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Saturday, July 30, 2011

What took us so long?


We have a beautiful view to the West.




Our Lucy appreciates the view




We built the balustrades right from the start, they were part of the terrace.



All that was needed were a few columns and a roof.



And so we began.




We knew that Charlie, our dog from the shelter, and Stanley our very old gentleman cat, would appreciate the shade.





We would also appreciate the shade and so would our friends.
  (I took this picture this morning and just now noticed my owl, this time on top of the open window. She is a clever one.)!





After the columns,  the roof and shade material was added.   When we built our house, 17 years ago, I planted an Interlaken grape in one of the corners (I must have known).






 There is also a secret little reading niche by the fountain.







And another little spot for a cafe au lait for two.




It's perfect for everyone.





Our house is cooler, our fabrics are safe, our friends are happy and so are we. 

Have a happy Sunday my dear blogging Friends

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just in time




You found us just in time...




Eureka! We have cherries this year.  More than we can use.  In the past we have had to fight the birds for the cherries.
Come on over and pick a few.






 How do you get a net over a big cherry tree?  You tie a rock to the end and fling it over the tree, hoping all the while that it won't come flying back.





Of course, you can always get a few plastic owls with rotating heads, no less.
The robins immediately recognized the impostors.

You can have these too.  They're collecting dust in our garage.





What was needed is an honest to goodness real live owl.






She showed up just in time. From the very top she watches  over our cherry tree.

But now, my sassy little sparrows, who live in our red tile roof, have also disappeared.  I hear them complaining in a distant tree. 

Have a great weekend my dear Blogging Friends.

Gina


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Chicken Wire Bouquet



Make it easy on yourself





Hollyhocks make long-lasting cut flowers if you first SINGE THEIR STEMS OVER A FLAME FOR 20 SECONDS





Thick-stemmed flowers only need one layer of chicken wire.
Add another layer of chicken wire for thin-stemmed flowers and roll wire into ball before placing into container.






And speaking of containers, do not place chicken wire into valuable vases or containers... the wire will leave rust marks. (there is a florist chicken wire which is coated with green plastic that you can use).





Rust marks will also show up on crystal vases.







Most flowers can be arranged naturally but chicken wire comes in handy now and then and is re-usable unlike florist foam which is difficult to reconstitute.

There are many gadgets available to help you arrange your flower bouquets, but chicken wire is my favorite.  It works well, is easily available and can be re-used

Do you have a flower arranging secret you would like to share?

Gina




Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nectar for the Gods



Cherry (Kirschwasser) and Pear Liqueur


Our sour cherries are ripe



We can only eat so many Cherry Pies



I can only wear so many Cherry Earrings



The rest go into bottles to make Cherry Liqueur



Use the same recipe for Pear Liqueur

Fill quart canning jar halfway with fruit
Pour simple syrup (1 cup sugar plus 1 cup water, heat until dissolved) over fruit until jar is 2/3rds to 3/4 full
(adjust to your taste)

Fill to top with vodka.
Place in cool spot and turn bottle every now and then.




Enjoy at Christmas time.


Have a great weekend my dear Blogging Friends

Gina


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oops!




It happens




During firing it cracked right down the middle.
So, I applied a temporary antiquing jell to make it look old.
Now the crack almost looks like a tree.



I painted another tile.  This one also broke. 
The Tile Setter dropped it while installing it in the kitchen of one of my clients.

I think that this tile is not meant to be. 

None of us are perfect!

Gina


 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Salpiglossis




My Salpiglossis are fascinating, maybe you think so too.



Growing in my Garden




Growing next to other Annuals, here next to the sky-blue Petunia




Blooming in every shade imaginable




The Salpiglossis, belonging to the Solanacea family,  is a cousin to the Petunia and is a Chilean Native.




First introduced to the United States in 1823. It is also known as Velvet Flower and/or Painted Tongue




The name comes from two Greek words meaning trumpet and tongue.




Early in the Spring, I start them in my house from seeds I have saved from the previous year.




They never fail to be noticed in my Garden




They remind me of an exotic bird...




or a beautiful Butterfly




Salpiglossis make long-lasting cut flowers, often fading to an even more sensational color.


Need I say more?

Gina  

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The most Perfect Vegetable


Ronde de Nice



Also known as Rolly Polly Zucchini, the Emerald Heirloom Squash





Ready to eat when golf ball size and stays tender when much larger.





Cut up into bite size pieces and saute in a little unsalted butter and olive oil.  Season with sea salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.




The entire Zucchini is edible including the skin and blossoms.
Dredge blossoms into beer batter and deep fry.




In the Fall,  be sure to save a few seeds for next year.

Gina


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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Greens for the Chickens and for their Owners


If you want your eggs to 'sit up' like this


You have to go to your chicken coop and get them


If you want your eggs to be this orange
You have to give your chickens lots of fresh greens every day


My chickens are pampered
I grow lots of fresh greens for them in my garden




This is their favorite green this year - a mild variety of Collards


However, there must always be lots of Greens left for us
Curly Kale


Collards and Turnip Greens



Early Cabbages growing under chicken wire and white gauze to keep the dreaded cabbage worm away.



My Garden must always have 'Zuckerhut'  cabbage,  the perfect cabbage for making Sauerkraut. 



Chickens need Greens and so do the Owners, this time in a Quiche.

Gina

Have a great weekend my dear Blogging Friends

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