Monday, November 26, 2012

One Last Story from September NYC Trip!

Sesame Crusted Diver Scallops

The Standard Grill under the High Line
We were given the opportunity to stay downtown in NYC to have dinner when we visited the gardens in PA and NYC in September.  Bonnie and I choose to go to The Standard Grill under the High Line.  They serve breakfast, brunch (Sat. & Sun.), lunch and dinner.  They are located on Washington Street at 13th Street.  A very happening place.  A big bar area in the back, but it had lots of families stopping by to have dinner as well.  As you can see sometimes it is all about the food for me! I'm anxious to get back there some day and go to some of the other places that my master gardening friends went.   They were all delicious.  Hope you have had a great day.  Going to be taking a trip down east (Does she ever stop traveling?) in a couple of days.  Soo talk amongst yourselves and I will be back with more adventures later in the week.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Really Cold Here!

Woke up this morning to a dusting of snow.  It is mostly gone already, but it is COLD!  Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend.  Talk to you later.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Winter Rose Protection Tip from One of My Favorite Magazines and Thanksgiving Memories!

I do still subscribe to magazines.  I know some of you get them downloaded to whatever device you may be using.  I still like to get a cup of herbal tea and sit down with a paper copy and enjoy it.  I'm sure at some point when the paper copies are gone, we will all be reading them on our computers, etc.  Maybe it will be more fun to see videos of gardens to visit and how-tos on different gardening tips.  Organic Gardening magazine has been around for a long time.  The editor is Ethne Clarke who happens to be one of my favorite gardening authors including herb gardening.  I spotted this Winter Rose Protection tip in his column Skills and Abilities and thought it was very clever.  So this is Doug Hall's tip not mine.  Hope he doesn't mind me sharing it.
Wait until nights are consistently below freezing and the soil surface freezes--usually in December where I (Doug Hall, the author) live--before applying winter mulch.  This is a method I (Doug Hall, the author) recommend:
 1.  Find a cardboard box that fits around the plant to be protected and is about 12 inches tall.  Fold in the bottom and top flaps so they are flat against the sides.  Place the box around the plant.
2.  Fill the box with small bark nuggets or any other type of mulch that won't pack down or become waterlogged.
3.  Tie stout twine around the box so it won't come part when it gets wet.
4.  For extra protection (or if you don't like the look of the cardboard), drape evergreen boughs over the plant.  Long canes can be trimmed at this time, but in general it's best to wait until spring to prune roses.
 When the weather warms and the rose's leaf buds begin to swell, remove the box and spread the mulch around the rose plant.  You've just accomplished two tasks in one:  removing the winter protection and refreshing the growing-season mulch--a double benefit you wouldn't get by using a soil mound.
Genius, Doug!  Hope this tip works for you in your garden.  The Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013 magazine is on newsstands now and some articles are online, just not this particular tip.  The magazine does have step by step photos that I didn't have permission to use.  Just sneak a peek at the store.

Well, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  My banner photo will give you an idea how good ours was.  We had our friend, Mike over and he has already invited himself for Thanksgiving next year!  He had fun from his observation point just between our kitchen and the dining room.  Why though does it take all day to cook and then it is eaten like a tornado touched down!  It is just ridiculous!
We were also 60 degrees yesterday and today the bottom will fall out and by tonight they are calling for the dreaded lake effect snow!  Not like Erie and Buffalo may get, but still never quite ready for snow.  Here's a look at our turkey dinner.
It was gone in an herbal second! We don't go for all of the casseroles or fancy extras.  Oh, maybe the sage and feta cornbread.  We had mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds and herb roasted turkey and cornbread and apple pie for dessert.  The Herbal Husband doesn't like pumpkin pie and I usually make pecan, but apple was his choice this year.  Our friend, Mike brought the ice cream!  It worked out very well.  So hope you are enjoying Black Friday shopping!  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Gardens at Gantz Farm and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Patio Area with the Culinary and Fragrance Gardens

The Garden of Yesterday

One or More Very Happy 'Bath's Pink' Cheddar Pink Dianthus

The 'Frosty Fire' Dianthus is Blooming in My Herb Garden!
Just wanted to show you a brief glimpse of the Gardens at Gantz Farm just south of Columbus, Ohio in Grove City, Ohio on the way to Cincinnati.  The clump of dianthus at Gantz Farm was amazing.  They have a Garden of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and a Labyrinth.  I'm looking forward to going back in the summer in the not too distant future.  I was so surprised to see my dianthus blooming in the herb garden.  It may make an appearance in my Thanksgiving table bouquet on Thursday.  Going to take a day or two or more off.  The prize winners have gotten in touch with me and their gifts are on their way to Wisconsin and Oregon.  Stay tuned I'm going to do a basket giveaway in December that you won't want to miss.  This year's theme is Herbal Scents for the Holidays.  So I hope all my readers in the US have a safe and feastful day with friends and family.  Talk to you later.

Monday, November 19, 2012

And The Winners Are!

Our Magic Cheese Making Baskets for Name Selections!

TAYLORSOUTBACK won the bird book!

BLUKATS won the t-shirt!
As The Herbal Husband was coming up the stairs from feeding our birds, he announced "Here comes the designator!"  You know I can't make this up!  Congratulations to my winners, Taylorsoutback and Blukats!  Please e-mail me your addresses and we will get the items in the mail and hopefully you will have them over the weekend!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bet You Didn't Know, Herbally Speaking and Last Chance!!

Ohio Herb Education Center in Gahanna, Ohio

Nice Herbal Containers on the Back Deck at the Herb Center

A Beautiful Sage Plant

A Blooming Lavender in October!

They Have Herbal Containers Inside

The Geroux Herb Gardens in Gahanna

A Nice Place to Sit and Relax

Mints, Lemon Balm and Flowers Still Blooming!
When we decided we were going to Cincinnati to meet up with Sharon Lovejoy and her husband, Jeff, I decided we needed to do a few herbal things.  So I have shown you the Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio.  I really never knew that the Herbal Capital of Ohio and perhaps the world is in Gahanna, Ohio.  They have a lovely Ohio Herb Education Center in the downtown area and the Geroux Herb Garden which is adjacent to the City Hall and Police Station.  So don't think you can nip a sample or something like that!  The Education Center has a small but very herbal gift shop and while they had had their harvest days the weekend before there was still a lot to see in the herb gardens.  They have set up an Herbal Trail with restaurants, herb gardens, shopping and hotels in the Gahanna area.  Bonnie and I look forward to going back and having another adventure in Gahanna.

OK, last call for the two giveaways, the new Sharon Lovejoy bird book and the favorite bird t-shirt.  The Herbal Husband will be drawing the winners tomorrow morning at 10 AM sharp!  So there is still time to enter!  Even though we have been having beautiful weather, I was working on my work table in the basement this afternoon.  Hopefully, I will be able to share and show you something soon!  Talk to you later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

On the Way to Cincinnati-Inniswood Metro Gardens!

On the way down to Cincinnati last month, Bonnie, my American herbal companion, and I stopped by Westerville, outside Columbus to visit Inniswood Metro Gardens.  A beautiful park like setting with lots of places for photographers to take photos of brides and grooms.  It was a chilly day and yet the park was busy with pre-wedding activity.  Above the portico or arbor near the rose garden with some of the roses that were in bloom.  We were surprised at just how many were blooming. 
The Herb Garden Beautifully Maintained by the Central Ohio Unit of the HSA

Sometimes the Design is What Makes the Herb Garden

A Beautiful Pineapple Sage!

A Thyme Lawn

A Wonderful Selection of Sages

I Loved the Bee Skep in the Bee Garden

Nasturtiums Still Blooming

A Nice Collection of Lavenders

A Very Beautiful Tight Knot Garden

A Gazebo with Character

A Lovely Herb Garden to Savor in Every Season
Bonnie and I always say that our best time is between 10 AM and 2 PM.  We can make a stop at an herb farm and shop for plants, have a bit of lunch and then do a bit of extra herbal shopping on the way home.  We were very fortunate to stop and see the wonderful herb garden at Inniswood Metro Gardens.  It takes a whole lot of volunteers to keep this garden going.  Great job to the women and possibly men of the Central Ohio Unit of the Herb Society of America.  It was a joy to see this garden.  We look forward to going back in the summer some year.  I'll talk about the rest of the gardens we visited in the next post.

Just wanted to mention that The Herbal Husband and I saw the movie, The Sessions with John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy today.  It was very well done.  Lots of necessary nudity.  Maybe not for everyone.  I think Mr. Hawkes and Ms. Hunt and maybe even Mr. Macy may get Oscar nods.  Mr. Macy plays a priest which is quite the opposite from his role in the TV series, Shameless!  It was a beautiful day here in the 'Burgh.  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One of My Favorite Holiday Catalogs Arrived!

One of my favorite holiday catalogs arrived yesterday.  It has a unique combination of woodworking and hardware items, cooking, gardening and even toys for the kids and grownups.  Lee Valley from Canada and the US will amuse you by bringing you back to your childhood and then has modern gadgets that make your life easier.  The Herbal Husband and I both had quite a few items each in last year's catalog to purchase.  Looking forward to going through this year's version.  It is just cold around here.  Makes you think of the holidays.  A week to go for Thanksgiving.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Favorite Birds T-Shirt Giveaway for Everyone!

Sometimes I just fall into these items and don't realize that it can be something useful FOR SOMEONE SPECIAL, namely my readers.  This has been in the back of our closet for years.  It says 1999 on the shirt!  For heaven sake, please comment and have me send it to you.  Oh, I have to pick your name out of the cheese making basket first!  You can be anywhere in the world and it will be sent to you.  As you can see, it is called "Favorite Birds" and they are in no particular order:  Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole, Tufted Titmouse, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Blue Jay, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Black-Capped Chickadee and American Robin.  We have them all in our garden, except maybe for the nuthatch.  This lovely shirt would be good for the birder in your life whether male or female.   The size is XL.  That is a 16 or 18 woman's size in the US.  Here is a link to a clothing size converter for other countries.   It is 100% Natural Cotton shirt from Earth Sun Moon Trading Company.  It is a local (for me) American company.  Even if you don't win this shirt, they have a lot of wonderful choices for the outdoors person in your life for holiday giving.

Because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we are going with the same deadline as the other giveaway, Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10 AM EST.  So you have a bit less time to enter.  Please if you are not a blogger, give me some contact information.  If you are on Facebook, please leave contact info as well at Nancy Heraud.  Good luck!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Forty Degree Temperature Drop!

Well, yesterday we were at 70 degrees and today in the 30's!  Ridiculous!  I wanted to show you what's going on in the garden.  Still a bit green but the flowers are pretty much gone for the season.  I usually can get a small bouquet for the table at Thanksgiving.  I think it might be all herbs this year.  No flowers.  I'm going to start working inside.  I need to make a few holiday ornaments and hopefully, you will see something you can do before the holidays start.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder! A Giveaway for US Readers!

An ID Book for Kids Young and Old and Feeder Too!

A Bonus of a Book Plate Signed by Sharon Lovejoy!
When we went to Cincinnati to catch up with Sharon Lovejoy and her phone man, I bought her new book for the young bird watchers in your life.  Here is the description from Amazon.
 A great way to introduce kids to nature and the joys of bird-watching, My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder combines a full-color illustrated field guide and activity book with a custom-designed, sky blue window feeder.

Sharon Lovejoy, author of Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars, Sunflower Houses, and other uplifting nature and gardening titles, brings her expertise and artistic sensibility to this joyous guide to 34 backyard birds, from the zippy Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the clever Chickadee, who grows extra brain cells during the winter to help remember hidden stashes of food. Lively text delves into each bird’s diet, behavior, range, nests, habitat, and calls; the watercolor illustrations are expressive and meticulously detailed. Additionally, readers will learn how to create a bird journal and whip up a batch of bird food.

The feeder is generous, shaped like a house, fully open in the front for the birds, and with side windows and a porthole for the viewer. The roof protects the feed, and the bottom lip folds open for easy cleaning. Two suction cups hold the feeder to a window.
I just love Sharon's illustrations and she knows a thing about nature and birds.  It will give the young children in your life a starting place to get them outside and understanding nature.  I spent all of the time when I was young outside.  This book will give them the perfect start to learning about birds and loving them.  It is also National Young Readers' Week!  A perfect time for a giveaway!

This giveaway is for US readers only.  I'm working on another giveaway for everyone soon.  This giveaway will end next Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10 AM EST.  Please if you are not a blogger, give me some contact information.  If you don't, your entry will not be accepted.  Hope you are the winner.  You can also enter on my Facebook Page, Nancy Heraud.  Our temperatures are going downhill this afternoon.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

We Grew Safflower This Year!

It Really is a Pretty Flower

Here Are the Seeds of the Safflower

Exciting to Know the Cardinals Will Enjoy the Safflower Seeds
Sometimes my garden photos get buried in my trip photos.  Here before I left for Cincinnati we harvested some safflower seeds that The Herbal Husband left grow around the bird feeder.  I think the cardinals do a great job eating through all of the safflower that we give them.  I guess the sparrows are knocking the safflower off the sunflower feeder and they are growing though.  Well, we still have to buy a bag of safflower, but it will be fun to feed them with some seeds we grew ourselves.  I'm going to have a post that you will want to hang around for tomorrow.  Let's just say it will be about birds and books and a giveaway for U.S. readers.  It was a glorious day here and we have one more before it turns cold.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tansy, Lemon Balm and Mountain Mint on The High Line in NYC!

Lots of bench space to Enjoy the Views

This Apt. Owner has Fun with The View!

Some Really Great Artwork on the Side of Buildings

Lots of Unusual Vistas

An Attractive Wooden Fence

Tansy in Bloom

Lemon Balm is Always Available

More Seating Areas in Amongst the Buildings

You Wouldn't Know You Were in NYC Here

A Stand of Mountain Mint

Some Vertical Vining to Disguise the View

An Important View-The Statue of Liberty Off in the Distance
The High-Line was built in the 1930's to take the freight trains off the streets of Manhattan's industrial district.  Trains stopped running in 1980.  Since 1999 it has been saved from demolition by a group of determined community activists.  Today the High-Line organization and the City of New York work to keep it a public park space in the city.  Of course, you would figure that I would find the herbs in among the other plants.  It was a bit more brown in color than I expected.  Sometimes though it is about the design and structure that make all the difference.  The link I gave you will give you up to the minute closures of the park, because in extreme weather, it closes for safety reasons.  It is a beautiful day here although still a bit cool, but it is fall!  Have to remind myself.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.