Connecting Gardeners to Yoga

DSC_0270“[Anyone] can learn a few moves everyday, before and after working in the garden, and gain some habits,” says Jeanell Innerarity of Dream Bold Bodyworks.

I had the opportunity to visit Jeanell in her office to discuss yoga and how it benefits us gardeners who work long hours in the yard with all those body aches and pains from weeding, planting, sowing, etc.

Jeanell is instructing our new, upcoming class, Yoga for Gardeners this Saturday, September 6th at 10 am. Available to all ages, no mats are needed to enjoy this free beginners’ class! Time to bust out those yoga pants! With tennis shoes, of course.

In addition to being a LMP, Jeanell has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and teaching it for seven. She specifies herself in a yoga style called Embodyoga, which focuses on developmental patterns, such as primal brain movements, and core organ support.

With a B.S. in Environmental Studies, Jeanell also has worked in sustainable agriculture with farmers. This experience has lead her to a lifelong joy of yoga.

“People kept asking me to do yoga,” she says, “so I thought I was not a farmer doing yoga, but a yoga teacher farming.”

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 “Farming is incredibly hard on the body. Sustainable agriculture is not sustainable for the workers themselves.”

For gardeners, Jeanell also sees similar wear and tear over time with inflammation. 

The most common imbalances she’s seen over the years for outdoor gardeners are:

  • Lower back
  • Wrists and hands
  • Rotator cuffs, or shoulders
  • Knees

“It’s important for people to be aware that things build up over time,” Jeanell says. “Our bodies learn patterns and yoga helps restore your full range and ability.”

Her class will mainly focus on sitting and standing poses that your whole body will benefit from, such as learning and relearning body mechanics.

For example, she will explain how to lift heavy objects by rooting two feet to the ground by using feeling and balance throughout the body. And show us how to open up our shoulders, since our backs naturally curl us forward. No wonder it’s hard to sit straight! 

“You do everything equally on both sides to eventual be balanced and not over wearing one thing or the other,” she says.

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There’s a wide range of yoga styles and classes, such as for kids or prenatal women or people with physical or mental requirements. Yoga is unlimited in its ability to cater to variety of individuals.

“[Yoga’s] there for absolutely anybody,” Jeanell says. “Yoga gives support. You can trust it. You can feel your body. Nothing can take you for surprise.”

For anyone who would like to sign up for our class this Saturday, visit or call us at the store at (360)676-5480 or register online here.

After the class, Jeanell will also be available for a Q&A for anyone interested in learning more about yoga and its rooted connection with gardeners.

Also, check out this article 18 Convincing Reasons to Give Yoga Another Try by Abigail Wise of the Huffington Post. It expresses what yoga achieves for anyone who practices!

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Garden Spots: Sandy’s Dream Garden

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We were awed by this glorious Fatsia japonica. Have you ever seen one this big?

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The glossy leaves of this Hart’s tongue fern really stand out in the winter garden.

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Gorgeous foliage pervades this garden. We particularly enjoyed this Arum italicum.

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Signs of spring!

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Sandy also has an impressive collection of heuchera. We were drawn to the flame-colored leaves of this little beauty.

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Sandy Gunderson’s garden is a labor of love. An avid gardener for many years, in her current home she has found the space to fully express her plant appreciation and has built a design piece by piece that reflects her passion. Recently, we got to view Sandy’s garden, and for those of you who are hellebore-lovers, boy oh boy do we have a treat for you. Sandy has about 35-40 hellebores in her collection, many of which were blooming when we came by.

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The aptly named Helleborus “Party Dress”.

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Helleborus “Spring Promise”

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Helleborus “Sally” shyly opens her petals.

Sandy, her husband Ken and Ziggy the Abyssinian kitty have lived in their home for five years. Sandy has accumulated a remarkable collection of perennials, through her short stint at Bear Creek Nursery, frequent trips to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and more than a few stops at the Garden Spot among other sources.

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There’s no shortage of art in this art-lover’s garden.

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Nothing makes a statement in the garden quite like a swath of glossy black mondo grass.

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One of our favorite things about Sandy’s garden, is how she uses seed heads to enhance the winter landscape. Here some hypericum lend color to a chilly February day.

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Witch hazel ‘Diane’

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Sandy has planted everything in the yard herself, except the larger foundation plants and trees. When they first moved in, she dug some particularly stubborn shrubs out, to create space for her horticultural treasures.

Looking at her garden now…we have to agree with her that it was worth the effort!

Soil to Table: Homegrown Asparagus

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Growing your own asparagus can be extremely rewarding. Along with growing a delicious vegetable, you’ll also be adding an ornamental element to your vegetable garden. After harvest, the shoots become a soft, green ferny mass that provide a lovely backdrop to your summer edibles.

Right now we have some ‘Jersey Knight’ and ‘Sweet Purple’ bare root asparagus crowns in bundles of 6 for just $6.99 each.

jerseyknightpic‘Jersey Knight’ is a patented male hybrid with few female plants. The male plants spend less energy producing seeds and put more energy toward growing spears. Jersery Knight has excellent fusarium tolerance and a high resistance to rust. (Photo courtesy of Weeks Berry Nursery)

asparagus_Purple‘Sweet Purple’ has twenty-percent sugar content, and can be eaten raw. It’s delicious on salads! The spears are larger, more tender and less stringy. All in all a great new selection. (Photo courtesy of Weeks Berry Nursery)

Here are a few tips from our staff that will help you get your asparagus off to a strong start…

Soil Prep:

Asparagus like loose, rich soil with an average PH of 6.5-7. To achieve this, in Whatcom’s typically acidic, heavy-clay soil you may need to do a little amending. Good drainage is of paramount importance to a healthy asparagus bed.

Raised beds are an excellent option for asparagus. Whether you’re planting in-ground, or a raised bed, we’d recommend an application of Gardener and Bloome ‘Harvest Supreme’, at least 3 inches… It contains rich nutrients such as bat guano and kelp meal, including some manure which asparagus loves, as well as a little lime to balance the PH of your soil. If you’ve really got some tough clay, consider combining that with some of the ‘Soil Building Compost’ from Gardener and Bloome. Just to be sure your new bed is draining well.

As you can tell, asparagus have pretty specific needs and they are heavy feeders. So before you plant, mix in some of Gardener and Bloome’s ‘Tomato, Herb and Vegetable’ Fertilizer, which contains bone meal among other nutritive amendments.

Now that you’ve prepped your soil, here come’s the fun part. Planting!

Planting:

You want to plant your crowns about 12-18 inches apart. Asparagus like to have space. So, with that in mind, dig enough 4-6 inch deep trenches to accommodate all your crowns. Place your crowns at the bottom of the trench, spread the roots out and cover with 2-3 inches of soil.

Care and Maintenance:

As the asparagus grows, keep the crowns moist, and continue to cover with soil until you’ve filled and mounded the trench a bit.

A Note on Weeding- Asparagus plants can’t take the competition when it comes to weeds. Try to keep that bed fairly weed free, to prevent them from having to struggle for light, nutrients etc.

Here’s where the patience comes in…As the little tips poke out of the ground that first year, you’ll want to harvest. DO NOT HARVEST YOUR ASPARAGUS THE FIRST YEAR. They need to build up a sufficient root mass to carry them through the winter. They need every spear to pull in whatever nutrients they can. So, leave them alone. Watch them flower and create lovely, ferny green puffs.

When they have gone to flower and later turned brown, you can cut them down and throw them on your compost pile.

When winter comes, cover them with a nice thick layer of compost, about 3 inches. Give them some more fertilizer in early spring the following year.

Tony says, don’t forget to mark where your asparagus is. It’s too easy to forget, and risk digging up your carefully nurtured crowns. As he learned at his first year at Cascade Cuts, when he dug up an overgrown area that turned out to be their asparagus patch!

Harvest:

In the second year, when you get some nice fat spears, that are about 6-8 inches high, you can go ahead and harvest. Don’t wait until they are 12 inches high, they may bolt, and they won’t be nearly as tender. Even in the second year, you want to harvest lightly, for only about 3 weeks. Only harvest the spears about as big as your thumb. In July, let them bolt. You can go crazy the third year, we promise.

We hope these tips are helpful to you while planting your asparagus this winter. If you have any questions, as always, call us at the store: 676-5480. We love to talk veggies!

December in Instagrams

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Thanks to our customers for a great month here at the Spot! We got out in the gardenwent for walks, wove wreaths, shared some of our favorite Christmas movies and just generally made merry. We sure enjoyed being part of your holiday festivities. And a heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported our Christmas tree fundraiser with the Boys and Girls Club!

Holiday Open House and the “Photo of the Week”

Next weekend is our Holiday Open House. To prepare for it, we’ve been busy as elves decking the greenhouse and unwrapping all kinds of pretty holiday ornaments and baubles.

We hope you’ll stop by on Saturday or Sunday, and join us as we make merry. We’ll have all sorts of tasty nibbles and Marcy will be baking up some fresh cakes. Not to mention our annual tradition of delicious sipping chocolate made locally by Chocolate Necessities. A treat that’s both naughty and nice!

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ART SHOW AND SIGNING

We’re excited to say that Stephanie Burgess will be making an appearance at our open house on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 1pm. We’re currently unwrapping a new shipment of gorgeously designed Art Poles. She’s also bringing some of her original giclee prints. She’ll be signing poles, as well as discussing her art and inspirations. Don’t miss the chance to meet this dynamic and inspiring local artist!

As a bonus for folks who stop by on Saturday, homegrown musical duo Blue Star will be playing from 12 – 4pm in the greenhouse. Come by and enjoy some stellar local music.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in our Facebook “Photo of the Week” contest this week, you made it ridiculously hard to pick! And we sure enjoyed seeing all your beautiful photos!

This week’s winner is Sam Sacharoff. What a stunning Aeonium!

Sam SacharoffCongratulations Sam! Drop by our nursery to claim your prize anytime next week.

Want to win a pretty garden planter? It’s very simple. Just post your favorite garden pic to our Facebook page. One winner is chosen every Friday!

Changes afoot and the “Photo of the Week”

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Happy Friday Friends!

If you’d been driving by our nursery early Monday morning, you would have seen quite a sight. The whole staff was gathered round on a frosty morning to lift our geranium tent by hand, while Marcy manned the forklift.

Why are we moving our geranium tent, you might ask…

Well we are building an addition to our greenhouse. The same talented crew that remodeled our old bathroom, has returned to help us expand our indoor space. They were even undaunted by the blustery weather yesterday and are back today hard at work.

We want to say a special thanks to all the sweet ladies who came out last week for our very first Amaryllis class. We had such a good time with you and we just loved your beautiful planters!

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This week’s “Photo of the Week” on Facebook was hands down Margaret Brown’s pretty picture of a bird nest in her Japanese maple tree.

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Looks like the birds got creative with moss as well. Did you see what type of bird was nesting there Margaret?

You can win next week! Just post your favorite garden pictures and projects to our Facebook page, and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a lovely gift planter.

The Monrovia Holiday Collection

Nothing gets us more excited about the holidays than the beautiful plants that arrive at our nursery each week. Recently we received a shipment from Monrovia that’s set our staff aglow with the holiday spirit. We’re humming carols and dreaming of colorful foliage, bright blooms and show-stopping stems. Scroll down for a winter wonderland of swoon-worthy shrubs.

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{Photos courtesy of Monrovia}

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’

Light some fireworks in your garden this winter with ‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel. Sparkling yellow petals frame small red cups at the center of these dazzling blooms. If that’s not enough, this workhorse of a plant puts on a marvelous display of colorful foliage come autumn.

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Taxus x media ‘Brownii’

The rounded form of Brown’s Yew makes it an excellent choice for foundation planting or in a hedge. Slow-growing to eventually 8-10 feet tall, this is an easy care plant that can handle sea breezes.

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Forsythia x intermedia ‘Kolgold’

Also known as ‘Magical Gold’ forsythia, you could easily fall under the spell of these extra-large yellow golden blooms followed by verdant green foliage. Plant it in your garden for early spring color.

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Cryptomeria japonica ‘Black Dragon’

There is no question, that ‘Black Dragon’ is a superlative choice for conifer-lovers. Deep green foliage with chartreuse tips, and attractive bark make it a lovely specimen plant for your garden.

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Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Pink Dawn’

From showy blooms in early spring, to scarlet foliage and sparkling sapphire berries in the autumn, this deciduous shrub truly earns its place in the garden. Deer-resistant and hardy to zone 8, ‘Pink Dawn’ is an excellent plant pick for Whatcom county gardens.

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Our thanks to Monrovia for the use of their beautiful photos. If you’re curious about any of these plants, please stop by and ask any questions you may have. We would love to talk about the Monrovia Holiday Collection with you!