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Friday, September 23, 2011

Random thoughts

Lately Ive had internet issues so my posting has been less frequent than I'd like.
And I haven't been able to visit all of you as much as I like to :(
Thank you to everyone who has been stopping by!
Hopefully I will get these issues solved soon.
So, today, I'm posting this from my local library. Libraries are great!
 There are many farm fields that are local to me that grow beautiful crops, but this one is a car-stopper!
This lovely has performed beautifully all summer, through heat, rain, hurricane and more rain.
I have shown it before, but wanted to post it now that we are at the end of September. Or almost.
The garden is starting to go to sleep and I am out there cutting back many perrienials.
 But Mandevilla Pergola ,'Surprise' (an annual), is still going strong and giving me joy.
                                               Hibiscus moscheutos 'Luna Red' is another joy.
                                                  Knock out roses are great - aren't they?
                                                  Being common is not always a bad thing!

So, here are my random thoughts...or questions.

Why do garden centers sell invasive plants? Is it a part of an evil plot?

What do garden bloggers post about in all those long winter months?

How is it that each year by October, I'm so sick of gardening to the point of thinking:
"I cant' wait for the first hard freeze so I have an excuse to get away from all this back breaking labor"

only to be thinking

" Oh, soil, beautiful life giving soil, Is that a new green shoot I see bursting from the ground??" with sheer excitement a few months later?

Randomness... pure randomness.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meet Celosia

Crested Celosia ( Cockscomb) has to be one of my all time favorite flowers. Why?
This plant has so many good attributes it will be hard to list them all!

This velvety, luscious, wavy flower grows in sun and withstands brutal heat. 

It withstands drought and doesn't have any pest problems that I have noticed
 in the last 18 years of growing it.
It doesn't generally need staking even when it reaches over 3 1/2 feet tall.
It faithfully puts out enough seed to "cockscomb" the East coast of the United States, but is not invasive.
It does self sow, but seedlings are so easily removed.
(when you can bring yourself to pull them out.)
The seed is so easy to harvest and it stores well in a dark glass jar.
It dries even better (hung upside down) and is WONDERFUL at Christmas!
Mix it with dried evergreens or boxwood, in wreathes, ornaments, or in garlands.

Recently, our town experienced very high winds because of hurricane Irene.
I was worried that the Celosia I had growing would be destroyed.
Even though it did flop over a bit, it is still flourishing and I'm about to harvest it.
In the past,I have planted it too close together, have forgotten to water it,
and still it produces wonderfully.

The color can be dark pink, light pink, red or yellow.
The dark pink is my favorite, especially this time of year, when the garden is fading.
The leaf is nondescript, but the flowers are a show stopper.
They can get quite large, some larger than a softball.

One year, I set up a stand in front of my house and sold them. Not only did they sell out,
but people came to my front door wanting me to tell them about this amazing flower.

And I was more than happy to oblige.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September Birth

September is a wonderful month, the weather has regulated, the weeds have slowed, and sitting outside is so enjoyable. The garden is happy.

Not only  is September the birth month of my mother's favorite child (lol),
but the birth month of two of my sisters.

So this month, I celebrate life. 
The Lord has been so gracious to me. He has protected me and shown me more love than I deserve.

 And I am so appreciative.

Some of the ways I will celebrate will be:

*planting more Allium bulbs,

*harvesting flowers for the house... and of course

                                               Cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce!

This recipe has a wonderful story. It comes from my Mother-In- Law, Emily, who is a wonderful cook.
She has had a lot of practice with a husband and 8 children.

And this is the story.
With a family of this size, my  in-laws rarely got invited out to dinner.
So Emily cooked most every meal.
10 people eating three times a day.
Uuugghh..I can't even imagine.

One year for their anniversary, my father-in law brought my mother-in law to a well known restaurant in Manhattan  for dinner.
After dinner, they ordered the cheesecake which they fell in love with.

My mother-in law asked the waiter if there was any way the chef would share the recipe because she would probably never get to come to this restaurant again.
When the chef heard that a woman with 8 children who rarely went out to dinner was requesting his recipe, he not only shared the recipe, but came out of the kitchen to meet her and congratulate my in-laws on their anniversary.

My mother-in law has made this cheesecake for approximately 45 years.
She has baked it for birthdays,weddings and most holidays.
This secret recipe has been passed onto my generation after many requests.
I am still trying to perfect it, but I'm getting close.

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