Here I Am. This is Me.

I loved school as a kid. It got me away from the stresses of the house and into a place where I was free to indulge in my love for reading and learning. While the social dynamics of the playground are rarely easy for any of us to navigate, school opened my mind to possibilities, to a world I couldn’t have imagined from within the fear-filled confinement of a dysfunctional family. What I loved most, more than free time in the library or the hours we spent huddled on the floor as the teacher read aloud, was Show and Tell. While, I know that giving presentations was a part of all grades, I remember Show and Tell in grade one best.

Mine was an open-concept school, wherein the grade one class was an amalgamation of two classrooms and two teachers. We sat at tables of six students rather than individual desks, and you had to wait patiently for the weekly Show and Tell presentations to come around to your table. The wait was gruelling and I would spend the weeks and days before my turn came up assessing the contents of my room, searching for the perfect thing — the thing I loved most — full of the hopeful anticipation of the moment when I would have the opportunity to share it with the class. There was so much that I couldn’t share and say as a kid, so many silences that needed to be observed carefully; pain and joyfulness that I could not reveal. Show and Tell was sometimes fraught with fear and anxiety, but overall it was a safe context in which I could reveal myself.

Jump ahead, oh, a few decades or so, and here I am doing a job that in many ways feels a lot like Show and Tell. The only difference being that instead of holding up an item of someone else’s making and proclaiming, “Here I am. This is me. This is what I love.” I have encapsulated it (me) within a creation that came from my own heart, mind, eyes, and hands. All of the hopeful joy, excitement, anxiety and fear is still a part of it.

In order to keep making things I need them to sell. Unfortunately, I am not the world’s greatest self-promoter. I may have loved presenting things in grade school, but as an adult, I find no joy or comfort in showing off my own work. Talking about it makes me sweat. It makes me feel slimy and narcissistic. I pretty much hate it.

So here I am, less than two weeks left until my third book, “Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces” goes out into the world and I am feeling the usual mix of emotions: excitement meets nausea. The trick I’ve found, and the one I am struggling to employ again is to focus on the making part of the process. I think back to the good times I had while I was imagining what this book would be. I recall in my mind the times I spent in the garden planting, taking pictures, harvesting, and testing recipes. I try to tap into my child brain and ask myself how she would feel and what she would say while standing up in front of the class with this book in hand.

I think she would like it very much. I think she would say, “Here I am. This is me. This is what I love.

I hope you like it, too.

———–

My publisher, Clarkson Potter, has agreed to do a prelaunch giveaway of two copies of the book. I thought that in the spirit of my story it would be fun to make it a Show and Tell of sorts.

To Enter:

Simply post a comment via the box below. Please be sure to use a valid email address as I will be using that to contact the winners.

Please include a comment or link to a photo or post online of a plan or plans that you have this year that include herbs or edible flowers. It can be a picture or post about your garden from the last season, your garden as it is right now, or a garden grown by someone else. Garden season is underway for some and on the horizon for the rest of us. Let’s inspire each other and get excited about the forthcoming growing season!

If you’re feeling uninspired or uncomfortable sharing, you can always just type in, “Count me in” or something similar and that will work as your entry.

I will choose 2 winners at random on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 6pm EST.
Please note that this contest is only open to addresses in Canada and the Continental USA. (Sorry.)

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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210 thoughts on “Here I Am. This is Me.

  1. I don’t have a link but I always have at least two large containers filled with herbs for my container garden. I have one for Mediterranean herbs (lots of thyme, tarragon, rosemary, lavender) but I also grow lemon verbena, basil, pansies, and fennel. I tuck herbs in other containers. Can’t wait for youe book and for spring!

  2. Congrats on the new book! Thank you for showing and telling. Your site and your books are the resources I always turn to as I evolve as a gardener.

  3. Gayla I cannot WAIT for your book!

    One of my favorite edible flowers is Nasturtium. I grew them for the first time two years ago. At first I used it for the flowers then I discovered you can eat the leaves too! This past season I grew them as a sort of ground cover, which worked pretty well. Here’s a post I did in 2010 about some of my favorite plants, including the Mahogany Nasturtiums.
    http://digityourself.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-favorite-plants-2010-vol-1.html

  4. I have your upcoming book on my “buy now!” list on Amazon, but given tight finances, might be awhile before I get around to it. Le sigh.

    We’re in the planning stages of the garden at the new house we bought–tons of raised beds to build, seeds to sow. Herbs are going to be a big part of it, with most of the kitchen ones grown in window boxes that I can easily reach through the window. Something a little like this: http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/5386/1075928721028668555S500x500Q85.jpg

    Can’t wait to see how it goes!!

  5. Count me in.

    My garden right now, as snow lies on the ground, is a foil tray sitting in my window, filled with potting soil and “China Rose” radish sprouts. It’s inspired by your post/project from the book about starting microgreens. Seriously, that little bit of green is the most awesome bit of green ever. At least until spring rolls around and I can *really* plant stuff. For now, next up: Spicy sandwich mix.

  6. I planted garlic this year (finally!) and went a bit overboard, lol. If I get heads from everything thst sprouted, there’ll be a lot of aioli in my future. Love your books!

    • Haha.. Jeni, me too! I doubled when I planted last year because we went through it too fast. If it all comes up I will have to figure some things out!

  7. I am so excited to be moving to a new office building in about a month… where I will have my own WINDOW! Although I also grow some herbs outside when the weather permits in PA, I am thrilled that I will soon have a space to keep basil and oregano (two we use most… LOVE hubby’s sauce) all year. I don’t have a picture because, well, we haven’t moved yet!

  8. I don’t have pics of our garden unfortunately. I plan to fix that this year. My 2 kids and I live with my parents due to a messy divorce. My stepfather and one child tend the garden. The teenager is just not interested. My mom’s health doesn’t allow her tend the garden as much, but she does the gathering most of the time with my daughter. Our garden is a family affair. Lol! With all that being said, please count me in.

  9. I’ve just begun planting seeds with the hope of having a more abundant garden than last year. I hope to include a lot more herbs than last year and in a more prominent role!

    My photo is several years evolution of my backyard garden.

  10. Count me in! My basil always seems to taste best when the plant is young, so my goal this year is to have a better system to stagger plantings and from both seed and cuttings. I’d also like to try more varieties since I was inspired by the year you grew so many kinds and you said they all tasted so different!

  11. I am so excited about your new book that I already pre-ordered it! However, I would love to share one with a friend who always lets me drag her to yet another plant event whether it be a new found nursery or farmers market…so, please count me in!

  12. You made it! And it is beautiful! I’m so looking forward to this book, Gayla, and will be bugging my bookstore to make sure they stock it.
    No pictures for me, but last year was my first having my very own bed in our brand new community garden, and even though I planned to fill it chock full of all the veggies I could grow, I knew I needed some flowers too, since I don’t have any other places to put them. So last year I planted nasturtium seeds around the whole bed, and even though they didn’t really get going until I had to pull everything out at the end of the season, they made my garden so pretty. This year I’ve ordered nasturtium and chamomile seeds to squeeze in among the veggies, and I can’t wait to add the nasturtium flowers to my salads again, and steep the chamomile for warm cups of comfort.

    • My direct-down nasturtiums were a bit late last year, too. It was a cold spring. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen this year…

  13. Count me in!

    Is there anything nicer than a cup of homegrown chamomile tea? I’d like to learn more about how to use different herbs and edible flowers.
    Congratulations on your new book Gayla. I’m looking forward to all the great ideas and lovely photos…

    • I’m allergic to chamomile, but I do grow it. I situate it on the edge of the path so that people step on it on occasion and it smells good. Doesn’t seem to bug my allergies that way.

  14. I have two plans: start as many of my herbs from seed as possible, and put a lot in containers on my deck. I planted some in the ground last year, but didn’t use them as much as I could have because of their location. It was an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of thing.

  15. I don’t have any posts or photos of edible flowers, but I did make a cake for an engagement party a couple years ago and I covered it in pansies!

  16. I don’t have a link, but my goal for the garden this year is to be more organized. I’d like to create actual lists of things I want and need before going all willy nilly with my catalogs and garden shops. I definitely want to make this the year that I get the herb garden settled. The rosemary held its own last year and everything else failed to thrive. Hope you’ll pick me, but otherwise Yay You on the book!

  17. I’m in … here’s a post w a photo of the sun just starting to creep into my herb patch at 10:30am. Great post Gayla! Can’t wait to get your next book.

  18. I just found out that the new USDA zone map puts my house in zone 6b (up from zone 5) I’m thinking about planting a purple passion flower vine to test out our new warmer designation. I’ve never eaten passion fruit but I love plants that are both decorative and edible.

  19. I’m planning to grow much more basil and cilantro this year, I didn’t grow nearly enough last year. And more wildflowers!

  20. I love your books! Grow Great Grub had me falling in love with veggies all over again. I ordered a bay tree for this spring’s herb garden so count me it!

  21. I just bought a whole bunch of really nice wooden tray boxes from a store that was closing – I think they used the boxes for storage in the stock room. Anyway – I am going to use them to plant fresh herbs and some greens.

  22. I love your books – congratulations on the new one! I am looking forward to it. We recently moved from a city where we had a community plot, to a place where those don’t seem to exist. We’ll have to really scale back on our gardening, so your books will come in handy!

    • I can’t wait for you to meet her! I want to bring her to the market but she’s still a bit nervous in crowds. When she was walked it was in the country without traffic and people everywhere. She’s still getting used to it.

  23. Count me in!! I loved Grow Great Grub and I’m looking forward to your new book. I’ve grown herbs for a few years but I’ve always stuck to the basics. I’d like to learn more so I can be a little more daring :)

  24. As renters, I have learned to love container gardening and am determined to teach my boys, 5 & 6, the joys of gardening even though we don’t have a big plot to dig in.

    Last summer I came upon some edible lemon marigolds. My boys loved filling their hands with salads of tiny blooms, bits of rosemary, basils, and parsley. This year I hope to build a self-watering container full of edible flowers and expand on my mini hanging herb garden. Money’s tight, but it’s for the boys ;)

  25. I don’t have a link or picture but I used one of your books today to help a friend’s garden out so COUNT ME IN!!

  26. I’m really excited to see your next book, Gayla. I particularly liked the section on Herbs and Edible Flowers in your last book — ’cause they’re kind of my thing. Despite a huge and unexplainable resistance, I am about to (finally) do something w/herbs et al that involves expanding my existing garden, developing a few products and promoting growing and using plants through my website. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Well, my herb plans this year involve large spaces. But that’s okay, I plan to buy a few copies of the book as gifts for friends. Actually your three books would make a great gift set!
    I read your post, and I guess you can think about all the folks who are eagerly awaiting your new book when anticipating the promotion aspect like Honest Ed, you can say “This way you lucky people!!” (soon to be released in epub??)
    Congrats..
    TeeTee

  28. Hey Gayla! Just finished “Grow Great Grub” and am looking forward to your next launch! Funds are super tight, so winning a copy would be the cat’s #ss! This year I am building 3 raised beds (4×8) and am going to incorporate a lot of ideas from your book. Lots and lots of ‘maters and basil, peppers, oregano, thyme and rosemary (oh, I so love rosemary)greens and the obligatory zuk!

  29. All winter I have been collecting recipes that include wild/foraged/edible flowers. Edible Flowers and Herbs add such a greater demention to meal times. Growing these plants yourself…makes it more special.
    Excited about #3!!! Pick me please. xoxo, Dana

  30. First, congrats on the third book! Can’t wait to check it out!

    This year, I want to make better use of the produces I grow in the garden, particularly herbs. I always manage to either not have enough at one time or all of it at the same time (the eternal dilemna!). So I guess it all boils down to better planning, in the garden, as well as in the kitchen!

    Here are my sort-of related objectives in the kitchen, which pretty much involves planning! (in French)
    http://lavietoutsimplement.com/2012/01/23/objectifs-culinaires-2012/

  31. Congratulations on your new book, Gayla. I have your first two books and love them. My tea/herb garden is still a work in progress, and not yet photo worthy. I need all the inspiration I can get. Please count me in for the book draw.

  32. We have made a little bit more progress on our side yard to convert it to raised bed and container gardens since this photo.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/106999912679826138050/Garden#5702094736090741698

    I received your ‘Grow Great Grub’ book for Christmas and have been using it and ‘Backyard Bounty’ by Linda Gilkeson as a guide for planning. I’ll be hitting up my first local Seedy Saturday next month! I come for a long line of farmers/gardeners and am so very proud to be continuing this tradition.

  33. Can’t wait for the third book, as I loved the first two. My herban plans this year include any new kind of basil I can find (I ordered 2 new ones in the past weeks) and probably starting from scratch on my side yard herb garden. By scratch, I mean removing all the soil and starting totally FROM SCRATCH. I moved in to this house 2 years ago and the soil has seemed exhausted from the get-go, as well as having moss issues. Time for a fresh go. And then my basil army (as my partner calls it) can mount an assault on the WORLD!! MUahahahahaha.

  34. This year we’re adding potatoes and grape vines to the yard, replacing some asparagus and artichoke plants that either were done producing or got sick, and trying to expand the allium production. But the best part is going to be finding a place to put all the saffron bulbs that divided in the garden last year. We’re pretty stoked about the new star of the herb garden.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bladerunnerpdx/6279000136/in/set-72157627972673618

  35. Please count me in!

    I’m going to try growing nasturtiums in my garden (again) and pray that the groundhogs leave them alone this year. Last year they were chewed down to stubs.

  36. I grow all the herbs I have space for in the summer. My winter garden is my indulgence -all orchids, ferns, a beautiful calamondin orange and a tillandsia garden. I do a whole lot of plant misting but it’s worth it.

  37. I’m looking forward to the chance to read your new book, Gayla!

    I am so desperately in need of springtime to arrive. I miss the fresh herbs growing abundantly on my front porch!

  38. Our yard was entirely sand and sand spurs when we moved in, August of 2011. They are the worst enemies of a garden and we have worked hard to remedy them so far in the yard. Below is a link to a post I put up with a recent review of our progress. I recently found your stuff through reading on of Ashley English’s books and then looking at her site, so I’m really excited about getting plugged into a system of people that are good resources for all things gardening, homesteading, and dirt :)

    http://auntchuck.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=784&action=edit

  39. There is no doubt that I am a gardening novice, but it is a passion I have become obsessed with exploring!

    Congratulations on your new book, and I can’t wait to see all of your hints and tips!

  40. In 2011, I bought a house on a good sized lot and planted my first garden ever. Achievements?

    Raised a pine/cedar bed for vegetables that’s 5′x20′: http://meansoybean.com/2011/06/a-look-at-the-raised-bed-summer-2011/

    Started a free-form medicinal herb bed: http://meansoybean.com/2011/06/wordless-wednesday-herb-bowl/

    Surprised that my Saint John/Joan’s Wort bloomed in the first year: http://meansoybean.com/2011/07/saint-johnjoans-wort-in-bloom/

    I haven’t started planning for the coming growing season, but I want to grow beans for drying, lots of tomatoes for canning (even on the front lawn), and ground cherries in upside-down planters for jam-making. Yeh!

  41. congratulations on your book, it looks wonderful

    for next year I look forward to many varieties of mint, I can’t get enough lemon balm, yum

    I know how you feel about the bragging/self promotion thing, chin up

  42. I love growing my own herbs! Nothing beats augmenting the flavors of a recipe with fresh herbs (that you’ve proudly grown yourself). This spring/summer I will experiment putting various flowers in salads to figure out what excites my palate and subsequently what flowers to grow myself. I’ll also be transitioning from container gardening to in-ground gardening once I figure out how to make the best use of the plot I have to work with. Can’t wait for spring!

  43. Congratulations! What an awesome thing you’ve done with your book- you must feel very accomplished!

    Count me in please! I wish I had something amazing to share, but alas I do not.

  44. I am so excited for this growing season, because I just had a fence built around for garden! This means my 3 children & 2 big dogs won’t be trampling thru… Woo hoo! Bring on spring!

  45. I just got your second book and I wish I’d had it last winter. I have struggled to garden with so many barriers, and your book makes it all so much more relaxed and possible. I’m going to try growing in some beat up reusable shopping bags (a la those grow bags they sell at Gardener’s Supply) I already have, and hopefully round up a couple wine boxes or something for greens. I’m trying to focus, but I really want morning glories and sweet peas and poppies as well! I have to keep it reasonable because of my health, but I really just want to take over the awful chemical-filled, over-mowed condo lawn and fill it with native shrubs and flowers. They’d call me the lawn ninja!
    I’ll link to my gardening Pinterest board, because that’s the state of my current plan: http://pinterest.com/conundrumk/a-green-thumb/

  46. Count me in, too! We’re venturing into “Our First Garden” territory and a friend (thankfully) referred me to YouGrowGirl and Grow Great Grub. I can’t say enough how much your book and blog have helped give me some sense of competency.

    I started a blog to document our progress (success and failures) of our first garden. Here’s a post about the planning stages that we’re currently in: http://gardeningmyterritory.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/what-to-plant-decisions-decisions/

    Thanks so much for all you do and for offering such great guidance. My future herbs, veggies and fresh & flavorful meals say thanks!

  47. I love your bookstand Blog! They inspired me to grow a jungle in the entry of my tiny apartment! Recently I purchased a home and have a small lot and BIG plans to fill it! Thanks for all your great photos of garden PORN!

    you rock.

  48. Hello! We are gardening on a balcony in northern BC, and while strawberries were a sad disappointment, and the aphids have followed us indoors for the winter (bleh) the past year was fantastic for peas and we even got a few cucumbers off a trellis. Looking forward to trying pole beans and some heirloom tomatoes this year. Thanks!

  49. I used your first book as inspiration for my ‘postage stamp’ veggie/herb garden/container garden when I started it from scratch, back in the spring of 2008. My veggie garden has progressed over the years & in 2010 it became a French Potager Kitchen Garden, so I added even more flowers. Every year is a little different. Please, check out my photo album & see how my garden has grown from 2008 thru today, thanks to your inspiration. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1087078588810.2013009.1581790319&type=3&l=7cdb1c3e0b

  50. I plan on growing white borage alongside my regular borage and to sprinkle them in salads that I’ve grown in my garden. I will also use borage as a lovely topping on a cupcake or cake. I can’t get enough of this wonderful plant! It’s so versatile and I love the delicate flavour.

  51. this growing season i will be starting anew. after 4 years of searching we found a little house on a quiet road, with a bit of land. 14 yrs ago i planted my kitchen herb garden in our previous home , and our beautiful raised bed veggie garden followed. i hope the new owners love the garden as much as i did. now the garden story begins again…i am excited to share this one with my new grand daughter nora. ;)

  52. I cannot wait to see this book. We live in a very small space, and I’ve been searching for good ideas. Thank you!

  53. I love your books and am excited about your next book. I live north of San Diego and plan on moving north soon. I will miss our citrus trees and long growing season, but will adapt to another climate. Sometimes the winter months in colder areas give one a mini vacation while the soil “sleeps.” Have a delightful weekend!

  54. Great giveaway! I don’t have a link b/c my post isn’t complete yet, but I’m using a new website smartgardener.com to organize, plan and track my garden this year.

  55. Well I was planning on getting your book anyways but entering a give away is always fun too! Our winter on the prairies hasn’t been that harsh compared to last year in that we’ve at least had warmer days and breaks from seeing nothing but white for 6 months. I haven’t started anything yet but have been looking through the seed catalogues and checking stuff out online. Planning, waiting, wondering, and dreaming!

  56. Don’t have anything online now, but this is the first year spring in our new home. So, the garden is a complete wreak! I have designed out a multi-year plan for it, but this summer, the goal is to get some major landscaping and water issues dealt with, have some veggies in the ground, building at least one more raised bed, formalizing the compost set-up, terracing along the driveway, and (maybe by next winter) getting some fruit trees/bushes planted.

    Cheers!

  57. Well, I am going to plant tomatoes, peppers, okra, blue hubbard squash, chard, beans, and a ton of herbs this year. Can’t wait till it gets warmer for good … today’s weather of 67F in DC is warm but way too soon to be planting!

  58. http://statigr.am/p/163397427_7836950
    I wanted to grow borage for use in edible salads, and for candied flowers other than violas. I did not realize after looking at a myriad of up close shots that each individual plant is quite big, like eclipse other vegetables in your raised bed big! Perhaps a couple more careful placements outside my main veg beds will happen this year. I’m significantly increasing herbs because of their place in my cooking repertoire and hating to waste those packs from the grocery store!

  59. Count me in! I followed through on my first square foot garden this winter and planted chard, kale, broccoli & snow peas. The aphids nearly killed everything in their path but so far I’ve harvested a pound of snow peas, a pound of broccoli, half a pound of chard and sadly, no kale. It’s still growing, though, so who knows. I thought it was going to die weeks ago but it keeps on keeping on.

  60. Last summer was my first season as a balcony gardener (in large part thanks to you), and I fell in love. My tomatoes were, by far, my favourite part (they were my dog’s favourite too, little sneak!). This year, I’ve been inspired to keep it all edible, as well as beautiful. I’m so excited for spring!!

  61. I JUST planted my tomato seeds to start indoors!
    outside I have snap peas planted about 3 times, 2-3 weeks apart, (1st batch ready to pod up any day now) & potatoes, & cilantro, & green onions, & and a couple strawberries

  62. This is the time of year when I start planning my gardens for next season, and I’m going to put some herbs like chives, dill, and edible flowers around my back patio. Also lettuce in some containers, as well as containers with peas for the pea sprouts. Following a post from England, I just went and got whole peas to grow from the grocery store instead of buying expensive seed catalogue ones. My main veggies like potatoes and tomatoes will be in the allotment. No pictures or posts for me but I would love to win your new book.

  63. Hi Gayla,
    I’ve enjoyed all of the books you’ve written so far. I look forward to reading this one too!
    Thank you
    Sarah

  64. Hi Gayla,

    How exciting for you… I bet this book will be another one of my favorites… I get an abundance of basil, and I have a rosemary bush in my little backyard… I love making jelly with them…. My next Idea is Chamomile but that won’t be flowering and ready until about end of Feb… Here is my link to the jelly, I love to make… http://tangentgardening.blogspot.com/2011/08/basil-jelly.html
    Count me in…
    Lots of happiness for you!

  65. Count me in yay!
    We’ve got a couple of fruit trees we are planting – I want to plant beneficial herbs around them! I also want to plant almost every herb because I’m a cooking nerd. Also I have some land plotted out at a friends home for even more planting. Big year for us!

  66. Your book would be perfect for me as I have a tiny space on my front lawn devoted to planting herbs and I’d like to learn how to optimize that small space. Last year I had planted basil, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, lavender, parsley. I have never tried planting edible flowers before so that can be something I learn from your book.

    Here’s the link to my blog post about my herb garden.

    http://bijouxkeepitsimple.blogspot.com/2010/06/brown-thumb-turns-green.html

  67. Hi Gayla, I just got done watching the she’s crafty episode of you and Wendy. I love you guys. My dream is to live totally off of the land but to get started can be expensive so we are taking baby steps while we are stuck renting in the city. We have a small side space that will accommodate tomato plants and pickling cucumbers to make my families favorite sweet pickles couldn’t make them fast enough last year . This year I also plan to grow some herbs and dry some to get me through the winter. They can be so expensive in the store. I don’t have much to my back yard but a sis mall patio so we will see how much room is left after all that planting

  68. Oops I accidently hit post since I manage to feed our family of 5 on our $400 a month food budget I will take all the ideas I can get for growing my own stuff to last all year. Look forward to reading your books.thank you

  69. My 76 year old grandma is visiting for 3 months and together we go out into my little patio every day and admire the seedlings growing from every container I can fit there. We talk about her life as a farmer in China and the things I’m learning to grow now.

    She was really interested in the “foreign” herbs and edible flowers because she has never seen or eaten them before. I showed her pictures of what the nasturnium, borage, and pansies will look like when mature. We went around smelling the rosemary, oregano, thyme, lavender, and italian parsley while explaining to her how they could be used.

    It’s been so great to have this chance to connect with my grandma through the joy we find in gardening. I’m looking forward to reading your new book!

  70. Well I finally bought my own house in July 2011 but the move pretty much meant my plants got neglected and never flourished. So my new years resolution is to make an edible garden. So far I’ve dug up half my backgarden to grow veg, got some chickens and going to dig up the whole front garden and use that as my herb and edible flower garden. I’ve never had a garden of my own previously and all i grew was out of pots, so this year is going to be an exciting year for food!
    Good luck on your book, I am sure it’ll inspire a lot of people out there.

  71. After going from homeowner to renter last year, I have started tucking herb “pocket gardens” all over our new yard. More sunny patches of herby goodness are planned for 2012. Thanks for the chance to win your book!

  72. Hi!! I love your books, I own your second one about growing good food. Anyway, last year was my very first attempt at growing anything at all (on my balcony, in containers), and while I had no idea what I was doing, didn’t plan a thing, and didn’t have a huge harvest (thanks to pests and weather), my little balcony yielded me a handful of cherry tomatoes, lots of mint, some cucumbers, and arugula. Anyway, I am trying to plan out my garden this year more, and I hope to have what I deem a ‘tea and salad’ garden. So, different kinds of lettuces and greens, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, and as many interesting herbs as I can find.

    Anyway, good luck with your book! I know I will probably buy a copy when it comes out if I don’t by some crazy chance win this thing. :P

  73. I am new to gardening and new to blogging. My boyfriend and I renting a house and we are planning on growing a vegetable and herb container garden. The blog follows our progress as we start from scratch and hopefully will end up being a practical guide for us to look back on. I just got a bunch of books out of the library and picked up “You Grow Girl” which led me here! Looking forward to learning from you! My latest post: Gardening Books, At Last http://puppieswhoplant.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/gardening-books-at-last/

  74. Please count me in. I have a unique herb garden on my deck my father built me of cedar. The base is a lumber cart from a sawmill (1920s) with large centre wheels that tip to either end where caster-style wheels make for easy turning. It was my container garden on wheels in our first rental house – we would move it around the small yard when it was time to mow the grass. Now it’s handy to my kitchen door and my children love picking things out of it, a nibble of mint or rosemary or even a Tiny Tim cherry tomato last summer.

  75. I have a bunch of pots that can be moved inside for the winter for the fresh herbs I can’t live without in the kitchen (like parsley), but have recently started leaving some plants outside to see how well they do in the cold (so far this year, my thyme and chives are holding up pretty well!). I also started a vegetable garden last summer and currently I’m harvesting some great lettuce and spinach at meal times. My autumn chard and kale plants did not do much this time, so I’m looking forward to trying those again in the spring… it’s all a work in progress and I’m eager to learn more as I go!

  76. How exciting for you! This is my second year gardening and I have hopeful plans – probably way too big, but hopeful. Last season we planted in tires we found on the property. This year, my husband is going to build a hoop house for me so we can grow tomatoes and peppers and we’re also going to get a pig to keep in the old abandoned apple orchard out back (I KNOW!!!). This is a preliminary sketch of what we want to have done this year. http://plans.garden-planner.net/uploads/plans/210850.jpg

    I’ve got my seeds and I am going to start them in a few weeks. I’m so excited about this!

  77. The photo on the cover of your book is gorgeous! Makes me long for spring and summer.

    I live in an East Coast city so I am all about growing in small spaces. It’s so neat to look out our windows and see things growing against the urban backdrop, especially when they’re plants we grew ourselves. Best is when they’re pretty and tasty like this window box I planted last fall (Merveille de Quatre Saisons lettuce, pansies and nasturtiums).

    http://bit.ly/wVDVu7

    Planning more of the same this year. You can never have enough lettuce. Or flowers. :-)

  78. Our garden plans include…starting a few gardens at our new house! They will include all edibles…no pictures or plans yet. Must get on it (though we are in CO, so our horizon is a ways out still).
    I have your first two books…love them!

  79. Have your other two books and use them for reference all the time. Your new book will be a welcome addition to my library. Your practical and ecomical approach to gardening is awesome. Love your photography too.

  80. I’m very excited for your book and the growing season :) I plan on growing lots of herbs this year since my new apt doesn’t have an outside balcony.

  81. Hi Gayla!

    I just saw the preview video of your new book. I love how vivid and colorful the pictures are. The content is really inspiring.

    I am really excited to garden this year because I feel that the soil is ready for gardening. It was difficult to turn desert soil into a viable space for crops. I am also exited about a new seed library program here in Tucson, AZ. Library patrons are able to check out heirloom seeds and are encouraged to collect/replenish seeds after the growing season. I already checked some out and can’t wait to get started! Congrats on the new book!

  82. Congratulations on your third book! I have been inspired by your gardens ever since I found your site and for the first time have a yard of my own to actually grow in!

  83. congrats on the release of your third book!

    i found your website surfin the web for garden ideas and i have been hooked since. i live in a apartment in the city w limited to space to grow, but i am determined to make it work!

  84. Show it. Tell it. Love it!

    Don’t be shy, we are all enjoying it! And you are inspiring us all to try and enjoy new edibles. I enjoy your book, and hope it helps you continue, my friend just bought a copy too.

  85. I was gratified to read what you wrote about “show and tell” in that you said out loud and clearly what I too feel. I am an artist (a painter, to be specific) and I share your love of DOING the work, but do not like at all the business of marketing the work. What you offer and what I offer value perhaps more one’s inner health and joyfulness and less the value of a measurable “product”.
    And that is the way I like it!

  86. My goodness, have you been busy in the last 12 years!
    I just moved from the 24th floor into a house with a lovely garden. Can’t wait to get started and in the meantime, I shall educate myself with your books and blog. Looks great!!

  87. Count me in! I can’t wait for your new book! I’m including many herbs in my garden this spring – lots of new beds and experimenting with many medicinal and culinary herbs. Even plan to have a pot of dandelions this year!

  88. First time visiting your site but I love it already! I have an 11 year old who fell in love with eating edible flowers when she saw nasturinums at the farmers market. She loved the idea of eating flowers. She’s a big salad eater now.

  89. Can’t wait to read this book front to back!!!!

    This year I need to tone down the borage, (WWWAAAYYY to many last year) and tone up the basil and lots of it, and I want different varieties. I need to remember to throw some nastursiums into the salad, and I’d love to try candying some flowers this year for some special cakes!

  90. Tonight I had homemade pizza. I went outside, brushed the snow off of a potted Rosemary plant I still have outside and brought a few snippets in. Love it on my pizza. DEElicious!!

    Looking forward to your new book! Please count me in.

  91. Yay I’m finally back in the US and can be a part of these give aways! We have come back to our house in Norfolk that, after my time in Australia and being introduced to permaculture, I look at with a new light. So much potential! Herbs are some of the easier plants to start with and are at the top of my list. I would love to have a copy of your new book Gayla! :-)

  92. Count me in. This will be my first year ever attempting a garden and I keep looking for all the tips and information I can get to make it work!

  93. I’ve ordered some scented geraniums and a Lemon Verbena
    plant for my windowsills.Hoping my rhubarb plants will be up in the spring.By the way, I enjoy leafing through your books for
    inspirational ideas.

  94. I’m so excited to check out the new book!

    My gardening plans aren’t so ambitious these days, but they include one of these layered doohickies I found at Canada Blooms: http://ak2.ostkcdn.com/images/products/L12389391.jpg

    I fill it with all of my favourite herbs and keep it on my little kitchen balcony for easy access (rosemary & chives combined tastes better than salt!), and last year I put in some strawberries too.

    I still dream of a balcony oasis with all kinds of ripe edibles ready for lazy grazing on sunny weekend afternoons. Maybe this year I’ll get ambitious again and make it happen.
    (With the help of your books of course!)

  95. Congrats on this new book Gayla, and count me in on the draw! When I started my first container garden last year, Grow Great Grub was my bible. And I made the gardening aprons from You Grow Girl for my mom and sister last Christmas… so naturally, this new book will be among friends on my bookshelf :) Can’t wait to see it.

  96. I have a dream show and tell. I started going to school in herbalism this year and my dream, at this point only sketches that I can’t wait to show and tell is the space in front of my front fence that is a small but long weird piece of land with a severe incline. This year it becomes and herb garden after that I plan to invite many people to stand on my sidewalk so I can show and tell. So excited about your new book!

  97. I am totally excited to grow copious amounts of peppery nasturtiums and finally learn how to pickle their sweet little buds into capers. I have said I would do it so many years in the past, but never actually take the time to harvest those little guys that I believe will just keep growing forever and I’ll be able to do it next weekend. With no stable living quarters at the moment, and no garden to speak of, I know I can at least pot up some of my most prolific seeds and take them with me wherever I go. I can’t wait!
    Please consider me for your book draw and thanks for the opportunity to daydream about the upcoming growing season :)

  98. Hi, this year myself and my fiancee are attempting to overhaul our tiny back garden into somewhere we can grow our own fruit and veg. When we took over it was so overgrown we didn’t even know where the paved path was through the “lawn” – you just couldn’t see it!! Now it’s a veggie plot 3m x 5m with a patio which will soon be full of home-made sub-irrigated planters. I’m blogging about it, though for the moment it is only intended really for my reference so I can see what I di and when, and what worked and what was an abject failure(!).

    Love the site and am following you on Twitter also for inspiration.

    Regards
    Jamie.

  99. Looking forward to your new book! I’m into inspiring folks to spend more time in the garden and just started offering neat ideas at the farmers market. This weekend I’m launching herb kits. Folks get to pick their favorite seeds and it comes with a seed starting caddy, plantable pots, soil, organic seed, my own designed watering spritzer and instructions. I’ll be offering borage and 4 different kinds of basil as well. I’ve been posting pics on FB: http://www.facebook.com/homegrownfun

  100. First off, I love your previous books – that’s one of the reasons I joined the community garden in my area.
    I’ve already gotten the nasturtium seeds and last year I grew lime basil. Tasted a lot like ginseng when I brewed it as a tea. I think one new thing I’m going to do this year is make an herbal vinegar with one of the lemony herbs. Anything tangy is my forte.
    Anyway, whether I win a free copy or not, I will be enjoying your newest book. Thanks for being an inspiration!

    ctu

  101. I love herbs and every year I grow more of them in containers on my third floor deck in Chicago. I first used them for soaps and salves and now vinegars and teas. I have bunches of dried herbs from last season as well as rosemary and a tender lavender growing inside. I am overwintering lemon grass, lemon verbena and pineapple sage this year. Fun to see what works. I will be starting seeds soon for basil, calendula, and when it is nice outside – dill and cilantro. My oregano, thyme, lavender, and sage are bundled up in bubble wrap outside until it is time to push back the mulch covering and let them grow again. Can’t wait!

  102. I obtained some hand me down pots and some food grade buckets that I plan to grow herbs and other edibles in. This will be my very first year doing any gardening, so I’m excited. I have no pictures to share, but I’m excited to add this book to my collection.

  103. In past years the squirrels have tended to do in the herbs in the boxes outside, so we may have to consider indoors. That being said, my wife and kids did a fine job of growing tomatoes on the roof last year, so maybe we’ll expand the garden up there (watering the plant life may get tricky, though).

  104. This has been such a strange winter in Chicago. Warm enough that several of my herb plants have so far survived. However it also makes it harder to wait for spring! I’ve already started some basil because I couldn’t wait any longer!

  105. Please count me in! I just watched your preview video and now I really want the book! I’ve slowly crept up the waiting list for a community garden and last fall was allocated a plot. It was too late to plant many things but the turnips and asian greens flourished. Attached is a photo of our first harvest of 2012.

    I’m so excited for the spring/summer season because I’ll be packing that plot brimming with vegetables to eat and can. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my herbs and cherry tomatoes on the patio in pots so it’s readily available for snacking urges!

  106. i don’t have any pics of my garden online but i do have a lot of excitement for my expansion of it this year. violets grow wild in my backyard and i love to candy them and toss them in salads as well. the red clover that grows i use in infusions and in salads too.

  107. I am hoping to cook more this year with fresh herbs. My family and I are thinking of eating less meat and more veggies for 2012 :)

  108. I just discovered this blog and would love to learn more about fresh herbs. We just purchased a dehydrator which I am planning to use for drying herbs (and other things) this summer.

  109. I started my container garden last year with a lemon and a kumquat tree. I watered diligently and once I saw fruit, I caught the gardening bug and have been voraciously reading your blog on how to cultivate a green thumb and my patio garden. This year, I’m planning to add even more fruit trees, strawberries, tomatoes, green onion, and herbs (cilantro, lavender, rosemary, shiso, chives).

  110. Count me in! I don’t have any online things to share but I built some raised beds late fall and will be planting them soon!

  111. I’m currently reading Grow Great Grub and You Grow Girl. I love them! I would love to have a copy of your herbs and flowers book, seeing as my love for home-grown food and gardening started with herbs. A few years ago I started out with a couple planters with some oregano, parsley, cilantro (which I STILL can’t get to grow), and basil. And I fell in love. This year, my husband and I are planting a full grown garden. Thank you so much for the inspiration in your books and website!

  112. Love Love Love your blog! Can’t wait to read your book. I only have a very small garden and am always looking for ways to increase yield.

  113. Please count me in. I just discovered your blog and we are hoping to start a garden and maybe have some chickens this year and try to enjoy our just over 1/2 acre of land we now have. I love the great outdoors and it’s so relaxing to feel like a part of the earth when you plant something.

  114. I just came across your homepage in the nick of time! What a lovely layout, pictures, words and tips. I’m in the midst of building gardens which I hope will sustain my whole family, that being siblings, parents and nieces for years to come. My library and heirloom seed bank is expanding, slowly, and I look forward to the days when I can sit through the winter sipping home made herbal tea, eating winter vegetables and reading by a candle I’ve made. So thanks for writing a book that’ll help me toward that goal!

  115. Count me in!
    I always have a garden at my house. Unfortunately, I have a Black Walnut Tree right next door that means my tomatoes are always a no go. (Those trees release a toxic chemical to tomatoes.) Basil and peppers are usually my go to plants! Can’t wait until spring!

  116. Congratulations, Gayla. Count me in — as a fan of both your writing & gardening style.

    In 2012 I hope to add to my collection of thyme and lavender (all the plants survived the winter) and try some new varieties of basil.

    Here are some photos from last year:
    Bowl of thyme: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elle-epp/5811286191/in/set-72157625775287133
    Balcony garden: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elle-epp/5898861234/in/set-72157625775287133/
    Lavender: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elle-epp/6303179665/in/photostream/

  117. Hi:

    Congrats on your book. Pls. count me in. I had to dig up my beautiful backyard garden (flowers, fruit, pond) for building, and to compensate I am building a large deck in order to grow veggies, herbs, and edible flowers in containers. My two daughters are suddenly expressing interest in gardening with me, after 2 decades of showing no interest. I love to grow: its in my fami;ly genes, and I am excited to learn how to improve my container gardening skills. Sorry, no photos yet.

  118. Me me me! Hi Gayla I’m new to gardening and just got your book You Grow Girl and I love it. The book itself as an object is beautiful and I’d love to have another one of yours! If not I’ll eventually buy it anyway but I’m really broke. Congratulations on the publication and I’m glad you’re out there making beautiful things! Best wishes. Melanie

  119. This year, I am committed to growing more edibles than ever before. I have a lot of work ahead of me as I plan on tearing up a large part of the backyard and putting in more beds. No doubt it will take a few years to get it where I want it to be.
    I already have perennial oregano, chives, thyme and more lemon balm & mint than I can use. This year, a special spot will be allocated in the new beds for more flavorful herbs.
    A copy of your book would be an excellent resource.
    Thank you!

  120. I’ve loved your books thus far, and I feel like I have a vision for my garden now. I use herbs a lot, and would love to get more tips on how to grow them for my gardent this year!

  121. I am really excited about our garden this year. We are planning to grow as many varieties of basil as possible. Last year we grew Sweet Basil, Holy Basil and Thai Basil. We’re also growing okra this year which is a new one for us! The book looks great! Count me in :)

  122. Hi Gayla,

    I have been following your blogs/work for a long time.

    Am hoping you could count me in as well. I, too, do not have a link to share, though that is not indicative of my creative energy for gardening. At the moment, I live in a bachelor facing west, and sadly without a balcony. The light is best on summer afternoons, so I am still figuring out what I can and want to grow in my window. As a result, I only possess three houseplants.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I would like to lend a hand to a local community garden so as to feel more involved in my community, but also to remember the feel of earth under my nails once again. I quite miss growing herbs, fruits, and vegetables as I did with my family growing up in Canada and abroad.

    My mother, grandparents and people such as yourself have all inspired me to garden and do it well. Thank you for sharing your ideas and work!

  123. I hope I am sneaking in under the deadline. I have big plans for herbs this year. I grow so many and I’m sometimes at a loss with what to do with them all. I hope your book will help me with many fresh ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  124. I am so excited for your new book, and can say I’ve been inspired since moving to the PNW – where things actually grow. My former life in Arizona was sad and brown…but now I’ve been drinking in all the gardening advice I can find.

    A couple of days ago I planted some seeds indoors, and organized my new and old seed packets in the order they should go into the ground. I still have yet to actually plan/plot out the garden…perhaps that will be this afternoon’s activity.

    http://diariesproject.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/rain-and-seedlings/

    Best wishes on the success of your new book! It looks gorgeous – congratulations!

  125. Count me in, please! I am a beginner to the gardening thing, though I have had an interest in gardening for a while, I never had the space to grow anything. I’m looking for 2012 to be my year!!!

  126. My family and I bought a group of historic homes in downtown phoenix. Needless to say, they need alot of work. We are finally beginning the revitalization process this month! Our plan is to create a beautiful and edible garden in, what can often be an overlooked neighborhood, in an urban area.

  127. this is going to be my first year gardening. thank you for this website– it’s a great resource to help me on my way! my plans are to start slow and easy. I want to plant herbs in pots and maybe some lettuce and tomatoes- whatever might be simple and right for the conditions. i’m just starting my research now. basically, it’s my first step towards something I have wanted for a long time- to grow my own food! i want everything to be organic and i really appreciated your link to the safe seeds (non-GMO) resource list. Thank you and congrats on your new book!

  128. :( I missed your book giveaway. I am a book designer and a gardener.
    I love your site! Thanks for all the info!

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