Rose Planting Tips

Renoir's painting of cabbage roses, Roses in a...

Renoir’s painting of cabbage roses, Roses in a vase (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Dr Mom,

When spring is on its way and the ground is soft, it is the perfect time for planting roses. Roses have been a very popular bloom over the years, not only do they look good, but they smell wonderful too.

However, planting roses cannot be done just anywhere or in just any climate. They need special care and treatment. Here are some tips that you need to consider in order to successfully grow roses:

1. Roses require about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight everyday. It would be best to plant your roses in a clear area where there are not too many trees or other types of plants. The reason behind this is that the rose may lack sunlight exposure and the roots are also likely to become intertwined with the rose and throttle its growth. If you wish to replace an old rose bush, you should remove about 1 ½ cubic feet of the old soil and replace it with new soil so that the newly planted rose will have fresh soil to start with.

2. When thinking about the position of your roses you must consider the type of rose you are planting. Place ramblers and climbers along trellises, fences and next to pergolas or arches. This is important to consider because they need space to grow freely and these positions are perfect for bigger blooming roses.

3. Roses will look good in island beds which can be mixed with perennials. Smaller roses make great edging plants, which are perfect for combining in front of taller species. Dig a hole large enough for the size of the root ball, but remember to loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole. You can also add bone meal which acts as a slow acting resource of phosphorus. This will help establish a healthy root growth for your roses.

4. You should be careful when considering the planting depth as this depends on your climate. If you live in a cooler climate, plant roses deeper, but if you wish to plant in a pot, you must dig about 1 inch deeper than the usual potted level.

5. Make sure that you place roses in the hole carefully. The hole should be refilled with soil so that the roots are covered completely. Before you make the final covering, water the rose. Then mound the soil about 8 inches high around the base of the plant. The earth will keep the stems from drying out until the plant is completely rooted. As the leaves open, you can remove the excess soil that surrounds the plant.

These some important tips you need to consider when planting roses. It will be worth the effort, as your roses will bloom beautifully.


Steps to a Better Lawn


Lawn&Garden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Dr. Mom,

If you’re lucky enough to have a lawn with a good topsoil base, much of the hard work of keeping a lawn beautiful is already done for you. But many of us do not have this luxury, and besides, even with a good topsoil base, you still have to work hard to keep a beautiful lawn and garden.

1. The best time to mow a lawn is when it is cool and dry. Wait for the morning dew to dry off, and before the afternoon heat takes hold. Alternatively, late afternoon or early evening following a watering in the morning is also a good time.

2. A hedge is a much better boundary divider than a fence. It will provide better privacy and keep pets and children in – or out. It will attract birds to its shelter, and provide a great backdrop for plants and flowers.

3. Bring the beauty of your garden to you; plant hyacinths near walkways and doors. Their magnificent perfume will swamp the spring air and make your garden really come alive.

4. Add your garden to non-garden items, such a lampposts and mail boxes. Surround these items with flowers planted to take advantage of the earliest to the latest flowerings. You could have white snowdrops, purple and gold crocus, blue hyacinths, and various colored tulips. You could also surround the posts with rocks to provide added interest.

5. Simple, but effective weed control can be achieved on your lawn by mowing often during spring. This will prevent dandelions spreading by eliminating the yellow blossoms and preventing seed formation. Mow high during late spring and early summer. This will allow grass blades to shade the ground, and will help prevent crabgrass from sprouting.

Your lawn and garden should be a source of pride and beauty. You don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive fertilizers and herbicides, or fancy lawn furniture and ornaments. A little commonsense and thought can go a long way to making your lawn and garden a much better place.

Worm Wee For Luscious Gardens

English: Freshly bedded worm bin, garden waste...

English: Freshly bedded worm bin, garden waste mixed with finished aerobic compost Category:Vermicomposting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Dr Mom,

One of the best ways to improve your garden is to stop throwing out your garbage. That’s right, your used coffee grinds and banana peels can help your tomato and cucumber plants grow larger and stronger. When that same garbage is eaten and digested by a worm it becomes a powerful plant supplement known as worm castings. Starting a worm compost bin is a great way to create a steady supply of worm castings for your flower and vegetable gardens.

First thing you’ll need is a bin. You can buy a commercially made worm bin but where’s the fun in that. Those plastic or rubber storage bins make great worm bins. Drill a few holes in the bin so your worms get plenty of air. Just be sure to cover those holes with small pieces of window screen or something else that will keep the fruit flies out. And if you have any plumbing experience, why not add a hose spigot near the bottom of the bin to take advantage of worm tea. Worm tea is even better than compost tea for your plants. All you have to do is add a cup or two to a large watering can and fill the rest with water. Then water as normal.

Next you’ll need some worm bedding. Most commonly used worm bedding for home bins is shredded newspapers. The bedding must stay moist but not water logged. Use a spray bottle to keep the bedding just right for your worms. When your order worms in the mail they will usually ship in a container filled with peat moss. Some people have stopped using peat moss as a political statement. You see peat is not a replenishable resource. Peat takes centuries to develop in swampy regions and it’s just being used up too quickly. Other’s argue that Peat is now created in a safe quick way and what’s all the fuss about anyway. The two sides contradict each other so it’s up to you to decide if you want to use it. Newspapers are readily available and you probably have a stack of them in your house already. So why not avoid the whole controversy and go with what’s on hand.

And don’t forget to put some dirt in the bin too. Worms don’t have teeth, so they need some grit to help grind up their food. You can also use rock dust or powdered limestone instead of dirt if you like, but regular dirt from your yard will work fine.

And of course, let’s not forget the worms. Digging up some worms from your yard will not work in a worm bin. Worms that come from the soil, like to live in the soil. For worm bins, you’ll need red wigglers. They’ll love the environment that you’ve created in your worm bin. How many should you buy, that depends on the size of your bin. Let’s assume that you’ve created your worm bin for the worm castings and not to have tons of worms for your weekends fishing. That means that you’re going to leave the worms in the bin until they’ve turned most of the bedding and food waste into vermicompost. The worm to garbage ratio is usually 2:1. That means that if you’re going to put a half pound of garbage into the bin on a daily basis, then you should start with a pound of worms.

Check your bin everyday to ensure that you get off to a good start. Keep the bedding moist and the bin should stay in a spot that’s about 60 to 70 degrees. Leaving the bin outside in the summer sun is a good way to cook all of your worms. And remember if the worm bin starts to smell, then you probably need more bedding.

Starting a worm bin is a fun project for everyone in the family. Get your kids involved, they’ll love watching those little worms wiggle around your bin. And if you’re lucky, you may see one of the kids chase your mother in law around the house with a handful of worms. Like I said, worm bins are good times for the whole family and great for your garden too.

Special Gifts For Mom.

Happy..Happy.. Mother's Day :-)..

Happy..Happy.. Mother’s Day :-).. (Photo credit: Thai Jasmine (…Smile..))

When was the last time we bought something creative, unique and totally special for our mothers to show them that we love and remember them? When was the last time we got them a special gift to tell them that their sacrifice for us is appreciated?

Motherhood is an extremely special experience and it’s an experience that no man will ever be able to experience. Regardless of how we were raised and how our mothers nagged us when we were younger, the sacrifice cannot compare to any other types of sacrifices we’ve made in our lives – rivaled only by OUR sacrifice for our children. Only when we become mothers ourselves will we be able to understand the true magnitude of motherhood.

A special gift says a lot
Forget about the conventional, off-the-shelves books, picture frames, calendars, organizers, flowers, vases and what-have-you. Your mom won’t say they’re not special and will take the gift with a smile and a big thank you (and a hug) but they’re not really the kind of special gift that they, your mothers, will thank you, remember and cherish for a long time to come.

The pure convenience of the purchase speaks for itself. It’s nothing special.

So, what’s a special and unique gift?
A truly special gift is something that your mother will look back 5 or maybe 10 years down the road and smile to herself, her heart with burst and her face will beam with pride. The sacrifice, the love and the commitment was worth it, she’d think to herself. As she watches you ‘mother’ around your own children, she will think it was all worth it because she did the right thing.

A special gift should be something that reminds her of you, of motherhood.

Some ideas of a special gift you can get for your mom:

  • A motherhood-related product – this could be something related to motherhood, with a simple but meaningful quote to remind her of her motherhood years.
  • Something you’ve designed or created
  • A custom-made special gift designed especially for her
  • Something you and your own children have come up with over the weekend or something you’ve worked on for a long time, like a scrapbook or a decorative doll
  • A poem you’ve written
  • A special home-made CD (maybe a special CD) of a vacation with you and your family in it

To find the right special gift for your mother, start with your mother’s personality.

  • What does she like?
  • What kind of memories does she have of raising her children?
  • What are her hobbies and interests?

And once you’ve put your finger on what interests her, finding the right kind of special gift for you should be easy enough.


One step at a time.

One step at a time. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an overview of a healing process that you might consider or at least ponder:

These are remedies you can use for your problem in order from safest to most dangerous: Step 0 is the safest; Step 6 the most dangerous. Use Steps 0, 1, 2 and 3 as preventive medicine. Prevention is an important, though often invisible, way of healing. Deep relaxation, information exchange, energetic engagement, optimum nourishment (including touch) and exercise promote health with little or no side effects.

Examples are in parenthesis: (with a few of the modalities available at each step)

Step 0: Do Nothing 

A vital, invisible step.

  • sleep
  • meditate
  • unplug the clock or the telephone

Step 1: Collect Information 

  • low-tech diagnosis
  • books
  • support groups
  • research

Step 2: Engage the Energy 

  • prayer
  • homeopathy
  • ceremony
  • affirmations
  • color
  • laughter

Step 3: Nourish and Tonify 

  • herbal infusions and vinegars
  • hugs
  • exercise
  • food choices
  • gentle massage
  • yoga stretches

     Note: Healing with Steps 4, 5, and 6 always causes some harm.

Step 4: Stimulate/Sedate 

For every stimulation/sedation, there is an opposite sedation/stimulation. Sooner or later addiction is possible if this step is overused

  • hot or cold water
  • many herbal tinctures
  • acupuncture

Step 5a: Use Supplements

  • synthesized or concentrated vitamins
  • fresh juices
  • minerals
  • food substances such as nutritional yeast, blue-green algae, bran, royal jelly or spirulina

Supplements are not Step 3. There’s always a risk with synthesized concentrated substances that they’ll do more harm than good.

Step 5b: Use Drugs 

Overdose may cause grave injury or death.

  • chemotherapy
  • tamoxifen
  • hormone
  • high dilution homeopathics
  • potentially toxic herbs

Step 6: Break and Enter 

Side effects are inevitable and may include permanent injury or death.

  • threatening language
  • surgery
  • colonics
  • radiation therapies
  • psychoactive drugs
  • invasive diagnostic tests such as mammograms and C-T scans



If you want to remedy your problem with the least possible side effects and danger,

  • start at Step 1.
  • After reading Step 1, pick one remedy from Step 2 and set a time limit for working with it. If your problem is unresolved within that time, decide if the time limit needs expanding or if you are ready to go to Step 3.
  • Continue in this manner, moving to Steps 4, 5 or 6 as needed, until your problem is solved.

Each step up increases the possibility of side effects and their severity so try at least one of the Step 2 techniques, even if they seem strange to you, before going onto the remedies of Step 3 and beyond (note also that time spent at Step 2 will help you choose appropriate remedies at Step 3 and so on). When your problem is resolved don’t stop. Go back through the steps, in reverse, before resting at Step 0.

You can continue to take remedies from a previous Step after moving on, but be cautious about the use of Step 4 remedies in combination with Step 5 remedies.

If you deem it necessary to heal through Step 5 and/or 6 (and real healing can and does take place with the aid of drugs and surgery) and have not yet tried any techniques from Steps 2 and 3, do so immediately. Engaging the energy, nourishing and tonifying will aid and abet the healing powers of the more dangerous healing ways and help prevent or moderate their side effects.

Ginseng Tea – Cheers!

A ginseng field in Marathon County, Wisconsin ...

A ginseng field in Marathon County, Wisconsin near Marathon City, Wisconsin, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ginseng tea is great for short periods; this tea can alleviate many symptoms of common aliments and lessen fatigue. Ginseng is the main ingredient to many of the medicinal teas. However, prolonged use can lead to insomnia and heart trouble, so be sure to consult your physician before drinking ginseng tea regularly as an alternative to coffee for that afternoon pick me up.

In China, ginseng is held in high regard. It is believed that ginseng has rejuvenating powers and provides stimulation to the whole body. Ginseng also offers protection against fatigue. Ginseng is known to be a stimulant for the central nervous system. This root can also help with inflammation, fever, and hormonal imbalances to name a few.

The tea is usually made from the Wisconsin ginseng root. Slices can be steeped to create a tea that is a strong as you like, or purchased as a powder and brewed using tea balls. Both of these methods let you control the amount of tea used. There are ginseng tea bags available from specialty stores, but it is not recommended to buy the tea without reading all the ingredients as some packaged teas are sold as ginseng but in fact have very little of this herb in them, instead there are mostly fillers

Consult an herbal practitioner or naturopath as to the right type of ginseng and how to brew your tea. The tea can be sweetened with a little honey or stored cold in the refrigerator, as this tea is quite good served iced.

Take note, if you are pregnant use ginseng sparingly or not at all.

English: American ginseng in human figure. Cul...

English: American ginseng in human figure. Cultivated in Marathon Ginseng Gardens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soap – The Big Lye

Old olive oil factory

Dear Dr. Mom, When you step into the market to pick up a bar of soap, what is it you’re really buying?  Phrases like “beauty bar, deodorant bar, moisturizing bar,” and the list goes on and on, is only telling you one thing, you are not buying soap.  What you are purchasing is a petroleum based detergent product.

Soap, by definition, is a cleansing agent made from the mixture of the sodium salts of various fatty acids or natural oils and fat.  Because of FDA regulations, a cleaning product cannot be listed as soap unless it actually contains the fatty acids and natural oils combined with lye to produce soap.

So, what’s the difference?  Let me tell you a story.  For two years a boy suffered with severe allergies, chronic sinus infections, and was all around miserable.  The first step in dealing with his problems was to remove his adenoids that had become infected.  After the surgery, his sinuses cleared up for all of two weeks.  Then once again he succumbed to yet another sinus infection.

Unable to determine the reason for the sinus infections, he was put through allergy testing.  After two sessions and more than 80 injections covering irritants from pet dander, mold, trees, dust (and the list goes on), they determined that he reacted to absolutely nothing.  And so we were sent home with instructions to monitor his diet for the next month in the hopes of determining weather or not he suffered from a food allergy.

While allergy testing covers most airborne irritants, it does not cover the common chemicals we subject ourselves to everyday.  Since the boy’s family members suffered from severe allergic reactions to formaldehyde, a common preservative used in most hand creams, lotions, lip balms, and cosmetics, it occurred to his mother that he might suffer from a similar allergy.  So, she stripped his bedding, pillows, clothing, curtains, and washed everything in a batch of homemade olive oil laundry soap.

The result: After two weeks his sinuses began to clear.  Within a month all of the symptoms he routinely suffered, from migraine headaches to breathing difficulties, gradually faded away as though they had never existed.  Many people today realize that our homes are over-saturated with a host of chemicals. Many of these chemicals carry moderate to severe side effects with prolonged exposure.  What we fail to realize is how many of them are completely unnecessary.

Making your own soap with natural ingredients is both a rewarding and simple process and one that can truly benefit your entire family. Or you can buy a natural based soap that is filled with natural and healthy ingredients – read labels and trace cause to effect.

Don’t Get Bugged

Cinnamon leaf oil

Cinnamon leaf oil (Photo credit: CINNAMON VOGUE)

With the growing concern for West Nile Virus and Lyme’s disease, more people are spraying and slathering on insect repellent. Most commercial repellents contain harmful chemicals that must be used with extreme caution. Someone shared a story that occurred when she was on vacation at the beach. A parent used an insect repellent with DEET on her 2 year old child. The child became unconscious within minutes of application and was rushed to the hospital where she was later revived. This child was lucky, for others have died from it. Keep in mind, whatever you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream. The famous estrogen, birth control and nicotine patch have proven that beyond a doubt.

Using commercial repellents with toxic chemicals may not cause sudden death to an adult, but as with any toxin, it builds up in our tissues and organs, especially our liver. Our livers are already overloaded with toxins and this is one that can be easily avoided.

There are natural insect repellents that repel mosquitoes, ticks and other biting bugs. They contain various essential oils that are safe and effective. This is a healthy alternative, for essential oils contain many nutrients. The essential oils most popular for their ability to repel insects are

  • citronella,
  • tea tree,
  • cedarwood,
  • eucalyptus,
  • lemongrass,
  • orange,
  • rosemary,
  • clove,
  • oregano and
  • peppermint

Sometimes you can make your own combinations. If you have any of these essential oils at home and need a quick repellent, add 20 drops of essential oil (single or in combination) to one teaspoon of olive, jojoba, almond or coconut oil and rub it on. You can also add it to unscented lotion. If you have already been bitten, there is the Tei fu essential oil blend to instantly take the itch, pain and swelling down.

There are some people that are just bug magnets. There is always at least one person at outdoor events that is slapping themselves silly or getting eaten alive, when no one else is. Either they are wearing too much cologne or they may be lacking in B vitamins, especially Thiamine (B1). It is never advised to take a single B vitamin for it could cause imbalances in the body. A good quality B complex is advised. When the body has a sufficient amount of B vitamins, an odor is emitted through the pours that bugs don’t like. No one else can smell it, thank goodness. One could also consume foods that are high in thiamine. Help your self to large portions of whole grain brown rice, brewers yeast (flakes sprinkled on popcorn), black strap molasses, wheat germ and fish. Eating garlic also provides for a natural repellent, but might repel more than insects. Consuming  sugar on the contrary, not only depletes our B vitamins, but emits a sweet odor through our pours that attracts biting bugs. Consuming alcohol also depletes B vitamins and causes the blood vessels to dilate, thus attracting mosquitoes and horseflies.

Don’t forget about your pets. There are natural repellents for them too and a delicious brewers yeast and garlic formula available to sprinkle on their food.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Skin Treatment

Olive Oil

Olive Oil (Photo credit: VancityAllie)

There are many herbs to cure skin rashes and irritations, so I thought I’d take a moment to share some of my favorite skin treatments.

First, let me remind you that the best overall skin care product you can use is olive oil.  Weather you suffer from dry or itchy skin, or just wish to improve the appearance and texture of your skin, you would be hard pressed to do better than pure, extra virgin olive oil.  This can be applied straight from the bottle, and can be used on any part of the skin including the face.

The curative properties of Olive Oil, both internal and external are nothing short of miraculous and I would like to share with you a recent experience that serves as a reminder to me how some of the most common elements surrounding us often remain overlooked.

There is an After-Shower Oil that is extremely simple to prepare and is an excellent curative for virtually any skin irritation including eczema and psoriasis.

After-Shower Oil:
Please remember that while a lesser grade of olive oil can be used for everyday purposes, if you are attempting to treat a serious skin condition, the extra virgin is made from the first press of the olive and retains the most important curative properties that you are searching for.

Blend the oils together, and if desired, add several drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance.  This can be applied to the skin at any time.  For all-over skin conditioning, apply the oil immediately after your bath or shower, then pat dry.  A special note for women who shave their legs:  This oil treatment will completely eliminate any itching or dry flaking skin after shaving.  It is simply the best after-bath oil you will ever try.

Another oil that has fantastic properties for the skin is coconut oil. This oil is solid at room temperature and is liquid at body temperature. It is good for all over. It smells wonderful and feels wonderful and it tastes good too. You could get quite hooked on using it.

Look Years Younger

pineapple parsley juice

pineapple parsley juice (Photo credit: chotda)

We live in an age where our deteriorating natural environment is
polluting our bodies with cigarette smoke, pesticides, food additives,
smog, chemical toxins, heavy metals, and more that threaten our
intestines, colon, kidneys, liver and gallbladders.  It is thought best to
detoxify your liver and gall bladder twice a year.

For health conscious liver detox is one of the better things you can do.  The best time for a liver detox is spring.  Of all the things you can do in alternative health, the liver detox is probably one of the most important in terms of achieving maximum health in today’s environment.

One of the primary purposes of the liver detox is to flush all of the gallstones from your body and minimize the chances of their return.  One all natural herbal product that preforms well in assisting the body through a liver detox. DEEP Liver and Kidney Cleanse will improve your digestion and immune system and help to keep your whole body healthy.
Body signals that your liver needs detoxification include:

*- Chronic constipation
*- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
*- Frequent headaches
*- Eczema or skin related disorders
*- Flatulence, gas and bloating
*- Excess weight
*- Food allergies
*- Parasites in stool
*- Bad breath and body odor
*- Constant fatigue and low energy
*- Yeast infection
*- A yellowish tint to the skin and/or liver spots on the skin;
*- poor hair texture and slow hair growth;
*- skin itching and irritation. Elevated cholesterol (and all of the problems related to high cholesterol).
*- Anemia and large bruise patches indicate severe liver exhaustion•

Detoxing is no longer practiced by only the healthy few. Detoxification is regarded as an essential element for successfully treating cancer by alternative cancer treatment specialists. Detoxification of the liver with a liver detox diet can get the liver working properly again and help the individual regain their appetite.

Detoxification is an ongoing process that takes place continuously within the liver, lymph, kidneys, intestines, blood, and colon and in every cell in your body. Feeling tired and sluggish, blocked up or headaches, with
less tolerance of alcohol, sugary foods or caffeine are all possible signs that your liver may benefit from a detox.

The liver is the organ which helps in detoxification of our bodies.  Designed to cleanse and detoxify the liver, DEEP Liver and Kidney Cleanse is an easy-to-use, a natural cleanse program that contains minerals, vitamins, herbs and amino acids which have long been used to promote healthy detoxification and cleansing of the liver. Liver & Kidney Cleanse is a scientifically balanced formula that provides your body with some of the strongest natural liver and kidney detoxifying ingredients available today. Naturally remove heavy medals such as lead and mercury from the body. A colon cleanse is of initial importance so as to prevent liver poisoning from reabsorbed toxins.