Sunday, September 30, 2012

The 'Arp' Rosemary That Will Come Inside!

This is the one that got transplanted before I could say The Herbal Husband!  This is the one that I was going to leave near the rock wall in my herb garden.  He gets desperate this time of year to bring plants inside.  Hopefully it will do OK on a living room windowsill with either southern or western exposure.  We have drafty old windows so it should do OK.  In the garage last year a prostrate rosemary got powdery mildew.  We will have to watch it this season.  It may come back.  It is just a soggy wet rainy day.  We keep getting rain!  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, September 28, 2012

An Herbal Comeback of the Scented Kind!

Peppermint Scented Geranium In Flower Early May!

Here It is Struggling in Mid-July!

Here It is Making an Herbal Comeback at the end of September!
Sometimes we do know what we are doing here.  The Herbal Husband just wants every leaf and flower to survive.  That's why we don't thin our seedlings much or pruning back spindly plants.  I saw enough growth coming from the bottom of the peppermint scented geranium to plead my case to whack (sorry wrong term) to prune it back so that might make an herbal comeback.  It has gotten white flies! Ugh!  You think you're going in the right direction and something else brings you back to earth!  We are pretty soggy here.  Almost two inches of rain!  Sorry for those of you in drought.  I really wish I could share it!  Hope you are having a great day.  Still making jelly.  Rose geranium leaves have to dry out and then they will be steeped in White Zinfandel wine.  It is yummy.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Never to Early to Think About the Holidays, Herbally Speaking!

The Grower's Exchange which has a 600 acre farm along the James River in Virginia is a regular advertiser in The Herb Companion magazine.  I took an advertising survey recently and it brought into focus all of the different advertisers for me.   I signed up for their catalog and after a bit of a wait, it arrived the other day.  It has a lot of different herb plants with competitive prices and herbal gift ideas for the holidays.  Look, it says it right on the cover!  If you are stumped for what to get those herb loving people on your list, maybe this is the catalog for you.  I'll have more about The Herb Companion magazine in another post.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  It is raining and warm here in the 'Burgh.  Talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting a Jump on the 2013 Herb of the Year, Elder!

OK, I know it isn't quite 2013 (Elder is the Herb of the Year, 2013.), but here is a little gem that won't cost you an arm and a leg.  It's from my friend, Tina Sams at The Essential Herbal magazine.  It is an e-book.  I always like the feel of a book in my hand, but for $5.00 plus tax in my case because I'm in Pennsylvania, you can download this book to your computer.  I will be learning about elder right along with all of you.  So get a head start and think about purchasing this book.  It's 40 pages and it is just chock full of information.  The button on the right hand side of my home page will take to The Essential Herbal store.

Went to see Trouble with the Curve last week which was good.  Today we went to see The Master.  Tremendous performances, but a strange little movie.  It was a bit too long.  I would say both male Oscars will come from this movie.  Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman are both brilliant as is Amy Adams in a lesser role.  Well, sorry to be posting so late.  Getting close to the end of my jelly making for the season.  Hope you have all had a great day.  Talk to you later.
Elderflower in Our Garden Last Year

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Did I Mention?

We are growing small melons.  I suppose if we had a longer season, they would grow bigger. Duh!  We even have a vine of them growing in the rose bush in my herb garden.  I'll post a photo of them later.  They are working on the new furnace.  Always something.

We are getting down to the nitty gritty now.  There is a lot of positioning going on.  We were making a mental list of the plants that are coming in the other day.  I was hoping to experiment with an 'Arp' rosemary and leave it outside for the winter, but quicker than you can say Herbal Husband, he dug it up and brought it in.  I know what he is up to.  He is trying to bring in all of the tender herbs so I don't have any to buy next year.  I have lived with him a long time and he doesn't fool me.  He also said to me yesterday that he is going to grow less vegetables and I can grow more herbs or what I want to grow!  I'm not going to scream yippee, because as sure as I do, he will take it back!  You who have husbands know the drill.  Hope you are having a great day or evening wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Visit to Succop Conservancy!

The 170 Year Old Succop Estate Main House

A Small Courtyard to Enjoy

Alice Who Tends The Herb Garden

An Outbuilding Near the Herb Garden

A Beautiful Lemon Verbena in Bloom!

More of the Herb Garden

The Basil was Large, Unprotected and Doing Well, but Maybe Not for Long!
Afternoon Tea Especially for Our Group.
Succop Conservancy is an estate in Butler County just north of where I live.  It is owned by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.  It is the latest reserve to be added as a cultural and environmental education center.  It's main attraction at the moment is a wonderful place for weddings and receptions.  It has a lot of walking trails, two ponds and a small herb garden which is lovingly tended by a Penn State Master Gardener from Butler County.  She does a great job!  I went for a visit last week with my friends from Piccadilly Herb Club.  It was a very nice time which included a special afternoon tea just for us.  It is a beautiful day here in the 'Burgh.  Got to go out and get ready for the new furnace tomorrow.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Processing Basil!

Purple Basil in White Wine Vinegar for Two Weeks!

Sweet Basil Waiting to be Processed into Jelly and Pesto

Cinnamon Basil for Jelly

Those Chinese Takeout Soup Containers Perfect for Keeping Basil Leaves Overnight

Cinnamon Basil Leaves After Overnight Stay
It was just been wild and crazy here as it always is this time of year.  Our temperatures here have gotten a whole lot cooler and basil doesn't like that.  I have now cut the majority of my basil down.   I was pleasantly surprised to use my small Chinese takeout soup containers to measure out recipes for my spicy basil apple jelly and the cinnamon basil jelly I make.  The leaves held well overnight.  Much better than in just a plastic bag.  I just had one plant of purple basil and it makes a lovely herbal vinegar in white wine vinegar in about two weeks.  Easy, peasy as Jamie Oliver would say.  Then one of my favorite contemporary herbal authors and blogging pals, Jim Long, who is a never ending source of fabulous recipes came up with Zucchini Pesto Bread!  Genius!  He says it's good as a grilled cheese sandwich!  Anything cheesy, I'm in!  He also gives you a traditional pesto recipe and a not so traditional one.  As always, Jim does the thinking and I just try to make them!

Here is my Spicy Basil Apple Jelly recipe:
Makes Four 8 oz. jars

1 1/2 cups of sweet basil, chopped
2 T. of whole cloves
2 cups of apple juice
1 3 oz. package of liquid pectin
3 1/2 cups of sugar

Put chopped basil, cloves and apple juice into a 3-1/2 (or larger) quart saucepan.  Heat to boiling for 10 seconds.  Take off the burner and steep covered for 30 minutes.  Strain 1-1/2 cups of juice into a 3-1/2 (or larger) quart saucepan with 3-1/2 cups of sugar.  Stirring constantly bring up to a boil that can't be stirred down, take off burner briefly and add contents of liquid pectin.  Bring back to a boil and boil exactly 1 minute.  Let jelly sit while you take out your boiled jars (Boil for 10 minutes before you start making the jelly.) and lids that you heated with boiling water.  Skim foam from surface of jelly with spoon.  Pour jelly into four 8 oz. jars and skim bubbles from top of jelly one last time and cover with lids and rings.  Boil for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Tops should pop down and seal.  If not, put in refrigerator and use promptly.

Well, whether you are busy in the kitchen making pesto or other goodies.  Just remember here in the northeast or mid-Atlantic, we are going to be busy harvesting and processing your herbs.  Here is a green pepper basil that will come in for the winter.  It will not be this full when winter is finished, but hopefully, it will hang in there in our living room which has a southern exposure.
Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.  Got some more travel photos to share.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Bunch More Photos of Chanticleer!

One of the Prettiest Plant List Boxes I Think You Have Seen!

Entrance to the Woodland Garden

Some of the Hardscape in the Woodland Garden

A Frog by the Pond

Loved the Hardscape of the Paths and Benches

That's a Lot of Lawn to Mow!

Lotus Flower Pods

A Sculptural Water Fountain

Bell's Run

They Planted Sorghum in the Serpentine!

The Gravel Gardens

Another Favorite Bench to Sit and Enjoy

This is Another Plant List Box!  Very Clever!
Really Chanticleer is very enjoyable and I hope I have given you a sense of how wonderful it truly is.  If you can't make this season, maybe next.  We had a gloomy morning and then the sun came out, but it's been windy.  A beautiful fall day!  Yikes!  How did summer get away so quickly!  I did find I have enough rose geranium leaves to make jelly.  So it will be off to buy white Zinfandel wine next week.  Hope you had a great day.  Lots to talk about.  I'll pick a new topic for the next post!  Maybe talk about preserving the herbal harvest and what I'm specifically doing.  Talk to you later.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's All in the Details at Chanticleer!

The Rooster the Symbol of Chanticleer

The Estate at Chanticleer

Stunning Combinations of Plants Along the Pathways
Teacup Fountain in the Teacup Garden
Yes, Banana Trees!

Intimate Benches to Enjoy the Gardens

Groups of Seating Around the Main House
Tennis Court Garden
Seating Area in the Tennis Court Garden

A Favorite Sunflower in the Cut-Flower and Vegetable Garden
Pumpkin Bench in the Cut-Flower and Vegetable Garden

A Big Celosia!
Entrance to the Cut-Flower and Vegetable Garden
Well, I'm still at Chanticleer because there are so many great views of this wonderful garden.  Chanticleer was built as a summer home for the Rosengarten family.  They were in the pharmaceutical business which become part of Merck in the 1920's.  The house and grounds were left to the public after Mr. Rosengarten's death in 1990.  The gardens were open to the public in 1993.  While there isn't an herb garden separate from other gardens, there are herbs placed in various locations all over the grounds.  If you use the link I have given you above, you can go to the individual gardens and look at the plants lists with some photos and get an idea of what was blooming in the 2012 Chanticleer Gardens.  It is an amazing garden and truly and pleasure to visit.  I have been trying to get jelly made.  Will post when I can.  Beautiful weather here at the moment but the rain is supposed to come in later this afternoon and tonight.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chanticleer's Containers, Part Two!

A few more pot of plants from Chanticleer.  I'll give you overall views of Chanticleer tomorrow.  Got to run.  Having lunch with a childhood friend today.  Will be back in the kitchen tomorrow.  Talk to you later.