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I've Got the Blues!!

It's true. I am sad about not being able to continue The Garden Show on WOLD 95.1FM.

We gave it a great shot. Andy, Jordan and Shawn were fabulous partners in the endeavor. And the sponsors we had were all businesses I felt comfortable promoting. So do not hesitate to continue to reach out to any of them if their services can be helpful. I will keep them listed among the blog posts and will call on them myself if needed. So thanks to everyone that pitched in and we are already plotting and planning our next move. It looks like Tiny Farm Studios will become a reality in the next few weeks. We are developing a You Tube broadcast that will allow us to take calls and will air Sundays at 10 to be consistent with the timing of the The Garden Show. I think to start we will only be one hour until we get our sea legs. Tommy has secured an 800 phone number and a URL for the broadcast but we still need to figure out the equipment. As we figure it all out we will post here so stay tuned.


But on a much more cheerful blue note, the blueberry bushes are producing in grand style. So far the variety called Hannah's Choice seems to have the sweetest berries. But the quality improves as the season progresses so one of the later varieties may prove even better. It is also a dry season, so perhaps the berries are a bit smaller but the sugars are more concentrated which maximizes the sweetness. For Father's Day dinner we had blueberry pancakes and a blueberry crumble for dessert. And bacon. Lots of bacon. I served the crumble with Haagan Dazs vanilla ice cream. I think I am an ice cream snob. If it isn't Haagan Dazs or Ben and Jerry's why bother?? Of course, Day's ice cream in Ocean Grove is a special treat but in the freezer I have strict standards.

We've been busy picking and lots more to come.

CRUMBLE

Apple or Peach or Berry

Servings: 12-15 Prep time: 0:30 Total time: 1:15

Ingredients

• 7-9 med to large apples or ripe peaches peeled, cored and thinly sliced or enough berries to fill the casserole dish about 1 inch from the top. I like to use a mix of apples, but Gala and Granny Smith together are excellent.

• 1 package of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix (15.5 oz.)

• 3 Tbsp sugar

• 1.5 Tbsp ground cinnamon

• 2 sticks butter


Directions

· Preheat oven to 375°.

· Cut apple or peach slices in half crosswise and layer slices or berries in a large baking dish.

· Sprinkle with dry cake mix.

· In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over apples/peaches/berries and cake mix.

· Drizzle with one stick of melted butter.

· Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

· Drizzle with remaining melted butter and brown under broiler for 2 minutes. Be sure to lower rack under broiler so the top doesn’t burn.

· Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


Also doing well in the garden is the broccoli and cauliflower. I think this is the prettiest I've grown in years. And yes, that is purple cauliflower.

The sugar snap peas are still doing well. This cool spring has kept them going. Lots of Peas and Cheese sandwiches. For those of you that are not familiar with this delicacy it is 2 slices of American cheese on a nicely toasted English muffin with about 8 snap peas, a shake of Janes Crazy Mixed-Up Salt and mayo. Very important to squish the sandwich together or the peas come shooting out the end. The Sugar Snaps do need to be "strung". That is to remove the stringy green fibers

that line the seams of the pod. It only takes a second with a sharp knife.


Things in Bloom

While walking the other day I came upon a Basswood in bloom. Also called a Linden, and in England, for some unknown reason, they are called Limes. Jane Austen refers to Limes repeatedly, and in Pride and Prejudice specifically, a "Lime walk" to be planted by Mr. Collins. I always found that very confusing since the citrus lime would not thrive in that climate so I finally looked it up. There are several species including one native to North America which is probably the one I came across on my walk. The heart shaped leaves are easily recognized although I have never seen one quite so abundantly covered in flowers before. Attached to the flower stalk is a weird leaf-like structure called a bract which is a key identifier and hangs on after the flowers fall off. If you look closely you can see them in the picture. They are a pale green.

Also blooming in the Garden of Ancient Ruins is this gorgeous spirea. Can't tell you what variety since someone gave it to me but all the summer blooming spireas are easy care dependable plants. This one is great cover for the very scary dragon. (Which actually sits on top of an ugly pipe that sticks out of the ground.)







My Catalpa bloomed later than the one in my neighbor's yard in Ocean Grove. It could be a different species or just a variation due to having been grown from a seed. This is the first year it has bloomed for me. It was a gift from Pat in Edison. She let Tommy and I dig it out of her yard. They do pop up as seedlings in unwanted places and Pat offered us this one which we were happy to have. I do not recommend planting Catalpas near paved areas like driveways or sidewalks. The flowers drop, turn brown and get slimy. Not really a problem on the grass as the mower comes along and chops them up. The flowers are followed by the long pods which is why they show up so often as seedlings. In the right spot they are spectacular. If you choose to plant one, choose your site with care. I am thrilled with mine. My neighbor in Ocean Grove threatens to chop hers down every year.

I added two new butterfly bushes this year and the colors are brilliant. They have already started to bloom ahead of the one that has been in the ground for several years. The deep pink is Prince Charming and the purple is Blue Knight.









This little fuzzy white plant is called Angel Wings. It is a Senecio and is perennial in tropical climates. Here it is generally treated as an annual but can be grown in a container. I love how it looks in contrast to the Myrtle groundcover. I may try to pot it up in the fall to see if I can get it through the winter. It can also be propagated from cuttings. I've never grown it before but I think it is stunning.

This concrete basket planter was a gift from my son, Teejay. Last year I planted it with Scavola, Japanese Fan Flower. I used a mix of pink, white and purple. It was gorgeous but impossible to keep watered in the middle of the yard at some distance from any hose. This year I decided succulents might be more practical with a better chance of surviving the whole season. With the dry weather we have been having, it was a good decision. Very happy with the way it turned out. Even got a few flowers!

So that brings us up to date for the moment. Remember you can send an email via this website or comment on my posts in the comment section. I will do my best to answer your questions in a timely manner. We will be up and running on You Tube in a few weeks. Thanks for staying in touch.





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