A peony parade

I just can’t seem to get enough peonies these days.  Everywhere I turn these brightly colored fusions of fluff and majesty grace the gardens. Their fragrance fills the air with a sweet scent luring not just the bees, but also people like me to their delightful blooms.  Peonies come in an array of colors and are native to Asia, Europe and North America.  Peonies are outrageously beautiful in bloom, the foliage stays lush and green all summer long.  They are known to live long lives, some as old as 100 years.  The plants require little maintenance so long as they are planted in the right way and get established.  I’ve found out the hard way that they do not respond too well to transplanting.  They are strikingly effective when planted in groups, they also pair beautifully with columbine and irises.

Continue reading “A peony parade”

My gardening group takes a field trip

I have a couple of posts on the gardening section of my blog featuring a beautiful garden where I volunteer about walking distance from home.  If you did not catch the actual history behind this hidden gem, do please click on the link and read all about it.  Typically Goodstay Gardens open around March and is probably the busiest time of the year.  The garden comes alive in the spring.  We have a group of about six volunteers with a leader who is pretty savvy with the horticultural scene and just an amazing person to work with.  We volunteer once a week on a Wednesday from about 8.45am-2pm.  I love working here and look forward to Wednesdays with much anticipation.  Our peony patch is a sight to see, we’ve just staked them all and in a few short weeks, it will be a profusion of color and scents.

Continue reading “My gardening group takes a field trip”

Eggplant meatballs

Now that the garden produce in our raised vegetable beds are clearly mass-producing, I can hardly keep up with ideas on how I can turn all of it into some good wholesome meals.  I’ve been wanting to try these vegetarian eggplant (aubergine) meatballs for sometime now – I’ve seen a zucchini (courgette) version of it also.  Since I have quite a few non-American readers on this blog, I thought to put the other name that it is also known as in brackets 🙂  So here are some of the veggies that I picked from the garden last week.  The beans were a sorry sight, I believe the deer devoured most of it, the cucumbers plants were heavily chomped on too 😦  But there’s always good news.  The okra is starting to show, the onions look promising, there’s heaps of cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes and peppers in all shapes and colors and the best news of all?  Click to the bottom of the post to find out what I’m excited about 🙂

Continue reading “Eggplant meatballs”

Vegging out!

You might think of the title as literally vegging out, but quite the contrary folks, these six raised vegetable beds demand a lot of work, love, time and commitment.  These cold frame beds are located in Goodstay Gardens, a place where I volunteer once a week, and if you are a regular reader on my blog, you will remember the post where I wrote about these gardens a couple weeks ago.  Click on the green if you missed it.

Continue reading “Vegging out!”

Goodstay Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Just off busy Pennsylvania Avenue with the hustle of commuters, lies a hidden gem: I am speaking of Goodstay Gardens in Wilmington, Delaware.  These gardens date back to the 1700’s and are amongst one of the oldest in the state.  The structures that surround these gardens,  whether stone walls, boxwood hedges or tall trees enclose the gardens in a sense of peace and tranquility.  In 1854, Howard Pyle, an American illustrator and author and a native of Wilmington, grew up in the home and gardens.  He recalls the gardens with old-fashioned roses and sweet shrubs that filled the air with fragrance when in bloom.  He remembers the beauty, the air saturated with the odor of growing things and birds singing in the shady trees.

Continue reading “Goodstay Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware, USA”