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February 2012 • Southern Rural Route

I have long been fascinated with succulents and purchased a plant or two over the years. This year I discovered in a gardening catalog that I could grow succulents from seed. Wellllll … there is just nothing to compare with growing something from seed (“Oh look at my babies!”). I ordered two packets. A sempervivum blend (seeds originating in Germany) and a rare succulent mix … Read More

The Duval County Extension Agent put on another fabulous event Saturday, February 25th from 9:00 until 2:30. It was called A Day of Gardening and I’ve got to give their secretary, Becky Davidson, some major kudos for organizing our registration packets, by name, with the Agenda glued to the front of the 9×12 envelope and all of our color-coded handouts inside. That must have … Read More

I believe Spring has announced its arrival. The redbuds, dogwoods and a few azaleas are in bloom.  Additionally, we had an Alfred Hitchcock afternoon on our property Monday, February 20. There must have been 200 birds in the trees, on the ground, and all of them chattering at once. A smaller flock came through on Wednesday. The 200 were a combination of robins and a solid black … Read More

Sometimes the neighbors just don’t cooperate. Year after year, they faithfully put their recycle bin at the curb and you don’t think anything of it until you need it to be out there because you want to rummage through it. Yessiree bob, I wanted a white bleach jug to cut into plant markers for my seed tray and that is precisely when the neighbors stopped recycling. I suwanee. … Read More

I just finished reading Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes (2010). I wish the subtitle had been Reclaiming Self-Reliance from a Consumer Culture so that it would have been more than a women’s book. Hayes asked who “the economy” is for and defined the economy of the last 5,000 years as an extractive economy – where corporate … Read More

The romance novel, Gone With The Wind, brings to mind fair maidens swooning under the magnolia tree. If you need to get your swoon on for dramatic effect, we have the obligatory Southern Magnolia, magnolia grandiflora, in our front yard. Described as “beloved by gardeners,” I want you to know that’s a lie. Here are my issues with the most famous of all the swooner trees: 1.   … Read More

Isn’t this the most clever seed packet ever? I read about this Colorado seed company, Botanical Interests, in Urban Farm magazine. According to their website, their seed packet is loaded with practical information, inside and out. Outside: Beautiful illustration of the variety Common name, variety and botanical name Critical information on the front of the packet Plant … Read More