Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Using herbs for salt substitute

Instead of using salt on that beef roast try the following herbs to enhance the flavor: bay leaf, garlic, parsley, and thyme. On poultry you could use marjarom, oregano, pepper, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are you thinking about a rain garden next spring or already have a wet spot that needs planting? The following are some really hardy perennials and also natives that like it damp: Swamp milkweed, New England Aster, Blue flag, Cardinal flower, and New York Ironweed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you are looking for plants that do not need a lot of water here are a few suggestions for next spring: coreopsis, daylilies, red hot poker, peony, artemesias, mountain mint, ice plants, portulaca, russian sage, asters, coral bells, lamb's ears,
chives, hens and chicks, sedums and yarrow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I have been asked several times this week when you prune sweet autumn clematis and lace vine. The recommended time by the grower is late April or early May depending on weather condtions. Prune hard by taking off old top growth down to where the new leaf axil buds appear. These bear their flowers on the new growth.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do you like vines? There are a few that will thrive in dry conditions. Sweet autumn clematis, honeysuckle, and Trumpet vine. I have all three of these and they are looking good. None have been hand watered and the rain has passed us by, once again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

For those of us who are suffering from dry conditions this year, the following groundcovers tolerate this well. Plumbago, candytuft, epimedium, lavender, liriope, thyme, santolina, thrift, and wintergreen. The plumbago and epimedium are beautiful this year in the garden. I guess that it is true they don't mind it dry.

Monday, September 13, 2010

If you are looking for fall color here are some ideas. Colchicum, Fall asters, Solidago, Japanese anemone, plumbago, Russian sage, cimicifuga, helenium, helianthus, coreopsis, chelone, hibiscus, tiarella, heuchera, caryopteris, tricyrtis, rose of sharon are just some of them. There is still time to plant and remember to mulch new plantings.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This recipe received honorable mention in our herb cooking competition.
Cheddar Cheese Crackers
3 tbls. sesame seeds, 1 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. dry mustard, 1 stick butter, softened, 1/2 lb. sharp cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter sesame seeds in a small skillet. Toast over low heat, shaking skillet constantly until golden. Combine flour, cayenne, mustard, butter and cheese in med. bowl, work with spoon until stiff dough forms. Measure dough by tbls. full. Roll into balls. dip balls in toasted sesame seeds; place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press flat with a glass dipped in flour. Bake 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack with a metal spatula. Makes 2 dozen. Submitted by Kathy Bobst.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This is the winning recipe for our first herb cooking competition in the category of snacks or appetizers. CREAMED THYME MUSHROOMS -- 3-4 dozen, button mushrooms, med. to large., 4 tbsp. butter, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 1/2 tbsp. thyme, 8 oz. heavy cream or sour cream, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp. lemon juice.
In a large skillet, saute mushrooms in butter, cap side down. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover. When mushrooms begin to soften, add heavy cream or sour cream. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice just before removing from heat. Spoon mushrooms into bowl or casserole, adding all liquid from skillet. Stir so all mushrooms are covered with liquid. Serve immediately.
This recipe was submitted by Norma Eckrote.

Actually, we sampled these cold and still found them very good and my granddaughter (age 13) loved them.

If you would like to participate in next months competition the information is on www.hearthstonegardens.com. Just click on the button. Our category is dips, sauces or spreads.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Need a recipe for lemon verbena? Try this Quick lemon cake. 1 pkg. yellow cake mix, 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons dried lemon verbena, crushed, 1 pkg. lemon instant pudding, 4 eggs, unbeaten, 1 tsp powdered rosemary. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients, and beat 8 minutes. Pour into 13 x 9 x 2 pan lined with brown paper. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Yumm!!
Of course, lemon verbena makes great tea or add to your fruit salad.
Tip--to dry quickly place on paper towel and zap with the microwave. Do it by seconds so as not to turn it to cinders!! You can also use your coffee grinder to powder the rosemary.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Did you ever wonder what someone means when they say they carry herbaceous perennials? Herbaceous means the plant dies down and does not leave behind a woody stem that will eventually grow again. These perennials store their energy in the roots.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bergenia cilata will grow in dry soil, dappled to partial shade. Slugs, deer and rabbits hate it. Partial shade are areas that receive full sun early in the am or late in the afternoon. Dappled shade is the area under trees where the light peeks through post of the day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Drying flowers

If you have ever considered raising flowers for your own designing needs the following are perennial and very easy to do.
Achillea-coronation gold or the pearl, aconitum, alchemilla, artemesia, astilbe, tansy, delphinium, echinops, gypsophila, hydrangea, lavender, lunaria, liatris, german statice, sea lavender, peonies, poppy pods, roses, solidago, stachys, centaurea, catananche.
All can be dried successfully by hanging upside down in a hot, dry, dark environment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ground covers

I have just read an interesting article on ground covers. Some of the varieties suggested to use are:autumn fern, Christmas fern for shade as they stay evergreen(mostly). Also tiarella cordifolia grows well in dry shade and comes in many varieties and has the benefit of being a native. For a sunny spot try blue-eyed grass (also a native) and Blue star creeper and sedums. Sweet woodruff is a favorite of mine because it has pretty blossoms early in the spring but the foliage stays nice all summer--also a shade plant. Mazus reptans, thyme, crested iris and oregano also do well in the sun. One I am trying in shade is ceratostigma plumbaginoides because it has wonderful blue flowers and leaves turn red in the fall. Another variety I am trying this year is stachys macrantha also referred to as big betony, has crumpled green leaves with blue flowers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dye garden

If you would like to try dying your own fabric or wool here are some plants to try: bedstraw, fennel, foxgloves, hollyhocks, hyssop, lamb's ear, larkspur, marigold, sage, sorrel, spiderwort, sweet woodruff, woad and marguerite. Even if you never dye anything it would make a pretty theme garden for you herbies out there.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fragrant flowers

Here are some long lasting fragrant flowers you may like to consider in you garden:
peonies, lilacs, koreanspice viburnum, hyacinths, daffodils, lavender, catmint, mock orange, roses, butterfly bushes, nicotiana, sweet peas and lilies. If you are making a scented garden you could also add carnations, scented geraniums, and sweet william.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Don't forget to feed your birds. Most birds like sunflower seeds. Cardinals and woodpeckers particularly like safflower seeds. Nyjer seed attracts small finches. As this seed is very small you need a special feeder for this. Corn can be used to attract doves, blue jays, bluebirds and sparrows. In the winter, suet is good for energy in insect-eating birds. Robins, thrushes, orioles, and bluebirds also like fruit. Apples, grapes and oranges are good choices.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Asian beetles

I was reading something about asian beetles(you know those little beetles that get in your house that kind of look like lady bugs) that says a compound made of catnip oil appears to repel them. I wonder if you put sprigs of catnip or catnip oil on a cotton ball on your window sill where they find their way in, if it would help to repel them. Peppermint oil on cotton balls repels mice so maybe it would help. I'll try to remember to try this next fall and let you know how it goes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Deer resistant plants

As you are poring over your new seed and plant catalogs here are a few deer resistant plants to consider: perennials--aurinia saxatillis(basket of gold), bleeding hearts, lambs ear, lily of the valley, russian sage, beautybush, daphnes, amelanchier, and spireas. Annuals to consider are globe amaranth, lantanas, snapdragons, and cleome.