Posts categorized as Gardening

Decorative Gourd Season

On a recent trip to the Catskills, I had to get some hay and additional pumpkins. It was too good of a bargain to pass up! (1)

I’m obsessed with decorative gourds. I can’t help buying them anywhere I see them – at the supermarket, at the garden store, at Home Depot. Can you blame me? There’s such a wide variety of colors, patterns, bumps, shapes and sizes. They’re perfect. In a way, Decorative Gourd Season makes me not even miss summer. My husband doesn’t feel similarly. Last week he asked “So, how much money are you going to spend on gourds this year??” I responded, trying to look really cute, “Oh, did you see this wonderful […]

Propagating the Pothos Plant

Step 5. This is ready to be planted!

I’ve been outside in the garden so much I feel like my indoor plants, of which I have many, have suffered. This past week I gave them all a tune-up, adding compost to the soil and cutting back dead and straggly leaves. It’s always hard cutting back the long trailing vines of the pothos plant but mine were leggy, thin on top, and unhealthy looking. Pruning the vines encourages new growth and my cuttings would not go to waste. I propagate from them and create new plants!  I’ve been doing […]

tagged in plants

Discoveries in the Garden

elegant stinkhorns

Nature is bizarre and fascinating. Discovering new things in my small garden world is exciting and makes me think of all that’s still undiscovered in nature. I came across two unfamiliar garden creatures this week. The first was suspended between the milkweed and a daylily stalk from my daylily plant in the front yard. It was a huge spider – about 2 inches long! In the past four years that I’ve been manicuring the garden, I never came across a spider like this. I plugged her description in google: large […]

tagged in garden, gardening, spider

Basil Behind the Ear

Raphael-Sanfilippo-my-grandfather

I’m outfront weeding the garden and a neighbor passes by, “Oh! You have something stuck in your hair, let me get it.” “Nope!” I quickly replied, placing my hand by my ear. “That’s supposed to be there, its basil!” Across the street at the Beach 91st St. Community Garden is where I gather my basil leaves*, and when doing so, think of my grandfather Ralph, who always in the summertime had a piece of basil behind his ear. I have this image in my mind like a still photograph, of […]

tagged in basil, family, grandpa

Paula’s Pesto

purple-basil

Paula’s Pesto (makes 1 cup) 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (don’t use cheap stuff) 1/3 cup pine nuts 2 medium sized garlic cloves, minced ½ lemon squeezed Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Directions: Mix all ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil, salt and pepper. Once roughly chopped, slowly add the olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste Seal tightly in a container. You can freeze pesto by adding a layer of […]

tagged in basil, recipes

Oregano Harvest

oreagano-harvest

For me, the best part of summer is the opportunity to plant and harvest my own produce. This year, I’m growing purple and sweet basil, mint, thyme and horseradish. I bought the basil; the mint and thyme are perennials– they came back from last year. And my mother-in-law gave me the horseradish. I also planted heirloom tomatoes, yellow squash and oregano from seed. I’m particularly excited about those. When you grow something from nothing, you become invested. It’s always exciting every step of the way, tending to the plants and […]

tagged in gardening

The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Use-lavender-with-coconut-oil-as-a-natural-bug-repellent

When did coconut oil become so popular? My jar ran out after a long three months and I realize now how much I use it. Besides cooking delicious Indian foods, or using it in place of butter and shortening, coconut oil has so many other uses. First the obvious. Raw organic coconut oil is wonderful as a skin care product. A 16 oz. jar is around $5.00. Using the oil as a moisturizer is less expensive than buying those fancy over-marketed creams and lotions, which often use coconut oil as […]

tagged in diy, health

DIY Backyard Makeover

2-after

Previously published in The Wave. For the past four years, our backyard has been a renovation dumping ground. Now that the house is essentially done, we wanted to clean things up and start the backyard garden for the summer. In April, I watched this awesome show on Netflix called Love Your Garden. It’s hosted by Alan Titchmarsh, a professional English gardener, poet and gardening journalist turned TV personality. Alan and his quirky, knowledgeable team visits homes around the United Kingdom helping people transform their gardens. The families are deserving, having […]

tagged in diy, gar, gardening

citizen tree pruner!

Citizen-Pruner-Course24

Ahhh! I’m so excited, I just started my citizen tree pruner course!! I learned of Trees New York (treesny.org) through twitter (social media can be a good thing guys!) Their mission, “..to plant, preserve and protect New York City’s urban forest through education and community participation.” And for decades now, they’ve been doing just that: “Trees New York was founded in 1976 as a volunteer response to New York City’s devastating cutbacks in forestry and tree-related community services. Trees New York has 40 years of experience in community tree planting, […]

tagged in nyc, trees

A Salute to The Bungalows of Oceanus Court and The Beach 91st St. Community Garden

The O’Toole family on the  porch facing the court with the next generation of kids (early 90's)

Photo courtesy of Tim Hill. Previously published in THE WAVE 125TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE I met Kerry and Jeanne of the O’toole family and Patty Shea last summer as they were walking down my block, all smiles. Turns out, at one time, it was their block too. We had a thriving community back in the day on 91st St.” Jeanne tells me. I was excited to meet these new friends, learning of their lives lived from the 60’s through the mid 90’s, on the same street that I now call home […]

tagged in garden, gardening, rockaway