White flowers of the night

2014
10.14

Nicotiana

Sweet white flowers a mildly fragrant in the evening. It took two or three years before I finally got this to bloom. The seed is about the size of this period → . ←

Collecting  these seed is not easy. But they do self seed quite well.

Collecting these seed is not easy. But they do self seed quite well.

Nicotiana alata is a species of “Nicotiana” tobacco. It is also called Jasmine Tobacco. The unwieldy 24″+ stems bloom freely producing gazillions of seed. Just now, there are dozens (maybe 100s) of the tiny plants coming up around every single square paver on my patio. After days and days of rain, the ity bity seed have washed down between the pavers. and started to grow.

nicotianan alata tobacco sweet scented bloomer in the afternoon  and evening.

nicotianan alata tobacco sweet scented bloomer in the afternoon and evening.

I added this to my worry list. It would be hard to pull the plants up without destroying the lush green moss. But I think the first frost will kill them off. The plant is only winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. I’m in 6A, SE Missouri.

Datura

pollinators flock to moonflowers.

pollinators flock to moonflowers.

Originally it was part of a white flowering, night blooming collection. The other survivor was a  Datura species are herbaceous, leafy annuals .  They are also sometimes called moonflowers.

Only blooming in the evening, it may be tricked by cloudy days.

Only blooming in the evening, it may be tricked by cloudy days.

All species of Datura are poisonous, especially their seeds and flowers. Thankfully the is an annual because it grows unruly, taking over any flower bed. Easily reseeds.

Apples, pies, sauce

2014
10.09
Honey Crisp, big, juicy, crisp.

Honeycrisp, big, juicy, crisp.

Speaking of apples, they are here, every kind you can imagine. I had to take out a second mortgage to buy the first Honeycrisps that arrived in the area. They are big enough to share, crisp and sweet as any eating apple you ever tasted.

Because this young apple has quickly developed such a big following. The Grocer charges more than double the price of other apples.

It takes five to six years for Honeycrisp to produce fruit. They grow best in cold weather states, like Minnesota.

Honeycrisp apple is a cross between Macoun apple and Honey Gold apples. Developed by University of Minnesota.

It will not come true when grown from seed. Honeycrisp apple flowers must be pollinated by another apple variety. Even a crabapple will do.

They are pricey apples. But I love them for fresh eating. For making homemade applesauce, pies, fried apples, I choose a more affordable variety.

Applesauce or apple pie filling are a good idea to start home canning. The weather is cool, the work in your garden has slowed down, apples are plentiful most everywhere.

Apples as a first home canning project

Make it your own by adding cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger

Make it your own by adding cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a favorite apple pie recipe for a fall apple bounty.

Sausage and apple pie a fall favorite

Sweet Italian sausage and apple pie.

Sweet Italian sausage and apple pie.

Make it a brunch dish using good breakfast sausage. For dinner, I use sweet Italian sausage. Honestly, I don’t need a reason, the pie is one my fall favorites.

Summer Office

2014
10.03

Best coffee in town

IMG_2086

Summer on the deck.

C. L. Fornari  posted a photo of her summer office on facebook that made me smile. She is the inspiration for the following photos of my outdoor office which is also the library.

My big backyard

Patio

Morning coffee is served on the patio.

Morning coffee is served on the patio.

I step out of the kitchen and onto the patio for coffee most mornings. A variety of mints and herbs grow around the patio. It is the ideal place to set the sun tea jar early in the day.

Hummingbirds love the flowers and hanging baskets. Some of the patio plants are trial plants from Proven Winners. They hang from the pergola on the patio so I can keep an eye on what’s new.

The flowering nicotiana and giant overgrown celosa attract the pollinators and bummers.

Morning coffee on the patio.

Privacy Screen of  purple morning glories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's always coffee or iced tea at the "office".

There’s always coffee or iced tea at the “office”.

Deck

On the deck, a drip irrigation system keeps the plants looking good. Every spring some bird of some kind will decide to make a nest and raise a family on deck.

My favorite coffee shop.

My favorite coffee shop.

A huge cypress tree provides shade and refuge for the songbirds and hummers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening and writing about gardening are always best done outside.

Gardening and writing about gardening are always best done outside.

Extended release fertilizer was added when the baskets were planted.

Extended release fertilizer was added when the baskets were planted.

 

The secret is to keep the plants well watered.

The secret is to keep the plants well watered.

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 9/28/14

2014
09.28

Today’s Harvest Basket September 28,1914

Tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, sage

Food is just coming in “dribs and drabs”, as grandmother would say.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

Happy Birthday to our resident hole digger and full-time weeder. His birthday dinner will be all locally grown (in my garden or in the surrounding counties.)

Everything except for the pasta. It was a very bad year for macaroni in the garden. It doesn’t grow here in Southeast Missouri, USA

Jules is one of the unsung hero’s of the garden, chasing moles, resetting the stones in the walkway once the culprit is finally caught. Most of all, when we both stumble inside at the end of a long, hard day, I will say I forgot to turn off the water, bring in the tools, whatever.) Out he goes to solve the problem. Jules is the apple of my eye.

Cooler fall weather means apples are plentiful. Missouri has a bounty of apples.

 

Apples

Honey Crisp, big, juicy, crisp.

Honey Crisp, big, juicy, crisp.

Speaking of apples, they are here, every kind you can imagine. I had to take out a second mortgage to buy the first Honeycrisps that arrived in the area. They are big enough to share, crisp and sweet as any eating apple you ever tasted.

Because this young apple has quickly developed such a big following. The Grocer charges more than double the price of other apples.

It takes five to six years for Honeycrisp to produce fruit. They grow best in cold weather states, like Minnesota.

Honeycrisp apple is a cross between Macoun apple and Honey Gold apples. Developed by University of Minnesota.

It will not come true when grown from seed. Honeycrisp apple flowers must be pollinated by another apple variety. Even a crabapple will do.

They are pricey apples. But I love them for fresh eating. For making homemade applesauce, pies, fried apples, I choose a more affordable variety.

Applesauce or apple pie filling are a good idea to start home canning. The weather is cool, the work in your garden has slowed down, apples are plentiful most everywhere.

Apples as a first home canning project

This is a favorite apple pie recipe for a fall apple bounty.

Sausage and apple pie a fall favorite

Make it a brunch dish using good breakfast sausage. For dinner, I use sweet Italian sausage. Honestly, I don’t need a reason, the pie is one my fall favorites.

The Purple Tomato Thief on eBay

2014
09.27
This is the stolen photo of Indigo Rose tomato.
This is the stolen photo of Indigo Rose tomato.

Blue (Purple) Tomato Photo

This is a stolen photo.

I took this picture on my birthday, October 14th, last year.
The tomatoes are sitting on my custom made patio table. Member id ilg49, Robert & Jessica, are the seed sellers on eBay that are using my photo to sell Indigo Rose tomato seed. Of course You Know, it is neither rare or heirloom as they advertise.

This is Indigo Rose tomato.

This is Indigo Rose tomato.

Today’s Harvest Basket 9/16/14

2014
09.17

Today’s Harvest Basket, September 16, 2014.

Bunnies are always hiding in my garden. Today, I also discovered carrots.

Big long, straight carrots.

Big long, straight carrots.

I was planning a journal entry called “Garden Cleanup.” While I was tidying up the herb garden, I discovered these giant carrots. This is a new vegetable in my garden, it is only the second year to grow carrots. I was never inclined to grow carrots because I didn’t especially like them.

Carrots

Carrots was not a crop grown in Grandmother’s garden. Her Ozarks garden was red clay and very rocky, making it impossible to grow carrots. I had no idea where carrots came from.

The 10″ long carrots were masquerading as it’s cousins: parsley, cilantro, and chervil. All of these herbs are members of the carrot family. The flowers look like Queen Ann’s Lace.

Sitting behind the harvest basket are water-filled jars of parsley, cilantro, or chervil. The parsley will go into tabouleh. Cilantro will be frozen into a pesto-like condiment, ready to drop into bean dishes, chili, enchilada sauce or salsa.

Chervil on potato salad

Chervil on potato salad

Chervil has only been in the garden for a couple of years. I will use chervil in potato dishes like potato salad.

It is one of the herbs in the fines herbes blend. (pronounced “feen erb.”) 

Fines Herbes

My recipe for fresh fines herbes

• 3 Tablespoons chervil
• 3 Tablespoons chives
• 3 Tablespoons parsley
• 2 Tablespoons tarragon

Finely chop all these herbs and mix together. Use fresh or store in the refrigerator in a zip lock or small air tight container for a couple of days.

I have all these herbs growing in the garden now. Usually, chervil is available only in the cool season. I will mix fines herbes into an herb herb butter to freeze.

Lacy chervil in part shade.

Lacy chervil in part shade.

Try chervil or fines herbes:

GBBD 9/15/14

2014
09.17

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 14, 20014

Finally, cooler weather.

Since the weather has cooled down, some flowers are busy blooming and making seeds.

Our house is nearly 170 years old.

Crape Myrtle are a bright spot in late summer.

Our house is nearly 170 years old. The one acre lot has plenty of room for experimenting with a variety of trees and shrubs. Birds will love as these seeds made from so many flowers this fall.

Last echinacea or coneflower of the year.

Bird food

Last of the sunflowers.

Last of the sunflowers.

 

I’ve been collecting vegetable and herb seed for next year. Flower seeds will be collected by the birds.

 

Night blooming Datura.

Night blooming Datura.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Datura flowers will often self seed. The plants get huge and take up a lot of space.

 

Nicotiana are blooming nonstop.

Nicotiana are blooming nonstop.

 

Morning coffee on the patio.

Morning coffee on the patio.

Why does coffee taste better on the patio in the morning? For me, it’s the best time to write. It’s cool and quiet except for the beautiful soundtrack provided by the songbirds. My brain is not crowded with the with the activities of the day.

IMG_2691

Privacy screen on the patio.

I tried to grow morning glories for a couple of years before I finally got them to grow. Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glories are now as out of control as dandelions and grass. Still the hummingbirds love the morning glories that create a privacy screen on the North side of the patio.

“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. What’s blooming in your garden? Share with other garden bloggers on the 15th of each month. Leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

 Thank you for visiting my blog: Oh Grow Up!

Todays Harvest Basket 9/8/14

2014
09.11

Today’s Harvest Basket September 8, 2014

Mild Habanero Peppers, “Suave”

So many peppers.

Sun Gold cherry  tomato, Arkansas Traveler, Giant Martian and, paste tomatoes.

Paste tomatoes are ripe ripe every day. I'm freezing them whole to process later.

Some paste tomatoes are ripe every day. I’m freezing them whole to process later.

Top right corner is the Black Brandywine, much smaller than the other Brandywines. Below the black tomato is a regular Brandywine, weighing in at just over a pound. I picked it early and a little green to keep it from breaking the vine.

Those cute little green and yellow wrinkly peppers are a new mild Habanero pepper, “Suave”. They turned complexly yellow by the next day. They are said to be flavorful but bot as hot a true habanero pepper. It’s a new and exclusive variety from Renee’s Garden Seed. With the break in heat, the plant has perked up and is blooming non stop. The plant is loaded with peppers.

These are bright Goldfinch yellow when ripe. I’m letting the rest of these peppers ripen in the vine. Their beautiful color is reason enough to grow them.

Much of the heat has been removed from this pepper, but it still has heat. The Chili Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University has created this milder version of the habanero.

Mild Habanero pepper, “Suave” are 800 on the Scoville scale.

For comparison, a Sweet bell pepper is 0; Pimento is 100-500; Pepperoncini,100-500 and TABASCO® brand Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce is 100-600.

Ancho and Poblano register between 1,000–2,000. (This is the chili relleno pepper.)

Jalapeno and the Original TABASCO brand pepper sauce are 2,500 – 5,000.

Ghost peppers exceed one million Scoville units.

I am already thinking of what kind of tomatoes to plant next year.  Some tomatoes, I can use the seed leftover from this year. A number of my favorite tomatoes are on HubPages.

 

This is my last zucchini cake of the season. Here come the apples!

One recipe makes three cakes zucchini, carrot or apple

The orchards are loaded with apples.

The orchards are loaded with apples.

Make applesauce your first home canning project. Try a simple small batch canning recipe.

Apples as a first canning project

 

 

Todays Harvest Basket 9/6/28

2014
09.07

Today’s Harvest Basket September 6, 2014

Potatoes, peppers

 

Potatoes and peppers

Potatoes and peppers

Clearly, the potatoes are not grown to help us through the winter. This is my third year attempt at growing potatoes. For one pound of seed potatoes, the return was 7 1/2 pounds.

It’s my best yield so far. Uncle Ebb came to the rescue and  helped figure out what went wrong last year. I left the potatoes in the ground too long. The year before that produced only a hand full of potatoes.

So I am getting better. Who knows what yields I’ll get if I actually pay attention and regularly fertilize and water them?

Growing potatoes in a bag makes for an easy, back saving harvest.

Growing potatoes in a bag makes for an easy, back saving harvest.

I used this bag to grow potatoes. It was sitting on the ground and a few of the roots grew through the bag, down into the soil. The potato plants were drawing moisture from the ground.

If all the conditions are just right, I could expect to harvest 10 pounds of potatoes for every pound of seed potato planted. That is a guideline in row crops. Who knows what to expect using a grow bag fabric planter?

I like to grow varieties that are available to gardeners and not usually found in grocery stores. These, I think, are Yellow Finn potatoes. I’m hoping the yellow potatoes will  fool me into using less butter.

Potatoes are the fourth-largest food crop in the world. (After rice, wheat, and maize.) This is an old European gourmet variety. They are said to have a buttery, sweet, yellow flesh.

The grow bag allows for excellent drainage and aeration. Plants respond much like they do in raised beds. You can start plants earlier than you can sow directly in the ground.

These fabric bags also last a long time. I’ve used it for three years with a variety to crops and It shows no signs of wear and tear.  It will be in service next year.

Golden salsa, made with yellow tomatoes.

Golden salsa, made with yellow tomatoes.

Oh, by the way, those lovely peppers are a variety of jalapeno that are supposed to be milder than the original. Still, half of one is enough for my canned salsa. Since I started making our own salsa, we use a lot more of it.

Jeff says that is because I make such good salsa. But it’s probably because of the roasted garlic, peppers and tomatoes. It’s an extra step, but it makes for a richer and sweeter salsa.

 

 

 

 

Todays Harvest Basket 9/3/14

2014
09.07

Today’s Harvest Basket September 3, 2014

Tomatoes and Peppers galore! Bell, Jalapeño, Habanero, Felicity peppers

Hot and sweet peppers. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Hot and sweet peppers. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

 Chile, “Classic Jalapeño” Pepper, hot

Felicity, sweet pepper, no heat.

Red Bell Pepper, sweet

Arkansas Traveler, Martian Giant, Brandywine and assorted cherry tomatoes.

Brandywine tomato

One slice will cover the bread on a BLT.

One slice will cover the bread on a BLT.

Big old Brandywine was so heavy, it dropped off, stripping the vine’s exterior by several inches.

From an old line of Brandywines, known as the Sudduth’s strain.

Sudduth’s strain comes from tomato collector Ben Quisenberry in 1980. He got it from Dorris Sudduth Hill whose family grew it for over 100 years.

Big pink beefsteak-like fruits can grow up to 2 pounds on indeterminate vines.

This is the tomato by which all others are measured for taste. Brandywine is a consistent winner in tomato taste contests. The intense tomato flavor is the perfect balance of acid and sweet taste.

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