7-21-17 Garden News Roundup

Heard Weekly on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast

Guest Update

Past Guest Jen McGuinness (SG539 SG538 SG534) of the blog Frau Zinnie (who also coincidentally is joining me on the program today) shared her garden chores for the month of July and she did a great job. She does this every single month and I love her garden chores list.


Something else I'm very passionate about are the blog posts about the Garden Blogger’s Fling  that have been written by Pam Penick (SG555) on her blog Digging. Pam was a guest of the show on episode 555 where we talked all about her new book called The Water Saving Garden. When Pam's not writing a book, she's writing blog posts and articles for magazines. She has devoted a considerable amount of time putting together recaps on all of the gardens that we visited during the 2017 Garden Blogger’s Fling. If you're counting, I believe that's over twenty-two gardens - that's yeoman's work, Pam. Here are a few to get you started:

Southern Gothic garden of Jeff Minnich

Log slices, twig spheres, and other natural art in garden of Debbie Friedman

Pam does a wonderful job and all of the gardens that we cover in today's show are written about in detail on Pam's blog. So head on over there and check it out. You'll get a complete kick out of it and I hope you become a raving fan of her blog.


This week Chiot’s Run shared an amazingly beautiful post simply called Pickling Peas The images were gorgeous and I especially liked the ones showing how the peas were blanched and layered on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This is done right before the peas are frozen and they freeze their peas in a gallon freezer bags.

Continuing Ed

In Continuing Ed this week, I shared a post that Danger Garden wrote simply called Less is more.. and it's about editing your garden and I loved it. And, here's what I said to introduce this post to the listener community:

I knew when danger garden wrote “Hold onto your pants because it's about to get really crazy”, that this was my kind of post.

Rounding out the Continuing Ed segment this week, garden blogger Janet Davis of the blog The Paintbox Garden wrote an epic post on Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and his gardens. I thought it made for perfect July reading.

How to / DIY

In the How to / DIY segment, Organic Life shared 7 Tricks Professional Florists Use To Keep Cut Flowers Alive For Weeks. Of course they included tips like keeping the water fresh, but also, removing bruising flowers. Some flowers just don't last as long as others. So the minute you see somebody wilting off  in the bunch - it's important to remove them because they can get moldy and contaminate surrounding flowers. They also advise pinching off  bruised petals. Now, this doesn't do too much to elongate the life of a flower. But, it does keep your arrangement looking fresh.

Plant Spotlight

In the Plant Spotlight this week, I featured an article that was written by Karen Rexrode and this post was all about The Plants from the Fling - the plants that were featured in the Garden Blogger’s Fling. Anyway, this was a stellar post from Karen - and Karen is an extremely knowledgeable plantswoman. So if you're looking for ideas for new plants to try, read this post and get inspired.

Then, the husband and wife blogging team of Jason and Judy over at Garden in a City wrote a couple of posts that caught my attention. The first was a post called Purple Milkweed is Back! . They wrote this post because you don't see a lot of purple milkweed in gardens - not even in native plant gardens. Anyway, Jason and Judy planted this purple milkweed in their garden back in 2015 only to have it completely disappear in 2016. However, this year it's back in their 2017 garden. So they're having a fun time with that. Then, they also shared a post coincidentally about a Monarch Butterfly  – the very first monarch in their garden this year. That was a great post.


Finally, Gardenista shared a great post on a Hardy Begonia that's called Sun Shunner. This is a Hardy Begonia that can survive Northeast winters (and, Winter is coming, people). Listener Patricia Chandler Newport wrote “Must. Acquire. This. Plant.” And then I wrote her back and said “Hey, I think we're related”, because I felt just as strongly about getting my hands on Sun Shunner. Check that out.

In the News

In the News this week, Country Living shared10 Old-Fashioned Plants and Flowers Grandma Always Grew in Her Garden. This list includes some favorites like morning glory, sweet peas, four o’clocks, poppys, and - my favorite - love in a mist.

Dream Guest

In the Dream Guest segment, The Masters of Horticulture shared a profile piece on a gardener named John Boswell and here's what they wrote:

John is an outstanding vegetable gardener that has been growing food for over 80 years. That's not a typo. John is 92 years young. And each spring he plants and grows a garden that is bigger than most men half his age would attempt to grow. John is an organic gardener that uses barnyard waste and other organic fertilizers to improve the fertility of his soil and to help his black clay drain.

Anyway, they asked John a lot of different questions and I loved what he said about weed control:

John does not believe in spraying herbicides to control weeds. Instead, he has set up his garden in a way that allows him to keep the weeds under control early in the season with just his hoe. As the weeds get more aggressive in the summer, he slowly lets most of them go. He believes the weeds provides shade and cooling that his late season vegetables seem to enjoy.

And then here's an update on a duo that made the Dream Guest segment back in episode 571 and it's AMKK. I started thinking about them again when Listener Jennifer Konow shared a lovely video that she had seen on another plant page with the listener community because it was so peaceful. When I saw AMKK in the title, I'm like Hey, I think I know those guys. And sure enough - it's the same AMKK and the video that Jennifer shared was fabulous. It's an animation that was developed for kids and it's called The Story of Flowers. It's wonderful. So thanks for sharing that, Jennifer.


In the Science segment this week, nature.com shared a fascinating article called Plants turn caterpillars into cannibals . This was interesting because apparently there is a chemical that's produced by tomato plants in response to pest attack and it can change insect behavior. So very interesting.


In Shopping this week, there were two things that caught my attention:

The first is a world clock. It's a small little desk clock and it has 12 flat edges. It was featured in an article called Give this clock a roll and it'll show you the time anywhere on Earth.  So imagine a clock that has 12 flat edges and a single hour hand for the clock. Each one of those flat sides corresponds to a city and as you roll the clock from one flat side to the other, the hand automatically changes its position to show the time in that location. I just love this little clock.

Then, Apartment Therapy shared 7 Small Good-Looking Indoor Composting Bins for Your Kitchen. These were fantastic and of course they ranged in price from 20 bucks to over 100.


In the Inspiration segment this week, there were a number of posts.

The first was from Apartment Therapy and they had written an article called What To Do if You Have Just a Little Bit of Outdoor Space. I thought they offered a ridiculous amount of great ideas for small spaces in this article.

Then there was a post out of Holland that showed a street that's covered with hollyhocks in Der gait niks boovn Grunnen. This video was so fantastic. It showed hollyhocks lining both sides of the Brouwersstraat in Garnwerd Holland and listeners loved this video.

And then there was another video that made the Inspiration segment and this was a video of Blue Ridge Daylilies that was made by Blue Ridge Daylilies out of Alexander, North Carolina - just 15 minutes north of Asheville. This daylily operation flew a drone over their daylily fields. It was just beautiful and it makes me want to get a drone.


In Recipes this week, we tried to make up for last week when we didn't have any. And, this week, we have four - so we're getting caught up.

The first recipe was featured in a really fun video from The Blogette and it showed how to make a veggie tray that looks like an owl using your garden harvest. This one was super cute. Listener Sue Luftig wrote, “I am totally doing this”. Listener Jennifer Konow wrote, “My kids would love it”. Finally, Listener Tammy Kincaid chimed in and said, “I have to remember this.”

Note: Don't forget when you're on Facebook and you see a post that you love you can always click save and Facebook will save it in your save file for you.

Botanical Interests shared a recipe for Honey & Orange Glazed Rutabaga with Fresh Thyme. They featured it on their blog on a page called Seeds to Saucepan. I love that.

Northwest Edible shared a fantastic recipe for a Cherry Salsa with Tequila and Cilantro. So if you grow cherries or eat cherries you'll probably love this recipe. She gives a ton of ideas for how to use this cherry salsa: as a sauce for any white meat, as a salad dressing base, as a glaze for ham, as an alternative to cranberry sauce, as a ketchup alternative for turkey chicken or burgers, and of course as a marinade - and it looks fantastic too. So happy.

Finally, Gardenista shared a recipe for Elderflower Fizz . This was in their Garden to Glass segment and they started their article by talking about the Elderberry. Here's what they wrote:

These shrubs have a reputation for being weedy. They grow fast and spread via stolen forming dense colonies in spots they favor - especially near water for foragers in the urban or rural wilds.

This prolific habit is good news because we love the flowers and the famous berries run a close second. At least for me anyway.

Then they shared this recipe for Elderflower Cordial (a.k.a. Fizz) and it includes six ounces or 30 to 35 elderflower umbels, a pound of sugar, 6 cups of water, a half cup of lemon juice, and the zest of four lemons. It's that simple. It looks amazing.

For this week's Quotables segment, there were a number of quotes that I found on summer.

Some were familiar. Some were new to me. See if you recognize any…

Youre invited join the listener community
Still Growing Hotline (1)

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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