curled mustard greens

If there are a few seeds you’re still in need of, you can’t go wrong giving them a try. 

I wish I had remembered to look at the flower seeds so I could have ordered the bicolored marigolds and the nasturtiums.  There’s probably another seed order on the horizon. 

Happy Gardening!!

Black Friday Bummer

I wrote this yesterday and didn’t post it.  Totally not related to gardening.  But what the heck.  If you find it boring, just quietly click the back button.


Saturday, 11-29-08

I didn’t shop on Black Friday (yeah for me).  But this morning I ran across a Staples Friday and Saturday ad.  They had a $99 shredder for $19 (after rebate, of course, and instant discount).  I actually need a good shredder, so I could justify spending the money.  There were a few more items on the page that I thought the price would justify the expense, so I grabbed them and went to the register.  And low and behold, the register rings up the regular price. 

The cashier showed me on the sale paper that the deal is only good Friday from 6-10.  Well, that’s not what the Staples site said. It said INCREDIBLE DEALS – 2 DAYS ONLY.  And when I clicked on the shredder it says “Offer Valid Nov 28-29.”

I hated walking away from the items in the basket, but the cashier was getting on my nerves.  Imagine expecting a cashier having to answer your questions when you don’t blindly say, “Okay.  Well, if your computer says it cost X and my research on your site says Y, I’ll just hand you the extra money.”

So, before I got nasty with the cashier, I left the store.  I went and looked it up on the computer again, and there it is in black and white (and a little red and blue and yellow and gray), Offer Valid Nov 28-Nov 29. 


I called the store and asked to speak to the manager (who was really nice, by the way) and I explained to him (again) that I was looking at the ad and would he be willing to honor the price that his company’s web site is showing.  To make a long story (a little) short(er), when I showed him the ad, he honored the price.  Thank you, Mr. Store Manager, at  my local Staples store.

So, he rings up my shredder at the adjusted price…and guess what?  No rebate prints out.  But good store manager that he is who’s trying to accommodate a frequent flyer customer, he goes to the back and prints out the rebate.

And guess what?  The rebate is good for one day…yesterday.  So, all that time and energy for nothing.  Well, maybe not for nothing.  I learned a good store manager trumps a bad store cashier.  They still have me as a customer…but not on Black Friday…unless it’s something really good next year.

Happy Gardening Shopping

Bargain Alert…How’d I do?

I placed an order with Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company. I got:

  • 50 ever bearing strawberry plants (buy one order of 25, get one order of 25 free)
  • Blueberry plants (buy one, get one free)
  • Another blueberry for pollination
  • Blackberry plants (3 per order)
  • Gooseberry plant

All for the grand total of … drum roll, please … $30 and some change … and that includes shipping and handling.

When you go to their web site, at the top of the front page you should see a blurp saying if you place an order of $50 or more, you get a $25 discount. As soon as your order hits $50 in the shopping cart, the $25 discount shows. However, when I filled in my shipping info, the discount disappeared. I had to call the company and they manually applied the discount. I also ordered the catalogue through the web site, but the ’09 catalogues aren’t out yet and they mailed out a $25 coupon as a consolation prize so to speak. Now I have something else to look forward to in the spring.

On the gardening front, on Sunday we had a relative heat wave (temps in the 40s) and I finally got a chance to deal with my bags of collected leaves. I mulched the garlic and strawberry plants and threw some on the perennials. I constructed a makeshift frame in the bed with the lowest soil level and dumped all but one bag of leaves into it. The “frame” consists of some wire border fencing about 24 inches tall lined with black plastic. The pile is about 4 feet wide, 4 feet long, and maybe 18 inches deep. I wet the ground before I put them in and I layered with the finished compost that was just sitting in the garden cart and the partially finished load sitting in the tumbling composter. I wet the leaves as I was adding them. It’s definitely not a hot compost pile, but hopefully the little wiggly worms will find the pile and help it break down by the spring. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it’s functional.

The one big bag of leaves I didn’t dump in the yard will serve as the brown for the house scraps over the winter. The bag must be five feet tall with nicely shredded leaves that I rescued from the trash. You know what they say…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.


Happy Gardening!!!

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