A Path to Follow, but to where? This is a path made from oyster shells, so appropriate for those living on or near the water. The material is also a good use of resources available…ultimate recycling! If you don’t live near oysters…substitute pea gravel or decomposed granite, or stones…anything hard surface and easy to walk on. Rosemary as an edge here is especially nice.

A path to follow is something I always include in any landscape design. It is a “vehicle” for leading/guiding one about the garden…for strolling or getting to a place such as a potager or tool shed, or just a quiet spot to sit and relax for a bit. It is also a perfect way to enjoy fragrant herbs and roses planted along the pathway edge while strolling through the garden.                                                              

I really like the path shown and where it follows and then moves on again…in the center of a potager with herbs and rose quadrants, adding interest and texture and a change of surface to the garden. You’ll notice three different path materials…large stones lead to the gravel which ends with the round river rocks. Of course, a nice flat surface is helpful here!

Another gravel path edged in ledge stones through a rose and herb garden leads from the back kitchen steps, through the garden, and then on to other areas throughout the property. Always a place to go or something to see or a fragrance to enjoy or blossom to pick…

In Texas, in my dear friend’s yard, this door beckons one to continue along the path through a field of wildflowers…the key to the locked door rests on a hook above the door frame. In this field, wildflower seeds were tossed out in late fall…the next spring the whole acre was full of  bluebonnets and red clover and vast splashes of yellow and red flowers.

Every season the blooms dropped their seed heads and the field of flowers grew thicker and even more colorful with every spring to summer to fall! The colors changed with the seasons.

Soon it will be the time of richly colored leaves, bright berries, ripe nuts, and acorns…the hot summer weather will eventually yield to a cooler period with leaves falling from deciduous trees. This leaf fall usually coincides with the beginning of shorter daylight hours and the first few chilly mornings.

One of the great benefits of fall, aside from the beauty of colors and change of weather…it is truly the best season of the year for planting trees and shrubs. Good soaking rains, still warm soil and cooler daytime temps provide an environment encouraging plants to quickly make new roots before cold weather sets in…roots that will be better able to support growth when leaf buds burst open in the spring. Trees and shrubs planted in fall have a much better survival chance if you follow the simple steps of soaking, teasing roots, back-filling with native soil, watering properly and mulching…PLEASE, keep mulch away from trunks and stems!

In the flower garden,the unmistakable, and usually reliable signal for the beginning of fall is the appearance of hardy fall asters and late-blooming Montauck daisies. Fall gardens brim over with brilliant yellows, cool blues and glowing reds and some of the most perfectly formed roses of the year…often followed by great rose hips. For a rich indigo blue, nothing beats hardy blue plumbago, a favorite plant for along the edge of a border or path.The foliage takes on scarlet and maroon tones in cool weather while the plant is still in glorious BLUE bloom.   Another favorite is the simple, refined beauty of Japanese anemones…one of the loveliest plants of the LATE garden season. These hardy perennials tend to wander about the garden at will, occupying any moist spots in partial shade…as if Mother Nature saved them up for a late surprise. Flowering for several weeks into late fall…these simple pink or white blooms are lovely combined with Autumn Ferns.

During this time of late summer is when I begin to make the sugar water mixture much stronger for the little hummers, 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water…Soon it will be time for them to start the long flight to Central America for the winter season. SO, it makes sense to make their nutrient source a bit richer …there will be no food in-flight until the next stop-over!!

Planting a Fruit Tree NOW…Apples are easy to grow and manage. Choose varieties carefully for the area in which you live. Blossoms need to be pollinated by bees in order for apples to form. Some apple trees are now considered “self-pollinating” but others will definitely benefit from cross-pollination with another variety. Remember how important it is to plant early blooming flowers and herbs nearby as companions to attract bees and beneficial insects to your “orchard”…Think about all the good things you can make with apples…from sweet to savory…and they help keep the doctor away!

So who needs QUICHE…? I LOVE QUICHE…so easy to make, delightful as a meal with a simple salad and Voila’ !! Try this recipe for a different taste on quiche…a Double-Crust Leek and Bacon Pie!! it’s also good leftover for lunch…cold.

The creamy filling is a perfect match for an old-fashioned butter puff pastry…so for the filling:

Saute in a ‘glop’ of real butter and tiny bit of olive oil…3-4 leeks rinsed and cut into “chunks” and 2 potatoes, peeled and diced, add salt and cracked pepper, cover and cook till softened

Cook 6-8 slices of nitrate-free bacon till crispy

Mix 10 oz. of soft cream cheese with 2 beaten eggs, fold in the potatoes and leeks then add the bacon.

Prepare the pan…I use a 9×9 pan or 8×10 glass dish, size depends on your filling. Put one section of purchased puff pastry, rolled a bit thinner, on bottom of baking dish, pile the filling into the crust…roll out remaining pastry section and place on top of pie mixture to make a top crust. Fold over and crimp the edges to seal.

Bake 40-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven…watch carefully to be sure pastry does not burn or filling bubbles over. Remove, cool slightly and serve…a crisp Pinot Grigio or dry Rose’ would be nice…

A Lavender Treat to keep in the tin…Lavender Cookies are the tasty best with lemonade or tea in the afternoon…To make: Cream 1/2 cup soft REAL butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp. REAL vanilla and 2 Tblsp. chopped organic lavender buds, your own, of course! Mix well and then combine: 1 1/2 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder…add to butter mixture and stir til well-blended. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just barely browned enough around the edges…the cookie should be soft. Cool and enjoy!

My favorite path to follow…ahhh,
can’t even…

From a very relaxed Holly and Patricia…it’s the lavender!!

Mangez bien, reiz souvet, aimez beaucoup…

or, Eat well, laugh often, love a lot!!

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