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Three Books to Give as Presents for Gardeners and Herbalists

Three Books to Give as Presents for Gardeners and Herbalists

Well it is December already and the holidays are fast approaching. Here are a few ideas for books that you might not have come across or thought about that just about any herbie/gardener would appreciate...

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How to Be a Happy Gardener

How to Be a Happy Gardener

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Late Bloomer, by Jan Coppola Bills, arrives just in time to encourage gardeners to ignore their sore backs and bad knees so they can keep gardening. Her helpful gardening book is a hybrid that mixes practical how-to tips with a lifetime of garden philosophy.

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Mauro Seed’s Growing Mission

Mauro Seed’s Growing Mission

Mauro Seed is a family-owned business with a single mission at its core: Giving. For every heirloom seed packet the company sells, one packet is donated to someone in need. In recognition of Mauro Seed’s commitment to helping others, the Tennessean and USA Today Network recently presented Dave Mauro with a 2016 Your Town Nashville Award for businesses that do good work in the community.

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The Burren Perfumery Garden

The Burren Perfumery Garden

Here's one last garden for you to see from my recent trip to Ireland, the Burren Perfumery. It is a unique and lovely place to visit with its shop full of fragrant botanical products, informational video of the burren and its plants, soap room, distillery, cafe and herb gardens.

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Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring Plants of South America

Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring Plants of South America

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Last weekend, we celebrated the 27th annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring the foods of South America at the Ozark Folk Center. Learn about some of the foods indigenous to this continent--you might be surprised!

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DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery

DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery

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Last, though not least, I want to write about the last herb farm that we visited on our IHA field trip, DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery. Although they are closed for the season, they weeded their gardens and opened up for us to visit.

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Blooming Hill Lavender Farm

Blooming Hill Lavender Farm

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The IHA post-conference fieldtrip went to Virginia. One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to Blooming Hill Lavender Farm with an herbal lunch catered by Kim Labash, proprietress of Loudon Valley Herbs. Cyndi and Peter Rinek are collectors of many things besides lavender and you will enjoy the photos herein of their delightful farm in Philomont, Virginia.

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Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm

Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm

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A delightful herbal luncheon served al fresco alongside a pond with fountain, surrounded by numerous theme gardens was part of our IHA pre-conference tour to Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm. Enjoy a tour of this small family farm owned and operated by Maria Price Nowakowski and her husband Martin.

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Flourish! Inside and Out at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Flourish! Inside and Out at the U.S. Botanic Garden

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Even though it has been really hot, I've been visiting gardens this summer--so I'm going to share some of them with you in the next few blogs. This year's exhibit inside and outside at the USBG is colorful and aesthetically delightful--might be one of my favorite outdoor displays there ever--check it out!

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Summer Bounty

Summer Bounty

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It's that time of year when we are reaping the harvest--benefiting from all of our earlier hard labor--and approaching a vegetable glut! Hot weather makes us want to cook less, so think about making salads in the morning or on the weekend to have for supper, then you just need to slice some tomatoes and cucumbers and maybe steam some corn. Enjoy the bounty now!

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 The Aromatherapy Garden--Book Review

The Aromatherapy Garden--Book Review

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If you are a gardener who enjoys fragrant plants, then Kathi Keville's new book The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being, should be on your reading list!

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July in the Garden

July in the Garden

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Summer is full on and the garden is growing in leaps and bounds. Here in Maryland, we have had pretty great weather--our days have been in the upper 80s rather than the usual 90s and so I can't...

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Sights and Sounds of July in the Garden

Sights and Sounds of July in the Garden

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The garden is getting into full swing now; plants are finally established and many are flowering or just beginning to fruit. This is one of my favorite times of being a gardener--the garden is still looking good, sort of tidy and not too weedy (versus the unkempt look of late summer and fall)--and still anticipating the first ripe tomato and hot chile pepper.

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Gardeners Dig Country Living

Gardeners Dig Country Living

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Fans of the country lifestyle flock together every year to celebrate a simpler way of life. The fair in Rhinebeck, N.Y., in early June offered vegetable gardeners something old, something new, something edible that’s blue.

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The Blooms in June

The Blooms in June

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Tomorrow is the summer solstice--the longest day of the year--and this date heralds the arrival of summer in full swing. We gardeners are diligently tending our pieces of earth, delighting in each bloom or growth spurt and anxiously awaiting the ripening of our summertime bounty.

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Salsa Verde with Wild Weeds

Salsa Verde with Wild Weeds

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I thought for sure that I had posted the recipe for making salsa verde with botanicals foraged from in and around the garden, however I can only find my traditional one posted, which contains garden grown herbs and greens. So here is the wild weed version for those of you who requested it.

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Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

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Yes, it is an invasive plant and garlic mustard grows all over the place--however if you have it, you might as well eat it. It is a nutritious leafy green that tastes like a garlic-flavored green and it is yours for the harvesting.

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Wild Bergamot or Purple Bee Balm   (Monarda fistulosa)

Wild Bergamot or Purple Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

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Last blog, I wrote about the red-flowered bee balm (Monarda didyma) and promised that I would write about wild bee balm (Monarda fistulosa). So here it is--still green--though it will be covered with lavender blooms in the next month.

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Finding Delight in a Cold and Soggy Spring

Finding Delight in a Cold and Soggy Spring

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Usually in Maryland as Memorial Day approaches, I have pretty much put in tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and basil, temps are in the 70s and 80s and I'm wearing summer clothes. Not so this spring! It has been rainy and downright cold--my peppers and tomatoes are out there in a pout--and I'm wearing long sleeves, hoodie, socks and boots! What is spring like in your garden?

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Botanizing in the Ozarks

Botanizing in the Ozarks

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I'm here again in the Ozarks--one of my favorite places for herborizing. This weekend there will be a Wild Weeds hike and Medicinal Herb Seminar at the Ozark Folk Center for those of you who want to learn more about our wild plants and their virtues.

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