Wordless Wednesday

Allium in the Garden

Lupine in the Garden

Heuchera in the Garden

Garden Vista

Purple Clematis in the Garden

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Wordless Wednesday

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

extravagantgardens.com

Please forgive the lack of posts for the prior week.  I’ve been trying to upgrade the blog + having some technical issues in regard to photos (of all thing!)…  Wading my way through it…



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Rude Roosters

Ultimately I hated to do it, but early this week I had to say goodbye to my rude roosters (yes there were two).

Mr. Rooster

Au Revoir!

Rude Rooster

Yes they were beautiful, but rooster #1 at the top was getting a bit too feisty for his or my good.  He would fluff himself up to his full height and then try and menace me when I entered the run.  I went through the process of trying to hold him, dominate him in front of his ladies, embarrass him in front of his ladies etc., all to no avail.  I can honestly say I tried but he’s outta here and his buddy can go too.

If you’re wondering, no, they did not end up in the proverbial stew pot though I thank everyone who offered to do it for me (Wow there were a lot of you!).  They have found there way back to the farm where they originated and they will wind up as free rangers or used for breeding.

To replace them we’ve brought home two very cute Bielefelder chicks who are 99.9% guaranteed to be female.  Males and females are hatched different colors apparently.  Thats definitely a good thing!

Happy weekend everyone!

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Wordless Wednesday – Spring Flowers

Spring is in full bloom so with tons of lovely flowers and what-not to show you in the garden, I’m starting Wordless Wednesday’s again… Enjoy!

Orange Tulip, Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flowers

Tulips, Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flowers

Black Foliage Euphorbia, Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flowers

Burgundy Tulip, Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flowers

Burgundy Tulip, Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flowers

Classic Red Tulips, Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flowers

 

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Orchid Extravaganza!

A couple of weeks ago I visited the New York Botanical Garden to catch their show ‘The Orchid Show: Chandeliers”.  It was truly an Orchid Extravaganza!  Their goal was to mimic a tropical rain forest and to embrace the spirit of greenhouse growers from an earlier century who would hang orchids up a tree or suspended in some fashion, forcing you to look up to view these stunning epiphytes in a situation akin to their homes in the forests.  It was a huge success!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

The photo above is (in my opinion) their ‘crown jewel’.  My photo does not do this justice.  It was remarkable and I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to how many orchids were used in it’s construction and then factor in the maintenance to keep it looking fresh.  Astounding!  And if you’re curious how it was constructed, follow this link.  Truly epic gardening!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Orchid Extravaganza!

Sadly the orchid show is gone, but it is an annual event at the NYBG.  Keep it in mind for next year when you’re in the deepest winter funk.  There’s nothing better than a crazily huge greenhouse when you’re knee deep in the snow!

And if you’re inspired to try orchids yourself, do!  Phalaenopsis are especially easy to grow and they flower for so long you almost get sick of them – almost!  Here’s a link to an old post of mine on how I get them to re-bloom with ease.  And you don’t have to spend a ton of money on them, I’m a big fan of Homey-D or even the Costco’s of the world when they’re offering orchids (always a good price!), just be sure the closed blossoms look healthy with no yellowing and that there are no withered leaves.

Happy gardening everyone!  Hope you get outside and dig a bit of soil this weekend!

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Maple Syrup Lollipops

Sugaring season has come and gone but about a month ago we made our usual pilgrimage to our good friends annual Sugar Festival.  It’s always a fun day spent out of doors, by a fire, usually with an adult beverage in hand.  One of my favorite aspects of their sugaring festival is that the proprietor in chief, a.k.a. Big Fred, always makes something ‘new’ from the syrup for everyone to try.  One year it was Maple Syrup Candy, another Maple Sugar, and this year it was Maple Syrup Lollipops.

Maple Syrup Lollipops

They were so good, not just the kids, but the adults were hoarding them too.

Maple Syrup Lollipops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Corn Syrup
  • 1 cup White Sugar

Directions

Maple Syrup Lollipops
Spray your lollipop molds with a cooking spray (make sure the molds can withstand high temps) and insert a lollipop stick.
Maple Syrup Lollipops
Combine the three sugars in a heavy duty saucepan. Heat to the hard crack stage (300°F) and I would advise using a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat once you hit 300°F and very, very carefully pour into the prepared candy molds (remember that you are working with molten sugar - if you are not careful it will be the worst burn of your life). And a tip from big Fred: he gently reheats the pan if the candy/sugar starts to thicken up midway through.
Maple Syrup Lollipops
The lollipops will cool quite quickly. Pop them out and wrap them in a bit of plastic wrap or in cute little bags.

I’m not a huge fan of baked sweets, but I do LOVE candy and these were just amazing.  Also, I’ve always wanted to try and make lollipops and it took Big Fred to show me just how easy it is…  Thanks Fred!  And follow this link if you’re interested in the cute little candy molds he used.

Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to brush your teeth if you try making these :)

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Lego’s at the McKee Botanical Garden

Over our children’s spring break we payed a visit to the McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach Florida.  While you all know I’m a crazed garden person, that is not in fact why we went for a visit.  The real reason is… LEGO SCULPTURES!  Yes, there were some extremely cool Lego’s at the McKee Botanical Garden…

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Hummingbird

This was amazing…

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lily Pad and Frog

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lily Pad and Koi

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Yellow Jacket

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Solitary Rose

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Hovering Dragon Fly

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Bison, Calf and Small Bird

The Bison was terrific but I loved the tiny detail of the bird resting on it’s back…

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Butterfly

Also stunning.  This was truly amazing…

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Fox and the Rabbit

And a touch of humor in the garden, not to mention the sculptures we’re fabulous…

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lawnmower

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Gardener toiling away

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Birdfeeder

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

I loved that the bird feed was individual Lego pieces…

Lego's at the McKee Botanical Garden

Phalaenopsis

Of course the final sculpture, the orchid, was in the gift shop, but that’s ok – it was amazing.  And they also had some very cool plant seeds that I picked up so it was still decent garden shopping.

Sadly the exhibit has closed as of April 12th, but it was amazing and you can catch it in different, upcoming locations.  The artist who created these sculptures is named Sean Kenney and if you’d like to catch the next leg of the show check here and you can also gather a bit of information on Sean.

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Awesome Deviled Eggs

Awesome Deviled Eggs

It’s that time of year, many of us were dying Easter eggs over the weekend with the kiddos, or like me, you’ve added insult to injury and your chickens are out producing consumption. So, I’m cracking out (ha, ha) my Awesome Deviled Eggs recipe!

Awesome Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 10 Lg. Eggs
  • 1/2 Tspn. Onion (finely minced - no chunks allowed)
  • Tspn Mustard (I used Dijon but you can use whatever you like)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Mayo
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Chives

Directions

Crack and peel the eggs. Older eggs peel more easily and it is claimed if you add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water it helps as well. It's always worth a shot...
Cut the eggs in half placing the cooked yolk in a small bowl.
Add the onion, mayo and mustard and mash together with a fork until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I like to squish all of the egg yolk into a ziplock bag, snip the corner off, and use it as a piping bag. You can do this or use a real pastry bag, you could also just use a spoon - your call, but stuff those empty egg whites with a bit of the filling.
Garnish with a bit of paprika and a chive. Yummy!

And if you’re a mayonnaise person and like to make your own for recipes, try this.  It’s done using an immersion blender and it’s very cool and very fast.  Sometimes trying to whip mayonnaise up can be irksome, but this truly amazed me.  It’s akin to Julia Child’s blender hollandaise that I love so much.

Hope this helps with using up all of your hard boiled eggs.  And if you live near me and need eggs – shoot me a message.  I’m overwhelmed!

Xoxo,

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A,B,C’s of Extravagant Garden’s

A,B,C's of Extravagant Garden's

Welcome to the A,B,C’s of Extravagant Gardens…

A is for Artichoke, that I’ve started from seed.
B is for the Beets that I don’t really need.
C is for Chard, of which I can’t get enough.
D is for Daikon, what is this stuff?
E is for Eggs, thanks to the hens.
F is for the Fennel I plant again and again.
G is for a Grape Vine that I need to train.
H is for Hose, when will it rain?
I is for the Iris that’s in a perfect spot.
J is for the Juniper I dropped in a pot.
K is for Kousa and it’s edible fruit.
L is for Lavender than lines a pathway route.
M is for Malus, my favorite is Macoun.
N is for the Netting which I’ll need to toss over it soon.
O is for Oregano, which I must confess, I’ve let it run wild and it’s a bit of a mess.
P is for Poppies, and it’s kind of strange, that I just started growing them – I must have needed a change.
Q is for gardening Questions which I so often pose.
R is next and it can only represent a Rose!
S is for the Sage I like to preserve.
T is for Tomato, stuffed for an hors d’oeuvre.
U is for Uncork, need I say more? Sometimes after a day in the garden, you must pour.
V is for Vegetables, that are starting to grow.
W is for Water, please stop the snow.
X is for Xeriscape, let’s save water!
Y is for my Yarrow, that likes it hotter.
Z is for Zinnia, a perfect cut flower, one I would choose if stuck in a tower.

Happy gardening everyone!

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Seed Starting Has Begun!

Let the seed starting begin!

Seed Starting
I rarely get my Sweet Peas in the ground in a timely fashion, which results in very few blossoms, so I’m trying them early this year. I’m going to pot them up and see how far I can push them in a cold and sunny back room.

One of the tricks with sweet peas is to let them soak for a day before you plant them. It’s not essential, but it helps to speed the process along. Once they sprout and grow a bit, I’ll pinch the tops so they don’t get so leggy, and then hopefully I can plant them out early and have loads of bouquets through the late spring and early summer. And did I mention they’re wickedly fragrant??? One of my favorites!

I also grow a perennial sweet pea, its not really fragrant but I do love it for the non-stop show of blossoms all season.
Perennial Sweet Pea
I ‘borrowed’ the seed for this plant a few years back while on vacation in Maine. It has thrived. If I’m ever lacking for a cut flower in the house I can always turn to this plant for a few blossoms.

So what seeds have you started? Are you trying anything new this year? My next big planting is going to be fava’s and I’m trying artichokes again. Hurrah for SPRING!!!!!!!

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