Dissolving into Happiness

These sunny, hot summer days call for some special reading material when it gets too hot to move.  Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer is one I like to revisit. To me, her writing is lyrical,  elegant and that of a gifted storyteller. Her descriptions of nature as she encounters it, whether …

Sharing the Joy of Plants

Last week we invited 32 children from the Montessori Summer program to visit us at the store for an hour of plant-based activities including drawing a Mullein plant (and marveling over its fuzzy leaves, magnificent yellow candelabra of flowers and its soil laden roots), making lip balm (choice of either Peppermint/Cocoa or Tangerine Creamsicle ), tasting some raw cocoa butter …

What, Me Worry?

Summer is the season of Joy and the corresponding organ is the Heart, in Chinese medicine. But what if you’re not feeling joyful or expansive? Maybe it looks more like tired and overwhelmed? One of the definitions of overwhelmed is”…giving too much of a thing to someone or something….” Worry and the resulting stress IS about giving away too much …

5 Trees That Scream Southern Gardener

Born and raised in Ohio, I couldn’t wait to leave the lingering Winters and cold wet Springs. During Spring break in my last year of nursing school I visited Richmond and fell in love with all the blooming Spring flowers that were still yet to be just poking their heads above the ground back in central Ohio.  That sold me. …

Lusty and Energetic: Setting the Pace

You can feel the energy of Spring: building, persistent, energetic, bold, lusty, exhilarating… and exhausting.  How do the plants do it? After this big surge of energy, how do they recoup? This level of energy can’t be maintained for the long run.  They’ve got flowers to produce, seeds to spread (or runners, rhizomes, tubers, etc.), insects and diseases to fight. …

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Purple Dead Nettle Saves the Day

If you have been tending your garden this Spring, you’ll have encountered the PROLIFIC Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum). NOTE: it is NOT related to Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). Purple Dead Nettle is part of the mint family and has the classic square stem. One of the reassurances that Spring is arriving is in the appearance of numerous scattered communities of …

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Ready. Set. Jump!

Walking in the rain with my dog Mel, I rounded the curve and there it was: a large, wet, juicy mud puddle right in the middle of the path. Releasing his leash, I took a running start and laughingly jumped into the middle, spraying dirty water everywhere and scattering a few surprised earthworms in the process. Mel looked at me …

The Joys and Aches of Spring!

Now is the best time to get out in the garden and start clearing and planting. But boy, that can play havoc if you haven’t used those muscles in a while.  Making goals for what you want to accomplish and breaking them into small doable tasks are helpful and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed. However, even with the best plans, …

Get Your Spring Greens On!

Hey you, digging in your garden! What are those weeds you’re throwing out? That can be your supper tonight. These are part of what I affectionately call the Spring quartet: Nettles, Chickweed, Violets and Dandelion. You’re getting a 2 for 1 deal: all have medicinal properties and all are nutrient dense foods. Violets Violets will be blooming (Viola species) by …

When Pigs Fly: Traveling During Chinese New Year Celebration

Who would think layovers could be fun? Returning from Australia we had a 12 hour lay-over in Hong Kong on February 5 and walked into celebrations for the beginning of the Chinese New Year: Year of the Pig. (You can look up the Chinese astrology symbols here). Pigs symbolize wealth and good fortune and are considered diligent, compassionate and generous. …