October 19, 2013

The Inconvenience with Late Color

One of the latest of the Monkshood's, Aconitum cammarum 'Bicolor' AGM is more showy in the border due to
its white and violet blossoms, a nice option from the typical purple Monkshood often seen in earlier autumn.


Old-time gardeners know about the virtues of Monkshood. Tall, delphinium blue if not delphinium-like plants tower in the late autumn perennial border. Most bloom in shades on blueish violet, with a few all white clones, but one select form offers both Aconitum cammarum 'Bicolor' , make my top ten list, then again, it is a selection which has been honored with the The Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Award of Merit - which is another of my secret hints. These award winners are always garden worthy.

October 11, 2013

Tiny Terrariums -the Art of Jess Rosenkranz

The amazing micro collages composed of botanical leaves by artist/designer Jess Rosenkranz feature
plant materials from local gardens, even mine!

I finally got to see what my good friend, artist and designer Jess Rosenkranz was doing with all of the leaves that she kept taking from my garden and greenhouse this past year. She was carefully pressing them, microwaving them in an imported drying device, mounting them to paper, and then laser cutting them into clever and ironic shapes, finally assembling the bits and tiny shapes into narrative terreriums, each one unique, each one original and each one for sale tomorrow at the RISD Alumni Art Sale, in Providence Rhode Island. If you are looking for a work of art or a hand crafted gem for a holiday gift, check out the sale, which runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm in Providence. Check out the site for details.

October 6, 2013

Drying Corn, for Corn Meal

Originally from the Yucatan, Oaxacan Green Dent corn is a primitive heirloom selection, which produces these distinctively dark green and olive colored cobs. Primarily a corn meal variety, it is also ornamental.

This year I wanted to grow something really different - something that I never grew before, and I settled on trying some dry field corn, more specifically, an heirloom green Aztec variety called Oaxacan Green, a dent type of dry corn, which  foodies-in-the-know have become obsessed lately, as it produces the finest corn meal, with a deep, earthy and sweet flavor. In November, I plan on making the most delicious corn bread from my very own corn meal. Until then, I must properly dry the cobs first. Today, I picked the crop, which I am drying on our porch, as rain is expected for the next few days. Hung out like this, the cobs will dry in three weeks, and then I will finish it off in the over to ensure that no moisture remains in the corn kernels.