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I couldn’t believe it when I read it.  Durham county library is loaning seeds to home gardeners.  Ironic that my buddy in California had to point it out to me (Thanks @AmyBuck!)! This is a win-win for me.  Innovative and Impactful! Shout out to Durham Digging Seeds Library!

Yale_card_catalog

According to Takepart.com, Durham libraries are filling their old card catalog files with seeds to loan local gardeners to plant and return the following season. WOW, I heart NC!

When the libraries in Durham, N.C., open tomorrow, patrons at three of the city’s seven branches will find that something from the book-hunting days of yore has reappeared: old-school card catalogs.

But these familiar drawers aren’t coming back to guide visitors to the Dewey decimal numbers of the books they’re searching for. Rather, the drawers will house packets of seeds that can be checked out and planted in a home garden. Come fall, when the generous loan period is up, those free plants will be “returned” in the form of saved seeds, which will stock the card-catalog drawers once again the following spring.

Check out the full article for all the details.

What an innovative concept for a library!  And you just thought libraries were for books… I can’t wait to check it out. Limit 4 packs per person, so choose wisely!

digging_durham_logo

Has anyone tried it yet? Do tell!

Happy Gardening!

m


This fall has been outrageous in color.  I thought I would share some of my favorite fall foliage and why the leaf color is so intense this year.

Why are the leaf colors so intense this year as compared to others? 

Short answer: Weather.

Longer answer:  Temperature, light and water…not rocket science since those, plus sunlight, are the most important parameters in all gardening. We had a wet summer, a moderate fall and a late frost.  These factors allowed some intense yellow, orange and red.  As I was researching this phenomenon, I noticed that some of the intense color is a bit of an optical illusion, which this season has certainly created for us.  Leaf color looks brighter on overcast days…and since we have had our fair share that has also made the colors appear to be super bright.

Happy leaf peeping!

m


Fall is the best time for planting In the South —

And lucky for me (and my little sister) Campbell Road Nursery  in Cary, NC always has a great fall perennial sale. 

Check out the back of her mini van after our latest shopping trip. 

Gallon perennials were only $2.50–4 inch pots just a $1 which means we could  be wild and crazy with our selections and try lots of great new plants. 

I bought Salvias, wood asters, foxgloves,  Siberian iris, Verbascum, blackberry lily and more. 

Our purchases may look a little beat up now, but no worries.  We’ll plant, mulch, and cut these plants back in the next few weeks.  Next spring and summer–lots of new flowers will grace our gardens.  What a deal!  

Were do you find your best plant bargains?


Living Wall Art: An amazing display.

WOW….Is that not the coolest wall decoration your have ever seen? It is quite literally living wall art.  For those that are local to Raleigh, NC, this in on the walls of Cameron Village shopping center.

Isn’t it cool how they used plants as paint?

And the canvas is really a series of flats put together.

And there is a custom irrigation device that hooks up to a water hose. Unlike other art, this does require water.

I would love to figure out how to rig something like this up for my backyard….it would look really cool on the  shed wall.  Hmmm….any thoughts on an easy way to do it?  I am sure this custom job was expensive.

Happy Garden.

melissa


So I was catching up on my Stephen Colbert last night and one of his guests was Will Allen, author of “The Good Food Revolution,” which talks about the need and now trend of urban farming.  I never thought of myself as an urban farmer, but I am.  I live in a city and I have a garden.

Summer 2012, My Very Own Urban Garden.

I am one of the fortunate ones to have the land and resources to grow some of my food.  This concept of “food deserts” is not new, but one that truly concerns me.  That many urban centers around our country have no access to fresh fruits, veggies and protein.  The people there live off of sodium-rich, high fat shelf food.  Could you imagine not having a tomato sandwich every summer, instead eating some “insta-meal?”  In addition to not having access to these fresh foods, they also have no connection to it.  No connection to how things are grown, seasonality and culture that comes with it.

I guess I really don’t have a tip or advice to share this week.  But if you are growing a garden, first, be proud.  Then share the love of that garden with others.  Inspire kids, colleagues and family to support community gardens, local CSAs (community supported agriculture) or organizations like the Produce Box.  Ironically, we all came from an agrigrean society and when we make “progress” sometimes we forget our roots.  Fresh fruits and veggies and locally grown meats, eggs and other protein sources not only help us to be healthy, but also creates this sense of community.

So grow more, share more and support your community to help provide fresh food access to all.

Happy Gardening.

melissa

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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