What's popping up in your gardens!!!

December 23, 2011

Green Christmas

Here in Pennsylvania or should I say my part of Pennsylvania we will have a green Christmas. One of my favorite books says, A GREEN CHRISTMAS, A WHITE EASTER. Can you guess which book? I will give you a hint, it was founded in 1792. Merry Christmas garden friends!!

October 8, 2011

Just the Favorite Time for This Herb!

I think spring and fall are my two favorite seasons.  These last few days have been spectacular in southwestern Pennsylvania.  The pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is not nearly as pretty as usual and the humming birds are long gone, but it is an edible flower and you should use it fresh not dried.  Our pineapple sage did come back from last year (not typical) and so we potted it up and are bringing it in for the season.  Everyone in the south is lucky to have it as a perennial.  Use it in fruit salads and iced or hot teas.  I always talk about this too late in the season when it is just about over.  Hope you all have had a great summer.  Talk to you later!  Lemon Verbena Lady

July 6, 2011

Dropping By

Hi Gardening Bloggers!! Hope everyone is well. Thought I share this little verse that I found on a gardening calender.




May 27, 2011

~ Chamomile ~

         " The Chamomile Shall Teach Thee Patience That Rise Best When Trodden Most Upon "

The chamomile is an ancient healing herb, and is still used for digestive and stress-related disorders. When crushed, it's leaves have a sweet apple smell. The chamomile plant requires full sun and well-drained soil. It makes a fragrant lawn and should be planted 4 to 6 inches apart. It benefits all nearby herbs and plants, particularly cabbages, onions and nasturtiums. German chamomile is an annual with unscented foliage. It's flowers have a strong honey scent and it has coarser leaves than the english chamomile.

Used chamomile teabags can be place on the eyelids to reduce the dark shadows caused by fatigue.

Enjoy a relaxing herbal bath that eases tensions away. Run a warm bath and place a muslin bag of fresh or dried chamomile under the faucet.
Use 1 1/2 oz. of fresh herbs or 1 oz. of dried herbs.
Alternately add one potful of strong infusion of chamomile - about 1 1/4 pt. to a bath. Or several drops of the essential oil to the water. Soak in the warm bath for 15 - 20 minutes, allowing the sweet scent of the herb to banish tensions and irritations through its relaxing and soothing qualities.


May 6, 2011

Dandelion. The new herb?

Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking. Dandelion? How could I possibly use a weed that's taking over my front yard? Well the time has come to embrace the dandelion. Believe me, it's much easier than constantly fighting it, that's what's coming up in my gardens so far! :) Eventually you'll find yourself touting the benefits of dandelion to all of your friends. Every part of the plant can be used, and clearly it's easy to grow. All you have to do is get past what we've always been led to believe. Dandelion is a useful plant.

If you're willing to try one new thing this year, make it dandelion. Dandelions prefer to grow in full sun but will grow in just about any lighting situation as you all may know. Dandelions can be added to your herb garden or they can be grown in a block or row in your vegetable garden. The thick-leaves produce a tender, thicker leaf with less bitterness. 'Verte de Montgomery' is very similar to the wild varieties in your yard, which are ripe for the picking and are just as tasty.

Dandelion leaves are high in vitamins A and C and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Use the flowers fresh, making sure to remove all the stem. To prevent the flowers from closing after cutting, place them into a bowl of cold water and take them out just before eating or serving them.

(Do not eat Dandelions that have been in contact with lawn fertilizers, herbicides or any other synthetic chemical contaminants!)

The roots can be harvested at any time. Chop the dried roots into 2'' (5 cm) pieces and roast at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for about 10 minutes. Grind the roasted pieces, adding a quarter teaspoon to your coffee or hot chocolate for a new flavour. The leaves are delicious in salads and are a fine substitute for spinach. The flavour of bacon is the perfect complement to dandelion leaves; they also work beautifully in fresh vegetable dishes. Many soups and casseroles benefit from the addition of dandelion leaves.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don't get around
Like the dandelions do.
~ Slim Acres

Enjoy your weekend!

April 20, 2011

WHEN DO YOU....???

...start planting your herbs??   What is coming up in your gardens NOW?  Share some pictures of inspiration  - the weather here in SE PA is still quite crappy.....and we don't usually plant till after the 15th of May - or even later.   We haven't been able to get the gardens cleaned up with one day rain - then mud - then rain - then alittle sun but too much wind - wishing you better weather and better luck!

April 12, 2011


I am just like alittle kid when it comes to "patience" - I want the weather to be nice and I want to get out in the gardens to see what is growing (well really I NEED to get things cleaned up in the gardens.  It is a job as we have the house and the store and we are getting older by the minute)!! 
Yesterday the weather was so perfect but I am "under the weather" with a stupid cold and not up to exerting myself...I did take these pics of what was peeking thru the messy gardens at home...besides all the mints and lemon balm here is -
SOME GOLDEN SAGE - (and weeds)
CHIVES - (and weeds)
 and a favorite SWEET WOODRUFF...
.Have you ever dried Sweet Woodruff???  It is the sweetest scent and I love to fill sachets or muslin sacks with the dried leaves.  It has NO scent while fresh - that I can detect - but dried it is wonderful!   AND, it grows (and prefers) shade....it is a great ground cover.  We will have plants for sale at our Herb Faire!!!

April 8, 2011

Start Planning!

There's fennel for you, and columbines;
there's rue for you; and here's some for me;
we may call it herb or grace o'Sundays.
O! you must wear your rue with a difference.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

A strawberry pot is an attractive way of growing a number of herbs together, for those of you who have limited garden space. They are made mainly of terracotta and are easily obtainable. An average size strawberry pot has five or six lipped holes in the sides and one large hole in the top. To plant a strawberry pot with herbs, place one large or several smaller, uneven stones above the drainage hole in the base. Fill the jar with potting mixture to the level of the lowest holes. Plant a herb seedling down through the pot's main open hole, gently manipulating the foliage through one of the side holes with the roots within. Fill the pot with soil level to the next hole and repeat the process as for the first seedling, until the top has been reached. Leave about 1in/2.5 cm between the last layer of soil and the rim of the pot to allow for watering.

Think herbs!

April 1, 2011

April Wisdom

From my favorite book, the Farmer's Almanac some April thoughts:

If it thunders on All Fools' Day. it brings good crops of corn and hay.

Moist April, clear June.

Cloudy April, dewy May.

Snow in April is manure. Love this one!!

March 31, 2011

Catnip ~ Catnap

I awoke to a beautiful sunny morning. Although it was cold outside, a sunny morning always helps. Enjoying a morning tea looking out into what will be a promising garden, I noticed that an old friend had appeared at the top of the hill. One of my feline friends has returned after a long, cold winter. An all black cat with a bell around its neck, I have no idea who owns this one, but as I opened my porch door, it came to greet me. I don't own any cats, I never have. But there are several that will hang around here all summer long. One reason is my catnip garden. In the garden, catnip has been found to be a natural insect repellent against aphids, making this plant perfect for the organic gardener. Its uses don't end there. Catnip has so much more to offer beyond the entertainment value of watching all these stray cats roll around in one area of my garden filled with catnip, or the way I look at it, I think these characters think it's their local bar. :)

Flowering Catnip Wreath

Catnip plants grow well in full sun or partial shade. Pinch tips throughout the growing season to delay flowering and make the plants more compact. Once the plants are almost finished blooming, I cut them back by one-half. This will encourage new growth and might prompt them to bloom again in late fall. I will divide these plants in Spring or Fall when the plants begin to look like they're going to overgrow.

Catnip is not prone to pests. However, the roots and crown can suffer from rot during cold and wet winters. Catnip plants can be used to edge borders and can be used to mix into herb gardens, along with roses. Catnip is also great for containers both big and small.
It's no mystery where this plant gets its name, cats love it. Dried leaves stuffed into cloth toys will amuse kittens for hours. I use the dried bunches in potpourri and arrangements. They can be intertwined with lemon balm, lemon verbena, marjoram, and scented geranium. They can hang in closets and pantries.

Shown above is flowering catnip celeriac, thyme, rosemary, and dandelion. The next photo shows catnip and greenleaf lettuce. In another area of the garden, I will have flowering catnip in a raised bed. The leaves can be steeped in boiling water to use as a stimulating minty tea. It is said that catnip tea reduces nervous tension and anxiety. Fresh leaves can be chopped up for soups, sauces, pastas, and sprinkled over salads. Obviously not just for our feline friends!

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

I think that's what the cat's return was trying to tell me.
All photos were taken in 2010. I'm not too anxious to get started gardening am I?

March 26, 2011


Herb thyme is fast approaching and I see we have lots of new followers...if you would like to be one of the administators (which means you can start a post and post pictures just like your own blog) please email me and I will send you an invite with the log-in information.  I would love for everyone to share their experiences, their favorite herbs, recipes...pictures....let's make this the "bestest" herb blog!!!!  
Contact me at   cinnamonstick@comcast.net     Judy

I have some serious garden clean-up to do...I sugar my "johnnies" and serve them on top of beeskep cupcakes for our Herb Faire....
ps. and if anyone wants to change the header picture ...please do...I want you toooooooooo!!!!

March 22, 2011


Here are a few quotes from The Old Farmers Almanac;

A dream of crocuses signifies happy new beginnings.

In March much snow, To plants and trees much woe.

Spring! The beautiful spring is coming, The Sun shines bright and the bees are humming.

Have a great day!!

March 17, 2011

Wishes for All

Happy St.Patrick's Day to all my garden friends. Heard peepers for the first time last night. Spring is really just around the corner.

March 1, 2011


That's what Les said it takes to poke their heads out of the soil. The picture is of the daffodils on the South side of our house.

January 25, 2011

Conversion of Paul

It's St. Paul Day. "On this day, the four winds wrestle and the winner will blow most of the year". Belgian folklore.

Weather Lore provided by the 2011 Old Farmers Almanac Calender and me of course!

January 24, 2011

...alittle bit of spring

Walking thru the backyard a few weeks ago I passed our forsythia bush and those sweet little buds beckoned me to break off a branch...after two weeks this was the result!  Lovely little flowers!  Just what I needed to convince me winter will turn into spring and all will be well!  The bitter cold this week is making me a "house hermit" and the thought of even taking out the trash makes me shiver - but I will bundle-bundle-bundle and do it!
I love to visit my "herb lady" in February and purchase some herbs for the store - visiting her greenhouses I never want to leave - it is warm and humid and oh the scents !!  I know I am so very lucky to be able to do this - when I go I will take some pictures and share them with you...are you making plans for spring planting???

Ginny I LOVE your weather lore...please keep posting!!!!!  XO

January 22, 2011

Weather Lore

Today is January 22, or St.Vincent Day. Weather lore has it that if the sun shine on St.Vincent Day there shall be much wind. They do not elaborate if the wind is today, tomorrow or next week. Thought I pass this little bit of trivia along to my garden friends. I get these bits of trivia from the Old Farmers Almanac, I love this book, keeps me entertained!! LOL

January 12, 2011

Snow Report from Southwestern PA!

Well, I have been an herbal slug and not posted for awhile!  So here is my snow report for the snowstorm that just came through the last two days!  We had 7-1/2 inches in southwestern Pennsylvania.  We might have had a little bit on the ground already so maybe 5" total!  Just a blimp on the radar compared to the East Coast and the New England states.  Hope everyone stays warm and hopefully you'll be able to see my herb garden in my next post!  Talk to you soon.

January 8, 2011

Measuring the Snow

Hi Everyone, hope you are enjoying your weekend, even though it has been snowing off and on since yesterday.I believe most gardeners do have a interest in the weather, other then "oh, it's raining can't go out and pull the weeds". And though we may not like it, snow does play an important part in our gardening. It provides nitrogen. Every Winter our local weather station provides information on how to measure the snow in your yard/garden. Take measurements from three areas in your yard/garden, try not to measure drifts or where you have thrown the snow with the blower or shovel. Add the three and divide by three. You will get a fairly accurate snow measurement or should I say as accurate as your local weather weenie.LOL. I took our measurements tonite, we have a total of 3.33 inches. Let me know what your snow fall total was for this storm.

January 7, 2011

Keeping the birds happy

While, this is only somewhat related to gardening and in the sprit of keep this great little blog alive I thought I would remind us all to keep our feeders full and if you can supply fresh water to all of our feathered friends. Seed scoop: provided by The Old Farmers Almanac; Black-oil sunflower seeds are the best-loved of all the bird feed.
My feeders are sure busy this morning. Snow stopped, sun is trying to come out. We got a total of 2 inches, fine by me. Les and I hope to get out to a auction today. Have a wonderful weekend friends.