Saturday, February 20, 2016

High tea

The NEWHSA Herb Society hosted a high tea at the Green Bay Botanical Garden today.

Today's tea menu included:

Assam and ginger tea served with breads   (Tea etiquette & napkin folding)
  Cream scones with gooseberry jam
  Strawberry rhubarb streusel gems
  Cheddar cheeses & chive scones

Elderflower spritzer with savories  (The language of flowers-tussie mussies)
  Smoked salmon & dill on water crackers
  Cucumber with cream cheese on rye
  Roasted red pepper prosciutto chicken salad tea sandwiches

Matcha green tea blend with sweets   (Varieties & benefits of teas)
  Raspberry lemon curd tarts
  Buttercream filled French macaroons
  Coconut macaroon with chocolate

Confectionary delights
  Peppermint fudge
  Lemon lavender shortbread

My assignment for a tea at the Green Bay Botanical Garden was cheddar-chive scones. Below is the recipe used adapted from a recipe found at:

Cheddar & Chive Scones

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together.
Add the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the cheese and chives and mix through.
Cut the milk into the flour and butter mixture.until you have a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and working very gently, bring together into a disc around 1-1 1/2 " in height.
With a very sharp cookie cutter, cut out scones then place onto the lined baking tray.
Bring the remainder of the dough together and repeat the cutting process until all the dough has been used.
Whisk the egg then brush the tops of your scones and place in the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the scones are risen and golden brown.

For a lovely table setting, napkins were folded to form rosettes placed in teacups.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Garden trends for 2016

-"Slow flowers"-locally-grown flowers
-Locally grown food-farm to table in movement
-Urban parklets
-Increasing use of succulents and drought-tolerant plants
-increasing focus on foliage, especially plants displaying changing fall colors
-Greater appreciation of subtle colors, all white and one color gardens
-Gardening in containers with increasing use of edibles (including berries) & succulents
-More interest in treating pots as a small-scale landscape including terrariums, living walls,...
-Vertical gardening
-Layered, living landscapes with combinations as trees, shrubs, perennials & grasses as advocated by Doug Tallamy
-Natives species used increasingly used in landscape design for their form, foliage, flower and wildlife attracting qualities.
-Pollinator gardening
-Manageable maintenance with carefully chosen plants naturalistic, relaxed, loose planting style
-Sustainable features integrated with design for highly functioning landscapes responding to the topography and architecture with appropriate appealing plant choices in scale with the garden.
-Interest in increasing function of landscapes with plants that attract pollinators, urban homesteading, growing food, keeping chickens, beekeeping, vegetable beds, growing herbs, composting, harvesting rain,..
-Protection & conservation of resources
-Efforts to improve health of topsoil
-Makers lifestyle-engaging in hands-on projects
-Use of technology for help with plants
-NaTECHture to engage kids with gardening, health & fitness
-Welltality-focusing on the health benefits of plants
-Increased use organic lawn products and decreased use of potentially harmful garden chemicals for safety of pets, children, and environment
-Increasing use of firepits
-Painted arbors, fences & houses-dark green or dark blue instead of white, brown, or gray (following popularity of black houses & fences in Europe)
-Increased interest in lighting schemes such as colored lights for a holiday theme or favorite sports team colors to light up the landscape for a big game night.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Green Bay Botanical Garden in mid-August

One of the newest additons to the Green Bay Botanical Garden is the Conifer Garden.  In spring of 2013,  83 tons of limestone boulders were brought in from quarries surrounding Northeast Wisconsin in preparation for the installation of dwarf conifers, low growing evergreens that typically grow to less than the size of their parent plants. The design is intended to showcase the conifers not so much as a “collection”, but rather as they would be integrated into a well-designed home garden.  Perennials, chosen to provide the maximum beauty for color and form for visitors strolling through the garden, were installed in the spring of 2014.  They will be relocated as the conifers grow and reach their mature size.  

View from the top of the conifer garden
where water bubbles from a stone fountain
down into a pondless basin of stones.
English cottage style garden
Bee skep is hidden here

A colorful late-summer floral display
A lovely display of seasonal flowers
 floating in a ceramic pot

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Floral displays on Mackinac Island

 Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas. 
-Elizabeth Murray

Upon exiting the ferryon Mackinac Island, visitors are greeted with colorful flower baskets hanging from lamp posts up and down the Main Street.  

Lilac hanging baskets at the Lilac Tree Hotel

Porters gather bags from the ferry to transport to your hotel.  A quick walk or carriage ride takes you by residences and hotels with window boxes, hanging pots, containers, garden beds overflowing with cheerful floral displays.

Harbor View Inn

Topiaries at the Grand Hotel

Ferries returning to the mainland under the light of the moon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Exploring gardens of Charlevoix, Michigan

Charlevoix "Mushroom houses"
Charlevoix Public Library Rain Garden