About Me

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I am a Jill of all trades , SAHM and lover of all crafts. I think my middle name is Creating :) Each day I try to invision some new detail or put together some stiches I have never done before for a new look. I can`t wait to see what tomorrow will bring . Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how I am doing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Plants taken inside for the winter ...

Just a reminder to water those plants that were taken inside for the winter .

Got to give them some love , you don`t want to forget about them .  And Yes I believe that talking to your plants will make them healthier .

I still have some parsley, rosemary, and sage growing nicely outdoors . End of December in New York , I think i am doing good ! I took the pots and placed them under my deck out of the direct cold and wind but they are still able to get some sunlight .

I hope you have all planted your bulbs for next year . I can`t wait to see what pops up in the spring :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

S.O.S. for those plants that don`t like the cold

If you have plants that need to be brought indoors for the winter and haven`t done it yet .... GET TO IT !! ... Transplant all the plants that have over grown their containers, fertilize all your container plants , give them a nice watering and bring them in your garage ...( I water them only once a month once I have taken them inside )to make mine really thrive in the winter I set mine on wheels so that on the warmer days I will open the garage door and just roll them out for the day and wheel them right back in as  soon as the sun goes down . AAAAH the luxury of being a SAHM ! :)

I am already counting the days till I can get back out there and stick my hands into some dirt and get it ready for planting .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Approximate Date/ Tasks(s) for zone 7 calendar

I always forget when to plant what so here is a compiled list I found for zone 7 that I think everyone will find useful .

 These dates are approximations, give or take 2 weeks .

Approximate Date/ Tasks(s) for zone 7  calendar

January 1  - Be sure all your seed orders are placed or place them now
Get your seed-starting area cleaned up
Purchase any needed seed-starting supplies (peat moss, pots, etc.)

January 15  - Start artichoke seedlings
Start cardoon seedlings
Start broccoli raab seedlings
Start stratifying rooted-chervil seeds soon as you get them
Start leek seedlings

February 1  - Start broccoli seedlings
Start cabbage seedlings
Start cauliflower seedlings
Start onion seedlings

February 15  - Harvest & re-plant sunchoke tubers (if physically possible)

March 1  - Transplant broccoli raab seedlings
Start pepper seedlings
Direct-seed Swiss chard
Harvest & re-plant sunchoke tubers (ifyou haven`t  done it yet)
Direct-seed maincrop spinach

March 15  - Transplant artichoke seedlings
Transplant cardoon seedlings
Transplant broccoli seedlings
Transplant cabbage seedlings
Transplant cauliflower seedlings
Start hardening-off leek seedlings
Direct-seed maincrop spinach (second round)

April 1  - Direct-seed fava beans
Start celeriac seedlings
Start eggplant seedlings
Transplant leek seedlings
Direct-seed peas
Direct-seed Swiss chard (round 2)
Direct-seed sorrel
Direct-seed root chervil
Start tomato seedlings
Start hardening-off onion seedlings
Switch lettuce & greens seeding from "cool" to "warm" types

April 15  - Direct-seed beets
Transplant onion seedlings
Direct-seed summer carrots

May 1  - Direct-seed scallions ("Welsh onions")
Start summer-squash seedlings
Start tomatillo seedlings
Start melon seedlings

May 15  - Start cucumber seedlings
Lay down pepper-bed plastic mulch
Start pumpkin seedlings
Lay down pumpkin-patch plastic mulch
Lay down summer-squash bed plastic mulch
Lay down tomatillo-bed plastic mulch
Lay down tomato-bed plastic mulch
Start okra seedlings
(Think about hardening-off tomatoes in a week or so)

June 1 - Direct-seed non-lima beans (if soil T>60°)
Start hardening off eggplant seedling (wait till June 5th or so)
Lay down cucumber-bed plastic mulch
Transplant pepper seedlings (if soil T>65°)
Transplant pumpkin seedlings (if soil T>70°)
Transplant summer-squash seedlings (if soil T>70°)
Transplant tomatillo seedlings
Transplant tomato seedlings (if soil T>65°)
Lay down melon-bed plastic mulch
Start watermelon seedlings
Lay down watermelon-patch plastic mulch

June 15  - Direct-seed lima beans (if soil T>65°)
Direct-seed corn (if soil T>70°)
Transplant cucumber seedlings
Transplant eggplant seedlings
Lay down okra-bed plastic mulch
Direct-seed parsnips
Direct-seed scorzonera
Plant sweet-potato slips
Transplant melon seedlings
Transplant watermelon seedlings

July 1  - Direct-seed fall carrots
Start Brussels sprouts seedlings
Transplant celeriac seedlings
Direct-seed Florence fennel
Transplant okra seedlings

July 15  -Direct-seed root parsley

August 1 - Direct-seed kohlrabi

August 15  - Transplant Brussels sprouts seedlings
Direct-seed fall peas

September 1 - Nothing--so start your post-harvest cleaning-up

September 15 - Direct-seed kale

October 1  - Direct-seed fall spinach
Switch lettuce & greens seeding from "warm" to "cool" types

October 15 - Top Brussels sprouts plants
Plant seed garlic?
Plant seed shallots?

November 1 - Mulch asparagus beds for winter
Plant seed garlic (round 2)
Plant seed shallots (round 2 )

November 15 - Plan Thanksgiving dinner around your garden produce!
Direct-seed  - second growth of kale

December 1 - Clean up all garden detritus.

December 15  - Review seed catalogues and get your orders in for next year's growing

Monday, November 9, 2009


Hachiya Persimmon Tree(large variety)

Persimmon fruit is sweet and unusual

Digging the hole to Plant our Persimmon Tree 

Yes, That hole is big enough ! 

A few weeks ago my Brother and his Wife (Carmela ) gave us a PERSIMMON TREE on Diwali .
I just love love love this fruit !  This is the nice large variety which is  the astringent type needing to grow soft before it is sweet enough to eat.  The small varieties are non-astringent types and  offer fruit that is sweet even when firm. If you want seeds you will need to plant another tree for cross-pollination but most Persimmon varieties will still bring fruit but they will not have any seeds.

A persimmon tree is planted much like you would any other tree by digging the hole and loosening the dirt  wider and deeper .  Allow the  bottom of the root ball to sit firmly on the soil. Persimmon trees have a delicate and somewhat brittle root system so move them carefully.
Plant your tree so the soil line matches where it was grown in a pot. Water your tree well after planting.

Go light on feeding persimmon trees !  Too much nitrogen can sometimes cause the fruit to drop. Once established  they can be quite drought-tolerant.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lemon tree - end of October

The new flowers on the tree will end up falling off because the bees are gone and therefore they will not pollinate the flowers.

Lots of new lemons 

beautiful healthy lemons 

This is a look at how slow an orange grows . If you look back at my previous post and look at how small the lemons are and compare them to today , You will notice not much grouth in the 4 months .

I am out there in the rain snapping these  pictures ! :) I picked the 1st lemon off this past Sunday .  

Saturday, October 24, 2009


This is one of our favorite , so colorful!

So pretty ...from yellow to orange

These leaves almost look like flowers

I was amazed at how the bushes on the bottom are totally green yet if you look at the top of the bushes they have turned a red ...so cool

Our grasses are just starting to turn yellow

Autumn is my second favorite season of the year( My favorite being SPRING :))  , not to hot , not to cold . Makes you get ready for the colder days ahead , but what is most fascinating is the Autumn colors that surround us . I think that most of us forget to enjoy the colors as they change around us . 

Today I took a walk with my husband in our back yard to look at all the variety of trees that we have and to see all the beautiful shades of colors  that each tree has. Some are just breathtaking .

Some of the leaves are so vibrant while others are still green .

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Flowering Bulbs

   If you live up North like I do (New York) This is the time to get your bulbs in the ground so they will be ready to bloom in the spring . Remember to plant  the different colors in bunches so you get that WOW effect.  

   A few of my favorites are the Iris, Tulips , crocus,Hyacinth,Grape Hyacinth,Daffodil,... okay , what bulb don`t I like ? !!!   

they are easy to plant ... you don`t even have to turn the soil over , most will flourish just by making a hole and placing them in , cover them up and forget about them . When spring comes you will be surrounded by their lovely colors and great scents .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



 Love the shiny leaves

My sister N law Carmela gave  me this little tree . 
How neat is that ??? I don`t know if I will ever see a coffee bean from this little tree but I am just happy to have one even if just for an ornamental plant in my house . I love the shiny green leaves .
Its just about ready to be transplanted into a bigger pot so next year I should see more growth .

Sunday, September 27, 2009

lemon tree

lemon almost ready for picking

baby lemons

more new lemons

This tree was given to me by my niece and her boyfriend as a housewarming gift ... It has just been doing great ever since I got it . I water it regularly and make sure it gets plenty of sunshine .  Since I am in New York I will have to take it in the garage for the  cold winter months ... as long as it does not freeze it can stay outdoors . 

Its important that once the flowers appear on the plant that it gets plenty of water and fertilizing is crucial to getting a good yield of lemons especially if you plan on keeping the tree in a pot like I will be doing .. fertilizing 4 times a year is best .

If bees do not pollinate the flowers the little lemons will just shrivel and drop off the plants ...be sure to move the pot and place it where you see any sign of bee activity .

As you can see from the photos it is full of new baby lemons :)  , And 1 looks  nice and turning yellow  which will be ready for picking  soon .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jamun Tree

Jamun Tree

I grew this tree from a pit in Florida , I had given 2 to my Brother and sister In Law and they were nice to give me this one back when we moved back to New York . I am hoping it will continue to thrive in a pot . 

I absolutely love the taste of this fruit .

Ripe Jamun Fruit

The tree can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. The wood is strong and is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.

Jamun trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers of Jamun are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries. The fruit is oblong, ovoid, starts green and turns pink to shining crimson black as it matures. A variant of the tree produces white coloured fruit. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple. The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda (to control diabetes, for example[1].), Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.

Friday, September 11, 2009



When we moved into our new house the end of June , between unpacking and planting vegetables I really didn`t have time for flowers this year. I was surprised once I turned on our sprinklers that impatients were sprouting everywhere :) I love flowers and  I can`t wait to start planting next spring. Got any ideas for a flower garden in New York ???  whats good ? whats not ? I am thinking I may try to go with yellow and red flowers , I don`t believe I have ever done that color combination before but have seen some pictures and the color combo are really striking and bold .

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Red Hibiscus

My hibiscus

I had these in Florida in different colors .

My sister gave this one to me as a house warming gift
when we moved to New york but silly me I planted 
it in the ground forgetting this is a tropical plant and
now I need to uproot it and put it in a container for
the winter or it will freeze this winter.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Peppers - spicy hot

long hot peppers

round cherry peppers

banana peppers

We all Love the hot peppers in our family

The round cherry peppers are great for making stuffed
peppers ,Or dried so we can use them on our pasta.

The long hot ones I like just fried  or dried which we later
fry to eat them like chips ..MMM MMM

The yellow banana varieties I like to throw in a Ratatouille
 or what us Italians call ``JAMBOTTA`` A mix of different peppers
is even more interesting to the eye.


Our tomato  plants

I can not believe that these tomatoes just do not want to get
ripe this year... Its almost fall and I have only picked a handful
of tomatoes so far. Its just so nice & tasty when they are hand
picked from your own garden , the store bought ones cannot
compare in flavor.

I can`t wait till next years planting season ! More veggies and
more fruits to experiment with. :)


Our Parsley/basil

If you look real close you will see a nice fat Caterpillar eating my parsley !

This variety is used more for cooking and is more fragrant than  the curly parsley which is used more for garnishing because it looks prettier. either one is a must have in any garden.

Fig Tree

Our Fig Tree

This is the white variety and it bares fruit twice a year .
This variety grows quite large figs compared to other varieties
being grown here in New york .

When we lived in Italy we would  eat these as a meal .
I remember some red varieties that had figs the size of an orange.


My Mint

I always enjoy an ice tea w/ a sprig of mint in the hot summer days . I like it so much that I have been making marinades for my steak and chicken  with it .

My husband is from India and he likes to make mint chutney . I have started planting it around the house hoping it will spread around fast because making chutney requires a big load of mint..


My Basil

You can`t make a good sauce without the basile :) I love the fragrance it gives the sauce , Its a must have in any garden.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pidgeon peas


Can you believe I picked those just off of only 1 plant !! ???

I love them , they are not as sweet as regular peas and you also have to cook them for a long time . they are great in stews .


If you look closely near the stem you will see the okra...okra only growns along the stem as the plant grows taller.


This is an okra flower...this is one of the pretties flowers from any vegetable I have ever grown
I like to keep this in the garden just to enjoy the beauty of the flower. My husband  is a fan of okra so the vegetable doesn`t go to waste.


I haven`t figured out yet how to make them grow as big as the ones you get in a supermarket but the pineapples I grow are 1/4 of the size but they are the sweatest I have ever tasted . I think i`ll take the sweetnes over size any day ! :)
It is so nice to watch it start to bloom , they have a purpleish flower which is so pretty . If you click the photo you can see it in greater details . The hardest part is watching it grow for months and when you are ready to go pick it you find that a squirel beat you to it !

Now that I have moved from Florida to NY I will have to try growing them in a pot and see how well they do . 

Monday, August 31, 2009


My Hydrangea

They make such a statement in a garden , I love them because of the big flower . They are great to cut and place in any room in your house.

You can easily make more plants from clippings .

You can change their color just by placing a nail( from your tool box  not your finger nail ! LOL) near the base of the plant .  The color you get depends on your soils PH .

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This is a picture of our lemon tree in Florida .

This variety blooms all year round . Some of the lemons grow to a size of a grapefruit ! In order to get a good yield its important to fertilize every 3 to 4 months and to water generously and make sure the water doesn`t puddle around the plant for long  ...good drainage is the key to a good citrus plant .

When transplanting from the container to the ground its important that you never plant them lower than their original container and when watering it should be right to the roots and not use a sprinkler

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My wisteria in full bloom

 I love Wisteria , so vibrant & fragrant  . Today I was surprised to read that it comes from the pea family . They love to climb on wires best but on a trellis will work nicely to . I prefer cutting them down and growing them in a tree form , It requires a bit more work to trim them more often, but the reward is worth it . 

Wisteria`s  do not transplant well at all , The few times I have transplanted them it took 3 years to look healthy again , I kept thinking they were going to die on me,  but frequent watering  and constantly  talking to them finally perked them up again. its ashame that they do not bloom for very long .