Whenever I get stuck and I don’t know what to do, I always go back to the basics. I always go back to the very moment that an idea sprung into my head and reconnect with the basic energy that surrounded that idea. So, here it is.

It all boils down to two things and these are two rules I tend to follow in my career of nurseryman, landscaper and farmer. Are you ready?

It boils down to “Dirt and Ladybugs”.  Why dirt and ladybugs you may ask? Well, ladybugs are sacred. We will stop traffic to move a ladybug safely to the other side of the road.

Why dirt? Because it all starts in the soil. It’s all about dirt. It is the living community of soil and all of its nutrients, minerals and microorganisms that gives us life. This time of year the earth starts waking up and we don’t even know it.

The next time 5:00 p.m. rolls around in your world, take a look outside. Notice anything? It’s light out. It’s time to start the process of waking up your yard. I’m not talking about charging up the batteries, putting gasoline in your lawn mower or banging pots and pans. All I’m saying is that it is simply time to be aware.  Checking your irrigation systems and making sure your irrigation timer is operational is a great start. Last minute pruning and fertilization and last minute clean-up can finish it off.

I’m walking along one day and I came across this sign.
Who plants a poison garden? Seriously.

On top of that, who puts a garden in that you can’t touch, smell or eat anything and in which children must be accompanied at all times? I do. You do? You ask. Yes, I do. 

Hello Helleborus spp., Hellebore. Currently, my favorite plant. A drought tolerant, shade loving, bullet proof, idiot proof, deer proof plant that also, may I mention, blooms in the dead of winter with icicles hanging off its flowers. And yes, the bees love it. What’s not to like about this plant?Seriously. The root of the plant is strongly emetic and potentially fatal. Back in medieval times it was used to cause vomiting after a child was diagnosed with worms. If the worms remained in your stomach, possibly a dose of the root would solve your problem. If the worm moved into your gut, then a second dose could be fatal. On the other hand, if you dry the root, create a powder it is said you can spread it on the floor, step on it and become invisible. Bottom line, enjoy it in the garden. Do not feed it to your children to expel worms.

Can you figure out what vegetable we grow in our garden that has the following characteristics? Its vine is poisonous, its leaves are poisonous and its flowers are poisonous, but its root is edible. While you’re thinking of this, let me give you something else to think about.

Who, after watching three people drop dead after consuming the vine, the leaves and the flowers had the courage to try the root? It makes you wonder. I think at this point I would have walked away and left the root in the ground. We are going to plant a lot of it at our farm at Maple Rock and then we’re going to feed it to you at High Hand cafe in the fall. Have you figured it out yet? As the days grow longer, next time 5:00 p.m. rolls around, take a peak and reflect on what you see. See you at High Hand Nursery. Scott

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