Monday, June 29, 2009

Encouragement - the Perfect Gift

Encouragement is the Perfect Gift

~ It’s free.
~ It requires no shopping.
~ It doesn’t have to be gift-wrapped.
~ It can be custom-designed.
~ It doesn’t require batteries.
~ It will last a lifetime.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Potato Salad

Most of us don't need a recipe for potato salad. The main ingredients are pretty basic. One difference is to maximize the taste by seasoning while the potatoes are still hot. Tests show that Russet potatoes have the capacity to soak up flavor better than other potatoes, especially the vinegar--if you use it. A couple of tablespoons of white vinegar gets the most votes for its clean, clear acidity. Dry mustard adds pungency to the salad, while prepared mustard falls flat. Important: mix your dressing first then add to the potatoes. If you add and mix each ingredient, your potatoes turn to mush.

All American Potato Salad
Serves 4-6

2 lbs (3-4 medium) Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 T. white distilled vinegar
1 med. celery rib, chopped fine (~1/2 cup)
2 T. minced red onion
3 T. sweet pickle relish (we found that chopped Bread & Butter pickles make the best!!)
1/2 c. mayonaise
3/4 teasp celery seed
2 T. minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teasp ground black pepper
2 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (optional)

1. Place potatoes in large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over medium-high; add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring once or twice, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Add vinegar and, using rubber spatular, toss gently to combine. Let stand until potatoes are just warm, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together celery, onion, pickle relish, mayonaise, powdered mustard, celery seed, parsley, pepper, and 1/2 teasp salt. Using rubber spatula, gently fold dressing and eggs, if using, into potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate untill chilled, about 1 hour; serve.
(Potato salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cruising in the yard

It was so great to have a nice breeze this afternoon. I decided to cruise around and take pictures. Some of the flowers and some of the garden.

Butter bean
Our first white grapes

My high school friend, Eddie, brought us 6 bags of well composted horse manure.




Scads of banana peppers (let me give you some!)
We've found these peppers are great substitutes for Bell Peppers. In fact, we prefer them over Bell Peppers.

I love the sputnik look of the spent bloom of the Agapanthus

The emerging bloom of the Achmea Bromeliad

pruning the hydrangea

Tiger lily

Water lily

Pulling weeds

Asiatic lily "Elodie"

Name this flower


A favorite recipe. Mashed potatoes goes well with it.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Epiphyllum Oxypetalum

Last night the night blooming cactus (Epiphyllum Oxypetalum) had 7 blooms to open. 2 opened the night before. All together, it started with 17 buds. I wasn't able to photograph them until this morning and they were starting to close up. Normally, the petals would be wide spread flat open and the pink stamen would be standing up.

The 17 buds


This Orchid is blooming on old canes that were cut from the plant a year ago! Stuck the old bloom canes in water and almost of the canes have bloom stalks. I had heard this would happen, so I had to see if it really would. Now, I've seen it!

Sitting in this jar of water for over a year.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Last night

Two blooms opened on the Night Blooming Cactus, but I missed them. I didn't feel up to going out that late to see if they opened. There's more, yet.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Out of pocket

Sorry folks! I've been in the hospital a couple of days. That's how it goes with a fellow in a wheelchair. From time to time, you get problems. This was the first time in years! I had gastro-intestinal problems-- thought I was having appendicitis.

When I got home, the yard was full of beautiful blooms. Purple headed phlox, daylilies, begonias and many others. Here are a few pictures:

Epiphillium Oxypetalum "Night Blooming Cactus" has 17 bloom buds!

The Fernery- Birdsnest fern, Japanese Painted fern, Sago emerging on the right, "magic flower" (an unknown) blooming in the center
White Hydrangea "Limelight"
Yellow daylily (no name)


Pink Angel Trumpet
Cast Iron Lilies, Hosta and Caladiums
Here is a spectacle. I was once told that after an orchid blooms, to cut the bloom stalk off, put it into water and it would grow a new flower. I tried it, and here it is!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Night Blooming Cereus

The beautiful Night Blooming Cereus bloomed last night. Beginning at about 9:00 pm and on to about 10:00 until it was in full bloom. The aroma is sultry and intoxicating, and I'm sure the little "Hummingbird" Sphinx Moth got a real treat.

Here are the stages of the bloom

Sphinx Moth

Notice the center-- There is a legend about this flower that the center stamen is the halo over Baby Jesus in the manger (the yellow being the straw of the manger). Blooming at night as Christ was born.

the next day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hot Friday

As hot as it is, I find myself out there pulling weeds and even planting a new Gloriosa Lily Tom & Deborah gave me. Tom came over to drop off tickets for the Chamber Luncheon and I gave him a quick tour of the garden.

I showed him the Dove nesting in the Greenhouse. She found an empty hanging basket and built a little nest. For weeks she has sat on it, hatching 2 eggs. Now we have babies.
I know those little babies are roasting in there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Slow Day

Not much going on. I plan to go the Council Meeting tonight, so I'm trying to not get all hot'n sweaty. I did take a few pictures.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Surprise bloom bud

It almost escaped my notice! Hiding behind the leaf of another plant, there it was-- a new bloom bud on my Night Blooming Cereus.

I will have to watch it closely to be sure I don't miss it when it blooms one night at about 9pm.

Another picture of the Bougainvilla that is out of this world beautiful:

We took a stroll down in the serious garden (Ed's) and found a bountiful crop of luscious blackberries getting ready for picking. Just had to taste one!

White Grapes!
The green bean rows--still producing (Peach trees inbetween)