Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stock up on Summer Supplies

My friend The Chicken Chick recently shared an awesome coupon with me from Tractor Supply Co. You can print the coupons for $5 off $25 and $10 off $50 by clicking HERE

Don't let the name mislead you... Tractor Supply sells way more than tractor supplies. You can find all kinds of pet foods, tools, and supplies for your home and garden.
I just used my $10 coupon towards a new sprayer, a Carona saw, some pine shavings for my new chicks and I found a cute summer tank! Yes they even have clothes and shoes!
Johnny and Baby inspecting the new shavings in the chicken coop.
But I'm most excited about my new hose nozzle!  If a Garden Fairy can feel bad-ass, I'm feeling it with my new nozzle called the '8 Pattern Pistol Nozzle'!  The regular price is only $4.99 but with the coupon it came to $4.18! Are you kidding!?!?!

I'm spending a lot of time watering my flowers this year since it's been sooo dry this summer.  So I'm especially loving my Portulaca that THRIVE in dry heat!
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Peace and love, Julie

Friday, July 1, 2016

Herbs: Inspiration and Tips for Growing from Julie!


When it comes to herbs, I’m never sure if it’s better to start off with utility or aesthetics.  Fresh herbs liven any dish in the kitchen and they are outstandingly durable and beautiful in the garden. Why grow anything else?

I turned this chicken wire basket in to a planter by lining it with coconut husk fibers.

Using an assortment of cut herbs in a vase or canning jar makes for a wonderful, 
natural air freshener!
I have found culinary herbs to be some of my most durable plants for drought resistance.  Many are cold hardy enough to grow perennially or self-sow after even the harshest winters.  With one exception, (basil) I have had few pests bother my herbs enough to be a problem.

You can read about my basil pests and what to do, here.

This wood basket was lined with sheet moss.
Don’t you want this herb basket on your kitchen step or patio table?   
Add to that the variety of colors, textures and growing habits and herbs had me at hello!

This ‘hedge’ of chives was spotted in VT at Flatbread’s kitchen garden. The mass of chives acts like a hedge with wonderful texture, color and of course flavor!
When adding herbs to your yard, consider placement first.  Most appreciate 6-8 hours of sun a day.  They seem to grow equally well in containers as they do in the ground so make them easily accessible so that they can be used frequently!  Container gardening with herbs is great if you’re tight on space.  I always keep a planter of herbs close to the kitchen door so that I can pop out and grab what I need while cooking.   

Here are some of my favorites with some interesting combinations to try in your garden. 

This Rosemary has provided my years of delicious. In the winter it comes into the house because CT winters are too harsh for it. I like these blue glazed pots as an alternative to traditional terra cotta because the soil doesn’t dry out as fast.  In the background is my ‘Raspberry Shortcake’ which is a thorn-less Raspberry!

I like the occasional use of planters in a garden be, in this case an urn.  Planting in containers is a good way to keep animals out and add height to the garden.
Here is a similar urn that you can use in your garden. 
Here is a view of the same urn from above. I love how the red strawberry runners spill over the side and the wonderful textures from the different herbs.
 While not an herb used for cooking, this Scented Geranium has a wonderful scent and is easy to grow. Many swear that the lemon-geranium scented foliage helps keep bugs away. I love how it looks in this terra cotta pot and the pink flowers are precious.

 I added Chocolate Mint to my potted Brown Turkey Fig.  They cohabitate well and green at the base helps balance the look of the branches overhead.
Not only does the mint serve as a nice under planting for my fig, it also contains the mint.  You should never plant mint of any kind directly into the garden. It’s very invasive.  Mint should only be grown in containers. You have been warned.
This is one of my favorite herb planters this year.  I found the container at Ikea, drilled holes in the bottom and planted the basil, chives, thyme and alyssum in composted leaves and cow manure.  Always consider your potting mix when planting edibles.  A commercial fertilizer laced brand should not be used.  Organic is best!
The steps up to a kitchen door are stacked with window boxes planted with perennials like chives, coral bells, sage and thyme.  The wave petunias add an extra pop of color.  The dill reseeds itself every year in the garden below.
Planting a strawberry pot with herbs is a fun way to grow herbs while utilizing limited space. 
Jump over to my blog to try my favorite healthy detox salad with Cilantro.  I hope you will follow me on Facebook at Julie S Harrison, on Instagram at @juliesharrison or on my website at www.juliesharrison.com

With love,