Patio Gardening

Greenery makes me very calm and happy. I guess that’s why I love where I live. Having trees and shrubs is good but growing your own culinary herbs and spices is even better.

One herb that I use extensively is mint.  I use it in mixed drinks, soft drinks, salads, cooking and baking. The freshness of mint is always welcome.

There are so many different kinds of mint that can be used for savory and sweet concoctions.

I have planted chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint and 3 different kinds of basil in my patio garden. I also have lemon balm which is wonderful to rub on the skin to keep away mosquitoes.

All mint plants will tend to take over any space that they are planted in which is why I have chosen the patio for this project. I get a hearty harvest to dry and use fresh without having the plants spread like weeds.

It’s a pretty smart way to go. You can plant cucumbers this way as well as other vine plants. They love the warmth of the cement in the summer. Just remember to keep them well watered.

Enjoy your summer!

look for future posts on leather work. I have several projects that will be coming up at once so I need the time to do the prep work.

God Bless you!



seedlingsIt’s that time of the year again. I like to grow my own veges because I know what kind of fertilizer I use and I know that I’m not using anything chemical that may potentially cause harm in the long run to the people eating these veges.

I have a big window in my kitchen that is perfect for seed germination. Now that the seedlings are large enough to transplant, they will be put into larger pots and transferred to the green house. There they will grow a little more and in time be transplanted into the garden.

If you have the ability to grow your own food, it is highly recommended so you can avoid the nasty chemicals that ends up in the fields in America. There are a few sustainable farms in the Pacific Northwest that carry only organic produce and the things that I can’t grow myself I buy there.

It makes a discernible difference in the taste of the food when you buy organic or grow your own.

Try growing in pots if you don’t have a yard big enough to have a garden.

God Bless and happy growing!

Harvesting Grape Leaves

When the leaves come out on the grape vines, it’s time to harvest.


As you can see in the photo the leaves are sorted into sizes. I use the small ones for salad. They are the most tender. The larges ones are used in stew and soup and the medium leaves are stuffed with lamb and rice and baked in lemon juice. Delish!!!

I put the leaves in gallon sized zip lock bags, suck the air out of the bags and seal them unwashed. I put 100 leaves per bag so I know what I have to work with when I compile a recipe.

Remember,  don’t use the leaves with white fuzz on the back.

Happy cooking!

Refurbishing my garden

I found this flower rack at a liquidation store and purchased two of them for $20.00 per unit. I admit it was in impulsive thing to do but I also thought that I would find a use for them and I couldn’t pass them up for the price.





I dragged them out of the box and found that the gallon pots fit very well into the spaces, (I have quite a few gallon pots leftover from landscaping the yard),  so I decided it would be a great place to plant my bush beans as I have an incredible number of slugs in the area. Last year my beans were eaten by the slugs and my family got very few of them. I don’t like to use pesticides or slug bait and the beer always gets knocked over or perhaps the raccoons drink it?!? This seemed like a viable way to handle the problem. We’ll see. I also hate to weed and this was a way to cut down on the weeding while getting a lot of plants in a very small area.

I like to take full advantage of the spaces that I have to use so I hung the lemon cucumbers up on the pavilion in pots. They like to trail and can take advantage of the chains and cross bars on the structure.

I also have quite a few topiary structures that the peas will be happy to cling to.

Refurbishing my garden

Now that all of the old wood and the weeds are gone, the strawberries, asparagus and kale are saved, I can implement the design for the new garden space. Lydia and I with the help of two other people moved the pavilion away from the garage and toward the outer area of the garden. This is where we will set up the cinder blocks.


Garden6This took a little while as the blocks are very heavy. I’m counting on the weight to hold the dirt in place once we start shoveling it in. I have to bring in dirt because I sit on a glacial dump. It’s the only way to get any real gardening done. You can see that I saved the strawberries in some gallon pots that I had laying around. My daughter stuck the pots in the holes of the cinder blocks and that is where they will live until I fill the holes with the dirt.

Refurbishing my garden.

I couldn’t stand looking at my garden area any more so I decided to do something about it. With the help of my daughter Lydia we tackled the project, well mostly she tackled the project.

The first thing that needed to be done was to remove all the rotted wood that was the raised bed before we decided to tear the area apart. Then the plants had to be saved for use in the new garden. The next step was to design the garden around my trellis. This is the focal point of the garden and the place where the cucumbers and the squash will grow.


Garden5  Garden2

Garden3  Garden4