Posts categorized as Gardening

I love this garden thug.

foraged-sedum-sarmentosum-a-spicy-Kerean-dressing

I first learned of sedum sarmentosum last year. It crept into my garden from my neighbor’s yard. It didn’t seem like a weed, so I looked it up and learned it’s a perennial flowering succulent that is used as a ground cover. It reaches six inches in height and tiny yellow flowers emerge in July, changing the color to a lime hue. It’s drought tolerant, can handle full sun, and will grow just about anywhere, from a crack in the sidewalk to a a bit of sand. Because it spreads […]

tagged in foraging, garden

Get in the Garden

Walker's-Low

There was a paper shredder explosion in front of my house after recycling day last Thursday. It inspired me to get outside and clean up. I couldn’t pick up each tiny piece of paper so I started clearing out leaves and cutting back all the old plant debris from last year. I got the rake and shovel out. It felt so good to be in the garden! With a sweater, it was comfortable outside. After some clearing, I noticed my perennials have begun to sprout! The Daylilies are two inches […]

The Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus ready to bloom

  Todd’s Dad’s’ Christmas Cactus Last week I wrote about the iconic poinsettia many give to family and friends over the holidays. This week, I’m discussing the other seasonally appropriate gift-plant: the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera). Like it’s holiday competitor the poinsettia, you can buy a Christmas Cactus  just about anywhere and since the holidays have passed — they’re on sale now! The plant is called a Christmas cactus because a drop in temperature is needed to produce blooms, therefore it’s most showy in December. It’s a welcome surprise to see […]

tagged in plants

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