Saturday, June 30, 2012

One Way to Get It To Rain!

This is a photo of our front garden!  It's a wild crazy mess of flora and the fauna are around as well.  Oh, back to my story.  Yes, one way we are sure to have rain is that The Herbal Husband spends all day in 97 (He says 98) degree weather only to be chased in by lightning, thunder and RAIN!  He doesn't trust the forecasts and I have to say at times they are incorrect.  I also have to remind myself that it is only June!  I just hope it cools down to where we should be soon!  Getting chores done inside.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I Drive For Your Safety and Mine!

The Herbal Husband was taking his car to be inspected.  He had been noticing insect action around his car.  He decided he had to see what was going on.  Voila!  Yellow jackets building a nest in the trunk of his car.  My statement:  You don't drive it enough!  His statement:  You don't let me drive! (Not really, but I thought it would be funny!)  He really said you're right!  Even funnier!  Well, we were swatting them (not recommended especially during the day) and got rid of them.  That changed what car was going into the garage and I drew the short straw again!  The garage has been almost cleaned out so his 18 year old car can go back inside.  Remember it's for your safety and mine!

Well, it is way too hot outside.  Made a sixth batch of raspberry jam.  So two boxes done!  Take it easy if you are outside in the northeast today and for the rest of the weekend.  The Lavender Festival is going to be a hot one and because of the heat, Bonnie and I have decided not to go to the Lavender Festival this year!  Hopefully next year it will be better!  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Like Riding a Bicycle and the First Annual Lavender Festival

This was my dining room floor this morning and my sink after finishing the third batch of raspberry jam.  I told The Herbal Husband that no matter how I thought I would feel making the first raspberry jam, I still enjoy making it.  The last year's fruit usually doesn't stack up to making jam, but this fruit is different.  I already have a box of jam done!  I mostly make the last year's fruit into vinegar.  That mild winter is helping out again.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to plug an upcoming area event in Washington, PA just south of Pittsburgh.  This coming Saturday and Sunday, June 30th and July 1st, Destiny Hill Farm will be having its first Lavender Festival.  Please click on the link above or on the photo in the right hand side of my home page.  You will find a schedule of speakers, a list of vendors and a menu of lavender inspired lunch items catered by the local golf club.  They will have lavender wand demos and you will be able to cut your own lavender.  You will need to go to Trinity High School near by to park and take a shuttle to the farm.  You will not be able to park at the farm.  My herbal companion, Bonnie and I are going.   If you are in the area, check it out.

Getting hotter in the garden.  There is a lot blooming in the garden and I'll share that with you in future posts.  Hope you are staying cool wherever you may be.  Talk to you later. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One of My Favorites This Time of Year!

This red bee balm is just beautiful.  Remember it is an edible flower.  The petals have that spice that the leaves have.  Delicious in a fruit salad.  Haven't seen one hummingbird yet this year.  Maybe will start to see them soon?  I hope.  There is always hope.  A delightful day in the garden.  Need to get the lawn (what's left of it) mowed.  Then pick more raspberries!  Was just dog tired yesterday from picking.  I don't know how farm hands do it!  Will be making jam tomorrow morning.  Here is an early post for my raspberry jam recipe.  Look at the date September, 2008 and it is just June!  I do get a break for a time.  These are last year's canes, but they are producing like crazy.  Mild winter, I guess.  Hope you are having a great day!  The mower is ready for me to mow.  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Blogging for The Herb Companion Magazine!

This is a 'Brother Cadfael' rose.  It didn't make my top five favorites, but it is definitely in the top ten!  Here is a link for my guest post for The Herb Companion magazine called Celebrating the 2012 Herb of the Year:  5 Favorite Roses.  Have been picking raspberries all afternoon and I need to pick more tomorrow!  I see raspberry jam in my future!  The berries have been magnificent!  It was a beautiful day here in the 'Burgh!  Hope you had a great one as well.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Is It a Comma or a Question Mark?

This little guy or girl didn't stay around long enough for me to get a great photo!  I do know this much that it is an angled-winged butterfly.  My National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies says, "They have sharply angled, somewhat irregular wings.  When the wings are folded at rest, the drab undersides resemble leaves or pieces of bark, making them difficult to see.  The undersides tend to be somewhat brighter shades of orange and rust-brown.  This group includes angelwings, tortoiseshells, commas and question marks, as well as leafwings, snouts and daggerwings."  It is definitely this group.  I just will hope that we get another visit before the end of the growing season!  We have had some outstanding insects this season already and we have just started summer!  Finally, got our tomatoes planted!  I guess it is never too late.  Hopefully, you have had a great day.  Going to be slightly cooler tomorrow and Tuesday before the heat comes back.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Video Tour of the Herb Garden, Sort of!

Well, I don't think I will win an Oscar, but after almost a year of owning my camera, I discovered that it is fairly easy to make videos.  I promise to do a little better job next time!  Since the batteries didn't run right out, I'll maybe focus on just one herb in the next opportunity.  I thought you would like seeing what is really going on in my herb garden instead of a static photo.  I was weeding in the back gardens and really enjoying the quiet (except for the motorcycles) and the birds singing.  The temperatures are going to cool off starting Monday.  So let me know what you think.  Probably using up a lot of photo storage!  Talk to you later.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

LVL's Pesto Recipe and Remembering Jekka!

Well, you knew I had to give a recipe of mine since The Herbal Husband gave up his guacamole recipe.  So I was just thinking that it has been a year since Jekka made it across the pond to visit us for the Herb Society Conference.   I loved having her at my home and the adventures we had together were fun.   Here is a link to a post I did for The Herb Companion called The Herb Channeler's Adventures with Jekka McVicar.  I made her arugula pesto recipe from her cookbook last year.  This year I toned it down just a bit.  So here is my version and maybe you're thinking a bit of lemon verbena in it!  I actually did think about it and maybe will try in later in the season.  This is a link to my post in 2009 with my very favorite Pesto recipe from the Washington Post.  We are at 94 degrees today, but luckily we are going back down from here and may even be in the 70's next week!

Lemon Verbena Lady's Pesto

1 c. of arugula (stems removed)
1 c. of parsley (stems removed)
1 c. of mixed basil (leaves from removing flowers)
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. lemon zest
1 clove of garlic
2 T. pine nuts (or other nuts you may have on hand)
3 T. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a food processor or blender, add clove of garlic while machine is running.  Then add arugula, parsley and basil, lemon juice, zest and pine nuts.  Pulse to chop.  Then add olive oil while machine is running until mixture is paste consistency.  Add the cheese, salt and pepper and give it one or two final pulses and a final taste.

The parsley and basil cut the peppery flavor of the arugula.  I loved Jekka's original version and since I had some parsley in the freezer I needed to use and the extra basil leaves, I thought I would try something different.  BTW, I forgot to mention I tried a bit of pesto on some boiled potatoes and it was delish!  Hope you like it.  It is just terribly hot here.  The sunflower seeds I just planted are already coming up!  I'm going to have at least 11 giant sunflowers!  So stay cool if you are in this heat wave and hope you are having a great day as well.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Herbal Husband's Guacamole Recipe!

Get out the scoops and dig in!  Oh, sorry.  You need to make it first!   I'm here to share The Herbal Husband's Guacamole recipe.  Now he says please make it your own if there is something that he has left out.

The Herbal Husband's Guacamole
Feeds 2 Hungry Gardeners at Lunch or 4 Normal People as an Appetizer.

2 ripe avocados, mashed
2 small tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, diced
A couple of sprigs of parsley, chopped
A bit (1 sprig)  of cilantro, chopped
A bunch (4 or 5) of green tops from scallions, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mash avocados with big fork, add salt and pepper to taste and one teaspoon of olive oil (maybe less).  Mix it, taste it and then add the scallion tops (and if you want more onion flavor, add the bottoms).  Then add the chopped parsley and cilantro (and again, add more of each if you like it).  I do like cooked cilantro better than raw so he doesn't put in as much as he could if I weren't around!  Mix together and add the tomatoes at the end.

The Herbal Husband has added a squeeze or two of lemon or lime juice, but I think it is very good just the way it is.  I like it better without the lemon or lime juice.  You may like it better with.  So hope you enjoy it.

We really have the stickies and ickies.  We got a couple of sunflower beds planted and I finally got seeds from last year's gift from Miss C planted.  I'll get photos of both beds so you can see the seedlings (hopefully) popping UP!  Hope you are having a great day.  Hope to add to The Herbal Husband's Recipes category from previous posts.  I did find a recipe for Causa and Lomo Saltado which are two of my favorite dishes from Peru so I added it to Herbal Husband Recipes.  I found a quick lunch idea of chicken salad in an avocado half as well.  We may have a cookbook before he is done!  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Tale of A Boxwood named 'Morris Midget'!

Once upon a time there were nine boxwood bushes that Lemon Verbena Lady wanted to use to make a knot garden.  She had always dreamed of having a small knot like in Medieval days.   She went to one of her favorite herb farms in Ohio called Mulberry Creek Herb Farm and found the perfect size boxwood, called 'Morris Midget'.

Her knot looked like an herbal quilt.  Sadly, though by the end of the season, 'Morris Midget' had been buried by the sages!  Seems no matter how Lemon Verbena Lady plants her herb garden, there is always an herb that overachieves!
The next season there was a radical departure from the knot garden and Lemon Verbena Lady moved the boxwoods to their own garden overlooking the herb garden.
There were room for just eight boxwoods and the ninth boxwood had to be "plunked" into its own space far away from the others.
This winter wasn't a harsh winter for any plants in the herb garden, but Lemon Verbena Lady was sad to see that her beloved boxwoods in their very own garden did not do so well.

In fact, Lemon Verbena Lady may have to make a road trip back to her favorite herb farm (Too bad, not really!), Mulberry Creek Herb Farm to get a couple of replacements!  Just when you thought there might be a sad ending to this tale, Lemon Verbena Lady looked to find the 'Morris Midget' that was placed in a separate bed on its own to be thriving!
There is the space where 'Morris Midget' was and here 'Morris' is in its own 12" container!
So the morale of this tale is no matter where you are planted in a garden, you can be an herbal overachiever!  The End!

We have the sticky ickies back.  We are going to be off the charts for the first day of summer later this week.  90's for the next three days.  Almost have everything planted.  Finally.  Some years it takes weeks to get everything planted.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

One Down, Shelley and A Few To Go!

Sometimes with The Herbal Husband I pick what battles I'm really going to fight for.  I have been trying to quietly get the butterfly bushes removed from the patio for a while.  Not only because they are an invasive species, but the roots will ruin the patio!   My master gardener friend, Shelley was over the other day and added to the pressure I was putting on him to move them.  It worked Shelley, sort of.  You might think that the first butterfly bush was a back for the concrete bench!  Frankly it was just in the way and fortunately for me not flowering!  That would have been the kiss of butterfly bush death if it had been flowering.  Meaning it would have been moved after it was done flowering, maybe.  I have been saying to him that it is on the invasive list and he finally heard me!  Of course, this project was not on any list, but out the butterfly bush came.

Then there was a brick that had sunk down in the patio and he had to fix that as well.  Here is the finished view.
We have to work on the left side of the photo.  There are two butterfly bushes there in full bloom, but we'll move those in the fall, hopefully.  As The Herbal Husband said now you can sit on your bench on a hot day and contemplate how long you're going to sit there!  Hey as long as it's moved out, it is always a good thing for me!  Hope you are having a wonderful Father's Day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Like Some Herbal Volunteers!

In all of this mess that is our "vegetable" garden is a lone volunteer of cilantro.  I made the photo a bit larger.  Upper center part of the photo.  We have cilantro plants that have not gone in the ground and are about to go to seed!  Oops!  Some years that is just how it is.  I use lemon balm (that's right under the cilantro) as a ground cover almost when I'm short on ideas.  It will be a quick post today because the weather is so nice outside, we have to keep working!  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My cousin, Jack, passed away over the weekend.  He lived to 82 and for the last six years had emphysema (maybe longer) so he was on oxygen 24/7.  That was sad enough but to also learn that his house that he and his family had lived since 1969 was heavily damaged by fire in late May was really devastating to take.  His memorial service was today in northern Pennsylvania.  I just couldn't bring myself to go.  Every family funeral I have been to recently I have been brought back to when my father was killed in an accident and my mother didn't take me to say goodbye.  I should probably be over it by now (over 50 years ago), but it was and still is devastating.  I want to share with you and my family a poem that was read at my mother's funeral.

Miss Me -- But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
  and the sun has set for me.
I want no rites in a gloom filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little -- but not too long
and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that was once shared
Miss me -- but let me go.
For this is a journey we must all take
and each must go alone.
It is all a part of the Master's plan
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me -- but let me go.

                                                                                    Author Unknown

Rest in peace, Jack.  My love, thoughts and prayers are with his sister and his family.  I will talk to you later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sometimes There Are Surprises in the Mail!

I had every intention of doing this post sooner.  You will see why I say that later.  The Herbal Husband is an Ebay buyer.  He gets purchases from everywhere.  Several weeks ago, he received something from Denver, Colorado and the seller was nice enough to wrap it in this supplement to The Denver Post.  Since I have readers from everywhere in the world and maybe 1 or 2 from Colorado, I wanted to give you the link to Betty Cahill's article called A Rose by Any Other Name?  Call It an Herb.  She has a lot of good links in the article including a  rose recipe or two from the International Herb Association.  I always find good cultural information in every extension office website offered and there is a link to Colorado State University extension publications about Selecting and Planting Roses in Colorado.  Ms. Cahill talks about Colorado having four native species roses:  Rosa acicularis, Rosa arkansana, Rosa stellata and Rosa woodsii.  The final piece of information was about a tour of a rose collection at Fairmount Cemetery on June 9, 2012.  Sorry about that.  Maybe you can still see the collection in bloom if you hurry!  I just submitted my next guest post for The Herb Companion about roses so I'll let you know when it is up on their site.

Going to get stormy here.  So perfect day to go to the movies.  It is called The Intouchables, a true story.  I think it has French subtitles.  Loved, loved, loved this movie.  Had dinner at our favorite Aji Picante.  Had my two favorites, Causa and Arroz con leche.  Delicious!  Had to get out the crystalized ginger.  It worked very well.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lemon Verbena Lady's Book Review for Timber Press-What's Wrong With My Vegetable Garden? by David Deardorff & Kathryn Wadsworth

My next book review for Timber Press is called What's Wrong With My Vegetable Garden? by David Deardorff & Kathryn Wadsworth.  This book brought me right back to the days that I volunteered as a Penn State master gardener answering the public's questions on Gardenline.  I wish I had had a copy of this book back then, but certainly glad I have it now.  This book is all about being organic, but it does have chemical solutions if the problem is beyond the beyond as far as control.  I liked having all of the solutions from least toxic to most in one place.

In the INTRODUCTION called Prepare for Success, Deardorff and Wadsworth talk about four essential physical factors for success in the vegetable garden (or any garden as a matter of fact):  temperature, soil, light and water.  Each has a related problems chart that shows photos of the most common problems with symptoms and diagnoses and cross-referenced solutions.  Love those cross-references and charts!

Then the authors talk about 50+ vegetables for the garden in Plant Portraits.  Each has a two page concise description which includes a Family Problem-Solving Guide for each veggie.  They discuss, season, temperature, soil, light, water, garden uses and planting techniques and problem-solving of each vegetable.  The Herbal Husband and I grow a limited number of vegetables in our garden, but with these concise instructions, I feel like we could successfully grow other vegetables as well.  Now the family is really going to think we have a farm and sell produce (We do not sell our produce!)   These pages are edged in dark green so they are easy to locate in the book.

Next Deardorff  and Wadsworth discuss Family Problem-Solving Guide talking about both pests and diseases of each vegetable family with photos and cross referenced solutions from least toxic to most toxic.  I always seem to have the one insect or disease a book doesn't have, but this one seems to have all of the answers or at least the majority of them.  While I always try to use the least toxic solution I can, I was glad to see all of the options including the toxic ones discussed.  I think it is important to see all of the options.

The next section covered is called Organic Solutions to Common Problems.  Deardorff and Wadsworth talk about the five rules in Safety First, such as using the least toxic product first, keep products out the reach of children and pets, read the label and use only as it is directed and on the plant is it labeled for (People think more is better and it is not!), dispose of the product properly as recommended on the label and wear protective clothing and gear if you are going to use a toxic solution.

Change Growing Conditions to Solve Problems is the next section which talks about those four important physical components.  Temperature Solutions which covers cool and warm season crops and modify effects of temperature.  In Soil Solutions, Deardorff and Wadsworth discuss how to create healthy soil, make raised beds, use organic fertilizer, has a chart of Nutrition Guidelines relating to fertilizer and what organic fertilizers to use (could have used this information many times), measure and modify pH, and how to solarize the soil.  The Light Solutions talks about modify the siteWater Solutions gives the reader a lot of options including how to manage water.  This section has several photos to show how to make better use of water with rain barrels, soaker hoses, drip irrigation and other systems.  They also talk about how to improve drainage and watering a container garden.  In Plant Polycultures talks about planting unrelated plants together which makes it harder for pests to find your veggies, diseases can't jump from one plant to another and the garden as a whole attracts beneficial organisms.  Rotate Your Crops is a very important section that gives you a three-year rotation system.  Encourage Beneficials talks about the herbs and flowers that attract beneficials to your vegetable garden.  Learn how to Maintain a Healthy "Home" by weeding, mulching, sanitizing and moving the air.  Solving Pest Problems has a chart of Troublesome Wildlife Problem-Solving Guide and this is where they talk about organic and chemical solutions.  Just as in Solving Pest Problems, Solving Disease Problems are discussed from organic to chemical fixes.

The Appendix is full of good information including Choosing the Right Cultivar, the authors discuss resistant cultivars, annuals, biennials, hybrids, GMO, Heirloom, open-pollinated, perennials and plant patents.  There is a very nice Resources section with information on organic regulations, sources for organic and biological remedies, sources for seeds and plants of disease and pest resistant cultivars and sources for fertilizer, irrigation and other gardening equipment.  And finally, there is a nice page with additional Recommended Reading choices.

As I said at the beginning of this review, I could have used this book when answering questions in my master gardener days.  This book is full of good diagnostic photos and information on solutions for your vegetable garden.  If you are a beginner or an experience gardener, What's Wrong With My Vegetable Garden? by David Deardorff & Kathryn Wadsworth should be on your bookshelf.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Borage 101

The seedlings in this photo are borage!  They can't stay here!

Borage is a beautiful plant but it can also take up valuable space!
Here is the back of the borage hedge where the greens are flourishing!
I decided to answer some of your questions that you wrote in your comments with another post.  Yes, Tracey Steele, borage does get way bigger from the young seedlings you see in photo one.   Now that you have seen mine, you will be able to space yours better.   I think FlowerLady asked if these were from seed.  Yes and no.  I think I got my first two plants from my neighbor and herbal companion, Bonnie.  So when I want to discuss taking plants out, the borage becomes "Bonnie's plant".  Sorry Bonnie. 

For the most part, as long as you remember that borage does get huge, it attracts beneficials which is always a good thing and the pink flowers that turn blue are coveted by gardeners (Yes, I did think I had the wrong plant at first because the flowers are first pink and then turn blue!).  The downside as you might be able to see in the second photo, borage springs up in the pathways and crowds out other plants.  Borage is blocking a maintenance path and I'll be getting in there soon and taken the extras out.  So we did get a package of seeds at some point (I think from a German audience member at one of my talks!) and planted more borage with seed, FlowerLady.  I think we are cruising on self-sowing at the moment.  And yes, PeggyR, sometimes no matter what or how you plant it, borage does not come back.

The last photo is of the back of the borage hedge.  As you might be able to see, the greens are shaded by the size of the borage.  One other point, borage is hard to transplant.  The Herbal Husband when I tell him it can't be transplanted just does it to prove me wrong!  So I would try to transplant it as small as you can and keep it watered.  Like the small seedlings in the first photo would work.  In a nutshell, once you plant borage whether it is plant or seed, it should self-sow for you.  I think that harsh winters can end the self-sowing cycle of borage.

We are very hot today and tomorrow and then we are going to cool down.   Check out some of my blogging buddies, they have great blogs.  You may find a new one to read or follow.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Second Chance Magazine Winners!

After a week of waiting and not hearing from the last two winners of the first drawing, we pulled out the cheese making basket to keep trying for winners.  The Herbal Husband drew these two names:


These two ladies have been faithful readers of my blog for a long time.  So I'm thrilled to have them win.  Please ladies you know the drill.  Send me your mailing information and I'll get them in the mail to you.  Maybe tomorrow if you are quick!  Congratulations!  I have everyone's information now and the last magazine will be in the mail tomorrow!  Thanks for participating!

A Hedge of Borage!

I just want to show you what an herbal space hog that borage can be!  I love the cucumber flavored edible flowers.  I have a few seedling coming up in my herb garden that I have to compost because they will get much too big.  The young leaves are OK for salads.  When the leaves are big, they have the fuzzies and are not very tender.  Also borage in large amounts is not a good thing.  Another blog called Root Simple had this post about Borage:  It's what's for dinner.  In my case my lettuce and other greens are behind the "hedge."  My master gardening friend, Shelley, thinks that the hedge is protecting from the deer browsing my peas and other greens.  Maybe so.  Again, inside when I should be outside.  Hope you have had a great day.  I will be having a Second Chance drawing for the remaining Herb Companion magazines later this evening and you will see the results here on this post.  If you commented on the original magazine post and didn't win the first time, you will have another chance tonight.  Sorry comments are closed.  Stay tuned. Talk to you later.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Continuing Talking Herbal Containers!

We are always running out of space here in the herb garden.  So again think container.  This is a gray fringed lavender that would not be hardy in southwestern Pennsylvania without being planted in a container.  I would use at least a 12" or 14" diameter container.  If you are going to pair the lavender with other plants I would go to a 16" size.  It is a beautiful day and here I am inside typing this post!  Playing hooky!  Hope to get you my review of the next Timber Press book soon.  The weather has been too nice to be inside typing!  Ha and here I am doing just that!!! Well, I hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.   Also, I'm still looking for two winners of Herb Companion magazines.  If they don't send me mailing information by tomorrow, June 8, 2012 at 10 PM Eastern Daylight Time, I'll draw two names from the remaining people who commented.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Always More Room Here and a Milestone!

Always Room for Nasturtiums in Containers!
I Took This Photo Over the Weekend!
This Photo Was From the Garage Just Now!
I guess I'm trying to remind you that you don't have to have a whole herb garden to have herbs.  It just takes one container.  I got carried away with the seed packets of nasturtiums.  Since we have a Peruvian in the house and nasturtiums are native to Peru, it makes sense that we would have a lot of choices.  Nasturtium seeds are great to plant with your kids or grandkids.  They are big and fit right in the hand of a child.  They come up quickly and as long as you water them, they will produce flowers.  Unlike some other herbs in containers, you don't need to fertilize nasturtiums.  You'll end up with more leaves than flowers, but remember both leaves and flowers are edible.  The flowers are my favorite filled with The Herbal Husband's famous guacamole dip.   I will have to get The Herbal Husband to write it down so I can give it to you.  Here is a recipe from Alton Brown of The Food Network for guacamole.  I will say that The Herbal Husband does not use spicy heat in his guacamole because I can't eat anymore.  It is chilly and gray.  Sorta of like late fall or early winter!  It's spring and we go from hot to cool!  Now we're having March weather in June!

The milestone is that Miss C graduates from 8th grade tonight!  Yikes!  Time really has flown by!  She is off to high school now and a public one at that.  What I love about Miss C is that she is fearless.  She will try anything at least once!  I was a painfully shy child and I so admire kids that take the challenge.  Her brother is in the running for a job (maybe one of several jobs).  We are keeping all appendages crossed for his success.  I think I'm going to stay inside and take a break and work on my review for Timber Press and my post for The Herb Companion.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Special Day for One of My Favorite Herbal Friends!

This photo is a favorite of mine because the Reppert sisters of The Rosemary House were actually visiting Pittsburgh with one of their fabulous bus trips in 2010.  I got to join them for one of Nancy's fabulous lunches at Rodef Shalom's Biblical Botanical Garden.  So the special day belongs to Susanna on my right.  She is 50 today!  Just a number Susanna!  We all have lucky lives and you have the luckiest to be embraced by your family and a whole community of bloggers and herbie people.  Have a wonderful, wonderful day, Susanna.  If you have a chance go by their blog, Rosemary's Sampler and wish her well.  It is a cool crisp day in the 'Burgh.  Got to keep weeding and planting.  Mailing some magazines today.  If you haven't e-mailed me your information, please do so.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

An Interesting Visitor in the Herb Garden!

We have some cool visitors that stop by the herb garden from time to time.  This little guy was fast, but then it just stuck around and let me take its photo!  This is a common whitetail dragonfly!  Who knew?  It was supposed to rain early in the day, but I got a bit more accomplished than I thought.  So hope you had a good day.  I've heard from two of the magazine winners.  So please if you are a winner, e-mail me your mailing information.  BTW, I added a little list of chores with photos on the right hand side of the blog that are going on in my herb garden especially for those of you who are in the mid-Atlantic states, but hopefully it will be helpful to other parts of the US as well.  Talk to you later. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Drum Roll Please! And The Winners Are...

Had To Use The Greek Cheese Making Basket
In Case You Don't Have Your Glasses On!
I think this is the order that The Herbal Husband drew the names:


I thank everyone who gave me such kind comments.  I appreciate and am inspired by everyone who reads this blog.  I have been so blessed the last almost four years to have "met" so many great people who are interested in herbs.  So you know the drill.  Please e-mail me your mailing information and I will get your magazine in the mail by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.  I'll try to chase you down if I don't hear from you.  If you want me to autograph it for you, please let me know that as well.  There are probably more giveaways to come.  So please stay tuned.  Congratulations to the winners!

Blooming and Making the Garden Smell Good!

This has been an excellent blooming year so far and I have to keep remembering it is just June!  There will be a lot of nonblooming times this summer because so many of my plants have bloomed early and often.  This valerian has been very beautiful and fragrant.  I had a reminder to myself to purchase more if I could find them.  I have three now because it has happily cloned itself in other places.  Glad it did because I would have had to do mail order.  It is known as a sleep aid and its vanilla scented blooms are enough to make you sleepy.  Valerian does take a bit of shade.  All of mine have morning shade and afternoon sun.  They would probably do well with morning sun and afternoon shade.  Got to run.  Don't forget to get in on the giveaway for The Herb Companion magazines.  You have until 10 PM tonight.  So I will be back later to announce the winners.  Off to lunch and the movies to see Snow White and the Huntsman or is it men?  I'll let you know.  Talk to you later.