Overflowing Garden

I planted some butternut squash in one raised bed but it decided to overrun that bed and 3 others then start taking up the walkways. There are 6 or so fruits and more on the way. Many of these leaves are close to 2 feet across and the flower is over 6″ across.

Thankfully, I found out that I can eat the leaves like grape leaves. Blanche them and roll up a filling inside.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Herbal Materia Medica Course

I have started taking a free Herbal Course from The Herbal Academy. It will teach me how to create my own Herbal Materia Medica Book.
–excerpt from Lesson One:
“One of our favorite ways to keep the spark of excitement for our herbal studies is by working on our materia medica. It gives us the opportunity to connect with individual herbs through in-depth study, and to organize what we are learning into plant monographs for future reference. If you haven’t started a materia medica of your own, we highly recommend it as a way to inspire and deepen your herbal knowledge. In support of this process, we have created this Herbal Materia Medica Course to help you create (or add to) your own materia medica!
Materia medica is a Latin term that means “healing materials.” More specifically, in herbalism, a materia medica is a body of knowledge that describes how plants have been used therapeutically. Materia medicas have been recorded and published throughout history, and include both ancient and modern tomes rich with information. Studying both recent and historical materia medicas can be a fascinating way to see how historical herbal traditions have informed modern ones, teasing out the link between new scientific research and modern practice and ancient knowledge and folk tradition.
This course will teach you how to create plant monographs and build your materia medica. By the end of this course:

  • You will know how to study a plant, how to find resources to support your studies, how to interact with a plant to gain first-hand experience with some of its characteristics, and how to evaluate scientific research on plants.
  • You will learn how to research a plant’s names, botany, harvesting guidelines, active constituents, actions, uses, taste and energetics, safety, and herb-drug interactions.
  • You will learn what a plant’s history, habitat, and growing requirements are, informing your understanding of what a plant needs and how you can become a caretaker, even if you aren’t growing the plant yourself.
  • You will gain an introduction to integrating a plant into your life to support wellness by learning about its properties and characteristics.
  • You will have a list of many resources—our favorite books and websites—for your further study of plants and development of your materia medica.
  • You will have several pages completed in your materia medica using our beautiful downloadable pages or our bound Materia Medica Journal!”

I am going to start mine by learning about some plants already growing in my garden. The class said to pick 5 to start with. Mine are:

  • plantain/dock (narrow leaf)
  • marshmallow
  • st john’s wort
  • lamb’s ear
  • florida betony

I will keep you up to date on my weekly learning here. The logo below is a link to this course and others offered.

Herbal AcademyWebsite Link


This is what my husband called it when I had some woodchips delivered to my house. The service was done by an Arborists that are part of Chipdrop service. It saves them time and money and I get woodchips for free.

I received 12 cu yd on Friday May 26th, and am still moving them from the driveway to their needed locations. One of our neighbors even bought a dump cart so he could get some. My fruit trees and garden bed are loving the mulch. It will definitely help hold in moisture between waterings.



Garden Update & Spring Plant Swap

Saturday was the Park Circle Plant Swap here in Charleston, SC. There were a lot of people and plants this time. This spring I was able to bring back: 2 Mexican root bear trees, marigold, pineapple sage, 4 various tomatoes, 2 dill, 2 basil, Cuban oregano, unknown squash, banana, 5 wood sorrel, and a few others.

We stopped by Tractor Supply, I bought tomato and 2 cucumber plants from the Future Farmers of America student stand outside. We went inside and I bought a tomato bag and purple potatoes. I will plant my new purple potatoes in it tomorrow. We also went into Dollar General and bought some mushroom decorations for the garden.

On Sunday I dug up my herb bed, put the plants in pots, laid it out in a new part of the yard and planted most of the above plants in it. I will plant more this week, in Raised Bed 7, scattered throughout the other 6 bed and pots. I planted the purple potatoes in the bag, we’ll see how fast these ones develop and how they taste.

At Northern Tool I bought 2 firewood stands to get the wood off the ground. Then we went to the At Home store I bought a large cement knight chess piece and wind chimes for lawn art.

I post pictures up tomorrow.

Garden Update

We’ve been busy this weekend improving the garden. We went to Bees Ferry and picked up a few loads of compost, to Home Depot for cypress wood mulch, and to various businesses for cardboard.

We laid some landscape timbers around the dwarf fruit trees, set down the cardboard and put the mulch on top. That way it suppresses the grass and weeds and holds moisture in. Gradually, I’ll be planting companion plants around the trees. Like: comfrey, various herbs and flowers that will help the trees and attract pollinators.

I’ve also started more seeds and transplanted others that have gotten too big for the seed starters. Some of the seeds are old (or I’m unsure of the quality), so it hit or miss if they’ll germinate.

Starts: borage, comfrey, broadleaf dock, summer savory, basil dill, beefsteak tomato, yarrow, and bush snap beans.

Transplants: squash (going crazy), moringa, dill, comfrey, marigold.

I am starting a three sisters bed (Native American garden trio). I’m currently waiting for the corn to get 18 inches tall, so I can plant the above beans and then when they start growing up the corn, the squash will be planted. The corn seem to be growing in spurts, some fast, others slow and some none at all, so I’m planting other corn in the place of the ones that don’t want to grow. Here is a link to an article about the three sisters.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Garden Update

Saturday morning we went to Plantasia at Old Towne Creek County Park. The Horticulture Guild was sponsoring the event. I bought 8 plants: a Loquat tree (Japanese plum), elderberry bush, hardy kiwi vine (self-pollinating), sunflower (swamp daisy), 3 tomato plants (various types), Daylilly and an Artemesia (I’ll have to look up its name tomorrow).

After Plantasia, we ate breakfast and headed home. We dropped the plants off, went to the library to get the map and list of all the Yard Sales in Sangaree there were over 30. I did get a few useful items, but most things were knickknacks, clothes and items that we didn’t need.

Yesterday, I planted to tomatoes as they needed the attention. I’ll plant the others in a few days when I ready the beds for them. I’ve been doing lots of seed starting and transplanting to get my garden ready for this year. Some things have worked and other haven’t. I’m constantly learning and have little free time because I have a full time jobs that keeps me quite busy.

I’ll post pictures later today or tomorrow of my progress in the greenhouse and garden.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Garden Update

Saturday I cut down a nuisance tree that was leaning towards my neighbors house, as well as staining my roof and anything under it. It was an Ornamental Bradford Pear, very messy!! It took me and a few others, most of Saturday and part of Sunday to cut it down, cut it up and remove it. Clean up took a while, but we finally finished. I am definitely sore from the different muscles used.
I wasn’t able to get some other items done. I guess I’ll have to do them next weekend. They are: cutting my 4″ pipe into 2′ lengths, drilling holes and placing in raised beds (to add compost for feeding worms); adding dirt to raised bed 3, buying and installing self opening shocks for greenhouse windows, removing sod from around my dwarf fruit trees, etc.