Posts in Garden
Kumquat-Cardamon Tea Bread
Kumquat-Cardamon Tea Bread, Perfect for a  Gift

Kumquat-Cardamon Tea Bread, Perfect for a  Gift

 

If you are lucky to have a kumquat tree, you must have this recipe, Kumquat-Cardamon Tea Bread from Bon Appétit November 2005. The secret ingredient is 2 cups of kumquat puree and maybe another secret ingredient, crushed pineapple in its own juice. Wow! Such a moist and delicious tea bread. This recipe makes 2 large loaves, or several mini gift loaves. Topping each tea bread with a citrus glaze and slices of kumquat makes this a beautiful presentation! Enjoy!

Kumquats are very versatile and can be used in meat sauces, salads, and sweets. Kumquats can easily jump between sweet and savory, and beckons you to use your imagination. 

 
Kumquat Trees Can Be Grown in a Container

Kumquat Trees Can Be Grown in a Container

 

Digging into my archives here is my post on Knock-Out Kumquats, from November 2008, for more information about growing kumquats in your garden. Do you have a kumquat in your garden?

 

 

Follow Your Inner Urn-Ing

For some time I have wanted an urn in my garden, an urn that was simple but gave a nice touch to the garden. Urns are easy, as they can be planted, take the weather, moisture, and look great just where they are placed.

So in my mind, I began the hunt for the perfect white urn. Why white, because I have two existing white fountains, white is in my garden color palette, and I have a white stucco home. White is a theme. I have found white urns are a bit harder to find than other colored urns. 

So my journey began to find a white urn that would work well in my garden. In my travels and every day life, I came across fabulous urns and began to have "urn envy."

Recently, I stumbled across an urn that I thought would look great in my garden. I should say "urns" as I found three, and made a little vignette. Where did I placed these urns? In a perfect spot, the olive grove. Interestingly, these urns are almost a collage of the fabulous urns I had seen and been admiring, only better, because they seem perfect for my garden in color, form and size. Their white color draws your eye to their heavenly spot, in a most simple and natural way.

Urns in My Olive Grove

Urns in My Olive Grove

I found urns for my garden, at the most surprising place, HomeGoodsThese urns are very reasonable and beautifully handcrafted in Mexico by local artisans. Suggestions to find urns for sale are nurseries, garden shops, flea markets, and home decor stores. Know what you are looking for, and keep your eyes open!

A Summer of Tomatoes
Luscious Cherry Tomatoes From the Garden

Luscious Cherry Tomatoes From the Garden

It has been a splendid tomato summer! Volunteer cherry tomatoes from last summer's plants joyfully returned without a nudge. I had the sweetest cherry tomatoes from May through July. The best recipes are the simplest. I washed the tomatoes, halved them, tossed them with fresh Basil Temecula Olive Oil, dried basil for further basil flavor layering and extra intense flavor, freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper, and kosher salt. I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for a half hour. At this point the cherry tomatoes caramelize and are ready to be tossed over my favorite pasta or zucchini-spiraled sauteed pasta. It doesn't get any better than this!

"Dressed to Thrill" Cherry Tomatoes

"Dressed to Thrill" Cherry Tomatoes

In July, the beefy big boys started making an appearance, Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, and Renee's Garden Crimson Carmello, a top flavor "French tomato variety renowned for exquisite flavor." I used these tomatoes for summer sandwiches and sumptuous salads.

Cherokee Purple and Renee's Garden Dark Green Raven Zucchini

Cherokee Purple and Renee's Garden Dark Green Raven Zucchini

In August, the Italian San Marzano tomatoes and Inca Jewels Container Roma tomatoes (seeds from Renee's Garden) start ripening. I want to use the roma tomatoes for rich, flavorful tomato sauces. I sliced and froze the roma tomatoes for recipes for my fall upcoming "Lunch in Provence" Cooking Classes.

Jeweled Roma Tomatoes and Italian San Marzano Tomatoes

Jeweled Roma Tomatoes and Italian San Marzano Tomatoes

To have tomatoes all summer long, plant different varieties for different uses. Always plant a few new varieties to experiment with. Although I sent away for tomato seed varieties from Renee's Seeds, Home Depot had a good selection of different tomato seedling varieties such as Cherokee Purple, Indie Rose, and Lemon Boy.

"Life is endlessly delicious," treat yourself, a friend, or loved one to a fall "Lunch in Provence" Cooking Class! For more information, please visit, Cooking Classes.

 

Carolyne Roehm, Garden Glamour
Carolyne Roehm Signing Books After Her Presentation

Carolyne Roehm Signing Books After Her Presentation

The Prado at Balboa Park was the perfect setting for a rare San Diego visit last week by one of America’s most important tastemakers, Carolyne Roehm.  Roehm has been a part of American design culture for decades with career chapters in fashion, gardening, entertaining, publishing, and decorative arts.

Currently traveling the country promoting her latest book, Carolyne Roehm at Home in the Garden, The Village Garden Club of La Jolla was pleased to present Carolyne Roehm as this year’s “Meet the Master” grand event.  

“Meet the Masters” was inspired by one of the club’s founders, Adrienne Green, and is held yearly in her honor. Each year The Village Garden Club of La Jolla brings world-class floral designers to San Diego to speak and demonstrate their master floral creations. This educational event is a gift to the club’s members, the greater San Diego Community, and beyond.

Beautiful, stunningly statuesque, and dressed in a bone-colored monochromatic pant suit, Roehm spoke to over 230 devoted luncheon attendees in a warm and charming manner about her 33 years of personally creating and refining the pastoral lands, gardens, and ponds on her historic 1765 property in Connecticut called Weatherstone.

Roehm shared her incredible life’s ups and downs, paralleling her Weatherstone property’s ups and downs, often using metaphors between life and a garden.  One common thread throughout her life has been her love affair with flowers, and “a garden is a canvas for making colors, textures, and shapes.” Her passion for flowers is what drives her garden philosophy. She carries her garden palette, what she is planting, tying it through to her table, dishes, and what works best with what.

Roehm ended her presentation with one of her favorite quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you.”

A timely article from One King's Lane visits Carolyne Roehm at her Weatherstone home. For more information, visit Carolyne Roehm.

Entrance to The Prado, Balboa Park

Entrance to The Prado, Balboa Park












"Flora, Floats, and Fun" Article
Local 92024 Magazine, January/February 2016

Local 92024 Magazine, January/February 2016

Many thanks to my local 92024 Magazine, January/February 2016, for their "Flora, Floats, and Fun" article on page 42. Their recognition highlights how I was chosen to ride Scotts Miracle-Gro float in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade, with it's special California Grown certification.

I've been a resident of Encinitas for over thirty years, and know how much flower growing has been a rich part of Encinitas history. The sandy soil and temperate climate were ideal for flower and bulb growing. 

I was thinking of my Encinitas community on Rose Parade Day, honored to be representing my community, California home gardening, and symbolically bringing a little bit of Encinitas from my own garden, in the form of olive tree branches, rosemary, and lavender foliage to be on the float along side me.

Miracle-Gro Garden Interview

Dirty hands are all in a day's work for Bonnie Jo Manion. That's because this avid garden writer, speaker and photographer knows first-hand that working the soil is what it takes to create beautiful things others can enjoy.

It is official, the Miracle-Gro Rose Parade website is up and running with news, announcements, and details on their upcoming float. Miracle-Gro is the Official Rose and Flower Care Company for the fourth year in a row for the Rose Parade, and this year is especially meaningful as their float will be "California Grown" certified. This means that 85% or more of the flowers and plant material will have been grown in California. Today 98% of the roses in the United States currently come from outside of the country. Miracle-Gro is the first major brand to take this hugely visible step to support California Flower Farmers, The California Cut Flower Association, and invite customers like myself to supply flowers and plant material for their float.

Last month the talented film crew for Miracle-Gro visited my garden for a garden interview and a first-hand look at what plant material I will be sharing from my garden for their float as one of the "Miracle-Groers."  In the video you can see the olive tree, lavender, and rosemary cuttings which will make the symbolic journey. 

Maybe I should explain what are "Miracle-Groers" and why they were selected. Four Southern California gardeners and two California flower farmers  were chosen to participate as "Miracle-Groers" and grow flowers and plant material from their gardens and farms that will be used on the float. Not only were "Miracle-Groers" selected on their ability to provide flowers and plant material, they have demonstrated a passion for sharing and inspiring gardening in their communities and beyond, and providing helpful tips and information for conserving water during the state-wide drought. We all are honored to be riding the Miracle-Gro CAGrown "2016 Farm to Float" together at the Rose Parade this coming New Year's Day. Meet the Miracle-Groers, with their interesting backgrounds and stories.

 

Teak for the Table

Teak Containers Can Be Beautiful

Teak is not just for furniture anymore, teak has evolved into accessories for your garden, outdoor rooms, and patios, too. The same teak principles apply to teak accessories, in that they age to a beautiful gray patina, withstand weather, and overall are very durable.

If planting a teak container, you will want to line the inside container with a plastic bag or plastic lining before adding your soil, plant material, and moss. If you plant a succulent such as this Sticks on Fire (Red Pencil Tree), Euphorbia tirucalli, in the photo, this container will require little water to maintain it.

Besides plant containers, you can find versatile teak accessories for hanging on walls, serving bowls, trays, art objects, and the list goes on. One source for teak accessories is Teak Closeouts. 

Think teak for timeless and trouble-free.

 

 

Lady Who?

Inspired by my trip to Provence, France in the fall of 2014, I finally finished a part of my garden which had been vacant for five years. I had been waiting for the design to come to me in my head. Mind you, I had played with the design on paper too. I had to consider several things, 1) it had to work seamlessly with my existing boxwood garden, 2) it had to be drought-tolerant, 3) it had to have pathways and access, 4) it had to have year-round interest, 5) it had to draw you into the garden as our west deck and home overlooks it--and it is part of our ocean view and horizon, and last 5) it had to call to my soul. That is a tall order!

My mind was fresh from visiting some of the best "earthy and elegant" world-class gardens Provence has to offer. It was a chance page-turning moment however, in Louisa Jones' Gardens in Provence where I saw a small 2-3/4" x 2" color photo of a garden similar to what I had envisioned in my head. I had my design, and could move forward.

The design is simple. It consists of four African boxwood parterres created by pathways. Within each parterre is a "Tiny Tower" Cypress, Goodwin Creek Lavender, and Irene rosemary. Goodwin Creek Lavender is an excellent landscape lavender as it blooms nearly year-round and has great gray foliage against purple blooming spikes. Irene rosemary also blooms profusely, with a low-mounding shape. The inside parterre hedging is flowering dwarf myrtle.

Soon after that, luck was on my side when I found this beautiful "Venus de Milo-esque" fountain at my favorite consignment shop. She was a "lady" with a presence, and the centerpiece for my new garden. She stands on a pedestal and a large basin. A small quiet stream of water arches out of a dolphins mouth at her base. She provides a cooling effect for the garden and a soft gurgle noise to tweak your senses.

Here she is on the first day in our garden when everything was still a vision. As the garden continues to grow, I think this fountain needs a name, Lady Who? Obvious ladies to name her after are Lady Di, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum--you get the picture. Please comment and share, if you think you have a great name for her.