}

September 14, 2014

MAKING A COLOR-SAVVY LATE SUMMER DAHLIA ARRANGEMENT


Anyone who grows dahlias knows that September marks the height of the dahlia season. Armloads of dahlias means that everyone you know ends up with a bouquet, with few complaints. This year my cutting garden is looking better than it has, but since I've been traveling a lot, few flowers have yet to be picked.

When one visualizes the summer garden, especially from the perspective of a snowy, January evening, one imagines such lushness, yet forgets that such abundance can dull the experience a bit. If only one could preserve a few buckets of our coral and peach pom pom dahlias for mid-winter in some magical refrigerator, but such luxuries do not exist. We are stuck far too many dahlias and other cut flowers to enjoy on these last days of summer, so why not celebrate the bounty with a late summer arrangement.
Here is the story of the one I made today:
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September 13, 2014

Preserving Summer - Home Canning, Whole Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce



Tomatoes seem to know when they should ripen - and it's never at a convenient time. I've been traveling for the past three weeks ( a couple trips to both New Mexico and California for work and pleasure) but I've been home every weekend for a day or two to do laundry, re-pack and to 'put-up tomatoes, which this year, have decided to not only ripen when I am at my most busy, they have also decided to become a bit of a bumper crop (which I have no idea why, as we have had a very cold and wet summer). Really though, I am not complaining - as come this winter, we will have lots of heirloom tomatoes canned whole, crushed, sauce, salsa and stewed. Since again this weekend I am just catching up on posts, emails and yes…..tomato canning, here are some pictures from last weekend's bounty.
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September 2, 2014

SANTE FE - BOTANIZING THE SUB ALPINE ZONES WITH NARGS MEMBERS


A just past prime Spotted Coralroot or Corallorhiza maculate blooms near the Santa Fe Basin Ski area.

One of the best things about attending a North American Rock Garden Society meeting? Well, it's hard to tell.  It might be the in-depth presentations by world class rock gardeners and botanists, or it may just be all of the amazing inspiring members who attend these annual events. The local garden tours are inspiring and impressive, as is the incredible plant sale - where some of the rarest and hard to find plants can be purchased from local nurseries, some long before most ever become available elsewhere - but I have to admit that my favorite part is the botanizing with friends -  fellow plant geeks and plant lovers. There is always the hiking on trails and subalpine meadows in and around spectacular Santa Fe, New Mexico. Honestly, I loved it all.

This year, I am so honored to announce to my readers that I have been nominated and voted in as the new president of the North American Rock Garden Society - a tremendous honor and responsibility in the plant world, and one which I intend to leverage, as I have a great affinity for all plant societies, and in this one in particular. Rock gardening is very inclusive - it covers the culture and study of high elevation alpine plants, naturally, but also includes woodland treasures, ephemerals, wild flowers and native plants, ferns, bulbs, trees and much more. Essentially, rock gardening today encompasses much more than merely rock gardens and alpine plants. The society attracts those who care about preservations, botanical diversity, wild species and native genera seed collecting and the study of many types of interesting plants. Some may consider NARGS to be an elite society, but I like to think of it as a plant society for those who really love plants, and for those who want to learn more. I encourage you all to consider a membership, to check out our beautiful color quarterly journal, and to participate in the annual NARGS seed sale. Feel free to learn more about NARGS here at our website.
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