Archive | September, 2013

What’s Blooming September 30th, 2013

30 Sep

Abutilon megapotamicum
Achillea millefolium
Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’
Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’
Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’
Aster subspicatus
Bacopa monieri
Ballotta nigra
Begonia boliviensis
Campanula persicifolia
Celosia ‘New Look’
Chaenorhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’
Chlorophytum camosum
Choisya ternata
Chrysanthemum partheniacum
Claytonia sibirica
Convulvulus arvensis
Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’
Cuphea ignea
Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’
Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’
Cyclamen hederifolium
Dahlia coccinea (Bishop’s type)
Dahlia (white cactus flowered)
Dicentra Formosa
Echinacea purpurea
Epilobium ciliatum
Fuchsia campos-portoi
Fuchsia hatschbachii
Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’
Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’
Fuchsia magellanica (Patrick’s)
Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s)
Fuchsia magellanica (plant swap)
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’
Fuchsia ‘Auntie Jinks’
Fuchsia ‘Billy Green’
Fuchsia ‘Display’
Fuchsia ‘Juellia’
Fuchsia ‘Marinka’
Fuchsia ‘Princessita’
Fuchsia ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’
Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’
Impatiens capensis
Impatiens noli-tangere
Ipomoea multfida
Medicago sativa
Mina lobata
Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’
Nemesia hybrids
Kalanchoe blossfieldiana
Lapsana communis
Lavendula angustifolia
Lobelia erinus
Lobularia maritime
Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lemonade’
Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’
Mentha himalayensis
Mentha ‘Chocolate’
Nicotiana mutabilis
Oenothera missouriensis
Pentas lanceolata
Plantago major
Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’
Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’
Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’
Salvia elegans ‘Tangerine’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia leucantha x ‘Phyllis Fancy’
Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’
Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’
Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’
Sedum spectabilis ‘Autumn Joy’
Sedum spectabilis (Heronwood variegated)
Solenostemon scuttelariodes ‘Kiwi Fern’
Solidago Canadensis
Strobilanthes dyeriana
Tagetes signata ‘Starfire’
Tagetes ‘Disco Orange’
Tagetes ‘Disco Yellow’

What’s Blooming September 24th, 2013

29 Sep

Abutilon megapotamicum
Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’
Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’
Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’
Antirhinum majus ‘Rocket’
Aster subspicatus
Bacopa monieri
Ballotta nigra
Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’
Buddleia davidii ‘Dark Knight’
Campanula persicifolia
Celosia ‘New Look’
Chaenorrhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’
Chlorophytum comosum
Choisya ternata
Chrysanthemum partheniacum
Claytonia sibirica
Convulvulus arvensis
Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’
Cuphea ignea (short form)
Cuphea ignea (tall form)
Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’
Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’
Cyclamen hederifolium
Dahlia coccinea (Bishop’s type)
Dahlia (white cactus flowered)
Dicentra formosa
Epilobium ciliatum
Fuchsia campos-portoi
Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’
Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’
Fuchsia magellanica ‘red leaf’
Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s- ricartonii?)
Fuchsia magellanica (Patrick’s)
Fuchsia magellanica (plant swap)
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’
Fuchsia ‘Auntie Jinks’
Fuchsia ‘Billy Green’
Fuchsia ‘Display’
Fuchsia ‘Juellia’
Fuchsia ‘Lachlade Magician’
Fuchsia ‘Marinka’
Fuchsia ‘Princessita’
Fuchsia ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’
Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’
Impatiens capensis
Impatiens noli-tangere
Ipomoea multifida
Justicia brandegeana
Kalanchoe blossfieldiana
Lavendula angustifolia
Lantana camara ‘Landmark Peach Sunrise’
Lapsana communis
Lobelia erinus
Lobularia maritima
Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lemonade’
Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’
Medicago sativa
Mellissa citriodora
Mina lobata
Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’
Nemesia hybrids
Nicotiana mutabilis
Oenanothera missouriensis
Oxalis nelsoniana
Pentas lanceolata
Plantago major
Polygonum sp
Rosa chinensis ‘mutabilis’
Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’
Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’
Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia x leucantha ‘Phyllis Fancy’
Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’
Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’
Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’
Salvia x ‘Wendy’s Wish’
Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’
Sedum spectabile (Heronswood variegated)
Solenostemon scutellariodes ‘Kiwi Fern’
Solidago canadensis
Stachys cooleyae
Strobilanthes dyeriana
Tagetes signata ‘Starfire’
Tagetes x ‘Disco Orange’
Tagetes x ‘Disco Yellow’
Taraxacum officinalis
Tradescantia zebrina

Anna’s Perambulations, Sept 26th, 2013

26 Sep

Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’

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Fuchsia x ‘Billy Green’

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This is the first time I had seen them use this particular fuchsia, and she must have really liked it since she hovered at each flower for several seconds to get every drop, while the Cuphea was a short probe into each flower…

Cuphea l. ‘Flamenco Samba’

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Mina lobata

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Dahlia coccinea (Bishp’s type)

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Fuchsia x ‘Display’

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Oddly enough, she completely ignored the Cuphea ignea that had been a favorite all summer, as well as Salvia ‘Hotlips’, ‘Cerro Potosi’ and ‘Wemdy’s Wish’ which are all blooming as well, and were favorites earlier. Maybe the cooler weather favored the plants above somehow?

She ended by landing in the Rosa gymnocarpa in her favorite spot. They may not like the flowers of this native (not that it’s blooming now, it usually only blooms in late spring), but they sure like hiding and resting in it!

What’s Blooming September 17th, 2013

19 Sep

Abutilon megapotamicum x

Achillea millefolium

Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’

Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’

Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’

Aster subspicatus

Bacopa monieri

Ballotta nigra

Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’

Cardamine hirsuta

Celosia ‘New Look’

Chaenorhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’

Chrysanthemum partheniacum

Claytonia sibirica

Clematis cirrhosa

Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’

Cuphea ignea (short form)

Cuphea ignea (tall form)

Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’

Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’

Convolvulus arvensis

Cyclamen hederifolium

Dahlia (Bishop’s type)

Dahlia (white cactus flowered)

Dicentra formosa

Epilobium ciliatum

Fuchsia campos-portoi

Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’

Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’

Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (red-leaved form)

Fuchsia magellanica (Patrick’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (plant swap)

Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’

Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’

Fuchsia x ‘Auntie Jinks’

Fuchsia x ‘Billy Green’

Fuchsia x ‘Display’

Fuchsia x ‘Juellia’

Fuchsia x ‘Lachlade Magician’

Fuchsia x ‘Marinka’

Fuchsia x ‘Princessita’

Fuchsia x ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’

Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’

Impatiens capensis

Impatiens noli-tangere

Ipomoea multifida

Justicia brandegeana

Kalnchoe blossfieldiana

Lantana camara ‘Landmark Peach Sunrise’

Lapsana communis

Lavendula angustifolia

Lespedeza thunbergii

Lobelia erinus

Lobularia maritima

Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lemonade’

Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’

Lonicera x ‘sulphurea’

Lychnis coronaria

Medicago sativa

Mellissa citriodora

Mentha himalayensis

Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’

Mentha spicata ‘Moroccan Mint’

Mina lobata

Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’

Nemesia hybrids

Nicotiana mutabilis

Ocimum basilicum

Oenothera missouriensis

Pelargonium ‘Tango Velvet Red’

Pentas lanceolata

Phaseolus coccineus

Plantago major

Polygonum sp

Rosa chinensis mutabilis

Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’

Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’

Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’

Salvia elegans ‘Tangerine’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia leucantha x ‘Phyllis Fancy’

Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’

Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’

Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’

Salvia x ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’

Sedum spectabile (variegated)

Solenostemon scutellariodes ‘Kiwi Fern’

Solidago canadensis

Stachys cooleyae

Strobilanthes dyerianus

Tagetes ‘Disco Orange’

Tagetes ‘Disco Yellow’

Tagetes signata ‘Starfire’

Taraxacum officinal

Tradescantia zebrina

Verbena ‘Estella Voodoo’

Verbena (maroon and purple forms)

Saving Tomato Seeds

16 Sep

Ok, so I scooped out some of the seeds of the beautiful yellow heirloom tomatoes we just got at the market

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I cut the fruit in half for roasting, and scooped out the pockets of jelly with the seeds in them from around the rim of half of one fruit

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Note how the inside has a red heart, while the outside of these when ripe is a golden yellow washed or lightly striped reddish pinkish orange. Beautiful fruit.

So, to clean these I just popped the jelly covered seeds in a strainer, and rinsed

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Make sure you kind of press the pulp out, rubbing the seeds against the mesh of the strainer till the pulp is mostly pushed through and washed away. With these, a membrane like skin remains, but that’s ok. It should flake off for the most part when dry, and at any rate doesn’t affect germination too much.

Knock the cleaned seeds out onto a paper towel

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Pat the seeds as dry as you can, then scrape the seeds back into the center of the towel. At this point you can let them dry like this. I like to fold the towel over the top to cover them, and let the towel wick the moisture away as much as possible.

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In a few days they should be dry, and you can store them in a seed packet, or plastic bag or however you like to do it. I make these little origami type seed packets, this one is ready for the seeds as soon as they dry.

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You can use this same basic method to clean pretty much any berry or fruit to get the seeds inside. Research germination first though, since some kinds of berries and fruits germinate best when fresh, so instead of saving the seeds, you would want to sow them immediately. Tomatoes and most vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, etc. should be pretty good saved up though.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

16 Sep

Last year was the first year we did this, but it turned out so well we decided to do it again, and do enough we would have enough roasted tomato sauce for the whole year. Luckily we were able to get a couple of boxes of really nice heirloom tomatoes to do it with. The box we got this week we specifically looked for these wonderful yellow heirlooms, that when fully ripe are kind of striped/washed with pinkish orange, and when you slice them open have a red heart in the overall yellow fruit. They have a sweet, lower acid flavor that is really nice. If your used to store bought rock like tomatoes, these will either give you a revelation in the flavor of tomatoes, or you will hate them, lol.

I’m a little tempted with these yellow ones to do a light roast, just to cool off some of the excess water in them… But fully roasting kind of caramelizes them a bit and gives them a richness that is really wonderful. Quickly processed in the Cuisinart, they become a simple and very tasty spaghetti sauce. I’m gonna try these yellow ones with some lemon basil.

The box was a mix of several different heirloom varieties, including one I think is called Green Zebra, though these are mostly rather smaller than the green zebras we grew at home for a few years. The fruit really is a striped green round little fruit. At full ripe they stay firm and the ground behind the darker green stripes gets a kind of yellows chartreuse color to it. Slightly tart, with a nice firm but juicy texture, these are again, about as far from the typical store bought under ripe tomatoes as you can get.

There is another really nice mostly larger tomato, with a beautiful dark red almost maroon color, with dark green shoulders. These have a kind of classic rich heirloom type tomato flavor, and should make some really nice sauce roasted. I didn’t see any in this box, but the box we got last week I swear had some that looked like the classic knobby irregular Brandywine type tomatoes. We saved one for hamburgers, and it was a toss up which I liked better, the juicy sweet yellow ones or the richer brandywines.

Anyway, we need to get these roasting. I set the oven to 450, pretty hot. Luckily it’s a gray, cool day out and the kitchen could use warming up. Next I give the tomatoes a quick wash.

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You can see the yellow ones on one side and the green shouldered ones on the other. Nummy…

Now quickly core the top out, it’s woody and doesn’t make for good sauce with these

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Slice ’em in half and lay them out on baking trays. These are nice big aluminum ones that barely fit in the oven, lol. This box fills two of them, with a dozen or so tomatoes left over for salads and whatnot.

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You can see I’m segregating the yellow ones in one tray, and the red ones in the other. I want to make some yellow sauce, with the lemon basil, so decided to make it easier and segregate the trays a bit.

Incidentally, if you want to save seeds, now is the time to do it. See the jelly filled cells around the outside of the fruit, once you cut them in half? Simply stick your finger in the cavity and scoop out the jelly with the seeds in it.

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I’ll show you in another post how to clean these fairly easily. And notice, this is seed from one of those beautiful red hearted yellow ones. Wish I knew the names of these, but the grower doesn’t remember what they are. Oh well, we got a really good deal from them, so I’m happy.

Ok, so once you have the trays full of tomato halves, sprinkle them lightly with salt. The salt helps draw the moisture out, so you get a nice roasting rather than just sewing them in their own juices. Some recipes recommend you remove the pulp as I mentioned above to get the seeds and that jelly out, to reduce the moisture so they roast better. Honestly, I’m lazy and besides, the seeds have a lot of nutrients in them you would loose that way. If you do decide to remove the pulp, reduce the time you roast them considerably.

Now for the garlic… I also got fresh garlic at the market for this. For each tray, I use about a medium sized head of garlic.

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This ended up being a little more than half of what I needed. But then, I like a lot of garlic, and these roast along with the tomatoes for a really heavenly flavor. Smash the whole cloves of garlic with the side of a wide bladed knife or cleaver

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Which makes it easy to remove the skins, though you may still need to clip off the woody base of the bulbs, and trim bad spots out.

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Course my chop these cloves

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Sprinkle these randomly over the tomato halves. If you are gonna be eating these as roasted tomatoes, you might want to be more picky about how they look, but if your gonna munch them up into sauce, no need to be too picky about it.

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Incidentally, last year at this point I added herbs- fresh thyme and oregano. The thyme did really well, but I didn’t have any to add this year. I wish I had gotten some, and maybe found some rosemary too. Basil I don’t like to cook that long, but I will add it to the sauce as I jar it.

Next drizzle the tomatoes with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You don’t need much of each, just enough to lightly splash them a bit

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Now throw them in the oven at 450 f and wait for them to roast down. I set the timer at an hour, but really you have to watch and see. You want the tomatoes to loose most of their moisture and just start to brown around the edges. Ideally, the juices at the bottom of the pan should start to thicken and you may see the corners of the trays burn a bit, but the fruit will be nicely concentrated roasted tomatoes. Mmmmm, can’t wait…

Ok, after an hour, this is what they looked like:

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You can see they are starting to brown a bit, but the juices are still kind runny and the fruit is more stewed than roasted. I’m gonna leave em in there a bit longer. I’ll check every 15 minutes or so to see when they are done. In the meantime, I’ll get the can ing stuff ready so I can jar them up while the fruit is still hot.

After an additional half hour, I decided to take them out. Ideally the juices would be getting a little thicker, but they are starting to char on the top, and I don’t want that to turn into burnt tomatoes, lol.

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Aren’t those yellow ones pretty? Ok, now straight into the Cuisinart… I use a pair of tongs and a wide flat spooks to scoop em up and throw em in.

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Plop em in the Cuisinart with the steel blade, and white them up a bit

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As I said, the first batch is yellow sauce, lol.

Oh, and this juice in the bottom of the pan? I think I am gonna try it as a soup base tonight… Getting that time of year.

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I like tomato sauce that’s a little chunky, so I try not to purée the tomatoes, just chop up a bit. Now for jars, and we are done for now, lol…

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Two quarts of yellow, and one more red tomato sauce. Could probably use some more, but that will have to wait for next week.

What’s Blooming September 9, 2013

9 Sep

Abutilon megapotamicum

Achillea millefolium

Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’

Agastache  ‘Grape Nectar’

Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’

Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket’

Aster curtus

Aster subspicatus

Ballotta nigra

Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’

Callibrachoa x ‘Tequila Sunrise’

Campanula persicifolia

Cardamine hirsuta

Celosia x ‘New Look’

Chaenorrhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’

Chamerion angustifolium

Chlorophytum comosum (variegated)

Chrysanthemum partheniacum

Claytonia sibirica

Clematis cirrhosa

Convulvulus arvensis

Corydalis lutea

Cuphea (cyanea) ‘Carribean Sunset’

Cuphea ignea (short form)

Cuphea ignea (tall form)

Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’

Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’

Cyclamen hederifolium

Dahlia (Bishop’s type red with red leaves)

Dahlia (white cactus flowered)

Dicentra formosa

Echinacea purpurea

Epilobium ciliatum

Fragaria vesca

Fuchsia campos-portoi

Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’

Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’

Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (Patrick’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (Plant Swap)

Fuchsia magellanica (red leaved form)

Fuchsia magellanica ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’

Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’

Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’

Fuchsia x ‘Auntie Jinks’

Fuchsia x ‘Billy Green’

Fuchsia x ‘Display’

Fuchsia x ‘Juellia’

Fuchsia x ‘Marinka’

Fuchsia x ‘Princessita’

Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Red Heart’

Impatiens capensis

Impatiens noli-tangere

Ipomoea multifida

Justicia brandegeana

Kalanchoe blossfieldiana

Lantana camara ‘Landmark Peach Sunrise’

Lapsana communis

Lavendula angustifolia

Lespedeza thunbergii

Liatris spicata

Lobelia erinus

Lobularia maritima

Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lemonade’

Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’

Lonicera x ‘sulphurea’

Medicago sativa

Mentha himalayensis

Mentha piperita ‘Chocolate’

Mentha spicata ‘Moroccan’

Mina lobata

Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’

Nicotiana mutabilis

Nicotiana sylvestris

Ocimum basilicum

Oenothera missouriensis

Oxalis nelsoniana

Oxalis oregana

Pentas lanceolata

Phallaenopsis hybrids

Plantago major

Polygonum sp

Rosa chinensis ‘mutabilis’

Rosa x ‘Graham Thomas’

Saintpaulia hybrids

Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’

Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’

Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’

Salvia elegans ‘Tangerine’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia luecantha x ‘Phyllis Fancy’

Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’

Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’

Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’

Salvia x ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’

Sedum spectabile (variegated)

Solanum dulcamarra

Solenostemon scuttellariodes Kiwi Fern’

Solidago canadensis

Stachys cooleyae

Strobilanthes dryeriana

Tagetes signata

Tagetes ‘Disco Orange’

Tagetes ‘Disco Yellow’

Verbena x ‘Estrella Voodoo’

Verbena hybrid

Viola labradorica