IF YOU LIKE TO MAKE SOUP

If you like to make your own soup there is one ingredient you really need to give your soup a taste boost and that is LOVAGE (levisticum officinale), by preference fresh lovage but you can dry it too for Winter as it disappears in late Autumn with the first frost. It is a tall herb, grows up to 2 meters high but you can keep it small by cutting off the highest stalks, new shoots keep comming up and they are the ones you use. When you buy it in Spring in a plantshop it looks like nothing and it is small, you can never guess it will grow 2 meters  (6 to 7 feet)in a short time. You don’t need much of it, best is you do some experimenting and see what amount of it you like. I use a leaf about 25 cm ( about 10 inches) for 2 liters (half a gallon) of soup.

When I was working in the garden this afternoon I saw my lovage was comming up, the first thing I did was cutting the biggest piece for my stew, you can use it for all sorts of recipe’s of course but using it in soup is magic for your soup. It does get flowers, yellow flowers on a huge stalk but I always cut them cos they take a lot of power from the plant.

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Have a great weekend and enjoy yourselves in the garden if it is warm enough for you !

AZALEA AS A POTPLANT

In Belgium potplant azelea’s are often sold for a good cause and people go from door to door to sell them. They are easy house guests and pretty as well but you can’t compare them to the azelea’s we have in the garden. The pot azalea’s are not winter hardy. We keep them in a shady place in the garden in Summer and put them back in the house as soon as it is getting colder .

So of course I buy one each time someone comes at my door with a box of azalea’s, buying flowers and helping people at the same time, it’s a good thing I think.

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POT AZALEA

Here is the one I bought a few days ago, I took it outside in the sun to take the picture but now it brightens my livingroom. I can’t keep my eyes off it !

Have a great day !

Look what is growing in my garden.

We had lots of storms and huge amounts of rain and hail, thunder and lightening lately but once in a while for a short time the sun comes out and the sky is blue so when I went to the garden in a sunny spell I found that my herb garden was on the grow again and already useable. Yes !!!

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ALLIUM SCHOENOPRASUM  (chives)

Chives also gets eddible flowers.

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PETROSELINEUM CRISPUM (parsley)

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ALLIUM URSINUM (ramson)

This herb gives pretty white eddible flowers who stay on the plant for a long time, the leafs are used in salads, soups and on sandwiches. After flowering it disappears underground until next Spring.

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MELISSA OFFICINALIS (lemon balm)

You can make a nice tea with the leafs only and it really tastes like lemon tea, it also has a calming effect. You can use it also in black or green tea when you are out of lemons to use. It  gives cute little white flowers but the plant loves to take over your garden, to avoid that you’ll have to cut the flowers before they’ll drop their seeds. But the plant can be easily removed where it is not wanted.

Have a great weekend all.

AN OLDY

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THE SHOEBILL STORK, MY FAVORITE BIRD, WOULDN’T IT BE NICE TO HAVE ONE IN YOUR GARDEN !!??  😀

 

This picture I took in a birdpark in Walsrode Germany, they have a male and a female and they are trying to bread with them.

Have a great day.

LIFE IS GOOD UNDER THE FIG TREE

I have a fig tree in my garden for about 10 years or so, it was planted and trained against our garage wall, in a hole we made in the pavement, it is not even a big hole and still the fig tree thrives in it and we get many ripe figs each year. And the tree grows like mad, I have to prune it several times in Summer.

I once got a small pot with blooming hyacinths and I planted it under the fig tree, but after a while it got company of a taxus which selfseeded and a euphorbia which selfseeded. And everything is thriving in that small hole so I think ; life is good under that fig tree.

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MY FIG TREE AND ITS COMPAGNONS

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MY BEAUTIFUL BLUE HYACINTHS

Have a great day all !

JUST ONE MONTH LATER

As we had an extremely warm and sunny month of February everything started to grow and bloom.

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THIS IS MY CORKSCREW HAZEL( corylus avellana contorta) AT THE END OF JANUARY

You can already see the small catkins here and there.

Exactly one month further (end of February) the SAME bush looked like this :

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Above you can see the same tree and the catkins are already at the end of their bloom and loosing a lot of yellow pollen. Amazing don’t you think ? It never had so many catkins as it has this year.

The weather has changed a lot since last wednesday, it is a lot colder, windy and very wet but we need every drop we can get. Last Summer was the hottest and driest ever.

Have a great week all and I hope you can all see that Spring is underway.