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.
Continue reading Veena & Mani’s South Bay Garden Gem
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.
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.
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
Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis is a fun, beautiful, inspiring, and informative gardening cookbook I recently bought.
I pre-ordered this book and I never pre-order a book. I like to read the reviews and have the book be out for a while to see what people think of it before I get it. But the name of this book got me hooked – Harvest! What a lovely name for a gardening book. Harvest speaks volumes just by the meaning of the word – the feel good images it conjures of fields and farms, of flowers and nature.
I ordered the book not knowing if I would like it, but that’s the beauty of Amazon. I figured if the book didn’t live up to my expectations I could easily return it. I finally got a copy of Harvest in the mail about a month ago, and with an open mind started perusing this book. Let me give you just a few of the many reasons why this is a wonderful book to add to your gardening and cookbook collection. Continue reading Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis
My sister Banu who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a lovely home and a beautiful garden. Banu is an avid gardener just like my Mom and me. But she is crazier than me when it comes to gardening. She enjoys it so much that just like my Mom she will spend hours in her backyard and lose track of time.
Banu’s garden is lush and emerald green. It’s the greenest garden I’ve ever seen. Continue reading Banu’s Emerald Green Philadelphia Garden
I have been wanting to make this cake for a while now as I’ve been thinking lately of a sweet my Mom used to make when I was younger called coconut burfi – which is a cross between a cookie and a brownie like texture – kind of like a blondie bar but without the eggs. I typically make coconut burfi with coconut, ghee, milk, cardamom, and sugar, all condensed down into thick creamy dough. It is poured into a mould and then cut into pieces after it is cooled. It takes a long time to make and is a lot of work. This coconut cardamom cake is my attempt to replicate a coconut burfi flavor but in a cake form.
If you are like me, you may not be familiar with the pineapple guava fruit. To be honest, I only discovered this fruit five years ago after we moved to our new home. In this beautiful landscape we saw these evergreen bushes with the most gorgeous blossoms.
Continue reading Coconut Cardamom Cake with Pineapple Guava Blossoms
Our friends Swati and Tarak have a beautiful home with an amazing Italian inspired hillside garden right here in the South Bay. This graceful terraced back yard is a wonderful representation of how you can transform a steep hill into a lovely lush green landscape filled with flowers, greenery, trees, and a fruit orchard.
Continue reading Swati & Tarak’s Italian Inspired Hillside Garden Retreat
When was the last time you stopped by a plant nursery with soft classical music playing in the background? A nursery where during the holidays there is hot apple cider waiting to be sipped by their customers. A nursery that is more of an experience than a functional errand to purchase some plants. Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California is one of those places which is a destination rather than just a plant nursery where one goes to, to just buy a few garden plants.
Continue reading Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California
For her birthday Rani wanted to hang out with her friends in our garden. The timing was perfect, as I had just attended a book-signing event from authors Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis on their new book Harvest. I was eager to try something from the book and Rani’s birthday picnic became the perfect opportunity to make a goat cheese recipe with edible flowers and herbs for this soiree.
Continue reading Edible Flower and Herb Embellished Goat Cheese
I recently made a couple of hummingbird cakes to show of some gorgeous nasturtium blossoms that were blooming in my springtime garden. I made one cake with cream cheese frosting, shredded coconut, and orange nasturtium flowers; and a second cake decorated with yellow nasturtiums, pecans and edible leaves and flowers.
In this post I would like to share with you the second hummingbird cake I made with yellow nasturtium flowers, toasted pecans, edible pansies, scented geraniums, and mint leaves.
Continue reading Hummingbird Cake with Pecans, Pansies, Nasturtiums Blooms & Scented Geraniums
I had this delicious piece of cake at Peets when I met my friend Roli for coffee one morning. Called Hummingbird Cake, it was moist and light, chock full of nuts, with a soft cream cheese frosting, and it was just perfect 😋.
I assumed it was called hummingbird cake because of all the nuts in the cake, because it reminded me of a birdseed mixture – you know what I mean? But as it turns out when I was looking for a recipe for hummingbird cake what I found out is that the reason it is called a hummingbird cake is because it tastes so good that it makes people hum – go figure 🤔.
What got me motivated to make a hummingbird cake is the opportunity to decorate the cake with my spring blooming nasturtiums. These nasturtium blooms were looking so glorious in my springtime garden that I wanted to show them off in a beautiful dessert. The hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting made the perfect backdrop for these lovely nasturtium blossoms.
Continue reading Hummingbird Cake with Nasturtium Blossoms