Monthly Archives: March 2012

Paisley Plant of the Week: Zephirine Droughin Rose

Paisley Plant of the Week: Zephirine Droughin Rose


Tyler is crazy with color right now. Of course, the Azaleas are doing their thing, but also you can spot the signs of emerging life from the roses, tulips and other gorgeous plants. The Parsnip took Meghan and I driving the Azalea Trails during her split shift break yesterday. It was very enjoyable.

We also got to go see my mother-in-laws new flower beds, which are very pretty this year.


Zephirine Droughin Rose


My mother-in-law got some new roses for her front bed, which made me think of my favorite rose, the Zephirine Droughin.

I love this old girl for so many reasons…

  • It was brought west by a homesteading wife, on her lap in a covered wagon.
  • They have abundant, electric pink (my favorite color) roses that keep going from May to frost.
  • They are almost completely thorn free, which makes them a great choice for the pergola or along walkways.
  • The have an intoxicating, heady aroma that will knock your socks off.
  • They are a well mannered, climbing rose, excellent for porches or a trellis.

Zephirine Droughin, the well mannered climber.

They simply can’t be beat. So, where can you find yours?

The Antique Rose Emporium is always a great place. Other places you might check are Brushwood and perhaps Jackson & Perkins. No matter where you get it, just be sure you do get it. You won’t be sorry!

Have a Zephirine Droughin, paisley day!~KeriAnne

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Taproot

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Taproot

What do you need to know about taproots?

Not all plants have a taproot, but many of them do. Plants having taproots are extremely difficult to successfully  transplant, however, they are also not very easy to kill. For example, a dandelion has a substantial taproot. You can mow and hack at these little guys, the taproot will just send up new shoots and start again.

At this point I could explain dicots and monocots, but I’m not going to right now. I reserve the right to explain those later. Instead, I’m going to first explain it the way I explained it to Patrick.

Two groups of people want to get the same job done, they want to build a tower.

One group chooses to elect the strongest  guy to stand at the base of the tower, direct all the other workers and then build the tower and climb each section, getting materials needed from the workers he directs. He does the majority of the heavy work, but since he stays put, he relies on the rest of the workers for materials.

The second group chooses to all go out together to gather materials, meet back at the building site and all construct together, gathering more supplies as necessary.

Both groups can get the job done. Both groups build with sound principles. They’re just different, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Taproot System

The taproot system is a good one. One root grows thick and deep, sending out some smaller roots for

Carrots, roots and all

water and food, sending up leaves to bring the energy offered from the sun. You can cut off the top, it will send more (dandelion). You can hack off the side roots, it’ll make more. It’s only real Achilles heel is that taproot. Damage or disturb the taproot, and it’s very likely to kill the plant.




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To the Garden We’ll Be Going, To Do Some Raking and Some Hoeing

To the Garden We’ll Be Going, To Do Some Raking and Some Hoeing

The beds are in…the beds are in! 20 beds all tucked in, one Parsnip, all tuckered out!

This is the before picture of the front four beds.

Today was the first day schedules meshed with the Parsnip, my Father-in-law and his tiller.

It could not have been more perfect. Around seven the Parsnip started tilling the two beds that will have flowers around the driveway. By 11 or so all 20 beds were done and I was sweeping off the porch.  The Parsnip even did the squares for my pea teepees. He was very grouchy about it, and he was not at all pleased about having to do it, but he pressed on anyway. He’s good that way.

Paddy's Green Garden Tilled and ready for Seedlings

At 11:30 he was all done and I was beginning to rake out the clods and making some rows. At 11:45 it started to rain, not hard, but kind of insistent. By 12:30 it was raining too hard to get anything done. So, in a little less than 5 hours we had done what the Parsnip said ¤couldn’t be done. (I never doubted it, so there)  ¤ Note: The Parsnip said after he read my post, “I didn’t say it couldn’t be done, I said it shouldn’t be. See the difference?” It’s whatever.

I have beds to tuck all my babies in…Yay! A place for the peppers. A home for tomatoes. Seedlings, many, many seedlings now have a place to reside.

I think I’m going to hold off another week on the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. The melons and cucumbers will go in within the next couple of days though. Peas and beans, radishes and turnips as well. I take a chance with my turnips and radishes, they don’t really “love” to be transplanted, but I am very gentle with them and haven’t lost any yet.

After looking over these pictures, I realized that you can’t tell how much this truly is. This is four beds, each are 6′ in width and approximately 20′ long. Then in the back yard there is one 3′ x 7′ bed and one 3′ x 12′ bed for melons, one 12′ x 15′ bed for peppers and eggplants and one 12′ x 15′ bed for tomatoes.  Oh, yeah, then on each side of the house is a 12′ x 20′ bed, herbs in one, flowers in the other. Five pea plots, five bean plots, wow, I owe my husband a foot rub. Bugger I completely forgot, three 4′ x 20′ cucumber beds. I may have to rub his feet tomorrow too…nah.

To the Garden We'll Be Going, To Do Some Raking and Some Hoeing

My “secret” to transplanting those crops that set a taproot is not anything scientific or brainy. These are the things that get very “upset” if you try to start them as seedlings and then plant them in your beds. While none of them really enjoy being transplanted and may nod their little heads for a few hours with a little plant, “Oh, just who does she think she is”? kind of attitude.

But there are some, really uptight little guys that actually lose the will to live should you decide they must be moved after you start them. These are the things that need a little careful planning and a big dose of coddling in order to safely transplant them as seedlings.

Squash, including pumpkins, summer or winter varieties fall in to this group, as well as turnips, radishes and parsnips (the veggie, not the hubby. I rarely ever transplant him). Melons and cucumbers are picky about being transplanted, although they won’t usually just die completely, they may put on a very convincing death show before rebounding. Drama queens.

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5 Reasons to Buy Local or the Paisley Soapbox, You Choose

5 Reasons to Buy Local or the Paisley Soapbox, You Choose

Keep it in the Community

I am not a zealot in the organic arena. I will not be raking any muck. There are many people that fill this niche with the passion that is necessary to get the job done.

I love to garden and I want it to be as fun and stress free as possible. That being said, I don’t use chemicals in the garden and I don’t buy processed food. I think GMO’s should be clearly labeled and, while I am not against antibiotics if the infection warrants it, I don’t want them in my food in any form.

And that’s the end of my muckraking career. Now I’m going to tell you the reasons I think you should garden organically and buy local organic produce. That’s what you wanted to know today, right? You thought when you got up, “I think I’ll take a jog before church tonight, and, oh yeah, I wonder why that Paisley woman thinks I should buy local”?

Local is Best

Okay, so probably not. Here goes anyway.

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Enquiring Minds Want to Know

Enquiring Minds Want to Know

I’m thinking about starting a podcast. I think I would record weekly. I want to do interviews with other gardeners and garden bloggers about the joys and challenges of organic gardening. So, I’m asking. Is this something you would listen to?

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which?

Do you watch YouTube Videos about gardening?

What topics would you want to see covered about gardening in general?

What is the one crop you know most about?

What is the one crop you know least about?

Would you like more recipes?

Would you be interested in projects for the garden?

Would you be interested in projects for gifts from the garden?

I know this hasn’t been the most stimulating of posts, but it’s what’s on my mind today. Answer in comments or email me at

Remember, it’s not too late to get your free seeds for answering a few questions. April 1 is the deadline. Two people have gotten theirs. Will you get yours? See here

Have an informative, paisley day!~KeriAnne



Winnie-the-Pooh Garden

Winnie-the-Pooh Garden

One of my favorite memories from when my kids were little, is reading aloud to them Winnie-the-Pooh. I tried to time it just right so that on their sixth birthday we would begin, Now We Are Six. So, usually around four we would start with When We Were Very Young. We would read a little Pooh and then whatever else they had chosen, Amelia Bedelia or Incredible Ned or whatever the flavor of the day happened to be. But we would start and end with a chapter of Milne.

There is wisdom to be found in these little books. Only scratch the surface to find a treasure trove of ideologically solid principles on which to hang your hat.

Why not start a new tradition this year. Read the books and grow a garden! You could make a Hundred Acre Wood sign and off you could go. Here’s the ideas I had after just a little thought.

I’m thinking a garden in seven sections or rows.: Pooh (of course), Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, and Tigger, Christopher Robin and Roo.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Wisteria

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wisteria


Robin Red Breast, Here comes spring!

All gardeners that I know have a “signal” that is the harbinger of spring for them personally.

For some, it’s the nodding of the daffodils. For others it’s the insistence of the robins with their red breasts. Perhaps it’s the forsythia with it’s cheerful disposition and blazing confidence.

Nodding Daffodils

The NHL playoffs? To each his own.

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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Mushrooms and Other Spore Bearing Fungi

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Mushrooms and Other Spore Bearing Fungi

It seems appropriate this week to talk about mushrooms and other spore type critters. On Wednesday I talked about the Mushroom Growing Kit we are doing this spring with Patrick, so it’s fresh on my mind.

Mushrooms are not plants. They are a fungus. The classification has to do with how they reproduce themselves. To be completely accurate, a mushroom is the spongy, fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus. Whether a mushroom is safely edible depends on the type of fungus the mushroom fruits from.

The mushroom has three parts, the stipe (or stem), the pileus (or cap) and the lamella (or gills). There are other fungi that produce spores to reproduce, they are often lumped in as mushrooms. These include Morel and Turkey Tail. Turkey Tail mushroom has been used in Chinese medicine for many years and now is being developed in Western medicine as a possible cure for several types of cancer, HIV, and Malaria.

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Throwback Thursday: Rue Herb o’ Grace

Throwback Thursday: Rue Herb o’ Grace

Herb of Grace? Why is it called that?

Rue: Rutaceae Genus: Ruta

Rue? Why don’t we hear more about it?

It turns out that it was once as common as basil or oregano in the kitchen. Not so much today. This is a very old plant. It is used medicinally and in cooking.

The leaves are used in cooking as a spice for eggs, cheese, and meat. It can also be eaten fresh in salads, although it is extremely bitter, it is said to increase your appetite. I’m not a particular fan of bitter, but I must say I’m eager to try this now that I’ve read a little about it.

Common Rue, lovely flowers

I’m particularly interested in it’s use as a medicinal. It has such a broad range of uses, it seems like it was just used for everything, from colds and fevers to melancholy and hiccups. There were some pretty strong warnings about it as well. The oils of rue should not come in direct contact with the skin, as this can cause blistering and an acid type reaction. Also, pregnant women should not use rue, as it can cause miscarriage. However, it is indicated for use as an aid for menses.

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There’s a Fungus Among Us

There’s a Fungus Among Us

A mushroom walks in to an ice-cream store. “We don’t serve to mushrooms here” says the man behind the counter. The mushroom asks, “Why not? I’m a fungi!

Yay it’s finally here! For the last three years Patrick has been wanting a mushroom growing kit but there was always a reason it wasn’t the right time. Not enough money, not enough time, enough money enough time, not enough desire by the parents that would have to deal with it.

Mushroom Growing Kit and Patrick

So a few weeks ago I was perusing my seed catalogs and came across a 50% off coupon for one item, offer expires in three days. This is perfect, the mushroom box is regularly $39.99, I was already getting four container blueberry plants from the same company, so now I’ll get free shipping on my order over $50. Half off the mushrooms, free shipping, it looks like fun, perfect.

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