buried treasure: some tips found in the heap

sifting-compost-2WHILE REBUILDING A WAY TO GARDEN for the new season, I kept digging up forgotten bits I’m glad to have resurfaced, the way your favorite lost trowel turns up in the compost heap. From a crash refresher course in botanical Latin to the do’s and don’ts of composting, and labels that really last, perhaps I exhumed some treasures you could use, too?

  • No-nonsense composting: Don’t get hung up on the style of bin, the shape of the pile, or how often it must be turned: Just get composting. A comprehensive how-to, plus all the best links.
  • Plant labels that last: Finding this old post reminded me I have more labeling to do. And not with the nasty plastic sticks that end up across the yard from the plant whose name’s on them.
  • Habla botanical Latin, si’l vous plait: No matter how you pronounce it, it’s the only language that guarantees effective communication and insures that you get the plant you want. My primer on the most common words (and also a post I call taxonomy lite: about how the Latin words are arranged and why: genus, species and all that good stuff). No more Plantus unknowniensis, OK?
  1. Barbara Powell says:

    I am so glad someone else leaves tools in the garden over winter ;} Your blog is awesome~love it!! I am presently taking the ornamental horticulture certificate classes at Longwood Gardens in Pa. It’s a two hour drive each way but, it is well worth it!! The instructors are amazing! Thanks again for the reassurance!

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Barbara. The things I have found in the compost heap…what a list….from tools to my eyeglasses to who knows what. Congratulations on the great training you are doing, and do come visit here again, too.

  2. Aja says:

    Your forgotten bits are treasures, especially because I am definitely obsessing about the compost – good advice: just do it!

  3. Keith Alexander says:

    I’m all out of sorts because I KNOW my finest and favorite trowel (a Sneeboer Transplanting Trowel) is SOMEWHERE in one of the compost heaps on the property, but damn if I can find it. Ordered another two – one to use and one to be kept in the house safe just in case this happens again before I can locate the lost one. Link in case anyone else needs an extra tool or two:

  4. Joan Bennett says:

    I found my favorite hand cultivating fork after two years. The prodigal cultivator was happily welcomed. Handle is chewed up but my son-in-law has a body shop and cleaned and shined the rusted metal. He’s quite handy for all my tool maintenance.
    I found A Way to Garden on ebay and it is a wonderful book. Thanks so much for your blog, and for the new frogboys.com

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Joan. So glad you found my vintage book on ebay. Good for you. Maybe I can bring some of my metal garden (a table, some wire stands) over to your son-in-law’s place for a tune-up? :)

  5. Tammy says:

    Oh.my.gosh. I am the world’s worst for leaving tools out. I am always “kicking myself” but now glad to know I am not the only one. :)

  6. jgh says:

    I’ve never found tools in the compost, but usually at least one appears when the snow melts. I usually do find some frozen fall vegetables in the compost this time of year that haven’t broken down at all. (“Hey I remember that old beet”.) Maybe I’ll look for my lost eyeglasses there, too.

  7. joyce says:

    OMG! Does this mean I might find my weed digger after all?? Two years ago, my portable phone got lost in the compost. I found it months after I bought a new one.

    Why is it always the phone? I also left one on my car in the driveway while working in the garden. Then I drove away…..

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