Sunday, July 31, 2011

Should It Stay or Should It Go?

This is what's left of my rosemary santolina.:(

You can see it on the rock wall behind Mary's statue in my recent banner photo.  It was big and brown there.  In the first photo, there is a golden oregano in the middle that has been struggling to survive.  The santolina has long appendages with green on the tips, but I'm not so sure that it is going to make it.  The Herbal Husband was like a mother hen.  Putting new soil around and giving it extra water.  Can't stop it once it starts!  We will see at the end of the season, but let me know what you think.  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.  More adventures from Europe or Vancouver coming.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Had To Have Some New Herbal Babies!

Well, we couldn't stay away from the garden center.  We went in search of veggies and herbs in JULY!  There wasn't much left, but we did find some brave survivors.  A few more herbs than veggies.  Got some nice basil that we already had to have a tomato, basil, feta, olive and avocado salad for lunch.  The Herbal Husband also found a couple of different pepper plants.

I also had some die back in my herb garden.  Although typical, The Herbal Husband and I are having a disagreement about the life expectancy of my rosemary santolina.  Of course, it bloomed while we were away and now it is three-quarters brown and dead.  I'll show you some photos in the next days.  I may ask your opinion about the matter.  There are some other plants that did not make it as well.  Weeds always do well when you are away!  We got three inches of rain last night and I just heard some more thunder so we may get some more today!  It is great to pull weeds out after a rain.  I have a lot to pull!  Well, I will show you where the new herbal babies are going in coming posts.  Busy, busy, herbally speaking!  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We Hit The Ground Touring!

The Brussels Train Station
Lunch on the Thalys Train
In Den Rustwat Restaurant in the Arboretum Trompenburg
The sign in the train station says Amsterdam.  Although we were on our way to Rotterdam the very first day after an all night flight.  The middle photo is lunch on the Thalys train. We stopped at the Arboretum Trompenburg which is one of 16 botanical gardens in Holland once our friends picked us up from the train.  It is near the center of Rotterdam, but as it says in the brochure, it is an oasis of repose.  I would definitely be in this garden every day if I worked in the center of Rotterdam.  This first photo is of the restaurant where I found a beautiful little herb/vegetable/flower garden.  I'm going to do an additional post for The Herb Companion about it.  Here are some of my favorite photos of the Arboretum.
Mixed Border of Perennials

More Perennial Borders

A Bridge to a New Part of the Arboretum
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'
Yuccas About to Bloom
Thought the Heron Was a Statue!
Another Beautiful Vista

This One is a Statue!
More Wildlife
A Great Recycling of Bottles!
Even Sheep Grazing!

Wish My Astilbes Looked This Good!
What You Expect at the Arboretum, Mature Trees!
The Rhododendrons Still in Bloom!
It was a wonderful day and hopefully, I'll get my post for The Herb Companion finished in the next day or so and you will see the herbs I found in the Arboretum Trompenburg.  Hope you had a great day.  Celebrated my best friend's birthday at lunch today.  Worked a little in the garden!  Lots to do!  I'll be sharing some of the cleanup with you later in the week.  Talk to you later.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Got to Finish the Vancouver Trip First-Butchart Gardens!

Iconic Photo of Butchart Gardens!
The Bulbs Were in All Their Glory!
It Couldn't Have Been Better Weather!
The Fountain Was Giving Us a Show!
The Blue Poppies Were Cooperating!
The Cove Where You Can Take a Boat Ride!
The Mediterranean Garden
I need to finish the May trip before I can tell you about the European trip!  Last time I was at Butchart Gardens, I was in the ER, infected ears and a sinus infection!  My herbal companion, Bonnie and I were on a fantastic trip with The Gardener Magazine!  The people at Butchart couldn't have been nicer even gave me a video tape (Yes, that's how long ago it was!)  So this time we had the full experience.  As you can see it was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the gardens.  Although they were taking out the blooming bulbs to replace them with summer annuals.  It was breaking the Herbal Husband's heart.  I said to him, "Sweetie, you could never work here!"  They would tell him his task for the day was removing blooming bulbs and he would just try to move them to another spot!  He would get fired the first day!  We even got to see the blue poppies in bloom.  Have tried to grow them, but we don't have the right conditions in western Pennsylvania.  I probably could be blogging twice a day at the moment.  So much going on.  I'll work on downloading the photos and get started with the adventures later this week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Garden Does OK Without Us!

Our Forest Front Garden
Our Front Gate

Echinacea, Monarda and Blooming Lemon Balm, Yikes!

Spearmint in FULL Bloom!

Rudbeckia 'Herbstonne'
Really considering that there was sporadic rain, the garden did quite well.  The photos above are our front garden.   My herb garden is struggling this year from not enough attention.  Here are some photos of the back garden looking wild and lush!

A Wild and Crazy Back Garden!

Just a Few Monardas Left!
Dill in Bloom!

'Silver King' Artemisia for Another Christmas Tree and Mountain Mint in the Background

'Goldstrum' Rudbeckia Around the Birdbath
One of My Favorite Edible Flowers, Anise Hyssop!  Like a Box of Good 'N Plenty!

A Few Volunteer Sunflowers!
Yes, Virginia, There Will be Grape Jelly This Year!
I think The Herbal Husband did a good thing before we went on our trip, he watered everything very well and with some minor exceptions, everything put on new growth.  Still trying to get adjusted to the time,  unpack and laundry, etc.  Already got most of the hummingbird vine that is coming up literally everywhere in the front out so it doesn't look like an abandoned garden!  I couldn't stand it!   Promise to have adventures in the coming days!  Did not miss the humidity!  It is very sticky here!  Glad to be back blogging!  Talk to you later.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Three Batteries and Almost 2 GB of Photos Later!

Well, I have one eye open and the other is closing fast!  It's one o'clock plus in the morning Paris time and it's just barely past 7 o'clock here in the 'Burgh!  The weather has been dry and hot here, but the garden is surprising lush and beautiful.  We must have gotten some rain at some time during our time away!  Glad to be home.  Had a great vacation!  Survived driving in the south of France!  Saw a chicken lay an egg!  Got to see some beautiful gardens and was always able to find a lemon verbena! Will share the trip with you over the coming days.