I remember the first time I ate a salad with herbs in it. Amidst all of the typical lettucey (not really a word, but I am going for it anyway) flavors was something deeper yet familiar. Dill! And Italian parsley! OMG – There are herbs in this salad!! I would never look at a salad the same way again. Fresh mint and oregano and basil were itching to get into my salad bowl, so I went to the market and bought a bunch of those little plastic boxes of fresh herbs. Some TV chef said, snip the ends and put them in a glass of water in the refrigerator, so I did what I was told. I snipped off some mint and sprinkled on some watermelon, and then promptly forgot about the herbs.
A couple of days later, I wanted to use my fresh herb bundle in some chicken salad. I opened the fridge only to be disappointed. The herbs were now droopy and well, icky looking, and not so fresh. What a waste of $10! That’s when I decided to invest a bit of time into growing my own. Fresh herbs are one of the easiest edibles for the…
Tagged with: basil
, culinary herbs
, culinary mint
, edible garden
, farmers' market
, garden care
, herb garden
, indoor garden
Confession time…When I was little, say 10 years old, my neighborhood friends and I would grab a pair of scissors to wander our neighborhood and steal prune flowers here and there from the beautiful gardens to give to our moms. We always told our moms that we cut the flowers the flowers from our friends’ yards, and our moms thought we were such generous and thoughtful children.
While I certainly don’t condone stealing your neighbors’ flowers, this little foray into the ‘dark side’ started a love of floral arrangements and flower gardens, and I am especially fond those that have that have that loose, gathered from the garden, inspired by Dutch master painters feel.
A reader asked me recently what are the best flowers to grow in a cutting garden. There are dozens of flowers that work well in floral arrangements – I mean you could dedicate your whole garden to roses! I thought I would help you out here and give you a list of 10 of my favorite flowers that are fairly easy to grow and look beautiful both in the garden as well as in the vase.
Choose flowers that have stiffer stems, have long lasting…
Today we tackle aphids, and planting strawberries and blueberries.
Bugs on my roses! Q: My roses are starting to bud, and I can’t wait to see them bloom, but now the buds are covered with tiny bugs. What are they, and how to I get rid of them?
A: I am afraid your roses have aphids on them. The tender buds are these insects’ favorite treats, and if left untreated, they will suck the life out of the buds. These soft bodied insects are usually pale green or brown and will suck the sap from almost any plant. There are several non-chemical/less toxic methods to controlling them.
A good blast with a hose will easily knock them off the plants. Do this in the early morning so the leaves will have time to dry. You will need to repeat this often. Lady bugs LOVE to eat aphids. Most nursery centers sell little containers of lady bugs. Sprinkle them on the affected plants at dusk (so they don’t fly away), and let them enjoy the buffet. Be warned though, the containers hold hundreds of lady bugs, so if you have a small yard, share some with a neighbor. Insecticidal soap spray.…
Tagged with: aphids
, edible garden
, garden pests
, patio garden
, rose garden
, soil pH
, strawberry pot
If you live in Southern California, unless you’ve been living in the dust under a rock, you know we are in the midst of a terrible drought. When it does rain, people get all excited; the local news media goes on “STORM WATCH!”; and the complaining starts. No one can drive in the rain. Mudslides! No one can drive in the rain (yes, I know I said that twice). People are taking this drought seriously. Dead and dying lawns pepper our neighborhoods (well, maybe not in Beverly Hills – appearances need to be kept up you know). We show pride in how dirty our cars are. We discuss the merits of grey water and rain barrels. And we jump for joy that our Mayor, Eric Garcetti, just approved an increase to the Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) turf removal rebate program. If you are approved, you can receive a rebate of up to $3.75 per square foot to get rid of your water thirsty lawn and replace it with drought tolerant plants.
Herein lies the problem. Pulling up the turf and popping in a few Agaves and other succulents probably won’t do much for the…
“The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery.” ― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education
Welcome to the Eden Condensed blog! So, finally three years after founding Eden Condensed and writing for various other blogs and publications, I’ve decided to work in my own garden as it were, to “cultivate wildness”, and launch my own blog. I think I have hesitated in starting a blog in the past because as much as gardening is my passion and my calling, I don’t always want to write about gardening. I find so many topics fascinating, and my observations of the world don’t always focus on plants.
So what will this blog be about? Well, first and foremost, it will be about gardening: garden design, planting tips, garden successes and failures, lessons learned from my favorite garden designers and clients, and lots of beautiful pictures. It will also be about my life in and about Los Angeles, my chickens, my…
Tagged with: chickens
, container gardening
, drought tolerant
, farm to table
, garden design
, garden designers
, herbal cocktails
, organic gardens
, planting tips
, small business
, small space gardening
, urban farm