We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, July 12. 2007
This remarkable site lists 450 gardens (alphabetically and by region) which are open for visiting, with photos of each along with history and design information. Gardens Guide.
Below is a garden at Bradenham Hall in Norfolk.
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You cannot beat an English Garden. A glass of Pimms makes it perfect.
Love how these major gardens can be enjoyed in complementary ways. There’s the close-in, sensing-sensual experience, in which man is embedded and almost lost in significance except as voyeur, intruder, or personal caregiver, as he walks through the plantings and paths, seeing, touching and smelling, hearing the wind on leaf, etc.
Then there’s the birds-eye, rational perspective showcasing a garden’s lay-out and grand themes revealed from a high point in the manor or terrain and boasting of man’s dominion over nature as lord and artist who would make a canvas of a particular piece of land, whether he make it formal or “natural”/romantic, and who would cultivate, train, prune and otherwise improve upon nature's specimens to fit his plan.
But this is too funny about some men's idea of dominion and rationality (via Drudge):
“Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday criticized the Kyoto Protocol on climate change for failing to allow countries like his nation with pristine unharvested forests to earn carbon credits.
"The Kyoto Protocol is limited in that sense, and it's short-sighted in that it encourages bad behaviour basically among countries; if you cut down trees and you plant them back you get money, if you preserve them, you don't get anything," Jagdeo told a forum on agro-energy.”
Gardens, glades and grottos are fun b/c greenery and rock are so much easier to understand than people.
Here's a fun sounding book about British gardens by Tim Richardson, "The Arcadian Friends'
An excerpt from the review in the Guardian:
The Arcadian Friends is wonderfully rich and packed with vivid details. Here are Alexander Pope's friends shooting down stalactites in Wookey Hole for his grotto in Twickenham, and Sir Francis Dashwood's erotic extravaganza at West Wycombe Park, which boasted a Venus mound that "is an evocation of the female anatomy". Here is also the story of a hermit who lost his job for carousing in a tavern instead of remaining in reclusion in the hermitage at Painshill, and the labourer poet Stephen Duck, who was taken on by Queen Caroline as librarian for Merlin's Cave, her faux grotto in Richmond Park. It's a book full of gripping stories of eccentrics, dissidents and plain obsessive garden-makers.
Retriever, do you know what to do with volunteer fennel? I don’t really cook with it, but hate to just discard it. It was growing in a dedicated herb area, but is invading the tomatoes this year, and they're not pleased.
I like it roasted. But it is good boiled, then broiled with olive oil, garlic and parmesan. Found this recipe online that sounded like a good way to use up some of the green beans ready in my garden now:
Green Bean and Fennel salad
..tossed with toasted walnuts, goat cheese and mustard vinaigrette.
1/2-1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (to your taste)
2 Tablespoons white wine
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
2-oz goat cheese, crumbled
1. Place the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a jar with a screw-top lid. Shake to combine.
2. Add the olive oil to the jar and shake again to emulsify.
3. Pour water into a large saucepan, add some salt and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Add the beans and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until just tender.
4. Drain and run under cold water.
5. Put the beans, fennel and most of the walnuts in a bowl. Reserve some walnuts for garnish.
6. Add some of the vinaigrette (you'll have extra vinaigrette) and toss to combine.
Arrange the beans on a platter. Sprinkle with the goat cheese and reserved walnuts and serve.
Then again, you could always just stir fry the fennel, maybe serve with pork medallions and baby fingerling potatoes, with sliced Gala apple pieces on top and a plain spinach salad...
The fronds make the plate so pretty.
Thanks! Looks delicious. Hope my variety has a respectable bulb- will pull up the errant ones tomorrow and see.
Do you ever use the leaves for seasoning or tea?
Very pretty garden site. Thank you. I will visit more than once.
I have not had a Pimms drink in a while. It is a very good hot weather drink. IIRC, Pimms was served tall with ice and ginger and a piece of English cucumber.
Never mind, Retriever- found what I needed. Will harvest the leaves and “jam them into keyholes and hang over doorways to fight off evil spirits.” Might cook with them, too.
Sounds good...am erratic about blog visiting and computer just now as distracted w getting ready for weekend trip, work, and 2 puppies looking at college [no overlap of schools or interests].
In my garden and glorious now: lilies, daylilies, blooming hosta, leftover roses, delphinium, butterfly bush, etc. Eating our own cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, broccoli, Chinese eggplant, herbs'but lettuce has bolted. Lots of three inch acorn squash growing and many of my favorite butternut squash forming. Beefsteak tomatoes the size of baseballs but green and hard as yet.
Pretty, pretty, Retriever, but you’re eating all those things? In my garden, birds steal blueberries and peck at the figs. Squirrels pilfer the cooking pears and heirloom apples (and most of the birdseed). A raccoon is grabbing grapes and a possum the tomatoes. White moths are still attacking the cabbage and broccoli, even after neighbor children batted them with badminton rackets for me (they loved that game). A few slugs ate bib salad before I denied them. Kids cabbage the kiwi in the fall. Something unidentified (I’m thinking a big fat neighbor) has gone off with onions and absconded with apricots.
So much for the fennel warding off hungry spirits. The most amazing thing is how there always seems to be too much to harvest. The second wondrous thing is why anyone would bother in the middle of town, when there’s a huge international farmer’s market around the corner. But next place soon am doing it all over, again, this time with a pretty greenhouse for mandarins, mangoes and aguacates and birds, with wild animals all around. Might need a gardener and gamekeeper named Parkin.
All our apricots dropped off in June. Squirrels get the four kinds of apples, the nectarunea, birds got the cherries until climbing rose killed the tree, raccons always get the grapes. Can't ever plant corn because of bandits. The yellow jackets keep green caterpillars Dow in cabbage family. My retriever wickedly devours small cabbage heads. Squash borers, cucumber beetles and mildew usually decimate my summer squash except for the climbing Italian heirloom zucchetta rampicante which produces delicious baseball bats. Slugs not too bad this year [kids like dropping them in bags of salt]. Birds eat my blackberries and salt water infiltration killed tha blueberries. But I rejoice when we defeat the odds and have bountifu harvests. Ferocious hunting kitten, siamese cat w alzheimers and elderly retriever keep many critters away! Catbirds just divebomb our eyes and poke holes in tomatoes.
Lol! My cats are useless except for purr-n-fur. You should train your retrievers to pick/fetch the ripe produce with their gentle mouths, especially if you’re losing a couple of field hands to the Ivy League.
I wish...with our rotten luck they will only get in to those finishing schools for rich dummies, private colleges that cost more than the Ivies, but chiefly teach partying...really smart kids but we have no money or connections or underprivileged status to help them, and puppies are shy and not natural salesmen. My attitude is, if they can't get into a first rate school
, our state school is just great!
Off to spend 8 hours on the highway w oldest puppy [shd take 5 hrs but summer traffic]. Hours of opportunity to impart my pearls of wisdom to the young, whose response will likely be "what was that?"
The best to all of you! Your pearls of wisdom are no doubt better than Mikimotos- they should listen.
Mine has deferred college, since work and projects are going full-bore. She just informed me, though, that her 30-something boyfriend and she have decided to go to Oxford next year.
Ha! Test scores are good enough and he has pull, but it won't happen b/c life gets in the way and I'll pray to even the multi-culti gods if i have to that they don't waste their time and $ learning snobby leftist cant.