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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Casting concrete leaves from/for the garden

I have seen this technique demonstrated on television, but I really like this step-by-step tutorial in making large concrete castings of leaves that you can then use as decorative elements, bird baths or fountains.

craftgrrl: How to cast concrete Leaves

posted by asimpledarksquid to crafts

(Via del.icio.us/tag/garden.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

What I'm Reading....and cooking!

Having the Italian relatives in town got me interested in expanding my cooking repertoire...again. These 3 cookbooks have been an excellent resource for new and interesting recipes.

Additionally, here is a simple recipe (semplice ricetta) for an excellent Summer pasta dish that "the boys" made for us the other night. This would be a great pasta to make with items from your own garden, but pick the zucchini when they are small.

Pasta con Zucchini e Cippolli (Pasta with Zucchini and Onions)

While preparing the vegetables below, put 6-8 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Salt liberally. (The Italians say that the water should be as salty as the Mediterranean Sea). When it comes to a boil, drop in 1 1/2 pounds of your favorite pasta. They used Penne from Barilla, which they were glad to find in our local Ralphs.

Take 2 small zucchini (not the monster we typically grow in the home garden) and cut into 1/4" slices. Heat olive oil in a skillet and fry the zucchini slices a deep golden brown. Remove from pan to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Add 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped, to the pan and cook until lightly browned.

Drain cooked pasta and return to the pot. Add Zucchini and Onion to pasta with a splash of olive oil. Mix. Top with Ricctta Salata (a hard, somewhat stinky, but tasty ricotta)

Serves 4-6 people.

Our kind of summer reading from the Los Angeles Times

It is lucky that many people living in the East and North won't see this article, as it would come off as slightly mean when they are worrying about frost and getting the harvest in before the snow flies. That said, it does show that all gardeners can be seduced by the joys of seed catalogs, no matter what time of year.

Tony Kienitz rhapsodizes about the joys of studying seed catalogs in preparation for a second planting, and second harvest, that our balmly LA weather provides. Even with so much other work to do in my garden, I can feel the joy of possibilities that seed catalogs provide. Maybe I should just replace that bed with....no, I couldn't! (SMILE)

Our kind of summer reading

By Tony Kienitz, Special to The Times

THE leap is infectious. It's only fair that you should know. The first time you order seeds from a catalog will not be your last. These tiny, enigmatic packets of life arrive by mail in homely manila envelopes, delivering one of the gardener's happiest and holiest moments of the year.

By virtue of your address, you get to send in your wish list twice a year: early spring and now. That's how it's best done, here in the land of two harvests. The garden cliche in the East and Midwest -- curling up in an armchair beside a fire, sipping cocoa and poring over seed catalogs on a blustery February day -- can still be part of your yearly regimen, but in a summery, Southern California way.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Chelsea Physic Garden launches new pharmaceutical garden - July 6, 2005

I came across the interesting article via a Delicious link (noted below). While the article is about this new garden, it provides a detailed history of Chelsea Garden, its work and the threats to its existence over the years. Quite Interesting, even if you aren't planning a trip to London any time soon.

Timely cures: a new pharmaceutical garden in an old one

On July 6 the Chelsea Physic Garden will celebrate the new millennium by launching "Timely cures: pharmaceutical plants at the millennium", a new pharmaceutical garden and an exhibition of photographs by Sue Snell of medicinal plants and patients who are being treated with medicines derived from them. This article describes the new garden and outlines the importance of the physic garden as a centre for plant sciences over the past 300 years

(Via del.icio.us/tag/gardening.)