dishin' the DIRT on hit and myth landscaping

Archive for the tag “seasonal”


Yes, I’m a gypsy. No sooner than I’ve completed the last project on my to-do list (and hubby’s done with his honey-do list),  and I develop an acute itch only cured by priming the ZILLOW app on my iPhone. Hubby recognizes that dazed look on my face. He’s come to hate that look.

Last spring, hubby retired. We decided we’d live at our farm during the week (a 2 1/2-hour drive away) heading back to an apartment on The Waterway for weekends so we don’t miss grandkids or church. Sounds like a perfect retirement plan, right: no-maintenance living on one end, never-ending on the other. After all, I can write from anywhere with an internet connection. Lots of people do that. It’s called tele-pathetic work, I think.

But, God…He not only has a big BUT, He’s got an impeccable sense of comedic timing. The second day out on our retirement road trip to Yosemite, we got a call that could not have come from anywhere except above. So my hubby took the job and I took to ZILLOW. Again. The farm will continue as a weekend hobby for now.

Apparently, my plants have a touch of gypsy, too. Neighbors (of numerous houses) swear they’ve witnessed shrubs and perennials in my yard lift their skirts…uh…er…ROOTS when they see me coming with a shovel. The home we bought THIS time was a rental property for several years. It had good bones; however, a few were brittle, the rest broken. So here I come with my shovel.


Want a happy face on your shrubs? Transplant at the right time!

We straddle the Texas Gulf Coast and the Pineywoods here. Our weather is somewhat temperate. Also somewhat temperamental, but that’s for another post. The best time to re-do a landscape is our version of winter, which actually translates as less-hot-than-other-seasons. People who hate cold come live here in the winter, probably in this house till we rescued it. Heat’s the nemesis rather than cold when it comes to gardening here. And snowbirding, too, come to think of it. I guess plants and people are a lot alike when it comes to weather – we both hate both ends of the spectrum.


So if you’re like me, always itching to move, my hubby recommends a shovel rather than a U-Haul. He also recommends keeping an auxiliary honey-do list in emergencies. Got your shovel and ready to move? Here are some to-dos for the gypsy plants on your list. Also, check out my friend Skip Richter’s YouTube on digging up the root ball.


Root prune plants before moving. I love my sharp shooter shovel because of the no-slip spot for my foot. It’s made by Fiskars. (I received no $ for saying this, or even a discount, by golly!)







a C.S.A. subscription doesn’t get you a new magazine…..does it?

Several months ago, I visited my oldest daughter in Arlington, VA and realized I’d had a little more influence on her than I knew:  she’s a farmer.  However, living in a 3rd floor condo with only a small balcony, she’s pretty limited in her crops.  Herbs and micro-greens in the south-facing windows limped through the winter, but her seeds for heirloom veggies were already thriving under a homemade hothouse on the balcony.

last of fresh brussels sprouts from my garden

Boy was I PROUD!  Then when the fridge opened, I saw she had a garden there, too…….all kinds of greens and other winter produce.  But she didn’t grow them in the Fridgidaire.  She’s part of a C.S.A. that delivers a couple times of week to locations in her area.  She hops on the D.C. Metro to pick up her “share,” including various fruits and vegetables and herbs, eggs, meats, including fresh fish and oysters, artisanal breads and cheese, even “kitty milk,” which is raw milk.  C.S.A.’s, or Community Sustained Agriculture is a growing trend, especially in urban areas where land is scarce and valuable.  Families band together and promise to buy from local growers as a subscription, either monthly or annually or by the season.  They then will receive FRESH, seasonal produce, often with recipes and ideas how to use these ingredients of a healthy diet.



My physician is convinced nutrition is the key to wellness and last year she asked me to start a C.S.A. with home delivery for our area.  We have a great little farmer’s market already, but many of her patients are unable to make it the few hours on Saturday morning it is open because of soccer games or other conflicts.  Thank goodness, my friend (and formerly my editor at Houston House and Home Magazine) of AUTHENTIC LIVING Donna Mosher let me know she’s taken up the slack. THANKS, DONNA!  Jolie Vue is one of the local farms now offering home delivery of produce.



Next week I’ll introduce you to the owners of a C.S.A. – Home Sweet Farm – I visited working on the next book in my HEIRLOOMS series, HEIRLOOM EDIBLES FOR TODAY.  Their motto?   “We grow righteous FOOD,” and boy do they ever!  I think their love of the land and the people they meet sharing their bounty will inspire you, as it has me.  Going to pick up your produce weekly at a designated drop-off (or your local farmer’s market) might be a more affordable alternative to home delivery.  Even better, folks were out at the farm, helping to pick their OWN produce while I was there.  They were actually enjoying the task, laughing together as they picked their peck of peppers, as yet un-pickled. (Which, by the way, I’ll give you FARMER BRAD‘S recipe for those next week, too!)  So maybe the combination of laughter (“the BEST medicine”) and sweating together in the near 100 degree temps will count  as my aerobic activity for the day.  What do you think, Dr. Davis???

heirloom sweet bell pepper ripening on the vine at HomeSweetFarm

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