it's that time of year

it's that time of year

a middle tennessee garden blog

finding beauty in the natural things around us makes for one happy self and a lovely life. ~marmee

dash home farm, leiper's fork, tennessee

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

harvest of light

this image is haunting my dreams of late.
a profusion of spring flowers dances in my head.

when dh and i moved to our farm house...we
were trying to change our lives in many ways.
we wanted our children a little more grounded
in what is important...not just stuff. we are all still
learning. this is a book we bought when we moved out here.

it was so out of my realm of thinking...not any more.

i have always been a gardener but now things are different.
i am letting the land speak to me of what would be best.
there's an approach to the natural.

this book has been a wealth of knowledge...i am reading
all about medicinal herbs and planning what to plant.
i want to understand how to use these natural home remedies.
lemon balm...for the winter doldrums and insomnia
valerian...for insomnia(for two of my boys)
st. john's wort...for relief of stress or anxiety
calendula...perfectly designed for soothing and healing skin
lavender...has a long standing reputation for it's many health attributes
i am going to add those herbs this year
along with my kitchen herbs;
basil, oregano, parsley, chives...

also, since we are expanding the vegetable garden
i am reading up on what will be best companions
in the garden.
i will have a potager so we can resist pests as naturally as possible.
it will also entice all the friendly pest predators such as lady bugs, praying mantis,
lacewings, hoverflies, brandling worms, song thrushes, frogs and toads...etc...
we are also adding a wildflower field...this has always been a dream
of have my own field of wildflowers so i am going to try to
get as many native species as i can.
this book is coming in handy...images are grouped by
flower colours and by shapes. i find this very helpful...since i have
my favourites.

 we started our seeds.
what fun to put your hand in the dirt even if it is only a little bit.

we started our heirloom tomatoes..zebras, pineapple,
and a small purple.
along with tomatillo, better boy hybrid, and early girl hybrid.

there are orange, red and green bell peppers.
dark opal purple basil, sweet basil, oregano,
and italian parsley for starters.
next are some firsts...that is for flowers...heirloom passion flower blue
a green zinnia called envy...bells of ireland
(they were in one of my daughter's wedding bouquet),
giant violet queen zinnia, yes it is purple.

lavender, calendula, white marigolds, cottage red marigolds, black hollyhocks,
and purple salvia are going in next.
i don't know about you but this definitely
beats the winter blues.


Cheryl said...

Dear lovely....I look forward to following your will be beautiful for you and your family to have healing from the gardens.....

May I respectfully suggest that you use camomile instead of valerian to induce sleep. Valerian can cause depression in some people......I just thought you should know.....

I love the idea of a wildflower have much land so this will look stunning. I grow my wild flowers from seed.....such fun

Enjoy your journey, I look forward to the photographs.....

Darla said...

Wow! Love the first photo. That book sounds very interesting. Yes it is wonderful to feel the earth in your hands. I planted the queen purple zinnia, oh how I do hope it does well. Great post!!

Q said...

Dear Marmee,
I am so happy you are planting more herbs...I love mine! Cannot imagine life qwithout them.
Also planting native is so very good for the bees and the butterflies. I do lots of companion planting. I strongly suggest you read "Roses love Garlic" by Louise Riotte. It is my garden bible! Seed to seed is a great way also to enjoy your gardens.
Having a wildflower meadow is so fantastic. I bet it will be beautiful!
So much excitment! It is seed time.
Spring is just around the corner.
Looking forward to seeing your sprouts.

Wendy said...

Sounds like you are having fun. Lots and lots of good plans. I also love herbs and try to plan companion plantings.
Love your vision of a wildflower meadow.
Can't wait to see the sprouts!

marmee said...

dear cheryl,

i had read that about the valerian but have been drinking it in tea for quite some time. i will be sure to keep an eye on that. it is hard for my boys to drink the camomile, they just don't like the flavour. i like it fine especially with hibiscus leaves. then i add a cinnamon stick.
i am very excited about my wildflower field i have been working on it since last summer/fall.
i am also looking forward to being able to photograph it with all the blooms.

marmee said...

thanks darla,

we can see each progress with our zinnias, how fun.
the first book is very helpful in so many ways.

marmee said...

we have been so cold here this last week, it is hard to imagine spring around the corner but i am holding fast. actually we are supposed to be in the low 70s on the weekend.
i am looking forward to my new herbs too. starting most everything from seed this year so that is exciting as well. i put the seeds in my sunroom, it seems that is the perfect place.
i will check out the book you're recommending. i just ordered one my sis, meems calls her gardening bible, "great garden companions,a companion-planting system for a beautiful, chemical-free vegetable garden". i'm looking forward to reading that one too.

marmee said...

thanks wendy,
those sprouts can't come soon enough for me, patience, patience.
the hard part of all the planning is waiting to be able to actually get out there and do the stuff.
spring is coming right? of course!

lola said...

Hi Marmee, I do like your idea of a wild flower garden. It sure would be lovely to look out over while having a cup of herbal tea. Sounds like heaven. I'm so glad you have enough land to do such things. I can vision you sitting at your table doing just that.

tina said...

What a lovely sentiment to teach the kids more about the important things in life and not just stuff. It is so hard now a days. Your farm and garden sound like the right place to begin that learning. And what great seeds-you're off to a good start!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Marmee, I am so proud of you--going back to nature and teaching your children to live the way we ALL should live. I loved hearing you say that you are letting the land speak to you. That is so special.


Meems said...

Dear Marmee,
What a joy it is to share these gardening adventures with you. Both of us trying our best to work more with nature and all God's creation. I imagine this is what Eden was like. Everything working together.

It is good you are planning now because spring will be here soon and you will be ready. So happy you are beating those winter blues with some seed starting indoors. I had to move my tomato seedlings in last night when it got to 37 degrees here. Surely that is the last night for such things. It's MARCH for heaven's sake and THIS IS FLORIDA. I sure don't mind the days though... 50's and sunny. woo-hoo!
*hugs to you and the fam*

Frances said...

Hi Marmee, I love the front door shot. It looks like the perfect place to get in touch with the land. Your seed starting is wonderful, and I completely agree, there is nothing that can compare to the benefits of starting your own seeds. Your herb garden will be beautiful. Everything does so well in our climate and soil. Have fun learning all the uses, but be leery of ingesting certain things. I have found putting the dried herbs in little muslin bags to deter moths, add to the bath and place on the forehead are both safe and useful.

Gail said...

Dear Marmee,

Such a lovely post, gentle and deep~~like you. Thank you for sharing your garden plans, your hopes for your wildflower field and your wonderful life philosophy with us. It's always a joy to visit your blog and celebrate life with you.

...and now the days are going to slowly warm up!


Roses and Lilacs said...

Marmee, that is a wonderful philosophy both for your children and for your garden. Years ago I made the decision to stop collecting ornamental plants and only grow those that adapted well to my area and my soil. I know you will enjoy finding the things that grow well for you.

Susie said...

I'm for anything that helps the winter blues! With all the things you are planning, it sounds like you will be very busy.

marmee said...

yes lola, a cup of tea and wildflowers sounds like the perfect marriage of things. then add the warmth of spring/summer(before it gets to hot)
and voila perfection.
now if i can get my garden to grow.

marmee said...

tina, thank you. i am always wondering about what to plant here but i just keep looking for what does good, then picking my favourites. it feels a little like blind hope but it's the only way i know how here. in florida it was just second nature to know what did well in sandy soil and the heat. maybe 20+ years here and i will feel the same way.
in today's society i feel the kids have such a disadvantage, nothing to guide them out there. we lived in a very posh part of town and the kids were so caught up in their stuff.
i think them just watching us make some huge changes is so
beneficial for them.
enjoy our warming trend!

marmee said...

good morning betsy,
letting the land speak to you, takes a little more patience but worth the wait. last year when we were digging out our first vegetable area, it flooded and the whole place was under water where we would have planted so we moved it further out on the slope. it was a great place and where we had dug became our wildflower garden.
of course it hasn't flooded since but there is always that chance.
thanks for your encouragement about the children, although mostly grown,(ages...30,25,21,19,
17, and 10.) they are still observing and learning along side us. they are gaining an appreciation for the land and love all the fresh stuff.

marmee said...

dear meems,
i can't believe the cold weather you floridians have had. whew! it's almost over. i wonder what that means for next year? i have always wanted to understand how the almanac works but haven't taken the time to.
there are so many things i am finding i have put aside for so many years that now are opening back up to me.
it is definitely a pleasure to share our garden thoughts back and forth. i love that we both love being in the garden and now with us both doing veggies, pretty cool!
i think you are right about eden,it had to have been so naturally beautiful and wild. adam and eve just communed there.
well, we are trying to create our own little havens aren't we?
we are heading into a warmer weekend so outdoors here we come.
say hi to mr meems!
love from all of us up here.

marmee said...

i have so much to learn before putting anything into my body i am not completely in sync with.
i am highly sensitive too. thanks for the gentle warning.
that front door is a postcard from a calendar of front doors. but it has been inspiring me to think of spring.
having planted the seeds yesterday has also been inspiring, i am so excited to see what will do well. thanks for the tips on using herbs safely.
have fun with our warmer weather.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Gee, I wish I'd known about the Lemon Balm all winter. Now that springs almost here and I'm doing the seeds also, I, too, am feeling a whole lot better;) I'll have to remember lemon balm for next year...because I sure did have the winter doldrums!!

Your philosophy is great. I've thought a lot about some of those things, as well. Not sure that we can have that type of a life in the country. But, we can try to teach the values...which are so important;)

marmee said...

dear gail,

this warmer weather will have us all outdoors, won't it?
thank you for your kind thoughts, i think maybe you get me. everyday is reason to celebrate, life is so precious!
enjoy the rest of the week and weekend.

marmee said...

i am hoping some of it takes even for the older ones. i would like for all of them to simplify their lives in these times. my oldest daughter and her husband built some raised beds and are growing some of their own veggies.
is the choice to plant well adapted working well for you>?

marmee said...

you can still try the lemon balm, just put a dropperful into tea or water and drink once a day.

marmee said...


we all need to slow down a bit and just enjoy the simpiler things in this life. kids have too many gadgets to take away important moments.
you can still try to put some lemon balm in your tea or water once a day. it is good for lifting your spirit regardless.

joey said...

Oh do grow the herbs, Marmee, they will bring you great joy and surely top your list of 'things I love'! Do hope the weekend is sunny and bright :)

marmee said...

we did have one sunny day yesterday, today is overcast. but dh tilled our veggie garden yesterday, yipee!
we have herbs plans that are exciting.