HARMONY GARDENS NEWSLETTER
Volume 2 ~ Issue 8 October 3, 2010

FENG SHUI TIPS FROM THE EXPERT

I always feel so honored when someone invites me to their home, office or garden for a Feng Shui consultation. I often feel that I see their potential before they see it themselves.

Many people are not clear about their future direction. They either are nervous about the uncertainty that a new direction will take them or they are afraid to declare what they want for the fear of not getting it. As an outsider my message to you is that you are so beautiful with so many gifts and talents to offer the world, it is time to start now.

Contents:
  • FENG SHUI TIPS FROM THE EXPERT
  • HERBS, ROSES, BULBS- TIPS FOR THE AUTUMN GARDEN
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  • NEWS

HERBS,ROSES,BULBS - TIPS FOR THE AUTUMN GARDEN

We are in autumn and although it is over 80 in Los Angeles, the days are getting shorter and it feels like autumn is approaching. In fact many of you are staring down the face of winter. Last year I wrote a good overview of Autumn in Your Garden (see newsletter Volume 1, Issue 11). This year I am going to give you tips for some specific areas of gardening.

What to do with Herbs.

If you are like me, you have spent the summer growing and enjoying herbs from your garden. With the prospect of winter around the corner, do you want to give up all of your hard work?

The alternative as your herbs get ready to die or go dormant for the winter is to dry or freeze herbs so that you will have the best flavoring for your winter cooking. The decision to dry or freeze will depend on the type of herbs. Bay, Lavender, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Summer Savory, Sage and Thyme have a lower moisture content and are better dried. Basil,Tarragon, Lemon balm,Parsley, and most mints have a higher moisture content and are better frozen.

Harvesting. It is best to harvest herbs in the early part of the day after the dew of the evening is dry and before it gets too hot. Most herbs should be harvested before they flower because the flowers rob them of their flavor and signal their decline. What an intoxicating job it is to pinch those flowers off of the basil!

Drying. Once you have harvested, wash the herbs. There are two ways to dry herbs. For herbs with long stems such as Lavender, Rosemary, Dill, etc. you can cut the stems and bunch 5-10 stems together, tie with a string or rubber band and hang the herbs in a warm dark area of the house. If you don't have a dark spot, put a paper bag over the herb and cut holes in the bag for ventilation. It should take 2-3 weeks for the herbs to dry. Check it periodically.

Another way to dry herbs such as Sage, Oregano,Thyme is to place the leaves of the herb on a cookie sheet and place them in a warm, dry spot away from sun. Turn the herbs every few days until dry.

Once the herbs are dry, store them in a labeled zip lock bag or airtight jar. They should last for up to one year.

Freezing. There are a few ways of freezing herbs. You can do it the EASY way by just putting the fresh clean herbs in a freezer bag and label it. These herbs should keep for up to 3 months. Another option is to cut up pre measured amounts such as 1 Tablespoon and put them in an ice cube tray and then fill it with water. When you need herbs for a stew or soup, just drop in the measured amount!

Preparing Roses for Winter.

Fall is the one time that you can collect rose hips if you want them. Rose hips contain vitamin C, A and B, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoid. To collect rose hips, don't prune the dead roses from your plants. The hips will develop naturally.

Don't prune roses in the fall. Just remove dead or diseased branches.

Stop fertilizing 6 weeks before your first anticipated frost but continue to water so the plant will be hydrated for the desiccating weather.

Mulch, or add compost after first frost but before the ground freezes. Where temperatures are freezing during winter, enclose the plant with a mesh cylinder. Fill the enclosure with compost, mulch, dry wood chips, pine needles, or chopped leaves. Don't use wet leaves for compost but needles, leaves or straw that will not encourage mold.

Clean up the rose beds to prevent over wintering of diseases. One last spray for fungus with a dormant spray is a good idea.

Bulbs for Spring.

Too early to think about spring? Not for me! Now is the time to plan which bulbs you will plant this fall and winter for spring flowers.

Bulbs that need chill. Here in the southwest we need to artificially chill certain bulbs if you want them in your spring garden. Crocus, hyacinth and tulip will need 4-6 weeks of chill before planting to get a beautiful display in the spring. Place them in a paper bag in the refrigerator for their cool sleep and leave them there until you are ready to plant.

Some bulbs will spread. When you are planning where to plant bulbs, remember that some bulbs will multiply over the years. Daffodils, Bearded Iris and Amaryllis spread over time so give them some room to expand.

Remember that bulbs like Crocus, Hyacinth and Lilies are fragrant so plant them where you will inhale their perfume as you peruse your garden.

Basil will keep at least 3 months in the freezer. Frozen herbs should not be used for garnish as they won't be as pretty as this.

Roses are winding down their bloom time. So give them a rest for the winter. Stop fertilizing 6 weeks before the first freeze.

When thinking about bulbs to plant now, don't forget the yummy ones- onions, garlic and potatoes.

 

NEWS

SPECIAL NOTE:

Many individuals were not able to attend the Sept. 19, Memorial Teleconference due to scheduling conflicts. If you were unable to join us live for the teleconference or would like to listen to a replay of the service, copy/paste the link below into your browser. On the NSP&A Member Page, scroll down to the bottom of the list and left click on the arrow next to the title

Memorial Service for HH Professor Lin Yun. The Yahoo Player will begin immediately. No code is needed.

http://www.fengshui-santopietro.com/members/

This will be available until October 9.

 

Garden Secrets - Your Garden Personality Guide.

Learn how you can adjust your garden to balance and express your personality. Check out my website and tell your friends about it.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Sparks is a Feng Shui Expert, Licensed Landscape Architect and Humble Gardener. Through the practices of Feng Shui and Landscape Design she creates Harmony, Healing, Prosperity and Beneficial Qualities to her client's home, business and garden environments. She believes that as we bring our environments into balance we live happier healthier more abundant lives, benefit all that we relate to and help heal the earth.

She has been licensed as a Landscape Architect for more than 25 years and has designed award winning residential landscapes. She is a disciple of His Holiness Master Lin Yun Rinpoche, Grand Master of Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Sect of Feng Shui and has been studying Feng Shui for more than sixteen years. She teaches Garden as a Healing Space and Feng Shui and Feng Shui in the Garden for U.C.L.A. and other venues throughout the United States. She analyzes Feng Shui for people's homes, businesses and gardens.

Shelley is author of the forthcoming book Secrets of the Land, Designing Harmonious Gardens with Feng Shui

HARMONY GARDENS
Shelley Sparks, Principal
12224 Addison Street, Valley Village, Ca 91607
Phone (818) 505-9783
Fax – (818) 760-7558
E-mail Shelley@HarmonyGardens.Net

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