Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Greek Picnic Salad

The photo below shows some of my garden harvest that will soon become one of our favorite summer salads. . .

. . . Greek Picnic Salad!



6 Ripe TOMATOES, chopped
2 GREEN BELL PEPPERS, seeded and diced
1 RED ONION, diced
2-3 CUCUMBERS. seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped FRESH PARSLEY
1 can RIPE OLIVES, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 pound FETA CHEESE, crumbled

Place in the work-bowl of a food processor or in a blender:

2 Tablespoons LEMON JUICE
2 Tablespoons WINE VINEGAR
1 1/2 Teaspoons DIJON MUSTARD
1/8 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER
2 cloves GARLIC, minced

Process until well blended and toss with salad ingredients. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.


Nothing tastes more like summer than tomatoes, cukes and peppers from the garden, and this salad showcases them all to perfection!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tiger Swallowtail on White Phlox

I was able to capture this photo a couple of weeks ago when this butterfly landed on the white phlox in my front flower garden.

More often than not, the butterflies in my garden "flutter by" so quickly it is difficult to get any decent photos. But this one was obviously enjoying the phlox and stayed for nearly a full minute, while I quickly snapped several photos.

Here you can better see the colors and markings of the beautiful Tiger Swallowtail..... no "raggedy wings" here, like the one I photographed earlier in the summer.


"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."
~Maya Angelou

Monday, August 13, 2007

Squash Update

A while back I did a post on a new squash I am growing this year called Sunshine. I have been surprised at how vigorous the vine is and how many nice sized fruit is it bearing.

They are so pretty in their bright orange coats....they remind me of pumpkins!

Here are a couple of immature Butternut squash. They seem to be developing fruit rather late this year, so I hope they will ripen before frost. They are pretty, too, at this stage...with their lovely medium and light green stripes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Corn Cockle

I've discovered another charming old fashioned cottage garden flower! It is Agrostemma githago, with the common of Corn Cockle. It is a hardy, self-sowing annual, which grows to 3 ft. and blooms in early summer. (These have been done blooming now since our hot weather began in July, but I am just now getting to this post!)

This one is called Purple Queen. I love the look of the inside of the flowers....with their detailed "dotted" lines.

The white form has the fitting name of Ocean Pearl.

This lovely shade of light pink is Contessa Pale Pink.

The butterflies like Corn Cockle, too! Mine were interplanted with tall Cosmos and a bit of ferny foliage from the Cosmos was in front of the lens in this photo.....but I like the sort of ethereal effect that resulted.


It was my first year for growing Corn Cockle, but it won't be the last.....another lovely Cottage Garden 'Keeper'!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Pineapple Tomato

Another of the heirloom tomatoes is ripe! This one is called 'Pineapple'.

It is quite a large tomato, with an irregular shape. This one is about 4 1/2 inches across. The color is kind of a streaked yellow and red....a very pretty tomato!

Here is a photo of the inside flesh. The taste is wonderful! Reminds me a little of Brandywine, but sweeter, yet just tangy enough for a delicious tomato taste. As with most heirloom tomatoes it is subject to splitting and is a bit on the soft side. I grow this one for Dear Husband, as it is one of his favorites. We like to slice and eat it with just a sprinkling of salt.... yummm!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Raggedy Butterfly

This pretty butterfly really caught my attention this morning in the garden, as it drifted by.... mainly because it was one of the largest I have seen.

I was able to get a photo when the butterfly lighted on an orange Cactus Zinnia. The wingspan was roughly as large as the zinnia bloom, which is about 4 inches across. Upon closer examination, I could see that one wing (on the right in photo) was quite battered.


Can anyone identify this butterfly for me?