Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Gardening "Goals" for MSG 2008

Participate in One Local Summer
Winter Sow
Change wardrobe for My Skinny Garden Blog - I need a new look!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gardening Resolutions For 2008?

In general I think New Years Resolutions are a crock. Every year I say to myself, "screw it, I'm not making any - it's stupid anyway!" But then the year draws to a close and I start to think I really should at least make an effort to better a few things in my life. I mean, having goals is not a BAD thing, right?

Gardening Resolutions:
Weed more! I mean it is not that likely that I'll completely eradicate the bastard pseudo-morning glory weed that is trying to destroy me, but I'd like to at least make an effort to spend more time weeding and stop only focusing on the fun stuff.

Put my tools (toys) away when I'm done. I have a really bad habit of leaving stuff out in the rain. Not intentionally, but I always think I'll just take a short break then go back outside to finish working. Next thing you know it's been a week and the rake is rusting.

Host a garden party. You may not have noticed but I'm extremely introverted and anti-social. It's true! I swear! I'm also very shy. Why does nobody ever believe me when I say that??? Anyway, I'd like to host a garden party (even though I'm not even sure exactly what that is or what it involves) on my new future patio.

*on edit: Re-read garden blog posts before publishing to prevent stupid errors from being seen by very important readers.

Anti-Gardening Resolutions: Does gardening keep you from doing very important stuff? I've been thinking of doing a post called "The Bad Side Of Gardening" (note: add stop procrastinating to 2008 resolutions).

Clean the house more. Somehow I seem to have decided that all work at home should be done outside the house.

Get back to a regular exercise routine. Again - gardening is at fault here!

Work less. I don't mean garden less - I mean work for "the man" less. I'm getting home entirely too late these days and I miss Mr. W.

So that's about it for me. What about you? Have you made any Gardening or Anti-Gardening Resolutions for 2008? If not, it's time to start thinking about it. Jeez there are only a few days left in 2007, people! Let's get moving!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa Claus Is A Gardener

Guess what Santa brought me??? I know, I'm as surprised as you are. Who knew Santa was into Gardening???

I also got some awesome red Crocs, a gift card to HD and Walmart which I'll save to buy gardening stuff next sprint and a Borders gift card for gardening books. Oh, and rechargeable batteries and charger for so my digital camera will always be ready for action. I can't wait for spring!

Thanks, Santa! I love you!

Happy Holidays my garden blogging friends! I've missed you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Roses Being Scared By The Snow

More snow in Chicago last night.

Reading garden blogs has taught me about micro climates and the picture below is the most obvious one in my yard.

This snow will likely remain on these roses until next spring. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it won't melt nearly as fast as other areas. The fence provides too much shade.

Temporary compost bins are covered in snow.

The rabbit has been spotted! I repeat - the rabbit has been spotted! It's big and probably pregnant. Somebody get the lawn mower! I'M KIDDING! I'M KIDDING! Jeez - relax people!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

99 Coconut Fiber Pellets On The Wall

My Coconut Fiber Pellets arrived this week! Let me just go ahead and tell you that I totally messed up the reference to these things in previous posts. I think I called them "Cocoa Cocoa Hull Pellets" What the hell is that? I think I was thinking of cocoa cocoa mulch? Maybe? Hell I don't know. Anyway, I'll be using these to start my seeds indoors in a little while if I can figure out how to use them. I think I need to do something with them and water but I don't exactly know what, yet. I believe only one seed goes in each one and I'm hoping that I'll be able to start one seed in these, then transfer them to a larger container without having to re-pot the seedlings. This appeals to my inner lazy gardener ;)

These came from a great company in California called Peaceful Valley. They have all sorts of great things for the organic gardener. According to Peaceful Valley, and the blogger who first turned me on to these, they are sustainable and environmentally friendly (though having these shipped all the way from California to Illinois is not environmentally friendly.) Apparently using Peat is bad news. I can't remember exactly why and I also can't find the blog of said person who turned me on to these. It's something about creating an edible landscape and its about a couple who moved from the big city in California to a farm where they are trying to grow their own food. Anybody???

So that's that!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Confessions Of A Garden Blogger

Being raised Southern Baptist, I never did confess to much of anything. We were taught that you could just tell God directly what you'd done wrong and keep it moving. This time I feel a confession is in order. Can I borrow sombodies rosary beads?

My fellow garden bloggers, I have been unfaithful. I have started another blog and spent some time previously devoted to garden blogging, blogging there instead. Let me explain.

I have decided to become an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International, a company who manufactures and sells this awesome skin care product that I've fallen in love with. The new blog I created, My Skinny Biz, is a blog sort of like this blog in that I want to chronicle my experience with this business. As usual, I have no experience and very limited funds, so I'll need to be creative.

I'm telling you this for a couple of reasons. 1. it explains why I've been M-I-A more lately. I've been extremely busy trying to get things going with my Arbonne business. Just like when I started gardening and didn't know what the heck I was doing, I have no idea what I'm doing! 2. And of course I'm hoping you'll visit my blog from time to time and for God's sake if any of you have any experience with this sort of thing, please feel free to give me suggestions. If any of you are interested in trying the products just let me know. I've been working hard on my website where my clients can purchase products so feel free to take a peak if you have a moment. Please alert me to any stupid spelling errors right away!

So in case you are wondering why I'm doing this - well I blame the end of the garden season! I needed something to obsess over because I was sinking into a deep depression after my last tomato. I need something to be excited about! Plus, I really really love this product! The fact that it is a premium skin care product that is plant based sorta made me feel garden-ish. In fact, when I was trying to think of a name for my website, my best friend suggested "plant your face", which I loved, but my informal focus group hated. I decided on the name goNatural because the products are not made with any animal products or animal by-products and they do not conduct testing on animals. Also, everything is hypoallergenic and fragrance free which screams Natural, right? Arbonne has also been committed to using recycled packaging long before it was cool which earns points from me.

As I mentioned on my other blog, I'm usually willing to sacrifice a little for things that are animal free and lord knows it always seems to cost more, but the best thing about Arbonne, and the reason I decided to become an Independent Consultant is because of the dramatic change it made in my skin. Since I was a teenager I've had problems with my face. Ive used all sorts of crap from Walgreens products to the fancy doctor prescribed stuff but never really been impressed with anything.

So, since I have such big plans for My Skinny Garden 2008, I decided that I needed to do something to earn some money to pay for all the glorious plants I plan to grow in my garden next year. I don't expect I'll be so hugely successful at this that I'd need to quit my day job, but man oh man would that be awesome if I could work from home and garden allllllllllll dayyyy longgg??

In closing I'd like to say thank you all for reading my garden blog. You're the best. I fully plan to continue writing here. In fact, I've got posts brewing right now about Jodi's book which I just received in the mail and cocoa cocoa hull pellets for seed starting. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's A Girl Gotta Do To Get "Sharecropped"?

Wow! I'm seriously behind on garden blog reading. Who knew there was a war brewing???

I won't post any links to any blogs where this has been discussed or the link to the evil do-ers' blog out of respect for my fellow garden bloggers who don't wish to give them any more free press but please allow me a few sentences on the topic from my perspective.

Does anybody have a violin? If so, please play something very sad for the readers for the next couple of paragraphs.

Why am I not good enough for the sharecroppers????? I mean I don't want my content stolen either and I can assure you that if I found out I was a victim of this I'd be ranting right along with you. But, I'm not. And that sorta makes me feel left out.

I know I shouldn't covet my neighbors garden blog, but I'm only human! The moment I read about all this content stealing I went right over to the evil-doers blog and did a search for my own. NOTHIN! Here's my stream of thoughts....

"WHAT??? I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE STOLEN?????" *not finding anything*

In closing I'd like to say that gardening and garden blogging can be an emotional roller coaster. I need therapy.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What am I suppose to do????

Everything is covered in snow! I haven't left the house today because I nearly killed myself last night on the ice. It's a death trap out there! The funniest site I've seen in a long time was watching my Mr. W last night while he was trying to walk up the handicap ramp onto the sidewalk. He was plastered to the side of the building like Spider man. It was so hilarious! He was really having a hard time - his feet are size 14's! It's hard for him. But alas we made it home safe.

I don't know what to write about - there's no gardening ....

I thought about writing about how my spirea was being squashed by the snow but I was too cold and lazy to go out and take a picture.

I was going to write about the Cocoa Cocoa Hull Pellets I purchased to start my seeds in but they have not arrived yet. I read about them on a blog that I keep forgetting to save the link to and so I'm at the mercy of OldRoses and when she reblogs the site.

I think my Red Twig Dogwood must look really cool in the snow right now, but again that requires a picture.

I hope you are gardening more than me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Garden Cave: Getting ready for seed starting

Just imagine the room below even more scary with crap everywhere and millions of spider webs - that's what I started with today. Behold my new Garden Cave!

My house is small and indoor space is pretty darn limited. I have no rooms with south facing windows other than my bedroom, which barely accommodates the king bed. Not only do I need a place to store all my gardening crap, I need a place to work on my seed starting. So, with no other choice, I've been banished to the gloomy dirty basement.

This is the room immediately below the bathroom. It's really the only "room" in the basement - the rest is just wide open space. Besides the washer and dryer, we have mostly exercise equipment and unpacked boxes down there. This room seems to have been somebodies work area and this work table was here when we moved in, along with a saw and some left over paint and supplies.

I think this room should be perfect for seed starting, don't you? I mean I'll need to buy shop lights and a timer for the lights but other than that, I bet I can get some seeds going down here. The basement is vented and has electricity so it doesn't get cold. Here's the work table that was here when we moved in. I'm hoping I can mount the shop lights under the 2 shelves and have my seeds right under them. As they come up I'll need to move them.

Now it's time to start getting my containers ready for winter sowing. Between the seeds I start indoors and the ones I wintersow, I should be off to a great spring start.

I'm curious where all you gardeners start your seeds? Is your house big and sunny enough that you have a proper room for this?