Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Blogging for 31 Days and My Annual Herb Jelly and Jam Giveaway for U.S. Readers Only!!

A Thanksgiving Blooming Cactus!
I am going to try something that I haven't done too well this season and that is to blog for 31 days straight through the end of the year.  I am going to set the posts up by weeks and just hit the publish button on the day required.  I am mainly going to go out discussing the herbs of the year savories because I started out strong and then fizzled toward the end of the year and it is that time already!  I also need to finish (because I just started) blogging about my latest trip to England.
Tarragon Wine, Raspberry Jam and Savory Grapefruit!
Additional Contents for Box 1
Additional Contents for Box 2
I also wanted to give two of my readers a chance to win one of two boxes, Lemon Verbena Lady's Herb Garden readers and Facebook friends.  In this large box will be herbal surprises and a selection of my herbal jellies and raspberry jam from this season.  This will included but not be limited to the following flavors I made this season: savory grapefruit, tarragon wine, rose geranium, pineapple sage, and lemon basil and of course, raspberry jam.

Box 1 includes some plant markers, herbal notecards and post-it notes, DIY tea bags, one tea towel, Herb Grower magazines from the 1950's and 3 candles.

Box 2 includes plant markers, herbal paper napkins, antique notecards, gardening notepad with magnets and pen, post-it notes with a gardening theme, Herb Grower magazines from the 1950's and 3 candles.

There maybe a couple of extras too in each box.  You wouldn't be able to choose.  Trust me!  You will enjoy everything in whichever box you receive and it will be in plenty of time for Christmas. You know the drill.  You must enter at this post, either here or on Facebook.  Please only readers in the U.S. are eligible.  One entry per person please.  The winners will be drawn from the magic cheese basket next Tuesday, December 8, 2016 at 10:00 AM EST.  Good luck to all!  And thank you for your support of my blog!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shades of Gray, Herbally Speaking!

I love herbs so much because of all the wonderful textures and colors, especially the grays.  Seems like not too long ago that we transplanted one of the herbal containers I used in my May talk.  It looks like it has adapted.  The 'Berggarten' sage and the 'Hi Ho Silver' thyme should both make it through the winter.  Depending on how severe our winter is the dwarf curry may make it also.
This is the last warm day we will have for awhile.  Flurries over the weekend.  Need to go and work getting the garden put to bed.  I will talk to you later.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

One of the Last Bouquets of Fall!

We are having another blue sky day in the 'Burgh!  Now when it is really beautiful, it is the end of the herbs and flowers.  Somehow I never seem to make enough herbal bouquets in the season.  Now when the days are getting shorter, it is desperate times, herbally speaking.  It is this way every year.  I just seem to forget.
In the bouquet this time are calendula flowers, catmint, horehound, peppermint, pineapple mint, lemon balm and right in the center pineapple sage with a flower on November 15th!  Just amazing!  Hope you are having a great day!  Talk to you later.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Big Beautiful Herb!

I can't remember when this has happened before, but the angelica never bloomed this season.  It is a biennial herb and it is all leaves the first year and blooms the second.  It felt strange not to have one angelica that bloomed.  We always let them all seed to keep it going.  So you would think I would have a second year plant in the bunch.  Did you have any herb that surprised you this season?  Please let me know with your comments. 
Windy and warm in the herb garden today.  Hope you are enjoying these quick posts about the garden.  Now that I understand how Blogger works, I will post more quick herbal posts and when I'm on my laptop I will do the travel ones.  Hope you are enjoying your herb garden.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Still Blooming and Green in the Herb Garden!

This is my second attempt at this post.  Just trying to see if it works with multiple photos.  I maybe a bit greedy.  We will see.   'Walker's Low' catmint is the first photo, the dianthus 'Frosty Fire' is blooming in the second photo and the coconut scented geranium is happily spreading joy in the fall herb garden in the third photo.  It will probably reseed itself for next year.
The weather was gloomy this morning and the sun has come out this afternoon.   Makes it more cheery.  Hopefully you are having a wonderful day wherever you are.  Talk to you later.
'Walker's Low' Catmint
'Frosty Fire' Dianthus
Coconut Scented Geranium at Home!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Herb Grower Magazine

Been trying to come up with a way to blog with my phone.  It might not be the best, but I think it is better than with my tablet.  Hopefully I will get better with this as time goes on.

This is a favorite old herb magazine called The Herb Grower Magazine published by the Fosters from the late 40's to the early 80's.  Some of the topics in this February-March, 1951 are More Color in the Herb Garden, Let Me Smell Your Garden, The Chemist's Garden, A Yard of Herbs, Ixbut, Lemon Basil is Not New and the regular columns Cooking with an Accent and The Herbarium.  Hopefully I will talk more about these wonderful Herbal magazines soon.
One of My Favorite Herb Magazines!

Plodding Along The Herbal Path and a Road Trip or Two!

The Herb Garden Still Has A Lot of Green and Gray!
Always Love My Annual Visit to Well Sweep Herb Farm's Christmas Shop!
One of the Beautiful Perennial Beds That Still Had Some Color!
My Afternoon Tea at Sally Lunn's in Chester, New Jersey!
Sharing Tiramisu with The Herbal Husband!
Red Anniversary Roses from Our Friends in Uruguay!
We have arrived in November already!  I can't seem to get on my laptop enough these days to blog!  So here is a recap of the last weekend.  We almost always go to Allentown this time of year.  It is not always on our wedding anniversary, but this year it was.  The Herbal Husband has a toy show that he likes to attend and I almost always go to Well Sweep Herb Farm in Port Murray, New Jersey for the start of their Christmas shop and the Sally Lunn's Tearoom & Restaurant in Chester, New Jersey for afternoon tea even if it is sometimes in the morning when I arrive.  It is a lot of driving for me because remember I drive for your safety and mine!

Can I just say that besides the huge (more than 1,900 varieties) selection of herbs, perennials and exotics, Well Sweep Herb Farm is visually a feast for the senses.  The Hyde family who has owned the farm for 46 years and the quality is consistently excellent from year to year.  If you live in the vicinity, I hope you will support this herb farm with your business.   Their Christmas shop is stuffed full of all kinds of herb related gifts, dried flowers, books, potpourri items, and lovely Christmas and herb related gifts.   Fortunately for us that live further away, they still do mail order.  I have started to order each year just so I have some unusual herbs for my herb garden.  They do have a paper catalog still and you can download their catalog if you would like from their website.  One of my favorite herb farms in the east.  Here is a link to a post I did for Mother Earth Living called Herbal Travels:  Well-Sweep Herb Farm.  So nice to see that they are continuing to prosper.

I continued on down the road to Chester, New Jersey and stopped by one of my favorite tearooms, Sally Lunn's.  It has been in business 30 plus years and is still consistently very good.  It was very busy on Saturday and I sat for a time next to two ladies who had never had afternoon tea and needed to learn the proper way to steep loose leaf tea.  I came to the rescue.  My afternoon tea was delicious as usual and I took a scone, clotted cream and jam back for The Herbal Husband's afternoon tea at the hotel.  Didn't quite have the same atmosphere, but clotted cream is his middle name!

Then we made a reservation at one of our new favorite restaurants in Allentown.  It is called Henry's Salt of the Sea.  It is very cozy with a long bar and booths in the front.  They are known for their French inspired seafood.  I had sea scallops and The Herbal Husband had schnitzel.  We were both happy and we had a weekend of mostly good food and not counting calories.  The Herbal Husband showered me with wonderful gifts and cards.  He told me I got him a toy ship from Italy and I got him a LSU purple fig for his collection at Well Sweep.  We came home to a box sitting on our doorstep full of roses from our friends in Uruguay.  We were afraid they would freeze in the cold, but actually it was like them being in the refrigerator overnight.  It worked quite well.

As far as the herb garden goes, there are still many herbs that have remained green even with the cold temperatures.  I still have a part of the golden pineapple sage that is still alive and blooming, a shoot of a calendula may keep blooming for Thanksgiving (Maybe wishful thinking!) and the tarragon has come back nicely.  As always the chives are nice and green and so is the salad burnet.  All of the herbs we transplanted earlier are doing well.  I was afraid we were too late with our transplants, but they have worked out.  Would like to make a few Christmas presents, herbally speaking.  Here is a link to my post last year giving you links to an artemisia tree and spice wreaths.

Well, I hope you are getting things done more smoothly than I am.  My big project that I am trying to get done is my talk on Shakespeare's Herbs and Flowers for next March.  So please forgive me if I am not around too much.  I will try to post when I can.  We had a rainy day in the herb garden, but still milder than usual.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Liberty's, Geffrye Herb Garden and Afternoon Tea at St. Paul's-London, England Trip 2015!

Blue Skies in London-A Blessing!
My New Favorite Store in London!
Just the Look of the Inside Makes Me Smile!
Not a Scone but a Toasted Tea Cake and Earl Grey Tea.  A Mid-Morning Break!
The Plan of the Geffrye Herb Garden
Lots Still in Bloom in the Herb Garden
The Beautiful Water Fountain
The Knot Garden of Santolina
More Santolina at the Geffrye!
Afternoon Tea at St. Paul's
I usually have my whole trip planned out before I go, reservations for tea, gardens to see, train tickets purchased.  I didn't plan on such fabulous weather.  I was hopeful, but in England you always carry your brolly.  I only had one really dreary day when I was in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

First day I decided to go back to the Liberty department store known for its fabrics particularly.  I just love the Tudor feel of the building.  They already had their Christmas shop set up.  It was very festive.  I also carried on the tradition of having a mid-morning break for a tea cake and tea.  Scones are served later in the day!  Always enjoyable.  I knew that the next place I wanted to see again was the herb garden at the Geffrye Museum of the Home.  If you click the first link in the previous sentence, you will read my previous post about my visit in 2014 to this herb garden.  It is one of my new favorites and when I go back to England again, I will definitely be going back for a visit.  I especially love the intimacy of the herb garden as they were in earlier times, a protected garden.  I just sat and enjoyed the space as much as the last time I was there in May, 2014.

The last stop on the first day of my English holiday was St. Paul's to light a candle or two for my friends who are sick and need some blessings and to have one of my favorite things in England or just about anywhere, afternoon tea.  If you are on a budget and you still want a decent afternoon tea, you should try the restaurant at St. Paul's.  It is a very contemporary space in a very old cathedral and it was enough food that I didn't need to eat dinner that evening.  It's off to Bristol in my next England post.

Sort of a dreary rainy warm day in the garden.  Probably our last warm day until next year.  Cut some chives for freezing and lemon balm for drying.  Will try to catch you up on the garden and what has been going on in my next post.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Another Herbal Moving Day!

Had to Put The Containers In the Garage Temporarily!
It happens every year.  Shouldn't be a surprise at all.  Worked most of yesterday to get the containers moved into the garage, basement or the living room.  I secretly am always happy for this day.  Even though I didn't feel as connected to my herb garden this year, I did have a lot to harvest.  So I guess it was a success because The Herbal Husband was paying attention, herbally speaking!

The basement is getting full between containers and harvested herbs hanging from the rafters.  Lots of lemon verbena, stevia and lemon scented geranium.  Today I cut the first of the pineapple sages.  We will cover the one in my herb garden with Reemay overnight and hopefully it will survive.  I processed the first pineapple sage into six containers of leaves.  They will stay fresh for at least a couple of days until I can make the jelly.  That equals a couple of boxes of jelly!

I was thinking of cutting my tarragon to the ground, but decided to leave some plant standing because it has seemed to have found the right place to grow well.  In the past I have cut it all and it hasn't come back.  You would think I would learn from my mistakes.

So hopefully you are in better control of what's going on in your herb garden.  It is a bright cool day in the 'Burgh and getting colder.  Will definitely have frost tonight.  Indian summer will be coming.  One of my favorite times of the year.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Have been struggling with the time change and all of the chore of the herb garden.  Not enough time to blog.  Hopefully with the weather changing, I will remedy that.  Talk to you later.