Monday, December 3, 2007

Holly and Poinsettia

Christmas is on its Holy way, and I hope your heart is ready.
This can be a time of loneliness or darkness, or of joy and family, depending on your circumstances.
Either way, add some bright colors to your home with Holly plants and Poinsettias, and your mood will be pointed in the festive direction.
For my recent column with some ideas about these plants visit

I hope you enjoy it.
I am the garden columnist at and you can read more of my garden musings in the section Creatively Feminine.

Writing and the art of patience

I am a freelance magazine writer, and need to use and perfect the virtue of patience.
Most people I know are, like me, rather impatient. We want quick results.
Impatience is enhanced by the lovely instant results of email and Internet searching.
Often when I send a query to a magazine these days, it reaches them within the same minute that I send it to them, via email.
So yesterday I sent the third part of an article and jpg photos to an editor, on spec.
On spec means they want me to write it and send it, but aren't promising to publish it.
So, now the wait for an answer commences.
Hint: the article topic is how to grow herbs for tea, and use them in tea.
I'll let you know what they tell me, when I hear from them.
Patience is a virtue, so we are told.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

poinsettia two tone

poinsettia two tone
Originally uploaded by orangejack
November and December are the months to add color indoors with Poinsettia plants.

Christmas Lights Photo

Christmas Lights 2
Originally uploaded by ktpupp
Pretty lights photo found on flickr today

Garden Books, Great Christmas Gifts

Ten Fabulous Gardening Books For Inspiration

Like me, do you believe that gardening feeds the soul? Here are ten books I recommend that will nurture the souls of gardeners, and make great gifts at Christmas or at any time of the year.

“People With Dirty Hands: The Passion For Gardening” by Robin Chotzinoff. I grabbed this book in a bookstore, drawn to its title, and had to buy it. The author writes compelling essays with some of them reading like adventure stories. Two of my favorite chapters were about Texas Rose Rustlers (it inspired me to want to become one), and “Heat”, as the author journeys down long dusty roads to meet New Mexico hot chile pepper growers. Harcourt Brace and Company. 1994. $12.00

“Gardening With God: Light in Darkness” by Jane Mossendew. The author has created a book of daily meditations, with sketches of a different plant for each day, Bible readings and information on the plant’s connections to Christian faith and growing tips. The book begins with Advent, “the dark road that leads to the true light of Christmas.” Burns and Oates. 2002. $15.99

“The New York Times 1,000 Gardening Questions and Answers” by Leslie Land. 864 pages and hundreds of line drawings on every garden topic, from flowers and herbs to lawns, soils and garden pests. Every gardener can find answers in this book to thorny garden problems. Workman Publishing, 2003. $19.95

“Root, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together With Children” by Sharon Lovejoy. Lyrical watercolors and lively text explain how to create 12 theme child-friendly gardens, including a Moon garden, and a Pizza garden. Even though I’m not gardening with children now, I had to buy this book for its clever and good-natured ideas. A must have for anyone of any age who likes fun, quirky garden themes. Workman Publishing, 1999. $13.95

“The Organic Home Garden” by Patrick Lima. Mouthwatering color photos of fruit and vegetable gardens, and delightful explanations of how to grow everything from apples to zucchini. This book makes growing food organically simple and inviting. Firefly Books, 2004. $19.95

“American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” by Henry Marc Cathey. Loaded with 6,000 color photos and 15,000 entries. Wow. Find what you need to know here. Dorling Kindersley, 1997. $80.00

“MaryJane’s Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook for the Farmgirl In All of Us” by MaryJane Butters. Lavishly illustrated and not strictly a gardening book, this author celebrates the country life with ideas like growing winter salad, sprouting seeds, craft projects, recipes and making rag dolls. Clarkson Potter, 2005. $35.00

“The Garden of the Soul: Cultivating Your Spiritual Life” by Keri Wyatt Kent. The author explores how growing plants and growing as Christians have similar rhythms and motivations. She shares lots of good tips, tells stories about her life and gardening, and relates Anne Lamott’s favorite prayers “Help, help, help” and “Thanks, thanks, thanks”. The author says that like a plant needs water, we need prayer daily. Intervarsity Press. 2002. $11.00

“Green Thoughts” by Eleanor Perenyi. For days when you can’t get out and garden, or need some inspiration in a dark and dreary moment, pull out this book and read an essay or two by this writer who is at times whimsical, at other times informative, and sometimes cranky. She covers topics from worms to Spanish conquistadors and horticulture, creating a bit of a gardening memoir for her 30 years gardening in Connecticut. Her essay “A woman’s place” is her take on women gardening beginning with Eve. Modern Library. 2002. $14.95

“The Garden Primer” by Barbra Damrosch. Based on her goal of keeping gardening simple, the author offers sound advice on growing annuals, perennials, roses, herbs, vines, tress, houseplants and the basics on topics like soil and the importance of N-P-K ratios in fertilizers. This book is much loved by many gardeners, including me. 688 pages, black and white illustrations. Workman Publishing. 1988. $17.95

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

#11 Folksonomies Library Thing

Library Thing is dangerous for people addicted to reading. It is a fab tool. I typed in two titles: Blue Like Jazz and Ragamuffin Gospel, also the fiction character Amelia Peabody and the author John Twelve Hawks, with excellent results.
An added good feature is that you can click on the names of people who own the book and see what else they read, for reading ideas.

#10 Technorati part 2

I tagged yesterday's post with two words, and an hour later checked links at Technorati, typed in the two words and voila, it found my blog entry. Bless its smart little heart.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

#10 Tagging Week 6 Technorati

Ok, I will post here so I can do the pinging exercise.
I need a topic to ping about, I think. How about growing peonies?
Where I live is generally not cold enough in the winter for peonies to thrive, so I'm considering researching online and finding some warm climate peony varieties.
The concept of pinging is excellent, esp. the pingomatic.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Second Life (week 5)

I read "Rev up your avatars", and learned that Second Life has 300 librarians involved, and offers categories including book talks, publishers, library research skills, and medical library. I plan to look at the Reuters island.