Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Is There Anything As Cool As A Cucumber?

Throwback Thursday: Is There Anything As Cool As A Cucumber?

Is there anything as cool as a cucumber?

Cucumbers are just happy plants to grow. They’re so enthusiastic about things. If you have a cool spell, they’re  okay with that. The heat gets turned up, that’s good with them. Rainy spring? They love it.

Really the only thing they may, perhaps, look sideways at you about is if you fail to give them a drink. Cucumbers are lushes, they want a drink. No, they need a drink! But, even with the extreme drought we had last summer, the cucumbers were fine as long as I remembered to water them in the morning and not at night.

Originally from India, cucumbers are now grown on every continent, except Antarctica. (If you live in Antarctica and are growing cucumbers, please let me know) You know after I said that, I’ll bet the scientists in Antarctica do grow cucumbers. Hmmm (Great, now all I can think about is Antarctica)

In case you missed it, I love cucumbers!

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Throwback Thursday: Morning Glory

Throwback Thursday: Morning Glory

Picture this…

Trailing emerald green vines of perfect heart shaped leaves winding their way up, stretching to the sun, reaching up to glory. Quietly unfolding brilliant azure disks, velvety orbs of stunning cerulean grandeur, beckoning sapphire treasures.

Heavenly Blue climber

Okay, they’re morning glories. But aren’t they beautiful? I mean, seriously, they’re stunning.

I love everything about morning glories. I love that these guys will just do their thing whether you watch them or not. But who can help but watch them?

When roses say, “Treat me nice and I’ll put on a show for you. “Morning glories say, “It’s whatever, I put on a show for me.” (I suppose if your plants are literally speaking to you, it may be time to adjust your medication, but that’s another post for another day.)

Today is for the morning glory.

Grandpa Ott

There are a zillion varieties, many colors and even different shapes and sizes. All of them are beautiful in their own way.

Some things you need to take in consideration when choosing your variety, length of vines, foliage virility. In other words if you want a mannerly morning glory that will fill out your fan trellis and stay put, choose a variety that plays that way. Some are very obedient, but others are impetuous and not content to only go where you want, you need to prepare for that and be ready to discipline them or let them go if you have the space.

Some can grow 15-20 feet in practically no time at all. They can make a great pergola specimen, a shabby- chic country porch addition, and adds heirloom charm to any outdoor space.

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Throwback Thursday: Poppy

Throwback Thursday: Poppy

Mother of Pearl Poppy

I’ve mentioned before that I’m from California. Napa, CA to be exact. In Texas we get four to six weeks of beautiful bluebonnet season. In California we would have months of poppies, and I loved it.

This year I am growing poppies in my flower garden. I chose three kinds, Mother-of-Pearl, Shirley, and Ballerina. The Mother-of-Pearl are gorgeous, delicate, and antique looking. The Shirley are bold and cheerful and the Ballerina are graceful and majestic.

 

 

 

As I was researching this article, I learned that the poppy is a flower used to show remembrance for soldier’s that have died in battle. I think they make a fitting tribute.

Poppies have been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. Of course, we now know that they contain

Blue Poppy

morphine and codeine, both of which are used to relieve pain. Mythbusters did a story about whether or not your drug test would be positive if you ate a bagel with poppy seeds on it. It turns out that you can, in fact, get a positive for opiates if you eat poppy seeds prior to your drug test. Something to consider next time you apply for a job.

My favorite way to enjoy poppies, aside from my yard, is poppy seed cake and poppy seed chicken. I’m sharing these recipes with you.

Have a paisley poppy day!~KeriAnne Read the rest of this entry

Throwback Thursday: Rue Herb o’ Grace

Throwback Thursday: Rue Herb o’ Grace

Herb of Grace? Why is it called that?

Rue: Rutaceae Genus: Ruta

Rue? Why don’t we hear more about it?

It turns out that it was once as common as basil or oregano in the kitchen. Not so much today. This is a very old plant. It is used medicinally and in cooking.

The leaves are used in cooking as a spice for eggs, cheese, and meat. It can also be eaten fresh in salads, although it is extremely bitter, it is said to increase your appetite. I’m not a particular fan of bitter, but I must say I’m eager to try this now that I’ve read a little about it.

Common Rue, lovely flowers

I’m particularly interested in it’s use as a medicinal. It has such a broad range of uses, it seems like it was just used for everything, from colds and fevers to melancholy and hiccups. There were some pretty strong warnings about it as well. The oils of rue should not come in direct contact with the skin, as this can cause blistering and an acid type reaction. Also, pregnant women should not use rue, as it can cause miscarriage. However, it is indicated for use as an aid for menses.

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Throwback Thursday: Moss Rose

Throwback Thursday: Moss Rose

On Throwback Thursday I try to shine the spotlight on an heirloom variety. For some people, this is an introduction to a treasure from the past, for others a memory spark about a long forgotten favorite.

Today’s Thursday Throwback is Moss Rose, or Portulaca. This is also called Common Purslane and is considered an edible plant, good eaten in salad and also in stir-fry.

Portulacaceae: Portulaca grandiflora: Portulaca, Moss Rose

Moss Rose is extremely hardy. So hardy in fact that it can become invasive if you don’t discipline it regularly. However, it’s so pretty, you may choose to ditch the grass and keep the Moss Rose. Portulaca comes in many shades of red, orange, pink, white, and yellow. This little guy is so tough, you can often find it growing in the crevices of sidewalks, between paving stones and even in cracks of building foundations.

Portulaca has a really low profile, preferring to meander close to the ground. If pruned properly, it can reach it’s full height of about 30″. Okay enough of the jibber jabber, let’s see the flowers.

"Rosita"

 

White Sundial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Marigolds

Throwback Thursday: Marigolds

Throwback Thursday is a chance to spotlight an heirloom variety in hopes of either reminding us of a dear old friend, or introducing us to a new love. Today’s heirloom selection is the marigold.

Surely everyone has heard of marigolds? Perhaps, but don’t call me Shirley. It’s precisely the fact that everyone has heard of them that I want to highlight them. Often times our tried and true gets overlooked, and that’s just not right. Little miss Mari is a very hard worker in our gardens and for all she does, some credit is due. Aside from that there are a plethora of varieties, some of which I’m sure will surprise you or at least, you have never had heard.

Tagetes come in many shapes and sizes. There are three species of which most of us are familiar. Mexican Tagetes (cempasúchi), African Tagetes (Tagetes erecta) and French Marigolds (Tagetes patula). They are all beautiful and distinct in their own way. Marigolds are not Calendula. Although I love calendula as well, it’s important to know the difference if you are hoping to use them as companion plantings.

Mexican Marigold

French Marigold

African Marigold

They are all lovely and cheerful in their own way, but they each serve different purposes. I use the French varieties as bug deterrent companion plantings, along with Tansy. I use Mexican and African as a lovely border along my driveway.

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Throwback Thursday: Crocus

Throwback Thursday: Crocus

Throwback Thursday is when we look back in time and put a spotlight on one of our heirloom varieties. This week, with the strangely warm weather we’ve been having, I think we need to talk about the Crocus.

In years past I have anxiously awaited the arrival of the crocus. Rather than waiting for the groundhog to stumble out of his winter den to give his vague extrapolations about the remaining length of winter’s grip, I look to the crocus.

Crocus: Iridaceae Crocus sativus

This little guy in the Iris family is a seriously eager beaver in the garden. It is not unusual to find them poking their heads out of snowbanks and through icy drifts. Doesn’t it give us a little thrill when we do see them? I hear the angels proclaiming, “You have another spring! See our gifts for you?” Okay, I don’t actually hear that. I think it would be time to adjust some medication levels if I actually heard that. = P

I do love to see the crocus at the end of winter though.

Crocus grow from corms. They are not true bulbs but rather a swollen stem that remains underground storing all the plants need to survive the winter. The difference is were you to cut a corm in half your would find it a solid mass, if you were to cut the bulb of a tulip in half, you would find layers similar to leaves.

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Throwback Thursday: Peony

Throwback Thursday: Peony

On Thursday we spotlight an heirloom variety. As the saying goes, what’s old is new. Throwback Thursday is meant to remind us of long lost friend or acquaint us with a lesser known oldie but goodie. I hope you enjoy Throwback Thursdays as much as I do. I’ll try to include as many varieties as possible along with pictures and links to where you can get your green thumbs on them.

Throwback Thursday spotlight on: Peony

Genus: Paeonia  Family: Paeoniaceae

A native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America

This herbaceous perennial is showy and delightful. It has an interesting mythology that captures our imaginations just as the cheerful flowers capture our attention. There is also a tree variety that has it’s own mythology and mystique.

The story goes that Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the greek god of medicine and healing, fell out of favor with his master. Asclepius was jealous of Paeon and wanted to kill him. Zeus intervened on behalf of Paeon, and turned him into a Peony to hide him from Asclepius.

Written accounts of the Peony are found as early as 581A.D. One myth has the feudal nation’s highest scholar dying rather than disobey the opposing commands of his Emperor and his parents. One year after the scholar’s death, a tree peony with enormous, blood-red flowers grew from his tomb. He would rather die than disobey his parents. Those were the days. = )

My favorite peony story is about Qing Long Wo Mo Chi, or Green Dragon Lying in an Ink Pool.  When a tree peony goddess saved a tiny, kind dragon from danger. She hid with it in an ink pool, saving his life but forever changing her flower color to nearly black.

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