Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Seeds Ordered So Far

Here's a list of seeds ordered so far:

From Select Seeds:

Morning Glory 'Scarlett O'Hara
Poppy 'Danish Flag'
Poppy 'Heirloom'
Poppy 'Imperial Pink'
Poppy 'Ladybird'
Poppy 'Lauren's Grape'
Poppy--Peony Black
Sweet Pea 'Chatsworth'
Sweet Pea 'Elegance French Blue'
Sweet Pea 'Mollie Rilestone'
Venus's Looking Glass

From Seeds of Change:

Orange Temple Bells Celosia
Texas Hummingbird Sage
Goldy Double Sunflower
Tiger's Eye Mix Sunflower
Belstar F-1 Broccoli
Corno Di Toro Pepper
Stupice Tomato
Famosa F-1 Cabbage

From Thomson and Morgan:

Sweet Pea Ballerina Blue
Sweet Pea Tickled Pink
Sweet Pea Apricot Sprite
Chrysanthemum - carinatum Sunset
Sweet Pea Zorija Rose
Sweet Pea Elegant Ladies
Salvia - patens
Pepper Gypsy Hybrid
Tomato Sungold

From Burpee:

Sweet Pea, Spanish Dancer
Corn, Ruby Queen
Pea Super Sugar Snap
Pepper Jalapeno False Alarm
Tomato Super Sweet 100
Tomato Bloody Butcher
Tomato Better Boy
Morning Glory Candy Pink

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sempervivums, Sedums and Hypertufa Revisited

A little over a year ago I posted about some recently acquired hypertufa pots and some plants to put in them. Well, not only did the plants I bought do well, but I went and bought some more pots from Fox Meadow up in Fort Collins, Colorado and then went hog wild buying plants. It didn't help that Timberline Gardens, a local nursery in Arvada, Colorado, has an unbelievably large variety of sedum and sempervivum. This variety, combined with Timberline's discount table where many cool plants can be had for only a $1, cause me to go crazy and buy way more plants than I had pots or gardens for. I guess I'll just have to get more pots and dig up more of the back yard.
The picture above shows the pot I pictured in the 2009, only all potted up with some sedums, sempervivums, jovibarba and a tiny dwarf ice plant. The pot below is my old, home made hypertufa pot filled with sempervivum Oddity, S. funckii and S. arachnoidium. Click on picture for a much bigger image:

The other new hypertufa pots from Fox Meadow are shown below, all planted up. Click on the pic for a bigger image:

Plus, there's a new pot made from left over Quikcrete and a bit of cement colorant:

And then there faux hypertufa, or as I like to call it, faux faux Tufa since hypertufa is meant to simulate tufa, which is a naturally occurring rock. These pots are made of Styrofoam boxes that have been roughed up and painted with leftover house paint and some acrylics.

All of the pots, whether they are hypertufa or styrofoam have plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.

The plastic pots planted up with sedums, iceplants and sempervivum in the spring filled in nicely:

It was fun the see the radical color and appearance change in the sempervivum throughout the year. These pictures show the color change Sempervivum Calcerum Pink Pearl went through from May to July (click for larger pics):

These pictures show the range of colors S. Spherette went through from May to September:

Sempervivum Fuego also undergoes a radical color change. Here it is from April to September:

As winter arrived, some became an intense shade of red, while others became more green. Some changed from blue green to purple. Some stayed pretty much the same. I have lots more pictures here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Now that winter is here, we make more suppers in the oven. One that my spouse makes is Sheperd's Pie. Traditionally, it's made with ground lamb, but we don't often have ground lamb so we use ground beef instead.

1 pound lean ground beef - we use 93% lean
2 eggs
1 cup oats
1 cup milk
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon Better than Bullion

cheddar cheese
enough mashed potatoes to cover the top

Stir the beef eggs, oats, milk barbecue sauce, bullion and onion all together like you would a meatloaf. Put this in the bottom of a 9 inch glass pie plate. Cover with a layer of cheddar cheese slices. Cover this with enough mashed potatoes to cover the top. Usually this is 6 medium pototatoes, smashed with some milk and a couple tablespoons of butter. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 and bake another 15 minutes.

This year we had some roasted sweet peppers and put a layer of those between the meat and cheese. That was excellent!

This feeds six people.