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The gardening season officially begins on January 1st and ends on December 31.

~ Marie Huston ~

From the GTG Garden and Greenhouse

We have a blog! It's been in my mind for a long time and finally, i jumped the broom and married the idea of actually writing a blog. It's turned out to not be quite as simple as I had expected. Right after the first post went live, the site hosting the blog ran into technical difficulties (was it MY blog?) and I have not been able to access the back-end side to write another post. So the 'Year in Review - Faves from our Garden' posts is stuck in facebook for now.
The greenhouse is filled with Brugmansia cuttings that will need a few more weeks before they will have rooted in enough to tolerate shipping. I am really thrilled with our newest introduction: Papa's Girls, it's one of the few triple flowered brugs on the market and has a nice citrus fragrance that makes me think of lemon cookies.

Happy New Year, Belle

Green Thumbs Galore LLC

Perennial Herbs

by Dava Stewart

There are lots of articles out there about which plants are best for people who want to get started growing herbs. The truth is, it really doesn’t matter where you start. Herbs are not harder to grow than any other plant, and in some cases they are much easier to grow. Rosemary, thyme, and oregano are three of my favorites. They are each hardy, and once established, your problem will be more how to control them than how to keep them alive!

Right now, my garden is mostly brown. The best thing about it is the lush, vibrant rosemary bush. It is about three feet tall, dark green, and growing right next to the sidewalk, so that when you brush past it smells fantastic. A couple of months ago, it bloomed tiny, blue flowers. If you can’t tell from my raving, I love my rosemary.

Besides smelling good and adding interest to my garden in the winter, having a rosemary bush just outside my kitchen door has vastly improved my cooking. Add it to mashed potatoes with a bit of cheddar cheese, and you go from ho-hum cook to master chef. Layer rosemary around pork chops and roast them in the oven…my mouth is watering thinking about it.

A few months ago, I wondered how to propagate rosemary, and a quick search on the internet search inspired me to try it. I snipped off 8-10 pieces about two inches long and put them in some pretty, tiny vases in the window. I changed the water every few days, and within a month or so they all had roots. I planted them in starter cups and gave them out as Christmas gifts.

Thyme is an equally forgiving and tasty herb. My garden is lacking thyme at the moment, but it is an herb that I plant and use regularly. Thyme is a perennial and there are many types and varieties. Creeping thyme is beautiful and a popular choice to grow in the cracks on walkways and patios.

Common thyme is my favorite type to grow. Like rosemary, it transforms simple food into something more impressive. It’s pretty, with tiny white flowers, and it’s fairly easy to grow. I’ve had the best luck growing thyme in containers -- probably because it doesn’t have to compete with weeds. Also, it prefers well drained soil and containers usually drain well.

Several years ago, two of my aunts and I were browsing an annual plant sale at a local community center. We each bought a four inch pot of oregano. Mine is now two separate clumps, one of which is threatening to take over an entire corner of the garden. It has been divided four or five times, and gets cut back several times every year. The main problem with growing oregano is making sure it doesn’t take over.

Oregano is wonderful mixed with garlic and butter and spread on bread. It’s also tasty in soups, anything Italian, and cooked with chicken. I tend to use it slightly less than rosemary or thyme in the kitchen, but that’s more due to my cooking habits than anything else.

Of course if you’re partial to the flavor of parsley, basil, or sage, those are just as easy to grow as the herbs I grow. If you are considering planting some herbs this summer, there’s no reason to not start some seeds now. Cuttings are the easiest way to get some rosemary going, but thyme, oregano, parsley, sage, and basil are all simple to start from seed. All you need is a sunny window and a couple of pots. As an added bonus, herbs on the windowsill brighten up my kitchen in much the same way that adding them to cooking brightens up my recipes and takes me from cook to chef.

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January Ideas:

Bypass Pruners :
Bypass Pruners
Gardeners Soap
Gardeners Soaps
: Flamingos