Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bloomin' Tuesday!

The heat is on
but we've got some hearty plants
that can take it!

morning glory vine


sweet potato vine

morning glory vine

morning glory and thryallis

native petunia

African iris




Looks like this lil' guy doesn't mind
the scorching days of summer!

Enjoy your garden today, y'all!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Extend Yourself!

Before moving to Central Florida,
I wasn't that much into gardening.
Now I can't get enough.

The local extension center
is a wealth of information.
Their workshops, festivals and plant sales
have been featured
on Maple Hill many times.
Here is a list of just some of the knowledge
that can be acquired with this valuable resource.

Florida-Friendly Landscape Classes
to increase understanding of native or adaptive plants
that will thrive in the local climate.

Online Workshops
for those who cannot attend live classes
but are still eager to learn.

List of Demonstration Gardens
to enjoy and get a visual presentation
of design and plant selection.

Calendar of Events
to increase knowledge on a myriad of subjects.

4-H Program
so that kids can start a life-long love
of environmental hobbies.

Hurricane/Disaster Information
so that preparations can be made
in the event of life's uncertainties.

Take some time to explore
your local extension service.
You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mimi's Back...

It's been a loooong week...

I'll update soon.
Thanks for all the prayers and kind thoughts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Supper in a Hurry

Some days are busier than others.
Although I have my menu-by-the-month plan,
there are days when I want something made lickity-split.
This is one of my go-to dishes
when I'm almost due at work and
Big K is just walking in the door.
It can be very versatile, depending on your likes.
We serve it over rice or pasta,
or even over homemade rolls.

2 C frozen veggies (we used peas & carrots)
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 t salt
1 t poultry seasoning
1 1/2 T flour
1/2 C veggie broth (or chicken broth)
2 cans albacore tuna (or chicken)

Sautee onion in a skillet 5 minutes with olive oil. 
Add veggies and seasonings, cook until tender.
Add flour and stir 1 minute.
Add veggie broth and stir until gravy
is the desired thickness.
Mix in tuna.

*For a gluten-free version,
just add gf flour mix instead of all-purpose flour.

Love those one-pot wonders!

Brown gravy is made using homemade chicken
(or veggie) stock
and a bit of flour (or gf flour mix) cooked with the veggies.

Next time you're in a hurry to put supper on,
use this delicious and easy go-to stew.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday-Foaming Soap

Before I found this recipe,
I had never owned foaming soap.
Although I'm not ready to start making soap from scratch,
(it IS on my list of skills to master),
this easy project can save money and add to the products
that can be made simply.

Here's all you need:

1/4 C castille soap
1 C distilled water
foaming soap dispenser

Add soap,
then water slowly, so as not to encourage suds.
Pump away!

Thanks to Susy for the original recipe.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bloomin' Tuesday

We've been getting steady rain.
It's like the Florida from days of old.
You won't hear one complaint from me!

So much for solarizing, eh?
Not to worry, rain chances are decreasing
as the week progresses.

cotton plant

gloriosa daisy

maple tree


sweet potato vine and thryallis

first blooms on this unusual specimen

sweet potatoes growing as a border


a new mystery plant

It made itself at home among the zinnias
and has delicate pink blooms on it around May.

Here's the Maple Hill Mascot,
just hangin' around.

Have a lovely day, y'all!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Solarizing

With our annual vacation looming,
I thought it would be a good time to
solarize the veggie garden.
It's too early to start any real growing,
so it seemed like a good idea to use the time
to improve the garden bed.
That way, when we get back,
new seeds can get a good start.

The veggie garden is a mess!
I've had mediocre success growing veggies,
but hopefully I'll get better with practice.

This thyme plant was relocated to another area.
It's used often for cooking,
so it's now closer to the back door by the kitchen.

Fresh soil mix was added to fill in.
This one contained fertilizer already mixed in.

Smoothed over and we're ready to roll!

We have large trash bags,
so that's what we used.

A staple gun is a handy tool for a job like this.

Bake away!
The goal is to have a healthy planting bed in about 4-6 weeks.
Maybe the heat will have ebbed by then!

For more information on this technique,
follow these links: