I’m Featured In A Gardening Book!

Last year, before we were barraged by  one of the worst winters on record and far worse, scorched by the hottest, most bone dry summer we can remember, (making excuses for the current state of my  garden(s), I was approached by Dale Mayer to share my wealth of knowledge in her upcoming gardening book.  She also spotlighted various other gardeners throughout this highly informative guide entitled The Complete Guide to COMPANION PLANTING. Chocked full of helpful tips and instructions, this would be a boon to any gardener and make a super Christmas gift.  Throw in a a trowel, seeds, or a gift certificate  to their favorite catalog and you’re all set.  Or just give the book.

I’ve long been a big fan of organic gardening and am learning more about the benefits of companion planting all the time as we read up on what has worked for others as well as experiencing our own triumphs, large and small.  By ‘we’ I mean my youngest daughter Elise and I.  She’s my right arm in the garden.

We don’t use chemical pesticides or fungicides.  In the past, whenever I did finally break down and spray some skull and crossbones stuff, I felt awful when I discovered a little lady bug or frolicking baby praying mantis I’d just zapped.   I’ve used brews of garlic and safe gardening oils, along with baking soda to discourage pests and diseases.

The last year or two we also discovered the organic product called Neem which I use sparingly (while Elise urges even greater caution) to fight our most voracious pests and blights with moderate success.  Neem isn’t supposed to harm beneficial insects, only those that feed on plants, which rules out all desirables except for moth/butterfly larvae, but as we are encouraging butterflies to visit our garden(s) we didn’t want to kill their offspring.

Mostly we rely on enriching the soil and keeping the earthworms happy by mulching with compost and hay, anything that rots, and using companion plants.   Living on a farm we have access to the manure too, always a plus to the garden, especially if its well broken down before applying.  If you’re taking notes, we also like to spray liquid sea weed or fish emulsion on plant leaves to give an extra boost.  However, this attracts the cats and farm dogs to the garden.  Our favorite companion plants include radishes and nasturtiums, but I won’t go into all of that now. For more on my gardening story and many others, buy the book.   I’m on page 205. 🙂

Happy gardening.

*Pics of the garden

9 responses to “I’m Featured In A Gardening Book!

  1. Congratulations Beth!!
    I’m a sucker for gardening books, as I love to do things naturally too. We don’t live on a farm, however, so don’t have access to free manure. Like you, I even hate when I’m digging and accidentally chop an earthworm in half, though I’ve heard they regenerate and become 2 worms.


  2. Caroline Clemmons

    Beth, congratulations! You are so talented. How nice that your daughter helps you in the garden. We just don’t have enough water at our place to have a nice garden or flower beds. I love reading your blogs with your beautiful plants and photos.


  3. Thanks so much, guys. I don’t like cutting worms in half either. After this last horrific summer I can sympathize with you, Caroline.


  4. My grandmother used to say that those who successfully coaxed the earth to give them gifts were blessed with a special touch. It appears you’re one of those special people, Beth! Congratulations – I envy your ability to nurture such wonderful gardens.


  5. Hi Beth!

    How nice to see this up! I’m happy you’re delighted with your spotlight!

    I haven’t received my copies yet, so maybe they’ll arrive soon.

    Dale Mayer


  6. Beautiful pictures Beth. Love watching things come from seeds you plant to beautiful things everyone can see and appreciate.


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