Plant Supports

I use loads of plant supports throughout my garden during the growing season, and I have to say they can be pretty expensive when you need them in bulk.  Being a fan of English gardens and the willow work often found within them, I was inspired this year to make my own supports from the water sprouts on my ornamental fruit trees – they’re super flexible and readily available since I have to prune the trees anyway.

Probably my peony bed had the greatest need for support this year.  It’s a newish garden and really took off this season.

Plant Supports

Plant Supports

Plant Supports

Plant Supports

We’ve had loads of rain this spring and summer and the peonies withstood the downpours beautifully.  I loved the way the supports looked as well.  There were no harsh, metal frames and the organic quality flowed nicely in this area.

I also used them in my front planters.

Plant Supports

Plant Supports

The plant material itself didn’t really need the support, but I really liked the structural element they added as everything grew and filled the pots.

I’m not sure if the supports are going to withstand more than one season but I’ve enjoyed them enough that next year I’ll try them again with a more ornate weave.  I might even try my hand at making an obelisk or two for my clematis!  A girls gotta try!

Happy gardening everyone!  Hope you’re able to get out there and get your hands dirty this weekend!

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Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

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Blender Chimichurri

Blender Chimichurri

I have to thank my Sister-in-law (xoxo!) for the fabulous Blender Chimichurri recipe I’m sharing and I’m guessing you will too when you try it.  Chimi is an Argentinian condiment  that’s popular throughout South America (and Miami where we were first introduced to it!) and classically goes with grilled meat.  It’s also fabulous on chicken, fish, pork and even as a punchy salad dressing.  It’s endlessly useful and it’s perfect right now when I have so many herbs growing in the garden that I can’t use them up fast enough!

I confess I’m thrilled with a blender version so I can skip all the chopping involved with the herbs.  (Yes, I’m lazy.  Don’t tell anyone…) I just pack it all in the blender and flip it on.  It literally takes five minutes which includes washing the herbs.

Blender Chimichurri

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Parsley
  • 3/4 Cup Good Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Oregano (Leaves stripped from stem)
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (smashed)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to Taste (I leave these out if my kids are eating the chimi)

Directions

Add all the ingredients except the olive oil to your blender or food processor, turn the machine on and pour the oil in slowly and steadily. Scrape the sides if necessary.

This is kind of a standard recipe for Chimi.  Feel free to add or remove what you don’t like.  I also like to put in black pepper, thyme, cilantro and garlic scapes (which is a great way to use them up) and I’ve tried rice vinegar which has a great flavor.  You can tweak it to your hearts content depending on what you have in the garden or what you can find at the farmstand or grocery store.

My Sister-in-Law serves it with a grilled flank steak and that’s what my husband loves too.  Try it!  You won’t be disappointed!

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Wordless Wednesday

garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps garden snaps

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Wordless Wednesday

Red Scented Dianthus

Water Lily Buds

Eryngium

Allium

Red Shrub Rose

Tuteurs in the Garden

Stunning Rock Iris

Bumble Bee Hard at Work on a Salviia

Poppies blowing in the breeze

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Bielefelder Chickens

Bielefelder Chick

Four Week Old Bielefelder

As all of you who read Extravagant Gardens know, we have chickens, and as you all know, we had to say goodbye about a month ago to our two roosters (I’m hoping they’re free ranging their little hearts out with a bevy of lovely ladies to protect – feeling a wee bit guilty).  When they we’re dropped off at the farm, we we’re able to bring home two lovely little chicks to replace them.  They’re special girls called Bielefelder Chickens, some people love them so much they refer to them as “über chickens”.

So what’s so special about them aside from being very cute?…  Call them the product of superior German engineering.  They we’re first bred in the early 70’s in Bielefeld, Germany by a poultry breeder named Gerd Roth.   They’re a cross between Amrocks, Malines, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Red and probably their greatest attribute is the virtual certainty they’re girls – boys and girls are different colors (auto-sexing chickens – leave it to the Germans!), which means we won’t have to cull roosters from the flock again (I mentioned my guilt right?).  They’re also supposed to be incredibly friendly and gentle, and from my experience this month, they are.  And did I mention they lay upwards of 200 eggs per year from an early age?  Amazing!

Bielefelder Pullet

About 8 weeks old coming up to visit.

Another attribute that people love is that they’re very large birds so if you’re raising chickens for meat they’re fabulous (I’m not).  They call it a dual purpose bird and the one you would choose if you could only have one kind of backyard chicken – but who can only have one breed???  Craziness!

My next challenge is to move them out to the run with the other girls.  I’m hoping their size will offer them a bit of protection from the other ladies, but since the phrase ‘pecking order’ comes from chickens, I have my doubts…

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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Wordless Wednesday

Purple Clematis

Perfect White Peony

Cornus Kousa

Anemone

Shrub roses about to bloom

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How to Anchor a Tuteur

How to Anchor a Tuteur

I’ve been struggling with keeping my tuteurs upright in the pool garden since I built them.  They blow over in a strong wind bringing destruction with them every time.  I’ve lost every sort of climber and this year my clematis were ripped out at the root.  I’ve tried all kinds of solutions, rocks, coat hangers, spikes, tent stakes, burying the base, and I think I’ve finally come up with a permanent solution…

How to Anchor a Tuteur

Corkscrew dog leash anchors!  I had a eureka moment walking through a local pet store and tracked them down on Amazon.  It’s going to take a Cat. 5 hurricane to pull these babies out!  They’re about a foot long and I’m going to have to beg the hubby to help me get them into the ground.  I have three per tuteur so it might be a wee bit of gardening over-kill, but I’m just happy I finally have a solution.  Here’s hoping the clematis come back up!

And on an editorial note, hoping I have my photo issue solved – this post will tell.  Thanks for the patience and have a great weekend in the garden!

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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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