Sunday, March 27, 2011

Container Gardening Magazines

Walked down to Barnes & Noble this morning to get the paper and decided to check out the gardening magazines. It was snowing this morning and my hydroponic gardens are still packed away so it might be the only gardening fix I get today ;)

I had a conversation a while ago about magazines specifically published about container gardening. The consensus was that there isn't one dedicated to container gardening. Today I found two special issues however and thought I'd share them with you

Southern Living Container Gardening special issue 

Southern Living is running a special issue all on container gardening. Garden Gate also has a special issue out as well

Garden Gate Container Gardening special issue 

I flipped through them, but haven't gotten a chance to read them (back to the unpacking thing). I'll read them this weekend and give you my thoughts and let you know if its worth your money... but I wanted to get them out there in case you're looking for a garden read this week.... 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Great Garlic Transport Part 2: The Transport & Transplant

I didn't want to leave my garlic back in Georgia when I moved to Virginia this week, so I decided to take 3 of the 6 cloves with me. I would have taken all six, but it was really a matter of space.... there is not much room in a Mini to begin with, add in 2 cats, and get the picture.

So my plan was to dig up around the bulb trying to include as much of the dirt it was growing in & place it in a large ziploc bag. I had hoped this would help reduce shock.

Garlic bulbs in ziploc bags 6 days after digging up
I misted the bags and sealed them up. I had fully intended to replant them immediately but the move got in the way, as usually happens. I just got to re-potting them today.

Re-potted garlic after six days
They look a little weak, and just to challenge my poor garlic a little more....they're calling for snow tomorrow morning. Coming for 80 degrees in Atlanta, spending 6 days in transport and then possible snow... I just hope its not too much for the garlic...

We'll just have to wait and see

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Great Garlic Transport: The Beginning

The "Stinking Rose" it might possibly be my favorite fresh ingredient to have on hand!

Have you ever grown your own garlic? Just taken an extra clove from your dinner and stuck it in the ground to see what happens?

If you're even slightly inclined to do this, you MUST READ "Garlic Is Life" by Chester Aaron

Life is Garlic by Chester Aaron
Chester is a former teacher and has written several other books before becoming a serious garlic grower at 65. He currently grows over 93 different types of garlic in Northern California. Who knew there were 93 different types of garlic?!?!?!  This book is like sitting down with an old friend with a glass of wine (and probably some wonderful food with lots of garlic) and just talking for hours about gardening, garlic and life!

So I finally took the plunge this fall and planted several cloves of Siberian Purple Striped Garlic I purchased from Filaree Garlic Farms in Washington State (Filaree Garlic Farms) in the large pot outside that holds my rose bush

Siberian Purple Striped Garlic 
** Interesting:  Garlic and Roses are companion plants. Garlic is known to repel aphids and other pests. So plant a few cloves around your favorite rose bushes and you'll get double benefits, healthy roses and delicious home grown garlic! 

Above is what my garlic "crop" looks like. Out of six planted cloves, I have 5 healthy scapes (the green portion of the bulb that grows up out of the soil is called a scape). The sixth one is barely hanging on....

So here comes the challenge a nomadic urban gardener faces... how do you move your crops hundreds of miles in your small "mini" car????

Plan: Dig up around the bulbs, taking a lot of the dirt with it, and placing it in a large zip lock bag, keeping the scapes exposed.... then I will replant immediately!

The Outcome: Stay tuned to find out how the Great Garlic Transport turns out.....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Vanilla Sunday - Atlanta Botanical Gardens

I had what my boyfriend likes to call a "bing" moment... where he can see the light bulb turn on in my head. I thought I knew where vanilla came from, the vanilla bean. What I guess I had never though about was where that bean came from. I also knew there was a vanilla orchid, but it never occurred to me the two might be related.... so thanks to my favorite place here in Atlanta, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I learned that vanilla comes from an Orchid...don't I feel silly now. 

One of the advantages of being an "urban" gardener is the proximity to everything the city has to offer... in Atlanta that means the Botanical Gardens.  They what I will miss most about this city.  Once a year they have an "Orchid" exhibit. It is absolutely breathtaking. I do think last years was a bit more extravagant, but none the less still an amazing exhibit.

Even the containers in the garden
are beautiful to look at
Since my own garden is in transition and getting ready for the move (more on that later this week) I thought a little tour through the Orchid Exhibit might be nice.  I'm still working on getting pictures into the layout....please bear with me :-)

Entrance to the Botanical Gardens

Lovely fountain with the Atlanta Skyline
in the background

The Tulips are beginning to bloom 

There were hundreds of orchids through
out the entire conservatory

Orchid in front of a fountain

View of the garden with the skyline

Friday, March 11, 2011


Hello!!!! Welcome to my blog! My name is Ali and I love to garden.  I dream of a large plot of land where I can grow everything my heart desires, a large cedar green house to tinker around in.... but alas, I live in the city in an town house. I am currently getting ready to move from Georgia to Virginia, but will simply be relocating to another town the dream remains just that, a dream! 

In the meantime, I find creative ways to indulge my habit.....I mean hobby. 

I especially love growing edibles...herbs and veggies. But I'm hoping to experiment with some flowers and succulents as well. 

So if you're interested in gardening, urban gardening, container gardening or hydroponics, I look forward to sharing these adventures with you!! 

This is a cute little purple flower from my hydropinically grown chili pepper plants...can't wait until it turns into a purple chili pepper!!