Our monthly garden club meeting ended with a short trip down the street to Motherherbs. Motherherbs is a home based nursery owned by Mrs. Valerie (Val) Nolen. Her home and nursery is situated on four acres in the Cedar Hill, TX.
Before owning Motherherbs, she worked at Petal Pusher, a local nursery, for fifteen years. Petal Pusher is now closed, but was one of my favorite places to visit because of its secret room, which I found absolutely fascinating. I remember being so excited when I stumbled upon it, I immediately called my mother and described it to her. It reminded me of the play rooms we used to make in pine trees that had been cut down. But nothing we kids could have imagined was as awe inspiring as the secret room at Petal Pusher Nursery. I was equally as thrilled to learn that Val had helped design and build the secret room. I asked what inspired them to do it. She replied that the the owner of Petal Pusher was a fan of the book, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, published in 1910. One day they decided to create a room on the nursery grounds. The room had a real door, windows and furniture, while the walls were vegetation(see photo below). It was also used for meetings of local organizations.
Motherherbs carries an extensive number of plants. The plants are used for vegetable gardening and landscaping. Val receives her plants from a distributor as well as growing many of them.
Motherherbs has an eclectic collection of garden accessories. There's a good combination of rustic as well as refined items. On display, Val had cleverly used vintage items.
Much of the nursery is covered by canopy which is strung with tealights; making the nursery a pleasant place to relax and browse in the evening.
Located: 1007 West Beltline Road
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Open: Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Note: Val will be designing a space at Dallas Arboretum.
We had a great time at the garden club meeting. We learned new ways of eating healthy. Our speaker was Cresanda Allen (see photo below) a local educational consultant and environmentalist. Mrs. Allen prepared recipes for us to sample, which included juicing. She also shared her extensive knowledge about alkaline levels in our foods, its effects on our bodies and how to test the alkaline levels in our bodies. Our Community Director Aranda Bell, prepared a healthy salad and delicious turkey chili. After the meeting we took a walk through the garden.
The chicken wire gives support for cucumber.
Tomatoes and cucumbers growing in raised garden bed.
Keren picks a cucumber.
My husband and youngest daughter relaxing near garden.
Last week the city of Cedar Hill had mulch delivered to community garden. I was there to meet a group of volunteers. However, the group rescheduled, but a few other gardeners and I spread some mulch anyway. My daughter and I had a lot fun (as you can see below) on the mulch pile.
Double-tap to edit.
Sweet potatoes, I believe are the perfect food.
I really love sweet potatoes, so I decided to plant them this year instead of the Yukon Gold potatoes I planted last year. I had purchased the Yukon Golds from the garden center, however, this year, I couldn't find sweet potato plants anywhere locally. Sprouts Farmers market sells the best tasting sweet potatoes.
I purchased the potatoes. Then I put them in a bag under my sink so they could sprout. They took longer than I expected to sprout, but once they did, I planted them in the community garden.
See photos below to follow this process.
This is a post I wrote last year but didn't publish. It rained the whole month of May. The vegetables did great last summer.
May 31st. The first day and first Sunday in the month with no rain. It was exciting. We tried to spend all day outside. Later that evening we went to the community garden. I could see the effects of continuous rain with little sunshine.
The potatoes were also flatten and some potatoes were sticking out of the dirt.
Above, the tomatoes had grown so much that they were over shadowing the onions and garlic along the sides of the plots. And the bamboo stakes I had used were overpowered by the wild tomato limbs. Luckily there was some extra wire stored behind the garden shed. We put it around the tomatoes to pull them back inside the plot. Now, hopefully, the onions, garlic and other vegetables will have a chance to get some sunlight.
The following three photos are from one of the other plots in the community garden. I don't think I had ever seen tomatoes like these.
My daughter and I went to the community garden one evening and found this plant next to the swiss chard. I knew that gardeners had been cleaning out their gardens, so I wondered if the Texas wind had blown it into our garden plot. Then I checked Glip, the message board that the garden club uses, and saw a message to me from Mr. Freidell. His family has plot 21, right next to ours.
After some research the garden club members learned that it wasn't a good idea to plant asparagus with other plants. They found a place in another plot to plant all of it.
Here's a link and photo from Kitchen Gardeners International. It has some very good information about asparagus. http://kgi.org/planting-asparagus-crowns
Our community garden started composting a few years ago. However, at one of our monthly meetings, we had a woman who is an employee from Home Depot and former employee Texas A&M speak to us about composting. We learned that we were cold composting, which is basically throwing all our vegetation in a pile and waiting for it to break down, which could take years.
I've chosen to go with the hot method for composting because it's faster. I'm expecting it to take about a month. My daughter and I have layered browns and greens; that is alternating about six inches of things like dead leaves with about six inches of grass clippings, coffee grounds, etc. We will take the temperature of the mixture every couple of days and turn it. Will keep posting until it's completed.
Keren watering each layer of leaves and grass.
I have a weakness for greens, as you can tell.
The leaves of the brussel sprouts cover the tiny cabbage like vegetable growing underneath on its stalk.
a closer look at the young sprouts not ready for harvesting.
Welcome to my gardening blog. My father passed to me a love for gardening. I wanted to share this passion with my girls, so they would know the origin of their food. (not the local grocery store). So, I dedicated myself to giving them what my father gave me--- because sometimes we strive so hard to give our children what we didn't have that we fail to give them the treasures that we do possess.