Category Archives: Ozarks Travel Examiner

travel through the Ozarks platteau in 5 states.

Todays Harvest June 27, 2012

Todays harvest included onions, carrots, chard and Chinese cabbage


I’ll make cole slaw out of the cabbage. It is a lighter version of slaw. I never make that mayo based dressing any more.

The chard will go into green rice.

Green Beans, bugs and bunnies

Garden Report 2012

Green Beans are a summer favorite I seldom eat in winter. Because as you know, everything tastes better home grown and garden fresh.

This recipe is made from last summers dried tomatoes and pesto. This summers green beans and onions. photo: PBH

Green Beans

Green beans are grown from Renee’s Garden seed. I pulled the onions from my garden the last week of June. At first the beans were being eaten up by bugs and bunnies.

The bunnies came and went. Bigger gardens next door or a neighborhood full of cats and dogs sent the bunnies on their way. Repeated Safer’s Soap sprays slowed down the bugs.

I’m growing “Tricolor Bush” and “Tricolor Pole”. Why bush and pole? because the pole beans are ready about a week after the bush beans. I’ll keep replanting beans and hopefully get another crop or two here in Missouri.

We love pickled green beans. These long straight beans are meant to be stuffed into tall skinny jars and pickled. They are refrigerator pickles, meant to be eaten fresh out of the jar. My crisp pickled beans are not cooked by the long process of canning.

Maybe we will have enough to freeze a few of these three colors of long straight green beans. The multi colored beans are beautiful in winter time vegetable soup.

Earlier this summer I grew a great crop of French, “Rolande” bush beans. Extra-slim,

“Roland” is a “haricot vert” of filet bean. Pick them and cook them. These straight, skinny beans are tender and need very little cooking.

long and deep green filet or “haricot vert” snap beans. These are a long, skinny French bean that does very well in my zone 6A home garden.

They grew in a square 4′ x 4′ garden. Every week for four weeks I planted another quarter of the garden. It kept us in fresh beans and a bit more to share with Neighbor Patty.

They are extra-crispy, making it possible for Jules and I to come to a middle ground in the kitchen. One of us likes Southern style “cooked to death” green beans and the other likes the California style “crispy and full of vitamins” version.

Green Beans are meant for sucession planting. Planting one patch and a little later planting a few more beans will stretch out fresh green bean season spring to fall. The best way is to plant a few beans, or part of a row every week.

When the first plants are finished producing beans, cut them down, mow them or, snip off the plants. Replant that spot again with more green beans.  If you want to freeze or can a lot of beans at once, this method is not for you.

If I have a few too many green beans, I can share them with the neighbor. Or, it is quick to blanch and freeze a quart size plastic zipper lock bag of green beans. Next, I’ll plant cow peas.


Had to do a little research on how to harvest and store onions because I’ve never had much luck growing them before. It was not a great crop. But the variety of onions were so much more successful than ever before.

Red onions are still in the ground. As are the leeks and shallots. Garlic was lifted mid June.

Rethinking Coleas

Alabama Sunset' is a popular and durable sun-tolerant coleus.

This coleus is on my friends back deck. She knows – because I just had to tell her — that coleus should be pinched back. I admit this trailing plant is very pretty and continuously blooming. Most long time gardeners would have rushed to this plant and made 2 dozen cuttings imediately.

Pinch Plants for Better Growth

It just occurred to me when I saw this plant, that we don’t have to follow the rules or even an experienced gardeners advice.

Relax. Be happy. It is OK to NOT follow the rules all the time. You don’t Have To pinch plants. If you don’t, this is what will happen.↑ (see above photo) That’s OK too.


Rain Gauges

This is my favorite rain gauge. I’ve tried a lot of them, but this is a keeper.

They start out as shiny copper and age to what the marketing guys call a patina.

I like it so much, that when these were on sale (they still are), I bought another one. I can see this gauge across the street in my garden. And the other one goes in the back where I can see it as I have coffee and water my deck flowers in the morning.

I like that this gauge has a bit of science and history. It works on Archimedes displacement theory

Gardeners love rain gauges so we can talk about the weather with some accuracy. If we don’t get that  guide post amount of 1″ of rain every week, we know how much to water.

I only have them close so you can see how they age. The one on the left is new.

These gauges read different amounts because I added water to one, just to show you how they work. After this blog post, the shiny one is going to the back yard.

I don’t work for Gardener’s Supply. I just like this raingauge. Its durable, easy to read and attractive.

In fact, a substantial portion of my income goes to them annually  and sadly does not com from them to me.

Bring it in, in the winter time and it will last for years.

By then, you will have figured out how to replace the inside piece youself

Get it here:
Gardener’s Supply
Floating Rain Gauge
Item # 39-047

Actually Gardeners Supply, you should hire me to do your Pinterest accout. I have so much of your stuff I could post daily until fall.

What’s wrong with my plant?

Hey garden guru. Picked up some PW super bells. Yard boy (otherwise known as Dan) planted them… And two days letter they are a wilted dying mess. Any ideas what might have gone wrong?  Becky

Becky, You made a good choice. Superbells are a favorite summer anual. I suggest you give it plenty of water. Even if the plant was well watered the surrounding dry soil will wick off the moisture.

A newly planted flower has yet to establish it’s root system. It needs extra water and attention for a few days until it is well rooted in it’s new home.

The Yard Boy did everything right, in fact, he deserves many tall, iced drinks.

Last summer I grew some beautiful superbells :

Beautiful! Proven Winners Superbells

Because we had such a mild winter, these Superbells survied the winter and are blooming again this year.

I’m growing more superbells this year.There is a new bright yellow and white striped superbell coming. Next spring, look for ‘Lemon Slice’ at the garden centers.


This year, I’m growing containers of mixed annuals. It is a test, to see if I can keep these full sun flowers well watered and blooming.

Superbells are a Calibrachoa. This  new type of plants looks like little Petunias. They are related.

Plants in containers live or die because we remember to water and fertilize. I love that you dont have to deadhead old flowers or pinch back stems.

Once established, water only when the top of the soil feels dry. Too much water makes  roots rot. Full sun. Fertilize once a month.

Only 6 – 10 inches tall, these long, trailing branches cascade over the sides of hanging baskets and containers, or spread over flower beds.

These superbells are hummingbird magnets.



Beauty of Moscow Lilac

Syringa vulgaris ‘Krasavitsa Moskvy’

White lilac with double blooms and very fragrant. Flowers have a touch of pink, turning white in full bloom.

Bred in Russia by hybridist Leonid Kolesnikov.
Said to be very resistant to pests and disease. Reaches 15′ high and spreads 6-12′ wide, though I’ve had mine for 3 years and it is just a whispy stick or two.

The photo is the total bloom production for the year.

pink buds open to bright hite fragrant.white lilac

Ideal for zones 3-7. this lilac takes full sun to partial shade.

If you are looking for deer resistant shrubs, choose a lilac.

GBBD March 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 15, 2012


Someday soon this will be loaded with Saturn or donut peaches.


Short bloom time for this slow grower.

Daffodils are naturalizing. Naturalization also means Take Over The World. But that is OK, it's a short bloom time.

This is my circle garden, a reclaimed space in a neighborhood circle drive. Some day soon it will be the potager, or a kitchen garden filled with herbs and vegetables.


Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens.

Secret Valentines

When we were courting, my first husband gave me flowers all the time. He always brought me flowers. It is one of the reasons I fell in love with Jules.

He doesn’t bring me flowers anymore. Thank heavens. After we were married, instead of buying flowers, he bought me three acres. Now I grow my own flowers.

These days, if my husband bought Valentines Day roses, I might reply – in a most loving way, of course – “Are you nuts? We can’t afford roses in Winter!” Joint bank accounts and the frugal habits of a gardener will win out over seasonally inflated prices every time. Jules is my first and only husband and lifetime valentine.

Young women sometimes sit around waiting for flowers to be delivered to them. It takes a while to figure out that we get much more when we give. When we get a little older and wiser we know that sending secret valentines and friendship cards is as heartwarming as finding one in your own mailbox.

Drop a valentine in the mail to someone who might not get one. Warm up a frosty February day with a random act of kindness.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” — Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Ophelia

RosemaryRosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) – Christians referred to rosemary the “Holy Herb,” associated with Mary, who, according to Spanish legend, draped her cloak over a rosemary bush on the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt, turning the color of the blossoms from white to blue.

Rosemary was once used by the poor or lower classes as a substitute for expensive frankincense or myrrh-based incense in ancient Greece and Rome. Before the advent of modern medicine rosemary was burned, along with juniper berries, as a disinfectant in French hospitals.

Romantically, rosemary’s legend grew in the 14th century, when 72-year-old Queen Elizabeth of Hungary used rosemary as a medicine for her rheumatism and gout. Her potion of rosemary and lavender supposedly so enhanced her health and beauty that it fanned the passions of the 26-year-old King of Poland, who requested her hand in marriage. The potion became known as Budapest or Hungary water and was the beauty aide of choice for women for hundreds of years.

Rosemary for cooking, a favorite winter herb, I use it fresh and dried. One of my favorite ways to cook with rosemary is to put a sprig in the body cavity of a game hen before roasting. Or, drizzle a little olive oil over new potatoes or whole fingering potatoes, then sprinkle a little salt, and a few crushed rosemary leaves before baking.

Rosemary tea is made by steeping a short sprig in hot water for about 5 minutes. Or, put a teaspoon of dried rosemary in a warmed teapot and add a cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes.

Medicinally, rosemary tea is said to be good for colds, flu, indigestion, headache and fatigue. It is an antioxidant, antiseptic, antidepressant, a circulatory stimulant. Rosemary is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and zinc. 

GBBD December, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day December 15, 2011.

The only thing blooming in my house is the yeast. (I’m making bread today)

I killed all my Amaryllis this past summer. But more bulbs arrived today. However, I may not even have amaryllis blooms next month, January, because it will take at least 6 weeks for blooms to appear.

But enough of the pity party. A ring of the door bell, and This sweet poinsettia was standing there in the hands of my sweet neighbor. “You always give me flowers all summer long. So I thought I would give you one today.

This sweet red poinsettia flower, in a 4" pot, is now sitting on my mantel.

So, my blooms are store bought.

The result of the blooming yeast is here:

Multigrain bread baked in my oven on a pizza stone.


Garden Blogger Bloom Day is a project of Carol at May Dreams Gardens. You are welcome to join.  She invites all gardeners to share what is blooming in their garden every month on the 15th.

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