Gardening 101 Day 19: Easy How-to grow your own Ginger root!

“Growing your own food may be one of the most powerful steps you can take for the health of yourself, your family, and your planet.” ― Lindsay Oberst (

Did you know you could grow ginger root? Well, you sure can and it is super easy to do. I found this information provided by Penn State Extension and had to share it with all of you. I’ve also included a few recipes to use with your ginger root!

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Let me know if you’ve ever grown your own, and how it worked out in the comments below! I love your feedback.

How to start your ginger indoors!

What is ginger anyway? Ginger is a subtropical plant which requires a longer growing season to reach maturity. If you live in the Midwest or any other area that has a harsh winter, you will need to start your ginger indoors and bring it in over the cold winter months. It is essential to start your ginger root indoors a couple of months before it can be planted outdoors. You can keep it in a container, or grow it in the ground.

Follow these easy steps to grow your own ginger root:

Preparing the ginger for planting:

Cut ginger root into 3-inch pieces, ensuring each contains at least three growth buds.

Allow pieces to callous over for a week before planting.

Choose a good potting mix & container:

I recommend using an organic potting soil with some type of moisture control if possible. You will need a container with a water tray. A great option is a large mixed greens plastic container. You can use the lid as the watering tray and they are the perfect depth to plant your ginger root.

Spread the soil in the container so that it is uniformly 3 inches deep and lay the ginger pieces horizontally on top.

Bury the ginger root:

Cover with an additional inch of soil.

Caring for your ginger root:

Water from the bottom every five to seven days until sprouts emerge. Then water enough to keep the soil moist but not wet.

After sprouts emerge, use a seedling heating pad and grow light to provide the necessary warmth and 16 to 18 hours of light required to get ginger established.

How to prepare & plant your ginger outdoors.

After the danger of frost has passed and the temperature at night is consistently above 40 F, ginger can be transplanted outdoors. Follow these steps:

  1. Harden off plants for five days to prepare for outdoor planting.
  2. Choose a sunny site with loose, loamy, well-drained soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. You may also grow ginger in containers if soil conditions are not favorable.
  3. Dig a shallow trench and plant ginger 3 inches deep and 12 inches apart so that sprouts are visible just above the soil. If you choose containers, plant each plant in a container with a 12-inch diameter or larger.
  4. When new shoots form or the pink shoulders of ginger are visible, hill your plants (pile more soil around the base of each shoot) with an inch of soil and add a granular fertilizer.
  5. Water plants two to three times a week, soaking them deeply.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is sometimes called ginger water and it wonderful for the stomach or gut. It is, quite simply, hot water infused with fresh ginger. It has a bit of spice which is easily adjusted by adding more ginger or letting it steep longer. Adding honey adds the final touch to make this tea a favorite for all.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 TBSP freshly grated or sliced ginger root 
  • 4 cups spring water
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1 to 2 TBSP local honey, to taste

1. Peel your fresh ginger and slice it as thin as you can to maximize the surface area. This will ensure a very flavorful ginger tea.

PRO TIP: Use the large slicer side of a 4 sided cheese grater.

2. In a medium sized pot, add the water and ginger; bring to a boil for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger and tangier tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger.

3. Remove tea from the heat, strain, and add the lime juice and honey to taste.

Dijon Ginger Dressing

This zesty dressing will make any salad better. You can use it as a marinade for chicken as well!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ TBSP grated ginger, lightly packed
  • 2 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP your favorite Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • ½ cup safflower or canola oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  1. Peel your ginger and grate it finely
  2. Blend all ingredients in a small blender or immersion blender.
  3. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


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Gardening 101 Day 18 Part 2~ How to Create a Vegetable Container Garden YOUTUBE VIDEO

“I love things that are indescribable, like the taste of an avocado or the smell of a gardenia. ” Barbra Streisand

Welcome to Day 18 of my Gardening 101 Part 2 on how-to create a container garden. In Part 1 I discussed how to create an herb container garden, today let’s look at how to incorporate veggies into containers. 

Many of the elements will be similar, especially in the types of containers, making this post a bit shorter. If you missed Part 1, just jump on over for an informative recap!

If you are a novice gardener you may be wondering how you can grow veggies in containers. You may be an experienced gardener who is considering the option of moving your veggies from a standard tillable garden to downsize or just utilize space more effectively. 

If you are a novice gardener you may be wondering how you can grow veggies in containers. You may be an experienced gardener who is considering the option of moving your veggies from a standard tillable garden to downsize or just utilize space more effectively. 

If you’ve been eyeing up container gardening lately, then you’re probably wondering what it has to offer you. After all, growing in a garden doesn’t really work like that. As you all know I am a huge advocate for container and raised bed gardening. Raised beds are in reality just another form of containers, as I showed in Part 1. You can grow herbs and vegetables in a standard tillable garden, but that type of gardening takes so much more effort and planning. With container gardening, everything becomes simpler and more accessible than it is with other methods. 

If you missed my two part series on the benefits of raised bed gardening, click these links. Part 1 and Part 2.

Have you been wondering how to get started with a vegetable garden, or just want to be able to grow your own vegetables at home? Well, a vegetable container garden might be just the answer you’re looking for. A vegetable container garden is essentially an easy way to extend the space of your yard so you can grow plants more effectively. 

With this guide, I’ll be showing you everything you need to know about creating successful container gardens as well as the many benefits they have to offer. After reading through the following tips, you will understand why having a container garden is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all year round.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


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All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

What would you like to see?

I would love for you to share with me what you’d like me to post on? What gardening, cooking, organization, decorating, or business related questions do you have?

Post them in the comments below, & I’ll do my best to answer them!

Would you like a plethora of ideas & inspirations at your finger tips?

If you said yes, then head on over to my Pinterest page and follow me there!

Do you enjoy admiring beautiful things?

Gardening How-to for the Month of February

“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers. ” May Sarton

Check out the great list of content coming to you in the month of February!

Who is ready to get back into the dirt?

Some of you reading this may live in a climate where gardening happily goes on year round. I live in Michigan, so unless a gardener has ways to extend their growing season, then we dream of spring.

The use of green houses, cold frames, or similar methods can increase your growing season remarkably in cold climate zones.

This month I have a great lineup of garden related posts I’ll be sharing both here, at my Podcast, AND my YouTube channel! Be sure to check out my Facebook Events page for the full line up of Podcasts and REGISTER so you don’t miss a beat!

Check out this great line up topics friends!

February How-to Garden Topics!

Heirloom Seeds: Why I prefer them, their benefits & more. PODCAST

Join me for the first topic at my Podcast as I discuss the benefits & why I prefer Heirloom Seeds over Hybrid.

Seed Catalogs: How-to get your first order in! YouTube

How do you decide what seed catalog to shop from? How do I choose from the plethora of varieties? Today I’ll help guide you through placing your order & sharing my personal favorites I’ve used for years!

My Top 10 Easy Vegetables to Grow, & How-to Care for Them.

Today I’ll share my Top 10 favorite & super easy vegetables to grow. I’ll also share tips & tricks to have a successful growing season.

My Top 10 Favorite Herbs to Grow, & How-to Care for Them. YouTube

Let’s talk herbs!!! I’ll go over my favorite tried & true herbs and how-to care for them. I’ll explain the difference between annual, biennials, & perennials herbs!

My Top 5 Favorite Perennial Fruits & Vegetables, & How-to Grow & Care for them. PODCAST

Do you want to save money on your grocery bills? Today I’ll share my Top 5 Perennial Fruits & Vegetables, and How-to grow & care for them. It’s so easy & you’ll be amazed you haven’t been growing these for years already!

How-to Plant Asparagus, Care for it, and harvest!

One of springs first vegetables. This hardy vegetable will provide your family with years of fresh asparagus! Join me today as I share tips & tricks on how-to plant, care, & harvest your asparagus.

Easy How-to Plan Your Spring Garden! PODCAST

Planning your garden is the first step to preparing for success! Join me today as I discuss the importance of mapping out your garden whether or not you have raised beds or a tradition plot garden.

How-to Design & Build a Raised Bed Garden & the Benefits over a Traditional Garden. PODCAST

I love talking about Raised Bed Gardening & showing how & why they are so much more practical then traditional tilled gardens. Join me today as I explain why you should take the leap into raised bed gardening. It’s easier than you think!

Step-by-Step How-to Build a Cold Frame.

If you live in a cold climate zone like I do, then you will want to learn how-to extend your growing season by using this simple method. Cold frames are easy & inexpensive to build. This photo was taken from Pinterest for Bonnie Plants.

Top 10 Gardening Tools Every Gardener Should Have! YouTube

With the proper gardening tools, gardening is much easier and not so hard on your hands or back. Join me today as I show you my favorite tools and discuss the best way’s to use them.

How-to Compost & the Benefits for the Home Gardener.

To compost, or not to compost… that is the question! Join me today as I discuss the benefits of composting for the home gardener. It’s easier than you think it is!

Sunflowers: My Top 10 Favorites & Why You Should Grow Them. YouTube

Who doesn’t love the sunny face of a sunflower? Did you know there are dozens of varieties? Just for fun lets wrap up the cold days of February with a beautiful display of sunflowers.

Looking forward to seeing you all in February!

If you enjoyed this post , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Instagram Or Facebook, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Happy Day,

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All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Cottage Garden How-to: Best plants & a few other tips!

“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.” –Helen Keller

My favorite style of gardening is by far the beautiful and free flowing cottage type! Although I do prefer some semblance of organization, I embrace the free flow of the cottage garden… as long as she stays in the lines LOL!

Cottage gardens are calm, relaxing, and functional for any gardener… in my opinion!

Be sure to keep posted for next weeks garden how-to: Shakespeare Garden Design!

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.”

Cottage Flowers

Certain flowers provide balance & fit the scheme of things best.
I love cottage garden flowers with their happy, free spirit. It’s as if they call out to their garden mother or father and lavish love to them through their beautiful blossoms.

Pro Tip: Some cottage type flowers include: Hollyhocks, Delphiniums, Foxglove, Bleeding Heart, Climbing Roses, Peony, Phlox, Lavender, Bee’s Balm, Zinnias, Lilacs, and of course one of my personal favorite, Lupines. 

I used to have a children’s story book called, The Lupine Lady by Barbara Cooney I used to love to read it to my children. It was just a happy book that I would recommend to anyone! 

Just like specific flowers fit best in a cottage garden, so do certain garden elements. For instance a white picket fence is a must have!

Here are few other unique garden junque items I love to use!

  • Stepping stones or slate slabs make a beautiful meandering path in any garden. 
  • Old wooden posts. 
  • Arbors and pergolas.  
  • Cool old mailboxes placed in a flower bed are absolutely adorable. 
  • Old galvanized buckets, wash tubs, and watering cans also make great art pieces in a bed. 
  • Use an old step ladder to be home to cute little terra cotta pots filled with beautiful posies!
  • I have an antique lightning rod in one of my raised beds that always strikes up a conversation with guests!
  • Bird baths.
  • Stone creatures, word signs, or other garden plaques.
  • Glass gazing balls.

The list could go on and on… let me know what you like to include in your gardens in the comments below!

If you would like to see more great ideas on other garden junque you can include in your gardens, check out my blog posts More Garden Junque Ideas: Garden Bikes and Yummy Fresh Chive Topper and more at More Garden Junque: Delightful Doors and Yummy Spinach Pie.

If you enjoyed this blog & bonus recipes, please LIKE, Follow & of course Share! Let me know what you think,  I love your feedback! 

Added bonus tip: To find recipes like the ones you’ll find in my posts, you can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook go on over & give it a like & follow me for daily tips & tricks for the home and garden!

Happy Day,


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All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Creation Of My Potager

I am in love with gardening…and I am in love with writing about and sharing my gardens with others. My desire is to instill this passion in that person that is drifting out there… dreaming of just a tiny little piece of it… yet not knowing where to begin. I want to inspire the lover of dirt and blossoms to create yet something new and different… I want others to indulge in this romance… show how gardening can bring joy to someone that has sorrow. Gardening whether on a small or large scale, on a balcony or in an acre field affords a luxuary that is so pure.  It doesn’t need to cost a fortune or be an emaculate English garden… your garden should be an extension of your heart and soul. I hope that today I can stir that up in you… enjoy friends.

Be sure to check out and ‘Like’ my Facebook page for Dragonfly… and please share it!

I thought it would be interesting to show you the process of how our Potager came to be.  It’s quite interesting the way I got to give my daughter her ‘kitchen’ garden. You see we raise hogs here at The Garden Gate Farm along with poultry, eggs and produce. Well, one day (although there’s been many others!) the pigs got out! Pigs love to root up the ground and they made quite a mess out of this area. So much that Neil looked at it as ‘too much too repair, go ahead and make another garden!’… don’t need to tell me twice! So I gave the good news to Taylor and what better spot than right outside the back door! Good pigs 😉

So, three years ago we started. It has evolved and grown… quite a bit actually.

Photo #1 2010

Photo’s 1 and 2 are not quite the beginnings of our Potager. Though camera happy I am, I never took any shots of what it looked like after the hogs got through with it! I was too excited to get going on this project to worry about the ‘before’ pics I guess. So we started with black ground cover, then rocks and then added the rich composted pasture dirt of our beef farmer neighbors. In the front, left to right:
Three day lilies, tulip bulbs planted in between.
Back row- several containers which will hold herbs- concrete drain tile, wooden drawer, 4 plastic pots burried half way, antique tool box.
In the far back behind the lilac bush up against the garage there is an elevated garden that holds our Mint Garden Tea.

Photo #2m 2010

In this photo, you can see the raised beds in one of my gardens. This now is where our hoop house sits. You can also see the black ground cover. We have a terrible time with ‘Quack Grass’, (devil weed in my book!). It is necessary to have this or the whole garden would be taken over with very little hope… especially with organic means.

Photo #3 2010

Here we have erected the Pergola and I have started the Rose Garden on the other side.  This is the same year but later in the summer.  I have now planted a ‘Miss. Kim Lilac Bush in front corner, Purple Bell Flowers, some Tulip bulbs. Sage, Thyme, Creeping Phlox, Sweet Autumn Clematis and several climbing Rose bushes along the length of the Pergola.

Photo #4 2010

Here is another shot from a side angle. You can see the step stone path and beside it are two Russian Sage. These are covered with honey bees all summer.  You can also see some tulips blooming. 2010

Photo #5 2011

This photo is year two 2011. The lilies have matured, the sage is blooming and the clematis’ are growing.

Photo #6a  2010

The Rose Garden 2011! At least that’s what it will be along with many other things growing in it.  We soon started getting the ground cover laid, rock’s around and dirt down.  Although the planting didn’t begin until much later…

Photo #6b 2010

The beginnings of The Rose Garden 2011 still… Please note that there is a white climbing rose bush at the center of the pergola. You will see a photo coming up of it last summer when she bloomed for the first time. 

Photo #7 2010

Again black ground cover was laid, rocks and then dirt. Stage 3 will be right beside this.

Photo #8 2010
#8- Summer 2011. Starting to get some plants in the Rose Garden. Front corner has a beautiful David Austin Shrub Rose, Peony type. See below photo for one of it’s blooms from last year. I have sedum, more sages, bee’s balm, creeping phlox, thyme, purple bell flower and lavenders planted in this garden.  The greatest challenge I had with this spot was managing the weeds in between the perennials.  I added straw from our barn as a thick mulch to help.
Photo #9 2012
This is a shot of the rose in the front corner, above photo last summer 2012… She is absolutely stunning!  She will be 3 years old this summer!


Photo #10 2011

Here is a shot of the Herb Garden in the Potager. This was taken in 2011. As you can see things are filling in nicely.  I always put Basil in the 4 pots, parsley in the tool box. Oregano is growing in the drawer. I like to use stone word markers with the herb names on them.  Adding structural elements to the garden gives interest to the garden and creates a natural feeling.

Photo #11 2011

Late Spring 2011. The clematis are starting to grow up beautifully and by the end of this summer they had tripled in size. Sweet Autumn is an aggressive climber and quite invasive if left unmanaged.  The rose in the front bottom right corner is growing beautifully.   Compare to photo #3

Photo #11a 2011

Here is the pergola walk way it’s first year with the mulch before I removed and replaced it with the pea gravel. See photo #7.  Didn’t even have our patio yet!  Spring 2011

Photo #12 2012

Here is a photo of The Rose Garden from the back side. This photo was taken last summer (2012) early summer.  The sages are only about a third of the size they will get, sedum’s, shrub rose, iris’s, and a new boxwood in the front right corner. Also in this garden, chives and some new Hydrangea starts that will be big and beautiful in a couple more years. As you can see I have covered the ground in straw as a thick mulch to hold back weeds and retain moisture.

Photo #13 2012

Here is a shot of The Rose Garden from the front about a month after the above one was taken.  The large plant front right beside the wheelbarrow, which BTW is for decoration, is a Comfry plant. You can see her tiny buds ready to open. 
Also, remember that little rose bush in photo #6 & 8? That is her in the middle – the whole thing! She was spanned about 8′ in width. 
Watch for a shot of the garden bike covered with nasturtiums coming.
Also note our NEW hunter green steel roof!

Photo #14 2012

This is a shot from the back side of the Potager last spring. The roses are just starting to leaf out (front left corner), the tea bed is growing lovely. The purple haze in the back left corner is the Russian sage in bloom. I mulch with straw to help with weeds. 

Photo #15 2012

Photo #15 Front of the Potager last early summer.  #16 was spring when the creeping phlox was in bloom. See the patio in the background?

Photo #16 2012

You can see in #15 & 16 the growth of the clematis on the pergola. Also, purple bell flowers & the Russian sage blooming in 15.

Photo #17 2012

This photo was taken at the same time as #15. If you compare to photo’s number 3, you can see it just about 2′ tall, then in #11 jut growing to about 5′. She is a beautiful climber that by the end of last summer had canes that bent right over the top of the pergola- which is 5′ wide.  There are two Sweet Autumn Clenatis’ here. Each section is 8′ wide- just 3 three years old.  You get a lot of bang for your buck really quickly with this beauty. Plus you get the bloom in fall!

Photo #17 2012

By summers end the clematis were grown right over the top of the arch’s. When we originally put down the path, I used mulch. Big mistake! The chickens loved it and continually dug holes and scratched it all over the step stones. I happened to be paging through one of my favorite gardening Mag’s, Country Garden’s and saw a garden path just like this! I shoveled up all the mulch- about 20 wheel barrow full which I used to mulch the beds. I then ordered several tons of pea gravel and wheel barrowed about 20 full to fill in- no more chickens!  The path leads to our back patio which you can see in photo #15 and then also bends to the right leading to the hoop house, greenhouse’s and hog’s.  I used slate for the paths.

Photo #18 2012

Here I used the slates to make images in the path… a sun and a daisy.  You can be as creative as you allow yourself to be.  My motto in decortating both my home and my gardens is to make me & my family happy and comfortable.  Again, your gardens should be an extension of your heart and soul!

Photo #19  2012

This photo shows the empty space that you see in photo #7.  This area now leads through the arbor you can see in photo #7 as well.
I planted nasturtiums on the edge of this side of the garden… it just poured over and climbed all over my garden bike! It was spectacular. See below for the shot of that.  You can actually see the plants right behind the tires.

Photo #20 2012

See the bike seat… truly amazing what these plants will do when given the room to sprawl. I love them for both the beauty they give and the fact that I can add them to my garden salads for a peppery flavor.

Photo #21 2012

Remember that rose bush? here she is from a frontal postition. The white blossoms are hard to see, but they are there.  Unfortuntely we had just had a rain, one of few, and it knocked down the sages, left and right in photo.  For sake of perspective, I am standing right in front of the garden bike taking this photo.

Photo #21a  2012
Here is a close up of the white rose… so simple yet so elegant.

Photo #22 2012

Here is a shot of the Rose Garden and Pergola from the corner back side. The sedums were just beautiful and you can see the purple haze of the sages. The bright color of the nasturtiums is so radiant.  Also note that growing along the rocks are thyme and creeping phlox.  You can also see the pink rose bush beside the sedum. This is a shrub rose. I am standing in front of the hoop house here.

Photo #23 2012

Here is The Potager late summer last year. It is very full and overflowing from this perspective. Tomatoes, kale, onions, lettuces, potatoes and more growing behind the Herb section.  This is a very productive garden and we enjoy being able to slip out the back door and grab those fresh picked yummies just before we are ready to eat them raw or cook with them. There are a few things that I don’t grow here due to the size of the finished product- sweet corn and vining squashes. I do typically include either a yellow squash or zuchinni bush type, but not both because of cross polination.  I will succession plant lettuces, beets, green beans and scallions. I don’t bother with certain crops here because I grow so much of them in my raised beds. For example, chard and spinach.  Along the front of the rocks is not weeds… what you see is creeping phlox, thyme and calendula spilling over onto a narrow piece of grass. As mentioned earlier, the clematis has just about covered the entire Pergola across the top and side. At the far end is yet another one.  This whole mass is only 3 plants that started out with about three 2′ vines only three years ago! At every post, which is set 6′ apart there is a climbing rose bush.

Photo #23 2012

This is a small bed that hold’s a larger quantity of sage and oregano. There are also, a couple day lily, bee’s balm and lavender. In the far right corner growing on the back post is a Chinese Wisteria. My goal is that this will cover the back side and over the side of the pergola eventually running in with the clematis. This will give my spring and fall bloom.  This bed is directly behind the Rose Garden. In photo #18 of the step stones, this would be to the right.  The next photo of it has the Rose Garden to my back.

Photo #24 2012

In this shot you can see the now in place hoop house with raised beds filled with beautifully growing lettuces and cherry tomatoes.  This shot is late spring to early summer. Notice the lavender in the front left corner loaded with buds.  I also have a Blue Fescue in center front. The Bee’s Balm is beuatiful when in full bloom!

I am looking forward to the coming season when I can once again go and have some quiet moments in my gardens… I hope you enjoyed seeing the birth and growth of our Potager, but more importantly, I hope it inspired you!

Happy Day!