Tag Archives: Gardening

Homegrown Dried Herbs 🌿

When I visited my sister Banu in Philadelphia a while back I saw her use this amazing selection of dried herbs for a vegetarian chili she was making.  The herb bottles were beautifully labeled and the herbs dried to perfection. My other sister Shobha and I looked at these beautiful herbs in awe; they looked like Banu had bought them from a specialty food shop, only to find out that Banu dried them all herself at home.  Continue reading Homegrown Dried Herbs 🌿

September in the Garden

September has been a beautiful month here in the Bay Area. Though we had a few days of high temps in the 80s, mostly in our little town of Los Gatos it has been pleasant and very fall-like with partly cloudy skies, cool temperatures, and chilly nights. The leaves have already started falling – this is going to go on especially with my cottonwood trees for the next 3 months! Three months of non-stop falling leaves – the garden is going to look messy for a while. I’ve started sweeping the yard every day and people just look at me perplexed – “Why do you bother?”  they are wondering.  Well, for one I get a little arm-exercise, two – I get some fresh air, and three – I just can’t stand a messy garden. So I sweep what little areas I have control over – my front balcony, kitchen patio and my courtyard. The rest of the garden is just too big to bother.  On the plus side, flowers are still blooming and looking beautiful as ever. Continue reading September in the Garden

August in the Garden & Summer Harvest Pics

Our summer this year has been beautiful and my garden is loving it.  I’ve been enjoying gardening this summer because surprisingly the weather has been pleasant where I live in our Bay Area microclimate – with temperatures in the 70s, 80, and sometimes in the low 90s. Flowers have been blooming nonstop and I have been getting a good supply of garden herbs, tomatoes, plums, and apples. Not as many as many other superstar veggie gardeners out there, but we are happy with our modest bounty. Here is a look at what we have been harvesting this summer and enjoying in pastas, pies, and salads. Continue reading August in the Garden & Summer Harvest Pics

In Flower Heaven at Butchart Gardens. Victoria, Canada

If there was a heaven for flowers Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada would be it.  Butchart Gardens is flower heaven on earth. I visited Butchart Gardens over 25 years ago and it left an indelible impression on me. I had never in my life seen such a beautiful place. That visit was way before Hitesh and I had kids and became a family of five. That trip stuck with me forever and I have wanted to share that awe-inspiring feeling I had when walking though flower heaven with my girls. One of my ulterior motives for going to Vancouver on a family holiday this summer was so I could take the kids to Butchart Gardens. Did it look as spectacularly beautiful as the first time I saw it?  YES! YES! YES! Continue reading In Flower Heaven at Butchart Gardens. Victoria, Canada

Dahlia Love ❤️

There is something magical when dahlias are in bloom in the summer garden. With their vibrant in-your-face colors, intricate petal formations, and stately presence it is hard to gaze away from the glamorous dahlia. It only seems fitting that these spectacular flowers should look so ethereal especially given how their origins can be the makings of a fairytale story complete with villains, heroes, espionage, and even deadly sacrifices. Continue reading Dahlia Love ❤️

Rose Geranium Spritzer

Looking for an alluring avant-garde drink that is cool and refreshing?  Then this rose geranium spritzer is the one. Mrs. Iyengar who is my dear friend Rahika’s Mom came over for tea one Sunday afternoon some time back and Aunty who loves flowers and gardening noticed my rose geranium plant as she was leaving and casually gave me a quick recipe for rose geranium syrup. I thought why not try and make her rose geranium syrup? I must admit I was pleasantly surprised how wonderful it turned out. The syrup has the enticing flavor of rose essence similar to what you find in Middle Eastern desserts with an edgy herb flavor. Try this rose geranium syrup in a spritzer for a refreshingly unique and artsy drink that is perfect on a warm summer evening.   Continue reading Rose Geranium Spritzer

July in the garden. Lillies, dahlias and other stuff.

July arrived with a big bang of summer heat in our area.  Temperatures went up into the 80s and even in the high 90s.  But surprisingly my garden held up well, I only guess it’s because of all the giant trees in our garden that provide welcome shade to plants and people alike. The summer heat enticed all my lilies and dahlias to burst into bloom. I did have lots of other perennials blooming but my eyes and camera kept gravitating towards dahlias and lilies. When lilies and dahlias are in bloom it’s hard to focus on anything else – sorry other beautiful perennials.  Here is a look at how my garden did in July.  Continue reading July in the garden. Lillies, dahlias and other stuff.

June in the Garden

Summer finally arrived in our area in June 🌞 with temperatures warming up into the 70s, 80 and for a few days even in the 90s.  In the garden the heat brought into bloom all types of lillies. Asiatic lillies, daylillies, calla lillies, and a couple of oriental lillies. The first flush of rose blooms are over as are nasturtiums which have already set seed and which I pruned down and collected the seeds. Dahlia tubers started leafing out and our veggie plants are getting nice and bushy too. The heat is bringing into bloom so many perennials and plants such as lavenders, fuchsias, carnations, geraniums, and succulents too. Here is a look at my June garden. Continue reading June in the Garden

Mint. The Social Butterfly of the Garden

Mint, you get a bad rap so often. You take over like a weed many gardeners say. Your fragrance and flavor is very strong, so use it lightly chefs recommend. But to me, you are the social butterfly of the garden.

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At any good party we need at least one social butterfly that livens up the gathering with their talkative, amicable, and fun presence.  These personalities mingle easily with everyone and make people feel warm and special. That’s what you are mint, a social butterfly in the garden. Continue reading Mint. The Social Butterfly of the Garden