When you read this paper..don't you feel a bit better about life? L ve Is In The Garden by Kimberly Childers ~

herbs for an outrageous Feb- ruary array.

Sonoma County, CA. ~ La pluie

est magique! Signs

of spring are here, ever en- chanting, enticing and much awaited, the season full of new life, flower bulbs forcing their way through the earth, roots, buds swelling and tender new leaves emerging. Thoughts of gardens begin to stir and seep into our hearts. Nurseries all over town are full to the brim! Look for soft yellow, flashy red and rich purple English primroses, vi- brant red and pure white cy- clamens for shade. Planting in partially sunny sites look for violas, anemones, baby blue eyes

and tissue-papery-pet-

aled Iceland poppies among other flowers and hundreds of organic vegetable starts, open pollinated seeds, and flavorful

Scan the web for local nurs- eries to visit where you live! Stock up on excellent nutrient

Valentine’s Day offering for a special gardening friends! Speaking of which is a per- fectly fun time of year to give woven baskets or ‘antique’

cotta pot packed with Tiger Lily bulbs, gladiola bulbs or choose your favorites avail- able from nurseries now. You decide.


For your lover consider Oriental

lily bulbs

wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with a sheer organza red ribbon. Bottled botanical oils and creams for massaging into skin after a hot shower espe- cially when afternoons have been spent working in the gar- den! Don’t forget to top your gift off with something deca- dent from the many chocolat- iers’ in Santa Rosa!

rich organic soil blends, gar- den gloves if your hands need a ‘less tattered’ pair and pure healing hand cream as well and consider them a nice little

tray/plate filled with potted outrageously colorful prim- ula or divinely scented viola odorata. Another fun gift is a sphagnum moss -filled terra

Known for centuries by an- cient Greeks and Romans vio- lets have been cultivated since 500 BC and earlier. These ed- ible flowers have been used in wine, herbal remedies, and eaten in various forms.

of vitamins A, C and min- erals, their delicate flowers can be gently painted with whisked egg whites and dusted with caster sugar, a British baking term for superfine sugar. So magical for adding to sweet confections. Vi- olets have been mixed with a myriad of ingredients in love potions since ancient times to influence people to fall in love. Certainly, a fasci- nating topic worth exploring on line!

twig tea, also called is

Kukicha, bocha

a wonder-

whole leaf teas. With its lovely white single petaled flowers and a wide, yellow. promi- nent center this five-foot-tall shrub is perfect for your own tea garden. How about giving this cool bush to a lucky friend for Valentine’s Day!

February is the time to prune berries, roses, fruit trees and shrubs, well, everything! Get your hands on a good pruning book, used or new which will become a great reference in your library. Be sure and put any diseased and thorny prun- ings in the green can.


Create a few spots in your garden for something ‘fruity’ this year! Crabapple trees are a lovely addition to your lawn, their spring blossoms are de- lightful, birds love the small fruit, also perfect for delicious jams and their fall color is unsurpassed. Time to put in an orchard, blue- berry and raspberry brambles, big pots of strawberries to dangle off the sides away from slimy snails!

Repair trellises, ar- bors and other sup- ports. Replace bro-

ken wires as needed. Clean out greenhouses and scrub with Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap.

Prepare wooden seed "I like

ful drink for sipping on a winter day. Its mild nutty flavor comes from blending stems, twigs and stalks of Camelia Senensis, green tea, rather than leaves alone. Kukicha is best brewed for one minute since over-steep- ing results in a bitter flavor. Kukicha has less caffeine than


gardening. It’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose

myself" Alice Sebold

trays for the coming season and get busy with seed lists and orders. Ex- plore and pick up

coir (coy-

er) products! This coconut shell


uct replaces many plastics and peat moss in

the garden

as well as its traditional uses

for floors, rope and rugs. Fer- tilize

...continued on page 28 I don't look for bliss, just contentment. ~ Alison Krauss all houseplants with a

good organic mix and clean their winter-weary leaves with a sterile damp sponge, stir and

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