26 November 2011

homemade catnip-- a cinch and stitch of an effort.

i wanted to do something nice for my little fur kid quasi-niece named iris, a cat of a close friend of mine. she isn't too savvy on kitty treats, so her papa suggested i use the catmint in my garden to make her another play toy.

once the catmint dries out after i separate all of the leaves from the thin stems, i'll stuff it into this wildly pink-striped monkey sock with some cotton balls, tie it up sewing-wise with some string and a needle, and gift it to the adored iris.

catmint, the perennial known for catnip-makings, is hardy for our region in pennsylvania. it can sometime take over in gardens, so if you don't want that effect, keep an eye on it and prune it back or thin it out, when need be. it's probably easily transplantable as something to gift to others or relocate in your garden space, too. look for it at garden centers and nurseries from spring to late fall for possibilities in grabbing up this easy-to-grow plant well-capable of tantalizing the inner-temptresses in kitties.

10 November 2011

november half-slumber: a quick-witted greeting.

quick words. willow wood ones.

and smokebush speckles, a glimmer into autumn's appetite.

brevity can say a lot.

with much long overdue affection, the garden harlot.

12 August 2011

august greetings from the garden harlot.

long time no flower ? it has been an incredibly busy set of life-weeks for the garden harlot across the expanse of many jobs, but luckily, they are wonderfully fulfilling ones. 

in the meantime, here is a sampling from my tumblr page of positives, which i have also semi-abandoned for instead working on so many other projects. here, a night embers daylily from my garden graces oxygen and its other friendly elements.

i currently have a fun lil' 10 week series about farms premiering each wednesday on the limerick-royersford-spring city patch site. so far, beyond the introduction, i've featured discussions of the farm to school program, renninger's farm in royersford, and dream come true farm in spring city.

and i started writing for copper in the arts with the copper development association, recently featuring an artist named david burns from california with his rough and ready moniker, copper gardens.

this afternoon, i'm traveling down to spring city to photograph some sweet cows at kolb's farm store.

lots of fun and work is spilling me away from the blog, but news, not blues is still a monthly must.

thanks for stopping by, and remember to soak up the sky a good bit in your days.

31 March 2011

hydroponic tomato-children are now for sale at butter valley harvest in bally !

all i have to say is thank lordisa !

after no available supply since the end of december, butter valley harvest in bally finally has some hydroponic (pesticide-free by default) tomatoes for the taking !

my adored quasi-grandmother kindly picks up salad greens for me each week now that i'm back to work with my seasonal full-time job because i can't get to the market during its hours. she noticed that these plump little healthy-for-the-popping reds were available for sale and amiably grabbed some for me.

i ate half of the container once i came home, with some pink salt and then crushed feta too.

feel free to test out some mimicry.

butter valley harvest is located at 1690 route 100 in bally, pa 19505. market hours are wednesday, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. & saturday,  9.30 a.m to 1 p.m. a selection of butter valley harvest produce is also available at redner's warehouse markets in boyertown, freed's supermarket in gilbertsville, and other grocery stores outside of this little stretch of area.

23 March 2011

the icy persuasion of grass & sky.

last friday, temperatures boasted loudly of 70+ degrees. this morning, snow packed lightly on windshields of cars, and my low and green set yard blades are littered with the icy persuasion of grass & sky. expect no less of nature ! she has her reasons.

it's more intense a bit up north.

20 March 2011

a sunday morning deed.

this morning, i woke up bright and early (by my standards) and zoomed over to ott's exotic plants to pick up what would eventually be a nice and full kalanchoe in a flurry of pink, to drop off at the house of a woman in gilbertsville who just had a thankfully benign tumor removed from her brain.

the woman is a garden center customer of my brother scott's, and her stepmom from tennessee wanted to do something nice for her since she's recovering from a rushed surgery after a quick diagnosis following stroke-like symptoms. the stepmom phoned my work yesterday, and i said that while she wanted something of a spring reminder for the stepdaughter, who is in her 30s or 40s, our supply isn't too impressive yet. so i decided to visit ott's for a suitable and easy houseplant, and this delightful succulent won out with some assistance from nancy larkin of barnside mulch & compost who showed up to eye-peruse with me.

i also prepped a gift card from the stepmom for my place of work for the woman to use when she is better and would like to dazzle up her yard space with the therapeutic way of flowers or even new shrubs. i wrote a note from the tennessee-types too, and then i dropped it off at the stepdaughter's house this morning on my way home before heading out to interview the mayor.

the invisible lines of connection in life lately and helping people to help others has really had the healthy kind of hold on me lately. 

10 March 2011

a quick lunch at raw can roll café.

with a rainy day upon us, i lucked out on the opportunity to avoid being glued to my seasonal day job for the wet hours this week. after visiting a consignment shop to attempt to make side money on old clothes, i ventured to raw can roll café, which i haven't enjoyed food-wise since maybe last spring or so.

i splurged for the first time in months on about $10 of lunch including white bean tomato soup, a garden salad with sweet balsamic dressing, and a carrot & celery pressed juice poured into a greenware cup made entirely of plants but designed to be clear like any ordinary plastic to-go sipping device. 

nom, a bit ! 

06 March 2011

paper recycling & those retriever bins.

several months ago, i began recycling paper regularly in my home by gathering it in a plastic grocery bag slung on a doorknob. after a short stretch of time, i felt like a bit of a dud for not doing so sooner, realizing how much paper added up and how fast too. it really does multiply quickly, and my trash is now less and less per week. seeing the transformation in changing these habits has been so eye-opening, pecking at my perspective. the same goes for now diligently tracking cardboard into the trunk of my car for recycling. luckily, the service is free from my borough.

for the paper, i've been recycling it in a paper retriever bin at the friendship hook & ladder fire company (also called the hookies, especially by those who play bingo there, as my mom did, winning meat from freed's weekly) a few streets away. so that means it's also free, but  the fire company gets some money back from the paper retriever company, which is good because of the hookies being a nonprofit emergency services place in need of donations for funding.

i've always been all about using up paper as much as possible or saving tiny scraps to the point that it drives my brother matt nuts at work when i write a note on the tiniest pinch of paper or even half of an already tiny post-it. but i feel wasteful otherwise ! at least recycling reels in less guilt then, for tossing off a scrap snippet.

matt said paper of all kinds is also collected for recycling at his children's private school, and like the fire department above, this place receives money for the gathered paper also. i think i've seen a bin at the local high school and the hereford township building too. but i love that it's free, since at least with trash disposal, there are usually fees. so this is just darn multi-purpose in saving money and also giving a little more affection toward the environment and our usable materials on the globe.

28 February 2011

sheron faye is positively preggers.

news recently floated along that sheron faye, the cow named after my mom at wholesome dairy farms, is on her way to becoming a momma herself.

i said, better her than me, that brave soul of a woman ! i will never envy a pregnancy. but hearing about cow babies is a sweet thing. lillee grace and i visited the mother-to-be while stopping in to grab some milk and raw gouda.

we eye-scooped two baby cows while at the farm.

this ham of a girl named trixy is sheron faye's little sister.

and the milk store goods are always a nice treat for home, after seeing the cows.

i've developed a recent habit of eating approximately half of the block of gouda on my drive home, at least in the past two trips, and have deduced that i should not cart myself on over to the dairy on an empty stomach. you know, i digress a bit.

19 February 2011

full moon, thankfully no butt-views included.

full moon this past friday night. doesn't it figure though ?

i want to learn more about the moon's ways in relation to human behavior. i thought maybe i'd soon ask a physics and astronomy professor about it-- i interviewed him recently about the planetarium at kutztown university, which by the way, has FREE public shows. even our local planetarium in boyertown can't afford to do that ! although some cost-made laser shows are in the works there for april, but they are to help the planetarium director to raise funds to purchase more programming, as most canned shows with their semi or fully famous narrators cost between $3,000 - $10,000 a piece due to licensing, and so the planetarium, while newly digital, only has a few shows available for now. still, it is a valuable resource, sky-set and all.

iris, installation art, hair, & sky.

poking upward and making themselves known are some signs of spring, knife-like greenery of iris in my garden. yesterday neared 70 degrees. although after this bitingly cold winter, apparently weather forecasts are saying there's at least one more spell of icy feels ahead.

today is whipping at my walls, with winds high-tailing their way into brick after brick. months ago, i found this faux-flower on the sidewalk of east philadephia avenue. i brought it home and tucked it in some hens&chicks. i also found some clear plastic decoration sort of like a fat false diamond, so i used that as the flower's center. some boys walked by last night while i had the fur child out for a piddle, and i heard one say he found a diamond. i gave him my original. he seemed quite happy for his matching treasures. and then today, the petals blew away. i really do think the winds are trying to say a lot this weekend.

hair & sunlight.

this eye-scooping scene took shape with a quick look into the camera viewfinder, a quick turn way, a snapperoo, and then apparently some butt-dialing to my cousin's boyfriend since she had just called me from his phone, as i was sprawled out on the concrete to take the picture. even with a lock, my butt undid it and dialed him. oh snap.

12 February 2011

a weekend stop at butter valley harvest.

early this afternoon, i finally had a chance to stop in at butter valley harvest during its winter market hours, wednesday from 2.00 - 5.00 p.m. and saturday from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

we featured the bally-based hydroponic harvest several volumes ago in news, not blues, and i wrote about the operation in lancaster farming (page e08 & page e09) in january.

the living arugula carries quite a bite, i must say. follow butter valley harvest on facebook by clicking this lil' link

08 February 2011

the icy way of last weekend.

oh snap ! that was the way of life last weekend with ice wrapping its way around plants and power-lines, pieces breaking off in hard falls as melting and the day went on. hearing the ice break off and drop from the electrical wires above was a bit scary. i noticed shattered pieces gathered all around the spot where i stand when i take my fur child out for a piddle. luckily, nature made sure the timing was healthy for all involved parties on that one.

this view here is another great reason we should not cut back hydrangea shrubs till late may.

the same goes for trumpet vine seed pods.

my lena scotch broom is lucky to still have green to it. some brown out with the harsh hit of winter. i always tell myself i'll wrap her up in an old blanket or burlap but never remember to in time, and then it's already well into winter. i did love her sprawling persuasion with the ice holding tightly to it though.

and the prominent color in my baby japanese maple trees, or their stems at least, played whimsically with the cold cut of ice.

when not in its more dangerous circumstances, ice can be a bit nice ! 

25 January 2011

i'll cary your opteris.

while searching through some old file folders of poetry book photos, i found this view of a sunshine blue caryopteris shrub that is proudly growing through my fence with a thin yet ambitious limb or two. all the hues are powdery, but of course the nice angle of powdery.

seeing this didn't make me pine for spring (or summer into fall, which is when this shrub blooms). it made me feel content just to see it, even knowing a snowstorm is ahead in the next 24 hours. 

and somewhat related is a haiku. i can fudge the above scene as color-diluted quasi-blueberries. i wrote this to inspire some young ones to delve into poetry.

in blueberry-speak

i squish you, and my
palms turn purple-- you burst with
the blue of summer

oh pleasantries.