Hyssop: Why You Need to Plant This Herb

Hyssop is a beautiful, fragrant member of the mint family.

The Amber Lily – Hyssop Seeds

It germinates easily and grows quickly to a height of 30-60 cm and a width of 20-40 cm. It is a decorative, aromatic, shrub-like perennial, with spikes of thin, dark green leaves and blue to purple flowers. The flowers are abundant all summer and fall, and are beautiful in cut flower arrangements.

Start seeds indoors in March; transplant or seed outdoors in April, May, and June. Lightly cover seeds with soil; keep moist. Space 20-40 cm apart. Moderate water, but also drought tolerant. Full sun to partial shade.

Perennial. Attracts butterflies and bees.

The Amber Lily – Hyssop Seeds

Spider Plants are Great for Terrariums!

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The Amber Lily – Spider Plant

Spider plants are so easy to grow, require little water and maintenance, and add a beautiful, unique style of leaf to a terrarium, miniature garden, or fairy garden.

A terrarium is a tightly closed, clear glass or plastic container filled with small plants (Figure 1). It also has come to mean an open, transparent container for growing and displaying plants. … When properly planted and located, they provide a novel way to grow many plants with minimal care. …

Closed, open or dish garden?
The first step in planning a terrarium is to decide whether it will be open (no lid or cover) or closed. Closed terrariums retain the most humidity, followed by open terrariums and then dish gardens. Open terrariums and dish gardens require more frequent watering than do closed, but danger of disease buildup is greater in the latter because of higher humidity. …

A closed terrarium normally will not need water for 4 to 6 months. The failure of condensation to form on the inside of the container or the presence of wilting plants indicates the need for water. Open terrariums need watering occasionally but not as frequently as other houseplants. A dish garden, unless it is the desert type, will need frequent watering. Waterings must always be light. Because terrariums have no external drainage, heavy waterings result in standing water in the gravel and charcoal, which encourages root diseases. The gravel and charcoal may help overcome occasional light overwaterings, but frequent heavy watering will inactivate the system. When watering a closed terrarium, don’t replace the cover until wet foliage has dried.

Never overwater. Excess water is almost impossible to remove. Better a little too dry than too wet. …

Source: Terrariums, by David H. Trinklein, University of Missouri

How-To Instructions:

Other terrarium ideas:

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Handworks by Rhonda – Tear Drop Diamond Cut – Stained Glass – Terrariums
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SNL Creations – Geometric Air Plant Holder Stained Glass Hanging Terrarium
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Vintage Penny Lane – Bulk Lot of Sea Glass, Lake Ontario Beach Finds

Good Gardening Soil

Question: What is the best gardening soil for a large garden bed?

We bought mushroom manure three years ago for about $35 per yard, plus a small delivery fee. The company dumped it in front our house, and we used our wheelbarrows to move it where we wanted. I wasn’t sure at first because I had read conflicting information, but it was the best looking soil, compost, and mulch mix for the lowest price. It turned out to be amazing for all of our flowers, herbs, and vegetables. We had a huge difference in growth and production between the plants that got mushroom manure and the ones that didn’t. It also looked great! I highly recommend it.

Back to Eden

We first watched “Back to Eden” by Paul Gautschi three years ago. It really resonated with us! Paul encourages a no-till, organic, non-GMO garden, with a covering of mushroom manure compost and wood chips. We were already doing most of those things, but the last two were new to us. We gave it a try, and realized immediately the benefits he describes. The weeds became easy to pull because the soil was loose. Our plants grew really well and produced fruits and vegetables abundantly. We didn’t have to water as often because the wood chips held moisture.

Naturally, it takes time to build a great garden, and after three years, we have realized a few things. Firstly, Paul mentions digging up thistles, and we should have done that as well as dug up the dandelions and wild grasses. No amount of paper or wood chips stopped those weeds, and even if we didn’t pull everything, we should have been more diligent than we were to prepare the area. Secondly, our plants that grew the best were already started in pots of good soil or perennials, and we did have to apply fertilizer to help them get established. Paul notes in the video that that is to be expected at first. A lot of seeds have not germinated, even though I’ve tried not to plant them in the wood chips. Finally, we still water quite a bit compared to the implication in the video, but I assume that is to be expected for now as well.

Overall, however, the benefits are greater than the difficulties. We will continue adding mushroom manure and wood chips, and learning how to make our garden better each year. It is amazing how much food we are able to grow in a small space with minimal time and effort. I encourage you to watch the video, and I hope you enjoy it too!