Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I’ve read quite a bit about how to dry hydrangeas. About 10 years ago I did this by tying the stems together and hanging them upside down in my basement. I kept those dried flowers for 4 years until I just plain got tired of looking at them. They really hold up well. I have actually seen people at outdoor markets selling dried hydrangeas for a very hefty price.
A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to have a bouquet of big leaf hydrangeas given to me. I wanted to preserve them as long as possible so this time I stood them upright inside a tomato cage I wasn’t using inside the garage. I think they turned out pretty good. BTW I don’t know what the smaller flowers are but they seem to have done well also.

I have to warn you they're very fragile once they're dry. Have some idea as to how you plan to arrange them before putting them in a vase or pot. Otherwise, you're likely to lose a lot of blossoms.

This is Genovese Basil growing in a pot. It makes great pesto. I found a recipe at All
I make sure I keep it watered with the days here in the upper 90's. It grows very fast. When cutting make sure you leave a cluster of four leaves so that it will continue to grow.
Here's the recipe . Although I plan to tweak it by using chopped peanuts instead of almonds. (Remember I'm thrifty)

*1/4 cup almonds (substitute chopped peanuts)
*3 cloves garlic
*1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
*1/2 cup olive oil
*1 pinch ground nutmeg
*salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place almonds on a cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. (Omit this step. The peanuts are already roasted)
2. In a food processor, combine toasted almonds, garlic, basil, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Process until a coarse paste is formed.
Note: Pick basil the same day you plan to make pesto. I made the mistake of placing the picked leaves in the fridge. NOT a good idea. It wilted away and spoiled.

Put this concoction on toasted garlic bread or pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and you've got a tasty

Roma Tomato
The Roma tomato is pear shaped and comes in red and yellow. I chose red . I have planted yellow in the past but to me they weren't as sweet as the red. There was too much tartness. The Roma is also known as the “plum tomato” . The white you see is where I tied it to the stake in the pot.

Just for good measure I wanted to show you my rosemary plant also in a pot. The picture shows it looking a little dry but I promise I watered it right after I took the picture. This baby was saved from last year. I brought it inside and nursed it the same as a houseplant. Summer has returned and it's still alive. Some people use this plant as a hedge. Can you imagine the aroma as the wind blows? Delicious.

I've grown a little of everything in a pot in the past. I plan to experiment even more in the future.
Lastly, to show that I'm into recycling, I put the watering jug underneath the air conditioning drain and use the water for my plants. It would only drip on the ground if I didn't.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the drying technique for the Hydrangeas. I have a huge hydrangea shrub that blooms beautifully and the flowers are blue.

    I have been whining to dh to get me some potting soil for planting herbs... I'm still