Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hemingway, Bond (James Bond), and Me

My Mojito

Let's talk about that tasty little Cuban cocktail known as the mojito.  I like it on a hot summer evening;  the fictitious Mr. Bond drank it in Die Another Day; and the very real Hemingway enjoyed it at the place where it was invented:  La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana.

You can find lots of recipes for it on the Internet.  Most generically call for mint, others are more specific and use spearmint.  But you don't want just any mojito, do you?  You want the real deal and that means using Mojito Mint. This is the first year I've seen it at my local nursery so of course I snapped it up.  Aside from being a great cocktail ingredient, it's also a pretty great plant, provided you plant it alone in a pot because, like all mints, it has a very invasive growth habit.  
Mojito Mint

Mojito Mint is not demanding; it likes full to part sun.  Keep it watered and it will grow up to 36" although mine is closer to about 18" probably because the small pot I have it in has limited its growth.  It's hardy to zone 5 and lives happily surrounded by all sorts of other plants.


Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Old Faithful

Heuchera "Obsidian"
There are some plants that you know you can rely on.  Heuchera is one of them.  It has never failed me, not once.  Oh sure, I've exposed a couple of them to more sun than they would like.  And they've protested a bit, but they've stuck with me.  These are the types of plants with which I am more generous with my real estate.  Altogether I probably have about ten varieties of heuchera scattered about in mixed containers.  They like part sun and most are hardy to zone 4.  In the spring, they shoot up some nice little delicate blooms, but when those fade, you still have the glory of its foliage.  One I particularly like is "Obsidian."  It has glossy purple, almost black leaves.  Fabulous if paired with a vibrant green or chartreuse plant.  Heuchera comes back strong every year, in fact, you'll have to divide it after about three years or so.  Fine by me.  More is better.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Book

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Makings for a Great Salad

Grape tomato harvest
Yellow bell pepper
There's not much more to say in this post other than "Yum!"  Here are some pictures of the edible things I have growing in containers.  The particular lettuce in the picture has made it through the summer without bolting (going to seed).  That's rare in a lettuce as it much prefers cool weather so I'll definitely be growing it again.  My grape tomatoes are super sweet; you can just pop these straight into your mouth.  It's a huge plant, by the way--I'm glad I got a tall support for it.  I'm also growing yellow pear tomatoes.  I didn't fertilize the tomatoes at all this year other than when I first planted them and I've had more than enough.  Also, I grew red and yellow bell peppers.  They start off green (see the smaller one above the yellow pepper shown here).  You just have to leave them on the plant to wait for them to turn color.  You don't have to wait though; you can eat them green.  But I like a yellow or a red pepper because it's sweeter.  

Lettuce (from seed)
So there you have it:  Delicious salad; comin' right up!
Yellow pear tomatoes

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books