Posts Tagged gardening

Cymbidium ‘King of Orchid’

Cymbidium Culture

Orchid Cymbidium

In a word, Cymbidiums are stunning.  With a lushness to remind us of better gardening days ahead and a flower to make the wait until spring worthwhile, Cymbidiums make the perfect plant.

Inside, in the winter, Cymbidiums need moderate to bright light such as morning sun or bright, “dappled” afternoon shade preferring daytime temperatures of 65 to 82 degrees F and nighttime temperatures of 50 to 65 degrees F.

Outdoors, after the danger of frost, place just inside the “drip-line” of a good shade tree or a bright covered porch.

Cymbidiums should be kept evenly moist and well drained; and fed with a nitrogen fertilizer about once every two weeks.

Available at garden centers and even grocery stores.  Pick up your Cymbidium today for the best pick-me-up waiting for spring.

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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Sunday, January 10, 2010 Puttering in Helen’s Haven™

As punishment to last week’s complaint of cold weather in the 40s, I was given even worse weather this week where it stayed in the 20s and 30s.  It was a cold week in Helen’s Haven™.

Gardening With Confidence™ was recognized as Ecosystem Gardening’s 2009 Garden of the Year.

Gardening With Confidence™ was mentioned in Susan Reimer’s Garden Variety’s Blog again this month. Thank you Baltimore Sun!

And Lisa Gustavson with GetInTheGarden listed her favorite wilidlife bloggers in Follow the Leaders.

Thanks for mentioning Gardening With Confidence™; it’s an honor to be mentioned along with so many great, passionate wildlife bloggers.

365 DAYS IN THE GARDEN – everyday, there is something to do garden related….

4.  Break ice on bird feeders, added suet feed to supplemental feeders.

5. Read Plant Delight Nursery Catalog.

6. The early spring issue of Country Gardens arrived – Nice!

7.  Spoke to a garden club about Adding Winter Interest to your garden.

8. Ordered Pathenocissus tricuspidata, Boston Ivy ‘Fenway Park’ from Plant Delight Nursery.  Will pick up in April.

9.  Worked on three presentations, Creating Privacy Hedgerows, Designing With Vines, and The Business of Garden Coaching.

10.  Finalized plans for Garden Bloggers meeting in Buffalo!  This going to be so much fun.

Buffa10 Bloggers Meet-Up, 2010;


BOOK REPORT

Sent in full submission package to publisher.  Now we wait.  In the meantime, I wrote another chapter today.


WHAT’S SHE WRITING ABOUT NOW…
The Amaryllis Lives on in the Garden
January Garden Maintenance

The early spring issue of Country Garden had a nice little story I did about Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane and their hypertufas through their business Lasting Impressions

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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The Amaryllis Lives on in The Garden

Did you know amaryllis transitions nicely from your holiday display to the garden for good?

Lucky for us, our zone 7 gardens suit this transition just fine.

Here’s what to do:

· Keep the amaryllis alive inside until after the treat of the last frost date in spring. For Raleigh, that 90 percentile magical date is April 15.

· Choose a location in the garden that receives full sun with afternoon shade for a little relief from our notably, hot afternoon summer sun.

· The soil should be well-drained and fertile with some phosphorus added. Bone meal or phosphorus fertilizer work fine.

· Remove the bulb from the pot and carefully, spread the roots.

· Plant the bulb just below the neck of the plant.

· Cover with 2 – 3 inches of mulch to aid in conserving water.

· Water in well.

· Keep mulched through the winter to enjoy your amaryllis for years to come.

Most likely, your amaryllis will not bloom again this year. Still, there will be nice strappy leaves to enjoy. Lightly fertilize monthly through August.

Next year in the late spring, your amaryllis should bloom again.

It is my understanding, hardy amaryllis are good into zone 6.

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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New Year’s Day – Here are my “I’m Gonnas” – Sharing With You My 10 Garden Resolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Here at Helen’s Haven, we take every chance to have new beginnings. In the world of gardening, everyday offers  a new beginning; most, sadly, are not necessarily planned.

On New Year’s day, we have an opportunity to plan some resolutions and then hope for the best.  As someone profound once said, “if you don’t have any goals, how do you know when you got there”, or some such talk.  So I have goals for the garden…drumroll, please.  Here are my I’m gonna’s:

10.  I’m gonna stop waking up in the morning and going straight to the window to see if the boxwood hedge in the back connected during the night. The Best and Hardest Thing to Give Your Garden is Time

9.  I’m gonna deadhead like I should.

8.  I’m gonna grow more plants from seed.

7.  I’m gonna sow poppy and larkspur seeds again, even though I know I will fail.

6.  I’m gonna reduce even more lawn. Lawn Reform Coalition

5.  I’m gonna add more native plantings to the garden. North Carolina Native Plant Society

4.  I’m gonna take a series of monthly images at predetermined stops in the garden so I can slide show the beds annual pattern with monthly performance.

3.  I’m gonna stop worrying about where my garden gnomes go. Six Places Your Garden Gnomes May Go

2.  I’m gonna read plant labels and then I’m gonna factor 25% to whatever number they print. What do You Want to Know About a Plant?

1.  I’m gonna kick zonal denial in the butt.  Only plants with a zone wrapped around my zone 7b garden will be allowed in Helen’s Haven…unless it’s for the south side and I can’t help myself.

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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Sunday December 27, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven

What a week in the garden.  It rained on Christmas, so I didn’t have to make up any excuses about being outside.

Nature put her breaks on me so I could focus on celebrating with my family.  Then lo and behold, the skies cleared, the temperature rose, and I was out playing in the garden once again.

The wintertime is a great time to clean up, gear up, and read up on gardening for the next season.  But in Helen’s Haven, the winter is a season we celebrate.  Helen’s Haven is a four season garden with plenty of interest in each season, especially the winter.

As I cut back The Red Bed, I evaluated what I wanted for the coming year.  The castor beans were a huge hit this year.  Bold, lush and red; the drama they brought can be matched by no other.  However, after the frost, when they needed to be removed for the season, it was like felling a forest.  I may have had a bit more than needed; especially considering the amount of work they were after the frost.  Castor beans will continue to grace The Red Bed, but in smaller numbers.


I have plenty of seed to share.  Let me know if I can send some to you!

Also in The Red Bed, the hedgerow I started last winter is taking shape.  Having planted daylilies there (divisions from clients and friends), they became a maintenance headache.  So, as much as my neighbors love them, I decided they needed to go.  I made an attempt to remove them, but I know I didn’t get them all and will be after them for quite a while.  I left one patch on purpose because I do love them.

But the goal for the south side is to have a nice tapestry hedge to attract wildlife.  The plantings included in the hedgerow are, a spice bush, camellia, variegated box, Rose of Sharon, Gold Totem Pole, Knock Out Rose, Japanese Black pine, Abelia ‘Little Richard’ and Forthysia.  These plantings are a continuation of the Southern Magnolia that anchors the Southwest corner of the house.

Fledging Hedgerow

Another area in The Red Bed that needed my attention was the Forsythia.  There were four big clumps that needed to be removed.  This is one of my favorite harbingers of spring; but it can get a little unruly.

The aster, banana, elephant ears, daisies, ruellia, salvias were cut back.  kk decided he had no room for the Invincibelle Spirit, so I planted it in The Office Border.

For some time now, I have considered putting in an edge along the back lawn area where it meets the twin beds.  Left over from a job were 15 Ever-edges.  Laying them out to see how they will look, there they sit until I can decide.  It’s looking like it will be a good investment to at least try.  There are enough to be able to tell if the look is something I want.  Cut edges just don’t last long enough.  Given the look of that back area, a crisp formal edge is necessary.  Whether I go with this edge or another, an edge will be addressed in 2010.

Added Christmas tree cuttings to the wildlife brush pile

Wildlife brush pile

Fresh Cut Christmas Trees Versus Artificial Trees

Christmas Tree Afterlife for Wildlife

Merry Christmas to All and to All Good Gardens

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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Sunday December 20, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven

The Sunday Before Christmas

It was a slow gardening week at Helen’s Haven.  The kids last day of school was Friday, so any preparations that involved their Christmas needed to be complete.

While Helen’s Haven slept through sleet and snow and rain, I waited to garden.  The next dry, sunny day, I will be out in the garden again – despite the cold.  I just don’t want to be cold AND wet.

The hope of a Christmas season snow was dashed by a mere degree.  The kid’s disappointment quickly faded dreaming of sugarplums and Santa.

This story about Suzanne Edney’s design is a good Garden Coaching lesson to evaluate your garden for winter interest.  Winter Interest Under Way for Umstead Hotel and Spa

Tomorrow (Monday) at 12:47 PM EST will bring the Winter Solstice.  For this light starved gardener, the Winter Solstice is a much anticipated day.  To celebrate, fellow bloggers and I created a Plantluck Dinner – A Winter Solstice Celebration Meal.

When you finish Bobby Ward’s book Cholorphyll in his Veins: J.C. Raulston: Horticultural Ambassador, please share with me your comments so I can post and share for others to see.

The decorating is done, for me and my clients.  If you are still looking to be inspired, have a look here:  How to Decorate a Birdbath for the Holidays &  How to Decorate a Container for the Holidays.


Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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Plantluck Dinner – A Winter Solstice Celebration Meal

Happy Winter Solstice

On Monday, December 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM EST we can take a collective breath as we begin to see the days grow longer.  Longer days are here again.  As we go from the point of days with shorter daylight to days with longer daylight, there is a cause of celebration.

To celebrate, Helen Yoest (that’s me!) of Gardening With Confidence™ and 3 fellow social media friends created a Winter Solstice meal just for you.

We treated this meal like a potluck dinner.   Each of us offered up what ever we fancied,  but agreed the recipes would be plant-based – not necessarily vegetarian; but a recipe that used a plant as it’s main ingredient.  As such, we are calling this meal, a Plantluck Dinner for a Winter Solstice Celebration Meal.


The planners for your Plantluck Dinner for a Winter Solstice Celebration Meal:

Lynn Felici-Galllant
http://www.twitter.com/IndigoGardens
Indigo gardens

Kath Gallant/Blue Moon Cafe
http://www.twitter.com/BlueMoonMarket
Fan Blue Moon Market & Cafe on
http://www.facebook.com


Teresa O’Connor
Seasonal Wisdom
www.twitter.com/seasonalwisdom
Fan Seasonal Wisdom on
http://www.facebook.com


Helen Yoest
Gardening With Confidence

http://www.twitter.com/HelenYoest
Fan Gardening With Confidence™ on
http://www.facebook.com




Kelly Senser

http://www.twitter.com/klsnature






Solstice Stuffed Acorn Squash

.

Ingredients:

4 medium acorn squash, locally harvested if possible

2 cups Lundberg’s long grain brown rice

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1/3 cup minced, dried sweet cranberries

1/3 cup minced, dried sweet apricots

1/3 cup whole, hulled pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped mint

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut the top ¼ of the acorn squash, and remove all seeds. Place the squash and the tops face down in a roasting pan. Add ½ cup of water and cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the squash is soft to the touch. Set aside.

Meanwhile, blend 2 cups of Lundberg’s long grain brown rice with 4 cups of water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 50 minutes. When the rice is tender, drain and pour it into a large bowl and allow it to cool. When cool, add the carrots, cranberries, apricots, pumpkin seeds, red onion and 2 tablespoons of parsley.

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, mint, pepper, remaining salt and remaining parsley. Toss with the rice and fruit medley. Fill each acorn squash and enjoy!

Lynn Felici-Gallant and Kath Gallant

Recipe by Kath Gallant, Chef and Proprietor of the Blue Moon Café, Exeter, N.H.

About Kath & the Blue Moon Café:

For nearly 15 years, Kath Gallant has nurtured the New Hampshire community through the Blue Moon Café in Exeter. The award-winning café serves creative, abundant cuisine, and is committed to earth-wise education about food and wellness. When not in the kitchen, Kath tends a 2000 square-foot organic vegetable, herb and flower garden that supplies fresh fare to the café, and is presently at work with her sister-in-law, garden designer and writer Lynn Felici-Gallant, on the café’s first (and much-requested!) cookbook.

Today, Kath and Lynn are serving up Solstice Stuffed Acorn Squash.  “I love this dish, especially at the holidays. The natural shades of the rice accented with the vibrant jewel-toned cranberries and apricots served in a savory squash reflect the colors and the spirit of the season,” says Kath.

This dish will be on my Solstice celebration table.  “Rice and fruit-filled acorn squash is my favorite of Kath’s recipes from Blue Moon. It is at once healthful and beautiful, and the combination of flavors, fragrance and textures satisfies all of my senses,” says Lynn.

Seasonal Wisdom’s Kale with Feta and Bacon


Here’s a tasty way to eat more healthy winter greens.  This recipe combines nutritious kale with bacon and goat cheese to create a delicious dish your entire family will enjoy.

Lucky for us, kale grows well in winter in many places, and it’s hard to beat this green’s high nutritional content.  Kale is simply loaded with vitamins A and C, not to mention B vitamins, calcium and other minerals.  At our house, we make this dish whenever nutritious comfort food is needed on a cold, winter night.

Ingredients:

3 slices of bacon or vegetarian-style bacon (preferably organic, local or sustainably raised)

1 bunch of kale leaves, chopped

1/3 cup of chopped red peppers (I use frozen peppers from my garden)

1 medium sized onion

1-2 cloves garlic

2/3 cup of vegetable broth

1/4 cup of dry white wine

1-2 tablespoons of feta cheese

1 tsp of Dijon style mustard

1 tsp fresh thyme (1/2 tsp of dried thyme)

1 tsp fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp of dried rosemary)

Pinch of cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon until crisp. Place cooked bacon on paper towels to drain. In remaining bacon fat, sauté garlic and onions in cooking pan at medium heat until onions are translucent. (If using vegetarian-style bacon, add olive oil while cooking bacon and also while cooking onions.) Then, add red peppers and cook a minute or so to soften.

Add herbs, mustard, broth, white wine, and salt and pepper.  Stir to mix well.

Then add chopped kale and stir well. Cover pan and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. A few minutes before done, add feta and stir well. Serve warm.

This recipe makes a yummy side dish.  But these greens also make a great quiche:  simply add a cup of milk or almond milk; 3/4 cup of shredded cheese; and three eggs to the above recipe. Pour mixture into uncooked pie crust and bake at 375° F for 35-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when a toothpick stuck in the center of the quiche comes out clean. Let it sit a few minutes before serving.

Teresa O'Connor Seasonal Wisdom

About the Author: Teresa O’Connor (aka @SeasonalWisdom on Twitter) writes about gardening, local foods and seasonal folklore for online and print publications as well as on her blog www.seasonalwisdom.com.

Teresa co-authored “Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Foods,” (Cool Springs Press) – coming out in January 2010 – where she reported on  nutritional research about produce, and provided tips for purchasing fresh foods locally.


GWC’s Sweet Potato Casserole


ingredients:


6 Sweet Potatoes

Bag of mini-marshmallows

Some butter – optional – I happen to put butter in everything

Some brown sugar – I used 1/4 cup

Proportions can change depending on  your preference.  Add more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste

Boil potatoes with skins on.  Can be boiled a day in advance.  When done (when a knife easily enters the potato) let cool.

After the sweet potatoes have cooled enough to handle, remove the skins.  At this point, the skin will just slide off.

Pre-heat oven to 350° F

Place ingredients directly into an oven proof dish.

Chop or mash the sweet potatoes with a folk.

Sprinkle brown sugar over top

Sprinkle 3/4 mini-marshmallows over top

Dot with butter (if desired)

Mix all together

Cook at 350° F for about a half hour or until heated through.

Add the reminder of the mini-marshmallows on top for garnish.

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

Recipe for Apple Crumb Pie


Crust (if you don’t already have a favorite of your own):

ingredients:

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon margarine

1 cup flour

1/4  teaspoon salt

2 to 3 tablespoons cold water



Step 1: Using a fork, cut margarine into flour and salt (already in bowl); combine until particles are about the size of small peas.

Step 2: Add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until the flour mixture is moistened and dough almost cleans the side of bowl.


Step 3: Gather dough into a ball and place on lightly floured surface. Using floured rolling-pin, roll dough until it’s about 2 inches larger than inverted pie plate.

Step 4: Fold dough into fourths; place in pie plate.


Step 5: Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

Step 6: Decorate edge as you deem fit. I use my fingers to create wave pattern (image 4). Note: I actually use both hands, but I needed one to snap the photo. :0)


Pie filling:

ingredients:

4 or 5 golden delicious apples (or your favorite baking apple)

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Step 7: Peel and slice apples, then place inside crust

Step 8: Mix sugar with the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apples.

Step 9: Mix all ingredients together until moist and crumbly. Place on top of the apples.

Crumb topping:

ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup butter (margarine may also be substituted)

Step 10: Bake pie at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Enjoy!


While I bake this pie for various occasions, it’s a family tradition to present this dessert—warm from the oven—to each child’s teacher during appreciation week in May. We draft a poem to go along with it, which typically begins something like this: “An apple for the teacher is a customary treat/So we baked you a pie to let you know you’re sweet …” Fun for all!


Kelly Senser is a nature-loving mom who enjoys wildlife gardening and outdoor play. She’s a senior associate editor at National Wildlife magazine. Follow Kelly on Twitter @klsnature.




I hope you enjoyed our Plantluck Dinner – Winter Solstice Celebration Meal.  A meal sure to please all of us looking who are forward to longer days!


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