|Polly is checking out what we were doing.|
I love living in the desert Southwest.
I really do, except in August. That’s when I start to tire of the long, hot summer and yearn for fall. By September, the days begin to shorten and the weather begins to cool and I plant my cool-season vegetable garden.
One of the things that I love most about gardening in the desert Southwest is that you can grow fruit and vegetables all year long – even in the midst of winter when most of the country can only dream of growing things outdoors.
Most of us are familiar with teak wood and its beauty. Often, you can find it in a garden setting being in the form of benches, which weather the sun and rain with no problem.
Teak wood is extremely durable and unlike many types of wood, can handle water with no problem.
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by Teak Closeouts if I would try out some of their teak bowls, which would be suitable as planters.
I am always on the lookout for unique and unusual items for the garden that can be both functional and beautiful, so of course, I said said yes!
One of the reasons I was excited to try out the teak bowl planters was that over the summer is that I saw a rustic wooden planter on a visit to the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.
Fall is a busy time for me in the garden. However, you will usually find me in other people’s gardens helping them achieve their goal of a beautiful, low-maintenance garden. I did manage to get my cool-season vegetable gardens planted. I planted my favorites, which include carrots, cauliflower, garlic, a variety of leaf lettuces and radishes.
In addition to my artichoke, my bell pepper plant is also a holdover from last year’s garden. Actually, it is 2 years old. Although pepper plants can die from freezing temperatures, I protect mine when the temps dip below freezing, so they are qutie large and produce a lot of peppers much to the delight of my husband and children who like to eat the bell peppers raw.
I also dice them and freeze them for using in my favorite Mexican rice recipe.
Did you enjoy your Halloween? While you may be spending your morning cleaning up small candy wrappers and trying to get your kids out of bed after they crashed after their sugar high – I’d like to ask you a question:
Do you have vines in your garden?
What type of trellis do you use for them? Is it your basic (somewhat boring) wooden trellis?
What if you could make your own trellis that not only looks better but costs next to nothing?
*I have been sharing some of my favorite garden blog posts that I have written recently for Birds & Blooms magazine where I serve as the garden blogger – including this one about how to make your own ‘natural’ trellis.
Is your garden looking a bit lackluster and in need of more color than green? While colorful flowering plants can help, it is hard to find a plant that will flower all year long.
I am always on the lookout for new things to make from the garden.
Recently I learned how to make specially flavored salts using herbs from my garden. ‘Herb salts’ have become a popular flavoring tool in the culinary community and they are very easy to make.
The process of making herb salts starts out looking like this…
As you can imagine there are a number of different types of herb salts that you can make. Here are a few different combinations that you might want to try:
|Rosemary Sage Garlic Salt|
All of these herb salt blends can be made following the same steps as I have done for my herb salt blend – except where noted.
Rosemary Lemon Pepper Salt – 1/3 cup rosemary leaves, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 cup kosher salt.
*(Increase cooking time to 1 hour)
Rosemary Sage and Garlic Salt – 1/2 cup of rosemary leaves, 1/2 cup sage, 5 peeled garlic cloves and 1/4 cup kosher salt.
Sage Thyme and Garlic Salt – 1/2 cup sage, 1/2 cup thyme, 5 peeled garlic cloves and 1/4 cup kosher salt.
If your garden is filled with herbs, this is a creative way to use them in the kitchen or give them as gifts. Even if you don’t have a garden filled with herbs, you can find fresh herbs at your local grocery store or farmers market.
So, how about you? What would herb(s) would your ideal herb salt contain?