grow and grow

Here's some gardening advice and inspiration for the weekend! This no-till method a.k.a. sheet mulching is what I did in my raised beds last October, giving the materials nearly 7 months to decompose before planting. This chart with notes comes from Renee Gardner's "Petals and Pedals," a weekly guest post over on Modish.

Also, in the pursuit of learning how to grow my bergamot, chamomile and other herbs and flowers for tisanes, I found this little article by Julie which left me disgruntled that I'd thrown out my lemon verbena when the leaves fell off and determined to grow more. I found that it was easy to grow from seed last year, and it's got a delicate flavor. I am determined to grow my own German chamomile this year, even if I only manage a bit in a container with my bergamot (as pictured). I also never thought to try violets.

Another bit of advice I read somewhere was to plant borage with chamomile. I did scatter some borage seeds in a beneficials/wildflower bed that I'm attempting. Borage is a good companion plant for tomatoes and strawberries and pollinators love it. Plus, it's an anti-inflammatory and the flowers and young leaves are a nice addition to salads. (Speaking of which, I ate my first home-grown salad last night with kale, lemon balm, spinach, arugula, and other assorted greens. Yay!)
And for the ambitious beekeeper, Mistress Beek has posted directions and photos on catching a swarm. If you ever see a swarm of bees, call your local beekeepers' association. I have as yet to experience this not-so-rare but magical phenomenon, and when I do, I'd love to help in finding those ladies and drones a home.

(One of my students made me a lego bee as a goodbye present!)


  1. i witnessed a swarm once...right in my back yard. the bees were so thick they blocked out the light, i could hardly even see the back fence from the window. it was like watching the inner wall of a tornado.

    yay salad! you can eat lemon balm leaves in a salad? i mean i know they're edible but...are they good? i think they smell like pledge furniture cleaner, it puts me off.

  2. Haha! Lemon pledge for sure! But when I harvest just a few of the young, fresh leaves, they give salad a lemony boost.