Window Boxed Herbs, Fabric Lined Baskets and Yummy

Believe it or not but we are already coming to the end of May… soon it will be summer! I love summer but nothing is as special to me as Spring. The rebirth and joy that comes with spring cannot be compared! Gardening is in full swing right now for most of us who garden… the peonies are ready to pop, lilacs are dancing, columbine and iris are swaying in the breeze as softly as the light of the butterfly that settles upon them. Monarchs and yellow Swallow Tails are hovering about now along with my first visit of the happy hummingbirds now flitting about. There is such life right now, such joy… you can see it in the wings of the birds as they glide overhead… they just seem to be playing to us, but really those graceful swallows are swooping about with mouths wide open gobbling up all those pesky bugs… that sure doesn’t sound as ‘graceful’ but that’s the facts! Birds eat bugs! It always makes me laugh when I see egg cartons claiming vegetarian diets for the chickens… well hello, if the birds are ‘free ranged’, there is no such thing as a vegetarian chicken. They are voracious bug hunters that love to catch a grass hopper and snap up a worn and it is absolutely hilarious to watch them eye ball a bug, head cocked to one side and then peck like mad to get the creepy crawly! If you eat eggs from vegetarian raised chickens, then they are living in a very small cage, with absolutely no out door life! Well, that’s another story and another day… lets talk about herbs!
Window Box Herbs!
I love to talk about herbs and I love to grow and eat them even more. Herbs are an addition to the family garden that step up the culinary experience of home gardening a notch above the rest! Herbs can be grown in neat tidy rows in the garden, or as I have mentioned before within a kitchen garden. Many herbs love containers and even window boxes. Window boxes are not just for windows! As you will see in the attached photo you can put them on the railing of your deck just handy for grilling or plucking off and throwing in your fresh garden salad. Here are a few ideas for planting your culinary herbs.
*I love this idea of putting the herbs in a window box right along side your grill off a deck or patio. How handy to have fresh culinary herbs right at your finger tips!
*I put my rosemary in large pots… they can even be trimmed into topiary for lovely entry pieces to a patio or deck. They are a tender perennial and can be brought in during the cold winters or left out year round in you live in a climate suitable for that.
*Basil is another herb that doesn’t mind the constraints of pots… but give her room to grow in a nice size pot, a 2gal size would be nice. Be sure to pluck the leaves off where a new stem is growing and then it will make two new leave sets, that’s the trick with getting a nice bushy plant!
*Thyme is my second favorite culinary herb, right behind beloved basil! Keep a pot close to the grill as well. She also doesn’t mind a pot, although it is a perennial and can be transplanted into your herb garden in the early fall. This way it will be able to get a good root hold~ be sure to water!
*Herbs that don’t really like to be cooped up in a pot are: parsley, cilantro, dill and sage, to name a few.

Fabric-Lined Baskets
A roll of bakery twine, pinking shears, and hot glue are all that’s needed to re-purpose a well-worn-though-cherished quilt into a pretty basket liner.

How to Line a Basket
~ (see photo attached)Step 1: To determine amount of fabric needed for basket interior, measure height (adding extra for the exterior trim) and circumference, adding six inches so fabric will overlap.

Step 2: Cut fabric with pinking shears. If the remnant has a finished edge, leave as is.
Step 3: Line the interior sides with fabric; hot glue along bottom edge. Cut a piece to fit the bottom; hot glue in place
 Step 4: Fold excess fabric over basket edge and secure.

Yummy Strawberries paired with sunflower seeds and yogurt will make them all awe at the first taste!
Sunflower Strawberry Salad

2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 apple, cored and diced
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup yellow raisins
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds
lettuce leaves~ optional

1. Combine fruit, celery and raisins; stir in yogurt.
2. Cover and chill one hour.
3. Sprinkle sunflower seeds just before serving.
4. Spoon servings over lettuce leaves, if desired.
Fresh & light!

Happy Day,