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Blog series by MsDebbieP consisting of 32 parts so far

Part 1: I've Learned from GardenTenders: That I Know Very Little ...

06-12-2011 02:38 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

6/12/11 Today, I spent some time outdoors pulling some unwanted plants out of the ground. While contending with the forever persistent bindweed, I contemplated what I have learned about gardening since the beginnings of, just four years ago. As I thought about the many things that I have been introduced to and I looked at my gardens wondering how many of these things I had actually incorporated into my little piece of heaven, I had to admit that I “know” ve...

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Part 2: I learned from GardenTenders that: Gardening the Natural Way

06-14-2011 07:38 AM by MsDebbieP | 1 comment »

6/14/11 Since my “serious” journey into gardening began, after GardenTenders’ beginnings, I have learned that gardening is more than just sticking seeds into the ground, forming straight rows of vegetable plants. My fellow GardenTenders have inspired me to add to my gardens and to grow more of my own food, and I have learned about square foot gardening, permaculture, polycultures, edible forests, and the list goes on. As I usually do, I plunged into each new philoso...

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Part 3: I learned from GardenTenders to ask: Is it a weed?

06-15-2011 07:46 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

6/15/11 A weed is any plant that is growing where you don’t want it to and/or is taking over a space and you don’t want it to…. or something like that. In the olden days, time before GardenTenders, I had lots of weeds—lots and lots of weeds! Weeds in the grass, weeds in the garden (notice that garden was not plural), weeds around trees, weeds.. weeds.. weeds.. and more weeds. It was embarrassing and frustrating! Today, I have fewer weeds, very few actually, al...

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Part 4: SPICE of Life: Social Interactions

07-29-2010 05:32 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

July 29/10 Most of us have heard the phrase about the spice of life. I’m not sure what the original ending of that phrase is, but, when I was working as an Early Childhood Educator, I turned it into an acronym to help me plan for and assess the development of the whole child. I still use it when working with clients and yesterday I was thinking how it also applies to gardening and I thought that it would make a nice series of articles. So here we go: Social Interactions are a spic...

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Part 5: SPICE of LIFE: Physical Development

07-30-2010 04:16 PM by MsDebbieP | 12 comments »

July 30/10 The second component of the “SPICES of Life”, in my assessment tool, is “Physical Development”. I think this is an easy one to see—being a gardener means bending, stretching, lifting, and pulling; it means sweating and lots of small muscle work including picking up tiny seeds. I know that for me, the winter season equals a lot of “couch potato” time, working at the computer, reading, and writing. I’m not a winter sports perso...

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Part 6: The SPICE of Life: Intellectual

08-03-2010 03:12 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

August 3/10 The third component of the SPICES of Life assessment is “Intellectual” development. Gardening definitely is an asset in this area! Just think about all that you learn about plants, plant care, and plant identification. As gardeners we have to plan and organize – using the space that we have, the weather that we have, the type of soil that we have. We have to pay attention to the signs of what works and what doesn’t work in our gardens; we have to pay ...

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Part 7: SPICE of Life: Creativity

08-15-2010 09:01 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Progressing through out “SPICES”, we look at Creativity and the impact gardening has on this area of our development. Creativity is a vital part of living a healthy life. It comes into play with problem-solving, with envisioning possibilities, and with expressing one’s inner self, (to name a few areas). As gardeners, we are constantly being creative – from planning our gardens regarding contents as well as lay-out, to finding ways to work with Mother Nature. Ther...

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Part 8: SPICE of Life: Emotional

08-29-2010 03:11 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

... as we make our way through our SPICES of Life, we come to “e” – emotional development. As we garden, I am sure that most of us experience a wide variety of emotions, from joy, to frustration, and even anger at times (argh those rabbits). There is a soothing element to gardening, providing a wonderful stress relief in our busy lives. Perhaps, the greatest gift that gardening gives us a positive self-esteem. Psychologists will tell you that the best way to raise your...

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Part 9: SPICE of Life: Spiritual

09-21-2010 11:41 AM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

I almost forgot to finish off this SPICES of LIFE Series! The last developmental aspect of gardening is “Spirituality”. For me, this means: appreciating and respecting nature; it means being in awe of the little things such as a new bud on a flower or a sprout forcing its way through the ground; it means treasuring all things as gifts; it is the “giving back” part of the reciprocal relationship with all things; it is that feeling of connectedness w...

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Part 10: Sculptures: Flower Sculptures

07-27-2010 05:14 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

July 28/10 Today, I went and purchased the last piece of metal fencing that I needed to wrap around my pond (and keep the dogs out.) We went to a “local” metal artist (local = 45 min. drive). I should have taken photos of all of his work. I love it. Anyway, I picked up a couple sculptures while there. I spent the afternoon (in this heat) carrying them around the yard, trying spot after spot, after spot.. to find their new home. Flower & Bug Flower 2(I’...

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Part 11: Sculptures: "Him & Her"

07-20-2011 12:48 PM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

7/20/11 Yesterday, we made a trip to the Goderich area and on the way “to” our destination I spotted a business that had metal sculptures. On the way “from” I had to stop in. The variety ranged from extraordinary (and pricey, for me) creations to amazing and affordable ones. I came home with two: 1. this sign is similar to the logo that I have used for my “Gathering Place”.It’s not on a wall yet and apparently it is in Jasmine’s way!!.....

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Part 12: Sculptures: Ice Sculptures

10-28-2011 08:37 AM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

We got a big hit of “cold” this morning. The furnace kicked in and the outdoors was covered with ice crystals. I was able to capture these images before things melted.

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Part 13: Turtle Island: The Before Picture

01-10-2008 01:17 PM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Jan. 10, 2008 A goal for 2008, for me, is to focus on one flowerbed and fill it with the shrubs and flowers that I want for years to come. The selected garden is the “triangle” between the two paths that I put in the backyard last year. At the south point of the triangle is my rock “turtle” which I have planted blue fescue around to simulate water. The furthest line of the triangle will run from the rock on the top right of the picture which is the first r...

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Part 14: Turtle Island: The Schematic

01-11-2008 12:39 PM by MsDebbieP | 17 comments »

One step closer, I made a little visual of the layout for my garden of the year. I have yet to determine what plants I want to include but this will give me an idea of how many types of plants I will need to fill the space. I hope so anyway. Input is greatly appreciated.

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Part 15: Turtle Island: "Breaking Ground"

04-07-2008 10:40 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

April 7, 2008 (pictures to come soon) Phew.. am I ever sweaty! Today I went to the nursery to get some soil for my triangle garden. They filled the bed of my pick up and i started wondering whether I had bitten off more than I can chew!! While I was there i also purchased a tree for the focal point. I wanted one that would take on an umbrella shape and just asked what they had. The lady pointed out three options that they had available at this early stage and I selected a “Weep...

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Part 16: Turtle Island: Another Path

04-16-2008 06:54 PM by MsDebbieP | 21 comments »

April 16, 2008 Today I dug another path and laid out flat rocks for stepping stones. I have now created the “triangle” around my flower bed. I know.. I know.. you want pictures….

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Part 17: Turtle Island: The Rise and Fall...

07-01-2008 12:48 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

July 1, 2008 shhhh! Don’t tell Martin (founder of our sites) but I’ve been outside working on my gardens when I should have been finishing the “now overdue” eMag for LumberJocks. But here’s the deal: as I was writing the eMag I was reminded that for the past 8 months I’ve been advertising that I was going to host a picnic this summer. Oh yes, I had totally forgotten, so just imagine the look on my ghost-white face when I saw the date: July 13. Ah yah,...

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Part 18: Turtle Island: Transformed

07-03-2008 09:49 AM by MsDebbieP | 22 comments »

July 3, 2008 Ok everyone, here is what I was working on when I should have been doing the LumberJocks’ eMag. Here is what I was doing when I DID have a working internet and what was I left to do the eMag when the internet WASN’T working. (And yes, I did get the newsletter finished. I have a great boss—who gave me to the end of the week. Thanks Martin!) Back to my triangle garden. A little history: my goal for the year as to work on my vegetable garden and only one fl...

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Part 19: Edible Weeds: Why Eat Weeds?

06-10-2012 01:34 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Why Eat Weeds? Why not? I had a conversation with my daughter yesterday about this subject. We went through the “eww” stage and then into the “yah but” stage … “but” ... we plant lettuce to eat“but” ... lettuce is just a plant, the same as a so-called weed“but” ... lettuce is just a leafy green the same as a so-called weed“but” ... we want tasty food … and the so-called weeds seem to have more flavour...

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Part 20: Edible Weeds: Curly Dock

06-10-2012 09:42 AM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

Curly Dock When mature, it looks like a wild horseradish plant (to me, anyway). Since horseradish an asset around fruit trees, I figured the curly dock must also be, as well. A little research tells me that there is a whole lot goodness with this weed: the leaves, when young, are edible and have a lemony flavour (confirmed) the seeds can be roasted and used as a coffee alternative a bruised leaf/stem can be used as a stinging nettle “remedy”, if you get into the st...

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Part 21: Edible Weeds: Lamb's Quarters

06-10-2012 09:55 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Lamb’s Quarters—one of the few plants that, for me, is easily recognized as a weed. Huh—one of the few weeds that I know is a weed and now I find out that it is edible and highly nutritious! The Goodness sow as a green fertilizer can be juiced seeds can be used for a porridge steam leaves as you would spinach (steaming recommended) anti-gas benefits when eaten with beans nutrition: leaves contain about 3.9% protein, 0.76% fat, 8.93% carbohydrate, 3% ash ...

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Part 22: "No Impact Man" - the Documentary

06-20-2011 07:31 AM by MsDebbieP | 18 comments »

6/20/11 This morning (early this morning), I watched the documentary “No Impact Man” and it, of course, got me thinking about my choices, my lifestyle, and, mostly, what I can and would give up or change in my life. Over the past decade (well, probably my whole life, really, on a lesser level) I have been conscious of my actions and the environment and have tried to make a difference – on a small scale. I’m not fanatical about my environmental choices but I try. ...

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Part 23: Bonfire Breakfasts: October 08

10-25-2008 03:03 PM by MsDebbieP | 22 comments »

October 25, 2008 This morning was Bonfire Breakfast. Bright and early (7 AM) family arrived to enjoy our “traditional” bonfire breakfast together. Ok, so the sky wasn’t bright – but it was early! Actually, it was pitch black out and we had the privilege of experiencing Mother Nature’s washing of the world (yes, it was a rainy morning). Our gazebo (that we had built for such weather conditions) is currently holding some big gourds during their drying proc...

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Part 24: Bonfire Breakfasts: A New Addition...

12-05-2008 09:28 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

December 5, 2008 Rick and I are working on a new addition to our yard. I don’t have photos of the progress thus far so I’m just going to leave you with a teaser. The project is related to this:

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Part 25: 100 Mile Diet: On a Snowy Day ...

01-29-2011 01:00 PM by MsDebbieP | 33 comments »

Jan 29/11 Today, Saturday, is a beautiful snowy day outside but I have spent it indoors. I might still get outside but I don’t feel like the day has been wasted by any means. First of all, I put my new washer-and-dryer to the test of washing some big blankets. (Oh how I struggled to get things clean in my old washer. What a treasure this new machine is.) But the biggest thrill is when I pull things out of the dryer and they don’t feel hot. The sensor tells when the items are...

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Part 26: Big Event 2012: Planning Begins

09-11-2011 09:53 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

9/11/11 One year from now, on September 9th, 2012, I will be hosting a “big event”, a get-together for GardenTenders, LumberJocks, and HomeRefurbers. While crossing my fingers that a manageable number of people attend, I have moved from initial planning stages to action. Canadale had a sale on fall-flowering perennials and, needing an outing, we headed to St. Thomas to see what I could find. Probably not the best bargains out there but sometimes you just got to do what yo...

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Part 27: Big Event 2012: RSVP Time

01-14-2012 02:56 AM by MsDebbieP | 23 comments »

The “Big Event” is a get-together I am hosting for members of GardenTenders, LumberJocks, and HomeRefurbers. Due to limited space I would like to know how many people are expecting to attend. I realize that things can happen between now and September but a “maximum” number would be very helpful. I will then contact everyone in the summer for final confirmation of attendance and to provide directions. Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012Time: afternoon (flexible times)Loc...

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Part 28: Big Event 2012: Confirming Attendees

07-05-2012 04:59 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

July 5/12 Just doing a final confirmation of attendees: Jroot +1 Iris Bon +1 Erika Horsetail Harold & Pam Sharad Daltxguy (maybe) and… ? Anyone else?

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Part 29: Big Event 2012: Getting Closer

08-29-2012 06:38 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

August 29/12 The “Big Event” is getting closer!!! It is almost September and then Sept. 9th is just around the corner. I’ve been a busy lady lately, between canning tomatoes, visiting friends up north, and family stuff (last week was pretty much spent at the hospital with my Mom – gall bladder issues) I have had little time to spend tending to the gardens. My plan had been to work hard at cleaning up the yard this week to get it all pretty (had to use the P w...

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Part 30: Big Event 2012: It's Tomorrow!

09-08-2012 08:59 AM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

Aug. 8/12 Tomorrow is the big day—some LumberJocks’ and GardenTenders’ members are making their way to SW Ontario to chat about, well, woodworking and gardening! Earlier this week we had hot and humid weather, with the temperature hovering around the 30C mark. This weekend we have rain and a temperature drop down to 19C. I’m crossing my fingers that the rain has cleared by noon tomorrow. Looking forward to wonderful conversation and wisdom-sharing!

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Part 31: Big Event 2012: Get-Together 2012

09-10-2012 05:45 AM by MsDebbieP | 29 comments »

September 10, 2012 Yesterday was the “big event” and what a lovely afternoon it was! Perhaps most importantly was the fact that it didn’t rain. Yippee!! There was total of 10 people in attendance, including myself and Rick, my daughter Jenn (a GardenTenders member) and my grandson. Visitors were: Andy (a LumberJock) Daltxguy, Horsetail, TunesandTails, Iris and her friend the Lurker (who I am sure will join one day .. and will always be known to me as Theresa, I donR...

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Part 32: Edible Weeds+ : Hostas?? and...

12-08-2012 07:48 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Check out this list of edible … flowers hostas, daylillies, dahlias …. really? LINK

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gardening is a journey, a journey of learning how to connect with and support Mother Nature

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