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!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Purple Basil Vinegar and Lemon & Lime Basil Jelly!

Decided to do a double post, basil style!  I think my purple basil vinegar is done AND the lime basil and lemon basil needed to be harvested!  Kathleen Gips always said that growing lemon basil was a waste of time for her because it goes to flower so quickly!  I understand your statement this season particularly, Kathleen.  I didn't have space in the herb garden for basil.  I planted them in my French bowl.  They really went to flower quickly!  And when you don't pay attention!  I may be making pesto instead of jelly!  I'll let you know!  Back to work.  The 90's have gone.  Rain the next two days.  More tomorrow.
Purple Basil Vinegar Done and Lemon and Lime Basil Picked for Jelly!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Visit to the Western Reserve Unit Herb Garden in Cleveland!

Wanted to do a better job of describing our visit with Kathleen Gips to the Western Reserve Herb Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Garden ("CBG").  The Western Reserve Unit of the Herb Society of America has maintained an herb garden in Wade Park Oval since the mid 1940's.  In 1969 the current herb garden was designed by Elsetta Gilchrist Barnes, A.S.L.A. and built by Herman Losely and Son.  They received awards for their efforts!

This is taken from the Herb Garden Guide from 1999:  "The Western Reserve Herb Garden was designed and is maintained "for use and delight."  Its use is educational:  to give its caretakers and visitors an understanding of the design and of how herbs have been used throughout history.  Its delight is the enjoyment of the scents, textures, colors, scale, design and traditional legends associated with herb gardens through the centuries."  Bonnie and I are always delighted to visit and this time there were the ladies of the unit along with a staff member from the CBG working on the maintenance.  I think I have said this before but I used to be intimidated by this garden, but now I am inspired.  All of the members who work in this garden have a big passion for herbs and educating the public.  It shows ladies in the beautiful precision with which this garden is maintained.  This will be a yearly visit for Bonnie and I.  The unit has a wonderful herb fair (the 71st) on Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 10 AM to 3 PM.  We are looking forward to attending!  There is so much more to the CBG and I will show you those gardens in a future post!
A Plaque of the Plan of the Western Reserve Herb Garden!
Beautiful Ornamentation!
Mill Stones and Knot Garden!  Perfect Combination!
A Bed in the Culinary Garden Celebrating the 2016 Herb of the Year, Capsicum!

Can You Find A Weed in This Double Chamomile Lawn?  Amazing!
The Medicinal Herb Garden!
The Hips of the Cinnamon Rose!
A Cardoon in Bloom in the Dye Garden!
The Beautiful Formal Structure of the Western Reserve Herb Garden!
The Terrace Garden
The Herbal Posse!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bronze Fennel Is Blooming!

It is another scorcher here in the 'Burgh! Wanted to show the bronze fennel in bloom.  One of my favorites this time of year in the herb garden!  Another road trip is happening tomorrow and I will share that with you later in the day.  Hope you are staying cool.  Talk to you tomorrow!
I Love Bronze Fennel Blooming in the Garden and So do the Beneficials!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Not Much To Say Today!

Pretty from the Inside!
Still hot and muggy!  Not much going on in the garden or maybe there is, I just didn't get out there to find out!  Hope you had a great day!  More tomorrow!

Monday, July 25, 2016

A 'Hot Papaya' for A Really Hot Day!

I don't know how my friends in the southern part of the U.S. stand this heat all summer!  I have become a wimp in the heat!  Well, OK I have never been much for the heat.  I still love winter and bundling up against the cold!  So with that thought in mind, here is something to heat you back up. I think you might call it an Echinacea on steroids, 'Hot Papaya' coneflower.  I do eat a lot more tropical fruit since I married The Herbal Husband.  I always try to find a flower or herb plant I think he will enjoy.  This flower is a double flower with a slight fragrance which I knew he would enjoy as well.  We placed it in the center of the row above the rock wall.  Not sure whether it is perennial for us.  Fingers crossed it is.  The chipmunks like to make tunnels and that is sometimes the end of a plant above the rocks.

So the dog days of summer are here and will be through the end of the week.  Thank goodness we did get a storm last night and we are to get more rain today.  Of course when The Herbal Husband gets the hose out and waters, the faucet turns on from above!  Hope you are staying cool wherever you may be.  Talk to you tomorrow.
My Favorite Coneflower!

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!
One of My New Favorites-Golden Feverfew!

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!
The Hostas Are Beautiful with All of the Rain!

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.
'Grosso' Lavender and a Ginger Scented Geranium

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.

Just Enough Cinnamon Basil for a Batch!

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.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Raspberry Jam and A Nap!

A Bit of A Wild Garden in My Backyard!
Started out in my kitchen making raspberry jam.  It is the third box!  Then I guess a nap sounded good this afternoon.  Didn't get a whole lot in the garden until late.  Just one of those days!  We were in the back gardens pulling weeds and putting more compost around the new plants.  Trying to come up with a plan.  It is a lot of space and I might really let it go a bit wild.  Photos tomorrow!  Hope you had a great day.  It was a great day here.  Talk to you tomorrow!