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Author Archives: Dallas Garden Buzz

Edible Landscape Spring and Summer Planting 2019

May 4, 2019

Ana and Linda enthusiastically took center stage last week to proclaim the spring and summer plans for the Raincatcher’s Edible Landscape. The purpose of our edible landscape is to create a stylish and appealing outdoor space using vegetable, fruit, and herb plant materials. On top of that, think partial shade and an area formerly used as a children’s playground. Add in budget constraints and the lack of an irrigation system..

Without the fervor of Ana and Linda and their band of Master Gardeners, I doubt this garden would have flourished. But with its second birthday round the corner, the edible landscape is ready to take off its training pants and mature into a beautiful and thoughtful garden full of edible delights.

In the next few weeks, look for articles giving more detail about the 2019 design plan. The basil bed has just been planted with many different colors of basil. Hint: research the ombré look and we’ll explain later how it’s being used in the edible landscape.

South Sidewalk Raised Beds – Basil varieties/cultivars: Piccolino (Greek), Napoletano (Genovese), Eloenora (Genovese), Persian (Thai), Cardinal (Thai), Balsamic Blooms (Genovese), Red Freddy (Genovese), Amethyst Black (Genovese)

Ann Lamb

PIctures by Linda Alexander

Open this link for a list of the all the plants  and a plot plan of The Edible Landscape at The Raincatcher’s Garden.

The Edible Landscape Adds a Food Guild

April 30, 2019

The idea of a food guild or food forest is interesting because it is a less labor intensive way to grow food and more sustainable. Everyone likes the idea of low maintenance and more crops, so watch this video to see the food guild we are creating to in our Edible Landscape at The Raincatcher’s Garden.

The food guild utilizes layers of different types of plants. We are fortunate to have towering oak trees for our tall tree layer and also fortunate to have tasted acorn muffins made from acorn flour. So yes, our tall tree layer, the live oak tree is a food source. Next we will have a short tree, a vine will grow up that tree, then a shrub layer, an herb layer, ground cover and a root crop like horseradish or carrots.  As you read this, you should be getting the idea of plants growing together and utilizing each other’s strengths to create this sustainable food guild.

It’s a fascinating concept and you will get to hear of it’s successes and trials, as we watch it over the next few years.

Ana has given us a list of the plants we will be considering for The Raincatcher’s Food Guild. I’m excited about the mandarin orange tree.

Ann Lamb

video by Starla Willis

For more information about planting a food guild click here.

Raincatcher’s Plant Sale, April 25

April 23, 2019

Master Gardeners are bringing the very best plants out of their gardens and you have an opportunity to purchase them on Thursday, April 25 before the Master Gardener meeting 10-11:30am and then afterwards from 1-2:00pm. The proceeds are plowed back into our garden so that we can continue the educational programs we enjoy bringing to you.

Lisa Centala has three toad lilies and has propagated purple trailing ruellia, a tender perennial. Lisa originally got the ruellia  from one of our favorite Master Gardeners, Tim Allsup. It had been in his grandmother’s garden.

Trailing Ruellia, pretty in a pot!

Toad Lilies

Jim Dempsey, a  true gentleman gardener, brings seedlings and rooted cuttings from his home garden to our sale. You may want to make a list of what you plan to buy before coming. I sure am!

Tomatoes:
Celebrity
Cherokee Purple
Brandywine Red
Beauty
Lemon Boy
Yellow Pear
Porter
Tomatillo: Grande Rio Verde
Eggplant: Black Beauty
Peppers: Hot Sunset
Gypsy
Cornito Giallo
Carmen
Poblano L
Dutura: Double Yellow
Marigolds:
Janie Yellow
Janie Orange
Disco Mix
Super Hero
Tithona (Mexican Sunflower): Fiesta del Sol
Zinnia:
Pinwheel Mix
Forecast
Giant Yellow
Giant Lavender
Basil:
Purple
Sweet
Rudbeckia:
Autumn Glorosia
Cuttings (rooted):
Champanel grape
Celeste grape
Winter Honeysuckle

Evelyn Womble is offering Hardy Amaryllis bulbs. They are blooming right now in our courtyard and are so pretty, so reliable and they multiply!

Evelyn holding Hardy Amaryllis blooms. You can buy these bulbs at our sale.

We are willing to part with some of the treasured members of our garden for a small price. So won’t you please come to our sale on Thursday; it’s a tax free day.  Cash, check or credit card accepted.

Ann Lamb

 

All Members of the public are invited to Master Gardener meetings.

Click here to find out more about this month’s meeting on Orchids Treasures of Texas.

Planting Corn at The Raincatcher’s Garden

April 15, 2019

We are banking on a good crop of corn this year. After all, we have plenty of sun and warm, rich soil and dedicated gardeners staking out our new garden bed.

Let’s get those corn kernels in the ground!

You can almost taste summer when looking at the seed packages.

Sugarbaby

Buttergold

Early Sunglow

Hwy, what do gardeners say after a corn harvest  when receiving a complement about their corn crop?

Aww shucks, thank you!

Ann Lamb

Pictures by Starla Willis

 

To learn about Glass Gem corn, read Christmas in July.

Bluebonnets at The Raincatcher’s Garden

April 9, 2019

Bluebonnets are blooming once again along Midway.

Bluebonnet close up

In the fall we sowed more wildflower seeds, hoping for their return.

Bluebonnets at The Raincatcher’s Garden

It’s a good year to head out on country roads outside of Dallas to see bluebonnets. Here’s a great website that gives an update on the blooms in Ennis: https://www.visitennis.org

We have written many times about bluebonnets so before you go in search of them read:

Itching in the Bluebonnet Field

Wildflowers at the Farm

Bluebonnets in Texas 2014

And now would you please get your calendar ready for these dates:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

Thursday, April 25th – Plant sale and DCMGA monthly meeting.

Tuesday, April 30th, 11am-  ‘Planting the Edible Landscape – the Spring/Summer Collection” with Linda and Ana to share the plants chosen and the reason behind the choices. Class and tour to be provided.

Tuesday May 7th, 9-11am Turf talk and demonstration by Stephen Hudkins.
 
Saturday May 25th 9-11am Grapevine Canopy Management Pruning by Michael Cook
 
Grow and Graze Events:
 

June 25th… Herbs of the Mediterranean (Please note the new date!)

August 27th… Corn, the Golden Essence of Summer, and Okra, a Garden Giant

October 22nd …Seasonal Splendor, Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes

Grow and Graze reservations will be posted approximately one month before the event.
 
Ann Lamb
Pictures by Starla Willis

 

 

Dandelions are Edible

April 7, 2019

Do you consider dandelions a weed? If so, here’s some nutritional information that might encourage you to grow and harvest dandelions plants in your garden or yard.

Italiko Rosso is the variety we selected for our garden. Notice the bold red stems and midribs which contrast beautifully with the forest green leaves.

Dandelion takes it name from the French dent de lion or “tooth of the lion.” A close look at the deeply indented leaf structure tells you why.

Both dandelion flowers and leaves are a surprising source of nutrients. Dandelion greens contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, beta carotene and fiber. Some consider dandelions to be a nearly perfect food.

For culinary purposes, the younger the better. Fresh dandelion flowers have a sweet honeylike taste. The greens are commonly used in salads, and the root makes a cleansing and detoxifying diuretic tea.

Dandelions are by nature a very bitter green, but there are some steps to help reduce the bitterness.

First, grow a less bitter variety such as one of the more “gourmet” types: French Dandelion a.k.a Vert de Montmagny, Ameliore a Coeur Plein Dandelion, Improved Broad Leaved Dandelion or Arlington Dandelion.

Second, harvest early. Young leaves are less bitter than more mature leaves.

Third, brine leaves before steaming. This helps remove some of the bitterness. For a short demonstration on cooking dandelion leaves, see the YouTube video featuring P. Allen Smith.

Dandelions are a perennial. After you harvest the plant it will grow back the same season, year after year.

Linda Alexander

Click here to review our dandelion salad recipe. It was a featured salad, cooked to order at our last Grow and Graze luncheon.

Fresh dandelion greens can also be purchased in some grocery stores. Locally, places like Central Market, Sprouts and Whole Foods stock them on a seasonal basis.

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It’s Spring and Plant Sales Are Coming!

April 2, 2019

Over and under and in and out, Roseanne and her volunteer band of planters are busily preparing for the upcoming plant sale at Texas Discovery Gardens.  They could still use some help in the mornings  and be sure to ready your list and make your way to the plant sale April 13 and 14th, (April 12th for members).

I just added a new Shrub to mine !

Texas Discovery Garden Greenhouse

Under the tables, so to speak at TDG!

I spy Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’.

Kerria japonica is the perfect blooming shrub for shade to part sun.

Tig Thompson and pots!

The Raincatcher’s Garden plant sale is April 25th. More information about what we have to sell will be coming your way in the next few weeks. Good prices, home-grown selections!

Putting on plant sales is a lot of work. Thanks to all the volunteers who share their plants through the spring plant sales and thanks to our audience who support our endeavors. It is a labor of love to find new homes for our plants.

Starla Willis

 

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