Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Cascade of Coconut!

The weather is getting cooler here finally.   Sunday when we were working in the garden, the smell of coconut was overwhelming.  So I was reminded how much I love coconut scented geranium (Pelargonium grossularioides).  In the Jim Becker & Faye Brawner book, Scented Geraniums, the description of 'Coconut' says "The leaves of this species are small, round, and deep green.  It forms a low-growing mound of foliage with long sprays of very small magenta flowers.  It has a pleasant scent, though not necessarily that of coconut, and self-seeds freely."

Coconut does self-sow in the herb garden and I have taken it for granted.  Not anymore!  Next the pollinators find the tiny magenta flowers very enticing.  And finally I would say the fragrance of this particular scented geranium is very tropically coconut!  Delicious.  I am going to make sure to dry some leaves and see how the fragrance holds up.

Hope you had some time in your herb garden today.  Looks like Thursday and Friday this week will be the final harvesting days for me.  Flurries in the forecast!  Talk to you later.
A Wiff of Coconut!  Delicious!

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Beauty and Regret of Fall in the Herb Garden!

By Far One of My Favorites in the Fall!
Who would have thought that the parsley post the other day would get me in the mood to blog.  You really haven't missed all that much in the herb garden.  And as I went over what I have blogged about this season, you saw quite a bit more than I remember!   I am going to share with you some photos over the next week of specific herbs that I really have grown to love over the years. 

Margaret Hall reminded me that this is one of them, pineapple sage (Salvia elegans).  She stated she has tons of it and would I share my pineapple sage jelly recipe.  I would be happy to do so.  Here is a link for three of my favorite herb jellies, including pineapple sage:  An Herbal Jelly Recipe Marathon! I always try to encourage readers over the growing season to use your herbs.  I am not the greatest cook, but I do try to share my successes using herbs when it happens.  I would tell you Margaret to use your pineapple sage fresh in fruit salads, iced teas and baked goods.  My experience trying to dry it has not worked.  The Herbal Husband being my chief herbal sniffer and tester can tell you that it loses its fragrance and taste of pineapple when dried.  You could try freezing some fresh leaves and see what happens to them.  I have just not wasted too much time doing that.  We have also brought our pineapple sage inside when it hasn't gotten too big, but that doesn't always work out well either.  I know that there are pineapple sage pound cake recipes out there.  Here is a link to my search on Google and you can pick the recipe you would like to try Pineapple Sage Pound Cake Recipes.  There are a lot of choices.  Short of using it fresh with fruit or tea or baked goods, I don't have any new ideas.  If my readers have an interesting way they use pineapple sage leaves, please let me know and I will pass it on in a later post.  That's the beauty of the fall herb garden.

Now to the regret!  When I first started my herb journey more than 25 years ago, I wanted to grow everything exotic and interesting in the herb world.  Sometimes too many plants of the same variety that when the fall came, I either had regret because I didn't use them at all or I had so much of one product that I couldn't use it all or share it all!  So my vision over the years has become very narrow and as much I would like to grow every new variety of herb, I will stick to my tried and true favorites and make what I can to share and not worry so much about having it all.

I bet you are wondering why is she inside writing when she should be out in the garden harvesting?  The forecasters were incorrect and it has been raining since early morning!  So much for harvesting the garden.  I will get to it sometime this week.  Snow in the forecast next week for Halloween!  Maybe they will be incorrect again!  Hope so!   Well I hope you are enjoying your day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hurry Up and Harvest!

My New Favorite Herb!
Well, it is getting to be that time in the herb garden!  Running around like crazy harvesting what needs to be harvested, herbally speaking that is.  In the photo is a favorite of mine.  Though I don't always have it in the herb garden.  It is called Texas tarragon (Tagetes lucida) by those of you who can't grow French tarragon in the heat of the south.  A member of the marigold family.  I think I have shared this link before from Texas A & M called The Three Tarragons.  It really does a good job.

This plant is two years old which means The Herbal Husband coaxed it through the winter last year.  I was hoping it would bloom this year, but I think it got too much shade from the lemon verbena not necessarily a bad thing.  I will mainly use my Texas tarragon dried in tea blends.  We will not be digging many of our tender perennials this year because they have gotten too large.  I would love to bring them all in, but it is just not going to happen.

So here are some of the herbs I will be harvesting this week:  lemon verbena (dry), Texas tarragon (dry), green pepper basil (vinegar), scented geraniums (dry) and chives (freeze).  I have already made a box each of lemon verbena and pineapple sage jellies.  I have not been as busy jelly wise this season as in others.  Didn't have that much extra time.

So as you can see the parsley post jump started my blog! Who knew that was going to happen?  Hope you are having a beautiful day wherever you may be.  Got to get out in the herb garden.  Talk to you later.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Parsley Fairy Came!

Going to be Soup This Winter!

As you can see The Parsley Fairy (My Herbal Travel Companion, Bonnie) supplied the parsley in these two vases on the counter.   I came in from an errand and thought "Wow!  I thought our parsley plants were buried by other plants!"  Then I was enlightened by The Herbal Husband as to the source.  Here is a link to the recipe for Parsley Dill Soup.

I called Bonnie to thank her and she told me that the local herb group was harvesting their herb garden and cutting big bunches of parsley and cutting back their perennial herbs!  Lavenders, sages and thymes particularly.  Some herb gardeners are able to do that in the south especially.  Here in the northern half, I would tell you not to do that now.  Even though we have been having summertime weather here, it is way too late to be making a major harvest of perennial herbs.  It is always OK to trim out dead or diseased branches.  Just don't do anything too drastic.  It will be interesting to see how the local herb group's plants fare.  I will let you know what I learn in the spring!

As I have stated my needlework has sidetracked me these days.  I just have enjoyed that more than trying to figure out what to do in the herb garden.  I really do have a lot to say about herbs.  I just have to come up with a routine to post periodically and a bit more than zero or one post a month.  I am able to blog on my tablet so hopefully you will hear from me more often.  Remind me if I go away for too long.  We are going to have one great weekend and maybe I will get out and take a long look at what has been going on.  There is a lot of work to be done.  Talk to you later.