About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Summer is marching along at a good pace and I'm so grateful that I have plenty of blooms still to sooth my eyes and my soul. My gardens are ever changing from day to day and I can't keep up as rain sometimes prevents me from weeding or deadheading on time and so it never looks totally tidy but everything blooms anyway and we all know beauty is so temporary.... Somehow there's are life lessons  to be learned in all of this.

Yesterday I made Ricotta cheese to use in a lasagne and I only took photos of the beginning and ending. I had a little bit of extra milk for the calf and since I'm trying to wean her off milk and I decided to use that extra  milk in making a fresh cheese.

Ricotta is a very quick and delicious Italian cheese made by using vinegar or lemon juice to curd the milk. The milk is slowly brought to a temperature of 200༠F. on low heat using a thermometer and vinegar s added and stirred. The milk is then covered  and put in a warm place undisturbed for approximately 6 hours or until the solid separate from the whey at a temperature  of between 80  F. to 100  F. I turn my oven on till it register 100 F. and turn it off.

Once the curds are ready I used a double layer of clean damp cheese cloth to drain the liquid off and I add a bit of salt , mix it in and refrigerated it for at least 24 hours before using.

I took a walk around my garden to record what was blooming and I'm posting it here for my own use but feel free to come along. I know that you've seen all these flowers before but they feed my soul and I can look at them long after they are gone.

An Echinacea purpura that is starting to bloom, but it looks like a mediocre specimen.

A blue Campanula  Blue Chip

Lobelias that I started from seeds.

A closeup of Purple Wave Petunias started from seeds.

A  self seeded Campanula  Blue Chip that has reverted to white, growing between the patio blocks.

Yazoo Eye-Catcher Daylily that gros along the rock wall.

My poor Bada Boom Begonias are getting way too much sun but they are tough just the same. I started these from seed .

A William Baffin rose bush that doesn't get enough sun. and is still spreading. I may have to move it to where it gets sun all day, but where?

I don't know the name of this Daylily but it's an old variety.

An old fashion Daylily

Some Sundrop flowers also known as Evening Primrose. I have them all over the place as they brighten the back yard on a somber day.

A closeup of my Grootendost hardy rose bush that really got a beating in the hurricane.

Some of my Sundrop flowers are still blooming despite being beaten down by hurricane Arthur.

A closeup of Jackmanii Clematis by the shed.

This vibrant orange Asiatic Lilly almost didn't made it because of the red lilly beetle infestation. I'm so glad to see it bloomed this year. Hopefully it will be bigger next year if I can keep those pesky lilly beetles at bay.... pesky weeds too.

This poor specimen is called Royal Velvet and I thought that it had died but it didn't quite died yet.  It gets a bit too much runoff from the roof.

This is a large Standard Hosta they get so huge.

A close up of Houldini Clematis

Here you can see Jackmanii Clematis trying to get a foot hold by the white Clematis next to the chimney.

I never planted this pale pink Astilbe. It's a cross bred between the dark pin and white Astilbe that grows in front of the house. It's past it's prime in this photo as it's loosing it's color.

Houldini white Clematis that has overtaken a Jackmanii Clematis by the chiminy. The snowbush tree next to it is taking all the nutrients and poor Jackmanii has a hard time growing.

White Astilbe, past their prime.

Sombrero Way Daylily

Another variety of Hostas and I don't know the name .

Stella Del Oro Daylily

A closeup of  one of my John Davis  rose bush.  I planted one in memory of mom and one in memory of dad. My dad love growing rose bushes.

I love this bright yellow Tetra Asiatic lily

A closeup of a Tetra Asiatic Lily

These are Tetra  Asiatic  Mix Lilies

A Tetra Asiatic red Lily

These beauties are Arthur Moore daylilies. They bloom in profusion. in the back of the house.

My Scotia tomatoes that I started from seeds are growing well in these crates but need frequent watering .He red you see through id a red lilly and not a tomato.

 A salmon color Asiatic lily, but I have no idea what is  the name of this variety. I almost lost them last year because of the red lilly beetle infestation. I picked them every day but they kept coming.

A rescued Asiatic Lilly  bulb at the end of the season sale. I don't think it bloom last year.

Rainbow Gold Daylilly

Little Showoff Daylilly

A Value Village pot I got last year . The blue pansies self seeded themselves in the garden last year and I stuck them in the pot and they are now blooming  along with a begonia and lobelias that I grew from seed.

I started my own Purple wave Petunias a bit late but it's growing well.

I grew the lobelia from seeds and that marigold just grew on it's own from seeds that wintered over outside and I just transplanted it in this old pot.

A bunch of Hosta that are over crowded by the gazebo.

Very pale cucumbers in full bloom growing in a big pot by the Gazebo. Very bad exposure.

Some type of Sedum blooming along my rock wall, very hardy and will grow even on rock with very little soil.

I just love how this Hosta is ruffled.

Varigated Hosta

Yellow bush beans starting to bloom

Fountain Tune Daylilly

New Note Daylilly

We already ate two meals from these Sugar peas with edible pods, so good in stir fry.

Cafe Society Daylilly

Lacy Bonnet Daylilly

Mary Todd daylily

My beautiful Grootenburg rose bush got beaten pretty bad by hurricane Arthur especially on one side with lots of broken branches.

Late in the season I bought 2 of these hydrangea on sale  at Cosco on impulse with no place to plant them so  late in the fall they looked dead and dried up in their pots so I stuck them into the cedar hedge just in case there might still be a tiny bit of life in them and this Spring they greened up with the best of them and I still had no proper place to put them.  I dug out some plants and stuck them in the ground by the gazebo as they are supposed to stay relatively small. Now they are getting some little flower buds. I'm anxious for the surprise blossoms later on...

Jackmanii Clematis with millions of buds yet to bloom.

A lace cap Hydrangea that I didn't prune this spring.

Pink Astillbe

Experimenting this year, growing cucumbers in my left over compost bins.

So sorry for the length of this post but I'm using this as a record of what's blooming on this date for my own future reference.
Thanks for your visit and comments. Life is short, enjoy.



  1. holy smokes, you've got a bunch o' hostas and lilies! but i love the clematis - of any type. neat! also like the sundrops as we've got pink evening-primrose here so i enjoyed seeing the yellow.

  2. Lovely flowers, Julia. I'm going to try your recipe for ricotta. Sounds yummy. Sarah

  3. Beautiful flowers. And the fact that you made ricotta cheese is awe-inspiring. I always complain about how long it takes to make lasagna, but I don't even know the half of it!

  4. Thanks for the info, Julia. I'm not sure if I can get raw cows milk around here. I may have to just use organic milk from the market. You're lucky you have cows. :). Sarah

  5. wow homemade ricotta… and not too difficult… well, for you… The smells in your garden must be something else! I love Petunias… such a pretty, sweet flow…

    I love Begonias but never heard of a Bada Boom Begonia? ha!

    all your flowers … the Clematis! sigh … I love flowers and plants and that was what I had intended for my house but .. .as you know …

    Adelle is sleeping with me tonight… Gramma? yes… can I sleep with you tonight… sigh… only four more nights with the little angel… sigh

    You don't have to plan a getaway…. just open your doors … just beautiful, Julia… ;)


  6. Oh, my. That was just beautiful, my friend! Wow! I love perennials for this very reason, they come back and you can enjoy them over and over. With a bit of TLC you have beauty around you consistently.You have a very green thumb. Hugs.

  7. I have never made cheese but it sounds yummy. Your gardens are beautiful. I pulled up my lilies because of that beetle I couldn't battle them.

  8. So many gardens and flowers certainly keep you hopping all around the yard! My favorite is the Tetra Asiatic Red Lilies! Almost the color of hot paprika!

  9. Thank you for the walk through your lovely gardens. Also, it was interesting to read how you make your homemade Ricotta. Would it work with fat free milk, too?

    Thank you for your visits to my blog, Julia. I always enjoy reading your comments.

  10. Beautiful gardens, Julia! I had a nice walk-through this morning! :)
    Hugs, Sunnie :)

  11. I may have to try making Ricotta. It sounds great!
    Your flowers are beautiful and I am so glad the storm did not destroy them.
    I usually take my coffee with me on early morning rounds thru the flowers.
    I like to see what is blooming and growing. Flowers are a joy in this harsh world we now live in.

  12. Sweet Julia you truly must have the most beautiful yard for miles and miles around you. All of your flowers are simply gorgeous and your tomato plant looks so healthy.

    I see you have some how found the time to make cheese...I bet it was delicious. I read on your blog all you do and think to myself...I know it is not possible but your days must be longer than mine. You sure do get a lot more done in a day than I can and do.


  13. What beautiful flowers you have. You must have a really, really green thumb. I loved how you showed making ricotta cheese. That is on my list of things to make. I need to make it soon.
    You are so busy. I am so glad the hurricane didn't hurt your flowers too bad. They are just outstanding. My Clematis just never does very well. I think it is just too hot here. It sure loves it there. I bet you just love your garden right now. I know I sure would. Well, trying to use up zucchini today so I have been making loaves of bread for the freezer, it is time for batch to come out so should go. Have a wonderful day today Julia, I wish I could pop over and see your garden in person.

  14. Thank you for the inspirational tour of your blooming garden. I'm going to try some of those beautiful flowers in my yard next year. You did so many from seed! I did it for the first time with some marigold seeds, they were planted late but now have wee flowers on them. It was so gratifying watching their progress. Yours are stunning! You do have a green thumb. And quite handy in the kitchen, making ricotta cheese too! Yum! None of those chemical additives in your creations. I'm still in construction mode around here but it sure feels cooler in the house with new windows, insulation & siding on the outside. Next year I want hydrangea bushes & I think I too will shop Costco!
    I can see & feel why it soothes your soul, natures beauty with your LTC! You spoke of beauty that fades... Here's a saying that I use to say to my kids... Look not for beauty nor the whiteness of skin but for the heart that is loyal within. For the beauty will fade & the skin will grow old but the heart that is loyal will never grow cold. You Julia have a warm heart, so loyal to family, animals, & nature. Enjoy your week.
    Hugs, Cynthia

  15. Beautiful flowers. You must not have a deer problem at all.
    I've had my little fence put up and will start with mums in
    a month or so. Also, you've encouraged me to try starting
    some things with seeds next spring. Thanks, Julia

  16. Your flowers are beautiful and I'm so impressed with your knowledge of their names! I have no luck with roses but I LOVE that Grootendost rose.
    Homemade ricotta sounds yummy.
    Hugs :)

  17. I felt like I just took a tour of the Garden of Eden your flowers are so beautiful !! Home made ricotta cheese? Holy cow girl you continue to amaze me!

  18. Your garden must be such a joy to walk round in. And then you find time to make cheese too? That's so wonderful.

  19. beautiful gardens! .. never knew making ricotta would be so simple. thanks for sharing! ~ronda

  20. OH what amazing flowers. You must have a green thumb and perfect soil. I have never seen so many beautiful flowers. No wonder how you enjoy them so much. The cheese looks good. You sure take good care of your calves.

  21. I love all the varieties of day lilies you have! So beautiful. Your expertise is amazing! I'm impressed with all the flowers that you have grown from seed. Even a hurricane can't compete with you! I used to make my own yogurt years ago. I'm betting that cheese was tasty in your lasagna...I made some lasagna too over the weekend but I use cottage cheese instead. Thanks for the lovely tour and inspiration! I feel the need to head out and rescue a few of my potted plants that are trying to die out as the season goes on.

  22. Ha! Looks like nasty old Arthur didn't have his was with everything.
    Those flowers are so beautiful!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing those wonderful pictures.
    I've never made homemade ricotta. It looks like fun and I can imagine so much better than the kind that comes fro the grocery.

  23. The flowers are stunning. You must have a green thumb Julia.

  24. How wonderful!!! I had no idea how to make ricotta so thank you for teaching me. I really love your flowers too. X

  25. Fantastic garden!!! Lovely! You surely have a BIG green thumb and a cream thumb, too, (for the ricotta)!!

  26. All the while I was strolling through your gorgeous bloomers (so many started from're amazing!), I was still shaking my head and thinking "you MADE your own ricotta?!?!?!" Wow, Julia, you are one amazing woman! A true farmer, in the most noble sense of the word.
    You made ricotta cheese:) That is so freakin' awesome:) I would never in a million years even think to do that. You make me want to live closer to the land. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

  27. Wow your garden is exceptionally beautiful you must put in a lot of time and it shows.
    I love ricotta cheese but have never made it thank you for the instructions, if I ever get some free time here on the farm I may have to try it. Have a good day. Enjoy your garden you have earned it indeed. Beautiful. B

  28. Hi Julia! First, applause for the cheese! Wow! I'm impressed!
    You certainly have a beautiful bounty in your garden! Flowers are my favorite photography subject!
    Everything looks stunning! Well done!

  29. My ricotta turned out great, Julia! I made a lasagna and invited neighbors and everyone loved it. The raw milk is permitted by New York State, so it was legal. At $8 per half gallon, it was pricey, though $2.50 was a bottle deposit. It did have about 4 inches of cream on top. So much tastier than the store bought stuff.

    Your flowers are gorgeous. Thanks for posting the pics. Sarah

  30. Wow, it is pricey... but cheaper than feeding a cow . Will you get your full deposit back when you return the bottle?
    I'm very happy to hear that your ricotta turned out great and what a way to impress your neighbours. You're right, it taste better than store bought.

    Big hugs,

    I'm on my third batch but will have to wait while to make some more. I got three new calves now feed and can't spare the milk.

  31. Your flowers are gorgeous, and I enjoyed the tour. So, it was not too long for me.

  32. I'm amazed at the many varieties of flowers you have, and they are lovely!