Ultimately I hated to do it, but early this week I had to say goodbye to my rude roosters (yes there were two).
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
They were so good, not just the kids, but the adults were hoarding them too.
Maple Syrup Lollipops
- 1 cup Maple Syrup
- 1 cup Corn Syrup
- 1 cup White Sugar
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
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…
This was amazing…
The Bison was terrific but I loved the tiny detail of the bird resting on it’s back…
Also stunning. This was truly amazing…
And a touch of humor in the garden, not to mention the sculptures we’re fabulous…
I loved that the bird feed was individual Lego pieces…
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.
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
- 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
|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!
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!
Let the seed starting begin!
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.
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!!!!!!!