Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tea on Thursday - A Flower Show and Tea

The fall flower shows and tea are being held at many of the garden clubs this time of year and I attended one hosted by a sister society on the weekend.
I really liked this entry of herbs with the name stakes for identification.
An overview of more entries including the vegetable category. We were given a slip of paper to vote for our favourite and I chose the little Dutch shoe with a miniature arrangement.
I may have traded teacups to sip from this beautiful Paragon. :-) The sandwich plate and sweets were refilled for our table as I confess, gardeners like their tea goodies. Thank you to the Angus Horticultural Society for hosting a nice tea and show. My own society will host theirs on September 19.
I introduced Queen Anne's Lace to the butterfly garden in the front from seeds gathered in the wild a couple of years ago. When out dead heading the butterfly bush I noticed the caterpillar of an eastern black swallowtail on one of the stems.
Back in February when we visited a butterfly conservatory in Florida I purchased a butterfly castle to raise a butterfly myself if possible so brought it in. They have a very low life expectancy rate in this stage of life as they're a tasty meal for many birds.
It has been interesting to see how much food (Queen Anne's lace nest seedheads) this critter can eat, stems and all.  The side has a zipper for cleaning out the frass and a plastic side for viewing. Today the caterpillar starting doing something weird and I finally realized it was purging its body in preparation for the chrysalis stage. As I type it is wandering around the mesh looking for the perfect spot to attach. I had thought it might use the branch I included but remembered many were hanging from the top of the castles in Florida.
The adult eastern black swallowtail is fond of the echinacea in the butterfly garden and I look forward to releasing our 'houseguest' once it spreads its own wings.
Happy Gardening, take time for tea.

Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose blog is hosting a teacup and mug exchange - click the button on my sidebar or the above link for signing up. You don't have to have a blog to participate!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mosaic Monday #56 - In Search of Yellow

Trying to think of what to put in a mosaic for this week, it came to me that I could search for yellow things while on my walk with our dog one day.
One house has a row of sunflowers by the sidewalk so on my knees I took the macro shot and one of a drooping flower. Top right is perennial sow thistle, the flower much like a dandelion. Bottom right is unknown but a helianthus of some sort and likely an escapee from someone's garden. The yellow bird is in a friend's garden with a lovely piece of driftwood.
Fleabane on the left, St. John's-wort on the top and bird's foot trefoil on the bottom.
At the high school I didn't notice the bleachers spelled 'Tritons', their football team until the photo was on my computer.
A couple of signs that autumn is approaching. Goldenrod on the left and a fallen yellow leaf with pretty red veining.
All of the above were taken with my iPhone, I still need practice on having things in better focus. 
Does anyone else use their phone - any tips for the rest of us?

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tea on Thursday

What a week I've had! Saturday night hubby and I attended the 'Happy Together' concert featuring The Turtles, The Cowsills, The Buckinghams, The Association, Mark Linsay - lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Grass Roots. A fabulous night of 60's music!
Sunday I was on a bus tour of a lavender farm and a privately owned botanical garden, which are featured in my previous post.
Today I accompanied my 95 year old friend Ruth on a bus trip to Toronto for lunch and the musical 'Newsies' which was very good. This photo was taken outside the restaurant where we had lunch. Pretty amazing tall buildings for a couple of country bumpkins.
I've had our daughter's cockapoo Henry seen above with Topaz while hubby went camping with her and the kids. Every time they heard a car door, both boys would race to the window to see if hubby was home.
With cooler days and nights I realized the leaves on a potted geranium are turning to pretty shades of autumn.
Hydrangea 'Little Lime' has some flowers beginning to take on the pink blush that occurs in late summer.
I have ordered eggplant parmesan many times in a restaurant but never made it myself. Well, I tried the recipe from the Looneyspoons Collection cookbook by Janet and Greta Podleski, two Canadian gals concerned with healthy nutrition and it was easy and delicious. I hope they won't mind if I reprint the recipe here as encouragement to find their book or one of the others they've published. Great recipes!
They listed plain breadcrumbs with the addition of grated fresh parmesan cheese but I used the seasoned crumbs I had on hand.

Eggplant Parmesan - serves 8-
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 
2 tsp dried basil
2 eggs
2 medium eggplants unpeeled, cut into @ 8 slices each
olive oil cooking spray
3 cups low-sodium tomato pasta sauce
1 cup shredded light mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

In one pie plate combine bread crumbs and basil.
In another pie plate lightly beat eggs using a fork.
Dip eggplant slices one at a time into eggs, shake off excess and press into crumb mixture. Turn to coat both sides.
Place slice on 2 baking sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

Spray tops of slices lightly with cooking spray and bake 400F for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn slices over and spray top again with cooking spray.
Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes.

To assemble casserole, spoon 1 cup pasta sauce over bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Top with 1/2 eggplant slices.
Spoon another 1 cup sauce over eggplant, followed by 1/2 mozzarella. 
Repeat layering  - eggplant, sauce, cheese and sprinkle with parsley.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

One serving is 205 calories, 7.6 g fat, 12 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 4.8 g fiber, 63 g cholesterol, 603 mg sodium

If you should try their recipe I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Did you notice there is no tea today, not that I haven't been having it every afternoon but I wanted to share the recipe and I'm off to a tea and flower show on Saturday so will take some photos at it for next week.
Happy Gardening, take time for tea.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mosaic Monday #55 - Bonnieheath Lavender and Whistling Gardens

Yesterday I was on a bus trip with other gardeners anticipating great ideas for plants and design.
Our first stop was at Bonnieheath Lavender Estate and although the lavender had already been harvested we were given a tour on how the bundles are debudded and the oil distilled.
Many of their products and lavender wares were for sale in the little shop.
A wagon ride tour showed rows of pruned lavender plants, netted grapes for wine (there was a lavender ice wine for sale) and a tall grass prairie that was burned in the spring.
Our next stop was Whistling Gardens (Wilsonville, Norfolk County) where we were treated to a water show of fountains dancing to a symphony of music written and programmed by the owner. He designed it from drawings of the famous water fountains at the Palace of Versailles.
A number of formal aspects at Whistling Gardens, particularly the top photo where a wedding was to take place in the afternoon.
The two resident trumpeter swans, a popcorn plant named so because the flowers and leaves smell like buttered popcorn, a neat swirly evergreen and the seed head of an ornamental grass.
Darren, the owner has the world's largest conifer collection of about 2400 species and Whistling Gardens is a designated privately owned botanical garden. He has big dreams for expansion in the future and this is one place worth visiting every year or two to enjoy the progress.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tea on Thursday - A Little Bit Country

Whew, we've had temperatures in the high 80s along with humidity so needless to say in the morning I walk the dog, water the pots outside, feed the fish and stay indoors with the cooling A/C after that.
I don't know how our blogging sisters to the west with this weather day after day survive.
When we moved to this house the area was more rural than it is today but at least most of the farms are still here and active with dairy or beef cows, sheep, goats, horses or chickens. (along with the crop farmers)
I've always had fond memories of my maternal grandmother's farm so added a little bit of country to my decor. I hung framed farm scenes in the kitchen and had placemats and mugs with cows on but my favourite piece was my holstein cookie jar.
Isn't this sweet? I once saw a teapot on display in a tea room that looked like it would go together with my piece.
I purchased a welcome sign and made a few crafts myself. The mugs and placemats are long gone, given to Value Village but I can't seem to part with the cookie jar or the two display milk cans, the small one seen here.
My gardens need a good rain and hubby assures me one is on the way in the next day or so.
I just finished reading 'The Girl on the Train' which my daughter recommended and I couldn't put it down. Now I'm about to read 'Hush' by Anne Frasier which she said is just as good.
Reading mysteries and sipping tea...a good way to pass these hot days.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mosaic Monday #54 Painted Flowers

I have a delightful book that was gifted to me called The Painted Garden by Mary Woodin and her year in words and watercolours have inspired this post.
Wishing you sunny days and inspiration!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday
Link the Url from a post containing a mosaic or collage about any subject. 
Please link back to this Mosaic Monday post so that your readers can find other wonderful mosaics. 
Linked posts not including a mosaic nor linking back to Mosaic Monday will be removed in fairness to other participants.
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tea on Thursday

On Tuesday of this week my Master Gardener emerita group met for our annual tea and we had a wonderful time catching up, eating and sipping.
Luckily I got some of photos of our host Marion's garden before the skies opened up and poured rain.
Not a clear shot and I used my iPhone camera that day but caught movement behind some plants and thought it was a cat at first. Turned out Marion's neighbourhood has had a pair of foxes move in to the area and are keeping the chipmunks and squirrels in check.  They like to sleep on her roof at times which they access by climbing up an arbour.
The Royal Doulton store moved to a different and much nicer location in the outlet mall near us so I went to have a look and purchase a hostess gift of tea to take to the gathering. A clerk pressed a 40% off coupon in my hand when I entered the store so I bought the above tea caddy which is a close match to my Lennox Butterfly Meadow summer dishes.
The highlight of my week was when our oldest grandson Cam finally had tea with his grandma and he knew I'd snap a photo of him for my blog. Hence the thumbs up and cheshire cat grin. LOL
Notice the sturdy mug he was given, no way a dainty teacup was going to be part of this tea party!
Happy Gardening, Take Time for Tea

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