My Weekend

garden photos

What a lovely weekend I have just had.

I visited my parents and we all had the best time together. As I almost always do during these special visits, I took a stroll through the garden. It looks beyond amazing!

Of course, I took a few pictures for you to enjoy!

 

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garden in summer

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Can you see a squirrel?

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I am wishing you a lovely week!

With love,
Petra

 

Basil – Interesting Facts

basil facts

The first interesting fact about basil is that I’ve bought myself one.

Sorry!

But yes, buying a fresh potted basil was a gorgeous thing for me.

It is wonderful to look at, it smells divine, it requires very little care (just water, basically).

And, as I’ve also noticed, you can hardly run out of it even if you’re using the leaves in your kitchen quite often.

 
 
basil facts

Wonderful, gorgeous basil.

I love how the leaves look – all silky and shiny.

They smell strong and sweet.
 
 

basil facts

  • The name ‘basil’ is derived from the old Greek word basilikohn, which means ‘royal’, reflecting that ancient culture’s attitudes held towards this herb were very noble and sacred.
  • There are various kinds of  basil. The various basils have different scents because the herb has a number of different essential oils which come together in different proportions for various breeds. Cool, huh? The most common basil scents are lemon, clove, camphor and licorice.
  • Basil  is very sensitive to cold, with best growth in hot, dry conditions. It thrives in strong sunlight. It behaves as an annual if there is any chance of a frost. Keep that in mind if you keep your plant outside!
  • If you wish to propagate your plant, it can be done in two ways – from seed or from cuttings (with the stems of short cuttings suspended for two weeks or so in water until roots develop).
  • Yellow leaves towards the bottom of the plant are an indication that the plant has been stressed. Usually this means that it needs less water, or less or more fertilizer.
  • Don’t be afraid to pick the leaves. Picking the leaves off the plant helps promote growth, largely because the plant responds by converting pairs of leaflets next to the topmost leaves into new stems.
  • Scientific studies have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
  • Basil leaves are best used fresh and added only during the last few minutes of cooking.

 

I’ve used basil in some lovely, lovely recipes on this site:

basil facts

As in this delicious Parmesan Chicken.
 
 

basil facts

Or in this yummy Potato and Celery Soup.
 
 

basil facts

Oh, and in this Farfalle with Tomato and Cheese Sauce, too.

Yum!
 
 
basil facts

One morning I woke up and saw this on my plant!

I had never seen basil flowers before in my life so this view really got me.

Yes, I easily become overwhelmed by things like my plant’s first bloom.

It’s good to know that once your stem produces flowers, foliage production stops on that stem, the stem becomes woody, and essential oil production declines. To prevent this, you may pinch off any flower stems before they are fully mature. Because only the blooming stem is so affected, some stems can be pinched for leaf production, while others are left to bloom for decoration or seeds.

 
I just love basil!

It’s a miraculous plant with so much to offer.

And what about you? Do you already have a pot with fresh basil on your windowsill?
 

Garden Faces

I am sending you my warmest greetings from my Mom’s garden.

Yes…I am still here…house sitting for my parents…and it seems that it will last some more days.

If you wondered what I am actually doing here then I’d like to let you know that I am relaxing and enjoying every single minute of these days.

It’s so lovely and calm here.

Actually, it’s kind of a vacation for me – a couple of days being spent off my usual routine.
 
 

Yes, most of the time I look like this.

Then, when I feel like doing something more productive, I grab my camera and find myself a project to shoot and to show you.

This time I’ve decided to chronicle my Mom’s new addiction – recently she’s been really fond of acquiring various creatures with eyes for her garden.

And I love it.

Well, I’m her daughter.
 
 

I remember the times when my Mom used to say she never wanted to have things like these in her garden.

Ever!

But then, one special day, someone gave her one of these guys sand I suppose it pushed some major button in her brain that she didn’t even know existed and things started to happen really fast…
 
 

Every time I come to visit I find two or three new pieces of this rapidly growing collection.
 
 

Today I’ve found out that of all the animals or creatures frogs are most frequent here.
 
 

With mushrooms being a close second.
 
 

And snails – there’s a lot of those, too.
 
 

Look, another one.

Oh, I really love the attitude of the carried frendo.

Who knows where they’re going.
 
 

And this mole – he seems to be pretty pleased by having the opportunity to live in this garden as well.
 
 

Another pair of mushrooms.

They have already grown perfectly into this environment.
 
 

Mama frog and a baby frog.

Cute!
 
 

Don’t get scared.

It’s just a tree.

An old and smart tree.

It gives lectures every other day.

I sit and listen.
 
 

Dad likes to know everything about the weather by just looking out of the window.

Thanks to this helpful and colorful buddy, the direction of wind is clear.
 
 

I am completely in love with this little one.

He’s just lovable.
 
 

It’s clear – Mom adores frogs.

Don’t they look like real ones?

In fact, I gave my Mom this present and she loved it.

At least she said so…
 

Well, dear friends, I hope you enjoyed this crazy, head-spinning tour.

And of course, there’s more colorful and lovely stuff coming soon.

With love,

Petra
 

My First Root

This is a story about a blogger.

About one blogger whose sedentary lifestyle caused her to move so little that her body started a root the other day!

Okay, not really, but maybe one day…

And no – I have no clue who that blogger is!

Anyway…

The fact is that just recently – when I was writing about my new mint plant and taking pictures of it – I ended up with this sprig.

I felt sorry to just throw it away – it looked so strong and full of life.

That’s when I remembered my Mom who’s a real plant queen. She grows zillions of plants and it was very usual to see a glass filled with water in our house when I was growing up and in that glass there was a sprig of a plant starting new root.

So I thought to myself: ‘Hey, why not give that a try?’
 
 

About one week after I’d put the sprig in water I found this!

I guess I don’t even have to explain how astonished, happy and elated I felt after I’d noticed it.

That was the first plant in my life I helped to root.

I know it might sound silly but for some reason it felt terrific.

Maybe it was the prehistoric woman in me jumping for joy.

Yeah.

Probably.
 
 

So it was time to give my new mint plant a proper home.

Mint requires good drainage – this pot seemed to be just perfect.
 
 

I filled the pot with some soil that I’d bought in a store and placed the sprig in the middle.
 
 

Like this.
 
 

Don’t freak out!

Don’t.

I beg you – please, don’t you go crazy.

I’m just trying to help here.
 
 

I had a look at my ‘bigger’ mint plant and noticed that someone was smart and knew that if he/she snipped off the tip of the sprig – just above the leaves – the two leaves would turn into two new branches.

That way the plant gets bushier.

Clever, isn’t it?
 
 

I promise to show you this mint some time soon so that you see everything is alright.
 
 

Hey, but I have a new sprig now!

Awesome!
 
 

That’s one happy ending to this story, isn’t it?

I guess I will give this new mint plant to my Mom as a little thanks for what she’s taught me.

Oh, and if you ever come across a sprig of mint in your drink one day just remember that there’s no need to leave it there or throw it away.

Just bring it home, place it in water and watch the miracle of life unfold.

See you soon.

Love,
Petra