Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Project: Painted Herb Recipe Pots

While mulling over gift ideas for Mother's Day, spring birthdays and summer kick offs, I came across a few potted herbs that included a recipe on their plant ID tags. I thought bon appetit!, what a great idea. I picked up a few inexpensive terra cotta pots and sketched out a rough idea of how I would illustrate the recipes on the pots.

Mother of Mojito Mint! Basil and Oregano – classic pizza herbs and I have a sister and brother-in-law who grill a mean pizza! Lavender infused honey – I do have a honey of a niece.

Once again I turned to my stockpile of inexpensive craft paints. A little water, a few old brushes and I set to work. It was great fun to see these recipes come to life.

Limes and bees and pizza slices, oh my. Just a few finishing touches and a coat or two of polycrylic and we're finis! Potted up these make a one-of-a-kind gift that can be placed inside or out and reused each year.

Or maybe you would like to create one or two for your very own deck or balcony. Salad mixes, dill pickle pots, strawberry pie pots, mosquito repellent pots, chamomile tea pots ... so many possibilities. For more painted pot ideas also see my previous post Project: Painted Pots.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What's Blooming: Black Lace and Roses

So much is going on in the garden that I fear I have missed a glorious moment or two. I still have plants to get into the ground and the days seem to whir by like dragonflies ... are those dragonflies already out prowling the garden? Yes, they are! And evenings seem to sparkle ... yes, those are fireflies! The Catbird has finally come out of hiding and I watch him hop about the Potager. He even dares to perch on a trellis and study me. It's mid June, and time to pause, sit in the garden instead of running around frantically with my shovel leading the way.

Out front chives are cheering like pom poms and Sambucus Black Lace is revealing her best show ever.

Sambucus Black Lace

Clematis are creeping and peeping from corners along the drive. My native clematis, Virginiana were coming up nicely until Mr. Rabbit ... well actually it must be Mrs. because now there are little rabbits hopping about! ... decided they would make a tasty salad. I have wrapped them so that they can hopefully, reestablish themselves.

Clematis Claire de Lune

Clematis Rooguchi

This year I am enjoying the changing palettes of the garden – pinks and purples, blues and yellows.

Spiderwort, Tradescantia Osprey

Yellow Evening Primrose with Cranesbill

The foamy yellow flowers of Lady's Mantle

Blue Flag Iris

Amsonias with golden Creeping Jenny

Overnight, my swamp rose burst into bloom and surprise!, this year a neighboring rose that was on our property line decided to creep under our new fence and join us.

Swamp Rose, Rosa palustris

The flowering raspberry bushes, Rubus odoratus, that the Rabbit seemed to enjoy dining on so much this winter are bigger than ever in spite of all my worries. Their blooms resemble wild roses. Their leaves are big and beautiful.

Thank you Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day the 15th of each month.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sycamore Hill Gardens Tour

On Mother's Day, private Sycamore Hill Gardens in Marcellus, NY opens its gates for a minimal fee to allow the public to view its magnificent gardens. (Ticket fees benefit the Baltimore Woods Nature Center.) Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and stay the entire day. My family and I spent several hours touring these beautiful grounds and plan to return next year, picnic basket in hand. Please enjoy a photographic tour of the path we took.

Perhaps why this garden is named Sycamore Hill. A plaque adorns the base of this amazing Sycamore tree, officially proclaiming its age originating to the times of the Revolutionary War.

Just around the corner is an asian inspired shady oasis.

Moving along we encounter Koi Watch on Lake George and proceed to cross the lake over large stepping stones towards the Dragon Pagoda.

My niece seems totally unaware of the dragon lurking in the pagoda. Look out!

The Dragon Pagoda is surrounded by Fairy Woods. Sculptures of fairies and other flying creatures seem to guard the trees.

More evidence of fairies in the Children's Garden. I think they purposely blurred this photo to escape detection.

Everywhere are interesting sculptures, urns, ornaments, plant groupings and beautiful blooms.

Now I know I want to add Sambucus Golden Elderberry to my garden

A serpent of weeping evergreens guarding the Tower

Peony blooming in the Peony Garden

Crabapple Lane

I loved visiting the Vegetable Garden. The rooster and ornamental gate especially caught my eye. My nieces were more curious as to what was inside the shed.

In all of the garden, the busiest and most bustling spot was the Bell Garden. The chime of the bells could be heard wherever we journeyed. Even I tried my hand at ringing a bell or two. Listen for yourself.

If you have the chance to visit this wonderful garden, I recommend you do so. Learn more at www.sycamorehillgardens.com.


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