Monday, August 22, 2016

Holy Chive Blossoms!

Been So Wet Even The Slugs Are Attracted to the Chives!
Went out on Saturday to cut fresh chives for my scrambled eggs!  What did I find?  A big, juicy slug!  We usually have small little things!  These are like the Pacific Northwest!  It was actually wrapped around the chive stem.  Not getting to enjoy my chives, Mr. Slug!  Then I gave it as a gift to the birds!  I thought that was very fitting.   Never knew that slugs would be a problem here in the 'Burgh.  Something else to worry about! 

Finally some cooler weather today!  Going out to the garden and try to get some things done that should have been done early!  Hope you are having a fabulous day wherever you may be!  Your box should be in the mail in the morning, Sharon!  Thanks to everyone who participated and who keep me on this herbal journey.  Glad you want to keep learning about herbs.  I do too!  Talk to you later.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

And The Winner Is. . .

Well I just wanted to thank everyone who participated in my little herbal giveaway and for all the lovely comments both here and on Facebook.  You are why I am still writing this little herbal blog.  You keep me inspired even though I may not be blogging each day.  As custom dictates, The Herbal Husband pulled the name out of the cheese basket.  Soo the winner of the herbal box is:
                        Sharon
Congratulations!  Please send me your mailing address to my Gmail account and we will get your box in the mail.  There may be an extra surprise in the box as well.  I HAVE HEARD FROM THE WINNER!  
We are going to be cooler and less humid today.  Hopefully easier to work in the garden.  Talk to you later.
The Infamous Cheese Basket!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Garden in the Park Field Day, North Park, Allegheny County, PA--Saturday, August 20, 2016!

The Trial Gardens of Annuals
The Monument to the War Veterans and Herb Garden

Mailbox for Leaving Questions and Comments
A Beautiful and Lush Herb Garden!
Basil Envy!
Pot of Herbes de Provence!
Part of the Pollinator Gardens!
More Basil Envy and the Garden Marketplace!
Tomato Tasting, Plant Sale, Garlic and Basil Tasting and Produce Sold!
Tents of Local Community Action Groups and Organizations!
Well, we have come to another year in the North Park Demonstration Gardens with the Allegheny County Master Gardeners.  A group that I hold near and dear to my heart because I was a part of this organization for ten years.  This day is a wonderful tribute to the work that the master gardeners do in the community and in this particular garden.  There was also a Garden in the Park day in South Park.  Really these ladies and gentlemen work their tails off to get ready for four hours of tastings, including Penn State Creamery ice cream and tours of the trial gardens and answering questions about plants and critters.  It is a fun day for the kids and adults. 

Not only a demonstration garden for local greenhouses, but this year trial plants from the Southeast Agricultural Research Extension (SEAREC), which is located in Landisville, PA, have been planted in the North Park Demonstration Garden. All the plants are labeled with their botanical names, and the breeder.  No matter how much I think I know about plants there is always something new to learn.

In the herb garden which is located in a stone bed around the monument for the veterans, they had different tastings and herbal drinks which were needed on a very warm and humid day.  They also shared a recipe to make an version of herbes de Provence which are a combination of heat loving herbs commonly found in the south of France which include all or some of the following:

Thyme
Summer savory
Marjoram
Oregano
Rosemary
Culinary Lavender (any of the Lavendula angustifolia types)

This blend reminds me of France and would be easy to make now with the abundance of fresh herbs to dry in our gardens.  Just brush a bit of olive oil on a piece of chicken or fish and sprinkle with the Provence mix and cook on the grill, in the oven or on the stove top.

All in all it was a wonderful day at Garden in the Park Field Day in North Park!  So don't forget that tomorrow is the end for signing up for the giveaway.  Please click on the link to sign up for the herbal box here.  We are still hot and humid here in the 'Burgh!  Overnight we are supposed to get a front through that will cool us off and take the humidity away.  Can't wait for that!  Talk to you tomorrow with the winner's name!   
Another View of the Lush Herb Garden!

Monday, August 15, 2016

If The Garlic Chives Are Blooming, It Must Be August and Other Herbal Thoughts!

Fall Is Approaching!
August means a couple of things for me in the herb garden!  Garlic chives will bloom and you must keep the flower heads clipped to keep them from spreading far and wide.  Also you need to be thinking about what you will be bringing inside in containers, harvesting plants for drying and/or freezing (which really you should have been doing all along) and for me I need to take stock of what herbs I will make into jelly.  Most of you don't have to worry about that.

Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) do have a place in the herb garden.  The leaves give that garlic flavor that may be more palatable for some including me.  The white flowers add a pop of brightness to all of the other flowers in the herb garden and they keep attracting those wonderful pollinators that we need.  I just try to keep my garlic chives in a clump and dig out the extras.  They are a beautiful perennial addition to the herb garden.

It has been like a sauna and monsoon season at the same time here in the 'Burgh!  The herb garden is definitely lush.  The weeds are rampant as well!  Hopefully you have had a great day wherever you may be.  Don't forget my giveaway.  You can click on this link to leave a comment and hopefully win.  An All Homemade Herbal Giveaway!  The giveaway ends on Sunday, August 21, 2016 at Noon!  One entry per person please! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

An All Homemade Herbal Giveaway for My Eighth Blogversary! This Contest is Closed!

Homemade Fruit Jam and Herbal Jellies!
A Bottle of Purple Basil Vinegar!
Spiced Lavender Potpourri and a Selection of Herbal Teas Too!
Well, I have finally gotten around to putting together a giveaway for my readers in the continental United States.  Postage prices have just skyrocketed and so I must keep this giveaway to the lower 48 states.  As you can see above, you will get one jar of each of the following:

                                                  Raspberry Jam
                                                  Savory Grapefruit Jelly
                                                  Rose Geranium Jelly
                                                  Pineapple Sage Jelly
                                                  Tarragon Wine Jelly

I am including a bottle of Purple Basil Vinegar and a jar of Spiced Lavender PotpourriThe tea selections will be 5 bags each of the Herbs of Shakespeare, Love of Lemon and Chamomile.  So the box may not be the biggest, but you will get the essence of my herb garden and the joy I have when I make these products.

So if you want to win this box, please leave a comment on this post or make a comment on the post on my Facebook timeline.  YOU MUST BE A RESIDENT OF THE LOWER 48 STATES OF THE UNITED STATES TO WIN.  The contest will be open until next Sunday, August 21, 2016 at Noon E.D.T.  Good luck!  One entry per person please!

We have the extreme ickies and stickies here!  Just looking outside makes you drip!  It is quite seriously dangerous heat wise!  Lots of lightning and thunder and some downpours!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be!  Talk to you later!   

Monday, August 8, 2016

I Thought Being Canadian Might Help, Herbally Speaking!

This Sweet Basil is Sadly Getting Downy Mildew!
We bought this sweet basil at Trader Joe's in June and I thought because it was grown in Canada, we might have a chance to enjoy it.  The Herbal Husband and I are always seduced by a beautiful plant especially basil and this certainly was one.  Although I am gun shy when it comes to buying sweet basil plants these days because of disease.  Even one that I thought was a hybrid that was more resistant has gotten it.  I really have been shaken to the core by downy mildew of basil.  Unfortunately it is here to stay for those of us in the northeast and some states where it exists but has not been diagnosed yet.

What I call the scented basils, lemon, lime, cinnamon, Thai, Holy etc.  All of these basils seem to be resistant to the disease.  Such a beautiful plant that will be gone shortly!  It is getting tougher to grow favorite herbs all of the time! 

We mowed and are still weeding parts of the front and back gardens.  Those two weeks that I was in England, I am really paying for it now!  Today was a beautiful day with warm temps and low humidity. The ickies and stickies come back tomorrow.  Hope you have had a great day.  I will work on that giveaway box for you and let you know the details and how you can win it shortly!  Talk to you again soon!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Eighth Anniversary of Lemon Verbena Lady's Herb Garden!

When I started this journey of writing about my herb garden, I never thought eight years later I would still be writing.  I hope in these last eight years you and I have both learned something new about herbs.
In the spirit of celebrating, I will be putting together a box for an herbal giveaway.  So stay tuned and hopefully later this week, I will be giving you the details of the box contents and how you can win them.
The day was beautiful in the herb garden.  Got a bunch of stuff done.  Actually looked at my work table as well.  What a mess, herbally speaking!  Hope you had a great day!  Will talk to you later.

Can't Believe I have been Writing About This Herb Garden for Eight Years!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Enough Lemon & Lime Basil for Jelly And August is Tomorrow?

Well I can't believe tomorrow is August.  That means a couple of things in the herb garden.  You had better be harvesting herbs that you want for winter in earnest and it is almost the end of summer already!  Oh and one more thing I will be going back to posting sporadically from now on.
We have had over an inch of rain in the last couple of days.  A blessing!  I have been out weeding since I spent time in the Western Reserve Herb Garden in Cleveland.  Will try to update that post with more photos.  Busy making lemon & lime basil jelly this morning.  Not enough of either one to make lemon or lime, so it's an herbal combo!

Hope you are having a lovely Sunday!  Will talk to you soon.  Have an blogging anniversary coming up and that means one thing, a giveaway!  Stay tuned!  P.S.  I have also added more photos to our visit to the Western Reserve Herb Garden visit the other day with Kathleen Gips!

I also have updated my banner photo with a plaque that was designed by Philippa Threlfall of Black Dog Decorative Tiles.  It is frost proof so I am hoping to find a space to hang it near the herb garden.  The words are taken from a book written by Thomas Fromon, published in 1535.  The herbs chosen are based on various engravings from sixteenth century Herbals, marjoram used as a strewing herb, rosemary adding flavor to meat, thyme, add savor to forcemeats (a combo of meat and veggies added to stuffing) and stuffings and mint for flavoring sweet and savory dishes.
Giving the Lemon & Lime Basils A Rough Chop!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Watering Herbs in Summer!

A couple weeks ago my friend on Facebook, Anne asked me if I was watering my herbs in the hot weather.  She has a garden of herbs in containers.  Yes, Anne, we are watering daily and especially our herbs in containers.

Basil, Parsley and mint are generally herbs that can use more water in the summer.  In a container you want to use your finger and get it into the soil down to the second knuckle and work your way around the container and make sure you need to water.  Also if you can give your containers morning sun and some shade in the afternoon it is a good idea.

Different materials of containers heat up differently.  Terracotta is one of the better kinds of containers for herbs that like it dry.  Concrete is another material for herbs that does not get too hot even in direct sunlight.  The only problem with concrete is that it is not easily moved.  Plastic is inexpensive, but it does heat up and if you don't have afternoon shade, you may have to give those plastic containers more water.  You can make any container a vessel for herbs as long as it has holes for drainage, tea tins, oil cans, watering cans, etc.  Metal especially will heat up in direct sunlight.  Grouping your containers so that they shade one another is a good idea.

Herbs like the heat of summer, but if they are newly planted or in a container, you will need to monitor them for water.  We are getting some much needed rain at the moment.  Hope you have a great day.  I will talk to you tomorrow.
Herbal Containers Protected Under An Awning from Too Much Water!