Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Can't Believe How Time Flies, Herbally Speaking!

Yes, they really did bloom for Thanksgiving!  Sorry I have been delinquent in posting lately!  Didn't take an herbal timeout like I normally do!  Just decided to play possum!  Again, too many exclamation points!  Oh, well, when you haven't posted for awhile, you forget what you can get away with.  Well, just like my dear friend, Sharon Lovejoy, we got wrapped up in our preparation and tasting and forgot to take those all important holiday photos!  Tonight is leftovers night so The Herbal Husband and I will style it just like it was for Thanksgiving (or almost) and I'll post it right here later on.  We both thought it was a best Thanksgiving dinner yet.  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving day and dinner.  Now it's on to Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.  Have I forgotten a holiday celebration?  Well, just thinking of those leftovers is making my stomach growl.  Will post a photo later.  Until then it is a very, very rainy day here in the 'Burgh so much so that flooding may become an issue!  Hope you have had a great day.  I'm happy to be posting again.  Will talk to you later.
Now that my tummy is full, I can describe what's on the plate.  At the top is orange cauliflower, going to the right turkey with gravy and then mashed Yukon gold potatoes and my herbed cranberry orange relish.  It was almost as good as Thanksgiving.  The only item missing was the Crescent dinner rolls.  I've got a small can waiting for the next round of goodies!  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Guest Blogging for The Herb Companion Magazine!

This is the back of a box of cranberries from a few years ago!  I remember having the cranberry sauce from the can with all the ridges for years.  Then my mother came up with this cranberry orange relish from the 10-Minute Cranberry Sauce recipe on the back of the box and I have added an herbal twist.  So that's my story this time for The Herb Companion magazine called  Make Cranberry Orange Sauce with An Herbal Twist.  Hope you enjoy it!

I just want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  The Herbal Husband and I are thankful for our families, friends and you, our faithful readers!  Hope you have a wonderful day wherever you may be!  Talk to you later. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Visit to Chester, New Jersey!

When I dropped The Herbal Husband at his toy show in Allentown, I took off to visit one of my favorite towns in New Jersey, Chester.  You saw my visit to the Sally Lunn Tearoom earlier.  Here is a business that has a very nice display garden, Bountiful Gardens.  Then I had to take a photo of this white birch arbor making a very nice entrance to an art gallery.  We were working outside trying to get things tidy up.  Nice and warm today.  Colder for Thanksgiving!  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blooming in Time for Thanksgiving!

Yes, my Christmas cacti are going to be my centerpieces for Thanksgiving!  They are just a little off.  They bloom again next Easter as well!  Need to get outside and rake more leaves.  The neighbor's tree is a giant oak that is still losing its leaves.  Sooo we may be raking until Christmas!  Hope you are having a great day!  Talk to you later.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Live Wreath Class At The Village Herb Shop!

We started with this!

And Ended With This!

And This!

My Herbal Companion, Bonnie and I went up to spend the day with Kathleen Gips at The Village Herb Shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio for a live wreath class.  I would say that it was intense and when it gets intense, I get chatty!  I apologize to everyone at my table!  I am also a Virgo--Perfectionist!  One of the teachers came up to me and said, "Nancy, it doesn't have to be perfect!"  She knew me right away.  I was able to let the perfection part go and I just got it done.  Everyone said walk around and see everyone else's, but I was so overwhelmed, I couldn't!  Everyone's was beautiful and different.  The bottom photo is Bonnie's wreath.  The Herbal Husband was impressed with the finished product!  It's bigger than our dining room table!  Will have to find a special place for it during the holidays.

Just want to send positive energy to Kathleen and her husband, Jack.  Kathleen was in the hospital with Jack and couldn't be with us.  She was there in spirit and we learned during the class that everything was fine with Jack!  If you are in the Chagrin Falls area, please stop by The Village Herb Shop.  It is chock full of Christmas cheer and items for your Christmas gift giving pleasure!  Hope you had a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Tangled Lemon Verbena Mess and A Note to Leslie!

Well, this is the mess on my worktable as of yesterday.  By this morning, I had the majority of dried material (Couldn't tell what some herbs were!) put in containers.  I labeled everything and dated it.  Sooo after I have a road trip tomorrow up to the Village Herb Shop, we'll get started on the artemisia tree.  Leslie from Comfrey Cottages I just wanted to tell you that I have dried some lemon balm and it worked!  I think I was drying lemon balm that had flowered so it had no flavor left, I think! Duh!!!  Off to see Morning Glory!  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pleasantly Surprised--Herbally Speaking!

Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland sage or blue sage)

Curry Plant and Sage

Apple Scented Pelargonium (P. odoratissimum)
The rain has rolled in and the clouds are back, but when it was beautiful out, I remembered to take some photos! The top photo is Cleveland sage or blue sage.  It is a new favorite sage of mine.  So many sages, so little time!  I always passed it up at the nursery until this year.  It was planted in a shadier spot than I would have liked, but it did flower early and was leaning out to reach the sun.  In normal sunny conditions, it grows to about three feet.

I always love the combination of gray leaves and green blue leaves and that's the middle photo of curry plant (Helichrysum petiolatum) and it is NOT used in the cooking of curry dishes, but it smells just like the curry spice and sage, (Salvia officinalis) the herb of Thanksgiving.

I thought I had lost all of my scented pelargoniums, but there are several that have survived for now.  In the photo above, an apple scented one, a low grower.  The leaves feel like velvet.  The others that have survived are also all low growers, coconut (P. grossularioides) and nutmeg (P. fragrans).  I have a coconut that has come back for several years now near the air conditioner.

Hopefully I will get my work table cleaned off tomorrow and we will start the artemisia tree.  Hope you had a wonderful day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wildlife Play a Game!

The Herbal Husband has a game he plays with the birds.  The crows affectionately called "The Boys" are one of his favorites.  I do have to remind him that it usually is "The Boys and Girls" when he addresses them first thing in the morning!  The Herbal Husband has bags of peanuts in their shell and he loves to throw them on the driveway and the blue jays and now the crows swoop down to grab them.  Sometimes they try to grab more than one at a time!  That leads to comic relief.  Worked getting the tomatoes and sticks pulled out of the garden.  It's going to rain for a couple of days.  It's looking good to do the artemisia tree, but the herbs that are drying on the tabletop need to be put away in containers.  Hopefully, I can get it started tomorrow.  I clipped some small rose hips for decoration.  Hope you had a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Bed Bath & Beyond Goodies in Time for the Holidays!

I think you would classify my goodies as from the Beyond Department!  I have a small patch of 'Silver King' Artemisia and I haven't cut it for a few seasons.  It tends to come and go.  Some times it is run over by the mower and isn't enough to worry about.  This season was a good one and I thought I had better clip it and bring it inside.

I have also found the Artemisia Christmas tree directions from an old 1995 Yankee Magazine by Adelma Simmons and Caprilands.  So if you have artemisia, get it ready (I think you need at least 1/2 bushel.) and any kinds of small dried flowers such as bachelor button, delphinium, oregano, pearly everlasting, statice, tansy or yarrow, bitterweet, pepper berries or rose hips, pinecones and bells.  Of course, fine florist wire or a hot-glue gun and clippers.  You also will need a styrofoam cone.  The directions say 6 inch.  Also if you have a lazy Susan, pull that out.  It comes in handy to move the tree around and see how the decorations are evenly spread around the tree.  Once upon a time I grew a lot of dried flowers to make wreathes.  It just takes a lot of material and time!  It is a fun project and I think you will enjoy it. 

Check out an artemisia tree I made many years ago that was about two feet tall that I blogged about in 2008.  It was big.  I thought the magazine was buried up in the attic, but I was forward thinking and kept it in the computer/TV room!   Always thinking ahead, but never remember what I was thinking!  I know you know what I'm talking about!  I have to get my work table cleaned off.  I realized after I published this that next week is THANKSGIVING.  So hopefully I will have a post with step by step instructions by the end of THIS week for you.

It is a nice rainy day out.  We needed it after so many beautiful days!  I probably could get my act together and make the tree today, but The Herbal Husband sometimes makes my plans for me!  Going to see the last part of the Swedish triology, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  We saw the other two out of sequence, but we are caught up!  At least we won't be in a dark theater while there is beautiful weather outside!  That happens quite a bit!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Still Transplanting!

The Herbal Husband Ready to Get the 'Spice Island' Rosemary Out

Putting The 'Spice Island' In Its New Home

The Rosemarys in Their New Homes

You all do this.   I know you do. Just like me, you wait until the last minute to get some tender perennials in for the winter.  Well, we did a little more moving around.  Moved the prostrate rosemary into a bigger container and moved the rosemary called 'Spice Island' into the smaller container.  'Spice Island' is a more upright rosemary.  I think we did pretty well.  Never have enough room inside for herbs!  These two will be in the garage for the winter.  Southern exposure and unheated space will give the rosemarys the right mix to get through the winter.  We had a beautiful day here in the 'Burgh.  Worked out in the herb garden tidying things up.  More about that tomorrow.  Hope you had a great day wherever you may be!  Talk to you later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

An Anniversary Surprise When We Got Home!

These lovelies were sitting at our back door when we got home last Monday!  They were delivered on Friday afternoon once we left for the east!  I think they survived a couple of cold nights and warm days because they were up against the house.  No, there are not from The Herbal Husband!  We have friends in Montevideo, Uruguay who send us flowers on our anniversary most every year!  Thanks to Mario, Judith and Daniel for the lovely flowers and thoughts!  Jam packed with Asiatic lilies and roses!  Adds a festive touch to our dining experiences.  Hope you had a great day wherever you may be!  We were out with the leaves and getting that last transplant into a pot.  Will share the experience tomorrow!  Talk to you later!  Got to go start dinner!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early Arrival of Santa's Reindeer?

Fortunately this is the same one.  There aren't two of them!  The Herbal Husband has been seeing browsing in the back of our garden toward the end of the season.  They must be getting ready for their big night coming in December.  Another great day in the 'Burgh!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Afternoon Tea in the Morning in Chester, NJ!

Sally Lunn Restaurant & Tearoom, Chester, NJ
Tea Sandwiches & Strawberry Scone
A Pot of Blue Eyes Tea
I dropped The Herbal Husband at his toy show in Allentown and headed east to New Jersey.  After a wonderful visit to Well Sweep Herb Farm (a post to follow), I drove on to Chester, New Jersey in northern New Jersey to have afternoon tea at Sally Lunn Restaurant & Tearoom.  I was just a little early and ordered it in the morning.  Soo technically, it was afternoon tea in the morning!  It was very good and fed my addiction for afternoon tea!  So if you are in the Chester, NJ vicinity, check out Sally Lunn's.  It is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon with your girlfriends.

Beautiful day in the 'Burgh.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We Have Returned and Guest Blogging for The Herb Companion Magazine!

Front Gate of Fulham Palace, London, England
Cafe at Fulham Palace
Nibbles for Lunch at Fulham Palace
We are back from our little trip to the east!  I'm exhausted from driving!  It's for your safety and mine that I do the driving.  I think I have explained that before.  Has something to do with being Latin!  We put on almost 900 miles on The Herbal Husband's Honda!  Better than average mileage with that car and it's 16 years old!  Will share some travel highlights in the coming days!

The photos above are from my trip to England in September and that is my latest guest post for The Herb Companion magazine entitled The Herb Gardens of Fulham Palace.  Hope you enjoy it.  I think I have another award from my friend, Julie at Laughing Horse Art.  I'll get to that later in the week.  Thanks, Julie!  Beautiful weather outside.  Must get to the leaves on the ground and the ivy on the roof is still an issue!  Got to find someone to tackle that before the weather gets really bad!  Talk to you later!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Herbal Timeout!

Well, it is time again for you all to talk amongst yourselves.  The Herbal Husband and I are going to take a road trip east for our anniversary.  We are stopping by The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances Tearoom on the way down.  Then we are staying with our long time friends in Washington Boro and then going to Allentown for a toy show on Saturday for The Herbal Husband.  I'm going to Well-Sweep Herb Farm in New Jersey and to Sally Lunn Tearoom for lunch hopefully with one of the wives of the toy collectors.  Then we are coming back to stay another night with our friends in Washington Boro.  A very understanding couple!  A busy and packed schedule.  Lots of driving.  The Herbal Husband gets his toys and I get my herbs and tea.  A win, win situation!  Talk to you later!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Frosty Morning in the Herb Garden!

The Pineapple Sage Finally Got Frosted!
The Salad Burnet has a Coat of White!
Nasturtiums and angelica are looking frightful!
Lemon Verbena is Still Hanging In!
Had some more frost this morning and will definitely be colder over the weekend.  Have to go out and cut the lemon verbena branches and bring them in for drying and tea!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later!

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Lone Calendula!

Well, maybe not alone!  I have to check it out tomorrow.  We did have an end to the peppers, tomatoes, beans, last night.  We were at 28 and will be again tonight.  Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is really one of the very last flowers in my garden.  They hang in there!  Last year my Thanksgiving bouquet had a calendula in it.  Remember calendulas were considered the poor man's saffron in the past.  Once you have calendulas planted, you should continue to see them multiple.  They can always be tamed by pulling them out.  I have even move them to a better location if I don't like where they are coming up.  Oooh, I forgot I spotted a coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) out in the front garden.  I'll share that with you tomorrow.  Hope you had a great day.  I was trying to get my warmer clothes in the attic today.  It was a mess, but I'm donating a lot of clothes because I'm smaller.  Always a good thing.  Talk to you tomorrow.