Friday, April 30, 2010

Lavender Survives the Winter Indoors!

These two beauties made it through the winter in a west facing window.  The Grey French lavender looks a little sparse on the left.  It is coming back from the base.  The one on the right is a personal favorite of mine, 'Goodwin Creek' lavender because of its gray foliage.  Both of these lavenders would not have made it through this past winter.  So take heart if you decide to bring a tender lavender inside this coming fall and winter, you can do it with a southern, western or even eastern window.  It was summer for us today in the 80's.  May will be full of ups and downs temperature wise.  Hope you had a wonderful day wherever you may be.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheep Rooms on Thursdays!

It's still Thursday, right?  Well, better late than never.  I've been off track for a couple of weeks.  Here is the my cheep room for this week.  As you can see, it's an indoor one.  It says, "Welcome to My Humble Aboot".

The Annual Nine Flower Chive Blossom Omelet!

One of the early signs of summer is the blooming of the chives!  It is an Allium and a member of the onion family.  So when The Herbal Husband cooks Saturday breakfast, he offers to make me a chive blossom omelet.  I always say yes and then regret it later.  You see he puts eight or nine WHOLE blossoms into the omelet.  The omelet isn't feeding eight people!  It is feeding just me!  So if he offers this year.  I'm going to gently remind him to just put a few parts of the blossom in the omelet!  Hope you are enjoying the day wherever you may be.  Going out to exercise.  It's a beautiful day here and then I'm going to tackle moving some herbs around.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Little Knot Garden Gone Wry Again!

I will be experimenting with my little patch I call my knot garden within my herb garden.  Now that we have had rain for several days, my herb garden has grown up!  It's a wild thing!  I did prune and trim it back and here are several photos with comments.
This is a sage 'Nazareth'.  I really liked it because it was a silver contrast in this section of the garden.  Now it is too big and you can't see it very easily here, but it is mostly new foliage is green!  You say it's bigger and that's a bad thing, Lemon Verbena Lady?  Well, I was trying to keep plants smaller!  So much for that experiment!
This is a Provencal Thyme, Thymus vulgaris 'Provencal'.   It has become a favorite of mine.  It is an upright thyme and lots of thymes are creeping.  This one also has tiny pink flowers now!   I think unusual for a thyme especially because we are still having cold nights like this morning and tomorrow morning is going to be cold.  I got my Provencal thyme at Mulberry Creek Herb Farm.  Unfortunately, they are not doing any more mail order, but if you are in the Huron, Ohio area and Cedar Point, you should definitely check out their farm.  They are open March 16-July 31, Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5 PM and open Sundays in May only 1-5 PM.  Their annual Herbfair will feature a Japanese theme this year.  It will be held Saturday, June 26 from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday June 27 from Noon to 5 PM.  Admission is $5.00 per adult (includes 1 free herb) (Kids are free and so are classes.)  They have lots of vendors with herbal themes.
It looked like I had lost my curry plants Helichrysum italicum (angustifolia).  When I trimmed back the dried and dead stems, they were still alive!  Very exciting!  Here is one of the plants after I finished.
I was hoping to get this post up this morning.  It didn't happen Blogger was playing with my photo upload feature.  So looking forward to warmer weather!  Can't wait to plant!  Moving some herbal titans tomorrow!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Going to Have Berries Soon If The Wildlife Behave!

I'm not including The Herbal Husband in the word Wildlife!  Maybe I should! Always exciting in the spring garden to have fruit to look forward to eating!  Strawberry flowers here!   A cool and raw day in the garden but we should be in the 70's by the end of the week.  We have some of the strawberry plants under a chicken wire enclosure because the deer like to browse the plants.  If it's not the deer pulling the plants out, it's the birds pecking the ripening fruit!  We have to be on our toes as usual!  Well, got to move plants inside, frost tonight!  Can't wait to plant!  Talk to you later.  By the way, Happy 13th Birthday to Miss C!  Can't believe you are officially a teenager!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Way Overdue--My Zombie Chicken Award and Awardees

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.

My buddy, Julie from Laughing Horse Art bestowed this esteemed honor upon me weeks ago!  So at the possibility of risking the wrath of the zombie chickens, I choose the following worthy bloggers:

Bloom Where You're Planted
Because Penelope really just has a laid back and playful garden and she has a parrot now.  Check him out!

The Irish Oriental Garden
Barry lives in a beautiful part of the world and shares his garden and life with all of us.

Texas Tufa
I love Tufa Girl's love of Texas, her gardens and her life.

Along Life's Highway-The Yard Art Game
I am usually left speechless in a good way when I visit Along Life's Highway.  Checkout this one of a kind blog and join in!  I still need to!

Sharon Lovejoy writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island
Sharon is getting all kinds of awards for her new and adorable book, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars.  So why not a Zombie Chicken award!

OK, just pass it on to five worthy bloggers!  Congratulations!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Favorite Pruners!

These are my favorite new pruners!  They are from Fiskars.  You can find them under floral shears.  They are very light weight and precise when I am not necessarily that way.  I was working on pruning the lavender and could get into the tightest spots with them.  Here is some of my handy work.
It's a little difficult to tell, but they are easy to use and make pruning very simple.  Well, we finally got rain here in the 'Burgh so hopefully we will be able to do some more herbal moving around tomorrow.  Gardenline in the morning.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Up In The Air!

This is sort of a repeat from last spring, but new photo!  The Herbal Husband has promised to stay home next March, because that is the time we need to prune a lot of our shrubs.  This one needs to be trimmed right after it is finished blooming.  It hopefully will be done soon!  The blooms are waaay up in the bush rather than at nose level.  This is Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation'.  It is a beautiful purple color with a white edge to it.  Syringa vulgaris is an edible flower.  You can use them to decorate cakes or dessert plates.  Make sure you eat organically grown flowers, nothing sprayed or chemically treated.  Hope you are having a good day wherever you are.  We are off to a one year old's birthday party!  I think it is mostly to get the adults together!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Road Trip/More Herbal Babies!

I think taking some time off has thrown me off completely.  Not as in tune with blogging as I once was!  Maybe it was the 500th post that has done it.  I have spoiled you all by blogging every day.  Hopefully, I will get back in that frame of mine soon, because I have lots of pictures to share with you of the garden.

Well, I'm still off track because this is one of my favorite herb farms in Ohio, Lily of the Valley.  They have a nice color catalog and if you are within 3 hours of the nursery, they will send you a copy.  They are located 5 miles south of Alliance and 10 miles north of Minerva.  We (my herbal companion, Bonnie and I) look forward to this visit every year.  It was in jeopardy a few years ago when they tried to sell the property.  It didn't happen!  Fortunately, for everyone it has stayed in business and produces beautiful plants every year.  So if you are in the vicinity, please go buy some wonderful herbs, annuals, perennials or Ohio native plants.  We were there early this year to take advantage of their scented geranium sale and we did not miss out on too much!  The heirloom tomatoes they grow weren't ready.  As you can see from the photo below, I didn't leave much for you too chose!  Just kidding!  Have to go help The Herbal Husband move potted plants around, including these little darlings!  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Found Some New Herbal Kids!

Never thought I would say this.  We went to Home Depot for lumber yesterday and came home with these darlings, 'Boxwood' basil.  I would say for the price run, don't walk over to your local Home Depot and see if they have some for you!  The only downside is that they can't go in the ground yet and it is always a slippery slope in our house to have too many young herbs waiting to go in the ground.  Basil especially does not like cold soil.  Hopefully, it won't be long now before we can plant these in the herb garden.  I have just the spot!

My master gardening friend gave us this mint last year and as you can see, it has come back very nicely.  Oh, it is a silver mint, moderately invasive, relative of common spearmint and doubles as an ornamental.  I have mint everywhere in the garden and have learned my lesson.  In a container is the only way to have mint in your garden!

This last darling is my name sake, lemon verbena.  An anonymous comment led me to show you how our lemon verbena weathered the winter.  It was in a south facing window and did well until an attack of white flies really brought it back to reality!   If it hadn't been attacked, it would probably be a little larger with larger leaves.  It is rebounding rather well and it will go into the ground and we will have a new little one for this pot.  It will not go out until all danger of frost is gone, mid-May or later.  Always keep your eye on a 14 day temperature trend around this time of year.  It lets you know when you can start planting those tender herbs like, basil or lemon verbena.  Going on a road trip tomorrow to buy what else, herbs!  Stay tuned.  Haven't forgotten about those Zombie Chicken Awards either, really!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guest Blogging for The Herb Companion Magazine!

I know this looks like weeds, but they are garlic greens and they can be used in stir fries.  They have the flavor of garlic, but a little milder.  All kinds of good herbs are coming up in the garden.  I have written a guest blog about some of my favorites for The Herb Companion magazine.  Here is the article: Spring Garden Tips:  3 Springtime Recipes.  Hope you enjoy it and are enjoying your spring herb garden as well.  Zombie Chicken Awards tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Was Hopeful!

Yesterday while sitting in front of the computer, I was hopeful that I could get my selections made for the Zombie Chicken award.  It was not to be.  As I opened Blogger to get started, my power went off!  We had a rainstorm the night before and our power flashed off and back on, but we didn't lose it because of the storm.  When I called the power company, they always have that cheerful automatic voice that tells you when to expect your power back on.  11:30 PM, April 18th!  Fortunately, they were way off, but it threw me off.  Although I did get off the hook for dinner.  We had Chinese.  I have to go burn off a few more calories than I had planned on having!  So hopefully as Scarlett said, "Tomorrow is another day!"  Above is my Kerria japonica.  The common name is Japanese rose.  Beautiful green stems and leaves.  Wonderful in the spring garden.  Talk to you later.  Thanks for hanging around!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Feels Like I Have Been Gone For Awhile!

Half of April is gone already!  The Herbal Husband arrived back in the US with an respiratory illness of some kind.  Always lots of fun.  I didn't get too close!  Haven't gotten sick yet!  He is much better and so is the garden.   Lots of piles of sticks, branches and broken bits.  We lost very few plants, but the broken parts were everywhere.  This is from the left part of the front garden.  It was quite a mess.  We are pretty caught up.  My banner photo is from yesterday.  You see The Herbal Husband's car to the left in the photo, because we are still moving potted plants in and out of the garage until the nighttime temperature has moderated.  Always something!

Julie of Laughing Horse Art has bestowed me with the Zombie Chicken Award.  Thanks Julie for thinking of me.  Sorry I haven't been around to award it to others.  I need to work on my five additional awardees!  Hopefully, I get that done over the weekend.  I will leave you with some of the spring blooms in the garden.  Going out with our friends, Jim and Laverne this evening!  Talk to you later!