Planting up an Antique Egg Basket

The rain has come and the humidity has lifted leaving a coolness in the air that is quite refreshing. I was just looking out the kitchen window and saw a bright yellow goldfinch resting in my weeping cherry tree… I think he’s glad for the break in the heat as well. I hear the sweet call of the red winged black bird as he rests on the post along farmer Jerry’s field across the road. The robins are energetically scurrying after all the worms coming up from the rain sodden ground for a breath of air… GOBBLE! They gotta eat too 😉 The Harris sparrows are busy in the clematis feeding their young… in and out, in and out they fly…life in my gardens!

I thought with all the recent garden junque posts, I would give a how-to on planting up some of them. Lets look at planting an antique metal egg basket today!

Supplies:
metal egg basket
burlap bag or remnant from fabric store
scissors
potting soil
large potted plant- petunia’s are my choice

Instructions:
Step 1: Cut the burlap bag along the side and bottom seams, cutting it in half. You will end up with two pieces the same size. Choose one side for the baskets liner and save the other for another project.

STEP 1:

STEP 1:

Step 2: Center the piece of burlap in the basket allowing it to hang over the edges. Work the burlap the fit snugly down.

STEP 2

STEP 2

Step 3: Fold the edges over into the basket to make a neat edge. If there is writing or graphics on the outside of the bag, allow that to show through the basket wire.

STEP 3

STEP 3

Step 4: Carefully fill the basket with potting mix leaving enough room for the potted plant to rest in the soil.

STEP 4

STEP 4

Step 5: Remove the plant from the pot and carefully place it in the basket. Fill in around the plant, leaving about two inches, to make the basket full; press down firmly around the plant to get rid of any air pockets. I use Miracle Grow Moisture Control.

STEP 5

STEP 5

Now that you have an adorable planted egg basket, decide on the location and set her out for all your friends to oohhh & awwwhhh about.

STEP 6

STEP 6


My egg basket is nestled into my new hosta bed in my patio… ooohhh & awwwhhh!

Have a wonderful day and be sure to come visit me at Dragonflies wonderful Facebook page… follow me there at
https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-Dragonflies-And-Me/550000798362651

Happy Day,
Jean

Child Friendly Gardens

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I love including my children in the gardens with me…

Follow the link below to my new post at The Detroit News, The Good Life for fun ideas!

http://blogs.detroitnews.com/thegoodlife/2013/06/26/child-friendly-gardens-bring-your-children-into-the-garden-to-make-lasting-memories/

Happy Day,
Jean

Farmers Markets & Foodshed’s, Succession Planting & Three Yummy Farmer’s Market Recipes!

For Dragonflies And Me

        What’s a Foodshed you ask?  Most people who call themselves Locavore’s, Foodies or the like will probably be familiar with this term, but for those of you who are not, here is a brief description and how you can make or find one! *Though it may be unfamiliar, the term “foodshed” was used almost 80 years ago in a book entitled How Great Cities Are Fed (Hedden, 1929) to describe the flow of food from producer to consumer. Seven decades later, the term was used to describe a food system that connected local producers with local consumers (Kloppenburg et al., 1996). In this project, the general definition of a foodshed is a geographic area that supplies a population center with food. However, the Mapping Local Food Systems Project focused specifically on potential local foodsheds, areas of nearby land that could theoretically provide part or all…

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Harvesting Herbs: Tips to get the most yield from your herbs, yummy herb butter recipes

My soul belongs in the garden… it seems the only place that I can truly find the peace that I’m longing for is there in the rich, soothing soil. All my cares seem to fade away as I stroll through and become absorbed with the beauty that surrounds me.

The colors. The patterns. The shapes. The intricacies. No human could recreate these miracles that His mighty hand has designed. Perfection.

My beloved Potager

My beloved Potager

The sound of bees buzzing in the Potager… a low hummmmmmm. They’re busily doing their work, faithfully pollinating the blossoms that will all too soon be peppers, tomatoes, eggplants that we’ll finally feast on after a long winter… we’ll again eat of the bounty our gardens provide from our tender nurturing.

"White Rose Bud", by Jean Smith

“White Rose Bud”, by Jean Smith

The aromas… those of musk and sweetness mingled together in a moment inhaled that only a rose can exude. The herbs. My legs gently brush their delicate leaves. The intense licorice of basil… Lemon grass’ eloquent citrus scent… Chives don’t want to be forgotten; her oniony promise while we wait for the real thing. Parsley, marjoram, ohhh and thyme… I love to stop and strip a few of her leaves off, roll them between my fingers feeling the precious oils soften my fingertips… then bringing the bruised herb up to my noes… inhale. Richness. The wise men of old knew the value of these garden treasures.

Fresh herbs growing

Fresh herbs growing

Perfectness… It’s a feast for the senses. My garden, my faithful friend..

My Tree Frog, by Jean Smith

I was relaxing in the patio today reading a new garden memoir and there and behold a tiny tree frog nestled on the patio chair across from me. Some of you may be thinking, “ewhhhh”, but not me… I named him Norman and greeted my fellow garden friend and went on reading. Before long he hopped down over beside my leg… well, I had to get my camera- it’s not usually too far from my grasp, but I for some reason left it in the house. So I dashed in and grabbed it. Norman was waiting. I picked him up… to his dismay, yet he patiently let me take his photo.

The birds are so chattery right now…and I am loving this moment… Peace. In my gardens.

I’m passionate about herbs as most of my dragonfly readers know. Recently I posted info on preserving them… well today lets discuss harvesting your herbs.

Here’s a few tips to help you in your harvesting!

*The leaves of herbs are most flavorful when harvested before the plant begins to flower. If you aren’t able to get to your herbs and you notice they are beginning to form flower buds, simply cut the buds back. This will provide you with a bit more time to get them harvested.

Fennel_seedheads_Itsausage

*You can pick individual leaves or whole stems or branches. Small leafed herbs are easier to pick by the stem or branch such as thyme, marjoram, tarragon, fennel, rosemary and oregano. Basil, cilantro, dill, parsley and sage are larger leafed, but can be done in stems as well. I personally harvest all by cutting branches.

Stems are sometimes easier to pic off then individual leaves

Stems are sometimes easier to pic off then individual leaves

*Chives should be cut as close to the ground as possible.

*Pick most herbs, with the exception of basil, in the morning after the morning dew has dried. Basil, seems to keep longer and fresher when picked in the late afternoon.

*Harvest annual herbs right until they are killed by frost or bolt (flower and set seed). To prevent bolting, keep them trimmed back.

*Stop heavy harvesting of perennial herbs about six weeks before your fall frost date. This will allow the plants a chance to harden up before the cold weather sets in. Mulching them will help protect more tender perennials in cold climate areas.

Herb butters add a lovely finishing touch to cooked veggies, fish or chicken and are so easy to make!  All you need to do is beat your favorite fresh or dried herbs into some softened butter, cover with some plastic wrap and chill until you’re ready to serve it up!
Here are some yummy Herb Butter Recipes to try this year!

Lemon & Fennel Butter ~ the flavor of fennel goes very well with fish or grilled corn on the cob!
1 Stick salted butter, softened
2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds
zest of half lemon, grated
1/8 tsp. pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly blended; pat into a roll about the size of a tangerine, cover with plastic wrap and chill.  When ready to serve, cut into chunks~ very cute!

Cilantro & Scallion Butter
~ Use this on some new potatoes and enjoy the sweet savor of scallions blended with the pungency of cilantro!
1 Stick salted butter, softened
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
1 scallion (green onion) finely chopped.
Follow prep method above.

Chive Pepper Butter ~ So yummy on grilled chicken or roasted cod fillets!
1 stick salted butter, softened
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
1 tbsp. mixed peppercorns, lighted crushed
Follow prep method above.

Happy Day,
Jean