Using the Herbs We Grow

I noticed that there is a lot of basil in the garden. Did you know basil makes a refreshing summer drink?

Here’s the recipe: 4 lemons, 2 limes, 1 cup fresh basil leaves and one-half cup sugar and 4 cups water.

On the stove, dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of water, add basil and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for five minutes, take it off the heat and let it cool completely.  Strain into a glass pitcher and add remaining water.  Squeeze the lemon and lime juices into the water. Add ice and serve with a sprig of fresh basil as a garnish.

If you have a recipe to share, send it along and I will post it for everyone.

Greta’s Colorful Garden

You can’t miss Greta’s garden.  Hers is the plot with pinwheels, whirligig birds, toadstools and flamingos.  It is the garden that children visitors run to and the one that makes everyone smile.

Not sure which one it is?

Here’s a photo of Greta and her plot in the Saratoga Springs Community Garden at Wesley. 

Monet’s Garden

I was out at the Wesley garden site this morning and there are piles of earth ready to be turned into our new Saratoga Springs Community Garden at Wesley.  I believe the goal is to have the beds ready right after Memorial Day. I know time is of the essence and gardeners are itching to plant.

In the meantime, if you have the chance you might want to consider a road trip to the New York Botanical Garden to see the exhibit on Monet’s Garden. I went yesterday and can say with confidence and it will be an inspiration for this season and many seasons to come.

If you go, start at the Mertz library, 6th floor, where there is an exhibit that includes letters of Monet about the garden, photos of the artist, two rarely seen paintings and his actual paint encrusted palette. Once you are done there walk to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory where NYBG’s staff have recreated extended flower borders reminiscent of Monet’s garden and overflowing with colorful blooms, fragrance, textures, and varying heights for visual interest.

Many of the plants are those Monet grew and the combinations are breathtaking. It is no wonder Monet called his garden his most beautiful masterpiece.

The exhibit runs from May 19 to October 21 and it is meant to be viewed multiple times through the coming months. The flowers will be replaced as they fade and the seasons change.

When I heard the NYBG purchased six of the seven water lilies that grew in Monet’s garden from Latour-Marliac, the same French nursery that Monet ordered from, I knew I would be visiting this garden again this summer when the lilies bloom. The seventh water lily is no longer available.

To see more photos visit my other blog: http.www.whatsnataliedoing.wordpress.com

Perhaps once the community garden is up and running, we can talk about different “garden related” road trips to nurseries, an exhibit or a special garden tour. Are you interested?