Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pinwheels to the Rescue!

I love gray plants. The sparrows also love my gray plants! It's not what you think though. You're thinking like I was that it was for their nests. Wrong! They just clip the leaves and leave them on the ground. These are mini plants so they can't take much clipping! We brought out a secret weapon, our delightful pinwheels! They seem to work as far as when the wind blows, they spin and keep the birds from clipping. It is in the morning that we will see how they really worked. We may have to get bird netting until they get a little bigger! They really are trying my patience! Just like kids! Still planting plants! Hope to be done tomorrow! Another gorgeous day here! Hope it was good for you also!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Herbal Patchwork!

We are still working on planting the herbs I bought. I actually went and bought some more herbs and flowers this morning! This is the new part of my herb garden. I think it is going to look good. From the bathroom window, it looks like a herbal patchwork quilt! It has compact sage, Nazareth sage, curry plant and Provencal thyme and of course mini boxwoods. An herbal experiment! The linear-leaf thyme is in full bloom. Will take another photo later in the season if it looks good! I'll take a photo either way.

We also worked on getting some tender herbs in containers like an African Blue basil, grey French lavender and in the right hand corner a Peruvian flower called heliotrope! Wonder why we got that? Oh, the Herbal Husband! We had a beautiful day here in the garden! Hope it was great where you are!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Road Trip--Mulberry Creek Herb Farm!

Three of my master gardening friends and I made the trek to Mulberry Creek Herb Farm yesterday. The sales area at Mulberry Creek Herb Farm was full of beautiful herbs and miniatures. They are getting ready for their Annual Herb Fair, June 27th and 28th. If you are thinking about visiting the farm, it would be a good time to go then. This year's theme is Ireland & Going Greener, hence, the green roof on the shed.The owner, Mark Langan, was on his way to make a delivery to one of my favorite herb shops, The Village Herb Shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Mark loves unusual herbs and miniatures. He definitely is a plant collector, but his mission is to help his customers get the most unusual plants in the country. They make a lot of wonderful troughs and containers. Here is just a sampling! Had a great day with my friends! What's not to love about buying herbs, miniatures and having lunch!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's Travel Thursday---Ole! Ole! It's Malaga, Spain!

I want to backtrack and talk about our wonderful trip to Spain. Again we went to the Costa del Sol and Malaga, Spain. Here are the flower vendors that are very popular in Spain and other places in Europe.

We even found a vendor who was selling HERBS!
You can walk everywhere. There are many pedestrian walkways and again are beautifully immaculate!

Even the churros and chocolate are delicious on a warm day!

The beach, sea and sunset at 50 mph! Beautiful Spain! Hope you enjoyed a taste of a fantastic area!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Never a Dull Moment in the Garden!

Lots of blooming going on out front in our garden! Above is a peony which we transplanted last year from under a shrub. So we replanted it at the correct depth because it bloomed! Sorry I don't remember the name of the peony. To the right is a red poppy. Looks like red paper. It is beautiful, but very fragile and if we get a lot of rain, it will be finished blooming quickly. The big picture is the jungle that is the front yard. We have to clear out the weeds, but we leave a few for the insects. We have new baby sparrows living in the ivy on the front of the house. It gets quite noisy at times! Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Rainy Day in the Herb Garden!

Really pouring in the herb garden today! Thank goodness. We have been down about two inches so this is a very welcomed day in the garden. I got some of my 1,000 plants (The Herbal Husband's estimate) planted yesterday. As you may be able to see the grape got leaf frost, but not fruit. So we may have some grapes this year, just not as many as in past years. The chives have exploded and I am now lobbying for some of them to move on! Always trying for a new herbal opportunity! Have to make room somewhere for the rest of the 1,000 herbs (A huge exaggeration!) to be planted!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering on Memorial Day!

Add ImageHere is the American cemetery at Normandy, France. I thought it would be an appropriate photo to use for today. My adopted dad was in World War II and it changed his life forever! The Herbal Husband and I just talked to our friend who was a pilot in World War II. He doesn't think of himself as a hero, but even his church today honored the veterans who were in attendance today. I think everyone is affected by war and are proud of the men and women who served and serve our country now. Think of them and have them in your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No It's a. . .

praying mantis made of bamboo leaves! The Herbal Husband found a street vendor in New York City that was selling these items made like origami! He also bought me a dragon fly. Equally cool!
It's the little things in life that keep it wonderful for me. Every day for me is different, new and exciting! I have a great life and I'm trying to enjoy every day to the fullest. You should too!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Healthy Patch of Tansy!

I have been lobbying The Herbal Husband to "move" this tansy to another location in the garden. The compost pile! It is aggressive and I would love to be able to plant other herbs there for the company we are going to get later this summer. Just when I thought there was movement toward moving some of it, I looked this morning and found LADYBUGS on the tansy!
Well, can't move the tansy NOW! Look how they love it! If there are ladybugs on it, it may not be as healthy as I think it is! Maybe this is another plant they winter over on! Timing is everything and maybe there is a reason not to move the tansy now. I'll label this part of my herb garden, The Herbal Husband's and Ladybug Central's Tansy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Latest Guest Blog at The Herb Companion Magazine!

Here is a link to my latest guest blog for The Herb Companion magazine about my visit to The Cloisters in New York City. Hope you enjoy it!

Thyme in the Herb Garden!

Lots of blooming going on the herb garden including this linear leaf thyme. This was buried by a huge santolina so it is slightly skewed to one side. So I have to find other herbs to fill the spaces in this container. As you might be able to see, this container is falling apart! The Herbal Husband says he will fix it! It is always something and especially with company coming, we need to have a good herbal foundation! Hope you enjoy Memorial Day and the weekend wherever you may be! I also want to say congratulations to Jekka McVicar on winning her 14th Gold Metal at the Chelsea Flower Show this week! Hope to get to her herb farm in Bristol some day soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Herbal Rite of Spring--Lily of the Valley Herb Farm!

This is a happy place that my neighbor (the Herbal Companion) and I come to each spring to savor the smell of herb plants and other flowers in the air. This is Lily of the Valley Herb Farm outside Alliance, Ohio. It is a two hour drive each way for us, but it is pleasurable knowing we will have such beautiful herbs to smell on the way home.This is a small herbal area where they have potted herbs inside. I forgot to take a picture of the display gardens. Oops, too busy buying herbs!

We stopped at my friend's to drop off some scented geraniums and her rock garden was in bloom and beautiful.

Here are the plants I bought at Lily of the Valley. The Herbal Husband may have an herbal stroke when he sees how many I bought! Have a lot of herbal holes to fill before company comes! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Got A Whole Lot of Catching Up to Do!

Had a friend visiting from Peru and he wanted to go to New York City. Not a problem! The Herbal Husband and I had not been in 13 years! So off we went last Tuesday. Above is a beautiful arrangement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I got in free when I spent the day at The Cloisters. I will talk more about that in another post.
We stayed on the Upper East Side of NYC. Wonderful neighborhood and great restaurants. Wish the accommodations had been better, but for three of us it was cheap! Here is Eli's Foods and they have beautiful figs growing in containers as ours are here. They were also selling beautiful herbs and could be the Tiffany of grocery stores in NYC! Expensive! We also had tea in the garden at Alice's Tea Cup.

I had "The Nibble". Believe me it was a "BIG NIBBLE!" The top plate was a delicious mixed berry scone. The middle tray was an egg salad sandwich and the bottom plate was assorted cookies. I was in heaven! My tea was the Rose Tea Melange which included roses, various white teas and seasonal botanicals. My pinky was definitely extended!

The garden did not stop growing while we were gone, but it is beautiful this time of year. Renewal is wonderful. Also the radishes are enormous as you can see!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Moon Over the Herb Garden!

We are back after a wonderful trip to New York City! This moon picture was the morning we left for the Big Apple! It was early! We took the train! It was a long day up and back! Not going to do that again. Sorry Amtrak! Just wanted to let you know we are dragging a little and still more adventures with our friend until he leaves on Wednesday. So I will tell you about our adventures in more detail then!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Herbal Timeout!

Well, as you can see I have put the sign up again! I might actually do a little of what the sign says! So talk amongst yourselves and the Herbal Husband and I will be back shortly with more herbal tales!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Road Trip--Niagara Falls, NY!

We started our visit with Old Fort Niagara! Its history spans more than 300 years. This is the French Castle. It was originally the sole structure of Fort Niagara and made to look like a large trading house to calm the Iroquois. The Castle has been restored to its 1727 appearance. It is harsh reality. This is the Commander's quarters. Much nicer than the enlisted men.The Fort is
located at the confluence of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.

What is most amazing is that they had a very small herb garden. The wind was fierce and these herbs were doing surprisingly well. These chives in the pot were going to bloom! There was hyssop and thyme near the chives. The herbs in the raised bed on this end are tarragon, lovage, lavender and Roman chamomile. It is a testament to the hardiness of some herbs in adverse conditions! There was also rhubarb, garlic, kale and onions further down the bed. So if you have a wind problem where you garden, consider growing some of these herbal hardy souls!

We stayed at a very nice place called The Red Coach Inn. It reminded the Herbal Husband and I of England! We had a beautiful little apartment. Again, very English in decor. It was very charming! The gardens out front were getting blown to bits by the wind and they were very hardy plants, including lavender, roses, hostas, and ajuga to name a few. P.S. You should stay two nights if you can. I drove four hours up yesterday and four hours back today! A lot nuts! Here is a final picture of the Bridal Veil Falls! Powerful and beautiful all at the same time!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Road Trip--Fallingwater!

No, you say to yourself, "That doesn't look like Fallingwater!" You are correct. It's not! I was going to write a wonderful story about Frank Lloyd Wright even had room for an herb garden at Fallingwater. They have planted new herbs in the bed. It actually looks a little better than my garden at the moment! They have security cameras everywhere now even at the famous outlook that shows the house and falls. Just picture it, because I can't show it to you. I got some outside pictures when I wasn't supposed to be taking pictures! Oops! I even pleaded my case to take pictures of the herb garden! Our guide was by the book! I didn't want my blog shut down or taken away. So click on the link above and you will get a glimpse of what we saw today.

Seriously, if you are going to be in the western Pennsylvania area this summer, please come and see one of the Smithsonian Institution's 28 Sights to See Before You Pass to the Great Beyond! There are only two in this country and the others are in the west (the Grand Canyon) and other places in the world (too far)! Oh, the picture above is of a lone trillium along the path to the house that you can't see because they don't want just any picture of Fallingwater on the internet. I'm sure there are thousands of pictures of Fallingwater out there, just not one of mine! The trillium trail protected by deer fencing is in full bloom in the Fox Chapel area of Pittsburgh. Hope you get to enjoy it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Travel Thursday--Food of Spain and Peru too!

We ate very well while we were in Spain. Bacalao (salted cod) with olive oil, tomato on toasted bread at a local restaurant in Riogordo.
Vegetable tortilla at a restaurant called El Chinitas in Malaga.

The Herbal Husband cooked carapulca with his famous rice. Memories of Peru for our host.

My favorite was paella at the Parador de Nerja. It is a beautiful resort by the Mediterranean Sea. I handled the lobster quite well. It was delish! All of the food we had was spectacular! The view was breathtaking!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lots of Life in the Veggie Bed!

This is a fairly large bed and it is starting to fill up with all kinds of lettuces, arugula, radishes, (both seeded ones and volunteers), spinach and that lovely herbal space hog, borage! That full green strip to the right is the arugula and the radishes are everywhere! They are such fast growers and delicious when picked at the right time. The Herbal Husband sometimes thinks bigger is better! Not when it comes to picking radishes. I have to convince him every year! So hope your spring crops are coming along!