Colorful Varieties of Vegetables for a Rainbow on Your Table

The colorful part of any meal seems to be the palette of vegetables that one can find on one’s platter. In today’s grocery market or farmers’ market one can shop for the usual vegetable but in an unusual array of colors. Or you can raise these colorful vegetable varieties in your own home garden. It amazes TheGardenLady to see all the new colors of vegetables that one can now grow in a home vegetable garden.

For example, orange always seemed to be a pretty enough color on the plate. For example, how attractive are orange carrots with the green of the green beans and the white of the potatoes? But now you can change the colors if not the foods. Using the same foods you can now serve them in different colors: like white carrots with yellow (green) beans  and  purple potatoes. Or would you rather have purple carrots with an orange potato and a colorful pinkish French green bean? (see here)To raise colorful carrots, check out Cosmic Purple Carrot for 2014 that is purple on the outside with shades of yellow or orange flesh. (see here).

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Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden

Very beautiful. Quite a few years ago a gardener of bonsai chrysanthemums worked his craft at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. It was filmed and shown on one of the PBS stations. Maybe this year I will try growing. Thank you for the inspiration.

Recently TheGardenLady received the above comment regarding a post on TheGardenLady blog about chrysanthemums.

For more information about the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens show that was held in October entitled Kiku:The Art of the Japanese Garden you can watch their video above to see how the Botanical garden got ready for the special chrysanthemum show.

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2014 Flower Shows

In December sugarplums may have danced in one’s head. But in January it is the FLOWER SHOWS that plant lovers dream about.  These Flower Shows will soon open their doors to showcase the magic of flowers.  And the 2014 Flower Shows look like they will be winners.

You don’t want to miss your local or state flower show. And if you have cabin fever during this long cold winter, think about planning to follow the flower show trail around the world.

Every year this GardenLady gets to the Philadelphia Flower Show, which is touted to be the largest indoor flower show in the world.  This year’s Art Themed Flower Show, called ARTiculture  will run March 1-9th. To avoid crowds it is advised to come when the doors open or around dinnertime.

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This cold winter has a good side for gardeners and farmers


Are you enjoying this amazing winter? Or are you, like this GardenLady, ready and eager for Spring weather?  I guess I was getting spoiled with the milder winters we have had for the last few years.

The Farmers’ Almanac had predicted that this would be a frigid winter.  Who wanted to believe? They do claim 80% accuracy.

This extreme cold weather does have a good side for gardeners and farmers. It can kill off some of the insects that attack plants. Fewer insect species survive temperatures that drop into the teens. With the frigid temperatures that we have had over the past few weeks, many of the insect pests will have died so that they will be less numerous in the spring and summer. Hopefully this will mean that less pesticides will have to be used on lawns, gardens and crops. Sadly, however, this frigid weather will also kill many of the beneficial insects.

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National Kale Day – October 2nd

Dear Readers,

TheGardenLady was amiss in not telling you in advance about the newest holiday. I just did not know that October 2 was proclaimed National Kale Day. Of course, in my defense, National Kale Day is not quite a holiday yet. But you can make it a reality if you vote for it here.

Though I wish a healthy food would be more to my taste, say like coffee ice cream. I can’t wait for a National Coffee Ice Cream Day touting the benefits of my current favorite ice cream. But alas, that might not happen in my life time.

However, since Kale is now considered one of the most nutritious foods around, perhaps you would want to add it to your garden.

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Broccoli for The Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving will soon be here and if you are like TheGardenLady, you are wondering what should be made to make this year special. I know I don’t want to have the same old menu each year. It is much more fun to prepare something that will surprise the guests but be a tasty, delicious surprise.

I am thinking of making something different as a sidedish or maybe a soup.. Because I want to try to have a more healthy feast, I am thinking of using broccoli as the different item on my menu. Isn’t broccoli, Brassica oleracea, the vegetable that is touted to be one of the healthiest of vegetables these days? (see here) I know that my physician is pushing me to eat more broccoli. Though not my family’s favorite vegetable. I want the broccoli at my table to knock everyone’s “socks off.” Do readers of TheGardenLady have a broccoli recipe that you can recommend that is outstanding and will make the family stand up and cheer? If you do have a great recipe that you are willing to share, please send your recipe to TheGardenLady so that all my readers and I could try it.

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Winterizing Roses

Winter is coming to some parts of the US while some parts have already had snow. What should we do to winterize our roses?

Not all roses need serious winter rose care. Roses classified as old garden roses are extremely tolerant of cold temperatures and those who have Knockout roses and/or live in zones 5 through 11 don’t need to take any extra steps to care for these roses in winter.

You should winterize roses after the first hard frost but before that first snow. After the ground freezes put a thick layer of mulch around the base, but not up against the canes. The mulch keeps the ground temperature even and prevents the roots from heaving. Heaving happens when the ground goes through multiple freezes and thaws.

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Bleeding Hearts and Forget-Me-Nots (Part I)

Chinese Forget-Me-Not, Cynoglossum amabilev Andreas Kay

TheGardenLady received this question from Sherrie about Bleeding Hearts and Forget-me-nots.

I was wondering can you plant these together?  If you can plant them together what time of year do we need to plant them me? And my husband lost a baby and we want to plant flowers for the child.

What a lovely memorial you will have for your baby with a garden planted with Bleeding Hearts and Forget-me-nots. I have always loved both Bleeding Hearts and Forget-me- nots for their delicate, charming flowers and have both growing in my garden for spring bloom.

Both the old fashioned varieties of Bleeding Hearts and Forget-me-nots have spring flowers and should be planted in the spring. Since both enjoy partial sun, they should look beautiful together.

bleeding_heart_4-01_medres KimCarpenter NJ

Bleeding hearts are in the genus Dicentra – the old fashioned variety is Dicentra spectabilis and comes with pink or white flowers. There are also some old fashioned Bleeding Hearts that have golden foliage. (see here)

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Camping and Caravanning to See Gardens

The Hidden Gardens of Bury St Edmunds 19-06-2011 by Karen Roe

This Garden Lady loves to visit gardens in the US and around the world. This was on my “bucket list” from my childhood before that term became popular. And as I aged I have visited these places and check off all the spots I have seen. My most recent trip was to see the gardens in Ireland. Though I now am able to travel comfortably in my senior years, I wasn’t always able to afford to indulge my dream so comfortably, but that didn’t stop me.

As a child growing up, rather isolated in a small farming village, I always dreamed of traveling the world. One school teacher I had fed that interest by reading or telling the class stories of exciting travel adventures. My neighbor’s daughter became a teacher so that she could then teach around the globe. She would write home to her parents when she traveled, telling about her experiences abroad. Her mother would come to our house to read these letters. Thus I decided that was what I would do when I grew up; I wanted to travel and see all the world had to offer. But I was a poor child so I had to wait.

I held onto that dream when I got married and my husband knew of my desires. He was a graduate student at that time so once again there was little money to see the world. But he was determined to make me happy.

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Mount Steward House and Garden

Himalayan blue poppy by Swamibu

When I visited Ireland recently, I did not rough it, but was lucky to find lovely hotels in both Belfast and Dublin. The choices of hotels, especially in Dublin, were enormous and the nicest part for me were some of the wonderful breakfasts and dinners served in those hotels I stayed in. I was especially pleased with the quality and quantify of food served in Ireland. To have a huge, delicious breakfast to start the day and a huge, delicious dinner in the hotel when I returned back after a long day of hiking around gardens is, to me, a special bonus. I like to plan on seeing at least two to three gardens each day.

Though I visited both large and small gardens while in Ireland, I am going to write more about the more intimate gardens we visited in Ireland where the owners/gardeners spent time talking to our group about their gardens.

But one large garden I want to mention is Mount Steward House and Garden in the Belfast area. Alas, when we arrived at this one estate garden, the heavens opened and it was the one time on our vacation when it poured when we were in am Irish garden. There is no good time to rain when one is on a garden tour, but I didn’t want to miss this magnificent garden. So we sloshed through the rain to look at the grounds after we visited the house which was having major work being done inside. In a few years, the house will be its magnificent old self.

One area of the garden was roped off because the owner still resides in the house and because of the work being done to the house. When I bemoaned the fact that we could not get into half the gardens, the sweet lady at the desk took our group through a side entrance to allow us to see one part of the gardens we missed. Of course, we didn’t get to see all 98 acres.

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