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Fickle Spring

Fickle Spring

This has been a topsy-turvy spring weather wise—-Mother Nature has certainly given us a rollercoaster ride of temperatures from 82 degrees one day plummeting to freezing the next day. Bringing the Bonnie Raitt song to mind “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About…” Because what else would we gardeners, as well as neighborhood folks at our local businesses, not to mention the national weather forecasters talk about… if it weren’t for the weather?! Aahhh, the fickleness of spring!

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Scallions or Chives and Cheddar

Buttermilk Biscuits with Scallions or Chives and Cheddar

There is nothing like homemade biscuits flavored with herbs and/or alliums—make these tasty biscuits flecked with some green alliums for St. Patty’s Day!

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Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

This year, herbies and hopheads from around the country are celebrating Hops as Herb of the Year. The International Herb Association's newest publication Hops, Herb of the Year 2018: Brewing and Beyond is hot off the press! Read all about it!

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Snow:  Poor Man’s Fertilizer

Snow: Poor Man’s Fertilizer

Is this familiar adage an old wive’s tale? In fact, snow does contain nitrogen and other particulates like sulfur, which it collects as it falls through the atmosphere, however so do rain and sleet, and believe it or not, lightning.

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Lunar Happenings

Lunar Happenings

What the heck is a Super Blue Blood Moon? The moon was officially full this morning at 8:27 am EST. This is a particularly eventful full moon in that it is the second one this month, so called a blue moon, since we already had a full moon on the first of January. The Farmers' Almanac names it a Full Old Moon and it is the only lunar eclipse in North America this year , which was visible to those living west of the Mississippi in the U.S. and Western Canada before dawn this morning.

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Winter Musings

Winter Musings

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We have had very cold weather this month and now we have warmed up just a bit--enough to tease us--and make us think spring is in the air. Not. However we can dream of spring and our gardens to be, especially with the seed catalogues coming in and seed sales offered in our emails almost daily.

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Tools for the New Year

Tools for the New Year

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Here are a few gifts that I ask for every year--as well as a few new tools that I received this holiday season. These are items that I find essential to help me during the year, both in the garden and everyday.

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Celebrate Winter Solstice

Celebrate Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is on Thursday, December 21, 2017. I am so looking forward to this annual celebration--I always go to my friend's house where a large number of us gather to welcome winter and light the longest night of the year with a huge bonfire and share a feast of warming winter dishes.

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Roadside Attractions: Seasons Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden

Roadside Attractions: Season's Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden

Went for my annual visit to view the U.S. Botanic Garden's Holiday Show and I wasn't disappointed! This year's theme is Roadside Attractions and it is a fun exhibit. Besides that, it is always lovely to enter the conservatory where it is delightfully warm to come in out of the cold and full of tropical blooms, stunning array of poinsettias, and impressive holiday decorations from decorated trees to hanging baskets, wreaths and more. Don't miss a chance to visit this live or go online and check it out. https://www.usbg.gov/plan-your-holiday-visit

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Early December Garden to Kitchen

Early December Garden to Kitchen

We have had a mild autumn/winter season thus far in my zone 7 Maryland garden. Still able to do chores in the garden and bring in bounty to create warming seasonal dishes. Time for harvesting whatever is still available, cleaning up the garden, last-minute planting, getting ready for the holidays and wood chores. What are you up to in your garden and kitchen?

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Botanical Notecards: Make your own holiday cards and gifts

Botanical Notecards: Make your own holiday cards and gifts

It's not too late to press flowers and leaves of annuals and perennials to make your own botanical cards for holiday greetings or gift giving.

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Herb Harvest Fall Festival Celebrates Central America, the Caribbean Basin and Mexico

Herb Harvest Fall Festival Celebrates Central America, the Caribbean Basin and Mexico

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Every year at the Ozark Folk Center's HHFF, we celebrate different regions of the globe and see how they relate back to the Ozarks. This year we celebrated some of the tropical areas and had a Caribbean-Style Lavish Herbal Feast and two days of inspiring educational programs featuring Mexico, the countries on the Isthmus of Central America and the many islands in the Caribbean. Read about all of the fun that we had.

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Hop Happy

Hop Happy

We had a pre- and post-conference tour for the IHA conference and both were fun and action-packed. However the post conference tour to visit hop farms and breweries was a daylong sensory experience that I won't forget.

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Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek , Michigan

Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek , Michigan

On a recent road trip to Michigan, we happened upon the Leila Arboretum--and what a find! If you are in the neighborhood--go check it out! Wonderful gardens and a great place for kids; this is one not to miss.

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International Herb Association Conference in Michigan featuring Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

International Herb Association Conference in Michigan featuring Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

Last week the IHA held their conference in Hickory Corners, Michigan at the Kellogg Biological Station, which is a great place to hold a conference and be in nature at the same time. There's walking trails along Gull Lake, an amazing number of beautiful old trees, a bird sanctuary, the Manor House and more.

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More Tomatoes!

More Tomatoes!

The tomatoes are peaking here in my Maryland zone 7 garden. A bit of cooler temps slowed them down a bit... however we are picking and eating them everyday--and sharing them. I know there are infinite ways of eating tomatoes. Besides just sliced with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, here are a few ways that I am enjoying these mouthwatering fruits.

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Tomato Time!

Tomato Time!

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Well it is that time of year again... the tomatoes have started coming in so that I feel abundantly blessed. By next week, I might feel tomato deluge. I love a dead-ripe, juicy homegrown tomato--there is nothing like it--here's a few ways that I am eating them without having to cook much.

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Summer Heights

Summer Heights

Summer is near about peaking. Plants are reaching for the sun and growing fast in this heat, so there are many tall annuals and perennials in the garden. Pictured are a few that stand out.

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Visit Your Local Botanic Garden

Visit Your Local Botanic Garden

Last weekend was the You Can Grow It! Festival at the U.S. Botanic Garden. There was a good turnout and visitors got to pot up an herb plant and a carnivorous plant, view a beehive and taste honey, observe insect activity in the Butterfly Garden, smell the roses in the Rose Garden, enjoy the native blooms in the Regional Garden and then cool of in the Conservatory while enjoying the many plant collections from tropicals and medicinals to rare & endangered. There is always something going on at your local Botanic Garden or Arboretum--and an everchanging seasonal landscape--so find one near you and go visit!

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Herbs Rock in Little Rock!

Herbs Rock in Little Rock!

The first weekend in May, the Herb Society of America held their annual conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The theme was "Herbs Rock in Little Rock!" and indeed they do. The Little Rock and Ozark Units and the planning committee did a great job from herbal wreaths, homemade vinegars and shrubs as centerpieces to setting up a fun vendor space featuring all things herbal, a great lineup of speakers, dinner at the governor's mansion and three field trips.

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