2020 was a tough year to get out and do anything, and it looks like the beginning of 2021 (at least) is going to be about the same. I know many parks and hiking trails have been closed, which has made it difficult to enjoy the outdoors beyond the backyard. Thankfully, many gardens have created virtual garden tours!!
On the positive, these digital excursions have been a blessing for someone like me. It’s extremely rarely I ever get to do anything besides work, chores, or a little shopping. I have enjoyed being able to go on these ‘tours’.
Below is a YouTube playlist I created with a roundup of garden tours from around the world. Visit the organization’s channel if you’d like to see more garden goodness!
Click the icon (3 lines with an arrow) in the top right corner of the video to see the full playlist.
I recently heard on a news story that the biggest resolution Americans make is to get healthy. It was also noted, that of any country, American’s are the least likely to keep their resolutions!
They attributed this fault to creating too large of a goal. There are many ways to become healthy such as: exercising, eating whole foods, meditating, stretching, or drinking more water. It’s much better to focus on one aspect!
The other top New Year’s resolutions included getting organized, learning a new skill, saving more money, quitting smoking, and traveling more, which might not be a popular resolution for 2021!
I’m here to tell you, New Years resolutions can include goals for your garden!
The most important step to a New Year’s resolution to create the ‘why’ since this will be the motivator. You may want to plant more native plants in your yard because:
Always write down your ‘why’s’ underneath your goal and refer back to them. Really think about each why and envision what that looks like in real life.
Gardening resolutions are great because there’s plenty of time to plan for your garden escapade before spring arrives. However, it’s a good idea to start planning now in case you need any supplies. Visioning your goals also helps when it comes time to actually take action!
If you need help in your garden this year, contact EARTHeim soon to get on my schedule! January and February are the perfect times.
These are the basic 6 gardening tools I couldn’t live without. I’ve tested a lot of tools out there, and as a professional landscaper and avid home gardener, these are the ones that I recommend. Buying quality items up front will save money in the long run and reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill.
I had this trowel for years with constant use and it’s still in great condition. There are so many cheap trowels out there that’ll bend or rust with little use. For this trowel, it will cost 2 or 3 times the price as a cheap one, but this one should last many years longer and will be much easier to use.
This shovel is a solid piece of steel. Many shovels have handles that are wood or fiberglass, which attach to the metal head. This one is a completely solid, which means it is not going to fall apart or bend. If you’re going to be doing some heavy digging or are hard on tools, this is the one you want!
For a less expensive option, I’ve used the Kobalt shovel from Lowes that works great too. It is not meant for heavy use. I’ve already broken one (which with the Kobalt guarantee, was replaced by Lowes for free!). I also know this shovel’s limits. I can tell when the wood handle has too much pressure on it. At that point, I know when I need to use the solid steel shovel. If you only want one tool, go for the solid steel.
These are by far my favorite pruners. They are easy to close and open, are sharp, and comfortable to use. As with all tools, they must be cared for. You can buy replacement blades if you need to. They come in various sizes and smalls fit my female hands. These are meant for cutting stems 3/4″ or less in diameter.
When I need to cut stems larger than 3/4″, I reach for my pocket saw. You can also use ‘loppers’, but I find them clumsy and don’t use them nearly as often as a folding hand saw. Silky is a professional brand and the blades come in different sizes. I like the larger tooth blade because it’s quicker to use. A finer saw blade is appropriate for some applications, but will take longer to saw through.
Replacement blades can be purchased.
These tubtrugs are fantastic! They have recently rebranded into Gorilla Tub. I use the large 10 gallon tub to collect debris as a I pull weeds. It’s large enough to hold quite a bit, but small enough to carry around or put into a garden cart. They can also hold water, tools, produce, rocks, plants, and soil. They’re also food safe! They are tough too. Mine get used consistently with abuse and still holding up 100%. Cheaper versions I’ve used do not last like these. They also have comfortable handles, are stackable, and are flexible so they won’t break. They’re also nice to hold groceries in the back of the car. I’ve even used one to rescue a turtle!
So many hoses are not functional. They usually leak, or kink. I’ve not had that issue with the water right hoses and I own several. Even better, they are drinking water safe! Many hoses have lead in them. This is good if you’re water edible plants, filling pet’s water, or the bird bath.
I also like these because they’re lightweight. I can’t go on enough about these hoses. A 25′ one is pretty short and good if you need one right on the back patio or front porch. A 50′ would probably be ok for a fairly small yard. A 100′ should go to the back of an average 1/3 acre lot, or around the side of a house. The coiled hose is nice, but I’d only get it if what I was watering was a straight shot away from the spigot. They’re impossible to maneuver through a garden or around stuff.
As a bonus, they come in pretty colors!
One thing to note, these are slim hoses. Many pressure washers need a larger diameter hose. So do your research on this before purchasing any type of hose.
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Egg salad is good at anytime of the day, but I think it makes for a perfect brunch. It’s a seasonally appropriate dish in the spring as well. When people lived off the land more than they do now, eggs were usually in over abundance in the spring. Egg salad is a good way to use up a lot of eggs. Add in some fresh chopped herbs and you can vary its seasonings. Fresh tarragon, dill, or chives I think are very fitting.
Chives are one of my favorite herbs. They certainly add a kick on top of a baked potato. Chives are in flower right now, and those flowers are edible! They have a lighter flavor than the actual chive.
There are several types of chives. Chives are part of the onion, or Allium, family, which makes them a nice ornamental plant too. They grow from a bulb underground. The chives we typically find are Allium schoenoprasum. The leaf and the flower stalks are all edible. They flower purple and are most commonly found at garden centers in the herb section. I have not had luck starting these from seed, unless the seed I ordered was bad. Chives are delicate and should be used as a fresh herb or garnish.
Then you have Garlic or Chinese chives, Allium tuberosum. They also grow from a bulb underground. The leaves are flat, but the flower stalks are round. It flowers white later in the summer, and is always covered in pollinators! I grew these easily from seed and they do reseed around the garden quite well. They can be cooked like a vegetable and used in stir-fry. They have a light garlic flavor and can be used similarly to the other chive. These chives can also be used as a fresh herb.
Scallions, also known as green onions, are different than chives, but they are still in the Allium family. They are also known as bunching onions, Allium fistulosum, which is the name you’ll look for if purchasing seed. Scallions are the green parts of young onions, which grow by roots in the ground. I love scallions on top of soups or Mexican casseroles.
I love them all and it’s worthwhile growing all of them for different uses and flavors. I keep all these in my garden plus shallots (Allium cepa aggregatum), garlic (Allium sativum), and regular onions (Allium cepa)! Beyond that, there are ornamental alliums too such as ‘Millennium’, and the spring flowering Allium bulbs such as ‘Globemaster’.
This short lesson in Alliums may have you hungry, so whip up some egg salad and look up some Allium species you may want to grow in your garden.
Egg Salad Recipe