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First things first, it’s my blogiversary! I did have one post before January 6, 2009, but it was just a “uh hi, I’ll post something later” deal, so I’m counting January 6 as the start of Jennah’s Garden. Happy Blogiversary to MEEEE! 🙂

And now onto other things. Like many of you I’m sure, the holidays are over so I’m now like “ok, time for spring!” But since that’s quite a ways away (it’s just started to consistently be hovering around freezing here in Maryland), I have to be content on garden planning. Here’s my 2009 planning. All of that actually panned out except for the hypertufa, which I still want to try. And the stupid poppies which just never even got close to blooming. Not too shabby!

This year, hubby has promised that we will finally do the mythical “garden extension.” We have a very large driveway/parking area, and currently we have gardens on two sides of it – the side by the house (“triangle garden” – wow, I just realized I should start tagging by what garden is what. *note to self*), and the side parallel to that (“side garden”). The veggie garden is at the end of the side garden nearest the road. We want to edge the back of the parking area with another long strip of garden, about 2/3 of which will be raised veggie gardens. I also want to make the current veggie area raised, to help with the problem of the GIANT pieces of concrete and asphalt that are buried under there and make putting in tomato cages etc very difficult.

So the moral of the story is: more room for veggies! Here’s the plan for this year, as of right now. Also I have to figure where the eff I’m going to start these, or where I am going to move all the plants currently in my seed-starting area, on the top of my fridge. hmm. I think I’ll have plenty to share with friends and with the local plant sale/exchange. I am Zone 7A, so any suggestions on varieties are welcome! I’ll probably start ordering what I want from online in the next few weeks. I am looking to order from Botanical Interests and Seed Savers Exchange mostly, but am welcome to other good suggestions. Also, if anyone would like to swap seeds, I’d LOVE to do that and would be willing to organize something via blogs or twitter. I know I’ll have way too many for this year. I can save stuff, but we can also share!

SEEDS:
– heirloom tomatoes (already have Black from Tula)
– Better Boy tomatoes
– some sort of yellow tomato
– jalapeno pepper
– pimento pepper
– cayenne pepper
– parsley
– basil – genoa and opal
-cilantro
– peas (Any suggestions?? Never grown them before.) – spring crop
– green beans (Ditto – suggestions welcome.)
– broccoli (Again…)
– brussels sprouts (And again…)
– lettuce mix – spring crop

SEEDS I SAVED:
– peachy mama peppers (from my CSA)
– cosmos
– gerber daisy (We’ll see if it works.)

STARTS (prob from Amish/Mennonite farm):
– Roma tomatoes
– cherry tomatoes
– lemongrass
– mint (in a pot!!)
– dill
– marigolds (if mine don’t sprout like crazy from seeds left in the garden last year)

And now on to the Herbal Almanac. I really need to get those Christmas decorations down, I guess. I wanted to do it this past weekend, but I might have been blown away it was so windy. And now it’s COLD! Maybe I’ll get my butt out there this weekend.

Herb AlmanacJANUARY 6: This is the traditional end of the Christmas festival, Epiphany. A cake was served in which a bean was hidden. Whoever found the bean was called the Bean Cake King and ruled over wassailing festivities. Today is the time to wassail the apple trees. If one neglects this ritual, there will be a poor crop of apples.

Today is the day to take down Christmas greens—always to gently burn or lay about the garden as mulch.

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Well…I’m back from vacation. It was wonderful! I love Hatteras. I’ve gone there for at least one week every year as long as I’ve been alive. We usually stay on Avon, but I also love Ocracoke. It’s heaven to me…but I’m very protective of it, so you can’t have it. Don’t go and don’t tell your friends. Here are a few pics from vacation, including some plant pics. (I was going to make a slideshow, but wordpress.com is weird about stuff like that and the places I used to use don’t seem to support wp anymore – boo. And now wp’s captions are acting weird. oh well…I’m sharing.)

This is the garden I was so impressed with last year (we happened to stay next door to it this year) - sadly no garden this year.

This is the garden I was so impressed with last year (we happened to stay next door to it this year) - sadly no garden this year.

beach morning glory?

beach morning glory?

wild Hatteras Island sweet pea - the namesake of Pea Island Nature Preserve at the northern end of the island

wild Hatteras Island sweet pea - the namesake of Pea Island Nature Preserve at the northern end of the island

one of many wild gaillardias on Hatteras

one of many wild gaillardias on Hatteras

My dad, my mom, and me getting ready to go up the Cape Hatteras lighthouse

My dad, my mom, and me getting ready to go up the Cape Hatteras lighthouse

Cape Hatteras lighthouse - view from the bottom

Cape Hatteras ligthouse - view from the top

Cape Hatteras ligthouse - view from the top

These things are pure evil.

These things are pure evil.

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our Mennonite neighbors walking to the beach

our Mennonite neighbors walking to the beach - check out her flowy dress!

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me and mom and me and hubby

me and mom and me and hubby

I caught a fish! Actually my mom and I caught about a million croakers. But the guys even caught "real" fish on the ocean!

I caught a fish! Actually my mom and I caught about a million croakers. But the guys even caught fish on the ocean!

So now I’m back to the real world and it’s fall. This weekend I’m going to rip out a bunch of annuals, maybe plant or pot some mums, and get ready for the season. Will take pics!

I’m actually at the beach right now! Hatteras Island, North Carolina – heaven!

Still blooming in my garden at home is the gaillardia Arizona Sun…which I first fell in love with at the beach! When I finally figured out I could grow it at home, I was thrilled!

wild gaillardia on Hatteras Island from a previous beach trip

wild gaillardia on Hatteras Island from a previous beach trip

gaillardia in my garden this summer

gaillardia in my garden this summer

And just for inspiration, I’ll share this one. I may have mentioned it before, but a couple years ago I was SO impressed by this garden beside our rental home. Right on the ocean, I can only imagine how much work it must have taken to amend the soil and have this garden. A lot of us don’t know how lucky we have it! (and UPDATE! Turns out our house this year is right next to last year’s house (weird)! Looks like whoever tended the garden last year didn’t do it this year 😦 – will post some pics of that later).
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Back at home, the gaillardia is really the star. Mums should be in full force when I get back, but something (bunnies? caterpillars?) has been going at my asters, so I’m not sure if they’ll bloom this year (also, I pinched them back like mums because they got SO big last year they were floppy – maybe I shouldn’t have done that?). The various rudbeckia are also slowing down, and so it the mardi gras helenium (sunshine helenium is done). Spireas are still blooming a bit, and a few carnations are sending up blooms again since it’s been cooler. Also some of my spring bulbs! That kind or worries me. Alpine rosy bells look like they’re trying to come up again….hm…

So happy LAST Bloom Day of summer, everyone! (I’m future-posting things, but if this is Mr. Linky’d, then you know I’m checking my computer on vacation!)

Back from Hawaii (sadly). I took tomorrow off (and gardened, actually), but I’m back to work tomorrow. sadface. I’ll share a bunch of Hawaii pics in the coming weeks, I’m sure, but here’s the first batch! (And here are the rest of the almost 500 pics, if you’re inclined to browse!)

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These were taken at the Waimea Valley gardens on Oahu. I definitely recommend it as a must-see for gardeners in Hawaii. It’s I think about a mile long hike to the top, but it’s all paved and gently sloping. We did it in flip flops, no problemo, and there are benches along the way to stop if you want. The gardens are GORGEOUS! It’s so fun to see all of the neat tropical plants, plus the ones you treat as houseplants growing like crazy outside. One of the things I was most amused about in Hawaii was the HUGE AND LOVELY pothos growing everywhere as ground cover! Humble pothos! I SO wanted to steal a sprig and start a plant with it, but I didn’t want to have to go through declaring it to the agricultural dept and stuff. Oh well. Also big giant swiss cheese plant everywhere and bougainvillea used like we use azaleas here. Now I want one of both of those!

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Anyway – at the end of this trail there is a waterfall and a small pond. I really wish we’d brought our suits and gone swimming. My friend (Jessica) asked if we wanted to and we said nah (we were driving around after and didn’t really want to do it wet), but I now wish we’d done it. Oh well. They have a lifeguard there and little changing rooms and everything! Next time I’ll do it 🙂

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The gardens themselves are arranged in specific ways at the beginning – there is a whole area for peperomia, one area that goes over the history of the hibiscus, etc. A lot of native and rare plants – cool to see ones that are “last known” or “may prove to be a new species” etc. Once you go farther on the trail, there are just pretty plants with little side gardens you can veer off into (also wild Hawaiian chickens, which are fun). There are also some native Hawaiian artifacts along the way – some stone monuments etc. I think you can actually go to an educational program if you pick the right day/time.

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The food there is also great, incidentally. There is a beach nearby, so a lot of beachgoers go to Waimea’s little outdoor lunch counter to eat lunch. I had a really great salad, Jessica had a taro burger (like a Hawaiian veggie burger) and will had a burger (they were out of kalua pork, boo). They also have smoothies and booze, if you’re interested. We got an acai smoothie on the way out that was really good.

More later! Also – darnit, I wish I’d remembered about the cool color isolation feature on my camera that day! But props to my hubby for running back to the car to get me the spare camera battery after my camera died in the hibiscus section! ❤

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