Monthly Archives: July 2013

Hydrangeas

Remember when you were in elementary school, and making new friends? One of the many questions that kids tend to ask is “what is your favourite colour?” My daughter consistently tells me that not only is her favourite colour purple, but that mine is as well.  She’s not far off the mark, and if you were to take a tour of our garden, you would very quickly see that pinks and purples dominate our yard.

When it’s time to plant a new tree or shrub, I have much fewer opinions than I do when selecting annuals and perennials.  This is likely due to the fact that my work at Lacoste has been primarily in the store, and greenhouse, with very limited forays into the trees and shrubs.  I simply don’t spend enough time there to have a lot of knowledge about what’s available (fortunately, there are many people out there that do!)  One shrub that is a favourite of mine though, is the hydrangea.  In our previous house, we had two big bushes of Annabelle Hydrangeas. I loved them, and even used them in our wedding décor.  Our neighbour loved them, and once admitted to occasionally sneaking over and stealing a few blooms!  As we’ve been adding to this yard, we’ve explored the wide variety of hydrangeas that are available.

Annabelle Hydrangea

One that is particularly cool is the Pinky Winky Hydrangea. Pinky Winky is officially “Hydrangea Paniculata, DVPpinky”  in Latin, which basically means that it has cone-shaped flowers, instead of the big ball of flowers.  What’s neat about this one is that the flower blooms white, but as it matures turns pink, producing a two-tone effect. Pinky Winky is an adaptable, easy to grow plant that can get as big as 8 feet tall, and 8 feet around, however here in Winnipeg, it’ll max out at about 5-6 feet.  It does well in the sun, but will thrive in the shade.  It prefers a good, loamy soil, but will adapt to a variety of soil conditions, and only requires a moderate amount of watering.  It will bloom regardless of pruning, climate and soil pH.

Pinky Winky Hydrangea

I think it is safe to say that Pinky Winky would fit right in somewhere in my pinky-purple garden, and is an easy to maintain, beautiful addition to yours!

Veggie Time

It’s a new season here at Lacoste! We’ve cleared away much of the giftware to make room for our Farmer’s Market!  Much of our produce is from Manitoba Farmers, with whom we’ve had ongoing relationships.  We’ve been carrying local, greenhouse tomatoes, rhubarb and asparagus for some time now, but we’ve now expanded and all your favourite garden vegetables are arriving daily!

I know many people look forward to fresh garden veggie, so here’s an idea how to incorporate them into your dinner!

Farfalle with Carbonara and Spring Peas

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/farfalle-with-carbonara-and-spring-peas

1lb Bowtie Pasta

1 Egg

7 Tbsp Heavy Cream

Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper

12 Slices Bacon, roughly sliced

3 Handfuls of freshly shelled peas

2 Sprigs of Fresh Mint, leaves picked, (slice most of it, but reserve some for garnish)

2 Handfuls Parmesan, freshly grated

Bring a large pan of salted water to boil, and add pasta, cook according to package instructions

Whisk egg in a bowl with cream, salt and pepper

Cook bacon in pan, until crispy and golden

When the pasta is nearly cooked, add the peas for the last minute and a half.  When cooked, drain in a colander, and save a bit of the pasta water.  Add the pasta to the bacon and stir in sliced mint.

Add the egg and cream mix to the pasta, while the pasta is still hot, so the residual heat will cook the egg.  Toss it all together, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parmesan and the reserved, whole mint leaves.

Enjoy!

 

Midsummer Check-in

Now that it’s July, I think that it’s safe to say that most gardeners have their major planting completed, and are able to sit back and relax and enjoy their efforts!  This morning as I was watering the containers throughout the yard, I was surprised at which ones were my favourites.  Back when we first began planting, I was very excited about these which we placed by the front door.  However, as they’ve grown in, I’m less in love with them.  The English Ivy and Lamium have taken over. The begonias have been pretty much choked out. The Ponytail Fern is not as tall as I would have liked to balance the spillers. I was pleasantly surprised by another shady planter in the backyard.

This one, we just grabbed a bunch of vines, (Vinca, and Swedish Ivy) and the Gardenmeister Fuschia, and threw them in. I was concerned that all the vines together would look messy, and random.  They do, but I love it, and it ­might just end up being my new favourite!

Now that things are fairly established in their places in the yard, and the perennials are up and blooming, I think that it’s time to offer a giveaway to those of you who follow this blog.  “Like” us on Facebook, and post a picture of your favourite piece of your garden; you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift certificate redeemable anytime at the store! The winner will be drawn on July 8th, so enter soon!

I can’t wait to see what you’ve done to beautify your life!