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Roadside Attractions: Seasons Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden

Roadside Attractions: Season's Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden

Went for my annual visit to view the U.S. Botanic Garden's Holiday Show and I wasn't disappointed! This year's theme is Roadside Attractions and it is a fun exhibit. Besides that, it is always lovely to enter the conservatory where it is delightfully warm to come in out of the cold and full of tropical blooms, stunning array of poinsettias, and impressive holiday decorations from decorated trees to hanging baskets, wreaths and more. Don't miss a chance to visit this live or go online and check it out. https://www.usbg.gov/plan-your-holiday-visit

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Early December Garden to Kitchen

Early December Garden to Kitchen

We have had a mild autumn/winter season thus far in my zone 7 Maryland garden. Still able to do chores in the garden and bring in bounty to create warming seasonal dishes. Time for harvesting whatever is still available, cleaning up the garden, last-minute planting, getting ready for the holidays and wood chores. What are you up to in your garden and kitchen?

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Botanical Notecards: Make your own holiday cards and gifts

Botanical Notecards: Make your own holiday cards and gifts

It's not too late to press flowers and leaves of annuals and perennials to make your own botanical cards for holiday greetings or gift giving.

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Herb Harvest Fall Festival Celebrates Central America, the Caribbean Basin and Mexico

Herb Harvest Fall Festival Celebrates Central America, the Caribbean Basin and Mexico

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Every year at the Ozark Folk Center's HHFF, we celebrate different regions of the globe and see how they relate back to the Ozarks. This year we celebrated some of the tropical areas and had a Caribbean-Style Lavish Herbal Feast and two days of inspiring educational programs featuring Mexico, the countries on the Isthmus of Central America and the many islands in the Caribbean. Read about all of the fun that we had.

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Hop Happy

Hop Happy

We had a pre- and post-conference tour for the IHA conference and both were fun and action-packed. However the post conference tour to visit hop farms and breweries was a daylong sensory experience that I won't forget.

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Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek , Michigan

Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek , Michigan

On a recent road trip to Michigan, we happened upon the Leila Arboretum--and what a find! If you are in the neighborhood--go check it out! Wonderful gardens and a great place for kids; this is one not to miss.

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International Herb Association Conference in Michigan featuring Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

International Herb Association Conference in Michigan featuring Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

Last week the IHA held their conference in Hickory Corners, Michigan at the Kellogg Biological Station, which is a great place to hold a conference and be in nature at the same time. There's walking trails along Gull Lake, an amazing number of beautiful old trees, a bird sanctuary, the Manor House and more.

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More Tomatoes!

More Tomatoes!

The tomatoes are peaking here in my Maryland zone 7 garden. A bit of cooler temps slowed them down a bit... however we are picking and eating them everyday--and sharing them. I know there are infinite ways of eating tomatoes. Besides just sliced with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, here are a few ways that I am enjoying these mouthwatering fruits.

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Tomato Time!

Tomato Time!

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Well it is that time of year again... the tomatoes have started coming in so that I feel abundantly blessed. By next week, I might feel tomato deluge. I love a dead-ripe, juicy homegrown tomato--there is nothing like it--here's a few ways that I am eating them without having to cook much.

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Summer Heights

Summer Heights

Summer is near about peaking. Plants are reaching for the sun and growing fast in this heat, so there are many tall annuals and perennials in the garden. Pictured are a few that stand out.

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Visit Your Local Botanic Garden

Visit Your Local Botanic Garden

Last weekend was the You Can Grow It! Festival at the U.S. Botanic Garden. There was a good turnout and visitors got to pot up an herb plant and a carnivorous plant, view a beehive and taste honey, observe insect activity in the Butterfly Garden, smell the roses in the Rose Garden, enjoy the native blooms in the Regional Garden and then cool of in the Conservatory while enjoying the many plant collections from tropicals and medicinals to rare & endangered. There is always something going on at your local Botanic Garden or Arboretum--and an everchanging seasonal landscape--so find one near you and go visit!

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Herbs Rock in Little Rock!

Herbs Rock in Little Rock!

The first weekend in May, the Herb Society of America held their annual conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The theme was "Herbs Rock in Little Rock!" and indeed they do. The Little Rock and Ozark Units and the planning committee did a great job from herbal wreaths, homemade vinegars and shrubs as centerpieces to setting up a fun vendor space featuring all things herbal, a great lineup of speakers, dinner at the governor's mansion and three field trips.

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Seasonal Foods for Spring: Strawberries & Rhubarb

Seasonal Foods for Spring: Strawberries & Rhubarb

Besides the stirring of life in the garden, the welcome appearance of the harbingers of spring, other signs of the season are produce like fresh salad greens both cultivated and wild, leeks and spring onions, morels, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb.

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Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden

On the road in the southern U.S.--just visited the Memphis Botanic Garden--the herb garden there is popping springtime. See what is showing out there.

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Strawberry Shrub

Strawberry Shrub

In my travels down South lately, I've been doing programs on capturing the essence of herbs. One easy, seasonal recipe that I have been preparing with an enthusiastic response is strawberry shrub with lemon balm. It is simple, mouthwatering and a perfect blend of seasonal flavors.

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Great Gardens in California

Great Gardens in California

California has many micro-climates and is able to grow many rare plants from around the world. Two incredible gardens not to miss are the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. While SFBG is a unique area within the Golden Gate Park with world-renowned gardens, UCSCA is spread out on 135 acres overlooking the Monterey Bay. Here are just a few photos of some striking and/or rare botanicals found in these gardens.

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Coastal California

Coastal California

On my recent visit to California, I hiked in the majestic redwood forest, walked on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, and visited gardens from the San Francisco Botanic Garden to the arboretum at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Come take a little trip with me...

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 Favorite Gardening Tool: Hori Hori Update

Favorite Gardening Tool: Hori Hori Update

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I've had my hori hori (Japanese weeding knife) for more than 25 years. It is the tool that I use most often in the garden other than my Felcos. I have bought many of these useful tools for gifts. This past summer I went online to order one for a gift and found a new and improved model... read all about it...

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Herbal Products for 2017

Herbal Products for 2017

I had planned on doing a blog about favorite herbal products for holiday gifts, however this is an even better time to post some of these amazing creations--for the new year--and to help get us through the cold and dark days ahead. I want to extol the virtues of some herbal businesses that I know and use on a regular basis from growers, purveyors, bloggers and creators of delicious and delightful herbal products.

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Holiday Display at the United States Botanic Garden

Holiday Display at the United States Botanic Garden

Every year, I try to visit the USBG for each season, however the winter holiday display is one of the best--and this year it celebrates National Parks and Historic Places. The plant-based sculptures are absolutely incredible--a must see if you live in the area--or take a little tour right here.

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