Friday, August 31, 2007

And the Winner Is............

Dum-da-da-dahhh! The day is here to announce the winner of the herb contest. You all did a great job. There weren't as many participants as I anticipated but I suspect that some of you were guessing at home and were too shy to enter on line for all the world to see.

There were 9 herbs shown and not one person got them all. I think the reason is that you were just thinking in terms of culinary herbs. One in particular is medicinal. There were four bloggers who got 7 out of the 9 correct;
Kris at Gardens by the Lake,
Zoey at Perennial Passion,
Anita at Take Joy, and
Crafty Gardener at In My Canadian Garden.

So here is the answer left to right: sage, chocolate mint (yes, there is such a thing),chives (in front farthest to the left), lavender, rosemary, lemon balm ( with small white flowers), thyme, valerian (a medicinal herb-- the one with the small pink flowers), and oregano (tucked in the front). I accepted just mint instead of chocolate mint because it is difficult to tell without smell-o-vision but believe me if you're a chocoholic, it's great!

So I put the four names in a bowl and Duane drew one for me.

Congratulations, Anita! Your lotion will be on it's way shortly.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Contest for My Friends

When I first started blogging, I wrote about herbs, one of my gardening loves; therefore the name "Thyme for Herbs." Now some of the herbs have grown and are begging to be harvested. I have waited too long on others, and as usual time slipped away from me. Just for fun, I picked small amounts of a variety of herbs and arranged them in a basket. I thought it would be fun to tickle your brain. And then I decided to make it a real contest and offer a prize.

This basket contains 9 herbs directly from my garden. I will tell you that one of them is sort of tricky so I will allow some leeway on that one. I'll save the details in case of a tie. If you're an herb lover or not, try your best to name them. If you don't have a clue, just name some herbs; who knows, you might just hit on the right combination. You have two weeks to get your answers in. Cut off date is August 30th!

What will you win? A 10 ounce Bath & Body Works, Plumeria body cream. I received one from a client at Christmas and then another later. So I'm passing on the second gift to you. This gift will be awarded if the winner is in the continental United States. You may participate if you are in another country, but the gift, unknown at this time, will have to be smaller and lighter weight.

Here is a picture of some fennel growing in my garden. It perfumes the air with a licorice or anise scent when the sun is on it. I let mine go to seed and collect the seeds to add to Italian sausage for my pizza or spaghetti sauce. It's so easy to do. Just take a seeded flower head in the house and let the dew dry off real well on a paper towel. Shake off the seeds and remove stems. Make a funnel with the paper towel, and pour it right into a refrigerator dish with a tight seal or a jar with a lid. This seed will last for months or even years.

This is how I dry herbs when I'm just doing a small batch. Lightly wash with a fine spray, lay out on paper to dry, this might take hours or overnight.

Place herbs on an old cookie sheet or pizza pan. Set the oven to a low temperature, such as 270 degrees. Put the herbs in the oven, turn the heat off, and crack the door. Leave them in there until the oven cools and then check to see if they are dry. The leaves should be dry and brittle and come off the stems easily.

Next strip the herbs from the stems, place on a paper towel, make a funnel, and pour them into a clean jar. Make sure the jar has been allowed to dry out. You don't want any moisture at all or the herbs will start to mildew after time.

Voila! A nice jar of thyme ready for my herb shelf.
Now don't procrastinate, get in on the contest. No strings attached, I promise. It's open to my regular visitors and newbies also.
I won't be blogging until the contest is over, but I'll visit with all of you regularly.
Have fun!

No place on earth is more sensuous than a garden. Jeff Cox

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - August 2007

This is my first time to participate in Bloom Day. I always miss the date or am too busy. I made a vow to myself to do it no matter what before summer is totally gone. So here is what is showing in my garden.

The hibiscus is in full bloom and going strong.

A second blooming on the Jackamanii clematis, weak, but I was thrilled to see some flowers appear.

That's all the pictures I have. It rained yesterday when I had time to go out and this morning we have fog and my camera battery is dead! Yesterday,I made a list as I walked around and here is what I found.

Red Hot Poker (it's reblooming also, one lonely flower)

Rudbeckia (still going and will until fall)

Resurrection lilies


Chrysanthemum (I decided not to pinch it back. I love that it's blooming now)

Nearly Wild rose

Fairy rose

Paprika Yarrow ( a second blooming)

One red daylily, name unknown

The Morning Glory finally decided to produce a flower!! Better late than never.

And of course, snapdragons, petunias, portulaca.

Everything else is already going to seed :(

Come to the garden,
The soul's sweet bouquet
The flowers of tomorrow
Are in the seeds of today. JoAnna O'Keefe

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And another award!

"This award will be given to those that are just nice people, good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"

I can't believe it! I just stopped in to visit Take Joy and discovered that Kirbanita had also given me an award! It's called "Nice Matters."

Kirbanita and I share a love of quilts, herbs, and gardening. She has a beautiful site full of information. I'm sure we'll be able to learn many things from each other as time goes on.

I want to take a little time to think about how I will pass these two awards on. I have some ideas but I don't have a lot of time today to give it the respect and thought it needs. But look out, you could be one of the next recipients.

Thank you all so much for your support. I feel very special.
"You like me. You really like me." Sally Field 1985

A Wonderful Award!

I have been quite pleased at how kind and generous garden bloggers are with the rest of the blogging community. They easily take in new blog sites with enthusiasm. I have only been blogging since November of '06 and already I have made many wonderful friends.
It is always such a nice surprise at the end of a long day to open my mailbox and find out who has written me a nice, little note. Yesterday, I was flattered when I discovered I had been given a "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award form Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm. Nan and I have a lot in common with our love of daylilies. Thank you, Nan, it is truly an honor, and I wear the badge proudly.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Daylilies -- Really?

Yes, I did it. I went to the dayliliy garden again. She had a $3.00 coupon!! I couldn't pass that up. What would you have done? So of course, my logic was that I could have one that I might have passed up otherwise because it was too expensive. Of course, when I got there, there were still too many choices. We always go in August to see if we can find some late bloomers, and we really didn't expect much. But she has been buying and growing more late bloomers herself.
So, I'll tell the truth. Instead of my original plan to only buy one plant, instead I bought two. The second one was only three dollars, so it was like getting it free. How's that for "female logic"?
But here's the best part. I received three bonus plants, so it was well worth the trip.

Here's what I bought:

Lingering Loveliness. A double pink self. This picture was taken at their garden but mine flowered the next day and is loaded with buds.

Conrad Blasco, my $3.00 plant. A 6 inch yellow with pink midribs. It's really a softer yellow than this shows.

My freebies were Saratoga Pinwheel, Hamlet, and Two Illini Destiny which I already have but now I can pass them on to my daughters. Not bad, huh?

This is Frills and Fancies. I just purchased it on July 27th and it bloomed last week.

So basically I'm still a happy gardener. As long as I can keep them blooming, I'm in a good mood!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wow! Hibiscus!

We finally got some real rain. It rained all day yesterday, a nice slow, steady, rain. It soaked in nice and deep, and today the ground is still wet. We might get more rain today and throughout the week. I was thrilled but I'm sure the boaters and swimmers were not happy. There are several festivals going on in the area. They don't like the rain either. My husband, Duane, was unhappy because he wanted to go to a car show. Well, it can't always rain on Monday just to please the masses. My garden is happy and that's what is important to me.

This morning on my daily stroll, I spotted the bright color of the hibiscus. What a welcome sight in August. I've had these plants for years, and have no idea what their names are. I just enjoy them year after year.

Look at the color of this pink!. I used my hand as a gauge as to size. I didn't think about taking a ruler. But I would guess it's at least 8 inches across, maybe bigger.

This one is quite a bit smaller but beautiful just the same.

And I think this might be my favorite. The red is just too much!

I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't show you another daylily. This one only had one bud on it and I knew it would open in the rain yesterday. There was a time when the rain stopped and I ran out to take this picture. The blossom held up well. This is Creepy Crawler, another of my bonus plants last fall. I was surprised to see its "Venus Flytrap" look with the fringed edge. I guess it is sort of creepy, but I like the yellow. And afterall, you can't argue with "free."