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  • Published
    February 6, 2010

    Basil dreams

    A friend and I were talking about the wonderful, strong scents of various plants, when she said she sometimes thinks of lying down in a bed of basil and rolling in it. No wonder Johnny’s Selected Seeds said basil is its most popular herb! As my winter supply of frozen pesto diminishes, I, too, am dreaming of beds of fragrant Italian Ocimum basilicum, although in reality, half a dozen plants will be plenty to …

  • Published
    January 31, 2010

    Colorful flowers fill winter dreams

    The cold, white winter is fertile ground for colorful flower dreams; so as I order seeds for the vegetable garden, lots of flowers creep into the plan. Sweet alyssum is great for beautifying vegetable gardens and, at the same time, attracting beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings and tachinid flies; supporting bees; and producing fragrance (especially white-flowered varieties). This low-growing, …

  • Published
    January 10, 2010

    A new year, a new interest: mushrooms

    Thanks to two Maine mycologists (experts in fungi) who each published a book in 2009, 2010 will be the year of the mushrooms for me. Those books are “Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada” by David L. Spahr (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, Calif.) and “Mushrooms for Health–Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi” by Greg A. Marley (Down East, Rockport, Maine). Spahr’s book covers …

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