Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Golden Ray of Sunshine on A Hot Day!

I hope you are staying cool on this July Sunday!  It already feels like 90 here in the 'Burgh.

Wanted to highlight some of the selections I bought from Well Sweep Farm.  I got this a couple of years ago when I did the lemon herb garden. Maybe it was where it was placed that it didn't make it.  So I got a couple of these and we planted them above the rock wall.  Oh, sorry, you want to know what plant I am talking about Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum', golden feverfew!
I really love the daisy like flowers of feverfew and then the golden color of the leaves.  What is your favorite in your herb garden this season?

As of this morning I have made 11 batches of raspberry jam or 44 total jars so far!  I am just about to take a break between old cane production and new canes starting to produce berries.  We will be cutting the old canes down and that will make my picking of round two easier.

Hope you are staying cool wherever you may be.  Will talk to you tomorrow!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trying to Stay Cool in the Heat!

It is just too darn hot.  Many of you have this heat all summer long.  We couldn't take it frankly.  This morning I did get out just long enough to pick more raspberries for more jam.  And after that I have been inside ever since doing some cross stitch!  Just too hot!  The rain helped the hostas out in the front garden look good.  Doesn't look like the weather is going to change in the immediate future!  Stay cool!  Talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, July 22, 2016

An Inch of Rain and New Additions to the Containers, Herbally Speaking!

We started out this morning with an inch of rain and that is a very good thing.  And as the total in the rain gauge was read, a Japanese beetle had met its fate in the gauge.  Another good thing.  We also got the ickies and stickies back.  Ugh!  So much to do and I am not an early riser!  Oh, the weeds will just get bigger, but maybe easier to pull with the rain.  A silver lining, herbally speaking.

And we gained a couple of more containers.  We are still trying to get a few herbs in the ground and have run out of room!  Out come more containers!  So The Herbal Husband planted the 'Grosso' lavender in one container (I think too small!) and 'Grosso' is not always hardy for me in the herb garden.  Also a ginger scented geranium, which is one of my new favorite plants.  Scented geraniums are perfect plants for containers.  So it was a bit hectic today.  Errands day sometimes is.  Hopefully you have had a great day and you have stayed cool!  More tomorrow.  Will talk to you then.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cinnamon Basil Jelly and Raspberries!

Almost forgot to post today.  It started with a batch of cinnamon basil jelly this morning.  I picked more raspberries this afternoon, but finally not enough for a batch of jam.  I think we have come to the pause between old cane production and new canes starting to produce.  Will be on the lookout for stink bugs.  They love the raspberry fruit.  The Herbal Husband watered the back gardens including the raspberries.  They need water to produce good quality berries.  Hot and humid tomorrow.  Stay cool wherever you may be!  Hope you had a great day.  I will post a photo for this post tomorrow.  Talk to you then.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My 2016 Trip to England--My Trip to Sissinghurst Castle, Part Three--More Photos!

The Moat Walk
The Lime Walk
The Famous White Garden
Clematis is a Very Favorite English Flower
A Bees Nest Blocked This Entrance/Exit from Use!
A Blue Iron Gate Leads Into the Top Courtyard Gardens

My 2016 Trip to England--My Visit to Sissinghurst Castle, Part Two!

I think the ghosts of Vita and Harold are playing with my post!  I had a bunch more photos to share with you, but the ghosts or Blogger are messing with me! Really Sissinghurst may not be the greatest English garden, but it is full of surprises and combinations that you might not have thought could go well together.  It was a real treat to see it again and the rain did stop long enough to get photos which was important.  So maybe there will be a third installment later today or tomorrow.  Got another batch of raspberry jam made and tomorrow I switch gears and make a batch of cinnamon basil jelly!  Such is life in the summer herb garden.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you tomorrow.
The Cottage Garden
Top Courtyard Garden
Just Must Find A Space for This in My Garden--Artichoke or Cardoon!
Lawn and Hedge an Integral Part of the Gardens
Love the Simple Structures to Hold Plants
Wisteria Blooming!
The Front Facade of Sissinghurst Castle
'Sissinghurst Blue' Rosemary
The Chalk Board for The Daily Events in the Gardens!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My 2016 Trip to England--My Visit to Sissinghurst Castle!

An Overview of Some of the Garden Spaces of Sissinghurst!
Part of the Castle!
The Elizabethan Tower Where Vita Sackville West Did Her Writing!
A Very Traditional Herb Garden!
The Chamomile Bench
Monique Describing The Work Being Done to Restore the Lion Pond!
Wednesday was a dreary rainy day.  Not a particularly good day to see a garden.  This was my third visit to Sissinghurst Castle, the home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson and two out of three times it has rained!  I was meeting one of our Dutch friends' neighbors who works at Sissinghurst Castle.  She offered to show me around the grounds.  It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.  I caught the train to Staplehurst and it was still pouring rain.   I did splurge and hired a taxi from Staplehurst train station to the castle.  A very wise decision.  On a good day you can take a bus from the station and then walk about a mile to the castle from the bus stop.  The taxi dropped me off just near the ticket office.

I met Monique who said that she had to keep working and that she had a couple of meetings at the end of the day.  She would be able to show me around close to 5:00 PM.  So I decided to have lunch because the National Trust runs Sissinghurst Castle and they have a very nice restaurant there.  Then I bought my ticket and got to the Elizabethan Tower before it really started to rain again.  The tower has a beautiful library/writing space where Vita wrote many articles and books on all sorts of topics, including gardening.  I have two of her books,  A Joy of Gardening, A Selection for Americans and In Your Garden taken from articles written for The Observer, a newspaper which still exists today.  At the very top was an observation deck which I waited until the rain passed by to get photos.  What I loved about Vita Sackville-West was that she needed to have an herb garden and a very traditional one at that, but she used herbs more in decorations and potpourri than in cooking.  Her cook did have herbs for cooking near the kitchen, but the formal herb garden was away from the castle and sheltered by a hedge from the winds.  There is no better garden to understand garden rooms and space in the garden than at Sissinghurst Castle.

So when Monique did join me she told me about the work she was doing as a landscape architect in restoring the gardens to a specific time frame and how she came to Sissinghurst Castle with her son on holiday, then applied for a job and has been able to continue to work despite lack of funding for her position.  Such an interesting life she has.  We have made plans to get together again in 2017.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, I'll have more photos tomorrow.

A beautiful day in the herb garden today.  The Herbal Husband was watering because we are in need of rain.  I picked more raspberries and will be setting up another batch tonight to make tomorrow.  I think after the jam is made tomorrow we will be working on getting the weeds out of the front garden and maybe planting some more plants.  Always something to plant!  Hope you had a great day.  I will talk to you tomorrow!   

Monday, July 18, 2016

My 2016 Trip to England--Breakfast at Pimlico Fresh, St. Paul's Cathedral and Cream Tea at Bea's!

Scrambled Eggs with Chives on Toast and Sausages at Pimlico Fresh!
The Magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral!
A Rose in Bloom in the Cathedral's Garden!
Getting Rare to See One of These!
My Cream Tea at Bea's!
It is sort of a hit or miss day outside.  Started out with rain and thunder early this morning.  Heavy thunderstorms are predicted for later on.  So thought this would be a good day to catch you up on my latest England trip.  As I maybe said in an earlier post I was celebrating my 50th year of my first visit to England in the 60's.  It was my 16th trip to England not my 50th!  The Herbal Husband and I love England equally.  So it is very hard for him to pack me up and get me out the door to visit one of our favorite countries in the world.  I think his other favorite would be France and I would probably say The Netherlands would be a close second for me.

So I really don't do much the very first day after landing.  But I do manage to get a good breakfast.  I quit eating airline food awhile ago.  So going over I usually have dinner before I get on the plane including dessert and that gets me through until I get to my neighborhood mid morning.  I have learned that a little neighborhood restaurant called Pimlico Fresh (no website) serves very freshly made food every day.  So I started going there last year to get my first morning off to a good start.  I love their scrambled eggs.  Eggs in England have such orange delicious yolks and are never refrigerated!  I am drooling just thinking about them!  Then if my room is ready, I go and take a nap and get cards and phones charged up and have a takeaway dinner from Pret A Manger.

Day two has become a tradition.  I go to St. Paul's Cathedral and light several candles for my family, my friends and their families and my English traveling companion and her husband.  Then I meditate under the dome or maybe take a small nap and then go over to Bea's Cake Boutique  for tea and scones.  The last time I had an afternoon tea there, I was disappointed in the sandwiches.  They were interesting and on cute little brioche buns, the fillings were interesting but lacking.  I want my sandwiches filled to the max with filling.  I love her scones though.  So I just decided to go straight away to what I love best, a cream tea!  The scones do not disappoint.  So ends my second day with an Italian dinner of Pasta Carbonara and a Tricolore Salad at O' Sole Mio (no website).  The owners and waitresses are very Italian and sometimes translation is necessary!  They know me there now and take good care of me!  My neighborhood is close to Victoria Station and I just love it and feel at home.

So starts my adventure in England.  Supposed to be nice and cooler and more pleasant the next two days.  So it may be back out to the garden for posts.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you tomorrow!  Cheers!  P.S. I think I am once again caught up with all of your wonderful comments and questions.  Thanks to my regular and once in a while commenters!  You are what keep me blogging!  Because these days I tend to repeat myself!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

More Plants Planted and Raspberry Jam!

The Sunflowers and Elecampane Are Planted!
We got a few more plants in the ground today.  Some sunflowers that The Herbal Husband grew from seed and an elecampane I got from Bonnie!  We also got the fencing back around the bed for some protection.  Although the deer have been browsing the goldenrod and some raspberry leaves, they have been leaving poop more than damage.  I picked more raspberries and I set up more jam.  Thirty six jars will be done tomorrow.  So that is nine batches of four jars each!  It has been a great early season.  Not always the case.  Hope you had a great day.  It was hot but not too humid.  Will get photos with my posts hopefully tomorrow!  Talk to you then.