Gardening Tales

Dance of the Garden and Gardening Tips

March 30, 2017
Do you love to garden? Do you love to be right smack in the middle of nature?
Well if you do and if you are looking for some gardening tips and have some to share, I'd love for you to stick around !
By now I am sure you know that I am most content being in the middle of nature.
That includes my garden, the mountains, the forest, the valleys.
These are perfect spots where I can I plop right down in the middle of it all, burrow my hands into the soil, hike a mountain, picnic among the trees or simply sit in a quiet valley and just hear the silence.
It is here in these intricately designed elements, which far surpass anything that man could make, that I find my happy place.
gardening, tips, homegrown, market, flowers, farm,
Among the glory of nature I just enjoy watching the dance of it all, you know nature has it's own rhythms just like the tides of the sea and one of my favorites dances to be part of is that of the Garden.


Have you ever watched a seed sprout and unfurl it's newly discovered leaves?
(This is a green bean.)
How about seeing the wind skip along the tips of pink cosmos petals.
We know that it is amazing, don't we...


While to some this photo may not look like much, but just wait, in a few short months the delicate dance of this garden will have begun and waltzed, tangoed and produced beauty and food.


Did you know that people that surround themselves with nature are less stressed?
It's been reported that women who include the joy of nature in their lives actually live longer.


Today I am sharing with you some nifty gardening tips that have worked well for me, so they just might for you too.

Today I planted my second crop of radish, zinnia and sunflower.

Gardening Tip One

Succession Planting For Success

  • Plant your garden in intervals of anywhere from 2-3 weeks.
  • Increases the longevity of the crop.
  • When one planting is finishing up producing your second crop and subsequent crops will begin.


Gardening Tip Two

Organic Gardening

One of my primary goals is organic gardening and to become organically certified in order to sell my produce to local organic markets/restaurants.

I have worked with all three of these organic products and I know that they work and here is why.


  •  Use " llama beans" for a natural and organic fertilizer. They are a rich organic fertilizer with potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous. They are earth friendly and reduce your carbon footprint by recycling part of nature.
  • "According to High Desert Organic Gardeners, you should use 13 times the amount of llama manure as you would chemical fertilizer to get the same amount of nitrogen as 20-10-5 mixes."
Reference from SF Homeguides

  •  Fish Emulsion is a natural and burn free nitrogen and organic fertilizer, and stimulates microorganisms that live in the soil.

  •  Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer boosts plant health and helps with environmental stress.
  • Can even help discourage spider mites.


This is our second season for a vegetable garden in our new home.
My first post of the gardening season from last year was 5 Tips For Growing A Garden, which includes some basic tips on location, soil, water, fertilizers and commitment.

Here is my recommendation for 5 Fabulous Plants.

5 plants to have in your home or garden with jemma

For more gardening inspiration you might enjoy reading My Old Fashioned Garden.

Wishing you all much gardening happiness!



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  1. Looks like you're off to a great start. Love those Gypsy Llama beans, miss her.. Anyways a little bee told me that when we move we may get a couple alpacas which is really similar to llama. I"m going to have to look into that seaweed fertilizer for my planters sounds like it would be great fit. Thanks for the tips.


    1. Organic is the only way to go for me and my vegetable/flower garden. While the chemical infused fertilizers typically give you that big power punch of blossoms or fruit, they do not sustain the root system or overall health of the plant. Organic gardening is definitely a mindset and has a learning curve it is so worth it.

  2. Some good tips, Jemma, and it is going to be fabulous. Very good about planting in spurts. Makes perfect sense. I have to get lettuce, spinach and peas going this week. No flowers in for another month. Sigh...

    1. Thanks Jeanie,
      With our fast growing season plants seem to go from sprouts to mature plants very quickly and then all at once the garden is done. Living in this climate makes gardening challenging because our crops don't freeze like a normal cycle, they burn up! Trying to figure out how to maximize it all.

  3. Sounds like you're all set for gardening. Great tips! I see a couple of flowers I've had before...looks like Cosmos and 'em both. Please, stop by my blog and catch a glimpse at my new Fairy Godmother Linda assisted Blog!!

    1. Yes I am, things are sprouting and within a short time we will be dining on green-beans and corn on the cob!
      You called this right on the flowers-they are very hardy for our hot climate:)

  4. I'm biting at the bits to get some veggies planted. Tilling the ground is next on the list . Looks like you are already having fun dear Jemma . Hugs and blessings , cindy

    1. Having fun is the name of the game once it is gardening season! We have had a very early Spring, just praying we don't get a random frost, because I'll be very sad if we do....

  5. Jemma, your garden is looking wonderful. I know that in a few months it will be overflowing with goodies! Thanks for the great gardening tips! Hope you enjoy your day!!!

    1. Good Morning,
      This is my most favorite time of the year for certain. I am just hoping and praying that the heat doesn't set in too soon. Such an early Spring for us.
      I am glad you enjoyed the tips, changing over from traditional fertilizing
      methods to organic is intimidating at first, so I am still learning!

  6. You are a wonderful gardener, dearest Jemma! My gardening is an abbreviated version of your sweet space: I plant annuals in pots and flower boxes, water them, deadhead....I prune my beloved boxwoods and enjoy. We had decided long ago we would not plant annuals but we are surrounded by lush green textures varying from boxwoods, junipers, pines. But these have their own dance as well. Most of them start off in spring as fledgling ballerinas, others still learning to stand tall. But the dance gives us great pleasure, and our seasons are beginning again dear friend. Your garden is a lucky plot to have YOU! Tickle the earth dear friend. ENJOY!

    1. Oh what a charming and beautifully written note you have left me this morning. I adore it and I am sitting here right now envisioning your fledgling ballerina plants stretching their long and graceful stems toward the sky and moon. I have been fortunate to see some of your gardens on IG and I hope to see more in the very near future!

  7. Absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to plant veggies along with flowers and I'll be needing your advice. My mom and dad are amazing gardeners and mom always loved fish emulsion. I remember her pouring that around when I was a kid. Stinky!! It works though. :)

    1. Thanks Stacey!
      I am enjoying mixing the garden crops together, it gives it a cottage and eclectic feel and the flowers and veggies love to grow together.
      Yes, that fish emulsion is so stinky! I made the mistake of putting it on all my flower pots by the front door....I think I ran some folks off!

  8. Jemma, I always enjoy the beautiful pictures of your garden and your wonderful tips! I can't wait to start my little flower garden this year, I'll be taking into account all of your advice.

  9. How nice to have your garden started. Great tips for those that can do vegetables. Because of lack of sun in my yard, a vegetable garden is not possible. I hope to revamp a very large flower garden this year.

  10. Oh Jemma, I really loved this post because you know how much I love nature. Your pictures are lovely today, and how interesting to see the garden sprout and grow. Your garden looks wonderful, and oh my, the purple shamrock is something else. I didn't know that people that surround themselves with nature are less stressed and that women actually live longer. Learned something today. Thank you, dear one.

    love, ~Sheri

  11. How do you combat weeds ? Thanks ,

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Nice to see you visit today. Here are some tips for those pesky weeds.

      There is an old saying "Pull when wet; hoe when dry." very wise advice when tackling weeds in the garden.
      After a drenching rain, or having just watered pull those weeds up. Be certain to bring out an old tarp, a garbage bag or something to dispose of those weeds so they don' re-root.

      When the soil is dry slice the weeds off just below the soil line-if you have a sharp edged hoe this will work even better.

      Mulch if there is space to do so. Pine needles, wood chips, bark nuggets will keep those weeds in the dark and slow them way down for growing.

      Lopping off the heads of weeds will slow them down.

      Enrich you soil with organic matter as often as possible to keep weeds at bay, Scientists tell us that a healthy strong composted soil is a deterrent to weeds.

  12. Thanks for all the great tips..... I also love to garden, but unfortunately I cannot get up and down anymore due to my knees. so I just snip, snip snip around and let the gardener clean up.

    Have wonderful weekend.


  13. Hi Jemma, your garden is amazing and you are an expert in this area. Love reading your ideas and tips. We no longer have the space or ground for the veggie garden we would love but for many years in other homes we grew everything. I was raised by parents and grandparents who taught me to can and put up our produce. It was incredible.
    Now I keep with a flower garden only in our smaller space and I love it. With our nice weather and rain, it is thriving. While the temps are cool, it looks amazing.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden and all your tips. Have fun and enjoy it my friend. xo

  14. I so admire your organic vegetable garden. One of these days.... In the meantime I am enjoying the flowers I've planted in the backyard recently. Now I find out that I may live longer! Well, I know I will live happier.

  15. I have goats so that's what I use as fertilizer, that and vermicompost. I've never tried fish emulsion or seaweed. Where do you buy yours and how much do you have to use?

    I'm looking forward to reading about your journey to sell to organic markets. Good luck!

    1. Hi Maria,

      What a terribly wet Sunday! But I surely enjoyed Saturday.

      Here is a list of a few Nurseries that carry Organic products and their websites as well.
      My husband and I took an organic gardening class at Covington's earlier in the year.

      Covington's Nursery -Rowlett (shopped here)

      Ron's Organics Inc. - Mesquite (have not tried yet)

      Rohde's Organic and Native Plants - Garland (shopped here)

  16. Great tips and photos too, Jemma. Now, all I need is some warm weather. We are expecting snow this weekend. Ugh. Have a good one.

  17. Your garden is looking great Jemma! You have really delved right into your goal, and I hope you get certified for organic gardening as you hope.

    After your post on ordering flowers recently, I have to tell you I too had ordered some flowers last week, but went into a local store and ordered them from a book. The clerk suggested I allow an extra day so that they would get all the flowers required, so I agreed. When I went to pick up the bouquet, it was so pathetic! I ordered the "large" bouquet for $90, and it came out sparse looking and some of the flowers were damaged around the edge of the vase. I was so disappointed and annoyed that I asked for my money back. It took half an hour of "discussing" this with the clerk and her boss on the phone, but they did reimburse me. I couldn't help but think of you and your tulips while waiting in the store. I am buying my flowers from the market instead. Thank you for sharing your story because it made me feel okay that I asked for my money back since I wasn't happy with the product.

  18. Oxalis is on my list this year. I love the deep shade of purple. Great tips here! I was so impressed by your garden last year.

  19. Jemma,
    I am impressed with your gardening expertise! So many great tips here and since gardening does not come as a natural talent for me :( I can use every tip I can get! Your plants are such lovely shades and a feast for my eyes as we just got hit with another winter storm. I know spring is here but I just cant see it....thanks for sharing your spring with me!!! :)

  20. Hi Jemma, I wanted to stop by to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers for my surgery last Monday. Diana posted a prayer request on her blog and I am full of gratitude! I am slowly recovering but wanted you to know how very much I appreciate you thinking of me. :-) You have a lovely blog, looking forward to following along and getting to know you better.


  21. Gardening is not always easy, so good tips are such a help.

    Lovely post.

    Good wishes for April

    All the best Jan

  22. Thanks for the tips, Jemma! I'm envious that you can start growing a garden already. I'm sitting here looking out my window at the wind, rain and bare trees - and its only 30 degrees! Will be another month before I can plant anything.

  23. Wow, Jemma, you will definitely be a busy woman when you reach that organic status, won't you? I'm so proud of you for becoming a part of this amazing movement.

    Just wanted to say that I'm cooking your Beer Battered Shrimp tonight. The timer just rang to let me know it's finished cooling in the fridge and ready to be fried. Will let you know how it turns out. I've already tasted the honey/mustard/marmalade sauce that goes with it--yum, could eat it with a spoon!

  24. Great tips. I love gardens and a dancing garden would be at the top of my list.

  25. Those are great gardening tips and I so wish I had a green thumb. I've tried in the past...worked and cried and I just don't seem to have the magic touch! I'm going to try to plant a few flowers in the bed out front to see what happens. Our soil down here is a little more acidic so it has to be treated in order for flowers to flourish! Love your garden and those pics! Love and hugs sweet friend!

  26. It looks like you have the beginning of another great garden. Here's wishing you a bountiful season. I agree with you about growing organically when you can…that is what I did in both our garden in New Hampshire as well as Maine when we lived up north.

  27. Happy Easter to you, dearest Jemma. : )

    love, ~Sheri

  28. Jemma, your shot of a green bean was pretty amazing! I loved your gardening tips and they were most helpful. Thank you so much for sharing at Gardens Galore. Stay tuned for another party coming soon'


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