Saturday, June 18, 2016

Little Herbal Umbrellas!

Don't They Just Look Like Little Herbal Umbrellas?
I guess I am a little too focused on my herb garden at the moment.  The leaves of the nasturtiums are starting to look like little herbal umbrellas!  I guess the rain gauge with 2.5 inches of rain in one day has send me over the edge.  The Herbal Husband planted these several weeks ago before I went to England and I didn't know that he put some fertilizer in the planting hole.  Step away from the fertilizer when planting nasturtiums!  He just doesn't think I am right on this point.  He likes those little herbal umbrellas!  Nasturtiums like lean soil so they will produce more flowers!  There are flowers under those umbrellas and the flowers fared pretty well in the downpours we had a couple of days ago.  So maybe The Herbal Husband is a little bit correct!  Don't tell him I said so!
Here are Those Peppery Nasturtium Flowers in Hiding!
 I also noticed that I seem to get more flowers that have black aphids with purchased plants than when we grow our own from seed.  Do you notice that as well?  Please let me know.  Well, we had a spectacularly warm and sunny day here in the 'Burgh!  I have been weeding like crazy!  The Herbal Husband is doing his vegetables in containers now and has relinquished some beds in the back gardens.  I have been trying to get things in shape to plant some herbs with different colors and foliage to make the back pop with interest and color.  I found an article in The Herb Companion has a lot of good information on design and I will share that with you in a later post.  So many posts to write, so little time! Hope you had a great day wherever you may be.  I will talk to you again soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

When To Harvest Your Lavender!

Last week or maybe it was earlier this week my herbal friend, Kathleen Gips was talking about harvesting lavender in her Ohio garden.  Brilliant herbal minds think alike.  I was harvesting some of my lavender as well.  Some of her friends were asking when to start.  So I thought I would give you some photos of my 'Hidcote' lavender that is ready to go or not.

This One is OK, But Could Use A Couple of More Days!
This One is Better Than the First One, A Bit More Open!
See Those Brown Calyxes at the Bottom! Perfect!
Flowers Are Open!  Leave for the Bees!
These photos are all (Lavendula angustifolia 'Hidcote').  These harvesting instructions would work for any lavender that is an angustifolia type.  Most angustifolia types start to bloom in my area in early June.  Although this year, I think they were just a bit earlier and started in late May.  I remember when I first started my herbal journey and I was just learning, I cut my lavender when the buds were fully closed.  The stems were fragrant, but I did not get any of the purple buds which is what you want if you are going to use lavender for teas, cooking, potpourris, etc.  The last photo with the flowers open does not dry well.  The flowers collapse and turn black or brown.  What makes it more difficult to judge is the weather, if it is too rainy, too cool, you will have to wait, and if you wait too long, the flowers will open, but the benefit is to the bees.  So I suppose the morale to this story is be patient, but watch the weather and be ready to make sure you get the most out of your lavender harvest!

We are having a soggy day today.  Have been very busy trying to get beds weeded and I may have to just dig some beds up and start again!  Oh, wait that means more herbal retail experiences for me!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be!  Talk to you again soon.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Herb Garden Chores-Cutting Chive Blossoms and Other Herbs!

Spent Chive Blossoms Need To Be Cut!
Well, I am going to be blogging sporadically at best.  The weeds have overgrown everything.  The chives which were just starting to bloom when I left; now the majority of them are over.  If you do cut back the spent chive blossoms, you may be rewarded with new blossoms.  Already some of my chives have been trying to produce new ones!  I also cut back both of my salad burnets that had flowered very early because of the unusually warm days here.  So starts the trimming and harvesting in the herb garden.  Maybe a bit early this year but something to look forward to every season.  I also cut some lavender that was ready.  I'll show you that in the next post.  What are you trimming or harvesting in your herb garden?  A very pleasant day here in the 'Burgh.  Hope you are enjoying time in your herb garden.  I will talk to you again soon.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

I Got on a Double Decker and Almost Didn't Come Home!

Big Ben in View from the Top!
Well, I guess you have guessed where I have been.  Some of my blogging friends have guessed.  I had to get away to the Chelsea Flower Show because my dear herbal friend, Jekka had her first show garden.  It had her name all over it and won a Silver Gilt Metal!  I gave her a card that said Kick Ass on the outside and I said on the inside Oh, wait, you already have kicked ass!  She was very pleased with the outcome and I will share my photos of the show in a later post.  I spent an afternoon at Sissinghurst in the rain!  I took a class on digestive issues and herbs at the Chelsea Physic Garden.  Went to the Cambridge Botanic Garden and Oxford's as well.  I also got to spend a tiny bit of time with my English herbal companion, Gloria.  Always a joy to be with her.  But it is just a joy to be able to spend time in my beloved England.  I was celebrating the 50th (yes, 50th) anniversary of my first visit to England.  I remember sitting next to an English man on the plane over who taught me all about the different coins of currency.  I loved his accent.  And I will never forget pushing the bell for the butler at the Grosvenor House Hotel and ordering breakfast.  I was a lucky girl then and I am a lucky woman now.  Thank you to The Herbal Husband for tolerating my absence.

With apologies for not writing a lot lately, I am back and not a moment too soon!  We have not had the rain as Texas may have had, but my goodness, the herb garden is a crazy wild blooming mass of plants!  I almost missed its flamboyance, herbally speaking!  As you can see by the back gardens, I have lots of weeding to do, but the English are making more space into wilderness!  Maybe I can go with that story!  Once things are weeded, I really want to go with plants that will bring as many beneficials as possible.  So I have a bit of work to do and I promise that I will sprinkle my English adventures into the mix.  Speaking of rain, we are still getting showers here.  It is soggy and some herbs are tolerating it and others not so much.  Maybe that's what I will discuss next time.  Talk to you later.

The English Are Doing More Wilderness Areas!