Wednesday, September 3, 2014

End of summer garden tribute, Rob, Lil Bear, and Bennie, Shaved Beef Recipe for dinner - sooooo good!

Beeeeautiful blooming shamrocks!
This has been the rainiest summer I can remember for several years. Rain and thunder almost every day. And it has affected all the plants in our garden. Aren't gardens fascinating? Never the same from one year to the next.

On St. Patty's Day my husband brought me a couple of little tiny shamrock plants in small pots, (such a pleasure in March when winter's just letting go) and we babied them through early spring and planted them outside in larger pots when it was warm enough. I had no idea they could bloom like this. Usually they stay pretty small, and I've never seen them bloom before. They LOOOoooooVE this cool, wet weather.

Sweet purple Capanula capanuling with our dancing rabbit
I also love this little purple capanula plant that he brought home in a pot a few months ago. This one will sleep during the winter if we put it in the ground and come up under the warm spring sunshine next year.

The happy pot of zinnias and sanvitallia
We were sitting outside soaking up the twilight rays of sunshine before making dinner tonight and I noticed that the zinnias have the most interesting growth habit. There's a little crown of tiny flowers right in the middle of a whole big flower. I enjoyed imagining what kind of fairy might be playing around this one, all crowned with a wreath of flowers and sporting a flowing orange cape. Hm, maybe a painting to come inspired by that one....

This is one of our very favorites this year, called Evolvulus. We'd never had this one before, but I'd plant it again in a minute! The leaves, though I'm not sure the camera does them justice, are a very deep green, which is delicious, and the flowers are true blue, which is unusual and pretty hard to find aside from delphiniums and forget-me-nots. They really like when it rains and thunders - I pull them out from under the porch roof and into the rain and they spring up like they've just had their vitamins the next day (which they pretty much have, from the nitrogen in the rain).

Close-up of the Evolvulus blossom - blooms ALL summer!

Our jurassic fern
Every year we put a couple of ferns out and we like to replant them in some really large baskets. They grow sooooo big and I love them! I like the way the new leaves have pale green tips and the mature ones are more blue. I can't stand taking these down when the cold weather comes and I long for a greenhouse to overwinter them. We visited a conservatory a few years ago and I remember seeing a fern that was many many years old, and absolutely HUGE. It was awesome. I adore ferns.

Bennie's getting some good sniffs!
We planted a bunch of herbs in various pots this year and we've really enjoyed it, and Bennie has too. He's standing behind the cilantro, which has bolted and flopped, time to put this pot away until next year.

Fresh oregano
We had all kinds of herbs growing and Rob popped out many times while cooking dinner to grab some fresh from the warm sunshine - nothing better!

Can't you just taste the parsley?!
Parsley is a great blood purifier.

Gorgeous mint!
We had three kinds of mint - chocolate mint, spearmint, and peppermint - so great for putting into a refreshing glass of iced tea.

Lavender - not for cooking but great for fragrance!
Gorgeous roses
Bridal veil

Brown-eyed Susan
Bunny and her begonias
This is what we do while the herbs and flowers grow : ))
Little Gnome garden sculpture serenading everyone under the maple tree
Unexpected surprises
So after enjoying the garden it was time to make dinner and I'd picked out a recipe for shaved beef, which we love, but I'm never quite sure what to do with it. Tonight we SCORED. I downloaded a recipe from the Internet - which was interesting, since it included some ingredients but didn't say what to do with them, and didn't include others which appeared in the instructions. We figured it out and it was soooooooo good.

Here's some visiting time with Rob and Lil Bear, who was flirting cause it was just about his supper time too (Lil Bear that is).

Lil Bear is flirting for his supper.
Flirting with the camera too. I'll give him anything he wants!
Bennie is watching an ant cross the patio. He's got bling!

My LOoooooOOooooove. Lil Bear. He's got man whiskers.
So after our garden time it was time to feed the pups and make dinner. 

Rob and Jen's Condiment Store
I felt like I could open a store with all the ingredients that were listed on the recipe. Note that I'm the one who bought the Four Ingredient Cook Book, which I love. I felt sort of intimidated by so many ingredients for this recipe but it was worth it.

Really eye rolling yummy
I think there's a lot to be said for really good cooking in that it creates complexities of flavor that are out of this world. This recipe I'd definitely recommend. This is shaved beef with spicy green beans - really really good. It doesn't explain what kind of pepper to use so we sprinkled on some ground pepper and also diced up some green pepper which we cooked along with the onions and garlic. And it doesn't say what the heck to do with the sauce, which we poured over the meat/green bean mixture just before taking it off the heat. If you try it, I bet you'll love it! Let me know.

Here's to end of summer, beginning of beautiful fall, garden tributes, and sweet time with hubby and pups!



  1. Lovely post. My garden is so sad this year. We relined the fish pond after losing all our fish in last year's harsh winter, even though we heat it. The pond project caused relandscape too with plant moved all over the place. Next year I'll have great pictures again. I loved seeing yours.
    xx, Carol

  2. Aw, a few years ago my husband lost all his fish to a cold winter and it's so sad when that happens. That was at a different house, and we no longer have a pond. We can go to the Arboretum and see the koi at the lily pond though, and we enjoy that. Will look forward to seeing some pictures of your garden next year!