Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Seed Saving Handbook

Seeds of Diversity announces the new fifth edition of their
popular seed saving handbook:

This 48 page handbook is greatly expanded from the previous edition, and has been restructured to make plant family relationships more clear. It demystifies the techniques of saving seeds from common garden vegetables, giving simple detailed instructions for each type.
Written by gardeners, for gardeners, this is a manual for home seed savers
as well as small-scale commercial growers.
Whether you are learning to save rare heirloom varieties,
discovering how to save money by growing your own seeds,
or simply interested in learning more about the finer aspects of seeds and gardening, this is an excellent beginner's manual.
For the preservation work of Seeds of Diversity to be successful,
our members must know and follow proper seed saving techniques,
including how to keep varieties from crossing with each other.
If you are planning to save your own seeds and possibly offer them in our Seed Exchange,
we encourage you to order this handbook and learn these valuable and simple techniques.
For more information please contact:
Seeds of Diversity/Semences du patrimoine
Seeds of Diversity is a living gene bank.
Formerly known as the Heritage Seed Program, a project of the Canadian Organic Growers since 1984, Seeds of Diversity Canada is now an independent charitable corporation operated by a volunteer board of directors.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Cosmos - Wispy and Wonderful

These lovely and delicate looking flowers will grace your garden, especially if planted "en masse". With the delicate, yet showy flowers, as well as their whispy leaves, they make a great addition to the back of any floral border and Cottage Garden .
They can get quite tall, up to four feet, in fact. Mine, shown here, are about three feet tall.
Colours range from white to purple, and they are so easy to grow.
These flowers are not very fussy and do not require much additional care. Picking Cosmos encourages more flowering so by all means add these flowers to your vintage vases.
Cosmos appreciate a moist, well-drained soil with plenty of nutrients.
When siting your Cosmos know they're happiest in full sun, though often will do fine in partially sunny spots.
Cosmos may be started indoors from seed or directly sown after danger of frost has passed.
Harvest Cosmos flowers as they bloom and just before. They do not keep long but add a graceful touch to arrangements.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Arikara Sunflower - Helianthus annus - A Beautiful Heirloom

The Arikara Sunflower
Pictured above are a couple photos that I snapped at the Stanhope Heritage Museum today, where I take care of the gardens.
I'm so pleased that they grew this well and grateful I didn't forget to go armed with my camera today!
The Arikara is more than just an rare heirloom. It's a sunflower rich in history.
It was originally collected from the Arikara First Nations in North Dakota, and amazingly, it grows in a range of flower head sizes and types due to it's diverse genetic origins.

You can see the smaller group in the picture, behind the large one in front.

The flowers here are growing with different shades of yellow, some heads are large single blooms, and some have smaller multiple-heads.
The single head, pictured here spans 1 foot across! Just marvelous!

The stalks can grow to 12 feet; Mine shown here are 6 feet tall, and the flowers, (I'm told, since I haven't tasted them yet), produce very tasty seeds. I can tell you that the bees were all over them!!
Everything I grow in the gardens, both at my studio and the Stanhope Museum is
done by using organic methods.
These seeds I purchased were certified organic.
Am waiting patiently in the hopes that I can collect the seeds from these magnificent plants.
Happy Gardening : )
Links about the history of Arikara:

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Lovely Lavender - Sachets - Wall*Flower*Studio

Wall Flower Studio's Lavender Sachets are made up from 100% organically grown lavender flowers.
These lovely sachets are packed in a 3" x 4" organza drawstring bag.
Great for your linen/woolen's closet, lingerie and sweater drawers, on bed pillows, anywhere you want the lingering fragrance of calming, relaxing lavender.
- 100% Chemical-Free- Very fragrant & pretty color!-
I am positive you will love this Lavender!
Lavender's magical influences are: Health, Love, Celibacy, Peace, and a conscious mind.It is great to use when you are depressed or angry.
Lavender sachets are also GREAT to use as a Wedding Favors
or tossing the flowers instead of rice.
Makes wonderful tea! : )

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

A Unique Heirloom Pea ~ "Golden Sweet"

SNOW PEAS (Pisum sativum) "Golden Sweet" - An Heirloom from the 1600's!

How to grow - So EASY!! Just as you would regular peas.

The pod is edible and used extensively in salads or a stir fry. When using the pods, pick off the vine just as they are beginning to enlarge.
This wonderful and versatile variety is used as a dry soup pea if they are left to dry. By soaking them overnight, you can cook them the same way you would any ordinary dry bean.

The flavor is sweet and these lovely plants grow up to 6'.
60-70 days until harvest.

Happy Gardening : )

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Hosta elegans ... Frances Williams :: A True Perennial Beauty

Beautiful and lush Hosta elegans ‘Frances Williams’. - Perennial - Zone 3-8
*Hosta is also known as the Plantain Lily.

This particular variety of Hosta features stunning and lush, bluish-green/ivory coloured, large crinkled leaves.

-Mature Height: 30 inches
- Mature Spread: 48 - 60 inches
-Soil Type: Widely Adaptable
-Like to be kept Moist, but not soaked
-Shape: Mounding, Clumping form
-Sun Exposure: Will take full shade, but grow equally well in full sun.
-Flower Color: White

-Large white flower spikes grow above the foliage in late summer.

This one is an American Hosta Society Distinguished Merit Award Winner. Certainly one of my favourites!

All of Wall Flower Studio Seeds are hand picked and open-pollinated. They are organically grown and come complete with culture notes/planting instructions. Hostas are a mainstay for any garden!
Thanks for viewing and Happy Gardening! : )