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First, the usual obligatory disclaimer: I am in no way officially connected to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds; I have been a regular customer for just over a decade.

[ETA:  Link has been corrected.]

Baker Creek is contributing one-hundred percent of its online seed sales on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of this month (March) to relief effords for the devastating flooding in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, and the central U.S.A. states of Nebraska and Iowa.
I do sincerely apologize that I wasn't aware of this particular fundraising effort before this morning, especially since today is its last day.


Permit me, if you will, to include a reminder that if you are in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, standard shipping of your order is free of charge.
Although I do a fair bit of my garden seed purchasing in brick and mortar stores, I also do a lot---I'd say more than half---through mail order.
Now that many of us are putting our gardens to bed for the winter season, many of us also have begun planning next year's gardens, which is how this came to my attention.

I just wanted to let those of you who are in the United States, Canada and Mexico know that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds now offers free regular shipping to these three countries.  "Regular" means standard shipping, roughly two weeks for delivery (within the U.S., anyway).  Expedited, overnight, express, whatever else, will be at whatever those rates are.
My apologies that I have no knowledge of how the exchange rates between our three countries works these days, but I did want to let my fellow gardeners know about what I believe is the new shipping policy for shipping to the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds can be found here:

Clearance Sale Gardening Supplies

I was in the local Dollar Store the other day when I noticed that they had their 50-pack seed starter pots deeply discounted. I paid 75 cents rather than 3 dollars which I thought was a nice savings. I hope the rest of you will be able to find some gardening goodies too!

Pic Heavy Garden Update

On year two of living in the new place, I had more time to devote to gardening. I spent at least an hour a night in the spring working on weeding, planting, pulling up plastic and organizing bricks. Then we had a dry couple of months where I didn't have to do much except throw buckets of rain barrel water on everything. Some pictures:

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Not sure if I'll be able to keep the moonflower long term. Someday I may keep bees. Does anyone know if certain plants poison the soil or might make poison honey? Just today, I saw a male and female green and gray hummingbird flying around behind the fence. I wonder what they were attracted to. Next year, I plan on putting in cleomes for them.

My son's legacy plant from his grandma (it thrived on her kitchen table in a small pot for a decade with northern light) is a schefflera that has not thrived tended by me. Since a 4 foot tall schefflera grows beautifully in a neighbor's yard with northern exposure, it seemed okay to put it outdoors in a 5 gallon tub with the same environment. First, all its leaves dropped off and then the trunk shriveled despite watering. Now it's in a more shaded spot with water increased and up from the bottom come new leaves, thank goodness. Any thoughts on keeping the plant going even better? Would it be okay to trim the dead trunk way down?
For two years, my sister and I each nursed a white geranium along. We live 200 miles apart. She has the greener thumb, but hers died and so did mine despite all tries to encourage them. Our other pinks, purples and scarlet ones did wonderfully well with amazing flowers each year and constant growth to their maximum spread in the same environment as the whites. Has anyone noticed a similar weakness in whites?

I want a big display of white flowers in the backyard's northeastern corner and am now considering a white peony. It's said to take a few years to take off flowering, though, and the geraniums generally bloom quicker. Middle CA valley, boiling hot summers, occasional freezes, full sun for the desired spot in zone 9. Would anyone have suggestions for big white display?

unknown plant

Does anybody have any idea what this is? I'm in Wisconsin, zone 5.

Edit: Euphorbia marginata


This pretty plant came up in my yard. It's out in the lawn next to a tree seedling that I planted from bare root. I've never seen anything like it, though it looks a little like a milkweed. It's about 18 inches or a little over. A single stem. The white-edge leaves are only at the top.


Homemade Deer and Rabbit Repellent

The Ultimate Homemade Deer, Rabbit and Critter Repellent Brew

Someone told me about this video several years ago. It's rather fun to watch as well.
Looks like this brew would do the job too.

The Midsummer Garden....

Green is the predominant colour, with accents of White, Red, Purple and Rust. The Morning Glories are still Blooming, as are the various subtropical Salvias. My Brugmansia versicolor(Angel's Trumpet) and Night Blooming Jessamine are sporadic but very noticeable when I go for my AM walk....they're Night bloomers and VERY Fragrant;>!
The Hummingbirds and Butterflies love the Pentas' and Salvias. Oddly enough, not so much the Butterfly Bush! Next Spring will be very pretty with the Wild Violets reaching almost Invasive proportions in both courtyards. My Habranthus Rainlilies are doing nicely with generally 4-5days post thunderstorm producing flushes of Pink(and one White-flowered species)trumpets....like Sherry-glass sized Amaryllis'. I have a feeling I'll be getting more of them and their Zephranthes relations in the future(though half aren't doing well, unlike the H's).
The cats are entertained most nights by the Tree Frogs that congregate in the Persimmon outside the Living Room window. Hopefully, it's replacement next yr(3 yrs of total fruit drop and this yr a single fruit remains at present) with be as accommodating to them....
back in february i mocked up a heating pad with styrofoam and rope lights based off something i found on pinterest (links down at the end). then after it worked, my dad cut up the wood so i could make it out of plywood.

i had some old rope lights i'd bought years ago and then never used again, so after seeing the idea on pinterest, i thought hey, lets try this! not like the rope lights were doing anything else. and i live in minnesota, so starting seeds indoors is an important part of gardening with our short summers. i've struggled to get some seeds to start, and wanted a heating pad. but they're SO ridiculously overpriced. $89 to buy a heating mat this size at a store or online!

first i made a mock up out of some old styrofoam sheets i had on hand, just to see if it actually worked. i really didnt have that much faith in the rope lights raising the temps that much.

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