I just need twelve more hours!

Ernest Hemingway was challenged by a man in a bar that he couldn’t come up with a short story using only six words. He responded with: “For sale, baby shoes, never used.”

Hats off to Hemingway for winning his bet in a bar.

I am a night owl from Hades.

It’s not that I can’t sleep. It’s that I love to stay up late. As a matter of fact, I’m constantly mad at myself during the week, because I look up and it’s midnight.

If only there were twelve more hours to sleep at night…

I can dream, can’t I?

Want to play along? All that’s necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. The full list and linky can be found here. And, here’s where I found it.

Corn, Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad

Yesterday, I found this recipe on Pinterest, and since I worked up the nerve to pinch the basil I grew from seed, I thought I’d go ahead and whip some up.  It’s really easy, too.

DSCN0972

It’s a combination of fresh corn on the cob, feta cheese, cherry tomaters and basil!  I’m sure you never would have guessed that though.  : )

DSCN0988

DSCN0973

DSCN0977

4-5 ears of corn, peeled and cleaned

1 large handful of cherry tomatoes

1/4 sweet yellow onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

2-3 Tbsp feta cheese

4-5 leaves of basil, chopped

Clean the corn and cut the kernels off the cobs.

DSCN0971

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and stir.

DSCN0978

Cook for 2 minutes then add the corn, garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

DSCN0981

Cook, stirring gently for 3-4 minutes then remove from heat. Top with feta and basil.

DSCN0985

This turned out really good. I’m not very fond of ‘maters, but the combination of the other ingredients with them made this dish extremely tasty with a slightly sweet flavor.

This is a great side dish, but could also be a snack with some pita chips. Speaking of pita chips, these are my favorite!

DSCN0990

I find these at HEB. The roasted red pepper hummus is found at Wal-mart in the deli section. The best hummus ever and really good with these pita chips.  This isn’t paid advertising, just me letting you know what I enjoy snacking on!

Enjoy your Saturday!

To pinch or not to pinch. That is the question.

This was among my first try at growing from seed this year, and I’m happy to admit the result has been glorious and aromatic!

DSCN0824

I sit on my patio and just look at it. It’s sad, because as much as I hate to admit it, I’m really afraid to touch it.

DSCN0835

I’ve read that pinching it off is a good thing – that it makes it more prolific and beautiful, but I haven’t worked up the nerve to do it!

I guess I’m afraid I’ll break it. I am in serious need of some garden backbone!

DSCN0839

I do take lot’s of pictures though! I’m a proud basil grower, aren’t I?

Ok, ok I’ll go pinch it already….even if it’s green.  Oh yea, it’s not St. Patrick’s Day.  Never mind.

DSCN0963

Here are a few ideas for using basil I found on Pinterest. I love this site, because it’s full of great photos from the internet and very inspiring. You can follow me by clicking here.

Lemon Basil Chicken

 

Basil Vinaigrette

 

Corn, Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad

 

Enjoy!

Talking Dirt 101

With all of the heat we’ve been having lately, I’ve noticed that some of my container plants aren’t doing so well, so I’ve become concerned and started doing some research on the internet. What I read the most is poor garden soil and improper drainage can make or break our plants in containers!

Crack pot

From my own experience, most bagged soil you buy is just horrible.

Longs Brand Sun & Soil

Here’s some things I’ve learned lately.

When you think your plant is in trouble, you must consider the soil.

I’ve learned that the roots of a plant need air as much as they need light and water. Most all soil we buy in a bag isn’t going to supply our plants with enough air – some will be okay for a while, but after a period of time, this bagged soil breaks down and compacts and compacted soil means no air circulation for the roots. Apparently, they need to breath. Then the soil ends up holding too much water, and when roots are in water for too long, they end up drowning or dying from root rot.

Douglas-fir failure due to laminated root rot

I’ve learned that the number one priority is to choose a soil that will give the plant proper drainage or air for the roots in our containers. Apparently if you are able to go for long periods of time without having to water one of your containers, although you may not known it yet, your plant is dying during the wet period and regenerating once the soil dries out so it never really goes anywhere and can eventually die altogether.

Root rot

I’ve also learned that a fast draining soil is better than one that stays wet, but you have to water and fertilize more frequently.

After doing my homework, I think I might have found a solution that I’m going to try:

3 gallons of composted pine bark
1/2 gallon sphagnum peat
1/2 gallon perlite
A small handful of lime and gypsum combined
1/2 cup Controlled Release Fertilizer (Osmocote, etc.)
1 tbsp micro-nutrient powder or a fertilizer that contains the minor elements (24-8-16 soluble blends)

Ok, so what is all of this stuff?

pine tree bark

Composted pine bark is a finely ground pine bark that is an excellent soil amendment, but you have be sure and buy the fine particles and not the big pieces of it. The size of it ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. This stuff is supposed to hold water, air and nutrients together at correct percentages for the plant.

sphagnum moss and peat

Sphagnum peat is made up of decomposing sphagnum moss and is used in the soil to retain water. When added to a fast draining soil, it can slow the drainage down a bit and allow the plant to take root. It doesn’t really add any nutrient to the soil. It’s just for holding in some water for the plant. This is the stuff you buy when you start plants or seeds indoors.

IMG_9265

Perlite is some type of rock and it’s white. I’ve actually bought this and used it, but had no idea why I was using it or if I was adding the right amount. Basically, it’s used to prevent compaction and improves the aeration and drainage of the soil. It also holds moisture, but doesn’t become soggy.

Lime raises the pH level so the soil is less acidic and gypsum helps correct compacted soil or soil with clay in it.

osmocote.jpg

Osmocote is something I’ve used before, too. It’s plant food – an all in one solution that feeds your plant for up to six months and contains 12 essential mineral nutrients. It has a 15-9-12 soluble blend, and don’t ask me what that means, because honestly, I have no clue.

Miracle Shower

Ok, I googled 24-8-16 and found Miracle Grow All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food. Easy enough.

I’ll let you know what happens! I feel like such a nerd tonight. LOL

Seedlings, Buds and Blooms

My newest efforts at growing from seed:

Sweet Pepper


Purple Coneflower

And here is some basil I grew from seed:

Basil

The Hosta finally bloomed – this was planted from a bulb:

Hosta bloomed!

The new Texas Star Hibiscus has several buds that will bloom soon. I found this at the local garden center yesterday. I can’t wait to see the show of red Hibiscus flowers.

Texas Star Hibiscus

Until next time, I’m staying inside and out of the heat!

Record breaking heat in Houston

Quoted from The Houston Chronicle:

“Forecasters said Thursday was the earliest day the area has reached 100 degrees in more than a century. The previous earliest 100-degree day was June 10, 1902.”

kitchen, 1902

Also, slender chance of rain throughout next week. So much for wishful thinking. I think I’ll google how to perform a rain dance. Better say a prayer instead…

PRAYING FOR RAIN

Anyway, I’ll be stockpiling our Lipton Cold Brew Iced Tea in the pantry for the next 5 months!

my new food love: Lipton Cold Brew

In the Garden 06/04/11

I walked around and snapped a few close-ups in the garden today. It’s been so hot and dry lately I can barely keep up with watering all of my containers. Don’t get me wrong, I love containers, but lately I am overwhelmed by them, so I’ve decided to start planting them in the beds around the sprinkler system. It’s super hot outside now and I’m dreading the upcoming months ahead. I really hope we end up getting some rain soon! I think everyone’s yard needs it severely!

Mums starting to bloom, and although I'm not sure, I'm thinking this is early for them!


The water fountain we purchased from Garden Ridge for the patio!


Lavender grown from seed....smells like those lavender sachets you buy at the store!


One of our Crepe Myrtle blooms by the garden path on the side of our house!


A Hosta getting ready to bloom!


Crepe Myrtle next to the fence full of blooms!


Butterfly weed is blooming now...


Surprise! White petunias that decided to start growing from last year.


Coreopsis bloom, these are in the ground now.

The coreopsis are not as beautiful as they once were. I think they are still in shock from several things I did wrong to them, but at least they are still blooming, right? I’m hoping that planting them in the ground will help.

Pink double knock-out rose bloom planted in a bed by the stone path...

My orange moss rose! I love them!

Pink Impatiens