We've had rain here for what seems like two weeks straight. It's a bummer for actually working outside, but the plants are loving it. The pass-along plants I picked up at a co-worker's house and garden (phenomenal property... old farm house, two ponds, and drifts of flowers, perennials, herbs, and veggies across the acreage... I was in heaven) are doing well. We went to visit between rain storms on Saturday and came back with a trunk loaded full of perennial geraniums, irises, all kinds of hosta (she's a hosta junkie like I am), herbs, ornamental grasses, wild ginger, and tons of other stuff. Much of it went into our own gardens here at home, but some will be planted by my students into our gardens at school. I'm loving watching my plants thrive in the rain we've had, and it's been a great time to transplant things.
We've also had some lettuce from our garden this week, as well as chives, thyme, lemon balm, and parsley I grew from seed. (I've read that Italian parsley can be troublesome, but I had great luck with it.) My basil isn't quite big enough yet to harvest, but hopefully in a few weeks we'll have some fabulous pasta dishes, focaccia, and pesto for pizza.
Indoors, I potted up some houseplants that were in need of larger containers. Some of these were from my Teacher of the Year "flowers" from my school. (The secretary is a gardening buddy, so she knew I'd want something that would keep on living, instead of a floral arrangement that would die in a week or two.) I've also been reading that you can grow your own houseplants from citrus seeds, avocado pits, and even pineapple tops. How's that for saving some green, while improving your indoor air quality?!
Since we split a CSA (community supported agriculture) share with some friends, we're really looking forward to lots of fresh produce starting in June. We purchased our share through the High Country CSA, but there are lots of others out there. If you're not from our region, check out options in your area. They're a great, and generally affordable, way to support fresh, locally grown produce from farmers in your area. Plus, you usually end up with some fun ingredients that are new to you, so it makes for more fun in the kitchen.
On another note, Benny recently attended a rain garden workshop through our local agricultural extension agency. It was only $20 and included great notes and handouts, first-hand experience with planning a rain garden, and lunch from a local restaurant. For those not in the know, rain gardens are designed to help control flooding and pooling after rain storms. So, they're generally planted in low-lying areas and with plants that can tolerate "having their feet wet". If you don't know much about gardening and would like to get into it, your local ag extension agency is a great place to go. These folks are paid with your tax dollars, so it's their job, and generally their joy, to help you with all things agricultural. They offer all sorts of gardening workshops, from gardening basics to bee keeping courses to Master Gardener certification courses.
So, what're you up to these days? How are you gardening green; are you splitting plants with friends, started your own herb garden, or did you start your own rain garden? I'd love to hear from you!