Monday, June 30, 2014

Let the Garlic Scapes Escape and a Drenching Experience!

Time to Get All Stinky in the Garden!
Used the Old Broken Clippers and Had to Have Gloves On!
Hey Dorothy, Here is the Top of a Walking or Egyptian Onion!
Sometimes I draw the short straw, herbally speaking.  It was time to cut the scapes from the garlic.  Lots of people love to eat the scapes.  Here is a recipe from Epicurious for Pasta with Garlic-Scape Pesto.  I have to admit that I haven't made this recipe and probably won't, but that shouldn't stop you from trying if you have extra scapes escaping!  Because of my GERD, I have to be very careful with the amount of garlic and onions I eat.  It just can be very harsh for me.  BTW, we use the scapes as trim around our fences to keep deer from browsing.  Doesn't work forever but it does keep them at bay for a bit!

So this is the last act before the garlic will be dug in mid to late July here in the 'Burgh.  The Herbal Husband and I have a differing view on when the garlic is ready.  I say when there is some green and brown in the stalks.  He thinks that it is OK to leave them until they are all brown.  That happened last year because of too much rain and when they were dug, the paper that forms around the bulb had split which makes them harder to store for long periods of time.  I even have a friend that digs them when they are green.  So you decide.  I'll try to remember to show ours to you when we dig them.

My buddy, Dorothy asked whether this was like a walking garlic.  I haven't heard that term but we do have Egyptian walking onions.  This third photo is the top of those.  When the bulblets are heavy enough the stem bends down and the bulblets plant themselves in the ground.  A couple of years ago, we had hundreds of these and here is the post I did about that experience called Too Much of a Good Thing, I Think!  I also found this website for additional information on the Egyptian walking onion.   Hope this helps you, Dorothy!  Please if you have any other questions, I'm here to help always!

We have the ickies and stickies big time here.  You stand still and are drenched.  Speaking of drenched, we both got drenched last night in a microburst on the back patio.  The big figs fell off their rollers and knocked down the potted tomatoes.  In turn as I was trying to roll out the awning, I was drenched by the water coming off said awning.  There will be no video fortunately of that turn of events.  I haven't been that wet for a long time!  Every plant was OK.  The 'Cherokee Purple' tomato was a bit shocked, but no fruit was lost and the figs survived their falls!  BTW, this is my 1,400 post!  Gads and I'm still talking!  Who knew?  Hope you had a great day!  Talk to you later.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Visit to the Royal Needlework School and Train to Great Malvern, England!

The Impressive Hampton Court Palace!
Door Detail is Superb!
Some of the Roses Were In Bloom in early May!
Loved the Color of this Rose!
The Very Long Perennial Borders at Hampton Court!
The Alice in Wonderland Trees!
Having said goodbye to my friend, Ros on Friday, Saturday was a day to see the sampler exhibit at the Royal Needlework School at Hampton Court Palace.  Got the train from Waterloo station.  Always enjoy being at Hampton Court Palace.  The gardens and grounds are meticulously kept.  The school is in tight quarters, but it is always fun to see what they are working on.  I was thoroughly entranced by the blackwork samplers.  Oh, no, other projects to do!  Still have to get the citizenship sampler done for you know who!  Always something going on!  Must stay and see the Palace next time I'm there!

When I got to the train station for a train back to Waterloo, the signals were down!  Fortunately I got a free taxi to an active station and I got a train to Clapham Junction which got me to Victoria Station.  The Herbal Husband had given me extra time in case I needed it and this was the time!  I got to Paddington later that afternoon for a train to Great Malvern for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival with Debs and Simon Cook.  Had never been to Great Malvern and was not disappointed!  I'll share my adventures soon.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Afternoon Tea at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England with Ros!

Beautiful 'Haddon Hall' Minton Dishes for Tea!
Ros and Our Afternoon Tea Tray!
The Sandwiches:  Smoked Salmon, Egg & Cress, Cucumber & Cream Cheese and Ham & English Mustard!
Dessert Second!  Not Really!  Raspberry Macaroon, Rhubarb & Kiwi Custard Tart, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Rocky Road!
One of My Favorite Parts of Afternoon Tea, the Scones with Cornish Clotted Cream and Home-made Apple & Rhubarb Jam!
Always looking for an excuse to have afternoon tea in England.  So I suggested a couple of places for my friend, Ros and I to go, Bea's of Bloomsbury or the restaurant at St. Paul's Cathedral.  She chose St. Paul's.  The restaurant is very light and airy and a lovely place for tea and goodies.  As you can see, there was more than enough for the two of us and it is very reasonably priced at under 16 pounds ($27.24) a person.  We had a lovely time.  Hope Ros and I can have a new adventure next time I'm in London!

The sun is out finally here.  The Herbal Husband got the hose out the other night and, of course, it rained within an hour after he put it away!  Typical!  He just can't wait.  If he had, it probably wouldn't have rained!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Day at the Chelsea Physic Garden, London, England with Ros and . . .

I am fortunate to have made some lasting friendships in England because of blogging!  I got to see my friend, Ros who I met through blogging again on this trip.  I think we feel fortunate to have found one another.  I know I do and I think she feels the same way!  Instead of going to her this time, she came to me since she had never been to the Chelsea Physic Garden.

The Chelsea Physic Garden had only limited access during the Chelsea Flower Show week for many years.  Now it is mostly open to the public and here are their opening times.  It is just one of my favorite gardens in the London area.  I can go each time I visit and see something new each time.  There is a new Garden of Medicinal Plants that literally just opened in April.  The Garden of Medicinal Plants is laid out in rooms for each practice of medicine.  There are small boxes that have the interpretation of each practice.  The garden is still a bit bare, but I bet by next year it will be a thriving and illustrative garden.  The entire garden is wonderful and for a time you forget that you are in the city of London.

Hans Sloane, The Patron of Chelsea!
The Rockery with Very Old Rocks!

A Magpie Enjoying the Sunshine!
The Garden of Medicinal Plants
The Neurology Garden!
The Neurology Interpretation
I Loved the Serpent Looking Over the Medicinal Plants!
I Found Wormwood!  Yes, an Artemisia at Chelsea!
One of My Favorite Glasshouse Rooms, the Scented Pelargoniums!

A Simple Way of Defining Where You Planted Seeds with Sand!
The Truck Traffic Reminds Us We are in London!

The Garden of Edible and Useful Plants!

Artichokes Getting Ready to Bloom!
One of Many Botanical Order Beds!
The Chelsea Physic Garden just keeps getting better and better.  It is one garden in London that I make sure I get to visit!  I should become a member if I'm going to be in England every year!  Well, Ros and I had a great time and we dodge some raindrops, but had a few retail experiences as well.  We did have part two of our adventure and I'll share that with you next time.

We have the ickies and stickies big time here.  The Herbal Husband took out the hose because rain did not happen yet...  I think it might happen overnight, who knows.  Hope you are having a great day.  Part two of our adventure comes next time.  Talk to you later.   

Monday, June 23, 2014

Little Herbal Miracles in the Herb Garden!

I Think This is an African Blue Basil!
This is a Tangerine Sage!
A German Chamomile Among the Arugulas!
Well, maybe you heard me hollering from the herb garden in the past couple of days.  We have been finding little herbal miracles from the disaster of a winter we had.  The most exciting one for me is the tangerine sage!  The little darling from last year's herb garden seeded itself with one plant, but I'll take it!  The African Blue Basil has yet to give off a fragrance so the herbal jury is still out on it.  This morning I spied this sweet little German chamomile where the big one was last year!  It is very exciting, herbally speaking!  Makes me smile!

We have the ickies and stickies back again.  It's errand day and then rain is coming back.  What else is new?  Hope you are having a great day!  Talk to you later.

Friday, June 20, 2014

An Estate Sale in the 'Hood, Herbally Speaking!

My Treasured Herbal Find!
The Book I Loaned Gerry to Start Her Herbal Adventures!
A couple of weeks ago now, our neighbors Gerry and Jack moved out and an Estate Sale was scheduled for the weekend.  We have never had so many cars on our street at one time.  It was a day to remember.  Fortunately for me, The Herbal Husband got up for the 8 AM opening!  And fortunately he had his herbal antennae on.  He didn't even get into the house.  In the garage was this amazing piece of slate, herbally speaking.   He also picked up some books that I didn't have in my collection.  I have him well-trained! 

When we moved into our house 25 years ago, Gerry and I became friends and I introduced her to the Phyllis Shaudys book in the photo.  Her book was just as worn as this one is.  Herbs are universally loved by millions and I'm just glad that I was able to help Gerry enjoy her herb garden in some small way.  Thank you Phyllis Shaudys (1930-2010) along with the many herb growers and businesses in her books for helping so many people in their herb gardens.  Take care Gerry and Jack! We know you are loving your smaller home!

The rain has stopped in the 'Burgh at the moment.  Some more rain coming this evening into tomorrow and then we may have a dry Sunday!  The garden and weeds are flourishing!  Will talk to you later.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

So Soggy in the Herb Garden and More!

A Mullein Starting to Bloom!
The Apothecary's Rose and Rosa Mundi in Full Bloom!
First Daylily!
White and Red Astilbes!
Hosta Corner!
Happy 'Coral Reef' Dianthus
'Charity' Scented Pelargonium in Bloom!

My Elderflower is Blooming Despite What I Do!
A Red Fairy Rose!
A Tradescantia in Bloom!
More Apothecary's Roses in the Back Garden!
The Yarrow Has Taken Off!
The Pink Fairy Rose!
The Borage Has Started to Bloom!
The Herb Garden is Starting to Fill In!
Well, we have been blessed with a lot of rain so far.  Now we are getting to the tipping point.  I may be building a flotation device soon!  I'm really going to have to keep flowers deadheaded because they will start to rot from too much rain!  I guess we could be in the other predicament with no rain or very little!   So here is what you have been missing in the garden from the hot and humid days to the rainy ones.  BTW, the roses, daylily, dianthus, scented pelargonium, elderflower and borage are all edible flowers.

Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  The sun is out at the moment!  Always a good thing. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Day at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and Kew Palace, Richmond, England, Part Two!

We Ducked Into the Palm House To Get Out of the Rain!
Two Happy Visitors!
This Was a Happy Bloomer!
The Spiral Staircase to the Catwalk Above!
Kew's Palm House Reminds Me of Phipps Conservatory!
Kew Palace
The Queen's Boudoir
The Queen's Drawing Room
How the Palace Originally Looked!
A View Out of the Window to the Queen's Garden!
One of the Costumed Guides at the Palace!
The Royal Kitchen Gardens
Love the English and Their Structures for Veggies!
Do I See Some Artemisia Here?
The Nosegay Garden Early May!
A View Towards the Palace!
Just Love This Walk of Trees!
This Canadian Goose is Happy with Its Nest!
The day at Kew was not without raindrops and because the Temperate House is closed for restoration, we ducked into the Palm House with its catwalk above the palms.  It reminds me a bit of Phipps Conservatory here in the 'Burgh.  I was also glad to see schoolchildren learning about the plants and different areas of the world.  Each time I have gone to Kew a new section of the gardens and buildings has been revealed to me.

So I have to say that my new/old favorite part is Kew Palace.  It was built in 1631 by a Flemish merchant from the City of London, whose family had escaped religious persecution in France.  It became the summer retreat from London for royalty specifically George III (the one who was "mad" with porphyria) and his Queen, Charlotte who had 15 children.  The majority of whom survived to adulthood and marriage.  She was a remarkable woman and George to keep her happy built her a cottage on the Kew grounds.  It is open on weekends and bank holidays (April-September).   Kew Palace couldn't hold everyone and so the White House was built in front of the palace and near to the kitchens and gardens.  It has not survived.  The Queen's Cottage is one more reason to go back to Kew again soon.  Really if you are planning a trip to England and London specifically this summer, plan on going to Kew Gardens and Palace.  It is well worth the Tube ride to Richmond.

We have gone into the hot and sticky days of summer before summer has arrived here in the 'Burgh'.  Got the lawn mowed this morning and we are supposed to get more strong storms this afternoon!  Summertime is here!  Hope you are having a great day!  Talk to you later!