Tag Archives: flowers

Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis

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.

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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.

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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

Banu’s Emerald Green Philadelphia Garden

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.

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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

Coconut Cardamom Cake with Pineapple Guava Blossoms

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.

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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.

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Continue reading Coconut Cardamom Cake with Pineapple Guava Blossoms

Swati & Tarak’s Italian Inspired Hillside Garden Retreat

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.

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Continue reading Swati & Tarak’s Italian Inspired Hillside Garden Retreat

Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California

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.

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Hummingbird Cake with Pecans, Pansies, Nasturtiums Blooms & Scented Geraniums

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.

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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.

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Hummingbird Cake with Nasturtium Blossoms

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.

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Continue reading Hummingbird Cake with Nasturtium Blossoms

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden. Old Palo Alto, California

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden is a historic home and garden located in old Palo Alto, California. The story of how this lovely home became a historic home and garden can be credited to Ms. Elizabeth Gamble who lived in Palo Alto with her family.

Elizabeth’s family – the Gamble family moved to Palo Alto back in 1902 and had four children:  James, George, Elizabeth Frances, and Launcelot.  Palo Alto at that time was a little town with a population of a mere 3000.  One of the kids Elizabeth, decided after college to spend the remainder of her life in the Gamble family home on Waverley Street in Palo Alto.

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A Craving for Flowers. Fun Few Books on Flowers

I love flowers. Love, love, love them. If I could, I would eat flowers for dessert and live in a greenhouse surrounded by them. Sometimes I actually crave flowers. A craving for their lovely colors, textures, fragrance, and myriad flowerfull  beauty. I especially crave flowers in the winter and early spring when my garden is still half-dormant. When I get a flower craving what I turn to are my books on flowers and gardening. Continue reading A Craving for Flowers. Fun Few Books on Flowers