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Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

Transplanting & Pruning

First - I finally have some blooms (crocus) to share. Winter lingers and we've only seen a few days lately with temperatures above 50. Hopefully, next week it will be warmer but more heavy rain is on the way.

I've started pruning roses and transplanting. I'm not finished with the roses but I got one of the largest finished - 'Lady of Shalott'. When I looked it up on my inventory list, I was flabbergasted to see that it is seven years old. That doesn't seem right but there it, planted in February of 2016. The growth has become quite dense so I thinned it out. I also made a video for my YouTube channel of how I prune it. This is the final result -

There are several plants that I want to move this year. The first is Hypericum 'Pumpkin' (St. Johns Wort) that has attained massive proportions and much too large next to the pathway in front. The problem, of course, is where to move it to. I then got the idea of moving the buddleia, residing about six feet away, and putting the hypericum in its spot. The buddleia ("Buzz Hot Raspberry") is another plant that got much larger than it was supposed to so I'm moving it to the back garden.

If you haven't moved a mature buddleia before, I have news for you - it isn't easy. The roots go very deep and it took me a while to get this out of the ground. First I pruned it all the way down, to about 2 feet tall.

This job took two shovels, including my trench digging spade -

The new home for the buddleia was very easy to dig. Most of the dirt in this location has been added by myself and built up over the years. Of course the hole was much larger than this -

The St. John's Wort wasn't nearly as bad. You can see in the photo that the root ball is much smaller and the roots are finer.

Planted in a new home -

There is much more to do in this department and hopefully the weather will clear up soon and I can get it done. 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Moving plants is the scariest job in my garden, which is probably why I don't do as much of it as I should. Kudos to you!

    1. Kris, it is one of my least favorite activities. I bet though in your climate, plants fare rather well (with watering of course).

  2. Moving woody plants or digging out a stump--they are an ordeal that usually requires some plant-based retail therapy afterwards. ;^)


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