Category Archives: Gardening

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, …

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” – by poet Stanley Horowitz.

An art metaphor to describe the seasons, how fitting!! Autumn has finally arrived here in the Bay Area, which means for our gardens it’s time to plant spring-flowering seeds, bulbs, and plants. I’ve written a few articles about the best bulbs and seeds to plant in the fall for amazing out of this world color in the spring. ¬†Let me share a few of those along with some photos. Continue reading “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, …

Fresh Figs & Lemongrass

Delicious fresh figs all plump, sweet, super soft and dripping with nectar. I picked a bunch of fresh figs from my friend Devi’s garden a few days ago. The temptation to eat these figs right off the tree was hard to resist, I ate a couple right away and brought the rest home.

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Fresh figs right off the tree – when fruit is this fresh it’s hard to mess with them by adding them to salads or making a dessert of some sorts. We just ate them in their pure fresh fig form – just deliciousūüėč.¬† To present¬†these figs as a dessert option that same evening I served a few with aged Parmesan cheese and walnuts. Added a small glass of sweet port and I had the makings of a deliciout fig inspired all-natural dessert. Continue reading Fresh Figs & Lemongrass

Heirloom Tomato Harvest Festival in Los Gatos, California

As if we weren’t swimming in tomatoes already from the bounty we had received from our neighbor, Hitesh informs me that there is an Heirloom Tomato Harvest Festival going on in town on Sunday the 17th. How could I resist? I couldn’t. I dragged the girls with me on that Sunday and headed to downtown Los Gatos to check out the Heirloom Tomato Festival.

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What a unique experience this was.  Continue reading Heirloom Tomato Harvest Festival in Los Gatos, California

Late Summer Bounty of Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers & Squash

Over the last month we have received many deliveries of organic heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and squash from our neighbor Jim.¬†Every summer Jim drops off bags and bags of homegrown vegetables. Hundreds of heirloom tomatoes, tons of squash, eggplant, and peppers in odd shapes, colors and sizes. ¬†See a pattern in the vegetables? ¬†Very Italian they are – that’s because Jim’s family is from Italy. During one of our conversations he mentioned that he has been growing beans from 100-year old seeds that his grandfather brought with him from Italy.

Continue reading Late Summer Bounty of Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers & Squash

Cream Cheese Edible Art with Herbs & Edible Flowers

I’m a huge fan of edible leaves and flowers from the garden, and when I see edible flowers incorporated into a food recipe I have to give it a try. The inspiration for this recipe came from Sunset Magazine’s Western Edition¬†March issue. I looked through the entire magazine but what caught my eye is guess what? Flowers and herbs! Lovely flowers and herbs so beautifully shown off to perfection, in butter of all things.

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This got me thinking, I mean if I am going to all this trouble to make this gorgeous tapestry of edible flowers and herbs, I want to share it with lots of people like at a party,¬†and serving bread and butter even if it is this pretty didn’t sound so appealing. ¬†On the other hand, serving herbed cream cheese beautifully decorated with herbs and edible flowers? ¬†Now, that I can see serving with¬†crackers for any occasion. ¬†That’s how I came up with this Cream Cheese Edible Art – Cream Cheese with Herbs & Edible Flowers. Continue reading Cream Cheese Edible Art with Herbs & Edible Flowers

Swimming in Summertime Apples from the Garden

We had just picked over 30 apples from our apple tree, after picking over 20 apples just a few days earlier, and even more few days before that. These apples were taking over my counter and the refrigerator drawers.

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Mind you we have just one apple tree and its not that big, but that little tree has over 300 apples this year. I told Hitesh we need to stop picking the apples as we can’t go through them fast enough and I don’t have space for my other vegetables and fruits, but he said he doesn’t want them eaten by the critters, so he goes out and picks a bunch of apples every few days. He wants me to make a couple of apple pies or as he put it “Get creative, you can do it!” Continue reading Swimming in Summertime Apples from the Garden

Veena & Mani’s South Bay Garden Gem

Our friends Veena and Mani have a gorgeous home right here in the South Bay.  They moved into their new home a few years ago, and though their home went through a major renovation right before they moved in, the previous owners left the backyard untouched. Their landscape is huge. It has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a very large circular driveway at the entrance.

However this landscape was lacking in character. ¬†It needed a personal touch, a gardener’s personal touch that is. And that is exactly what Veena and Mani did. Give this large expanse of a garden their own unique perspective. This massive re-landscaping of their outdoor space took more than a year to accomplish, and the end result is something spectacular.

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Giant Zucchini – Year Two!

Received another giant zucchini from or friends Karen and Aaron’s garden this year. Somehow in Karen and Aaron’s garden they consistently grow GIANT zucchinis. ¬†SERIOUSLY what is their secret? Unbelievable!

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This year’s homegrown zucchini present from our friends was just as big as last year’s crop ¬†– over 1 1/2 feet in length! I had Rani hold it so you could see how huge this zucchini was.

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“FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.” FILOLI Gardens in the Summer

I’ve been to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California so many times that I’ve lost count. But somehow I’ve never visited the gardens in the summer. Hard to believe, even for me. I usually stop by Filoli Gardens in the spring for their Daffodil Daydreams Extravaganza,¬†or in early summer around May for a Mother’s Day girls afternoon out, or to attend one of their classes on watercolor painting.

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I’ve never gone to Filoli Gardens in the peek of summer – i.e. July. I’ve assumed all the flowers are frying in the summer-time heat, so why bother going? But this year I had an opportunity to stop by this beautiful garden with my Uncle Chary and¬†his niece Geetha and husband Sampath who were visiting from Mumbai, India.

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Who knew Filoli Gardens could be just as spectacular in the summer as at other times of the year? ¬†At least not I. ¬†The garden is amazing in the summer! Continue reading “FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.” FILOLI Gardens in the Summer