Friday, February 1

Clean Sweep!

Hello dear readers!
I have been away cleaning my house. Call it an early spring cleaning. I was fed up with all the clutter and decided once and for all to do something about it-so I cleared everything out and did a little redecorating too. Isn't amazing how good having a nice looking, clean house makes you feel?
I also picked up a few new houseplants-a jade, coffee plant, and palm. It's so nice to be surrounded by green growing plants while it's cold and gray outside!

Sunday, January 27

Pet Safe Houseplants

If you are a pet owner and a houseplant lover, you’ve probably found that keeping both happy can be a balancing act. Cats and dogs often view our plants as playthings, snacks, and sometimes even toilets! While there are many plants that are poisonous to our furry friends, here is a list of some safe varieties:

· African Violets (Saintpaulia)
· Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
· Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
· Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus australis)
· Zebra Plant (Calathea zebrina)
· Wandering Jew (Zebrina pendula)
· Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
· Peperomia
· Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)

When shopping for houseplants, avoid obvious dangers like cacti. Dogs and cats don’t understand that the spines are sharp! Also avoid any plant that produces berries they are often too tempting for pets to resist. Here are some other plants to avoid or keep far out of your pet’s reach:

Oleander should NEVER be used as a houseplant. Although it is beautiful, it is also very poisonous. 1 leaf is enough to kill your pet-and you.

Trailing plants such as Philodendron and Pothos should be kept up high where their trailing stems won’t tempt. While neither is toxic, ingesting Philodendron will give your pet an itchy rash, and Pothos will cause vomiting. Diffenbachia should also be kept away from pets-the sap in its leaves can cause swelling of the throat and literally take your pets voice away. (It does the same thing to humans-this may be why some of its nicknames are “Mother in Law Plant” and “Dumb Cane”!) Ivies will cause a blistering rash, and even Aloe Vera, which is a plant no kitchen should be without(the gel inside is wonderful at healing burns and minor skin irritations), will cause vomiting and intestinal distress if eaten.

To be absolutely sure your pets and plants can coexist safely, know what you’re buying. That way you’ll know which plants you can leave around your plants and which need to be placed out of reach-or not purchased at all!

Garden Planning

With the holidays behind us it’s time to look ahead to spring! Now’s the time to start planning this year’s garden. Start going through that stack of plant and seed catalogs(if you haven’t already!) and make your orders! This is especially important if you’re ordering live plants because most nurseries take orders well in advance and ship at the optimum planting time for your region. This means popular varieties often sell out long before planting season arrives.To start planning, use a notebook to draw a rough sketch of the area you want to plant in and let your imagination run wild until you settle on a design that pleases you. Make sure to take note of the amount of sunshine the area you’re planning to plant in gets-and don’t forget the trees! Once spring arrives they’ll be full and leafy again, so that spot that seems perfect because it gets direct sun all day may only get it for a few hours once the trees around it are in full leaf!

Saturday, January 26

Welcome to the Garden Scribe!

Welcome! I am a freelance writer who specializes in garden writing and this is my blog about all things green and written. I'll also be posting about life in general, if I find it interesting enough to share. :-) I live in New York City with my husband and our two cats. Right now it's very cold and dreary but spring will be here soon enough. It's never too soon to start dreaming about the garden!