Wednesday, April 18, 2018

10 ways to LOVE YOUR MOTHER in MANSFIELD!

Earth Day is next week! 

...so we compiled a list of 10 activities right here in our home town that can help launch your "Love Your Mother" lighter-footprint lifestyle! 


Make a newspaper pot and plant a seed to take home! 
1. April 19th: 
Visit Lil' Blue Goat during Third Thursdays Mansfield to try one of our wooden pot makers.  Use a piece of our recycled newspaper to make a pot and plant a seed to take home with you! We will have soil and a selection of seeds that I've saved from our own garden - come get your hands a lil' dirty! Free family fun! 

Extended Saturday Hours at Lil' Blue Goat
2. April 21-May 26:
Lil' Blue Goat will be open longer hours for Downtown Springtime Lingering-n-Shopping! We will bring our best selections of Mansfield friendly perennials that grow crazy-well and super-easily in our very own garden, and there's usually a good amount of live-painting and wine drinking happening as well!

First ever "OPEN STUDIO" day at our home studio garden... 
3. Sunday, April 22 - Official world EARTH DAY!
Visit our HOME STUDIO in Historic Mansfield to see the 'before/in progress' gardens, as well as what it is like to live/work in a messy pile of creation all the time! It should be perfect weather for porch-sitting...
Mansfield's own food co-op!
4. Ongoing:
Buy local food from our very own food co-op.  A carefully curated group of local farmers producing organic foods! Check out the order forms on Monday, submit each week by Wednesday, and pick up on Saturdays! Easy peasy!

Shop local foods and vendors while enjoying music and community! 
5. Saturdays, April 28-October 27
Don't let your hamburger come to you from the other side of the planet! Save that energy and get family raised, healthy options at our own farmer's market - now in its 14th year! They also have carefully selected vendors who make/raise produce, eggs, local breads, jellies, baked treats, soaps, and other artisan crafts.


Free family fun for Earth Day! 
6. April 28:
Join the fun at the Chris Burkett Service Center to learn about and participate in activities that support a healthy planet! Brought to you by the hardworking volunteers at 'Keep Mansfield Beautiful"!

lavender and texas primrose blooming in our urban garden
7. Ongoing:
Follow along at home as we keep you updated and inspired on our trials of native and Texas adapted plants for your home garden! We are currently playing with ways to create biodiversity and habitats in smaller and smaller spaces - zero lot line homes and apartments for instance... Facebook continues to be the easiest way to announce news, exciting happenings and pretty pictures, so be sure to update settings to see our posts in an increasingly complicated technological world!
Get outside as often as possible! 
8. Ongoing:
Speaking of an increasingly technological world - put your screens down and get thee OUTSIDE! Walking and biking are good for you, and they also slow you down to a pace where you really NOTICE YOUR COMMUNITY!  Look at the spaces around you, absorb the beauty of our parks and trails, check out local businesses and SUPPORT THEM, see what your neighbors are successfully planting in their gardens, pick up a piece of litter.... Learn to love LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE! 

Learn how to work with - and therefore make positive changes to - our local climate! 
9. Ongoing:
Listen, Learn and PLANT! While you are out enjoying your walk or bike ride, you may notice that it sure is HOT IN TEXAS much of the year! But by learning more and more about what sort of plants thrive here with minimal resource input, you can help steer the local climate into something more hospitable for everyone! Plant trees for shade and learn about native varieties, petition our local government to plant more native shade trees in public spaces to increase walkability! Learn about planting windbreaks, butterfly gardens, making rain barrels, and composting.  How? Lil' Blue Goat is always ready to chat gardening, so stop by when we are in... Together, not only can we make Mansfield more beautiful, but also MORE COMFORTABLE and SUSTAINABLE! This Earth Day - 2018 - vow to do just a few small things to GET GROWING and support a stronger city! (For awesome ideas on sustainable growth in general, we recommend following Strong Towns!)




10. Ongoing:
Follow our city's events - they offer Earth Friendly services and activities year 'round! From FREE MULCH to classes on gardens and rain barrels to toxic waste disposal, you wont want to miss their announcements!

Happy Earth Day everyone! xoxo

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Heirloom Seeds Now Available!

"To plant a seed is to believe in tomorrow" 

Some folks attribute this quote to Aubrey Hepburn.  
Others claim it is an ancient Greek proverb.
Either way, we find it to be true.  
Planting seeds is an act of hope, faith, and confidence. 

Which is why we are SO EXCITED to announce that we have been approved to be dealers for Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company's seeds this year! 

6 of the 11 varieties we carefully selected to help assure success in our area!

All seeds are priced exactly as Baker Creek prices them - but they come with local knowledge, my own 'plant binder and planting guide' that is available to browse through at the shop, and you don't have to pay for or wait for shipping! 

Not wanting to 'over-do it' in our first order, we CAREFULLY SELECTED 11 VARIETIES that we have personally experienced success with here in our part of North Texas.  

If you are looking to start a vegetable garden in the Mansfield area, these seeds are your best bet!

We have started with:

- Amaranth - Love Lies Bleeding (beautiful flowers, grain, and deliciously edible young leaves) 
- Beans - Roma II Bush Beans - flat Italian style green beans that produce prolifically. 
- Tatume Squash - a vining summer squash that tastes like a round zucchini and is more pest resistant than typical summer squashes. 
- Butternut Squash - grows all summer and stores well for winter
- Yellow Pear Tomatoes - small yellow tomatoes for salads and salsas that produce during our long, hot summers (and often reseed themselves!)
- Okra - hill country heirloom red - perfect for Texas!
- Watermelon - Art Combe's Ancient variety, especially adapted for the Southwest
- Cucumber - Mexican Mini Gherkins - the size of a grape! We call them "Barbie Cukes" 
- Cosmos - Bright Lights - an easy, self-seeding, orange annual flower to help attract pollinators
- Chard - Perpetual Spinach variety - I planted some seeds in semi-shade back in 2015 and the plants just keep on producing chard leaves for me year round!
- Pepper - Chinese Five Color - ornamental AND edible, without being 'too hot'.  



For all of the TRUE GARDEN GEEKS out there - here is a wee something I wrote about the "Sacred Season of Seeds"... It reads: 

The Sacred Season of Seeds

Potential energy is the defining force of our Seed-Selves.  When our hearts are clear and connected, and when energy pours into us like a shower of light, we find ourselves refreshed, restored and recharged.  This is the season of the MIND, when we translate this sacred energy and give it words.  It is the season of language.  What is a seed, after all, if not a set of instructions for BECOMING?  Our will is beckoning, and we find ourselves experiencing a powerful CREATIVE LONGING.  We are bursting forth with new ideas and have readied ourselves for the right conditions to germinate!

Take the time to breathe deep and truly experience this time of divine coding and language: emerging green growth, eggs, tiny tendrils and buds, and – of course – the seeds you sow for your own unfolding life.  Connect with it and allow yourself ‘thinking time’.  Clarify. This is the time to TUNE IN to all of your heart’s desires and to give words to that which wishes to be planted in the richness of your heart.
-M.E. Phillips

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Texas Primrose

What a Survivor!

So we started about 70 seedlings of Calylophus (aka Texas Sundrops or Texas Primrose) last spring...They looked weak and rather pitiful in their 6" pots all summer and we didn't sell a bunch - but after tossing some out at the sunniest, driest corner of our garden in July (in Texas - insert eyeroll here), they really took off.  
Survived winter in 6" pots... not looking much different than all last summer...

But THRIVING out by the street corner! 
 The street corner in full sun in Texas has to be one of the most difficult places to naturalize - and I call this a winner :)
No pics of our own when they (modestly bloomed) last summer, but this is what we look forward to~
 All summer they have lovely yellow blossoms and require little care...
Example of dry landscaping this variety thrives in!
Don't let their feet stay too wet - give them plenty of sun - and Stand Back! "Texas Sundrops" - easily one of our new favorites! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

On a Cold Winter Night - Moon Shadow Sculpture

"Moon Shadow"
Steel and Glass on Stone
36" tall x 20" wide
Indoors or Out
Perfect as a signature hand crafted piece...
or as a garden statement!
$575.00

Friday, February 2, 2018

Groundhog Day - AKA "OMG How Much LONGER?!"

Musings on Groundhogs, and the Season of Soil

February 2, 6:00 am.  Been awake for 2 hours now and can't stop wondering:
"WTF am I doing up?  It's dark.  It's cold. The days seem to drag on forever despite being short, yet nothing seems to be getting done.  I'm literally sitting here waiting on the sun. IS SPRING EVER COMING?"
 It feels like waking up to the same dreary winter day over and over.  And over.

No wonder people across the millennia have found rituals for the beginning of February: Imbolic, Candlemas, Groundhog Day (the devolution of these names alone makes me wonder which way humanity is heading.)

Groundhog Day started out as Badger Day. True Story.  In Germany.  And the tradition came to the US - via Pennsylvania - at a place called GOBBLER'S KNOB.  (I shit you not. Geek out on it at this link here.   )

We humans need to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  That the sun will come back.  That the seeds will stir in the soil.  That our art will stop looking like it was painted with a broom held between our elbows (ok maybe that's just my issue).

This is why ze Hunki and I build lights and chandeliers this time of year.  It's why I pour over seed catalogs, and then check the chard and spinach and wish they could also be tomatoes and peppers (I'm sick of chewing on greens by February - but don't miss this amazeballs article about the history of collards!)  It's why we wait for a rodent to forecast the weather, and, with some reluctance and embarrassment to share, it must be why I wrote this dippy, trippy ode to The Season of Soil about five years back.


I think I'll start celebrating Groundhog Day more earnestly... remembering the advice my younger, somewhat wiser, hippy-self provided above:  Relax.  Let it flow.  Clean out the clutter and fluff the nest, purge the bad because good things are germinating... and go back to bed with that nugget of Valentine's Day chocolate - because EVERYTHING is worth celebrating.

Bon-bon in hand, I can see light starting to trickle through the window, and I can't wait to hear what happens on Gobbler's Knob this morning :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Let Your Love LIGHT Shine!

New Handcrafted Glass Chandeliers

Lights! Color! Action! 

Made of 100% US materials, and created in Historic Mansfield, Texas

Our Davidson Chandelier Series is fashioned from dozens of hand cut, kiln formed glass pieces that are linked together with twisted copper wire - a meticulous process to be sure!
Suspended from weathered steel rings that will patina over time, no two could ever be alike!

Perfect for entry ways, over dining areas, islands, or as a statement piece for a reading space!

Lighting design has never been so much fun...





Antique Glass Insulator Chandelier

Five Antique Glass Insulators Suspended from Tin Ceiling Tile...

This tin pressed tile boasts the original creamy paint that it had when it was used as a part of the
Mansfield Chamber of Commerce building's ceiling...

Suspended from the tile are five glass insulators collected in the area by a local antique hound, who gifted them to us during a garage clean-out :) They are shades of teal and clear...

Each hand-drilled glass dome holds a small led light, included with the fixture.