Is your hydrangea droopy? Are the flower heads kissing the ground? I will tell you this… The majority of the time it isn’t about the lack of water and most likely you are over watering thinking it will help perk up those lovely hydrangea heads. What is really going on is the fact that the hydrangea blossoms are too heavy for the young pliable stems of your plant. Over time your hydrangea will age (as we all do) and become a stronger version of our younger self- able to carry heavy loads under added stress. What I am trying to say in the garden world- the stems over time will become woody and stronger, allowing the stems to hold up the heavy flower heads. So, give the plant some time to mature and grow.
In the duration, you could always stake up a few of the stems to make the plant more presentable.
I LOVE the summer heat and a cool refreshing cocktail. What says cool more than a cucumber? Certainly not the back side of your pillow! Yes, cucumber is the theme this month along with crisp soda water, lemonade and my favorite; lemongrass. Here are the recipes for Thirsty Thursday :
2 shots Hendrick’s Gin
1 Large handful of ice cubes, plus more for each glass
8-10 large leaves of Thai basil cut into chiffonade, plus two stems for garnish
12-14 slices of English/Persian cucumbers (8 for shaker)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can San Pellegrino orange soda
Add a handful of ice, gin, basil chiffonade, 8 slices of cucumber, and lemon juice to a shaker. Shake vigorously.
Add a few cubes of ice to two glasses. Pour half of the San Pellegrino into each glass, and top with half the icy strained goodness from the shaker. Garnish with a sprig of thai basil and a few slices of cucumber. Admire, then stir, sip, and be cooled! Continue reading “July_2017 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails”
When it comes to container gardening and rules I usually say, “rules schmoolz! You do what you want.” Well, that is not entirely true. Just as in life there are rules, guidelines if you will. Always use your directional when making a turn, look both ways when you cross the street, do not eat yellow snow. Blah, blah, blah… So as in life, here are a couple rules to follow to keep you on the straight and narrow:
Choose the right plant for the right sun condition. I will never let you choose a plant that needs shade for you to put it in the sun so that it can fry and turn crispy. Same goes for a plant that loves the sun and you want to plant it in the shade. That poor little baby will go limp and never flower for you.
Choose plants that compliment each other. Those plants that are drought tolerant and can go days without water like a camel should not be planted with someone who likes a cool drink everyday.
Adhere to the rule of height. Do not plant someone that only gets 8 inches behind someone that gets 18inches. You’ll never see it!
That’s it! As far as color goes- YOU DO FOR YOU! You aren’t planting to make your daughter or your neighbor or your mommy happy. At the end of the day it is you that has to come home to your planters. When you pull up into your driveway and see your window boxes, containers or flower beds you want to smile, not feel deflated. If you want to put pink and red together- GO AHEAD! If you want to plant all foliage, if you want to put red and yellow together- GO AHEAD. At the end of the day, its all about YOU!
Basil likes it hot, so wait to plant it until the daytime temperatures are above 70 degrees and night temperatures STAY above 50. Any chill will cause the leaves to blacken and curl.
Basil needs rich organic well drained soil, and basil loves the sun. To harvest, take off whole stems by pinching just above any pair of leaves further down the plant. Another key tip is to pinch off any flowers- this helps promote more growth.
Basil is best used fresh, but any extra that you have can be set inside a vase with water for a week or so. You can also preserve through freezing in ice cubes.
Use Basil to:
BUST STRESS: Add some basil leaves to your bath along with Epsom salt to help you relax.
SOOTHE YOUR STOMACH: For digestion, steep three or four basil leaves in a cup of boiling water. Drink in between meals throughout the day.
ENHANCE BUTTER: Place 1/4 cup finely chopped basil, 1 clove of chopped garlic and 1 stick of salted butter in a bowl. Stir until combined. Place on wax paper, roll into a cylinder and refrigerate.
KICK UP YOUR COCKTAIL: Make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and a handful of basil leaves in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, pull from heat and let cool. Strain, refrigerate syrup for up to a week/10 days. You could also muddle basil to release the oils then add your favorite mixers…
BATTLE AGAINST BITES: Rub a drop of basil oil or leaf on a bug bite to get rid of the itch.
Join us this Thursday night, April 20th from 5:30-7pm. We will showcase seasonal cocktails made from the plants you grow in your own garden. We will demonstrate how to use your garden harvest to create tasty, refreshing, praise worthy cocktails to share with your friends, neighbors and family- From Garden to Glass! Everything from herbs, veggies, berries, shrubs and flowers. We highlight what is in season now or what will be coming into season very shortly. This Thursday we will be showcasing mint, rhubarb and strawberries.
Mint Ginger Lemonade
Mint Ginger Simple Syrup:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup packed mint leaves, torn
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, diced
3 cups cold water
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 6-7 large lemons)
batch of mint ginger simple syrup (see recipe above)
1 lemon, sliced thinly
Prepare Simple Syrup:
Combine all of the simple syrup ingredients in a small saucepan.
Bring to a low simmer, and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely.
Boil and simmer the syrup for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove and place in a heatproof bowl. Allow to come temperature, or alternative cover and allow to infuse in the fridge for at least 30 to 45 minutes or overnight (for a more intensely flavored lemonade).
Once chilled, strain simple syrup through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the mint leaves and ginger pieces.
In a large pitcher, combine the water, lemon juice, and a full batch of mint ginger simple syrup. Stir well.
Add fresh mint and sliced lemon slices to the pitcher as desired. Chill.
Serve lemonade chilled or alternatively, over homemade mint ice cubes (simply add fresh mint leaves to your ice cube tray–optional). Continue reading “April Thirsty Thursday Recipes”