Monday, February 25, 2013

How to cheat Blotanical and get to the top of the stats. Why? Because it's just so much easier. (My tongue is firmly in my cheek right now)

This is a hard post. I really love Blotanical, but it has lost it's integrity in that there is still cheating going on and nothing is done about it. I have been watching the cheaters for months and keeping the stats true by moving the fairly visited blogs up a visit when the cheaters move themselves up. I figured it out and I'm going to share with you how it's done. It's so easy, we might as well all get in on the fun.

Go to gmail or hotmail. Sign up for a few email addresses. I recommend at least four. The more the better.
Go to the Blotanical home page. Click on the "Join" tab.
Make up a user name and put one your new emails.
There is a little tick box that says..."Yes, I would like to add my garden-related blog."
Do NOT click the little box.
You will be walked through the process. Repeat this several times and let the cheating commence!!
Simply log in with one of your new 'member without a blog' accounts. Go click on your blog. You are now one visit higher. Do it again and again with each of the new accounts, and eventually you can vie for the top spots with the cheaters. You can do this once a day per account. Wow. How fun and oh so much easier than reaching the top by merit.

I have contacted Stuart again to let him know exactly how it's being done and to watch my blog soar!!! I started out at number 55 today. Right now I'm at number seven. That was just so much easier than writing a good blog and getting there when OTHER people click on my blog. And I'm not done yet.

Again, this is completely tongue in cheek. I am trying to bring attention to it in a big way so that it will be fixed. Hopefully this will do it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

David Austin Perdita Rose

I have had my David Austin Perdita rose for about 20, maybe 25 years. It started out in a large flower garden full of very old rose varieties and a few David Austin roses. The bed was solid clay. I was a beginner and gave up. I re-homed the roses...except Perdita. I moved it into a small raised herb garden that was where the lasagna bed now is. It lived there for a very long time. It stayed very small. The clay eventually came up into the raised beds and I gave up. I took the beds out and moved Perdita into my perennial border. It grows beautifully there. It never got more than about four feet in the clay beds, but now I have to cut it back a couple times per growing season so that it doesn't block out the kitchen window. Last year I started feeding the flowers for the first time. I took a lot of flowers out and replaced them with new varieties. I am going to put a couple bags of alpaca manure in the garden shortly. I cannot wait to see how this incredible rose looks this year.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Site of the new blueberry walk.

While out in the rain trying to figure out where I would plant all the potted shrubs, I had an epiphany. This is my blueberry border on the right. Isn't it lovely. Small but lovely.
Here is the redwood pathway.

Here is the greenhouse and grass area where shrubs were kept. Including the Dixie Blueberry. Suddenly...eureka!!! I am going to run another line of blueberries along the greenhouse, making a blueberry walk down the middle. Duh!!
This is a small Toro Blueberry. It is about 14 inches tall but gets loaded with an unbelievable amount of huge blueberries.

Next step. Landscape cloth to kill the grass. Or vinegar. Hmmmm.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Black Currant. Red Currant. Chilean Guava. All planted.

Chilean Guava..cut it back to round even though we may not get
guavas this year. I have a bag in the freezer for jam.
I've been outside for hours. I planted my black currant, red currant and Chilean Guava. Finally. I have been grappling with the placement of the currants for over a year. They were an impulse buy. I've never tasted a currant and had no plan as to where they would go. Does everyone garden that way?!

Black Currant beside guava and greenhouse.
I am determined to be more organzied in my my garden. That said...last week I bought a cranberry with no idea where it would go. At least I had tasted a cranberry and know I would use them to make sauce.
Red Currant in lawn, near greenhouse and hopefully will provide
root shade for the long suffering Japanese Maples.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Full on Kombucha making.

My Kombucha Scoby (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast) is mature and large enough to start my first batch of Kombucha. So here we go!!

The Scoby nursery
My ipad recipe book
Brewing tea and Raw organic cane Sugar
Everything added to the new Kombucha bottle
The Scoby sitting on the bottom, just as it should.
My Panasonic Lumix reflection.

Cranberries for the home garden. Really?

So Mom and I decided to go to Dans Farm and get some fresh free range eggs and veggies today. I was talking about my conundrum with cranberry sauce and NOT using Ocean Spray. I boycott Ocean Spray because they are on the list of companies that donated to fight GMO labelling in California. The only place I could find organic cranberries was Nova Scotia. So we discussed doing an order and splitting it.
After the farm, we went to Marigold Nursery. Mom drifted off to the left at one point. I have no idea how she zero'd in on cranberry bushes.....she started reading the label. I asked, don't they need a bog to grow? It turns out no. I guess they are harvested with water, but not grown in water. I need to do some research, but they are a ground-cover type shrub that do not like the full sun. Wow do I have the yard for you!!!
Mom bought one too. I gave her some of my alpaca poo to put under the bush when she plants it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Going to give ginger a try!!

Lately I have read a few posts about growing your own ginger. I tried to buy some lovely Ruhi ginger from Hawaii, but they sold out right away. It is pink and beautiful. So I decided to pick some pieces from Thrifty foods, that had little growing shoots. I planted it on the weekend. I remembered to bring my camera home!
It is living happily under the warm grow light on the seed mat.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Kombucha Scoby is growing.

My first attempt at growing my own Scoby for Kombucha is going well. It is forming a beautiful whitish layer on the top of the tea. It is really exciting. I feel like an alchemist!

First of the seeds are in the trays...feeling one with nature

It feels wonderful. It feels wonderful to connect with nature and the nourishment of the body and spirit. Growing food for you, your family and friends. It is special. Watching people eat your greens and flower salad...and loving it. Somehow, I feel like this is why I am here.
This past weekend I put the first little seeds into their trays, on the heating pad, under the lights. Tomatoes and peppers.

Alpaca poop. The Rolls Royce of the manure world.

I have been reading a lot about manure this winter. My gardens just didn't produce last year so I've come to the conclusion that the soil is very dead. So in addition to adding manure I am going to get my soil tested. We have a place in Sidney to get the testing done. How convenient.
My research is complete and the manure buying has commenced!!
I found some alpaca poop or beans. It is the Rolls Royce of the poo world. It doesn't smell at all. No weeds, no seeds and best of all, you can use it immediately. No aging. The alpacas are much loved and spoiled and that is so important to me. I will treasure their little 'beans' As I spread them around this weekend.
Also, I have been bringing small amounts of horse manure home. It is organic and from much loved and spoiled is also free. I have started a small pile beside the house to let it age. It really doesn't smell either.

Close up of poop.