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Posted on 03 June 2010 by

Thyme a Culinary and Medical Herb

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thyme1By By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Thyme was an herb I discovered years ago when I was an Agriculture Instructor at a high school.

I had gone to a greenhouse in search of some unique plant material for container arrangements.

As I walked through the greenhouses I brushed up against a plant and found an olfactory heaven.

Thyme is one of those plants that the less your fuss with it the better it does. Also thyme likes dry soil and as a matter of fact wet or damp soils can cause root rot and create a perfect home for ants. Thyme also does well in cracks of rock walls or along stepping stones. It has also been used to create a “thyme lawn” whose aroma when stepped on fills the area with a Mediterranean breeze.

This plant is an aromatic shrub that grows 6-10” in height. The vegetation is gray-green to green that grows on woody stems that produce flowers that range from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 16 May 2010 by

How to Grow a A Taste of Sicily with a Pizza Garden

pizza-gardenBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

A few years ago my husband worked for a man that was from Sicily who managed a pizza parlor.

Through this business he made American versions of calzones, ravioli, and pizza.

His dishes were always in demand but his craft never really showed through until we were invited to his home.

Sal was from a small village in Sicily where his grandfather taught him how to cook using local ingredients. Fresh mozzarella from the surrounding farms, basil, and tomatoes were the staples for Sal and his family. Sal’s grandfather taught him the art of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 14 May 2010 by

How to Grow Mint & Make Mint Julep

mintBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Mint is a very invasive plant that needs some form of restraint.

What makes it invasive is what also makes it easy to grow.

Mint can be started by seeds, cuttings, simply bending a branch to the ground and rooting, or by roots.

That is why restraining this herb is so important. Restraining can take the form of growing in a container or using landscape edging to surround the plant. But regardless of what type of control you choose one must always contain this herb.

Mint is a very good herb to start out with as a beginner gardener. It grows in all soil types, weather, and moisture level while it does prefer it on the dry side but will grow in moist conditions.

Keep in mind if you Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 02 April 2010 by

Plant Duality – Flowering Kale, Ornamental Cabbage and Pansies (Part 2)

pansiesBy By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Read Part 1 of 2-part article.


These lovely plants are one of my favorites and bring memories flowing back about my great-grandmother’s garden.

Every Easter her yard was full of voila, which are a pansy, and flower boxes full of Johnny Jump Ups and pansies.

Every fall painted the same picture with the coolness of the up coming winter.

Now days I plant pansies as a way of treating my gardening itch inexpensively. But again my frugal nature demands duality in my plants and pansies play that part. They provide a splash of color to my garden and create a colorful backdrop to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 01 April 2010 by

Plant Duality – Flowering Kale, Ornamental Cabbage and Pansies (Part 1)

kale2By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

I am always looking for bargains in all aspects of my life and one that I seem to have specialized in is planting plants that serve 2 purposes.

Flowering kale, ornamental cabbage and pansies fit this bill.

Early spring always makes my gardening elbow itch with excitement and anticipation of a new year of gardening. To treat my ailment I go to my favorite seed store and drool over my choices.

What to get, what to get I keep asking myself but my frugal lifestyle always leads me to plants with a double life that is flowering kale, ornamental cabbage, and pansies.

Flowering Kale and Ornamental Cabbage

These plants provide rosy and /or white ornamental foliage to a drab early spring and a splash of color in the fall. They go from seed to mature plant in about 11-14 weeks. Cool weather either spring or fall is needed fro the brightest color and planted in mass or as an edging enhances this color. But visual stimulation is not the only use for these plants they also address the palate.

Greens, Grits, and Country Ham with Red-eyed Gravy

Ingredients for greens dish Read the rest of this entry »

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