Heat oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Add chicken, garlic and oyster sauce, and stir-fry for 10 minutes. Add veggies and stir-fry for 6 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir into vegetables, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 cup napa cabbage (sliced)
- 1 cup green bell and 1 cup red pepper (sliced)
- 1 cup carrots (sliced)
- 1 cup green onions (chopped)
- 1 cup bean sprouts (fresh)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
What is it?
Hardscape is not a catchy term for overly difficult gardening sites. It simply means the hard, durable parts of the landscape…the non-plant elements. Hardscaping elements are often chosen for function and directly or indirectly add beauty as well. Hardscape can be used to: provide definition of different areas within a landscape, direct views and traffic, frame or screen views, provide shelter, ambience and ease of access, and create containment.
Continue reading Hardscape Essentials: It takes more than plants to make a landscape
In a large bowl pour lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, salt, pepper, poppy seed, if desired, and pepper. Add melon, cucumber, onion, and dill weed. Toss to combine. Cover; chill up to 8 hours. Let stand 20 minutes before serving. Just before serving, top with feta.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon poppy seed (optional)
- 1 medium honeydew melon (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.), seeded and cut in bite-size cubes (5
- 1 cucumber (12 oz.), unpeeled, and cubed (2 cups)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, briefly rinsed
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon and salt; stir in raisins; add to egg mixture. Then stir in zucchini and oatmeal. (mixture will be stiff and difficult to stir, but cookies will be moist) drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
- 1 c butter
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 c whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c raisins
- 2 c grated, peeled zucchini
- 3 1/2 c oatmeal
Whisk eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add bread cubes and; soak 30 minutes. Butter a sheet of nonstick foil and add the bread mixture; form a packet. Grill over indirect heat, turning a few times, 35 minutes.
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups bread cubes
- 1 cup berries
- Large sheet of foil
To ensure attractive healthy annuals all season, choose full, well branched plants with good foliage color and – on flowering annuals – an abundance of buds. Don’t go for the biggest plants or most open blooms, these are more likely to be leggy and burned out too soon. If the latter is all you find, you can improve their appearance and longevity by pruning them back by about one third to encourage branching and fresh growth. Continue reading Tips for Annual Selection & Care
Late winter into early spring is when we crave fresh growth, a bit of color…some sign that spring is really returning!! Swelling buds on Pussy Willow and dainty Snowdrop blooms – which might be overlooked or scoffed at if amongst the lushness of summer plant life – bring excitement, praise and hope! These are soon followed by bolder displays, as the likes of Forsythia, Tulips, Magnolias and more burst into bloom and cement our certainty of spring’s return!
If you’d like to indulge in some of this excitement, look around your neighborhood and local parks this spring to note which plants catch your eye. Snap their portraits with your smart phone or camera, then seek them out at your local nursery to plant in your own yard as personal mood boosters come next spring!
Here’s a short list to spark your imagination:
Perennial Flowers (can be planted spring through autumn)
Flowering Bulbs (should be planted in autumn)
- Narcissus sp.
Flowering Shrubs & Trees (can be planted spring through autumn)
- Pussy Willow (the fuzzy catkins are flowers)
- Flowering Quince
- Rhododendrons & Azaleas
- Witch Hazel
- Winter Daphne
Take a break from the garden and turn on your reading lamp or e-reader to enjoy some truly entertaining titles that give insight into obscure and fascinating plant facts. Continue reading Funky, Fun & Informative Plant Books
Air Plants are funky, fun and trending right now! Air Plants (Tillandsia genus) live on air in the sense that they pull moisture and nutrients from the air through their leaves, rather than from soil. They do not possess true roots, but root-like structures that help them anchor to trees and rocks. Many have colored foliage or interesting blooms and often the leaves mature from green to red before flowering and then dying. No worries, though…they live several years and produce offshoot “pups” to continue the family line! Continue reading Air Plants…easy, artsy, fun…for every level of gardener
Terrariums seem to cycle in and out of style every few decades, but are always enchanting. The current day terrarium trend fits perfectly with our desires to connect with nature and the “be green” joy of reusing and repurposing a variety of objects. They are also wonderful outlets for creativity and self-expression.
While the basic terrarium components of container, “soil”, plants and ornamentation stay the same – the end result runs the miniature-world gamut. Terrarium compositions can be Zen minimal to lush as a fairy tale forest. Plant selections, containers and potting medium can be selected to create environments ranging from rainforest wet to desert dry – no longer restricted by old definitions that required full enclosure and high humidity. The container itself might be shot glass tiny, aquarium large or anywhere in between.
Look for finished terrariums at floral and gift shops or surrender yourself to the full enchantment and create one (or more!) yourself. Check the following resources for guidance and inspiration, as well as materials, tools and even classes!
Helpful, Fun & Inspiring Terrarium Resources
Twig Terrariums of Brooklyn, NY
Window Box.com –Small Space Gardens
The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature
by Tovah Martin and Kindra Clineff
Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds
by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant, Kate Baldwin
Tiny World Terrariums: A Step-by-Step Guide to Easily Contained Life
by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow
Orchids are some of the plant world’s most beautiful and persistent survivors, with origins dating back to the time of the Tyrannosaurus! They come not from one genus, but from over 800 natural genera with more than 100,000 hybrids. While some Orchids grow in soil, many of the Orchids popular for our homes today actually grow in trees in their native habitats. Continue reading Those gifted Orchids…a Bit of History
The mere presence of a lone Peace Lily tucked in the corner of the living room is nice. But, with a bit more thought and effort regarding placement, arrangement and interaction with houseplants, benefits similar to those received from being outdoors in nature can be achieved. Of course, this is all based on having more plants than one….lone…Peace Lily. If a home is to truly be a plant boosted sanctuary, plants should be placed throughout the home. No worries – there are houseplants suited or adaptable to every level of light and a bit of research or experimentation will likely show there is really no need to be limited to one sunny windowsill. Continue reading Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection
Grow- your-own goodness right at your fingertips!
How are Windowsill Herbs Green & Healthy?
- Chemical free growth – protects environmental & personal health
- Fewer bags, tins, bottles – reduces landfill waste
- Live plants provide oxygen and help clear air born toxins – promotes environmental & personal health
- Provide low calorie, vitamin rich seasoning – makes it easy to create healthier meals for a healthier body
Continue reading Green & Healthy Windowsill Herbs