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Seasons Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden

Season's Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden

Yesterday, I went for my annual trek to see the holiday exhibit at the USBG. Fortunately for me and the many other visitors, the Botanic Garden has not been shut down due to government closures. Every time I go to the USBG, I am so glad that I went and am thankful that we have such a marvelous collection of botanical specimens right here in Washington, D.C. Visitors from around the world marveled right along with me at the variety of plants and the seasonal train exhibit. Read all about it...

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Herbal Desserts for the New Year

Herbal Desserts for the New Year

Recently, at my daughter Lucie's wedding instead of a wedding cake, we had a dessert table. Lucie and Matt decided to have a selection of some favorite desserts, which our friend and caterer Anna Saint John created. Since I had a number of requests for recipes, I am posting or linking them here.

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Winter Solstice Wedding

Winter Solstice Wedding

The winter holiday season has begun--yesterday was the winter solstice--and today the full cold moon shines bright in the night sky. Yesterday, we celebrated the marriage of my daughter Lucie to Matt, the love of her life. We used the herbs and greenery of the season with lots of candlelight and sparkly fairy lights to add to the magic of the day.

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Garden Fun for Kids in New Orleans

Garden Fun for Kids in New Orleans

Can't let my recent visit to the Big Easy go by without reporting about two really fun places for kids (both young and old)--if you live there--don't miss these gardens. If you are a visitor or wannabe, put these on your must do list.

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Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans

Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans

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Recently had a taste of the sweet, sunny South--left Maryland in 23-degree weather and arrived in New Orleans to 60 degrees with leaves still on the trees and many plants in bloom. Headed for a favorite garden spot to visit: Longue Vue Gardens. Enjoy the sunshine in the gardens even if it is cold where you are!

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Awesome Easy Cranberry-Orange Relish

Awesome Easy Cranberry-Orange Relish

Cranberries are a staple of the Thanksgiving table. I am not one to appreciate a quivery, jelly-like mass. I go for the gusto--texture, flavor and freshness. This is the best cranberry relish that I have ever eaten--has three simple seasonal ingredients-- and it takes just 5 minutes to make!

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Hoecakes are Better than Cornbread!

Hoecakes are Better than Cornbread!

Many folks have asked me to share this recipe, which Tina Marie Wilcox and I prepared at the Herb Harvest Fall Festival. They are great hot off the griddle. Quite honestly, I like them better than cornbread--they are fun to eat--and they travel well and are less crumbly than cornbread. You can make them large or small depending upon what you are doing with them They make a killer grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of onion and/or tomato!

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Harvest Season Celebrations and Events

Harvest Season Celebrations and Events

The end of October-beginning of November brings about the close and celebration of the harvest season as well as a few seasonal celebrations. October 31 is All Hallow's Eve or Halloween,and it is the beginning of Samhein in Ireland and Day of the Dead in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

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International Herb Association Conference 2018

International Herb Association Conference 2018

This year's IHA conference in Mountain View, Arkansas, was full of memorable moments--from seeing dear old friends, field trip to Missouri and Baker Creek and Sweetwater Land Trust, fun and educational programs from a variety of speakers, great vendors--to the annual awards banquet and auction and time in the Heritage Herb Garden (even in the rain).

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Citrus Hop Bitters

Citrus Hop Bitters

Nearly everyone who tastes these bitters, asks for the recipe. So I am sharing it here so you can make your own--they are easy to make and store for years (if they last that long). This recipe is published in Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 by the International Herb Association.

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Botanical Brews at the U.S. National Arboretum

Botanical Brews at the U.S. National Arboretum

Catching up on some recent events--one that was new and fun was the Botanical Brews evening at the USNA--what a setting for a party! Last spring, they erected wonderful bamboo hop trellises at the entrance to the herb garden to support the hop vines. the hops were green and hung with strobiles, which was the perfect backdrop to our HSA educational table complete with tastings of Citrus Hop Bitters as guests strolled through the gardens sampling local craft beer.

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Celebrate the Foods, Plants and Folkways of the Southern United States

Celebrate the Foods, Plants and Folkways of the Southern United States

We are gearing up for the 29th Annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival 2018 and Lavish Herbal Feast 6 PM October 4, 2018.The Herb Harvest Fall Festival Workshop is October 5 & 6, 2018 and we will be celebrating the Culinary, Medicinal and Gardening Traditions of the Southern United States, South of U.S. Highway 40. You won't want to miss this event!

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Lowcountry Cooking

Lowcountry Cooking

For my upcoming program "Exploring Traditional Southern Foods and Lowcountry Cooking" at the Ozark Folk Center, I took a trip to the lowcountry in South Carolina--here are some of the foods that were tasted--and what you have to look forward to for the Herb Harvest Fall Festival.

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Low Country Excursion

Low Country Excursion

I recently spent nearly a week in South Carolina doing research for my upcoming program: "Exploring Traditional Southern Ingredients and Lowcountry Cooking". Here are a few places I visited.

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Lemon Basil in the Kitchen

Lemon Basil in the Kitchen

Basil is to tomatoes what lemon basil is to peaches. Of course, this delightful lemon-flavored herb is wonderful with other seasonal foods, however it just complements a peach like nothing else.

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Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop

Although we are enjoying Hops, which is Herb of the Year 2018, we are gearing up for Agastache, Herb of the Year for 2019. Right now, mine and everyone's in my zone 7 neighborhood are in full summer heights. They are surrounded all day long by pollinators from bees to hummers and butterflies

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Bee Balm works for Insect Stings

Bee Balm works for Insect Stings

Monarda fistulosa isn't just called bee balm because it attracts bees and other pollinators--it also helps to ease their stings.

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Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Every year, the cycle of the seasons rolls around and we look forward to June 21st as we celebrate the Summer Solstice, which officially signals the first day of summer. The sun reaches its zenith in the sky; it is the day of longest light and the shortest night.

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Weeds: The Gardeners Never-Ending Task

Weeds: The Gardener's Never-Ending Task

We have had lots of rain here in my Maryland, zone 7 garden. And with the rain, the weeds and grass have grown in leaps and bounds--way bigger than all of the carefully planted vegetables, herbs and flowers. So I spent the last three days weeding, which gave me lots of time to reflect on the subject.

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How to Create a Dream Pillow from Dried Herbs

How to Create a Dream Pillow from Dried Herbs

Hops have been used for centuries to brew beers and in infusions for medicinal purposes, however hops have many other uses as you can see in the following recipe for creating your own dream pillow. Herb Society of America members had a hands-on project last week where folks could make their own dream pillows and it was very popular. After a long day of gardening or a hard day at work, relax in a hot tub and then hop into bed with a dream pillow and sweet dreams!

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