The birds are singing with the vim and vigor of Spring!
In The Dirt ~ Vision Landscape Nursery
Newsletter for FEBRUARY 2013 We are awake, rested and ready for a colorful and fulfilling year. Are you ready?
A few new elements for our In The Dirt VLN Newsletter:
1. A guest article from different gardening experts that I particularly enjoy.
2. This month's job. I share with you a couple of ideas of what to do now in your garden with an inside aspect and an outside aspect. This will be fun. Located to the right of this column at the top.
3. Recipes. Sharing healthy and good eating recipes from my kitchen and your kitchen too! One of my new year resolutions is to memorize ( I am totally recipe dependent)5 healthy and super tasty recipes for dinner. I want to be able to create from memory five meals. So this is an exciting new element to our newsletter.
4. Local recommendations for experts, help, retailers, service providers in our North Olympic Peninsula Communities that contribute to our marvelous life here at the foot of the Olympics.
In addition to the NEW ELEMENTS, I will continue to share our CODE every month. This is where you know the secret statement to save a crazy amount of money off your plant purchases every month. you can find it to the right of this column. So let's get started! Happy you are here.
Come in before Feb. 21 to shop from our famous 50% off area. Those trees and shrubs are going to disappear and the 50% off sale area will disappear until next fall. So, if you have been putting off finishing your landscape or are entertaining ideas of putting in a yard, creating a screen or balancing the energy of your gardens with Feng Shui, come in soon. We are bumping these up, growing them out, and charging more for them in the coming years.
Act now and save $$$ now.
We have had a mild winter. Bugs are going to be big this year so please spray your fruit trees with copper spray available at The Co-Op and other gardening centers that carry chemicals and fertilizers (we don't ~ we only carry worm castings and organic farm yard blend for fertilzer).
LOCAL RECOMMENDATIONS Alert:
You can also call Gordon Clark, a fellow certified professional horticulturist who specializes in organic landscape management, such as: pruning, garden maintenance and all around spraying care for your landscape and gardens.
Hoping you have your pruners sharpened for this next article will inspire you to make the cut. Michael is one of my favorite gardening writers and I am thrilled he is appearing here. Read on and be inspired to take action in your yard before it becomes overwhelming. Enjoy!
WINTER ACTIVITIES: Catalogs & Pruning
GUEST ARTICLE ALERT Michael J. McGroarty is the author of this article. Visit his most interesting website, http://www.freeplants.com and sign up for his excellent gardening newsletter, and grab a FREE copy of his E-book, "Easy Plant Propagation" There are two kinds of winter gardening. The first method usually starts in January/February as the gardening catalogs begin to arrive in the mail. This type of gardening is as easy and sitting in your favorite chair, browsing the catalogs, and either dreaming about what you're going to do this spring, or actually drawing designs for the gardens you intend to work on. The second type of winter gardening is to actually get out in the yard and do a little work. Of course if it's bitter cold, you'd be better off waiting for a good day. Winter is a good time to do some pruning if the temperatures are around 30 degrees or so. I don't recommend pruning if it's considerably below freezing because the wood is brittle and will shatter when you make a cut. One of the advantages of pruning during the winter is that you can see much better what needs to be cut out and what should stay. At least that's true with deciduous plants. The other advantage is that the plants are dormant, and won't mind you doing a little work on them. Ornamental trees should pruned to remove competing branches. Weeping Cherries, Flowering Dogwoods, Flowering Crabapples etc. have a tendency to send branches in many different directions. It is your job to decide how you want the plant to look, and then start pruning to achieve that look. But first stick your head inside the tree and see what you can eliminate from there. This is like looking under the hood, and when you do you'll see a lot of small branches that have been starved of sunlight, that certainly don't add anything to the plant, they are just there, and should be cut out. Any branch that is growing toward the center of the tree where it will get little sunlight should be cut out. Where there are two branches that are crossing, one of them should be eliminated. Once you get the inside of the plant cleaned up, you can start shaping the outside. Shaping the outside is actually quite easy. Just picture how you want the plant to look, and picture imaginary lines of the finished outline of the plant. Cut off anything that is outside of these imaginary lines. It is also important to cut the tips of branches that have not yet reached these imaginary lines in order to force the plant to fill out. For the most part plants have two kinds of growth. Terminal branches and lateral branches. Each branch has one terminal bud at the very end, and many lateral branches along the sides. The terminal buds grow in an outward direction away from the plant. Left uncut they just keep growing in the same direction, and the plant grows tall and very thin. That's why the trees in the woods are so thin and not very attractive. When you cut a branch on a plant, the plant sets new buds just below where you cut. When you remove the terminal bud the plant will set multiple buds, this is how you make a plant nice and full. Don't be afraid to trim your plants, they will be much nicer because of it. The more you trim them, the fuller they become. Lots of people have a real problem with this. They just can't bring themselves to prune. Especially when it comes to plants like Japanese Red Maples. It kills them to even think about pruning a plant like this. Just do it! You'll have a beautiful plant because of it. Look at the plant objectively. If you see a branch that looks like it's growing to far in the wrong direction, cut it. If you make a mistake it will grow back. Not pruning is the only mistake you can make. I hope this helps and doesn't get you in trouble with your significant other. Many a family feud has started over pruning. RECIPE Ginger Garlic Broth This can be poured over a bowl 1/4 to 1/2 full of cooked Chinese noodles and/or vegetables Inspired by the recipe I found in last month's Sunset Magazine. Into a big soup pot put: 2 boxes of Organic Chicken Broth from Costco (it tastes way better than any I have tasted from any of our favorite stores) 8-10 peeled and slightly smashed (with knife or hand) garlic cloves 4 inch long 1 1/2 inch thick fresh and raw ginger root sliced into 1/4 inch thick discs Stir and Bring to boil. While waiting for it to boil...wash 1 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breast and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Once broth is boiling, put chicken into broth and let boil for ten minutes. Turn off flame and let it sit for 10 more minutes. While you are waiting, fill bowls to 1/4 to 1/2 way full with gently sauteed vegetables (I usually use broccoli, celery, and carrot) and or cooked Chinese noodles (chow mein noodles) which, after cooking and rinsed, have been gently tossed with 3 Tablespoons each: sesame oil & Tamari and ONE tablespoon cocnut oil, plus 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper chili flakes. After broth has set for 10 minutes, and bowls have been filled with whatever our heart desires that evening, I double check that the chicken is cooked. I do this by taking a chunck out of the broth slicing it in half and inspecting the color on the inside. It is cooked if no pink can be observed. It always is cooked, but I am weird about my chicken being thoroughly cooked. And, Mr. Malone (little dog) and Johnny (big dog) get a little taste of the chicken. Then, I fill the bowls with broth including a few chunck of ginger, garlic and chicken. I top with cilantro and sliced green onions and serve on a plate so the broth doesn't slop onto the floor. FABULOUS! The broth is so good! Hope you enjoy this. Allan and I have had this about 4 times this year. This is one of those that I have memorized. Woo Hoo! Only four more recipes to memorize. Have a great February and come in for a warm hug and a cup of tea. I am loving the green tea with pomegranate right now. THIS MONTH'S JOB: OUTSIDE~ Remove any diseased or damaged branches from trees and shrubs. Cut back ornamental grasses like miscanthus, if you haven't done so already. INSIDE~ Start planning what and where you are going to plant your seeds, bulbs, and plant starts ( babies from mother plants that you have divided.) Keep notes in a beautiful garden journal. Add sketches and drawings and pictures taken or cut out of magazines. Secret Code for February 2013: "All You Need is Love." Say this before we ring up your order and SAVE 25% off your current order. This is our winter special savings for you. Our nursery welcomes you to come and wander around and experience the relaxing sights and sounds that embrace you here at our Destination Nursery located on the scenic loop on the lovely Olympic Peninsula between Sequim and Port Angeles. 131 Kitchen-Dick Road Sequim, WA 98382 Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org HEALTH TIPS FOR VIBRANT LONGEVITY Through out the day: 1. Stretch gently and mindfully, 2. Take frequent deep breaths with your attention to the air moving in and out your lungs, 3. Drink fresh spring water - half your body's weight in ounces. I weigh 125lbs, so drink 62.5 ounces of water a day. I will often add a slice of lemon or cucumber for fun and flavor. 4. Eat a large green leafy salad with a no oil dressing at least once a day, 5. Give and get a hug from someone you love, 6. Say thank you frequently throughout the day to those who help you or others 7. Volunteer your time to a charity or organization that inspires you 8. Sing your favorite song out loud and wiggle your bottom/hips while you do that 9. Sleep 7 - 9 hours a night. 10. Spending time petting and massaging your animal children with focused attnetion on them, lowers stress, lifts our spirits and increases our immunity against colds and flu. These are Claire's suggestions to a long healthy and happy life! I have no health credentials other than being healthy and happy and feel great! In the Dirt, Claire