Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gardening Updates


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I can’t quite believe the last time I post a gardening update was already more than two years ago!  Chick here to see the post.  Since then, I've added quite a few more herbs and plants to the family.  Smile Yes, I considered my herbs my family too, since I don’t have any pets.  And yes, I guess I’m weird like that.  But with someone like me, who got the biggest “brown thumb” (which means cactus died under my care, more than once), it’s a project to take care of a little herb garden and I’m proud it’s doing pretty well lately.  With my current “yard” situation, I can only plant them in pots, many different pots and not on the ground like I wanted to.  But hey, it’s better than nothing.  I love using fresh herbs in my cooking, so these plants had been fantastic for me.

In the picture above, the one on the left is mint.  They are the strongest growing thing and really can spread everywhere.  Can you believe the one I originally had almost died on me (too)?  So, as an insurance policy, I got another one.  But somehow, the first mint plant survived my “brown thumb” so I have two now.  The one on the right is Rosemary, the very first herb plant that I've got since 3 years ago.  Chick here to see how small it was when I first purchased it.

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The picture above is a pot of 3 different herbs.  They are tarragon (on top with a little yellow blossom), spicy oregano (on the right) and thyme (on the left).  I just got them this Spring as the previous one were “murdered”.  Open-mouthed smile

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The picture above is the parsley.  It was in the “ICU” (intensive care unit) during winter…but somehow, it survived and growing stronger than ever.  So the saying of “whatever doesn't kill you would make you stronger” was right.

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I have the sweetest neighbors.  About a month ago, she shared some cherry tomato seeds with me.  This picture above shown how much they've grown in just a month.  Can’t wait to go tomato picking with my Baby Girl in my very own back yard!

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This picture above is a chili plant. See the little white flowers blooming?  I can’t wait to cook up something spicy food when the chilies are ready.

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I love Thai basil and use them in my Thai dishes from time to time.  But usually a recipe only calls for a small amount.  I've purchased Thai basil in Asian supermarkets many times and often using not even one third of a package and have to throw out the rest as they turn brown rather quickly in the fridge.  So, adding a plant of Thai Basil to my herb family (picture above) is just a natural thing to do as I can simply just cut whatever I needed.  Isn't the purple and white blossoms beautiful?  I love them.  They smell amazing too!

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This one is Italian sweet basil (picture above).  I use this to make my own pesto and pasta dishes very often.  It's growing gorgeous.

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These last two pictures are from the front area of the house.  See how the lovely flowers are blooming at their best?  That’s because they are taken care of by my neighbor! hahaah…you didn't think my brown thumb turned green, right? 

Thanks for reading.  So, what are growing or blooming in your garden?  Do you have herbs plants like I do?  Is there any other herbs that you would suggest me to add to the family?  Please share.   Smile

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71 comments:

  1. You did so much better than me, my garden has been taken over by weeds! only a hardy bougainvillea is still surviving and even that is very old! Luckily I have a neighbour who is kind enough to share his herbs with me:D

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    1. Oh...not good. I really don't like the weeds. They just seem to be back the next day or two right after I remove them. My neighbor has a beautiful bougainvillea too, those are so pretty. Well, at least you get to use some fresh herbs from your neighbor. Isn't it great to have generous and awesome neighbor like that?

      Wish you a wonderful weekend. Take care.

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  2. I forgot my Thai Basil..thanks for remind in me..
    I love to garden too..Bravo:-)

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    1. Nice...Aren't those the best? I love having fresh pesto made from the basil in the garden. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

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  3. I really need to try my hand at gardening. I've heard basil is so simple and I use it often so I should try it. For some reason I've always felt like I'd never be able to grow anything. How wonderful to grow your own herbs and then use them in your recipes. What would you suggest I start with? I'd really like to do it!

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    1. Oh...if you use herbs often, definitely grow your own. Not only that's convenience, plus, you get the freshest herbs possible as you harvest them right before cooking. Basil is pretty easy to grow (even with my brown thumb). I suggest that you start with something that you use often, such as thyme, basil, rosemary and mint. And these are the one that need minimal maintenance. Hope you'll give it a try. I think you'll love it.

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  4. Awesome! I need to get a spicy oregano!

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    1. Thank you. Yes, the spicy oregano was so good. It was recommended by the employee at the gardening center at my local home improvement store. So glad I tried it.

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  5. Love your garden pictures, your garden is a dream! Now I wish I had that thai basil plant and the tarragon too. I can't keep any plant alive...

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    1. Thank you, Ruby. Well, maybe give the herbs one more try. I can't keep plants alive...but somehow, these herbs survived....for the time being. :P I guess I'll just have to put them in my recipes before they die. hahaha....

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  6. Gardening updates? What a great idea! I love herbs and have had them for a long time. But this year I did lose a few. Time to try some new ones!

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    1. Thanks, Abbe. Yeah...quite a few didn't make it through the change of season. I hope these will at least last until Winter hits. :) Have a happy Sunday and happy gardening.

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  7. Looking good! I tried to grow a little Thai basil again and of course it always gets sick and dies. I don't understand it. I am sure that plants are used to the humidity it is the bugs in HK that always take my basil to an early fate. Uggh!

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    1. hm....I thought the hot weather should be good for basil. I don't know...after all, I'm still quite new in gardening. Plus, my plants die on me so often that I don't think I'm qualify to make comments or give advise. :P Hope you'll have more luck next time if you plant them again. I guess we just have to keep trying. ;)

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  8. Amy, there is no such thing as planting too many herbs in one´s garden - I love the pictures of all the different herbs that you planted. Besides all that rosemary, organo, lemon thyme and basil, I am quite fond of lemon verbena, it has the most amazing citrussy scent and is great for baking and brewing tea!
    Have a wonderful Monday!

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    1. Thank you, Andrea. Now that you mentioned, I want a lemon verbena plant! hahaha....don't think I saw that when I visit the gardening center on my last visit. Gotta ask the employees who work there. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  9. The purple flowers on the Thai Basil look just lovely! I might have to go and get one for myself. I love cooking with herbs too and it's so nice to be able to run to the garden and snipe some for my meals. Love your collection of herbs, they're the sort of herbs that are so versatile.

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    1. Thank you, Trishie. I know, I really love the purple flowers from the Thai Basil. :) It's so convenience to have fresh herbs from the yard. That's why I continue to plant them each year, even those some don't make it through the change of season. I just have to keep trying, I guess.

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  10. I'm envious of your green green thumb!! Everything is so lush and pretty :)

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    1. Thanks, Kiran. hehe.....although my herbs are growing okay now, I still think I have a "brown thumb". Guess I should report back when my plants are not doing too well. :P

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  11. I killed my rosemary as well. Sigh. I think I have black thumbs. All plants turn black when they come under my care. I've always craved for a little potted herb garden. Maybe someday when I feel more adventurous. Having said that, your herbs are looking mighty fine. Perhaps your brown thumb is rejuvenating into a greenish one? ;-)

    ~Jayne

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    1. Black thumbs? Well, but it's pretty hard to kill a rosemary...and you did. :P

      Don't give up...the key for success is keep trying. I plant new herbs whenever the old one die on me. And they just get better and better. Some need more sunshine and water and some don't. I start to get a sense of what each plant like and the "dying rate" drop a little. So, try to plant one or two again. Maybe you'll have better luck the 2nd time around. ;)

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  12. Oh!!, we like your pictures very much...
    But our garden is very small: we have tomatoes, chili, rosemary, mint and parsley.
    And the y look amazing too...
    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a happy week!!

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    1. Thank you, Laurel. Yeah, I wish I have more space to plant more veggies as I love home grown herbs and veggies so much. :) Maybe some day....

      Have a wonderful Sunday.

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  13. Amy, I'm thrilled to learn you are also a balcony gardener! Your plants look lovely and well taken care of. I have herbs on my balcony every year and salad leaves too, but my boxes don't look as nice as yours... We have a very cold spring this year and some plants haven't sprouted even. It saddens me... Luckily other plants grow surprisingly well.
    From my experience you can leave parsley and chives during the winter, under the snow too, and they will grow back the following year. I also grow Thai basil because of exactly the same experience... Asian grocers make such huge bunches and it's awful but I always throw a big part. As you know already I started to grow mizuna this year. I also grow mitsuba (for the second year and I loooove it!), chives, parsley, mint, Italian basil, rocket, lamb's lettuce, coriander... All in small amounts but it's just what I need in the kitchen.

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    1. Wow, you do have quite a few herbs and veggies. :) mizuna and mitsuba sounds wonderful to have. I'll see if I can even find them from the gardening center. :) hehe...I think I need more space in my garden for sure.

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  14. ICU - love that! I just planted my balcony yesterday...cross fingers!

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    1. Nice. Hope you'll get lots out of your balcony plants. :)

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  15. My sister would love your herb plants. She has been trying to grow these herbs as well. So far no success except for curry leaves and Persicaria odorata/Polygonum minus (daun kesum in the Malay language) - used for cooking laksa.(spicy noodle soup). I think you do have green fingers to be able to grow these lovely herbs.

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    1. Thank you. Curry leaves sounds interesting and delicious. oh...and I love a good bowl of laksa! Gotta go look for that Persicaria odorata!

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  16. What a great balcony Herb Garden! I planted flower seeds (Zinnia & Coreopsis)and they are sprouting up. My Chives returned this year, but the Parsley did not. Need to remember to plant Basil next year.
    ~Judy

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    1. Thank you, JG. Glad you like my herbs. I plant chives before but they die so soon. I'll give them a try again next time.

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  17. What a great selection of herbs and a lovely garden. I just have a balcony but I have a few herbs too and 1 type of flower. Only late afternoon sun.

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    1. Thank you. Glad you like these herbs. I use them quite often so it make more sense to have them around. Yeah...many needs lots of sunlight.

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  18. I would take your version of a "brown thumb" any day! Your plants look terrific! I have zero skills in the gardening arena but do have secret aspirations to keep some fresh herbs around. But seriously, basil plants have died on me...I'm clueless. I was telling my husband I'd like to try again and at least keep some basil and parsley. You have inspired me to try again, Amy! I just love the idea of picking herbs in your garden to cook with. My neighbors managed to grow tons of things a couple of summers ago...unfortunately, they're too busy and haven't this year so I can't forage. haha!

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    1. well, I should also shown the "dead plants" so you have a better idea of how brown my thumbs could get. :P I almost have to replant the basil ever season to keep them around to cook with. But still, it's worth it. Nothing better than fresh herbs from the garden. So, don't be afraid to try again. I think the end result is rewarding. Just make sure to use them up before they die! hahaha....

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  19. Your garden is doing great! I too suffer from the "brown thumb" syndrome, and am keeping my fingers crossed that anything survives yet another growing season. So far, my arugula has already bolted and flowered due to the excessive heat (boo!) but I've managed to pick three whole snow peas. I'll take any small victory here.

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    1. I know....I just hope the herbs will last through the season. :) OH....I love arugula. Guess I'll need to plant some soon. Yum, snow peas sounds yummy with stir fry. OR, just a few as healthy snacks. ;) thanks for sharing.

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  20. You're better at gardening than I am! Lovely flowers.

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    1. This is the time when the plants are doing well. I should follow up when it's fall or winter to show the "reality". hahaha...

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  21. Hi Amy, happy gardening. Those flowers look really cute and pretty. It's good to plant our own herbs, as and when we need it just pluck from the garden. :))

    Have a nice day.

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    1. Thanks, Amelia. Oh yeah....fresh herbs are the best. :)

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  22. Did you say brown thumb?
    No!
    Green is more like it.
    I LOOooove Herb gardens. I have basil (MY FAVE.) growing in my kitchen. I adore the scent. I want MINT now.
    btw, I DOOO have a brown thumb.
    people have called plant abuse on me. Xxx

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    1. Well, my plants are doing well for the time being. Will see how things go in a couple of months. I love the basil scent and mint too. Also, the mints are great with drinks and cocktails. Or decorate on dessert. :) Plus, they hardly get sick or die. So go for it. My mint survived my brown thumb so, I'm sure you'll be find too.

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  23. I can connect with this sharing so strongly because in many ways its like reflecting what I do eg: growing the herbs(I have all the varieties as shared), I don't have pets and sometimes I cry when my plants kick their buckets.

    Thank you so much. I feel so good that I have found someone who associates with plants just like me.

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    1. Thank you, Navaneetham. Glad to know we think alike. :) Aren't those herbs the best? I love cooking with them so much.

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  24. It's looking lovely! My herbs are just starting to flower and pop back up, it's very rewarding.

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    1. Nice...it's always a sweet and warm feeling to see the plants growing well. :)

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  25. To me it looks more like as if you had a green thumb and not a brown one. ^.^ Hey, you are more talented in growing herbs then I am. I just have the tulsi (holy basil) here right now, which by the way resembles the thai basil. I have been trying to grow the italian basil but it just doesn't want to grow. hmpf wow your rosemary looks so healthy and huge!! I am so envious now. =D

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    1. Hehe....my herbs plants are at their best now. I'll sure report back when the season changes and you'll know what I mean about my brown thumbs. :P I use my Italian basil quite often so they get a constant "trimming". And I found out they grown better and bigger that way. See if that works for you. :) Have fun gardening.

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  26. Oh my gosh! I'm worst than you because I have black thumbs..LOL! But I'm glad to know that I'm not alone. I'm still on my journey to raise an herb garden.

    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

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    1. hehe...don't give up. I basically plant new ones whenever the old one dies. It's always lovely to have some fresh herbs around the kitchen. Hope you'll give it a try.

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  27. wow beautiful garden amy...luf ur space with beautiful looking recipes....
    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your inspiring comment.....

    Following you here...and would appreciate if you would like to do the same...

    Cheers
    Anu
    Anu's Healthy Kitchen - Fruit Punch Popsicle

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    1. Thank you, Anu. I'm following you back on your lovely blog as well.

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  28. I believe you have to rethink your statement about having a brown thumb...you herbs look great. :)

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    1. Thank you, Dear. I really have to show more pictures when the herbs are not doing so great. :P

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    1. hehe...yes, it's fun and the best is you get to eat what you plant. :P

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  30. I don't believe I've ever had spicy oregano...you have a great green thumb...especially love all the pretty flowers =)

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    1. Thank you. Glad you like my little herb garden. I love those flowers, so pretty and taste pretty good too. :P

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  31. Oh how I wish I had any room for a garden! I'll just have to live vicariously through you. :)

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    1. I'm kind of running out of spaces for my herbs too. Wish I have more land to plan veggies....but don't think that would happen any time soon.

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  32. I have basically the same herbs that you do: basil, thyme, mint, oregano, sage and rosemary. Wish I had more sunlight in my yard!

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    1. Nice, I love these herbs too. I agree, I wish the area I plant my herbs gets more sunlight too. And I really need more space. haha...which these two factors are pretty much out of my control.

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  33. Yes, nothing like picking fresh herbs from your garden and use in the kitchen...they look great Amy.
    The flowers are beautiful!
    Thanks for this uplifting post and hope you are having a fun week :)

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    1. Thank you, Juliana. Glad you like my gardening update post. :) Wish you a fantastic week ahead.

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  34. It really is pretty hard to kill mint! So maybe you do have a brown thumb! Your plants are doing great, though. I love growing herbs. They're pretty, and of course you can eat them. ;-) Which, of course, is what eventually happens to mine.

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    1. lol...I know. I can't believe my mint almost die on me either. I'm just glad the herbs are doing great now and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I guess I just have to eat them all before they die! haha...what a plan.

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  35. Your herbs look great! Don't you love it when you think one plant is going to die, so you start planning for the next batch, then everything ends up living and you have more plants than you expected!

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    1. Thank you, Pamela. I couldn't agree more. It's always nice to have something "back" when you think you were losing it. ;)

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  36. I love having fresh herbs growing in my garden in the summer! They just make everything taste so much better when you grow and cut them yourself :) My favorites are basil, parsley, thyme and tarragon but I grow many more.

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