Sue Turner, creator of the blog from sewing room to potting shed, kindly nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is given from one blogger to another “new” blogger who has fewer than 1000 followers.  The purpose of the award is to recognize and help promote new blogs.  While I don’t consider myself a new blogger, having published my first post on July 14, 2011, I certainly do not have 1000 followers! This is the first time I’ve been nominated for any sort of blogging award, and I do thank you, Sue!

Now I must answer these eleven questions put forth to me by Sue:

1,    What is your favourite cut flower from your own garden ?  There are so many!  In the spring, I love to bring in daffodils.  In the summer, Cosmos and Zinnias are among my favorites.  Cosmos in a Cocoa Pot!In the fall, I like the to use some of my neighbor’s Miscanthus flowers and mums.  Cathy’s “In a Vase on Monday” feature has given me great inspiration and encouragement to remember to cut flowers to bring inside!

2,     What is your biggest pest in the garden ?  The woodchucks who live in the rocks.  They are far more destructive than all the deer who regularly traverse our yard.  Sadly, cats are not a threat to them.002 (5)

3,     What size was your first plot ?   It was tiny.  In the summer following my sophomore year of high school, I grew a very small (maybe a foot wide by two feet long) of Four O’Clocks.  My parents always had large gardens, both vegetable and flowers, which I helped with, but this was the first bit that was my very own.  I still have a fond spot for Four O’Clocks!20140929

4,     Cottage or Formal ?  Yes, please.  My own garden style is closer to Cottage, but I do appreciate a good formal garden in the right situation, such as at the Herrenhausen Gardens in Germany, which I visited in the summer of 2012.gallery and orangery

5,     What is your favourite tree ?  Pink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida var rubra)  I was hoping to plant one when we had some landscaping done last summer, but our landscaper responsibly told me that they just are not hardy enough for my particular location.  He recommended a Kousa Dogwood instead.Kousa Dogwood

6,      What is your biggest propagating or seed growing success ?  I don’t know that I’ve had any “big” successes, but I generally do quite well starting several annual flowers from seed early each spring, and I’ve kept one monster Coleus going for several years now by taking root cuttings each fall.  This year I am hoping to have success rooting and re-planting some cuttings of Texas Sage (Salvia greggi), which I loved last summer in my lasagna garden but is not winter-hardy in my zone.

7,      Does gardening inspire any of your other talents ?  It has inspired me to learn to take better photographs!  It also sometimes inspires my culinary talents, as I seek out tasty ways to prepare and serve the vegetables I grow.  Caprese Salad

Rhubarb fool

You can find the recipe for this Rhubarb Fool here.

8,     What type of soil do you garden on and what benefits or problems do you have with it ?   The soil here, as in much of Pennsylvania, is very rocky.  Digging new beds can be torturous.  I’m more and more convinced that lasagna gardening is the way to go!009

9,      Who’s garden has inspired you most ?  I draw inspiration from many of the gardens I’ve seen and known.  There is a particular garden I admire every summer as I drive to the blueberry patch.  It is filled with large masses of exuberant color, and is a true joy to behold.  Unfortunately, I’ve never seen anyone outside when I’ve gone by; if there were, I would love to stop and chat and tell them how much I enjoy their flowers.  I’ve also taken inspiration from many, many garden bloggers!

10,   If you could be Head Gardener on a large estate where would you choose ?  Oh my, I really don’t know.  The idea of being in charge of a large estate seems completely overwhelming, but then again, I certainly would not be working alone.  Sorry, but I don’t have a definitive answer to this one.

11,    Going for a walk….Park or Garden ?  If I’m walking for exercise, a park is better because I’ll be more likely to keep moving.  In a garden, I tend to stroll slowly, and linger over plants and flowers I find interesting.  I do enjoy gardens more than parks, especially when they are as beautiful and as unexpected as the Macungie Flower Park was last summer!  Macungie Flower Park Now I am to nominate five blogs for this award, and present those bloggers with eleven questions to answer.  I nominate:

1.  Frank from sorta like suburbia

2.  Dana from Mom in the Garden

3.  Ben from Nest of Squirrels

4.  Kari from Gardening in the North

5.  Elizabeth from Garden 4 Therapy

If these bloggers accept the challenge this nomination brings, they need to answer the eleven questions I pose, link my blog to theirs, nominate five bloggers they would like to promote, and finally, compose eleven of their own questions for those bloggers to answer.  (Sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not so bad, especially in the dead of winter when there’s not a lot else to write about!)

Here are the eleven questions:

1.  What flower do you most look forward to seeing in your garden each season of the year?

2. Do you grow food crops as well as flowers, and if so, what are your favorites?

3.  Is gardening a solitary pleasure for you, or is it a family/friend activity?

4.  What is your go-to resource for gardening advice?

5.  How much indoor gardening do you do?

6.  Is there a garden you feel you must visit at least once every year, and if so, which and where?

7.  What benefits have you reaped by blogging?

8.  Do you have a garden tool you cannot live without and think everyone should have?  If so, what is it?

9.  What are you most proud of in your garden, that you are sure to include in every garden tour you give?

10.  What in your garden would you most like to improve?

11.  If you had no budget or climate restraints, what one plant would you most like to grow?

I hope you have fun with these questions and don’t find them burdensome!  I know I am looking forward reading your answers in the next week or two!  Thanks again to Sue for giving me this opportunity!