Gratitude in the garden might stem from the fact that your family will have plenty to eat or because you grow produce the grocery bill is lighter. Thankfulness in the garden might be reflected in working together with your children, partner, friends, or neighbors. It reflects a kind of fellowship and reminds us that we are all in this together.
Some gardeners give thanks that this year the fruit trees or brambles bore well while still other gardeners pause and give thanks for their fruitful soil, plentiful sun, and water. Some gardeners might give thanks for the lack of weeds while others might have gratitude because they want to weed to stay healthy while on furlough or out of work.
Kindness matters. So does giving thanks.
Read more about Gratitude in the Garden: Ways that Gardeners Give Thanks
This time of year it isn't unusual to have some pumpkin leftover after making pumpkin pie. Instead of tossing it - use it for treats for your pets! They'll love these homemade treats.
You’ll notice that this recipe calls for 3 simple ingredients; oats, peanut butter, and soft fruit or vegetables. You can use leftover pumpkin (but not pumpkin pie filling), apples that are a little wrinkly pureed into sauce, or any soft fruit or vegetable with the exception of avocado, onions, mushrooms, garlic, rhubarb, grapes, and raisins which are harmful to dogs and cats.
Consider doubling the recipe to make a big batch to give as treat gifts for friends with dogs.
Easy Homemade Dog Treats Recipe
Credit: Nourish and Nestle
By Kathy Sullivan, Communications Director
This year, why not make gifts from your garden for family, friends, and neighbors? Gifts of this kind are often easy to make, help the planet, and cost a fraction of store-bought items. Below are suggestions for what to give if you are a gardener.
It is always a treat to receive a gift from a gardener. We put a lot of time, effort, and love into our hobby and being the recipient of something made from a gardener is always extra special.
1. Herb infused olive oil or vinegar - cut sprigs of your choice of herbs, wash and dry well, and insert into glass bottles. Top with screw-on lids or corks. Bottles can be purchased at Amazon, and are also often found at dollar stores.
2. Botanical sugar cubes - these little gems are festive in cocktails and lovely in hot tea. Here's a recipe for how-to. Sugar cube molds come in many shapes and sizes can be purchased here.
3. Herb mix for dipping oil - couldn't be easier! Try this recipe here.
4. Butterfly puddler kit - Many species of butterflies congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in 'puddling', or drinking water, and also extracting minerals from damp puddles. Package the sand in a seal-tight bag or container. Find a shallow dish (deep enough to hold the sand and water adequately) - can be a pretty vintage china plate or a plant tray. Provide instructions on a pretty recipe card. Package all together in a gift bag or furoshiki (cloth/fabric) wrap. Instructions:
5. Airplant box - so easy beautiful! Use a box lid or shallow box for your container. Add Spanish moss or a moss mix (can be purchased at a hobby store like Michaels) to the bottom of the lid/box. You can use pine needles or any type of natural medium (grass clippings, dried leaves, bark mulch, pebbles etc.). Place one or more air plants into the natural medium in the lid/box, and provide instruction to mist once a week.
Learn how to create your own rain garden oasis full of native plants that are watered only with rain! During this virtual workshop you'll be introduced to design, sizing, and plant choices. Rain gardens conserve water and are beautiful gardens.
When: Saturday November 19, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Versatile vermiculite helps your garden, potted plants, seedlings and lawn germinate and grow more quickly.
In 1824, scientist Thomas H. Webb named a mineral compound vermiculite, combining Latin and English words that roughly translate to “a rock that looks like a mass of small worms.” That aptly describes what vermiculite does when heated — it expands into low-density, worm-like strands.
Today, vermiculite is used as filler for paints, plastics and insulation. And in the garden, vermiculite’s texture makes it an excellent moisture-retaining soil additive.
“Vermiculite can also increase nutrient retention and soil aeration, resulting in healthier, more robust plants. There are numerous benefits to gardening with this interesting stuff.
Read more on how to garden with vermiculite here.
Exciting Announcement! Our garden club calendar of events - check out our meeting topics and planned events for 2023
Here at Black Forest Garden Club we've been working hard to create a fun, interesting, and fabulous lineup of events, tours, and meeting speakers to further pique your interest in gardening and the Club.
Calendar of Events and Meetings for 2023:
January - 35-year landscape designer Camelot Design will speak on The Ultimate Guide to Sprucing Up your Landscape (best practices for existing landscape maintenance)
February - Wine and Cheese tasting with cheeses made from member Jim Bennett's goats. This will be held in a member's home and all wine and food tastings will be provided. We ask for a $3 donation at the door, and you can order your favorite cheeses from Jim at the event!
March - past-president Dennis Volz will demonstrate best practices for seed starting - including tips and tricks for growing good healthy roots before planting into your garden in spring
April - Tour of member Kathy G.'s landscape and her new geothermal greenhouse
May - Tour of Green Thumb Garden Consulting greenhouse and gardens. There will be plants for sale (tomatoes, flowers, herbs, and more), and alpacas to meet.
June - Tour of Master Gardener run Hidden Mesa (just past Cobblestone on Hwy. 83). Hidden Mesa grows food for Parker Task Force, maintains the mini-botanic garden at the historic cabin onsite, and grows trees, shrubs, and plants for Douglas County needs. The gardens will be in full swing this month and there will be master gardeners on site for Q&A.
July - Tour of BFGC President's gardens and goat-cheese-making facility. There will be baby goats!
August - Tour of member Kathy Sullivan's extensive native landscape and vegetable gardens (including flower cutting garden).
September - back to Hidden Mesa to see how the gardens have grown. Prepare to be impressed! They grew almost 2800 pounds of fresh produce for the Parker food bank in 2022.
October - Camelot Design to speak on Elements in the Landscape that create the most value
November - no meeting - Happy Thanksgiving!
December - holiday party with thoughtfully curated gift baskets on raffle
Other events and tours are being worked on and will be posted as soon as confirmed. We're putting together a visit to Dutch Heritage Gardens (commercial greenhouse grower southeast of Parker), a speaker who specializes in trees and their issues in our area, private tours of local garden nurseries, and more.
There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments. - Janet Kilburn Phillips
This is a fun read. Master gardeners were surveyed to learn what they've learned from their own gardening 'mistakes'.
For example, roots circling a plant occur on plants that have grown to large for their container size or kept too long in a pot, causing the root mass to be so dense it prevents roots from penetrating into the landscape soil after planting. I now cut circling roots on new plants before planting.
Read the full article here. Courtesy The Denver Gazette.
Here's your November lawncare 'to do' list:
When preparing for winter be sure your lawn is cleared of any leaves and grass clippings. This will allow more exposure to winter moisture and light. The lawn should have been fertilized for the last time by now with a pound or so of nitrogen, with some portion of that being in a slow-release form. Also, mow for the last time, leaving the height a little longer than a normal cut.
Weeds should have been treated by now, particularly perennial weeds for next season. While very little is happening from a pest standpoint, the most important thing is to monitor all trees, shrubs and lawn areas for soil moisture. If snow or rain has been absent, a deep thorough soaking of landscape areas once every two to three weeks will help maintain plant health.
Microgreens are basically immature greens, harvested less than a month after germination when the plants are very small. The stem and leaves are both edible and they add wonderful color, texture, and flavor to a variety of foods as a garnish or ingredient.
Microgreens are big on nutrition and flavor, and can be expensive to purchase. You can easily grow your own if you have a sunny area in your home, a shallow container, some potting mix, and microgreens seeds.
This article from Master Garden Debra Stinton Othitis of Colorado Master Gardeners provides everything you need to know for planting and growing microgreens.
Gardeners Supply Company has similar information that also includes great instructional photos.
The backyard garden may be finished for the season, but you can keep your green thumb in shape with an indoor herb garden this fall and winter.
If you choose the right conditions, windowsill herb gardening requires little time and effort. If you have a sunny exposure for a south or west facing window you've got most of what you need to cultivate an herb garden all winter long. In return, you’ll get the joy of greenery plus some extra flavor to add to your meals. When spring comes, the plants can continue as container gardens or be planted into the soil.
The basics of creating an indoor herb garden
Light. Place plants where they will receive full and direct sunlight at least 6 hours per day.
Water. Most herbs prefer moist, but well-drained soil It can be easy to over-water container herbs, which leads to root rot. To avoid this, use containers with drainage holes and check moisture before watering. Water plants at the base of the plant, not over the top.
Containers. Most any container is suitable but know their differences. Clay pots allow for good air movement, but soil will dry faster and require more frequent watering. Glazed ceramic pots are more restrictive in terms of air circulation but hold water well. Know your container and water accordingly.
Herbs to consider
Chives are well-suited to containers can be moved indoors and out with the seasons. Make sure soil is not constantly wet. Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant.
Dill is often best started from seed because it does not transplant well. Thin seedlings to prevent over-crowding as plants mature.
Parsley grows well indoors. Harvest small amounts at a time to prolong growth and cut flowers back when they first appear. Leaves are no longer tasty after plant has bloomed.
If you’ve got a large window box for growing, plant dill, cilantro and parsley as they have similar water needs.