Blooming in my garden: Lavender

25 05 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Purplelicious Installment #3

6 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Last year I wrote a newsletter article for the FlowershopNetwork.com. Check out “A Passion for Purple Flowers” here.





Sunset over Victoria Harbour, B.C.

27 02 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

This is one of my favorite sunset images, shot from the ferry as we entered Victoria Harbour in British Columbia on a trip we took with my friend Sue and her mother in fall 2008. See lots more photos from that wonderful trip in the links below:

Lavender, shopping, cheese, wine, a whale, and yet another sunset

Virginia creeper-clad Fairmont Empress Hotel

Never too many flowers

Dahlias as far as the eye can see…

In the pink…

Shine on, shine on harvest moon…

Butchart Gardens, Passel #1

Butchart Gardens, Passel #2

Visual and aural overload at Pike Place

Cabin in the woods

If it’s Thursday, this must be Bloedel.

There’s a baer in them thar woods!

Wildlife in Spokane

Sunsets over Bainbridge Island





It’s a jungle out there

28 05 2009

Shot of our front yard garden taken this afternoon…

Just past bloom: White & purple Bearded Iris and Purple Sensation Allium 

Debuting now: Beard’s Tongue, Catmint, Veronica Speedwell, Creeping Thyme, Sweet William, Penstemon, Rose Campion (blush pink-white and bright pink varieties), Hellebores, Sedum, Yellow Yarrow, Nasturtium, White Dianthus, Pink Phlox, Hosta flowers, Ageratum, Evening Primrose ‘Lemon Drop’, Strawflower, Geraniums 

Very-soon-to-bloom: Globe Thistle, Lavender (various), Coreopsis, Tickseed, Lilies (various) and Salvia

And later in the seasonButterfly bush (pink, yellow, purple varieties), Coneflower (various varieties)

Platycodon Balloon Flower (purple and white varieties), Shasta Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Monarda Bee Balm, Lamb’s Ear, Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Maximilian sunflower

Ha! And this is just the list of plants in the front yard. Proof enough that I’m a gardener obsessed.

Got a question for my fellow gardeners…what is the weed (looks a lot like the tops of celery plants or almost cilantro-looking leaf) that is taking over my entire garden in spades? Why have I not noticed this prolific pest in previous years? Is it a new invasive? Do I need to photograph it for identification?
  
© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

InBloom5282009


 





Lavender, shopping, cheese, wine, a whale, and yet another sunset

21 09 2008

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, we left Bainbridge Island (again) and drove toward the city of Sequim, in Clallam County on the Olympic Peninsula. When Michael and I first visited Sequim a few years ago, we kept pronouncing it like it is spelled—“See-quim.” A local corrected us and informed us that it is pronounced “Squim.” On this visit, we found that Sequim has grown by leaps and bounds.

We visited the Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm, whose gift shop is open year round. We bought a few lavender gifts for our pet-sitters, Debbi and Regina. I photographed Sue and her mom, Wanda, outside the shop in one of the many purple chairs.

Many other lavender farms, like Purple Haze Lavender, Ltd., were already closed for the season. We were able to shop at Purple Haze’s shop in town, though, and I picked up one of our favorite lavender products, Purple Haze Salad Dressing (it’s really, really good stuff!).

We did some shopping in town at Over the Fence, a really neat garden and home store, and Heather Creek, a home accents shop in a shabby chic cottage setting. Heather Creek’s friendly proprietor, Mary Patricia Cain, fell in love with Sequim on a visit five years ago. She said that her husband was so drawn to the area that he told her he thought they were supposed to live there. This surprised her, since he is more left-brained than right. She agreed, and the family went back home, sold their house, and hightailed it back to Sequim. Everything fell into place as it was apparently meant to be! I can relate—Michael and I had the same thought when we visited the area three years ago.

We picked up all the trimmings for a picnic from the Dungeness Bay Wine & Cheese Shop—Oregon Blue cheese with pomegranate sauce, really yummy brie, pretzel crisps, and wine—then bought green grapes, bread, and pesto spread from Safeway. We drove to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, not far from the Dungeness Spit. After a picnic in the car, we got to see a baby gray whale swimming in the ocean. It was Sue’s first real-life whale observation! (Many thanks and hats off to Carol, the local resident who told us some details about the baby whale). I did shoot some images of the whale with my longest Nikkor lens (80-400 VR), but they’re more record shots than anything, so I apologize in advance for the less-than-stellar images!


We then headed to Port Angeles to catch a late afternoon ferry to Victoria, British Columbia. This photo was shot from the ferry just as we sailed into the harbor in Victoria.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Purple overdose

17 06 2008

In an effort to keep my sister Debbie entertained (and it’s not hard to do, I’m happy to say), we drove up to the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. An annual event, the festival is hosted by Madeline and Tom Wajda, owners of Willow Pond Farm. The 32-acre, family-owned herb farm is located fifteen minutes west of Gettysburg. Willow Pond Farm offers nearly 100 certified organic varieties of lavender on three acres. Three of the varieties, ‘Madeline Marie’, ‘Rebecca Kay’, and ‘Two Amys’, were developed at the farm. There are also a dozen demonstration gardens—culinary herbs, edible flowers, antique roses, mint, scented geraniums, salvias, medicinal herbs, biblical plants, and dye plants. There is also a silver “moon” garden, a sun garden, a shade garden, a butterfly garden, and a 200-foot-long perennial border.

I had the opportunity to talk to author Susan Belsinger. Susan co-authored The Creative Herbal Home with with Tina Marie Wilcox. Susan wrote three of the books in my personal library—Not Just Desserts, Gourmet Herbs, and The Garlic Book. Check out the other titles in Susan’s bookstore.

Author Tina Marie Wilcox has been the head gardener and herbalist at the Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, since 1984. She has collaborated with Susan on articles that have appeared in The Herbarist (published by the Herb Society of America), The Herb Companion and Herbs for Health.

She is also a contributing editor of The Herb Companion, an excellent resource for all things herbal. Susan said the magazine was recently redesigned and is even better! Since I sometimes have a hard time finding the publication at local bookstores, I decided to finally sign up for a subscription on the spot.

We sampled the lavender lemonade, chocolate and lavender scones, and lavender cookies. You can order culinary lavender from Willow Pond Farm. There were about a dozen vendors offering a variety of products such as soaps, lotions, garden crafts, pottery, jewelry, French linens, teapots and accoutrements, and food. This year there were several free “cooking with lavender” sessions as well as several fee-based workshops on a variety of topics—nature leaf painting, making herbal teas, photographing your garden, making herbal cordials, and making natural dyes ($15 each). There is a “make your own lavender wand” craft session for $7.50. Willow Pond Farm also sells a variety of lavender and herb plants. And for just $5, you can cut your own lavender straight from the field!

Debbie’s husband Bill did a search on the Web to see where we were and discovered that there was a (much larger than the one we went to) Blanco Lavender Festival taking place at the same time in Blanco, Texas. Blanco is about 45 minutes from their home in San Antonio. There are eight lavender farms on the Blanco Lavender Festival tour. Three guesses where I’ll be next June!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in the garden today…

3 06 2008

Blooming in the front garden today: Tickseed, Creeping Thyme, Beard’s Tongue, pink and white Rose Campion, Sweet William, white and rusty-red Lilies, hot pink Ice Plant, white Dianthus, Alliums, white and burgundy Campanula, purple Veronica, yellow Yarrow, Lavender, Catmint, and various Sedums

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.    www.cindydyer.com/GardenPhotos