Friday, September 18, 2009

Perennial Trumpet Vine

Ian and I were amazed at the size and apparent age of this lovely trumpet vine at the Biltmore conservatory. It must be very old since its stem has become woody. It's taller than me!

huge trumpet vine at biltmore

We had a little debate about how they kept this plant alive over the winter. Assuming it is an annual, I figured it is in a big pot in the ground and that they take it into the conservatory when temperatures dip too low, but Ian couldn't believe something that size could be moved that easily and decided it must be winter hardy.

I have always thought Trumpet Vine is an annual, but apparently there are perennial varieties available that are hardy up to -30F. Ian was right. They must leave this plant right where it is all year long!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Flower Carpet at Biltmore

A few weeks ago we visited the beautiful flower carpet at Biltmore. We made it on the last day of exhibition, as it was being taken down the next day for a wedding the following weekend.

flower tapestry at biltmore

The carpet was inspired by a fleur de lis pattern carved into original columns inside the Biltmore house. It took the garden designers over 100 hours to incorporate 100,000 flowers into the design that covers the 1/4 acre esplanade next to the Biltmore house.

flower carpet at biltmore

Iresine and dusty miller were used to compose the border.

flower tapestry at biltmore

Marigold and salvia formed the swirling spiral patterns.

flower tapestry at biltmore

Begonia, scaevola and zinnia added bursts of geometric color to the design.

flower tapestry at biltmore

Maybe I'll turn my front yard into a flower carpet next year. Just kidding! I don't want to dig that much!

We were glad to catch sight of the flower carpet before it was gone forever. (Even though that tacky white tent in the upper left corner tried to ruin all my pictures.)

ian and tammy at biltmore

Did you know they just throw all those plants away? I suggested to a friend who works at Biltmore that they have a "free plants" day to invite passholders to take the plants. I bet we would haul those plants out of there faster than their work crew could! I know I would bring my wheel barrow and both cars to get as many as I could carry!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Biggest Pickle I've Ever Seen!

A couple weekends ago we were dog sitting our friend's Lab, Buddy. Buddy is a good boy and loves to hang out wherever we are. We happened to be cleaning up the garden that day - pulling out the spent squash and cucumber plants and harvesting the soybeans. We realized there were a couple cucumbers on the vine that we had missed during our harvest and sat them to the side to take into the house when we were finished. About 10 minutes later we heard a loud crunching noise. We looked over and saw that Buddy had found the cucumbers and was munching away on one! He looked at me quite innocently and said, "Wow, that's the biggest pickle I've ever seen!" I never knew Labs could talk. I guess they are deeply inspired by big pickles.

buddy eating the biggest pickle he's ever seen

We let Buddy finish the "pickle," because hey, we weren't going to eat the rest of it, and it was humorous to see a dog munching on a cucumber. He didn't even ask for a little bit of salt. What a good boy!

buddy munching on a cucumber

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eggplant and Chorizo Pasta

Ian whipped up a yummy little dish the other day with some eggplant and left over chorizo.

eggplant and chorizo pasta

He just sauteed the eggplant in some butter, cooked up the chorizo in a pan, boiled some noodles and added some fresh sauce from this year's tomato haul. It's seriously one of the yummiest things I've ever eaten. Don't forget a sprinkle of parmesan at the end!