Friday, August 27, 2010

MMMMMM...A dinner guest from the garden

Fabulous fresh zucchini from the garden. Thinly sliced, lightly sauteed and then seasoned with salt, pepper and a hearty sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Delicious.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From the garden in August...what else? Zucchini

I planted six zucchini starts at the end of July. Just add water and sun and voilĂ !

The plants started flowering about eight days ago. The first flowers were all male. Then a day of all female. Finally, both male and female flowers appeared on the same day. Now, I awake each morning to do my job as zucchini pollinator. I'm not going to leave the job of making sure the flowers are pollinated to the bees. I find the male flower and introduce the pollen to the female flower. Today I was greeted with four lovely specimens. Dinner vegetable tonight, zucchini.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Carrotwood Tree

The carrotwood tree in my backyard has created a feeding frenzy with the local birds. The tree has produced an incredible amount of seeds and the birds are here for a free meal.

The seeds are actually quite pretty in the tree. The seed pod splits to reveal a black seed which is covered by an orange layer. Once the seeds fall from the pod, what remains is an interesting woody "flower." I think it would be stunning in some craft project using found objects from nature.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tabacco Hornworm Caterpillar: Revisited

This is a video I created a few years ago about a hungry little fellow who LOVES your tomato plants. If left unattended, one of these critters can devour a vast quanity of leaves each day leaving you with naked, leafless stalks.

They are great at camouflage and can impersonate a curled up leaf better than any other poser insects around. One tell-tale sign that you are one of these guys visiting is tiny little "waste droppings" around the bottom of the plant or on leaves below them. If you see waste pellets, search until you find the hornworm caterpillar and physically remove and destroy. Another sign is stems without any leaves.

Tomatillo in the House

Tomatillo fruit with green husk
Tomatillo fruit with brown husk ready for harvest
Tomatillo plant
My son was home from college two summers ago and we did a little cooking together. He had a recipe for tomatillo sauce and it was fabulous. I have wanted to try my luck at growing my own tamatillos ever since tasting the wonderful sauce/salsa.

Due to the remodel, my garden was not ready at the beginning of summer for planting. This year is a very late start but I am hoping for sunny days and warm temps into the fall. With any luck, I will have a few tomatillos from the garden this year. Because tomatillo plants do not self pollinate, two plants are a must. I have two green tomatillos and one which will bear purple fruit.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bee Hives at Black Forest Open Air Museum and Zurich University Botanical Gardens

Saw an interesting museum on our vacation in the area of the Black Forest. Old farmhouses had been relocated to create a "village" of old buildings. I found this display of bee hive baskets very interesting. There were no active hives. We know this because a man touring in front of us walked over and lifted the basket. I'm not sure what he was prepared to do if there had been an active hive.

We did see a very active hive in the Zurich University Botanical Gardens. Click on the lower photo and you can see the bees entering the bottom of the hive.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Staking Trees, Part II

I wrote earlier about proper tree staking. While traveling, I saw this attractive example of a tree being staked. While it is a very attractive example, you would definitely not want to let this rope remain too long as to strangle the growing tree.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Edible Flowers in the Grocery Store

Need something special to add pizazz to your nightly salad. Some European department stores carry a wide selection of edible flowers in their refrigerated section. Visually stunning in the store and on your salad as well.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...