Friday, June 28, 2013

Bees in the Borage!

Not the greatest photo ever, but nonetheless here are the bees in the borage and not bumblebees, but I think actually honeybees.  My buddy Carol was lamenting the fact that she didn't have many bees.  The bees are dwindling.  I've got to get out in the garden before it rains again.  Warm and humid here.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Take Thyme to Enjoy the Blooms!

Lime Thyme
Red Flowered Thyme
Lemon Thyme
Rose Scented Thyme
One of my favorite herbs other than lemon verbena is thyme.  They are very enjoyable in the heat and humidity of summer when they are in bloom.  Typically you should be harvesting your thyme before it flowers, but I don't always get that done.  So let's just sit back and enjoy the blooms and watch the bees go from flower to flower.

We got enough rain last night for a month about three inches!  We are due to get some more tonight.  We have been so dry so the rain has just soaked in.  Of course, The Herbal Husband spent two hours watering before the storms hit!  He keeps saying if I don't water, it doesn't rain!  Well, wait a bit longer!  Still hot and humid here.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Now They're Even Attacking This Favorite!

Four Lined Plant Bug Damage on Scented Geraniums!
Well, I knew they weren't going out quietly, those dirty bugs, the four lined plant bugs!  You might need to click on this photo to get a better look.  If you can see the tan markings on the leaves, that's four lined plant bug damage.  The good news is there is only one generation a season and there is more good news, they are almost gone.  Now on to the Japanese beetles and the stink bugs!  Always something! Hope you are having a great day.  It just a stinker (stinking hot!) outside.  Enjoying the AC inside.  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ham House and Gardens, Richmond, London, England

Ham House
An Herb Garden View from the House
Forgot to See This Up Close!
The Lady's Closet Where She Entertained Company!
Wonderful Wide Windowsills for Herbs
Beautiful Entrance Hall Bouquet
The Still House
Wisteria Growing on the Orangery!
A Kitchen Garden with an Orchard
Rhubarb Looks Ready!
Russell School Garden
Ham Multi-Cultural Women's Group Patch
I always to try to get to some historic houses and gardens when I am in England.  This time was no exception.  We traveled by the Tube to Richmond, a very posh suburb of London to see Ham House and Garden.  The house was magnificent inside just as Hardwick Hall was.  I took only a few photos inside the house because it was just so dark.  The Still House was interesting and I think they have demonstrations of herbal remedies and products during busier times.  The gardens were very interesting and ran the gambit of informal to very formal and even some community gardens as you can see from the above.  I will just have to go back to see the lavender bushes behind the hedge!  My excuse!  Once you leave the Tube/Train station, you have to take either a bus which drops you off and you walk a good distance to the house or you can take a cab.  We opted for the latter and had a very nice cabbie who has taken Jerry Hall and Pete Townsend (residents of Richmond) around in his cab.  All in all we enjoyed our afternoon at Ham House and Gardens.

Well, it has been a beautiful hot day here in the 'Burgh.  We had errands this morning and the afternoon as just drifted away.  So I will spend tomorrow in the garden and catch you up on what's been going on.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Aha Moment of the Season, Herbally Speaking!

Can't Believe This German Chamomile Overwintered!
Will Have Lots of Chamomile Tea Bags to Enjoy!
Sitting on the Driveway Deciding Which Flowers to Cut First!
Sometimes it takes awhile to have that aha moment in the herb garden.  This one was going to smack me in the face.  This German chamomile overwintered in the herb garden from last season.  We put a bucket over it at times during the winter and it made it through with flying colors.  Every season one herb seems to be an overachiever and this season it is the chamomile.  Lucky for me chamomile is one of the teas that is recommended for people with GERD.  I know there are rakes to cut the flowers from the chamomile, but I like to take my time and work my way through the plant in sessions.  I have about three boxes of flowers at the moment.  Not filled to the top, but nicely cut and then they will go into self-seal tea bags to be brewed during the fall and winter.  Since I have come back from England I have been having a cup of tea even on the hot days.  So I hope you have had your aha moment in your herb garden or whatever garden you may have.

It was a beautiful day in the 'Burgh.  We got the grass cut and I'll have a day of trimming tomorrow.  We also tied the ornamental grasses up so we could walk around.  Sorry this is so late in the day.  Hope you have had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Royal Academy and A Flowering Afternoon Tea!

The Royal Academy
The Park Lane Hotel
You Know I Can Find a Bay Tree!
Wild Blossom Champagne Cocktail
Special Tea Sandwiches
Scones and Very Special Desserts!
Scones, Scones and More Scones!
My Favorite Part of the Flowering Afternoon Tea!
The Gnome Looks Soo Lonely!

My English Herbal Companion and I spent Monday in London at the Royal Academy of Arts in the morning seeing the exhibit of George Bellows, an American artist from the turn of the last century who was known for his paintings of boxing matches and the gritty urban landscapes of early 20th century America just to name a couple of themes.   I did my tea shopping at Fortnum and Mason and then we went for a special flowering afternoon tea at The Park Lane Hotel.  Here is the menu:  

Selection of sandwiches:

    Poached Scottish salmon, cucumber and fennel crème fraiche, mini muffin (cucumber flowers)

    Orange blossom honey, wholegrain mustard roast ham, candied tomatoes and watercress, white bread

    Roast corn fed chicken, walnut, celery, red onion and nasturtium mayonnaise, granary bread

    Smoked trout and confit trout, citrus cream cheese, radish and herb leaf salad, crostini

    Goats cheese, asparagus and lemon verbena tartlet, soft boiled quails egg


    Traditional plain and apple and raisin scones served with lemon verbena curd, clotted cream and seasonal preserves

French pastries:

    Chocolate hanging basket with spiced Chai tea mousse and chocolate soil

    Honey orange blossom pain de gene with mango compote and edible honey bees

    Rosewater and raspberry mousse with crystallized rose petals on a rose macaroon

    Pistachio and hazelnut chocolate financier “garden patch” with chocolate ladybird

Tea will be served with a Wild Blossom Champagne Cocktail

We each had a plate of sandwiches and we shared (very diplomatically) the sweets.  It was a wonderful tea with beautiful harp music playing in the background.  A fabulous day.

It is a beautiful summery (finally) day here in the 'Burgh.  Hope you're having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Always Excited When We Have an Herb Return!

An Apple Scented Geranium Poking Itself Leaves Out of the Ground!
I know it doesn't look like much, but it's an apple scented geranium returning in the garden.  Thank goodness, I didn't put it out thinking it was a weed.  I weeded this bed before I went to England so I think it must have sprouted after I left.  Whew!  The Herbal Husband leaves everything and I tend to pull out and ask questions later!  The lemon verbena is making good progress coming back as well.  It is so exciting to have herbs return when they aren't exactly supposed to.

We have had a good amount of rain, and everything is looking good.  The Herbal Husband has transplanted some sunflowers out of the herb garden because they would have dwarfed every other plant.  Hope you are having a great day.  Got to go cut some more chamomile flowers.  As you can see by my banner photo, my elder is in bloom.  Need to make some tea.  Will talk more about that in a later post. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Sunday at the Chelsea Physic Garden!

Founded in 1673
Reminds Me of Our Entrance at Home!
An Herb Garden in Boxes
Remembering that We are in London
Hans Sloane, Their Main Benefactor
A Sign on the Education Building
Oh, I Have These and Maybe You Do As Well!
They Have Wonderful Vertical Plant Holders!
Wardian Cases Were Used to Get Plants from Around the Globe!
Was Very Happy to See This Change!
Sunny days don't come too often in London.  So instead of spending time at the V & A Museum, I went to one of my favorite gardens, the Chelsea Physic Garden.  Chock full of history and lots of design and favorite plants, I happily spent the day outside enjoying.  The last photo was especially wonderful, because they had mismarked one of my favorite scented geraniums and called it 'Robert's Lemon Rose'.  I discussed it in this post called Is It 'Robert's or Rober's Lemon Rose' Scented Geranium? a couple of years ago.  So all is well at the Chelsea Physic Garden and if you ever are in London visiting, you must stop by this historic garden.  You won't believe you are in the heart of London.

Rain on its way.  Hot and muggy.  Like a summer day here in the 'Burgh.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Herbally Blooming in June!

We used to Have a Bunch of Angelica.  Now Only a Couple!
Lovage in Bloom!
My Favorite Rose, The Apothecary's Rose!
Three of my favorite herbs this time of year.  The angelica was like a hedge several years ago.  Now we just have a couple in the herb garden.  Be careful on a sunny day not to cut it back because if you are photosensitive, you will get a rash like I did in this post for Herb Companion now Mother Earth Living called Contact Dermatitis Causes in the Garden.  The arm shot is mine not from the Mayo Clinic!

The lovage is in full bloom as well.  This herb tastes like celery on steroids.  I use it when I make The Herbal Husband's favorite chicken stew recipe.  Here is that original post called A Good Night for Chicken Stew!  The last time I made it, I just used 2 cups of chicken broth because orange juice and I don't get along any more!  It worked just fine.  My stomach was much happier!

The apothecary's rose is a very ancient rose, 10th or 12th century.  Every herbalist back in Medieval times had it in their gardens.  If it hadn't rained so much I would have made some rose petal jelly, but here is the post with the recipe called Well, It's More Like Jelly if you would like to make it with your rose petals.  Just make sure they are organically grown.  We are having rain with typical humidity for the 'Burgh.  Hope you are having a great day.  More England in the next post.  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Derby Part Two--Herb Plant and Book Collector and Poppy!

Debs'  Herb Collection Starts Inside with a Cardamom Plant!
Her Garden is Jammed Packed with Personality!
A Very Nice Seating Arrangement!
My Goal To Have a Greenhouse!
She Has Several of My Favorite, Lemon Verbena!
A Pineapple Sage in Bloom!
Mints for Her Upcoming Article in Garden News!
More Plants in a Cold Frame!
The Herbal Library!  We Have A Lot of Herb Books in Common!
The Entertainer of the Day, Poppy!
Well, I couldn't let my visit with Debs and Simon in Derby, England go by without showing you her collections both inside and outside.  Her herb garden is very charming and chock full of herbal goodies.  She has a greenhouse and two cold frames that house her unique and tropical herbs and plants that haven't found the exact home.  You have to live with The Herbal Husband, Debs.  He would find homes for those plants!  She has great passion for herbs and she writes about them almost every day in some way.  While I was visiting her latest article in Garden News came out.  She also mentioned me and my strawberry mint in her latest herb article which I think is out either this week or next.  If she gives a link on Facebook, I will link it here. Finally, that entertaining cat, Poppy.  I don't have actual footage, but I personally saw her playing with a ball of paper to the delight of all.  Inside Hardwick Hall photos in a later post.  Herbal sisters forever!  Hope you are having a great day.  Has been raining here so we are very lush and green.  Talk to you later.