Why I stay away from Miracle-Gro – and so should you

Hello everyone! It's been a while since my last post: the work-life-garden balance got wrecked once again, and I had to take a break from blogging... First let me clarify something: I normally only use trademark names of products that I love and use myself, and  refrain from calling out the brands I dislike. This …

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My favorite seed suppliers

Happy Spring everyone! I can't believe it's finally here! I'm a bit late to the seed-purchasing extravaganza this season, but just in case you are not finished shopping yet, I'd like to share with you where I buy my seeds and why. Disclaimer: I receive no profits or products from any of the companies mentioned …

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Wild West End: Creating a hospitable place for wildlife on rooftops above busy shopping district

I came upon this uplifting and inspiring piece in the Life and Soul Magazine and really want to share it: "London’s West End is a busy shopping metropolis where some of you may have ventured out to to do your Christmas shopping. But above the shop floors and high up on to the rooftops of …

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The anatomy of a K-cup: collecting coffee grounds at work

Happy 2019, fellow garden enthusiasts! I have started collecting coffee grounds at work, and there are a few reasons why. Reason one: coffee grounds are an excellent compost amendment (they are a major source of nitrogen, plus when you add enough, coffee grounds accelerate decomposition of organic matter and heat up your pile). You do …

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Ode to mushroom foraging

Before I start the post, I'd like to make it clear that this is not a tutorial. Some wild mushrooms can be as dangerous as the others are delicious. If you are interested in learning how to identify edible mushrooms from poisonous ones, please seek professional instruction. In Russia, foraging for wild mushrooms is a …

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Beautiful things in life need to be cherished

The past two weeks (or three? or four? I kinda lost count by now) have been quite challenging. I haven't done any gardening at all. I can't say that my life is back to normal now, either, but I missed blogging, so here I am, stealing away a few minutes to write this post. As …

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Balcony garden update: plants, squirrels and a bad batch of vermicompost

As I've wrote in the previous post, the past few weeks have been intense, so even though the balcony garden is right there through the kitchen door, I barely spent any time in there. All I did was make sure my plants survive (by watering them and bribing the squirrels to keep them away) and dutifully …

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Community garden update: after a week of neglect

Now matter how much we strive to plan our lives ahead, every now and then everything still gets out of hand. For me, that was the last couple of weeks. Things just kept piling up, and as a result I have not stopped by my community garden plot in a week (or longer, I'm not …

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My favorite green spaces in Philly: The Glencairn Museum secret garden

All right, so technically, this is not in Philly... Glencairn museum is located in Bryn Athyn, a borough in Montgomery county, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. This community was formed in 1916 centered around the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. Bryn Athyn community originally belonged to the Swedenborgian Church, also known as the New Church. The Pitcairn …

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My favorite green spaces in Philly: Blanche P. Levy Park

Hello and welcome to the second post of the series! Like the Kaskey Memorial Park, Blanche P. Levy Park is also located on the University of Pennsylvania campus. What can I say, I spend a lot of time on campus, and fortunately for me (and everybody else), there are a lot of wonderful green areas …

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