New Book: The Cook’s Herb Garden

Just picked up The Cook’s Herb Garden by Jeff Cox & Marie-Pierre Moine at Barnes & Noble this weekend. I’m always looking for ways to make the most of my garden and my plan is to grow a lot of herbs this year. Great information and great pictures. I love the oil & herb recipes and the ice cube herb recipes. Definitely a new favorite!

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Mr. Peaches is not impressed by my new book.



Aloe Vera

Today I stopped by a new garden center that I’ve never been to and loved it! The Indian Creek Nursery at 303 No. Saddle Creek, Omaha, NE 68131 is really cute. Find them on Facebook. They had three greenhouses open today so I was able to walk around and see everything growing. It’s been an amazingly warm week in the 60’s – 70’s so I am sure everyone has been thinking about planting time! They had one really nice greenhouse that looked year-round that was full of succulents, cactus, house plants, etc. so I’ll definitely have to go back to check that out from time to time. I’ve been looking for a new Aloe Vera plant and found this little guy for $6.99. He’s happily repotted and will hopefully love his new home. Perfect!

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Garden Planning #1

We are 10 weeks out from our frost free date so I had several things to plant today. I’ve never tried to grow flowers from seed so this will definitely be a learning experience. I started two flats of Snapdragons, a half flat of Craspedia and a half flat of stock. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to see the Snapdragon seeds, they are unbelievable tiny so I struggled a bit on those. I’m wondering how many will actually sprout. I am not a pro at this so I am trying to read everything I can and I am heavily leaning on the seed packets for instructions.

I purchased a huge rack, several flats and three grow lights so this will be quite the operation once everything is planted (pictures coming soon). I won’t plant again until we are 8 weeks out.

Snapdragon – Chantilly Formula Mix F1 & Madam Butterfly F1 (both purchased from Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Instructions: Surface sow 8-10 weeks before last frost. Do not cover as light is required for germination. Bottom water or mist lightly (which is what I did) to avoid covering seed. Germination 7-14 days. Transplant to packs or larger containers when true leaves appear, approx 3-4 weeks after sowing. Harden off and transplant out after damage of frost has passed. It also mentions to pinch back the plants to 1 1/2″ – 2″ when they are 3″-4″ to encourage branching. Harvest when florets on lower third of spike are open.

There were supposed to be 100 seeds in each pack so I planned to plant them in a flat with 72 sections. Either I dropped some or there weren’t 100 per pack so now I have two partial flats which makes the OCD side of me crazy. It sounds like I’ll be able to transplant into larger packs so I’ll replant my 72 pack flats at that time.

Stock – Quartet Mix (Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Sow seeds 8-10 weeks before last frost. Transplant to packs or larger containers 14-21 days forms owing. Germination 7-14 days. Pinching is required to create a spray habit.

Craspedia – Sun Ball OG (Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Sow 8-10 weeks before last frost date. Transplant to larger packs. Harvest when flower heads are full open and hang to dry.

Like I mentioned this is my first attempt at this so I’m not sure how difficult each of these are to grow, transplant, etc. so it will be a learning experience! I do know that I absolutely cannot wait to have beautiful flowers this Spring & Summer!


Now that my grow light is on my little herbs are happy! Parsley, basil and cilantro.


I stopped by Sherbody’s in Council Bluffs yesterday and picked up this cute new pot! I’ve found that it just makes more sense to buy flower pots than try to make them on my pottery wheel. Can’t beat the price ($8.99)!


Howell’s Dried Florals and Greenhouse

I took a quick trip to Des Moines yesterday and my first stop was about 20 minutes south of Des Moines at Howell’s Dried Florals and Greenhouse in Cumming, Iowa. Right now is not really peak season for them so it was quiet but there was still plenty to see. They have a great little gift shop with some really cute home & garden decor that is very reasonably priced! Then a short walk upstairs into the dried flower part of the barn is unlike any other place I have been. Beautiful strings of dried flower of every color. Here are some of my images from their dried flower barn.

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It was actually fairly dark inside the barn so I had to crank up the ISO on my camera.

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Howell’s Dried Florals and Greenhouse: 3145 Howell Court, Cumming, IA 50061

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It was a great place to go and get your winter garden fix! I definitely plan to head back a few times this year. The owner mentioned that they are also at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market until Labor Day. IMG_9842 IMG_9843 IMG_9844 IMG_9845 IMG_9846 IMG_9851 IMG_9852 IMG_9854 IMG_9856 IMG_9858-2 IMG_9863 IMG_9864 IMG_9867 IMG_9868 IMG_9869 IMG_9870 IMG_9872 IMG_9873


In addition to their gift shop and dried flower barn they also have a greenhouse, a tree farm and a pumpkin patch. You can visit Howell’s for every season! I found this description on their website:

Spring: We have a beautiful selection of perennials, hanging baskets, container gardens, gardening gifts, and decorative trellises and garden accessories. We also grow fresh asparagus, the first vegetable of spring.

Summer: Your family will be amazed and almost overwhelmed as you stroll through the rolling fields of flowers, with breathtaking rainbows of color. Then step inside the barn, and be our guest in the loft, where the flowers are hung in 20 and 25 foot cascades to be naturally, air dried. We also grow blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and peppers, so be sure to plan to stock up on tasty, nutritious fresh vegetables.

Fall: Nothing compares to fall on the farm, where you’ll enjoy rows and rows of hardy mums, brilliant pumpkins, and tons of fun and fall activities. Be sure you visit Howell’s Pumpkin Patch, a family tradition for thousands of families.

Winter: Get into the spirit of the holiday season by shopping in our festive gift shop. Howell’s offers an imaginative variety of centerpieces, swags, wreaths, candles, and decorations.

Mulhalls Herbs Seminar

Today I went to a Herbs Seminar at Mulhall’s in Omaha, NE. The timing of it was weird because I had just bought some herbs there a few weeks ago. It was very interesting and informative. The food was great and I had a wonderful time walking around afterward. Going to Mulhall’s in the winter is like nothing else, you completely forget that it’s not spring yet.

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Their next event is a Metal Stamping Workshop:

February 14th at 11:00am & 2:00pm

Creating personalized stamped silverware is a great way to turn any potted plant into a charming gift or party favor. Join us at our metal-stamping workshop and create up to four personalized spoons, perfect for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or other special occasions. During the workshop, you’ll learn how to tarnish, flatten, and stamp spoons to create the perfect gift with the message of your choice. And to help get your creativity flowing, we’ll have coffee, chocolates, and lots of fun examples too. Registration is $25, and space is limited. Visit our store or call us at 402.496.0700 to register today!


More images of the herbs available at Mulhall’s.

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