filet beans

Barbara Pleasant

                                                                    Garden Writer

February 2015

This winter was okay until February came, bringing cold and snow and more cold. To escape into a creative project, I ordered plans for a cardinal whirligig, and Roger cut out the pieces in the wood shop. I did the painting and finishing, and Harold turned out great. But he needed a mate, that’s how cardinals do, so we made him a spirited lady friend. Can you spare two minutes? See how the pretty pair of cardinal whirligigs turn cold wind into something beautiful.

Looking for something I’ve written, but can’t remember where? I know the feeling! In attempt to bring order to the chaos of hundreds of articles and blogs, I’ve set up Pinterest boards of my work. The categories range from permaculture and pollinators to growing onions and garlic. I hope you find my Pinterest guide easy to use and more enjoyable than reading through long lists.

Photo by Jerry Pavia, in Mother Earth News
Question of The Week: 
What's the Best Grow Light? 

I read your article in Mother Earth News on grow lights for starting seeds indoors. Thank you for the information! Do you know where the indoor light shelf shown in the article was purchased? It would look so nice in my home to expand my space for growing seedlings. LT


I cannot find the exact unit shown in the picture for sale, so I looked at several others with a critical eye.

I have the three-shelf floralight from Lee Valley Tools. It has been in operation for ten years, and this year we had an electrician replace the ballasts, and we put in new bulbs. It’s as good as new. It may look a little industrial for what you have in mind.

The Sunlite system from Gardener's Supply has the warm brown finish, and it runs high efficiency T5 bulbs. If I were in the market for a new unit, I would seriously consider it.

In comparison, the unit at Johnny's seems overpriced but you’d want to look at fine details to see what you get by paying a bit more. Johnny’s does not sell junk!

We have kept our light shelf near a window in the past, but the natural light is not really needed during seedling growing season. Right now the unit is against an unlit wall, and but as things get busier I may angle it out so I can easily access the plants from three sides. In winter I end up storing things on the bottom shelf, and use the top two for houseplants.

Good luck with your search, and I hope you find the plant light of your dreams.

Explore My Gardens

Click around to learn more about my books, blogs, lectures, and of course my garden!  By the time you move on, I hope you feel inspired to garden a little more, and have a great time doing it.
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Thank you, Garden Writers!


Recently I received word that both my long-running Gardening Know How column in Mother Earth News and my GrowVeg Blog won Silver Awards of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association. I must be doing something right, among them working with the great creative teams. I am especially grateful to Cheryl Long, editor-in-chief at Mother Earth News, whose gardening passions run as deep as mine, and to Jeremy Dore at GrowVeg, who never runs out of great new ideas.

Barbara Pleasant
Blue Ridge mountainsei


Floyd, VA, USA

Near Roanoke on the

Blue Ridge Parkway

cat with hollyhocks
Magnus, who bears a family name from my Swedish ancestors

Short historial fiction

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