Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting Ready for Winter

Yes, that's right- Getting ready for winter! I know, I know, it's still summer and all, but now is the time to start getting ready for winter. What I mean is this... now is the time to take little bits and pieces of summer to hold onto in winter.
If you are like me, winter can sometimes feel a little heavy and dark and gloomy and gray. One of the ways I have learned to brighten it up is with plants. Not just any plants though, they have to be generous plants, plants that have something to share. And some of the MOST generous plants are fragrant plants!!!
Like this sweet little African Blue Basil pictured below.
Last Wednesday I got a call from Jeff Lee with Bramble Wood Gardens. He has a spot at the State Farmer's Market in downtown Raleigh. He was calling to let me know that he had brought in some new starts of one of my favorite herbs- African Blue Basil! I bought two because I knew they would be the perfect size to brighten up a spot in the home during the winter months.
And then I thought there may be other folks who may be interested in having some fragrant herbs to brighten up their winters too.
As you can see by the roots in the picture above, these plants are ready to move up in pot size. I like the roots to be slightly moist but not too wet when being prepped for moving up in pot size.
After taking the plants from their containers, I take the pointed end of the plant tag and gently rake it through the outer roots. The idea is to loosen them up a bit so that they will be able to reach out into the soil in their new homes.
After I am finished, the roots look kinda of messy and the plants need to be potted up right away. I place them in two 6" terracotta pots with more potting soil and water them in.
These plants will continue growing through fall and may need to be cut back at least once. When I bring them inside for the winter, I will find a bright sunny, south facing window to place them in.
And when it is dark and gloomy and COLD outside, I will stop by that window often. Because I know that these generous plants will always have some wonderfully, summery fragrance to share.
Next week I hope to share some more about Jeff Lee and Bramble Wood Gardens!

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