Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Guest Blogger Larry Chiapelli

I have exciting news!

I want to introduce a guest blogger who will be making appearances here at I Refuse to Recede.
Last year, I posted a weekly feature called All About Herbs. Each week I highlighted a different herb, exploring history, growing tips, uses, and interesting facts about the herb. I will be starting this feature up again this year.

Larry Chiapelli, owner of Grammas Gardens in Troy Michigan will be contributing some of the posts for this feature.

Larry has been an Italian Horticulturist since he was just a little boy. 15 years ago, he turned a small family flower farm into a large commercial venture.

Larry is a web-designer, architect, published book author, and Michigan State certified nursery owner.

When asked about his experience with plants, Larry responded: "Actually I'm very spiritual, and have been given a gift to mass produce plants. With this ability, I figured out how to control nature in a unique way, which enables me to produce thousands of perennials, herbs, and flowers."

I asked Larry to put together some tips for how to get started growing herbs, here is what he had to say:

Tips for starting a killer herb garden

So, you want to make your own herb garden? You first want to define what kind of herbs you’d like to use for cooking or holistic purposes. Then, you need to define where you want to build this herb garden.

I like to have my herb garden close to the entrance of my house kitchen, That way I can always look outside and monitor its growth, along with having easy access to grabbing herbs for cooking.

Next, you need to create your garden so it’s ergonomically friendly. In other words, can cars drive by, can you safely cut the grass next to the herb garden, and can you access the necessary herbs you need in an easy manner?

A brick walled, herb garden, approx. 1.5 feet deep, filled with compost is a good way to make one. Simply plot out where the herb garden is to be located, dig the perimeter of the garden first, remove all the dirt and roots, edge a dirt wall with a spade-shovel, stack the bricks around the perimeter of the hole, fill with 100% compost, strategically place all your herb plants in, and now you have a killer herb garden.

Don’t try and attempt to start your herbs by seed. Unless you know how to propagate plants by seeds, it’s not worth the time trying to start herb perennials, or even herb annuals. Eastern Market, in Detroit, has plenty of herb growers that sell herbs at a mere $1 a plant. You could literally mix & match an entire herb garden for a around $30.

Here are some pictures of how to construct a fancy, stone herb garden. Also go to my website,, for more information.

Have fun and happy gardening.

*Note, Larry mentioned Eastern Market in Detroit. I have lived in Michigan for over 10 years now and have been telling myself since I moved here that I needed to go there. Maybe this is a good motivation to check it out myself. I'll have to see if I can talk Diann into going on an adventure with me to see what we can find.

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Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.
Read all about it here


  1. Your post is just in time for me Troy! I am going to try to get all of the veggies and herbs that I want to plant in our garden tomorrow. There are some plants that I buy that are already plants. We only plant squash, watermelon, beans and corn from seed. Everything else I buy as plants.

    Have a Great Day!

  2. Love this post! Thanks for a great guest blogger. I am hoping to grow a few herbs but think I will try a container garden this year.