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Saturday, August 29, 2009

What's New?

What's new here at Old Country Gardens? Well, I've got BIG NEWS!

Not only are my Egyptian onions sprouting, I've been working like crazy the last few days on my very own website.

It's hard for me to believe, I can be such a techno-dummy but on Thursday I bought the rights to a website and by that same night I had it up and running.

It's truly a work in progress, if you want to see my beginning efforts, simply go to

There are hyperlinks on the first page of the site to both of my blogs. Lots of surprised planned for the near future too.

Tomorrow looks like a good day for photos, I can't wait!

See ya!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's in bloom today?

So what's blooming in the garden today? Well, the biggest bloom by far is this one. What is it? It's a pumpkin and it's about to take over all of South Huntington!

Yellow is the predominant color in the late summer garden. The Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford' is just covered with bright yellow blooms today. If I have the time later, I will get tidy it up and remove one or two of the sunburned leaves.

People pooh-pooh the black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) plants but nothing beats them at this time of year. They've been blooming for at least 5 or 6 weeks now and show no sign of slowing down.

The solid green Liriope has sent up it's lavender colored spikes. I really like this plant as an edge to the garden bed.

Finally, not a bloom but how can you not fall in love with the amazing colors on the Coleus. The annuals are really starting to shine, it makes me wish I had planted more of them.

Off to do some weeding and take more photos.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Got tomatoes?

Late summer usually means a bumper crop of tomatoes. Here at Old Country Gardens I only have two tomato plants this year (shhh, don't tell everybody). I'm growing two heirloom varieties, one has yellow cherry tomatoes and the other are these red plum San Marzano Lampada tomatoes.

When the plum tomatoes first ripened I was a bit disappointed with their flavor. You see, I was cutting them up and putting them in my salads and they just didn't have the taste that I was looking for. Of course that means that they produced a gazillion tomatoes and now what was I supposed to do with them?

This weekend I decided to figure out a way to use my plum tomatoes. I know they're good for sauces because they're meaty with very little juice inside. Instead of sauce though I decided to use them in a tomato salad.

First I cut them into bite sized pieces. This is when you are happy they aren't juicy, they hardly make a mess when cutting them up.

Next I added basil that also came from the garden. When cutting my herbs, I simply stack a bunch of leaves and use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut small pieces.

Can you tell I like lots of basil? At this point you could also add some onions, or garlic if you would like.

Drizzle some good olive oil over the top, add salt and pepper to taste and stir all the ingredients. Let the tomatoes sit for a few hours for the best flavor. If I'm serving them outdoors I like them at room temperature but you can put them in the fridge to chill them too. Make them the day before a party to save yourself some work and don't forget to add a few basil leaves as garnish.

You could eat this with some plain italian bread. Or get a bit fancy, brush the bread slices with garlic flavored olive oil and grill them for a minutes.

Last night I made chicken salad, added these tomatoes to it and rolled them in soft tortilla shells for chicken & tomato wraps. Delicious!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tickled Pink

A few weeks ago I bought a beautiful piece of artwork. I rarely buy anything that would be hung on the walls but saw a piece I just had to have!

Those of you who know me know that I love purple cone flowers. One of my rants though is that in my eye they are pink and the cone is orange, so where's the purple?

At the top here you can see the original water color I purchased from Kathleen McElwain. Kathleen is a wonderful artist who paints many of her watercolors while riding a bus in Austin Texas.

Now here's the kicker, Kathleen subscribes to my blogs and this lovely watercolor was based on one of my photos. How cool is that!!!

This is the actual photo that I had posted on one of my blogs, Kathleen subscribes to both of them so I don't know where it was originally.

By reading her blog, I see that you can also commission Kathleen to paint for you. What a great idea for holiday gifts.

You can see Kathleen's artwork at her Etsy site just by clicking "Buspaintings". I think I need to go through my photos and see if there's something else I'd like painted before I decide on a frame and location for the coneflower piece I already have.

Thanks Kathleen!