Renewal: The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion

Happy Newe Ya’ar—sage that is! Does cool, damp spring or hot humid summer send your sage to the compost pile? You’ll “bee” very happy with this one, Daphne’s Plant of the Week.
Newe Ya'ar sage flowers Central Texas Gardener
Developed by horticulturists in Newe Ya’ar, Israel, this hybrid of Salvia officinalis and Salvia fruticosa met their goal for a sage that can withstand harsh climates.
newe ya'ar sage American Botanical Council Central Texas Gardener
I ran into this silvery, edible beauty in countless gardens last year. Shrubby but compact, its spring flower bedspread ripples with delighted pollinators, including bees.
newe ya'ar sage hill country penstemon poppies Central Texas Gardener
ne'we yaar sage artemisia bluebonnets Central Texas Gardener
Find out more about Newe Ya’ar sage.

The new year turned the calendar page to renewal. My New Dawn finally plumped up after a skeletal summer. Many hardy roses abandoned leaves when sudden drought followed an unusually wet spring, shedding the overload to save their roots.
New Dawn rose Central Texas Gardener
My evergreen matchstick bromeliad (Aechmea gamosepala) anchors a host of seasons: fall’s Lycoris radiata, spring’s larkspurs emerging under a mountain laurel poised for flowery fragrance, and a winter Arum pushing though leaves I piled on to nourish next summer.
matchstick bromeliad Central Texas Gardener
On a sunny day, bees hurry on over.
bee on matchstick bromeliad Central Texas Gardener
To feed tired soil after summer’s brutal beating, I’m digging into my compost pile. It astounds me, always, how kitchen and garden scraps (along with indoor bunny litter!) transform into new life.
homegrown compost Central Texas Gardener
Daphne tells us: “While compost may be applied any time of year, winter is the best time to apply large amounts when plants are dormant. Compost needs a little time to be broken down by microbes and become a part of your garden soil. That microbial action turns the compounds that are tied up in that organic matter into precious, slow-release nutrients for your plants. Better soil structure means better water and nutrient holding capacity, as well as better oxygen exchange.” Find out more.

A renewal for many of my friends involves a big one: cancer. Although it’s not darkened my own doorway, designer Jenny Peterson’s latest book The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion touched me profoundly on many personal levels.
Cancer Survivor's Garden Companion Central Texas Gardener
This week, Jenny takes us on her voyage to cultivate hope, healing and joy in the ground beneath your feet.
Tom Spencer and Jenny Peterson Central Texas Gardener
Colorful, cheerful, and peppered with Jenny’s laugh-out-loud wit, she blends poignant and compassionate stories with practical guides for the body, mind, and spirit.
Jenny Peterson Cancer Survivor's Garden Central Texas Gardener
Jenny profiles cancer survivors from across the country, including designer and author Rebecca Sweet’s spirited response to her diagnosis.
Rebecca Sweet Cancer Survivor's Garden Central Texas Gardener
My gardening has been curtailed by mobility issues, and Jenny’s book is helping me on my voyage to recovery, as I know it will yours—be it cancer or any life-altering force.
yoga Jenny Peterson Cancer Survivor's Garden Central Texas Gardener
Adapting is a gardener’s motto! Keep growing all winter—even in small spaces—with John’s easy DIY instructions to build a cold frame.
cold frame Central Texas Gardener
Viewer Picture goes to Nelwyn Persky who surprised her grandkids on Easter with newly stained concrete bunnies!
concrete stain final Central Texas Gardener
Watch Merrideth Jiles’ DIY steps for staining concrete that prompted Nelwyn’s latest adventure.

On tour, Elayne Lansford’s powerful story of her triumph over cancer always boosts my spirits.
Elayne Lansford Central Texas Gardener
A master of creative recycling, she gives orphaned objects new purpose, like her waterfall crafted from a Goodwill patio table. Here’s how she did it (and modified it).
table top waterfall Elayne Lansford Central Texas Gardener
An old galvanized tub and broken tiles set into concrete anchor rebar for a bottle post.
mosaic and cement container support for rebar post Central Texas Gardener
Since childhood, Elayne has loved bottle trees. When cancer diminished her spirits, she rallied by dotting her wildflower meadow with glassware of all kinds. Giving new life to road side or thrift store finds restored her strength in a remaking quest.
rustic chairs wildflower meadow Central Texas Gardener
Then, soon after her recovery, her husband faced an even momentous battle with cancer. A friend built her an arbor topped with an old bed spring bottle “tree.”
bottle tree arbor old bedspring Elayne Lansford Central Texas Gardener
She says, “So there is a possibility at some level if there were lots of bottles out there they might keep some of the bad energy away from the house.”
bedspring bottle tree Elayne Lansford Central Texas Gardener
To fill the meadow with bottle trees, Elayne took welding classes at ACC, a newfound skill that helped her heal.
bottle tree world healing garden Central Texas Gardener
For intimate-space time, she snuggled a tiny meditative cove into embracing plants.
water fountain Zen garden Elayne Lansford Central Texas Gardener
Watch her story now!

Thank you for stopping by! See you next week, Linda