Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Your Typical Basil! (UPDATED FOR TUFA GIRL A/K/A FW DIRT)!

This is one of my favorite basils.  It is a green pepper basil.  Yes, it does smell and taste like green peppers.  It has survived through the 40's because it has been close to the rock wall this season.  It is a very decorative plant.

Sorta of did a half done (You can insert the word you like better there.) post yesterday.  Tufa Girl a/k/a FW Dirt asked me botanical name, etc. If I had had time FWD, you know I would have. Here you go, FWD.
Here is a really good article link from The Herb Companion and Jim Long, FWD with the botanical name, Ocimum selloi.

We tried to save seeds from our plant and gave them to our niece in Peru.  The seeds didn't germinate.  Seeds when they drop in the container do germinate.   Jim mentions two sources Mulberry Creek in Ohio.  They don't do mail order any more.  Nichols is the other source and I can't see them there either.  Companion Plants in Ohio does sell the seeds and here is the link to buy green pepper basil seeds.  Hope you can get the seeds.

Got to run.  Already saw 50/50 at the movies.  50/50 is good, but language is rough.  If you don't like the f word, this movie is not for you.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Was Amazing This Year!

The Night Blooming Jasmine Framed with a Peppermint Scented Geranium!

There's That Peppermint Scented Geranium Again!

Now It's Blocked by the Kaffir Lime!

Blooming At Night!
The jasmine suffered while we were gone, but stress is a good thing when you want something to bloom in a container.  If all you have are green leaves and no blossoms, let it be a little stressed (e.g. not watering it consistently or fertilizing it too much) and see the results.  It worked for us.  I bought this night blooming jasmine for The Herbal Husband several years ago at Well-Sweep Herb Farm.  The container that it is in as just got bigger and bigger!  It is a delicious smell at night when it is in bloom!  Maybe more about the peppermint scented geranium in another post!  It is going to be transplanted before it comes in for the winter.  Rainy here and a cool down for the weekend.  Made rose geranium jelly this morning.  May have to buy another bottle of wine to make more.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Flowers That Can't Tell Time!

My four o'clocks were blooming around 10 o'clock today!  They never seem to know when they are supposed to bloom.  Maybe it is because they have a little Latin in them.  Oh, that means they would be later!  I do not know why these are early and I don't really care because they are beautiful.  Always happy to see some late bloomers in the garden.  Will share more tomorrow.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Adventures at Mother Earth News Fair and Zen Moments

Under the Tent the Toyota Plug-in Car!

A llama from The Herbal Husband's Birth Place, Peru

The Timberstone Room Where I Spoke

Cinnamon Ice Cream

A Baby Alpaca!

 Demonstrating Horseradish Jelly

Not Very Zen Like Table

Herbal Tea for My Zen Moments

Started with Raspberry Jam

And Ended with Rose Geranium Jelly
Well, I can make jam and jelly in my kitchen all day.  I struggled at the Mother Earth News Fair and didn't finish the horseradish jelly I was trying to make.  I did get it into jars in the back and canned it when I got home, but that wasn't what I was supposed to do.  I get very excited to share my passion and some times it gets too overwhelming.  I tried to do too much and 45 minutes isn't a long time until you must do something and it doesn't get finished like you want.  The Herbal Husband was there to support me and he was a great comfort, positive, loving and just what I needed after I finished.  I also want to thank K.C., Gina, Allison from The Herb Companion magazine for helping me and supporting me.  James D., Christine and my volunteer, Jen, for their support as well.  Got to see some of the fair and of course, have cinnamon ice cream.

Took a day off and then it was back making jam and jelly this morning and afternoon.  Had to have a cup of herbal tea during the moments.  I made a batch of raspberry jam this morning and two batches of lemon verbena jelly this afternoon and finished with a rose geranium jelly batch.  Then I set up the last rose geranium batch with the last of the wine.  I might have to get another bottle of wine, because I still have a lot of leaves left.  Going to try and catch you up on the garden.  Have some photos to share.  The weather is still pretty good.  We did have almost an inch of rain last night!  The sun is out at the moment.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Prayers Are Just Amazing and So Are You!

Bonnie and I just wanted to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for John.  He is making progress although he has a long way to go including surgery at some point.  Bonnie was very touched that I put a call out on my blog and you responded.  She was very pleased!  She says thank you for all your continued thoughts and prayers.  Had to have a little comic relief!  Chippie found a new resting place on St. Fiacre.  Mary fell apart and had to be carried away!  As you can see the garlic chives are out in full force.  I really am going to renovate the herb garden next year.  It's going to happen!  Lots of preparation for Sunday!  Don't usually talk while making jelly!  This might not work out!  While you're saying your prayers, say one for me as well!  I thank you in advance for your support!  Talk to you after the big event.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Special Request, Please!

I just wanted to ask for your thoughts and prayers for my dear herbal companion, Bonnie's husband, John.  He has been sick and Bonnie got him into the hospital yesterday.  So get well soon, John!  We are all praying for you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Need an Herbal Timeout!

Hope you will understand about this herbal timeout.  I am trying to get my herbal ducks in a row and focus on my upcoming demonstration for the Mother Earth News Fair on September 25, 2011 at 3:00 on the Eating Well stage.  Talk to you after the 25th!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Love The Late Summer/Early Fall Fairy Rose!

Really one of the workhorses in the garden for me is my 'Fairy' rose.  This one is pink and we have a little red one as well.  It is also blooming even in its first year stages.  Lovely in arrangements and as decoration on cakes or in tussie mussies, the 'Fairy' just blooms and blooms through the summer and into fall.  Remember it is an edible flower.  We are going to have a couple of nights in the upper 30's and I think as I remember from last season, it will survive those with flying colors.  Going to be making some basil jelly this afternoon.  As I said in a previous post, basil doesn't like the 40's and will start turning black.  So for those of you who have had frost already, I will be thinking of you when I make my first batch of basil this afternoon.  A couple of more basil jellies tomorrow and a batch of raspberry jam as well.  Made sure I got my walk in today because standing around in one place can be hard on the joints! Don't you love this time of year.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

They Started Our Garden Twenty Plus Years Ago!

Impatiens started our garden 20 plus years ago.  So it is fitting that it would reappear again because of the wind or the birds.  It is funny how flowers come and go and then come back again.  Our neighbors annual flowers are impatiens.  So maybe it is a  gift from them!  Hope you are having a good day wherever you may be.  I'm going to be with Miss C later today after her volleyball practice.  We are going out to dinner just the two of us.  I think she will do most of the talking!  Looking forward to spending time with her.  I think the basil will need to be cut tomorrow.  We are going to have temperatures in the 40's tomorrow night!  Basil doesn't do well.  Making a new jelly flavor.  Talk to you later.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Only Way to Plant Mint!

Fortunately, this silver mint (Mentha longifolia) has come back from the dead.  It wasn't watered enough while we were gone.  Mints are survivors usually, but you never know.  You need to plant mints in containers.  I don't heed my own words, but you should!  Plant them in a 12" or bigger pot about three inches down from the lip of the pot.  Also you can line the bottom with landscape fabric so the roots don't creep out and plant themselves in the ground or patio!  I have several plants that are planted in the patio and need to come out before they take over the garden!  I think that's my new mantra!   Congratulations to Sam Stosur on winning the U.S. Open tennis tournament!  She played very well!  Looking forward to Nadal and Djokovic in a little while.  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Fireworks Have Started!

Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' or 'Fireworks' goldenrod is an annual event and a perennial favorite in my garden.  It started in the front garden and has moved or been transplanted all over the garden.  Sometimes a good thing and other times I wish it would move on and it does with help from you know who or on its own.  Our skies are iffy today.  I walked earlier and carried my insurance-an umbrella!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Look What I Found!

The Herbal Husband was very excited the other day.  He said you have to come and see what I found in the garden.  Call it look what I found (or planted) in the back of the garden.  A papaya tree!  I'm not kidding!  And guess what is coming inside for the winter.  A papaya tree!  You may ask, LVL, do you have room for this papaya tree?  I would answer you, probably not, but you know The Herbal Husband.  Where there is a papaya tree, there had better be a space inside the house or no more papaya tree!  I just try to limit the exposure and damage to everything that comes inside.  With all of the brown marmorated stink bugs we have now, that will be one major insect that we have to careful not to let come in for the winter.  You can go around the garden and knock them into a jar of soapy water.  I have to change the name of my jar from beetle juice to stink bug juice!  I'm sure we have a few already inside.  I'm sure I told you about the day I went to the coat closet and one walked out.  They are all over the raspberries!  Yikes! They are really causing damage and there are a lot of them everywhere in our garden.   I was reading today about an Asian Wasp that may be a predator.  I'm going to buy a bunch of them if it proves to be correct.  Well, hope you had a good day.  Working on timing my demo for the Fair.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Something We Haven't Seen For Awhile and the Cat Count!

The Sun Finally Appears!

The Original Kitty Waiting for Lunch!

A New Bigger Cat!
Usually we don't hit our gray days until winter.  This rain is getting to The Herbal Husband and me.  Fortunately we haven't had the flooding rains that other parts of the state have gotten!  Rain did provide time for The Herbal Husband to write an article for an English toy magazine and I got my handouts ready for Seven Springs in two weeks!  Now all I have to do is practice making the jelly!  I can do it in my sleep, but in front of people will be a different experience.  Then there are the cats and we now are into multiples.  We have at least two residents and may be more!  Well, hope you are having a great day.  We are having date night and going to Panera and the Oaks Movie Theater for a foreign film.  Get my glasses cleaned!  Sometimes I'm reading so much at the foreign film, I don't enjoy the film!  Ugh!  OK, enough whining!  Talk to you later.

Friday, September 2, 2011

One of My Favorite Late Summer Herbs

My bronze fennel is blooming in the back garden.  It's a little hard to see in this photo.  I'm going to watching closely (Ha!) so I can cut the flowers before they seed everywhere in the garden.  I think that the bronze fennel looks good with the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and the black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)Really muggy and hot today.  Got another batch of raspberry jam made.  Got to get my Mother Earth News Fair handouts done and speech timed!  May disappear for a couple of days.  Hope you have a great Labor (Can't believe it!) Day weekend!  Cooler here next week.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Speaking of

Sunflowers!  I wanted to show you my volunteers.  Sometimes they are the best and since we haven't been around much to plant seeds, the birds have done it for us.  Thank you birdies! They are an edible flower as well.  You can cook the new flower buds like an artichoke, but then you wouldn't have flowers!  You can also sprinkle the petals into your salads.  Works for me!  Strange day today.  It's muggy and we had heavy rain this morning and now the sun is out.  Maybe I can get my walk in after all!  Talk to you later.