Starting From Seed

By Doug Copp (March 19, 2012)

Many gardeners prefer to start their garden plants from seed rather than purchasing actual plants. The main reasons for starting plants from seed are; more choices of plant variety, lower cost, and better adaptation to your location. While the internet may offer more plant choices than your local garden store, a seed catalog or seed saver group will yield even more choices. If you save seeds from the best heirloom (non-hybrid) plants in your garden each year, then over time you will produce plants better adapted to your soil and climate.

When starting plants from seed it is important to use a soilless mix, not dirt from your garden. Dirt doesn’t drain well and seedlings will get a fungal disease called damp-off. You can make your own soilless mix using peat moss, compost and perlite or just purchase a bag of potting soil. Place the soil in small pots or fill a flat with soil blocks (soil block makers can be found in garden supply catalogs). Drop a seed in each pot or soil block; lightly cover with soil and then water. Be sure to plant a few extra seeds because not every seed will germinate (germination rates drop off with seed age).

Seed germination is a function of plant type, time, temperature, light and water. For example; a tomato seed will germinate in about a week at 80 degrees, but require more time at a lower temperature. Tomato seeds germinate over a temperature range of 50-90 degrees, while lettuce seeds germinate between 35-85 degrees. Seeds can be germinated in a sunny windowsill. Once the seedlings start growing, they will need lots of light and regular watering. If the plants get “leggy”, tall and skinny, it is a sign of light deficiency.

Before transplanting plants to the garden, set them outside each day for a week to get them used to the outdoors. When transplanting plants to the garden, it is important to cover small plants with row cover to keep the birds away.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Sedona Wildlife

By John Meyers (February 6, 2012)

During my six years of guiding hikes for the resort, I’ve observed and photographed commonly seen animals such as mule deer, javelina, coyote, grey fox, and spotted red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, and the occasional bald eagle. But the most persistent questions I get pertaining to wildlife are about creatures who slither or ones that can eat you.

Since many of our guests don’t reside in the West, these concerns usually top the list for hikers unfamiliar with the high desert. Sure, you need to be aware of your surroundings and alert to dangers, but hikers are more likely to stumble into a prickly pear needle than be approached by an animal. Most animals are quite timid and will not attack without provocation.

As far as apex predators, black bear and mountain lions do roam the wilderness areas here. In my many forays off trail in remote areas, I’ve seen tracks of both, but have never come face to face with either. If you spot a bear or cougar, consider yourself incredibly lucky and savor the moment. We had a bear wander into the outskirts of town a few years ago – got a taste for garbage – took 2 or 3 weeks to catch him. The headline in the paper read “Bear Extends Vacation in Sedona”.

When you see how beautiful it is here, you might want to do the same. See you on the trail.

Posted in: Fitness & Adventure

After working with a 72 year old student for the past two years I have come to realize you cannot ignore your “bread and butter” – your best shot. This particular student had a naturally strong backhand he could hit effortlessly and consistently, but his forehand had much to be desired. At his request, our focus would be on improving his forehand, developing more topspin, and utilizing the “modern forehand” i.e. footwork. The ultimate goal would be to create an easily repeatable racquet path producing a shot with more margin for error which would result in more consistency.

Now the strategy was sound, but being the perfectionist type, my student insisted on spending most of our teaching time working on his forehand. And, 90% of his practice time between our lessons focused on the forehand which began to present problems. After hitting a gazillion forehands the past few months he could no longer hit his best shot, the backhand slice. His natural killer backhand had begun to deteriorate – very disconcerting for him, and pretty much put a damper on the improved forehand, not to mention his fragile psyche.

So, the last few weeks we have begun splitting the hitting time between the two shots, and slowly but surely, he’s getting that killer slice back. So the moral of this story, whether you are working with a pro or not, practice all your shots, especially your “bread and butter”.

Enchantment Resort is debuting the second phase of a property-wide renovation with an $11 million refurbishment of all 218 guest rooms. The work, with designs inspired by Native American traditions and the surrounding beauty of Boynton Canyon, includes new state-of-the-art technologies as well as linens, décor, bathrooms and indoor and outdoor patio furniture.

New interiors showcase a modern adaptation of furniture styles and fabrics, which stand out against the resort’s adobe walls in a tailored, regional style: seating combines wood, leather and upholstered fabrics reflective of the area’s outdoors; custom lighting elements of crystals and metal complement decorative fixtures derived from local jewelers; and artistic materials and details are fused with uncomplicated lines and forms to maintain the balance between history and clean-lined comfort.

Guestroom bathrooms, the largest undertaking of the redesign, were completely renovated. An expanded layout with raised ceilings opened up the space to allow even more natural light. Suite bathrooms now showcase five fixtures including a soaking tub and walk-in shower!

Sedona in the summer boasts sunshine-filled days, and cooler evenings with plenty of opportunities for stargazing. The entire family will enjoy this perfect Southwest vacation package, which includes:

  • Two nights at Enchantment Resort
  • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person each morning at Yavapai Restaurant or from Room Service
  • Daily Camp Coyote for children ages 4-12
  • A group Pink Jeep Tour — choose one of several adventures including Ancient Ruins, Coyote Canyons, Diamondback Gulch, Photography Tour or Scenic Rim
  • Daily use of Mii amo spa (for age 16 and older), tennis courts and mountain bikes

Packages start from $1,414 and are based on a family of four. To learn more about this and other packages at Enchantment Resort, please visit our website.

While enjoying your stay at Enchantment or Mii amo Spa, take advantage of our location by exploring some of the trails surrounding our resort. We are located at the mouth of Boynton Canyon, one of seven wilderness canyons comprising the Seven Canyons Area. There is a hike for everyone here – easy, moderate or strenuous (aka gnarly). One of my favorite little short hikes in the area is Doe Mountain, which is actually a mesa just about a mile west of the resort. Exit our front gate, turn right at the first stop sign and park at the second parking lot on your left, less than a mile away.

 The narrow trail zigzags up the northwest slope of the formation, landing you on top in about a half hour – a 467’ moderate climb. Walk over to the east side of the mesa and explore the red rock cliffs. Millions of years of erosion have carved out some unique rock sculptures here.  Great views loom to the east, with Thunder Mountain, Wilson Mountain and parts of the Mogollon Rim dominating the landscape – truly a magnificent payoff for a short hike. Great place to bring a lunch and find your own special spot on the red rock cliffs. Just remember they way you came up, because it is the only way down! 

This is a great choice for an early morning hike on a hot summer day, going up on the north side in the shade. By the time it gets hot – it’s all downhill.

Our glorious world-class destination spa, Mii amo has inspired the creation of La Bella Donna’s Compressed Eye Shadow Compact Colour Collection, Sedona Sunset.  Amidst the red rocks of Arizona and glorious beauty of Sedona’s sunsets, the eyes become the face focus for spring 2011.  The Compact Colour of compressed mineral eye shadows may be described as a fiery glow, just as the day gives way to night on a fantastic evening in Sedona. The new collection is now available at Mii amo Boutique!

Enchantment Resort has orchestrated 3 days of events from April 22-24, honoring planet Earth, including gardening, cooking, wine tasting, joyful dancing and star gazing.  Guests will relax in beautiful natural surroundings, learn to release tension and restore balance for a healthier existence.  All events are open to guests of Enchantment Resort and Mii amo.  For a complete list of activities, please visit

Highlights include:

o Apache Teachings:  Listen to authentic Apache teachers as they share traditional knowledge of Boynton Canyon

o Gardening from the Inside Out:  Eloquent, inspiring and passionate, Bill McDorman challenges gardeners to breathe deeply, slow down and create a new context of understanding of the spaces around them.  Rather than have their gardens be “one more thing they have to do,” Bill helps his audience reframe their relationship to this magical interface that is informative, whimsical and downright spiritual.

o IT’S ALIVE! Wildflower Walk:  In this delightful stroll in and around Enchantment, Bill McDorman will identify and share lore of the wild, edible and medicinal plants in our midst. He’ll throw in a bit of geology just to make sure we know where we are.  Most importantly Bill will engender a spirit of wonder as he inspires us to connect deeply with the world in which we live.

o Walking in Beauty:  Join Colette Coletta in an experiential class in awareness and appreciation of Mother Earth.  Explore images such as mandalas, sand paintings, and medicine wheels with regard to their meanings for various indigenous groups and the ways that these images can help develop a deeper connection and understanding of one’s true nature.

o Rising in Love:  Alok is a highly original Zen Calligraphic painter and provides a special demonstration of his art. Private sessions for a personalized calligraphic portrait for individuals, couples or families are available April 16 – 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Mii amo library.
o Cooking Demo & Organic Wine Tasting:  Executive Chef Ted Cizma will prepare an appetizer of locally grown produce, house-baked bread and freshly made cheese, and pair it with the sustainable and organically farmed wines of Arizona Stronghold, made in the Verde Valley.

“The Droppah”

By John Meyers (March 1, 2011)

During a somewhat mundane, workmanship match played out from the baseline, when commentator Patrick McEnroe exclaims “the droppah!” you can tell he is genuinely excited.  A shot more commonly used in the infancy of open tennis, the drop shot has recently become more prevalent in the modern game of power tennis.

Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and many clay court specialists have worked this shot into their repertoire. Although some opponents – especially those who can’t hit one – consider this a cheap shot, not worthy of one with solid groundstrokes, it’s still a winner, just like the 90 mph forehand down the line. A true touch shot, the dropper – when used with discretion – can throw a baseliner off their game, resulting in constant muttering and creative exclamations.

Even doubles players can make great use of this shot, especially if your opponents like to stay back on the baseline. After your return of serve, wait for a short ball, act like you’re hitting a normal groundie, and at the point of contact soften your wrist and let your racquet head slide under the ball.

The keys for a successful drop shot are disguise and discretion. You can turn a backhand slice into a drop shot and your opponent won’t read it until it’s too late. But hitting this shot from behind the baseline is a recipe for disaster.  Be patient, wait for that short ball, and give your opponent something else to think about with “the droppah!”

Whether you have been fortunate enough to visit Boynton Canyon or not, you can see what an amazing destination it is.  For centuries people have revered this sacred setting and now we have brought this Canyon’s history to life with our DVD Che Ah Chi, now available online and at our two boutiques located on property. Che Ah Chi, the Apache name for the legendary red rock canyon home to Enchantment Resort is a 30-minute film featuring interviews with tribal elders and geological experts that generously share their oral history and wisdom of the mysterious canyon with Native American filmmaker and director RJ Joseph.

Che Ah Chi is an engaging documentary featuring Native Americans and experts telling an intriguing history of Boynton Canyon’s dramatic earth changes, prehistoric ruins, creation stories, inhabitants and its healing waters. It is important to document the history of Boynton Canyon, ensuring future generations can fully understand its importance and significance. We had the privilege to document tribal elders revealing information usually reserved only for their own storytelling circles. Che Ah Chi gives viewers the opportunity to witness their deep insights into their respective cultures and gain a greater respect for this intricate canyon. You can view a segment of the documentary, by visiting It is sure to inspire a first or return visit.