Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some late summer roses

"Mutabalis" (yes, this is a rose!)

"Clair Matin"

"Mrs. B.R. Cant"

"Nearly Wild"

"Buff Beauty"



Monday, August 24, 2009

Daylily oddities

Michael brought this home and said that one of his clients showed it to him and asked him about it. She says that some of her daylilies develop this second growth up on the stalk which she can remove and transplanted. I've never seen this phenomena but I also don't know a lot about daylilies. Can anyone out there enlighten us?

Click on the photo for a larger view...

Update: LynnS of Wood Ridge blog responds:

"The term is "keiki", meaning baby or child. Some daylilies reproduce in this asexual manner, as do some orchids. Also, if you think about regular houseplants, the Spider Plant sends out shoots with quite a few keiki plants and tiny blooms. I've had all of the above keiki offshoots and had great success with each.

I have heard one orchidist say that the Phalaenopsis orchid which pushes a keiki means it is not receiving sufficient nutrients. Perhaps. Never researched it further.

With all keiki offshoots, snip them and treat them as any baby plant -- they will continue to root and grow if given proper potting soil and care."

Thanks so much Lynn!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Julie and Julia

I've noticed a lot of bloggers are talking about "Julie & Julia", the new film starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell who challenged herself to make every recipe from Child's classic cookbook and write a blog about it.

We saw this movie last weekend with some friends and we were not disappointed. I figured I would like it - I mean, it's about food, cooking and blogging, three of my favorite things. It is also very unusual to get a movie like this during the summer when most of the fare is animation and shoot em' up or blow em' up.

The movie is pure delight - funny, touching and fascinating - and I couldn't believe how fast it moved (it is slightly over 2 hours but didn't feel like it at all). The film alternates between neurotic blogger Julie as she attempts to accomplish her self-challenge and Julia Child, living in Paris with her husband Paul and writing her first book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". In addition to Streep and Adams, the supporting actors are great. Jane Lynch is wonderful as Julia Child's sister, sexy Stanley Tucci plays Child's husband Paul and Frances Sternhagen has a funny scene as author Ira Rombauer ("The Joy of Cooking"). Linda Emond is also memorable as Simone Beck, the co-author of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".

Of course another star of the film is the food itself. Everyone has talked about how the movie made them hungry. I saw it with three vegetarians and I'm taking baby steps to become one myself so aside from the desserts, it didn't make us that hungry. But no matter what a chef is preparing, I find them fascinating to watch. (I'm a big fan of "Top Chef").

I had never read Julie Powell's blog but I had heard of it. The movie peaked my interested in reading her book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously but after reading the reviews on Amazon, I think I'll pass. I do plan to read Julia Child's My Life in France.

I highly recommend the movie!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Patience sometimes required

I thought this dwarf crape myrtle would never bloom! It was planted three years ago and the foliage has been absolutely beautiful but nary a bloom in sight. A friend told me that I should talk to my plants. "You don't believe it but it works," he said. One day I was weeding around it and I happened to remember what he said so I whispered to it "If you don't bloom this year, you are outta here". Good heavens, it worked!

I took a full shot of it but my garden is so weedy that I'm embarrassed to show it. This is the first dwarf variety I've grown and I really like them (that is, now that it intends to bloom). It is only about 18 inches tall and about 24 inches wide. The variety is "Pocomoke".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

No-mow project completed (well almost)

The second portion of the front lawn is completed except for edging and I will add that later. It is now no longer a lawn and I'm not sure exactly what to call it.

We now have pea gravel pathways and islands of mondo grass (both the dwarf and regular varieties) and a small area of pachysandra.

This photo shows almost the entire area although it is impossible to get it all, even with my wide angle lens.

In case you are coming in late, the main reason behind all this was my inability to get grass to grow (it is very shady). I think I'm pleased with the outcome (Michael says he is). I think the best part about it is less mowing. We now only have a few strips of grassy areas in the lower garden.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered the Hummingbird feeder contest. The winner is Jan of Thanks for 2 Day!

Jan, I can't find a contact e-mail for you on your blog so if you see this, let me know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crape Myrtle view

We have a little room off of the kitchen that we call our breakfast room - it was a back porch when we moved into the house and we had it enclosed. The crape myrtle outside one of the windows has been spectacular this year. We had heavy rains and thunderstorms yesterday afternoon which beat the flowers down a little but you really can't tell it in the photo.

This is one of the prettiest crape myrtles in our garden and believe it or not, we tried to kill it when we first moved in. We thought it was planted in a bad place and it didn't fit in with our design plans at the time. Needless to say, after numerous attempts of cutting it down, it simply came back with a vengeance. At the time, I didn't know that these plants are indestructible. Add them to the list of cock roaches and Cher as to what will survive a nuclear holocaust. Long story short, we laugh about it now because it is now such a beautiful tree.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tomato Cups

Surprise, I'm posting a recipe that is not a sweet. These savory little treats are good for parties and get-togethers. They are also super easy to make.

Tomato Cups

1 can large refrigerated biscuits
½ c. mayonnaise
1 c. shredded cheese (mozzarella,cheddar or a blending of both)
1 10 oz. Can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried or fresh basil
½ onion, chopped
10 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a mini muffin tin.
Separate each biscuit into quarters.
Press a biscuit quarter into each cup (I use a floured mini tart shaper to help form the cups).
Mix remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Spoon filling in the biscuit cups about halfway full.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hummingbird Feeder Giveaway

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. Thanks for your entries. The winner is Jan of Thanks for 2 Day!

I noticed that our local Wal-Mart still has some of the hummingbird feeders like the one in the photo for Wordless Wednesday (see the previous post). I picked up one and decided to have a little contest in appreciation of all the great people who visit Dirt Therapy.

To enter, just leave a comment to this post. Next Friday (one week from today, Aug. 14), I will draw a name from all the entries.

I noticed on the tag that the feeder is available from although I must say the price is significantly cheaper at Wal-Mart.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, everyone is asking me where I found the feeder. Believe it or not, it came from Wal-Mart!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The work continues...

I started on the second portion of the lawn redo project on Saturday. I got a lot done, hauling in 3 loads of pea gravel and getting most of it spread. The pathways will weave through the area and criss-cross at various points. The areas in-between will be planted with dwarf mondo grass. That is the next step.