Growing Ornamental Oregano Kirigami for Containers

Kirigami is an ornamental oregano that is borderline hardy in my zone 5 garden. I planted some in my garden in 2023, we shall see if it overwinters. Having said that, Kirigami makes a great, drought-tolerant annual in containers. Plants have light green foliage with purple bracts and pink flowers that droop over the edges… Read more »

Growing Heliotrope From Seed

Heliotrope has a lot of flower characteristics that make it a perfect annual for both containers and in the garden. It has clusters of old-fashioned purple-blue blooms, a sweet, almost vanilla-like scent, and Heliotrope is deer tolerant. FAVOURITE VARIETIES AND SOURCES There are not a lot of choices when it comes to seed propagation. For… Read more »

Growing Coleus From Seed and Cuttings

I waffle every year on whether or not I want to have any coleus in my containers. I prefer coleus when it’s smaller, so it acts as a foliage accent. Containers of huge overflowing coleus just don’t appeal to me. The problem is coleus likes to grow big. Cutting it back too often leads to… Read more »

Growing Dichondra – Hard to Germinate?

I love Silver Falls Dichondra dripping densely from my containers. Buying 40 or so plants a year is expensive, so I decided to try to germinate from seed in 2023. I tried both Silver Falls and Emerald Falls. I found germination difficult (especially Emerald Falls) and growth slow. I thought about over-wintering a mother-plant, but… Read more »

Growing Ageratum – Both Tall and Short

I grew Ageratum for the first time in 2023. Floss flower has a lovely soft purple colour that blends well with darker purples, deep and light pinks, whites, and silver foliage plants, so it was a great addition to my preferred container colour pallet. Ageratum is a long bloomer with little deadheading required. Deadheading shorter… Read more »

Coconut Zucchini Loaf

Another variation of a summer staple that uses up fresh zucchini grown in the garden. I also freeze extra loaves for the winter. This makes 2 loaves. INGREDIENTS 3 cups white flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 2 cups white sugar 1 cup vegetable… Read more »

Pineapple Zucchini Loaf

This is a nice change from regular zucchini loaf. It has a kind of morning-glory muffin taste but is easy to make since it’s in loaf form, and of coarse, uses up more of those summer zucchinis. Makes 2 loaves INGREDIENTS 4.5 cups flour 1.5 teaspoons baking powder 1.5 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt… Read more »

Beef Chop Suey

I make this in my large dutch oven Marinade together (can do a day ahead, but with instant pot this isn’t as necessary) 800g beef cubes (from chuck or sirloin roast) 1 tablespoon flour 1/4 cup soy sauce Mis en place 1 large onion, sliced end to end 2 celery stalks, diced small (because we… Read more »

My Pie Crust Recipe – Food Processor

After some testing I decided that the best pie crust is 50/50 butter and shortening. I make mine in the food processor which requires a little more water I find. 8 T butter (1/2 cup / 113 grams) 8 T shortening (1/2 cup / 95 grams) 2 3/4 cup cake & pastry flour (325 grams)… Read more »

Farmboy (ish) Mushroom Kale Soup

This is based on the recipe published by the Ottawa Citizen for Farmboy Mushroom Kale Soup. I’ve increased the serving portions, and use more herbs and chicken broth instead of water for more flavour. I also changed the order of some of the steps to reduce the mushrooms so it fit in my dutch oven… Read more »